By Theodore Shoebat
FROM THE GARDEN OF EDEN
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1) Tell me, reader, what in the heathen books could ever match such beautiful verse–such sublime prose; words composed by Providence, and placed on holy pages by the inspired zealot. His words later say: “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.” (John 1:2-5) Thus are the words which pertain to true enlightenment: that having God’s light within us we are opposite to darkness, and such a state behooves us to combat the works of the devil–all of the false doctrines, all of the lies, all of the dismal and bewildering ideas which pierce the human conscious through the sophisms of the heretic. As the serpent sinks its fangs into the flesh of the unwatchful traveller, so does the heretic tread about waiting to plunge his dull sword, its tip dipped in poison, into the soul of the indifferent. But, as soon as he sees the vigilant crusader, with his eyes ever watchful, the heretic flees without comprehending the light.
When God created the earth it “was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.” (Gen. 1:2) And from such chaos did God bring order; for the Creator indeed is the Eternal Composer, and His creation a symphony not subject to the measurement of time, with harmony and sublime beauty which brings the soul and the mind to awe. It is such a harmonious order which the Devil wishes to turn to chaos. It is a chaos of the soul, and of the mind; it is a chaos which brings man to utter hysteria, and fills him with such a pompous disposition as to have him think himself capable of being equal with his Creator. It is of the very order of things that the creation is inferior to its Creator, and most certainly no being can change this system; and so the Devil beguiles man to trust that he too can ascend, and be equal to, the Eternal Engineer Who designed him. With this belief comes chaos, not in physical nature, but in the civility with which sovereignties govern their citizens, and the citizen conducts himself. The very nature of man’s soul is changed, from having content for being a man, to esteeming the human condition with contempt, and wanting to ascend the heavens. It is this chaos of the soul which influences sovereignties into becoming tyrannies, and forces citizens into subjects. It disdains liberty and glories in servility; mocks the sacredness of life and declares man to be but a beast worthy of chains. To be as gods was the chimera which Satan had brought to Eve, so that she may eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and in turn disobey her Creator.
The fruit was to the pleasure of her eyes, and to the spark of her mind; for she had desired to obtain the wisdom of God. And in not resisting, in her passion did she take “of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband [Adam] with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6. Brackets mine.)
Eve had fell into the trap of deception, as Paul tells us: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” (I Timothy 2:14) But Adam had transgressed for he, in the words of the Almighty, “hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it; cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shall thou return.” (Gen. 3:17-19.)
After their sin was done, and their paradise lost, the Almighty had upon that moment foreshadowed the coming sacrifice of the Messiah, Christ: “Unto Adam also and to his wife did the Lord God make coats of skins, and clothed them.” (Gen. 3:21.) As Christ was slain to forgive our sins, and to cover the humiliation of our iniquities, so did God shed the blood of animals to use their skins to cover the shame of Adam and Eve. It is blood which brings redemption, and it was the sacrifices of animals which had foreshadowed Christ and His crucifixion. But such sacrifices were to the disdain of Cain, the first son of Eve, and “a tiller of the ground.” (Gen. 4:2.) He had brought the fruits which he labored for before God as an offering, while his brother Cain had brought “the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect.” (Gen. 4:4-5.)
Therefore, the offerings of Cain had not the atonement which blood brings forth, and such a negligence for the sacrifice of repentance which the Almighty bestows, has brought Cain, according to one commentary, the title of “the father of Deism”. But that his offerings of fruits were rejected by the Almighty, and the blood sacrifices of Abel accepted, was to his rage. While the two brothers had walked alongside in a field, Cain slaughtered his brother Abel, and thus did the heretic persecute the saint. The event of Abel’s murder was, in fact, a foreshadower of the persecution inflicted upon the church, by the citizens of the City of the Devil. It is an image of that wroth and want of subjection of the followers of Christ by the pagan.
When Adam had lived a hundred and thirty years, he had begotten Seth. After gaining one-hundred years of age did Seth become the father of Enos in whose time men began “to call upon the name of the Lord.” (Gen. 4:26.) Such an event, so far in antiquity, was man partaking in a great, and open, worship of the Almighty. The spirit of zealotry had sparked in the souls of the saints, in order to separate themselves from those who had hated God and His citizens in an age in which the wicked had become many.
After many ages had passed, Enoch, the seventh from Adam, (Jude 1:14) was born, and he had prophesied the coming of Christ and His triumph over all those who have tyrannized the church. (5) “Behold,” declared Enoch, “the Lord cometh with ten thousand saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convoke all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (Jude 1:14-15) It was three-hundred and sixty-five years that Enoch had lived, upon which did the Almighty bring to pass the prophet’s destiny, and like Christ, took him up to the Kingdom of Heaven without touching death. “And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 4:24) Enoch therefore was a foreshadower of Christ: he was taken up to heaven, he did not endure death, for he had that salvation which Christ had brought to the world. And so was it that the Messiah was lifted up to Kingdom of Heaven. “And he [Christ] led them out as far as to Bethany,” writes Luke, “and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.” (Luke 24:50-51, brackets mine)
That Enoch had prophesied the coming Christ, is indication that within his age the City of the Devil and warred with the City of God, and therefore was there a need of a great saint to preserve the true religion. After the accession of Enoch, many years had gone by before the birth of Noah, who would become that preserving saint, who would save humanity from the flood, and preserve the saints from the utter cruelty and tyranny which was to come right before the flood. For soon after was the earth filled with violence, men’s hearts deluged with sinister devising, and the sentiments of the Almighty in sorrow for what mankind had devolved into in their moral state. “And it came to pass,” recounts Genesis, “when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose. And the Lord said, My spirit shall not alway strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.” (Gen. vi.1-3)
These “sons of God” were, according to various authorities to have been men of pure piety, appointed by the name of the Lord to preach true religion. In John’s Gospel the followers of Christ are given this very term:
“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe his name.” (John 1:12)
Those who had stayed the course of righteousness and the true worship of the Creator were known as “the children of God,” where as those who were of the evil, and turned away from the Almighty, were termed as “the children of men.” It was in their revolt against God that they married women foreign to godliness, and of a false religion.
“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were old, men of renown. And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Gen. vi.4) So pure in religion was Enoch that he had “walked with God: and he was not; for God took him.” (Gen. 5:24.)
Such was a rebellious race of tyrants who had reigned on the earth, and oppressed with despotism the Church. They were of the lineage of Cain, and so before the flood we see the ultimate result of heresy, with the heretical family killing off the orthodox family.
St. Luke, in his Gospel, (Luke 3:4) says that Jesus was of the lineage of Enoch, who did not die but ascended to Heaven. Thus Christ was of the righteous family, of the lineage of Seth, and is therefore the antithesis of Cain. For us to follow the Savior means that we are to be not only the opposite of Cain, but to be vigilant against those who follow in his footsteps–the heretics.
The tyrants are noticed for their wanton cruelty, and their despotism was to the rage of the Almighty; for His plan for man was not tyranny but liberty. Although, it is said that these renown men were not physically gigantic, since, in accordance with the Septuagint, they are called “earth-born”, in that they were men of the world, and not of God. These men of despotic governing became renown to the others of the earth; tyranny did they bring to their neighbor, a “great name” to their reputation; the ruin of any goodness to the history which the divine Scriptures had of them. Piety did mankind now turn away from, and in their evil did they go to only one state of life: despotism. It is of utmost significance that it was, indeed, such tyranny which was to the anger of God, that Lord of all Justice, and it was because of tyranny and cruelty, implemented at the highest degree, that the Almighty had decided to eradicate mankind. “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth,” declared the Lord, “both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them.” (Gen. vi.7) Only the greatest of sinister actions could move the Creator to repent for creating man, and to destroy him utterly, with the exception of Noah. But, what sort of religion did the first tyrants observe? A further perusal of this Scripture recounts that in this age of man’s first partaking in despotic nature, “The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.” (Gen. vi.11) Here a connection is made between tyranny and corruption, the latter indicating, as we are told by the eminent Jewish commentator Rashi, lewdness and idolatry, in which the worship of the host of heaven would have been done. Lactantius wrote of that age in which man descended from piety to heathenism, recounting how men, “having left God,” “began to worship the senseless works of their own hands.” Noah was, in the words of St. Peter, “a preacher of righteousness,” (ii. Peter 2.5) and one who, in the prose of Moses, “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.” (Gen. 2.8)
Therefore, the pre-flood tyrants of this age observed an ideology contra to the pure religion of Noah, and such a corrupt creed evidently upheld the worship of infernal gods with their grotesque idols; for amongst the works of the flesh, which are the opposite of those of the Spirit which Noah had followed, in the words of St. Paul, are “Idolatry, witchcraft,” and “heresies”. (Galatians 5.20) The violence which these tyrants committed was thus inflicted upon the saints of that age, who were but small in number, and worshipped God Who was but yet darkly known. The persecution endured by the church was in accordance with the prophecy of God when He declared to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman”, (Gen. 3:15) signifying that the citizen’s of Satan’s city would war against those who are of the citizenry of Heaven. The preaching of Noah was esteemed with the utmost of contempt by such a multitude of despots, and the righteous were received with the persecution of violence. When despotism is established, it always treads upon the spirit of liberty alongside heathenism. The pre-diluvian tyrants had inflicted their cruelties, and justified it with an ideology, which was contrary to the creed of the Almighty; a heretical doctrine which had worshipped the creation over the Creator. The heathen had to turn to such a route, since the salvation of God surpasses the host of heaven above, and the earth below, as we read in Isaiah: “Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath: For the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner, but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished.” (Isaiah 51:6) “Heaven and earth shall pass away,” declared the Christ before His disciples, “but my words shall not pass away.” (Matthew 24:35)
The heathen, in a contrary spirit, would thus choose the worship of nature; for such is a religion that is against the redemption of our Creator; and the animosity for the saints by the followers of this heretical idea, is therefore inevitable, since it is inherently against God and the citizens of His eternal Kingdom. If it were not for the Deluge, therefore, the entire Church would have been annihilated by the heathen governments; and as the good shepherd protects his sheep by slaying the wolves, the Almighty had ridded the earth of the despots by a universal flood. In one moment did the waters fall from heaven and erupted from under the depths of the earth, and in the romantic expression of Chateaubriand,
“All national quarrels were at an end, all revolutions ceased. Kings, people, hostile armies, suspended their sanguinary quarrels, and, seized with mortal fear, embraced one another. The temples were crowded with suppliants, who had all their lives, perhaps, denied the Deity; but the Deity denied them in his turn, and was soon announced that all ocean was rushing in at the gates.”
The temples, which were but homes of devils, were monuments laid to praise the death of man, to denounce the holiness of the Divine, and to declare the utmost defiance toward the Master of Life. But now that they had laid in ruins, was the Saint now freed from the tyrants, his mind liberated from the wants of despotic wizards, and his right to preach now allowed to be observed. And though today we have those who mock or chide the Deluge as a tyrannical act by God, the truth is that the flood was a response to despotism, not a support for it. A most clear solution to the despotic ways of the heathen was the Deluge; it is to the animosity of the modern savage, and to delight of the freeman. The universal flood is an indication as to how the Almighty rages toward tyranny; and the story of the Deluge, itself, is a clear evidence to the connection between pre-flood despotism and heathenism.
The Sumerians wrote of temples dedicated to the host of heaven, which, as they had recounted, were built before the flood. One ancient inscription praises king Gilgamesh of Erech, a city founded by Nimrod, for having “restored the cult-centres destroyed by the Deluge, and set in place for the people the rites of the cosmos.” The Assyrian monarch Ashurbanipal had boasted that he understood “the enigmatic words in the stone engravings from the days before the Flood.” The learned Maimonides had written a recounting of a most sinister age before the flood, in which men had turned their minds and hearts from their Creator, and looked with their docile and modish eyes toward the host of heaven. “In the days of Enos the son of Seth,” says he, “men fell into grievous errors, and even Enos himself partook of their infatuation. Their language was, that since God had placed on high the heavenly bodies, and used them as his ministers, it was evidently his will, that they should receive from men the same veneration, as the servants of a great prince justly claim from the subject multitude. Impressed with the notion, they began to build temples to the Stars, to sacrifice to them, and to worship them, in the vain expectation, that they should thus please the Stars to be the only deities, but adorned in conjunction with them the Lord God Omnipotent. In process of time however that great and venerable name was totally forgotten; and the whole human race retained no other religion, than the idolatrous worship of the host of heaven.” From these observations just adduced, it is emphatic that the first tyrants upon the earth had imposed tyranny and wanton cruelty upon humanity, and with such iniquities which had made them worthy of obliteration by the Almighty, did these despots commit themselves to the worship of the host of heaven. Such idolatry was connected, in Scripture, with the violence they had so perpetuated; and such an observation is here made: that despotism and heathen religion are surely inseparable.
In this epoch before the flood, one finds the war between the City of God and the City of the Devil: there was but one man, Noah, who was of the Spirit; while the masses had accumulated themselves into a universal society of those who had followed the flesh, and thus did they become citizens of that empire of darkness, which from the beginning has warred with the Light. From the murder of Abel, to the postdiluvian tyrants in the time of Noah–and even to this very age of ours–has the war between the many and the few been constant; between those who follow the masses, and those who follow God; between those who modishly follow with docility, the collectivists, and those who uphold the spirit of individualism. Noah was indeed that individual, who had witnessed before him a world of tyrants who had thirsted for that grasp of power, and who had gloried themselves for human servility. But, behind the individual Noah, was his foundation–that Rock of Truth which changes not: the Almighty. Thus is the spirit of the individual; it is only upheld by those who serve God, and spurn the yoke of any earthly state; for to be a servant to man, one must be enslaved to that common aspiration of any government–be it throne, republic, or democracy–the want of a servile people.
But, to be a servant of God, is to be one who subjects himself to the natural symphony of His power, to the blessings of His eternal, and generous hands, and to His laws which no tyrant can amend. “In the works of man,” writes Joseph de Maistre, “everything is as wretched as their author; views are restricted, means rigid, motives inflexible, movements painful, and results monotonous. In divine works, the riches of infinity are openly displayed in the least part. Its power is exercised effortlessly; everything is supple in its hands, nothing resists its, and for it everything, even obstacles, are means; and the irregularities introduced by the operation of free agents fit into the general order.”
As God had used the flood waters to have a new beginning for mankind, so shall Christ in His coming rid the world of the enemies of the saints, and thus create a new earth, with the old being erased from our memories. We are told to wait upon this day by St. Peter: “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13.) We await for such a glorious day; for the Almighty had prophesied it through the pen of Isaiah: “Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.” (Isaiah 65:17) By the establishment of His Kingdom will the saints be preserved from utter destruction by the enemies of the church, just as the flood had preserved the lasts of the saints before the flood, Noah and his family, from the tyranny of mighty men who had attempted to war with the heaven, and slay all the citizens of the City of God.
In the person of Noah we find an image of Christ; for as there was but one Man worthy of dying for the sins of the world, so was there a single person worthy to preserve man from the deluge. And as in both the times of Christ and Noah, was all of man worthy of death. But, although all men fall short, there always lies a remnant who strive to follow the path of pure religion, and eschew those creeds of idolatry. The worship of false gods has plagued man from the beginning; but how did such a sickness infect the souls of men?
St. Paul, in his Epistle to the Romans, had elucidated how idolatry had came to exist , and from there on, how such debased thoughts were partaken in by their devisers. Mankind, at one point, knew of God, but eventually their knowledge of the Almighty digressed from worshipping solely their Creator, to intermixing pure piety with decrepit religion. Tertullian wrote that the pagans had taken God and divided Him into multiple deities, thinking Him not to be one, but of consisting of many parts. And from such heathenism did man implement not only the most debased of actions, but despotism as well. “Because that, when they knew God,” recounts St. Paul, “they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.” (Rom. i.21-23.)
The Apostle is here recounting of mankind’s eschewing from the Almighty to the worship of nature, which would also include the exaltation of man; for from governments did the masses receive benefits from their despotic hands. Man receives assistance from nature and states: kings, sovereignties, governors, rivers, the elements, the sun, the moon, the host of heaven, and thus calls such things divine without acknowledging the Source of them; they gaze to the beaming light of the solar star without turning their eyes to the heavens for the Creator of all–the Eternal Fountainhead of all justice. Thus is heathenism and the infernal doctrines which the pagans of antiquity, and those of today, espouse: by venerating the creation, they as well reverence men, and hence, governments. That Spirit of all Darkness, the greatest of all deceivers, had beguiled man through his docile mind, galvanized him through his most easily excited passions, and by rendering to him that a sovereignty of mankind is most beneficial, while Providence is contemptible, convinced him to exalt the image of a king over God.
By accepting the worship of nature and man, as we continue our perusal of St. Paul, “God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own bodies between themselves: who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom. i.24-25) In their decrepitness did they partake in the most vile of acts, and in their confusion did they sway to the most sanguinary of sentiments. “Being filled with all unrighteousness,” continues the Apostle, “fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.” (Rom. i.29-32)
Such prose brings one to a most pristine conclusion: that the rejection of God for the worship of the nature upon earth, man, and the host heaven, leads a society to condition itself for subjugation under a tyrant. The masses turn their backs toward their Creator, and bow their heads in prostration to a despotic government, a star or planet, or a naturist idol, and in turn place their souls on objects and creatures that are naturally lost; lost beings are they who do not make a connection with their Creator; for it is from He where we receive our commandments. And to seek man as a guide, would be to seek wisdom from a soul as lost as the one seeking. Therefore, will such vain wanderers no longer see any merit in honoring life; nor will they esteem highly their parents; for if God, the highest authority, is dishonored, why should their father and mother be any different? If one’s deity is a lifeless entity, why then should life be esteemed with value? The heathens of antiquity had ended the life of their infants, and had put to death elderly parents, for the sake of their idols, and such observations are a testament to Paul’s Epistle. According to Lactantius, when man had first rejected God for the worship of idols, injustices and wickedness had prevailed, since mortals had ceased to raise their eyes to Heaven; they depressed their focus, and venerated objects of the earth, seeking things solely of the moment and short-lived, placing their trust in evil on account that its rewards were nearer at hand.
To reject the Creator of Life would mean to honor, or permit, the hatred and destruction of life; therefore the state in which Paul here describes is that of a people perfectly ready to be ruled by a tyrant; for to reject God would mean to be rejected by Him, and given up into a reprobate mind; and in such a confused state does man commit crimes as their souls stand not a bases of reason, but disorder. And so will the sovereignty of such a turbulent people be as wicked as the governed. “To behold vice with complacency is the last stage of a degenerate mind” says Cox, and when the masses of any nation declare that the benefits of a tyrant are more pertinent than justice; more esteemed than the sacredness of life, and more highly held than the sacred right to private property, then are such a people, with their apathetic sentiments, due deserved to be subjugated by a tyrant in which the individual is nothing. A people ruled by a sovereignty of darkness, are so for the reason that they themselves, being of the darkness, have allowed such sinister forces to rule over them. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already,” declares the Christ, “because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” (John iii.18-21) The contempt of life, and the allowing of a despot to rule for the sake of benefits, are the signs of moral decay within a people; but all such observations are but symptoms to the disease: a rejection of God’s natural laws.
The corruption which the tyrannical men prior to the deluge had exemplified was like that done in Babel, in that it was done universally upon the earth. “And God looked upon the earth,” recounts the Scripture, “and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.” (Gen. vi.12.) The oppressors had established a universal dominance, and collectively was humanity inflicted with injustice, rapine, and the loss of that most precious right: that to life. And thus is the system of despotism: the praising of subjugation, the establishment of collectivism, the obliteration of the individual, and the observance of heathenism, which would indeed consist of the worship of man; for tyrants thirst for the reverence of their subjects. All such things are interconnected, and also found in the first tyrant and his despotic nation after the deluge: Nimrod and his kingdom of Babel in the plain of Shinar. By the flood was man’s past idolatry obliterated, and the teaching of true religion was left to Noah. But, the seeds of darkness would soon be planted into the souls of posterity, and Paul’s description of how man fell from the truth to the lie, would take place yet again.
The word “gibborim” is used to describe the tyrants before the flood, which signifies that they were conquerers and tyrants. Nimrod held this same epithet when he is referred to as a “mighty one in the earth”, (Gen. 10:8) which comes from “gabar,” or “he prevailed, was victorious”. Therefore did Nimrod not only have the same spirit of the despotic and decrepit giants, which he had revived within his own soul, but he himself is said to have been a man of lofty stature, (43) and of the same nature of the former who lived prior to the Deluge. The description of Nimrod as a king and giant, is perhaps based on the ancient tradition of the Ethiopians; Herodotus recounts that the natives of Ethiopia were described as the tallest and most beautiful of men, and in electing their kings, the chosen ruler was judged as the most loftiest, and his strength had to have been equal to his height. Therefore, it would not be venturesome to state that the same mindset in the appointing of a king, was alive within the ascendency of the Cushite ruler Nimrod. Nevertheless, Nimrod’s loftiness is evidenced by the the ancient Greek historian Eupolemus, whose work is left in only fragments preserved for us by the Roman historian Eusebius, in which they reveal that the “city of Babylon owes its foundations to those who were saved from the catastrophe of the flood; these were the giants, and they built the tower being overthrown by the interposition of God, the Giants were scattered over all the earth.”
His tower was to be dedicated to the host of heaven, and his subjects had collectively partaken in the unfinished building. The tower’s astrological connection must have been influenced by the idolatry of the pre-flood; for surely those prior to the Deluge held an interest for the stars and the planets, as humanity always has. The eruption of astral idolatry in Mesopotamia at such an hoary antiquity, can only be explained, as is affirmed by Burnet, by the supposition that a certain amount of knowledge from before the Deluge, on the host of heaven, had been preserved in writing for posterity. The historian Josephus had told of such an event in which a prophesy was made by Adam that the world would be destroyed once by fire, and in another time by ferocious waters; Seth, upon hearing the prognostication, had made two pillars, one of stone and the other by brick, and upon them inscribed his knowledge on the planets and stars. The stone pillar was placed lest the one of brick was shattered by the flood waters to come, and it also had informed the inquirer that there lied another brick pillar in another location. These pillars, as we are told by Josephus, still remained in his day in the land of Siriad, the location of which is still unknown.
THAT IDOLATRY CAME FROM THE HAMITES, AND NOT THE BABYLONIANS
In an inquiry on the faith of Nimrod and its influence, the observation which is too commonly partaken in, is that of the Babylonian religion, and while this is accepted by the present author, as a necessity for the study, he does not believe it to be the one and only major focus; for the fact that Nimrod was Cushite, should lead one to observe the religion of the ancient Hamites, and its impact on the Near East. There even lied in the mind of the Sumerian wizard, a divine luster for the land of Cush. In one text the god Ningirsu declares that the people of Magan and Meluhha, which has been identified with Egypt (49) and Ethiopia by Assyrian annals, will come from their mountains to revere his temple. The god Enki was believed by the wizards of Sumer to have visited Meluhha, the “black mountain,” to bless its gold and silver, trees, reeds, its birds and oxen, and its people. Such reverence and adoration for ancient Ethiopia, as a holy land, should not go unignored; it is an indication for the significance of the Cushite to the Sumerian, an observation of no marvel, since it was indeed a son of Cush who had built several of the major cities of Sumer.
According to the ancient Ethiopians, they were the first people to learn the rites of the gods, and the first to be educated on the sacrifices, festivals, and religious processions observed, of which men did to honor “the deity;” does this not correspond with the historical recounting of Scripture? After the Deluge, was not Nimrod, who being the first idolater recorded in history, the one to honor not the Almighty, but the hosts of heaven by the use of a high tower, an Ethiopian? Did not his name derive from rebellion? Such accurate evidence from Genesis, confirms these affirmations of the ancient Ethiopians. But, Nimrod was of the posterity of Ham, who signified, in the words of St. Augustine, “the tribe of heretics,” who bring grief to the saints. Therefore, the nature, and place in history, of Ham, once inquired, has a connection to the first idolater recorded in antiquity, Nimrod.
“And Ham, the father of Canaan” writes the inspired Moses, “saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without.” (Gen. 9:22.) Thus is the action of impiety; for one to mock at the person chosen by the Almighty to preserve man from the deluge, only reveals a soul bent on nefarious acts, indefatigable to humiliate those who are of the Spirit, and contemptuous of true religion. Noah was the single man chosen to rescue mankind from complete destruction, and so was Christ. Naked was the Christ as He suffered upon the cross; and mocked was that Savior of all mankind; without clothes was Noah as he lay in his tent, and so too did he receive humiliation from a man of a wicked nature, his own son Ham. Ham had seen Noah naked, but yet did not clothe him as his brothers did: “And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backwards, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.” (Gen. 9:23) Shem and Japheth, therefore, are amongst those whom Christ, on His return, shall say: “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.” (Matthew 25: 34-36.) Noah was of the brethren of Christ; for he “was a just man and perfect in his generations,” and “walked with God”, (Gen. 6:9.) and thus when he was naked, and clothed by his two sons, and therefore Shem and Japheth are amongst the righteous of whom Christ had prophesied: “Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the king shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25: 37-40)
This emphatically shows that the suffering Noah is a symbol of the suffering Messiah. The saints who are persecuted by the followers of darkness, by humiliation, prison, hunger, thirst, and exile, are thus all symbols of the suffering Christ; thus why when Christ had appeared to St. Paul, who had then been a great enemy of the church and named Saul, He had asked him: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 22:7) Therefore, because Ham did not clothe, but mocked, Noah, he had persecuted a Christ-like figure, and thus is amongst those to whom Christ will say: “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: for I was an hungered, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungered, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” (Matthew 25: 41-46)
The suffering of Noah came as a result from his drinking of the vine, and the passion of the Christ is described by the Savior Himself as a cup of wine: “Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” (Matthew 20:22) And when the Christ prays with the greatest of lamentations to His Father in heaven, He asks thus:–“Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39) Christ had suffered His cup, as Noah had by the drinking of the vine: Noah was naked, as Christ was naked on the cross, and in both of their sufferings, were they mocked by the impious. “And they stripped him,” writes St. Matthew on the crucifixion, “and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put [it] upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!” (Matthew 27:28-29) It is a mistake to assume or affirm that Noah was not innocent in his suffering; for if this were true, the Almighty would have never given him the spirit of prophecy to curse Canaan: “Cursed by Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.” (Gen. 9:25) Noah had cursed Ham through his posterity Canaan, for his impiety; for the patriarch next declares: “Blessed be the Lord God of Shem;” (Gen. 9:26) this verse indicates a religious reason for the curse. Canaan, who specifically is mentioned in Noah’s curse, was conquered by the Hebrews, a people blessed and chosen by the God of Shem, in which Moses had commanded his people that upon their vanquishing of the Canaanites, that they “shall destroy their altars, break their images, and cut down their groves: for thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a Jealous God”. (Exodus 34: 13-14)
Noah’s curse thus prophesied two events: firstly the victory of the true God, Whose Word was preserved through the Hebrews, over the tyrannical idolatry of Canaan, which had compelled their worshippers to observe the cruel rite of child sacrifice; and secondly, the coming of Christ; for the Savior was the incarnation of “the Lord God of Shem”, and of the line of Shem. As God, through the Hebrews, had obliterated the sanguinary heathenism of the Canaanites, so did Christ come and liberate mankind from the chains of the Devil with His eternal salvation, by dying on the cross. Noah had exited the ark, and upon such a great moment of human history, did he make a sacrifice of every clean beast and bird he had, the blood of which was to the satisfaction of the Almighty, and thus to the preservation of mankind; “neither will I again”, said the Lord, “smite any more every thing living, as I have done.” (Gen. 8:21) The sacrifice made by Noah was of the purest nature, and a foreshadower of the greatest of all sacrifices: Christ upon the cross, which prevents man not from a physical death, but from eternal suffering. As Noah is a symbol of Christ, Ham is a symbol of the enemies of Christ; for both mock, and attempt to humiliate those who had saved mankind from total destruction: Christ saved us from hell, and Noah from the flood.
Thus was Ham the first to fall into the chains of impiety after the flood, and in turn, his posterity, Nimrod, would be the first recorded to have configured a cult of idolatry. From the sinister creed of Nimrod, did mankind learn the worship of the host of heaven; the followers of idolatry would construct temples, like the Tower of Babel, to the stars and planets. Such was, and still is, the nature of idolatry which many souls are subjected to; they are in chains to that heathenism which began by rebels toward the creed of God: the first defiance toward holy precepts was done by Ham toward Noah, and the construction of a heathenish temple by Nimrod. Therefore, is all of paganism but the result of heresy; for man at first knew God, and in time did there arise heresiarchs, and from their creeds of tainted truth came heathenism. Rebellion is what the name of Nimrod signifies, which indicates his knowing of the truth, his contempt of it, and his aspiration to taint it. “They err, therefore,” writes Lactantius, “who contend that the worship of the gods was from the beginning of the world, and that heathenism was prior to the religion of God: for they think that this was discovered afterwards, because they are ignorant of the source and origin of the truth.” Nimrod’s scheme had resulted in the tower at Shinar, a symbol of despotism, heathenism, docility, and of the servility of an idolatrous multitude; it was the first to have been built in man’s history, and the commencer of it was of the posterity of Cush–the Ethiopians–who will be shown to have had a significant influence in paganism.
Ethiopia was apart of that realm, of which the Sumerian geographers accepted as the whole world; this fact is one which is pertinent in our inquiry; for such was the land of Cush, the father of Nimrod, and therefore, according to the Spell of Enki, it was as well apart of that universal utopia, which was under the influence of Nimrod’s doctrine. Thus, the religion of Ethiopia is a focal point in revealing the roots of that cult which exalted the erection of the Tower of Babel. The fact that Nimrod commenced the cult of the ziggurat, indicates that the use of stage or temple-towers, for the purpose of heavenly ascension, after the flood, was of a Cushite origin. The Cushite people who migrated into Chaldea, brought with them an ingenuity which was an anomaly in those earliest days of antiquity; amongst the idea of a lofty and defiant tower, those children of Ham, as they did in Egypt, also founded ways of agriculture and architecture. In that most ancientest age of Chaldea, the Cushite did not just build for merely the sake of having homes for residency, his urge for building was significantly founded in religion. The god, whom these Ethiopic people worshipped, needed a home to reside in, of which the pious followers did not hesitate to construct. Awe, grandeur, and a forever lasting name, were these structures suppose to summon in the souls of the people and their posterity; and it was Nimrod, who would enforce the perpetuation of this custom.
IDOLATRY ORIGINATED IN ARABIA, AND NOT BABYLON
It is a common belief that Babylon is the home of all idolatries, since the Tower of Babel is the earliest pagan temple recorded. But by reading Scripture carefully, and seeing the evidence found from history, we will find that this is not correct. Arabia was idolatry’s birth place, Babylon its result.
Though Nimrod is called a son of Cush, he is truly a south Arabian Ethiopian, who espoused Sabaeanism, a religion founded by the first of sons of Cush mentioned in the Table of Nations, Seba or Saba. The Sabaeans built and dwelt in Saba, the capital city of ancient Ethiopia, which was renamed by Cambyses into Meroe. The people of Saba or Meroe declared this city as having been the original home of all Ethiopians. The Sabaeans resided not just in Africa but south Arabia as well. The ancient scholar Juba wrote that the people who lived on the banks of the Nile from the Egyptian city of Aswan to the Cushite city of Meroe, were not Ethiopians, but Arabians.
The Ishmaelites to whom Joseph was sold were Sabaeans, since they came bearing “spicery and balm and myrrh,” (Genesis 37:25) products which, in the Near East, came from Saba in south Arabia. When Judah was ruled under Jehoram, it was attacked by the Philistines and the Arabians “that were near the Ethiopians”, (II Chronicles 21:16) who could have been no other than the peoples of south Arabia. The commentator Steuchius affirms that the “Ethiopia in the scriptures is taken for that country which joineth to Arabia.” The religion of the Sabaeans was the worship of the sun, the moon, the stars and the planets.
It was from the Cushite south Arabians, and not the Babylonians, that the sinister idea of paganism commenced after the flood. It was they who first devised that system which is so besotted by the modern philosopher; it is prettified by the wicked idealist who obsequiously praises it as the most laudable of religious thought. Yet, for the human soul is it most rapacious; and to God does it express the highest form of impudence and defiance. From such wizards does influence arise, to only infect the souls of other mystics, so it was with the Cushites; for they began a rebellion which, like an infectious disease, expanded to the minds of the later peoples of Mesopotamia.
The Sabaeans, like the Chaldeans, devised an astral cult whose superior presence was founded in Arabia’s religious circles. Their religion, commonly termed Sabaeanism, is the oldest of idolatries, and such an observation is not adventuresome, since it was indeed the Cushite who originated the ziggurat, a temple-tower dedicated to the host of heaven. Lucian, in writing on the origins of astrology, does not attribute it, as is commonly affirmed, to the Chaldeans, but to the Ethiopians or Cushites:
“It was the Aethiopians that first delivered this doctrine [of astrology] unto men. The ground thereof was in part the wisdom of their nation, the Aethiopians being in all else wiser than all men”.
By Ethiopians, Lucian is speaking of the Sabaeans who lived in south Arabia. This is further strengthened by the fact that ancient Ethiopia encompassed south Arabia, specifically Yemen, and that the Sabaeans were a part of the Cushite migration from East Africa, to South Arabia, and ultimately to Chaldea, where Nimrod’s astrological temple tower was built.
From inscriptions found on pavements of the temple at Timna from the third century B.C., it is known that the South Arabian alphabet closely resembled that of the Ethiopic or Abyssinian.
In fact, the language of the Akkadians, who made their presence from South Arabia to Mesopotamia, is closely connected with the Sabaean tongue. The Sabaeans of South Arabia, and the Chaldeans both worshipped the same seven planets, and even addressed them with the same titles. Therefore, a connection is found between the religion of Mesopotamia, and that of the Cushite Sabaeans of Arabia. Cushite influence in Arabia is furthermore found in the language of a certain Southern Arabian people, the Mahras, whose dialect, once compared to those of the Abyssinian tribes of the Galla, Agau, and their congeners, has such a considerable affinity with the Ethiopic tongue, that it compelled George Rawlinson to describe it as deserving “to be called Ethiopian or Cushite.” The South Arabian dialects called Himyaric, Sabaean, and Qatabanian, which are of great antiquity, resemble the languages of both Ethiopian aboriginals, and that of the Akkadian language, which stems from Arabia, but was brought to Mesopotamia.
After inquiring the primitive language of Chaldea, the great pioneer of deciphering cuneiform, Henry Rawlinson, came to a conclusion in 1858 that the primitive vocabulary which he evaluated on the Babylonian monuments was Cushite or Ethiopian. He was enabled to translate the inscriptions on these monuments, which stemmed back to Babylon’s earliest times, by the assistance of published works on the dialects of the Abyssinian Galla, and the South Arabian Mahra, languages of which are both Cushite. “Sir Henry Rawlinson,” writes G. Rawlinson of his brother, “the earliest decipherer of the ancient Babylonian monuments, came to a completely different conclusion [than Bunsen] in 1858. A laborious study of the primitive language of Chaldea led him to the conviction that the dominant race in Babylonia at the earliest time to which the monuments reached back was Cushite. He found the vocabulary of the primitive race to be decidedly Cushite or Ethiopian, and he was able to interpret the inscriptions chiefly by the aid which was furnished to him from published works on the Galla (Abyssinian) and the Mahra (South Arabian) dialect.” So A.R. Fausset affirms: “G. Rawlinson shows from the Babylonian language and inscription that Babylon was originally of Hamitic, not (as was opposed by Bunsen and others, in opposition to Scripture) Shemitic, origin.”
The Arabian connection with Mesopotamia is further supported by the fact that the Mesopotamians beheld the island of Dilmun, or modern day Bahrein, as a holy place, greatly esteem by the gods, in the words of one scholar, “as the Terrestrial Paradise.” It was the archetypical holy land for both the people and the gods of Mesopotamia. There is a Sumerian tradition which states that in the earth’s beginnings the land of Dilmun was an abode for the god Enki and his spouse Ninsikila, or “pure virgin lady,” a native goddess of Bahrain. Dilmun is in fact referred to as Enki’s home:
“Pure was Dilmun land! Virginal was Dilmun Land! … When all alone he had lain down in Dilmun, the spot where Enki had lain down with his spouse [Ninsikila,] that spot was virginal, that spot was pristine!”
Ninsikila was believed to have given birth, through the “sides” of Enki, to the chief deity of Bahrain, Ensak, or Inzak, who became “lord of Dilmun [Bahrain]”. Ensak was a native god of Bahrein, and worshipped by the people there as Inzag, as we find from two letters sent from Dilmun to Babylon. An inscription upon a stone found in Bahrain speaks of an Arab pagan named Rimun, and refers to him as “the Servant of Inzak,” his native goddess.
When Gudea was acquiring the materials needed to construct his temple-tower, Ninsus, he is said to have commissioned Ensak, who is also called Ninzaga, to provide the necessary copper from Bahrain:
“Ninzaga was given commission, and his copper, as were it huge grain transports, to Gudea, the man in charge of building the house, he had conveyed.”
Gudea as well summons the goddess of Bahrain, Ninsikila, to provide various types of wood for the building.
When Enki, as it was believed, established the organization of societies, and that amongst the first lands he had blessed was Magan, or Egypt, and Dilmun, or Bahrain: “The lands of Magan and Dilmun looked up to me, Enki, moved the Dilmun-boat to the ground[,] loaded the Magan-boat sky-high. …He cleansed, purified the land Dilmun, placed Ninsikil in charge of it.” The latter goddess mentioned, Ninsikil, was a patron and native deity of Bahrain. So holy was Dilmun to the Sumerians that they had saw it as being the place from where the sun-god Utu would arise; they saw this Arabian island as being fathered by the sun. An ancient text refers to Utu as “The father of the great city [Dilmun], the place where the sun rises”.
Inanna, who was originally an Arabian goddess worshipped by the Babylonians as Ishtar (Athtar), was declared by the Sumerians to have her origins in Dilmun, as we find in one text in which the deity states: “I am Inanna of the place where the sun rises”, a term referring to Dilmun. In another verse the goddess is said to have “washed her head in the fountain of Dilmun.” A further link is made between Inanna and Bahrain by the fact that there lied a temple in Ur dedicated to the goddess named E-Dilmun-na. It was restored by the Mesopotamian king Warad-Sin, who said in an inscription: “Unto days to come for my life I built it: its head I raised and made like a mountain. Over my works may Inanna my lady rejoice.”
Dilmun was no mere land, but a literal heaven on earth, the place where the sun resided and the gods made their abode. Dilmun is called “The mountain”, which signifies that it touched the heavens, and was the home of the gods. In the flood myth of the Mesopotamians, the hero of the tale, and his wife, are made into gods, and the celestial home given to them is none other than Dilum, or Bahrain. In the ancient text Ziusudra, the survivor of the flood, is given the “breath eternal like that of a god”, and for his home “the land of Dilmun, the place where the sun rises”. After Ziusudra exits his ark, he makes sacrifices to the gods who at once, like flies, swarm around Dilmun to indulge in the offerings. It is to Dilmun where Gilgamesh travels to attain the knowledge of eternal life from the flood here, whom he calls Uta-napishti. “[I am seeking] the [road] of my forefather, Uta-napishti,” says Gilgamesh, “who attended the gods’ assembly, and [found life eternal:] of death and life [he shall tell me the secret.]”
Furthermore, the god Nebo, believed by the Sumerians to have been a divine scribe from the beginning of their religion, was connected with Dilmun.
A perusal from the Book of Job, which is said to be the most book of the Bible, affirms that the Chaldeans and the Sabaeans of South Arabia, at one point in antiquity, resided in Arabia, and as we find from the text, in the land of Uz, which, as we are told by one authority, was located in central Arabia. But, although it is conclusive that Uz was in Arabia, Scripture specifically locates it in Edom, which lies in today’s Jordan, as Lamentations states: “Rejoice and be glad, O daughter of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz.” (Lamentations 4:21) And it was therefore in Edom where Job’s servants and property were attacked by Sabaeans. “And the Sabeans fell upon them,” recounts a messenger of Job on the rapacious and savage nature of such people, “and took them away; yea, they have slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alines to tell thee.” (Job i: 15) A further verse gives an account on how Chaldeans committed the same acts of blood lust and plunder; deeds proscribed by the Christians, yet permitted by the Muslim. “The Chaldeans made out three bands,” says another messenger of Job, “and fell upon the camels, and have carried them away, yea, and slain the servants with the edge of the sword; and I only am escaped alone to tell thee.” (Job i: 17)
Such verses compels one to confirm that Arabia, in far antiquity, was a home to both the Semitic Chaldean and the Cushite Sabaeans, or south Arabians. Most interestingly is the fact that Strabo writes that “as far as Babylonia and the river-country of the Euphrates towards the south, lies the whole of Arabia”. The same ancient scholar says that “Arabia commences on the side of Babylonia with Maecene.” Maecene lied in Mesopotamia, and had Arabians occupying it on one side and Chaldeans on another. We learn from the Roman scholar Pliny that Arabia consisted of Harran, the land where Abraham stayed and a place in Mesopotamia, and Antioch, a city in Syria. The Arab tribe called the Praetavi had the capital of their nation, Singara, in Mesopotamia. Strabo tells us that Mesopotamia, on the far side of the Euphrates, was “occupied by Arabians”. He also writes of how parts of Mesopotamia were occupied by the Arabian Scenitae. The road for people who were traveling from Syria to Babylon ran through the country of the Scenitae Arabs. According to Zachariah of Mitylene, there was a part of Mesopotamia called ‘Arab.’ Strabo also spoke of Arabian chieftains who held parts of the Euphrates Valley “as far as Babylonia,” and how in Arabia there was “a tribe of the Chaldeans, and a territory inhabited by them, in the neighborhood of the Arabians of the of the Persian Sea”. These statements indicate that Chaldeans lived in Arabia and Arabians lived in Mesopotamia. The religious ideas of these two people must have been tantamount.
THAT ARABIA WAS NOT ALWAYS PAGAN,
BUT HAD KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUE GOD
When Moses had fled Egypt, from the wrath of the Pharaoh, he journeyed to the land of Midian, which lies around the Gulf of Aqaba in today’s Jordan; but anciently it was a part of Arabia. The Midianites were descendants of Abraham, by his wife Keturah, (Gen. 25:1-2) and it was in their land where Moses would meet Jethro, “the priest of Midian.” (Exodus 2:16; 3:1) The existence of such a priest, indicates that in this point of antiquity there still lived righteous saints, even in Arabia, before Moses was called to prophethood and to rescue Israel. The light of God was in the midst of the Arabs; a priest amongst them, Jethro, had still observed the faith preached and followed by Noah and Abraham. And such a fact clearly evinces that true religion was once in the land of the Arabian, before his descent into heathenism. The Arab Moabites, being descendants of Lot, and Edomites, whose father was Esau, would have also definitely known about God before falling into idol worship.
The most detailed example of the true religion being observed in Arabia, without Hebrew influence, is that found in the Book of Job. Job had resided in the land of Uz, which is certainly in Arabia, as has been shown, within Idumea, or Edom, which lies in today’s Jordan, as attested by the Codex Alexandrinus, placing Job in “the land of Ausitis, in the confines of Idumea and Arabia;” the Arabic version renders it as such: “And Job dwelt in the land of Auz, between the boundaries of Edom) and Arabia;” and Lamentations writes of the “daughters of Edom, that dwellest in the land of Uz”. (Lamentations 4:21 It is conclusive, therefore, that Job had resided in Edom, was not a Hebrew, but an Arabian who still prevailed in the earliest faith of man after the Deluge, which was taught by Noah. The Book of Job, then, was written in Arabia, and an eyewitness account as to how the country at that time. The antiquity of Job has been deduced by several details: firstly, based on the aspects of its language, and other factors, Job is esteemed as the oldest book in the Canon of Scripture. Hales, based on astronomical arguments, dates the period of Job’s tribulations to 2130 B.C., while Eusebius affirms that Job had lived six-hundred years before the flood. That Job’s belief in God indicates the prevalence of the true religion at his time, is shown by the Scripture which describes him as “the greatest of all the men of the east.” (Job 1:3) For, if the man of the highest status observed pure religion, then surely is it most known by the rest. When the sons of Job indulged in feasting, (Job 1:4) the next morning the man had arose and made seven burnt offerings, declaring his reason as such: “It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” (Job 1:5) So pious was Job, that the Almighty Himself said that there “is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil”. (Job 1:8)
And even when Job had lost his sons and daughters by a strong wind which forced their roof to collapse upon them, and all of his livestock and most of his servants by the savagery of the Sabaeans and Chaldeans, (Job 1:13-19) he had still kept his belief, renting his mantle, shaving his head, falling to the floor in worship of his Creator. (Job 1:20) “Naked came I out of my mother’s womb,” cried he, “and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21) In enduring such grief and loss, it is said that Job still trespassed not, nor blamed God foolishly. (Job 1:22) Indeed, the zealotry of this Edomite puts many of the Hebrews to shame; his persistence to be holy surely places him highly amongst the saints. When Job was inflicted by Satan with boils, (Job 2:7) he had received the imprudent advise of his wife to “curse God, and die,” (Job 2:9) which had received the rebuke of her husband: “Thou speakest as one of the foolish women speaketh. What? shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10) In one instance Job proclaims his lamentation, describing the creation of man by the hands of God, with prose both melancholic and majestic:
“Thine hands have made me and fashioned me together round about; yet thou dose destroy me. Remember, I beseech thee, that thou hast made me as the clay; and wilt thou bring me into dust again? Hast thou not poured me out as milk, and curdled me like cheese? Thou hast clothed me with skin and flesh, and hast fenced me with bones and sinews.” (Job 10:8-11)
Elihu the son of Barachel the Buzite, another friend of Job, who holds his peace until near the end of the book, speaks also of the creation of man, agreeing fully with what is said in Genesis by Moses. “The Spirit of God hath made me,” says he, “and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life. If thou canst answer me, set thy words in order before me, stand up. Behold, I am according to thy wish in God’s stead: I also am formed out of the clay.” (Job 33:4-6)
There was even in the land of Uz, laws against adultery reminiscent to those of Moses, as Job himself attests: “If mine heart have been deceived by a woman, of if I have laid wait at my neighbour’s door; then let my wife grind unto another and let others bow down upon her. For this is an heinous crime; yea, it is an iniquity to be punished by the judges.” (Job 31:9-11)
Like the Canaanites, the knowledge of the existence of Adam was also in Arabia at this time; for Job, when describing the sins he had eschewed, says thus:–“If I covered my transgressions as Adam, by hiding my iniquity in my bosom: did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out the door?” (Job 31:33)
But there lies a declaration made by Job, most sublime, most powerful, and most prophetic, in which he speaks of the coming day when the Bringer of salvation shall be amongst man, and in front of the eyes of Job. “For I know that my redeemer liveth,” says he, “and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; Whom I shall see for myself, and mind eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27) There is no other interpretation that is satisfactory, than that Job prognosticated the resurrection of his own body, in the end times when Christ shall return and judge the earth. The mind of an inquiring saint can only be astonished at such prose declared under the inspiration of the Almighty; for it reveals to us that those who had prevailed in the faith, when heathenism was deluging the souls of many, had knowledge of that glorious age, when Christ shall descend on a swift cloud, end the wickedness and tyranny which holds such sway over the earth, bestow justice upon the oppressed, and establish the Kingdom of Heaven which will reign forevermore.
From the same Book of Job, one finds how known God was amongst the Arabians, other than Job, at this time. Eliphaz, one of Job’s close friends who visits him to comfort his despair, was from Teman, (Job 4:1) which like Uz, was located in Edom; he too expresses his belief in the Almighty, suggesting to his distraught companion: “I would seek unto God, and unto God would I commit my cause: which doeth great things and unsearchable; marvellous things without number: who giveth rain upon the earth, and sendeth waters upon the fields”. (Job 5:8) Zophar the Namathite had as well lived in Arabia He too had knowledge of God, posing a question to the lamenting Job: “Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?” (Job 11:7)
Bildad the Shuhite too was an inhabitant of the land of the Arab, and he too had known God, asking “doth the Almighty pervert justice?” (Job 8:3)
And while they had known God, their ideas on His providence was misconstrued; for Job had chastised their affirmation, that his suffering was a well deserved punishment by the Almighty, as such: “But ye are forgers of lies, ye are all physicians of no value. O that ye would altogether hold your peace! and it should be your wisdom. Hear now my reasoning, and hearken to the pleadings of my lips. Will ye speak wickedly of God? and talk deceitfully for him?” (Job 13:4) To Job, these three men had not wisdom, or to use his own words: “…I cannot find one wise man among you.” (Job 17:10)
We find from the name of Bildad that heathenism was in the land; for it signifies “Bel has loved,” and from such a name is it revealed that even in this very ancient period of man, was this pagan god known and worshipped in Arabia, at a time when the people thereof still knew God.
But the statements of Job’s companions show that they did not have the Sabaean view of the divine, in which the host of heaven and the stars were deified, but had a higher belief of the Creator: that He was above the heavenly bodies and constellations. Bildad the Shuhite had held that “the stars are not pure in his [God’s] sight.” (Job 25:5) Eliphaz the Temanite had believed this same sentiment, upholding that God was above the stars. “Is not God in the height of heaven?” asks he, “and behold the height of the stars, how high they are!” (Job 22:12)
The worship of the host of heaven, or Sabaeanism, though it was observed in this period, was in fact punished by the magistrates in the land of Uz; Job attests to this when expressing his scorn and contempt for the pagan folly, describing it as “an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.” (Job 31:28)
From all of these verses it is unquestionable that the Arabian, at a period of far antiquity, had worshipped the true God and despised and eschewed idolatry, even observing laws against it. But eventually there was a point in history, the time of which is not to our knowledge, that heathenism had become the dominant religion, and the true faith but darkly known. The Arabs would sink into that heathenism which Job had condemned; but in what way? They would fall into the religion of the Sabaean, the first of all idolatries, and corrupted the truth with the worship of nature. They began to believe that Adam was a prophet of the moon in Babel, and that the earth was eternal. They erected images of gold dedicated to the sun, images of silver to the moon, and idols to the stars. According to Maimonides, the began “the setting up of images on high mountains”. This was done for the same purpose as Babel’s tower, to reach the host of heaven.
The mountain was used by Mesopotamian wizards for the same reason why they used the ziggurat or step-tower: to ascend, and connect, themselves with the host of heaven which they beheld as gods. As those of Shinar used a tower to reach the heavens, so did later Mesopotamians climb mountains to accomplish the same aspiration. We see this exemplified in Balaam, who we know as being a most renown wizard, or “soothsayer” as he in called in Joshua, (Joshua xiii.22).
When Balaam was with Balak, the king of Moab, to curse the children of Israel, the two had gone up “into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people. And Balaam said unto Balak, Build me here seven oxen and seven ram.” (Num. xxii.41-xxiii.1) These high places spoken of signify the tops of mountains; and Josephus recounts that Balak “came to the mountain, and brought the prophet [Balaam] along with him, with a royal attendance.” One Jewish commentator renders that Balak had taken Balaam “up to Bamoth Baal,” that is, according to the Targum, “to the heights of his god” Baal. We find, therefore, the Mesopotamian Balaam in religious agreement with the Moabite (or Arabian) Balak; the two peoples, thus, were connected by a common doctrine, and we find in this occurrence, both men believing that the mountain may be a means for man to ascend to the host of heaven, the same goal as those of Shinar. We find also here the corruption of the true religion; for Balaam has Balak sacrifice seven oxens and seven rams upon a high-place of Baal, but the wizard has it done as a sacrifice to appease God. The rite was originally done by the followers of pure religion, as we find in the Book of Job, in which God commands Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar, all men of Arabia, to make a burnt offering of seven bullocks and seven rams. (Job 42:8) We thus find in the ritual of Balaam and Balak a degraded, corrupted, and heathenized version of what was done amongst the earliest saints, who had followed the precepts taught by Noah.
HUMAN SACRIFICE IN ARAB PAGANISM
Balaam was not a part of the wheat, but the tares, who are, in the words of St. Peter, “wells without water, clouds that are carried withouth a tempest: to whom the mist of darkness is reserved.” (2 Peter ii.17) He placed a stumbling block for the Hebrews to worship the gods of the Moabites, which demanded human sacrifice. The evidence for this is found in both Hebrew, and Moabite accounts. Within the Moabite Stone, which has been dated roughly after 849 B.C., there is found the words of Mesha, a king of Moab and an enemy of Israel, in which he pompously declares that it was he “(who) made this high place for Chemosh in Qarhoh”.
Chemosh was the tutelary deity of the Moabites, who were called “people of Chemosh,” and was worshipped as Ashtar, or Astoreth, whose planet was Venus. So beloved was this goddess, that for her the peoples of Arabia shed human blood in their morbid ceremonies of sacrifice. Mesha had observed this same ritual, and as we shall see, he slaughtered thousands of Israelites for the cause of this goddess. But before we do, let us first understand what occurred between Moab and Israel, before this great mass of human sacrifices were done. The Moabite had ruled over Moab when the nation was under the jurisdiction of Ahab, king of Israel, to whom Mesha had rendered “an hundred thousand lambs, and an hundred thousand rams, with the wool.” (II Kings iii.4)
But, upon the perishing of Ahab, Mesha had caused a revolution against Israel, *II Kings iii.5.* the succeeding king of which, Jehoram, had with haste called for the help of Jehoshaphat, the sovereign of Judah, so that the nearing war with Mesha would be done with the utmost of efficiency and fortitude. “The king of Moab”, declared Jehoram to Jehoshaphat, “hath rebelled against me: wilt thou go with me against Moab to battle?” (II Kings iii.7) The response of Jehoshaphat was one instilled with the valor of a dutiful warrior, proud and patriotic toward his countrymen. “I will go up: I am as thou art,” said he, “my people as thy people, and my horses as thy horses.” (II Kings iii.7)
In their march toward Mesha both Israel and Judah made their way through the wilderness of Edom, and had made an alliance with the king of that land. (II Kings iii.8-9) The trio was now against a common enemy, to whom they had journeyed to make war with. After a seven day journey through the lifeless desert, the lips and tongues of the men, and their cattle, were void of water; *II Kings iii.9.* and an air of despair had come to the soul of Jeroham. “Alas!” cried he, “that the Lord hath called these three kings together, to deliver them into Moab!” (II Kings iii.10) The sorrow spirit of that sovereign Jeroham, would soon be uplifted on account of the wisdom of Jehoshaphet, who had posed the question, “Is there not here a prophet of the Lord by him?” A servant of Israel’s king had arose and presented Elisha, remarking that it was he who “poured water on the hands of Elijah.” (II Kings xi.11)
“The word of the Lord is with him” said Jehoshaphat, who with Jeroham and the king of Edom, approached Elisha, who had confronted the sovereign of Israel with a question of pure humility, and piety: “What have I to do with thee? get thee to the prophets of thy father, and to the prophets of thy mother.” “Nay: for the Lord hath called these three kings together,” responded Jeroham, “to deliver them into the hand of Moab.” (II Kings iii.13) Elisha sent for the minstrel, and when the music began to emanate from the lips of the singer, “the hand of the Lord” came upon the prophet, whose mouth, now inspired by the Almighty, commanded them to “Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: he will deliver the Moabites also into your hand. And ye shall smite every fenced city, and every choice city, and shall fell every good tree, and stop all wells of water, and mar every good piece of land with stones.” (II Kings iii.16-19)
The morning had come, and the sun had arisen; the meat offering was made to the Almighty by the pious warriors, and water from Edom had flooded the land. The coming of the kings met the ears of Moab, who now had their finest warriors dress themselves in their armor. The savage people were ready for war, with their souls plagued with the disease of hubris. The light of the burning sun had beamed upon the flood waters, and they had appeared, in the eyes of the sanguinary Moabites, as though they were tainted with blood; such a sight was to the confidence of their minds. “This is blood: the kings are surely slain,” said the Moabites, “and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil.” *II Kings iii.20-23.* The children of Moab had made their advancement, and upon doing so, they endured the tenacity of the Lion of Zion. The hearts of Moab were stricken, and they fled in haste to their land. The three kings did not commit to stop at that moment, and they inflicted the Moabite cities with a strong attack. They had crushed the cities of Chemosh, and cut them off from running water. Mesha was now overwhelmed; his revolution, which he thought would be all for the best, was now all for the worst. Chemosh was not on his side, only the anger of the only God–the Almighty–the Fountain Head of all justice and true civility. The revolt of Mesha against Israel may receive support, and sympathy, from the modern who looks to the Moabite as one breaking the shackles of Hebrew rule. But, civilization is not filled with the tolerance of our age, but the discernment to conclude that not every nation or people on earth believes in liberty, but are haters of it. To permit a people, bloodthirsty and drunk off the fumes of death, to govern their own land and subjugate others, based upon their own despotic and savage beliefs, in the name of tolerance, would be done not in the spirit of liberty, but in that which tolerates evil.
The Israelites sacrifice an animal before their battle with Moab; while Mesha did not offer to Chemosh a beast, but the blood of his own son. “And when the king of Moab saw that the battle was too sore for him,” recounts the Scripture, “he took with him seven hundred men that drew swords, to break through even unto the king of Edom: but the could not. Then he took his eldest son that should have reigned in his stead, and offered him for a burnt offering upon the wall.” *II Kings iii.26-27.* Thus is the difference between those of savagery and despotism, and those of pure religion and civility. And though the attack made upon Moab may seem to be horrific by the madness of modern minds, the incursion of Israel and her ally Edom, was an advancement, not for tyranny, but for true civilization; for a culture which does look upon human life as sacred, is emphatically superior to those which scorn the life of mortals with the utmost of vitriol, and contempt. If Israel had not defeated Moab, then the Moabites would have surely subjugated Israel; and with the justification from the diabolical idols which they beheld, would they have made the Hebrews endure a much heavier, and more brutal, yoke.
This is evidenced by a further perusal of the Moabite Stone, in which Mesha speaks of a victory over Israel; and upon his domination, did he sacrifice thousands of human lives to his tyrannical, and infernal, god Chemosh. The Stone recounts how Mesha had defeated the people of Gad, “who had always dwelt in the land of Ataroth, and the king of Israel had built Ataroth for them; but I fought against the town and took it and slew all the people of the town as satiation (intoxication) for Chemosh and Moab.” *The Moabite Stone, trans. W.F. Albright, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. ix, p. 288.* The frenzy for blood did not cease, and Mesha dragged Ariel, the chieftain of Gad, and placed him before the devil Chemosh. “Go, take Nebo from Israel!” was the command which Mesha, as he witnessed, heard from the voice of Chemosh. And so did Mesha follow the voice of not God, but of his “father, the devil… He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John viii.44, ellipses mine)
From the time the brightness of the sun was first seen, to the time of the noon hour, did Mesha continue his warring with the children of God; and he beheld his god Chemosh as being pleased with the massacre that he perpetrated; for he was not a child of the Almighty, who wishes to preserve life, but one of “the children of the devil”. (I John iii.10) His soul was of the darkness, and of that sinister religion; for he had committed, after his victory over the Hebrews, a rite which consisted of mass slaughtering. Mesha, as we read from the Stone, boasts that he murdered all “seven thousand men, boys, women, girls, and maid-servants, for I had devoted them to destruction for (the god) Ashtar-Chemosh. And I took from there the […] of Yahweh, dragging them before Chemosh.” (The Moabite Stone, trans. W.F. Albright, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. ix, p. 288.) The word used for “devoted” is “Hrmth”, which means that he slaughtered the Hebrews for the sanctity or cause of Ashtor-Chemosh, (translation from Walid Shoebat) which clearly shows that a mass human sacrifice took place. (See Barton, Semitic Origins, ch. iv, p. 143).
Job proclaimed the iniquity of astral worship which so plagued Arabia, a path of the lowest adoration which mankind never ceases to trodden, and an evil which certainly was the characteristic of Sabaeanism and the beliefs of Babel. This account of Sabaeanism which the Book of Job contains, is also an evidence of the high antiquity of this inspired scripture. “If I beheld the sun when it shined,” declares the lamenting Job, “or the moon walking in brightness; and my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: this also were an iniquity to be punished by the judges: for I should have denied the God that is above.” (Job xxxi: 26-28)
The beginning of this scripture is speaking of the light of the sun which first appears in the day; it is thus referring to the worship of the dawn, of which was so frequent in both Arabia and Mesopotamia. It was at the time of dawn, when the Chaldeans had been the most fervent in observing the stars and planets for the signs of the coming seasons. Even in the time of Moses, are the Arabs and Chaldeans found to have had direct religious agreement, of which consisted the divine association made with the dawn. When Balak, the king of Moab, which lies in today’s Jordan wished to inflict a curse upon the Hebrews, he had hired a wizard not from his own native land, but the infamous Balaam of Chaldea. It was upon the dawn when both the Arab sovereign and the Chaldean necromancer had gone up a mountain to the high places of Baal, as we read from words of Moses: “And it came to pass on the morrow, that Balak took Balaam, and brought him up into the high places of Baal”. (Numbers 22:41) The term “morrow” is here meant the Hebrew bower, which signifies ‘dawn.’ Both Balaam and Balak would have never united in such rites unless they had agreed religiously. One ancient tablet recounts how Ninsun, the mother of the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh, goes to her rooftop and to appeal to the sun, and in doing so, she requests the protection of Aya, the goddess of dawn, to guard her warring son. Similarly, the Nabataeans of Arabia built temples to the sun on top of their rooftops where they would daily offer libations and burn frankincense.
“To the pure flame that fills the heavens,” reads one Babylonian hymn, “to the light of Heaven, Ishtar, who shines like the sun, to the mighty Queen of Heaven, Ishtar, I address greeting… that she fix the fate of the lands. May she rise faithfully at dawn of day, may she fulfill the decrees (of fate) at the dark of the moon.” Hymns reminiscent to this, were as well sung in the north Arabian tongue, especially to goddesses such as Allat, the female counterpart of Allah. Therefore, it is not coincidental that the Arabs till this day make veneration to the dawn, the moon and the sun. “Say: ‘I seek refuge in the lord of the Daybreak,” says one verse from the Koran. (Qur’ân 113) Within the same Islamic text we find a swearing “by the sun and its brilliance, and the moon when it follows the sun”. (Q 91:1-2.) The act of blowing a kiss for an astral deity, was common custom within idolatry once the idol was out of reach for the lips of the necromancer; this same rite of amour for one’s deity is still practiced in Arabia by Muslims when they kiss the Blackstone in Mecca, and it was in antiquity specifically practiced in Sumer and Babylon. The name of Bildad the Shuhite, who had lived in Arabia in the time of Job, signifies “Bel has loved,” and thus it contains the name of a Babylonian deity whose planet was Jupiter. And since the period in which Job had lived has been dated as before the time of Moses, and the Book of Job the oldest of the Scriptural Canon, Bildad’s name as well indicates that deities worshipped by Babylonians had been known in Arabia in a far point of antiquity.
