Israel’s Religion during the Patriarchal Age (2000 to 1500 B.C.)

Julius Ndishua ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.9 No.1 January 2023 Issue  Article 1 pp 1-8
DOI : |   Published online 11th January 2023.
© 2023 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (


This research focuses on Israel’s religion during the Patriarchal age (2000 to 1500 B.C). The beliefs and practices of Israel’s religion during the patriarchal period remain a bone of contention among scholars. Did the Patriarchs have a belief system different from the people in the Ancient Near East? If they had, what made their faith distinct from that of the surrounding nations? Scholars are indecisive about the content of the patriarchal religion. The book of Genesis does not elaborate on the patriarchal religion; rather, it expresses the Patriarchal religious experiences timidly. The researcher argues that the spiritual experiences stated in Genesis prove that Israel’s religion was possibly distinct and directional. The patriarchal era is situated within Genesis 12-50. The patriarchs are Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The Nuzi, Mari, and Ebla tablets are archaeological discoveries that shed light on critical religious centres like Shechem, Bethel, and Beersheba during the patriarchal era. The researcher uses a narrative approach to collect data for analysis. The findings reveal that; the Patriarchs erected altars in Shechem, Bethel, Beersheba, and Moriah, to offer sacrifices, libations, and prayers. The patriarchs were clan heads and played the role of a priest in officiating at the altars. God revealed Himself to them through visions and dreams. As nomads, the Israelites were conscious of YHWH’s protection and guidance during the patriarchal era. They lived depending upon His provision for their daily needs in the Ancient Near East. The Patriarchs worshipped God as El Elyon, El Olam, and El Shaddai. The lesson for the Christian community is to depend on God for protection and provision. God’s presence with the patriarchs also serves as an example to encourage the Christian community to be conscious of God’s presence with her always.

Keywords: Patriarchal Age, Religion and Archaeological discoveries

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Rev. Julius Ndishua is an Ordained Minister at the Cameroon Baptist Convention, Cameroon. He holds a Master’s degree in Old Testament language and literature from the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary-Ogbomoso, Nigeria (NBTS). He is currently a PhD candidate in Old Testament language and literature in the same institution. He has research interests in style and code-switching in the Old Testament.

Ndishua, J.  “Israel’s Religion during the Patriarchal Age (2000 to 1500 B.C.),” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 9 no.1 (2023): 1-8.

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (