Religious Development in the Ancient Middle East

I have for a long time wanted to write a series of novels on the ancient Middle East; about the historical development of religious ideas from polytheism and henotheism to monotheism, and the people who lived in the area during the time; who were affected by these religious changes. I think it was around 2005 that I first started to think about writing on this topic; but then, I have so many things I want to write about, and I still think I know way too little about this. Perhaps I know a few things from where to start, though:

According to some scholars, the "Yahweh Only" movement may have been inspired by ideas from Egypt. There is a great deal I need to learn about Egyptian history; about the pharaoh Akhenaten, about the Amarna period, the Hyksos invasion and the Habiru and so on. Since many scholars wrote their works in German, I would probably benefit from learning German as well. But then, there are also many well researched books about these subjects in English.

Not everyone who invoked Yahweh seem to have belonged to the "Yahweh Only" movement, though. There have been found inscriptions from Kuntillet Ajrud where Yahweh and Ashera are invoked together. That is something I find really interesting.

The Hebrew Bible is mostly written from a "Yahweh Only" perspective. That perspective was certainly not the only perspective existing, though - on the contrary, there were tensions between various different perspectives, with polytheism probably being the dominant one. As far as I know, those who advocated "Yahweh Only" were not really monotheists either, but henotheists. It wasn't until the Babylonian Exile that monotheism really became a thing and people started to put together what we now know as the Hebrew Bible - what in Judaism is known as Tanakh and in Christianity as the Old Testament.

Granted, these facts are basic knowledge, and I need to dig a lot deeper if I will ever manage to write the series of novels I dream of writing. There are so many things about the archaeology in the area, and the historic documents from the surrounding areas, where my knowledge is still lacking. I also have the tendency of pondering an idea or an ambition for years, but also procrastinating it for just as long.

This is one of my writing projects; I have others as well. The academic study of history of ideas, history of religion; and the literary genre of historical novels, are life-long love affairs of mine.

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