The cult of YHWH as god of metallurgy originated among semi-nomadic copper smelters between the Bronze and Iron Age, suggests biblical scholar: And he was not worshipped only by Jews.
According to Amzallag, long before becoming the deity of the Israelites, Yahweh was a god of metallurgy in the ancient Canaanite pantheon, worshipped by smelters and metalworkers throughout the Levant, not just by the Hebrews.
where did the YHWH cult originate? Who were the first people to worship him? And how did he end up being the sole deity of a group called Israel, who, as their very name says (in Hebrew), didn’t even start out as a Yahwistic people, but as followers of El, the main god of the Canaanite pantheon?
Most scholars already believe that the cult of Yahweh first emerged somewhere in the southern Levant, partly based on Egyptian texts from the late second millennium B.C.E. These documents describe groups of Canaanite nomads collectively known as Shasu, including one tribe named Shasu Yhw(h) – perhaps the first recorded Yahweh worshippers in history.
Note that the so-called Midianite-Kenite hypothesis goes back to the 19th century, when biblical scholars saw Jethro’s story as evidence that these groups introduced the Israelites to the worship of Yahweh. Amzallag seems to be the first to stress the metallurgical side of this hypothesis and link Yahweh specifically to the rites and cults of ancient miners and smelters.