Syria or Palestine, (1550-1150 BCE)
Bronze with gold and silver overlay
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Allan C. Balch, LACMA M.45.3.121
(From museum info card)|
"This figure, possibly the Canaanite god Ba'al, would have held his insignia, a weapon or lightning bolt. Grooves along the back of the arms probably anchored gold and silver foil which would have covered the entire figure."
Although this piece was not made in Egypt, there are many connections to Egypt, not the least of which is its style. This statue has associations with Egyptian depictions of the god Set:
"In the beginning of the Ramesside period there was undoubtedly a strong trend at court and in the army in favour of worshipping Seth in the Asiatic form of his appearance, i.e. as Baal." "Not a single image of Baal has been found in Egypt, in which he is not also Seth." (_Seth, God of Confusion_, by TeVelde, page 126)
There's a bronze statue of Set at Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek which features this same 'menacing' pose:
New Kingdom, 19th-20th Dynasty (ca. 1295-1070 B.C.)|
Unalloyed copper, solid cast, with separate right arm; auriferus silver and copper alloy inlay; partially clad with gold sheet; altered in antiquity by removal of ears and addition of ram horns and crown with lituus; feet with lower legs, right horn, and reattachment of right arm are 19th-century restorations.
H. as restored 67.7 cm (26 5/8in.), W 35 cm (13 3/4in.), D. 30cm (11 3/4in.)
Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen MEIN 614)
Scanned and quoted from _Gifts for the Gods:Images from Egyptian Temples_, pages 34-37
Edited by Marsha Hill and Deborah Schorsch, published in conjunction with the exhibition “Gifts for the Gods: Images from Egyptian Temples” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 16, 2007–February 18, 2008.
"The Glyptotek Seth's pose recalls more closely representations of foreign gods as warriors, with right arm raised, and the established relationship between the god Seth and Canaanite gods such as Baal and Reshef may provide clues leading to a better understanding of the figure. Metal statuettes of these deities were produced in the Levant during the Late Bronze Age, beginning around 1500 BC. Based on the observation that such deities, unlike kings, were not shown grasping prisoners, Izak Cornelius replaced the term smiting god, which proceeds from 'smiting pharoah', with menacing god, and he suggests that the images conceptualize power by virtue of the gods' raised right arms, even if they do not hold a weapon." (From _Seth, 'Figure of Mystery'_, by Deborah Schorsch and Mark T. Wypyski in JARCE 45 (2009) page 186)|
There are further associated between Set and Baal. Baal kills a sea monster named Yam, which embodies the chaotic aspect of the primeval ocean. Set kills the monster Apep, which wishes to return everything to the primeval chaos of non-existence. Perhaps the raised arm in both of these statues represents the divine power against this destructive chaos.