Yahweh, prior to becoming Yahweh, the national god of Israel, and taking on monotheistic attributes in the 6th century BCE, was a part of the Canaanite pantheon in the period before the Babylonian captivity. Archeological evidence reveals that during this time period the Israelites were a group of Canaanite people. Yahweh was seen as a war god, and equated with El. Asherah, who was often seen as El's consort, has been described as a consort of Yahweh in numerous inscriptions. The name Yahwi may possibly be found in some male Amorite names. Yahu, an alternate pronunciation, may be found in names.
According to Botterweck and Ringgren, the earliest known occurrence of the name "Yahu" is its inclusion of the name "the land of Shasu-y/iw" in a list of Egyptian place names found in the temple of Amon at Soleb (see also Shasu of Yhw), from the time of Amenhotep III (1402-1363 BCE). The place name appears to be associated with Asiatic nomads in the 14th to 13th centuries BCE. A later mention from the era of Ramesses II (c. 1303 BCE – 1213 BCE) associates Yahu with Mount Seir. From this, it is generally supposed that this Yahu refers to a place in the area of Moab and Edom. Whether the god was named after the place, or the place named after the god, is undecided.
More recently, the damaged Ugaritic cuneiform text KTU 1.1:IV:14-15 is also included in the discussion: