Chief deity of the western Semites. In ancient texts from Ras Shamra in Syria, El was the husband of the mother goddess Asherah and father of all the gods except Baal. He was often depicted as an old man with a white beard and wings. The writers of the Hebrew scriptures used El as a synonym for Yahweh (the God of Israel) or as a general term for deity.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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