I’m not sure that once I’ve finished this choice quotation there will be much I need to say:
“The Babylonians and Greeks prayed and gave sacrifices to numerous gods, while the Hebrews only had to keep track of worshiping one.”
This totally explains the ascendance of monotheism. Only one god to keep track of.
Certainly when it comes to following the action in literary hero tales, the student must be grateful for monotheism. All those gods, with all their nicknames, affairs, relatives, and feuds, every human action calling for bribing a different god to get through it, all those temples and shrines…and then on top of it, most of the gods could change their shapes, take on human form and identity, show up unexpectedly, mess around with people—good grief! What a nightmare!
And then look at those lucky Hebrews—only one god to keep track of. Whew. Even if Jahweh has his whims and expectations, even if he chooses to be inscrutable at times, even if he occasionally decides to knock down a tower, or wipe out humanity, having only him to try to keep happy sure simplifies your day.