Moreover, we find that the Chaldean god Nergal, whose planet was Mars, was of a Cushite origin. The Book of Kings recounts that Shalmaneser had placed in Israel, which he had then conquered, (II Kings xvii.3-6) people from the land of Cuthah, (II Kings xvii.24) a title is said to have been equal with, or derived from, Cush. (See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 539, on II Kings 17:30; James Townley’s Maimonides, Reasons of the Laws of Moses, note vi.) These men of Cuthah, who would have then been Cushites who resided in Mesopotamia, had “made Nergal”. (II Kings xvii) Nergal was actually addressed as “the king of Cuthah.” Therefore we have, indeed, a connection between the wizardry of the Cushites, and that of the Chaldeans. Further evidence that the god Nergal was Cushite can be found in Rawlinson, who writes that the deity’s name, evidently, is compounded of two “Hamitic” roots: nir, “a man,” and gull, “great;” signifying the he was addressed as “the great man,” or “the great hero.” A Hamitic connection made with the name Nergal, would further establish its Cushite founding; for Cush was a son of Ham.
Rawlinson had also pointed out that the Mesopotamian Saturn, Nin or Ninurta, was called Nin-ip, being a name purely Hamitic.
Also, it has been affirmed by one authority that Calneh, the fourth city which Nimrod founded, clearly reads “Kal-Ana,” or “the fort of Ana”, that is, Anu the god of heaven, a very popular deity of the Mesopotamians which was beheld as that realm of the heavenly bodies. Anu, then, being founded Nimrod, was originally a Cushite deity.
Overall, the astral worship so poetically disdained by Job, is the basis of such necromancy; for sabaeanism, which was the worship of the heavenly bodies, is the oldest of idolatries. And such an observation, moreover adduced with the facts that the infamous edifice was the first rebellion in mankind’s history after the Deluge, confirms therefore, that this superstition was amongst the reasons for the building of Nimrod’s tower. From Arabia the Cushite traveled to Chaldea, and there did they devise their sinister design, with its roots in the veneration of the heavenly bodies.
The desire of Babel to establish universal empire continued on to the later governments of the ancient Near East. These kingdoms desired to become the rulers of the world, to belittle the life of the individual, and to completely dishonor the divine right to private property.
Though a tyrant be powerful, his life is as chaotic as a thief’s; for what is he and his state but a band of robbers? Within every circle of criminals lies a leader; and within every tyranny is there a despot to command his vassals. The bandit seizes the belongings of an innocent few, while the tyrant has a whole people endure the evils of rapine, and seizes the fruits of their labor. They are both of the same nature; for they are both possessed with the spirit of coveting. It was thus of the purest truth what one pirate had declared to Alexander the Great, after being asked by the infamous conquerer what he meant by taking control of the sea: “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”
The soul of the tyrant, therefore, endures the same vexation as that of the contemptuous thief. They have no contentment, they disdain the gain of others, and they are filled with fear of enduring the righteous judgments of justice. But the man who lives satisfied in even the most modest state, never envies the belongings of others, and because of his contentment, has the purest of tranquility, and is the antithesis of the tyrant. The difference between the content man, and the contemptuous despot, is thus the difference between tyranny and true civilization, between the City of the Devil, and the City of God. It is amongst the civilized that, in the words of John of Salisbury, “No one will usurp that which is another’s, remaining inclined towards love of all, without distinction.” Man is moved to sadness by the loss of his belongings, for he is human; man is stirred to compassion by the sight of another who looses all that he owns, for he has humanity. It is therefore true that the ancient Near East was plagued with wicked kings who were absent of any moral inclination; for they cared not for the belongings of others, but had warred with their fellowman to seize them.
In ancient Sumer, to attain universal empire was a most praised accomplishment for a king. The monarchs of that land, and of that age, raise their swords to other city-states, at attain from them complete allegiance and subjugation. A very ancient account of this is seen in the attempted conquest of Erech, at that time ruled by Gilgamesh, by king Akka of the city-state of Kish. Emissaries are sent by Akka to Erech, to demand of Gilgamesh the complete submission of himself and his subjects, to the sovereignty of Kish. In such a state of submission, Erech was to be seized of all its wells by Kish and its king Akka: “To empty the wells,” says the inscription, “to empty the wells of the land, to empty the shallow wells of the land, to empty the deep wells furnished with hoisting ropes”. To attain a universal empire is impossible without the vice of rapine, and the seizing of belongings which are not of the fruits of one’s labour. The demand of Akka was to the anger of Gilgamesh, who had immediately gathered an army and vanquished Kish.
It was the dream of the Lugalzaggisi, a Sumerian king over the city of Umma, to obtain a universal empire; it was to be beyond the Tigris and Euphrates, and expanded as far a the upper and lower seas. His endeavoring was done swiftly; he had raised an army, and made his attack on the city of Lagash, where he would inflict destruction and rapine on its harvests. The temple Ningirsu was scorched by his forces, its gold, silver, and precious stones seized. Blood was shed in the palace of the city’s king, Urukagina, who was as well slain, and those who were in the temples of Baba and Enlil had endured the same carnage. The ripe corn, the fruit’s of the city’s labour, was stolen by the invading army. Lagash was but a building block to his utopia; Lugalzaggisi had marched onward his trail of blood to yoke more cities for his universal empire. He had taken Erech, where he would build a new palace for him pomp; the cities of Ur, Larsa, Shuruppak, and Kish were the next to receive his sword, and his yoke. Nippur was as well vanquished, and because it was there where Enlil was said to reside, Lugalzaggisi had in turn received the divine kingship over the whole of Sumer. He would next advance toward Eridu and capture it; and up to the Euphrates did he then march, only to inflict his despotism upon the city of Mari. He had subsequently advanced as far as the Mediterranean. Upon this was his marching for universal kingdom now completed; his soul had been quenched by the blood of the conquered, and his hands filled with the property of others. He had followed his path of gore and returned to Umma where he would rule over his new collectivized kingdom. His sinister accomplishment was accompanied with his piety, and so he had made a prayer to the god of heaven, only to, in truth, converse with the lord of hell: “Add life to my life and let the Land of Sumer blossom. Let the breasts of heaven overflow! Let the good fate that the gods have ordained for me remain forever. Let me remain always as the shepherd at the head of my flock!”
The ziggurat, or temple-tower, was built for the purpose of bridging the kingdom of the gods, with the earth; no different was the goal of Nimrod’s tower, whose top was to “reach unto heaven”. (Gen. 11:4)
To better understand the correspondence that Nimrod must have had between himself and his sacred edifice, it is best to observe how the people of Mesopotamia themselves saw the purpose of their shrines and ziggurats. For Nimrod, the ascending building was the focal point for his kingdom. This view of the temple was continued on in later times by both the Sumerians and the Babylonians, who saw buildings as the most pertinent structure of the city; for they were looked upon as the home of the municipality’s head deity. In order for a god to gain high status, he needed a house to be his abode–it was his temple so to speak, and men, the slaves of the gods, were to build these great dwelling places. These homes of the gods were to be lofty, as the Book of the Kings witnesses: “Howbeit every nation made gods of their own, and put them in the houses of the high places which the Samaritans had made, every nation in their cities wherein they dwelt.” (II Kings 17:29.) Men were compelled not only to build sanctified homes, but cities as well, which the gods divided amongst themselves, each one ruling their own municipality.
For the chief deity of the Sumerian city, there was built a temple which lied on the center of the town or metropolis, and was seen as the god’s house; the Babylonians exemplified this with their stage-tower, Etemenanki, in which the apex of the stage-tower was a home or sanctuary for Bel. The idol of the god was made in human form, it was clothed, and offered food libations. These temple houses were a reflection of the divine status of the king, since they were modeled after his palace. Such a relationship between the king and the temple, and the purpose thereof, must have been analogous to that system which Nimrod configured, between himself, his ziggurat, and the god which lived in it. This status would have provided for Nimrod the divine right which he had over his kingdom and its subjects.
Within the Sumerian culture, there lied the authority of a brutal sovereignty; the crown of the tyrant was, as it was believed, given to him by heaven, paradise was brought to earth, and the ambitions of the king, with his divine authority, became the yoke to the subject. The gods established that the sole duty of the king was to look after their temples; their maintenance was to be efficient, and their repairs made steadfastly. Building was considered as the most difficult of endeavors, and man was now destined by the gods to fulfill this task.
It was the subjects of the king who were enforced to labor for these sanctuaries; they were a pomp for the ruler; and a misery for the commoner. The god Ea, as we are told by an ancient wizard, “created the king for the task of provisioning, he created men to be their workforce”. This corresponds with Nimrod: he ruled over his subjects in Shinar to form them into a unified body, which was to collectively work in the construction of a city and a tower to establish a great name. But all such misery was done for the satisfaction of a deity; and no doubt was this the case in Babel. Each temple-tower of Mesopotamia was dedicated to a god. To the kings of that region there was no greater accomplishment than for him to erect a lofty sanctuary for his deity. This is illustrated in the Babylonian Epic of Creation, in which the lower gods exclaim to Marduk: “Now, O Lord, who has brought about our deliverance, what shall be the sign of our gratitude before thee? We will build a shrine.” Since the gods themselves had done this, it was of the highest respect and honor for a mortal king to do the same.
Though it is not openly stated in Scripture that the builders of Babel had begun their construction for the propitiation of a deity, it can be well evidenced that they did so by the inscribed Spell of Enki. According to the Spell of Enki, “the whole universe, the people well care for, to Enlil in one tongue gave speech”; therefore, it was this deity who was worshipped, and to whom the tower of Shinar was dedicated.
We may find Enlil in an historical recounting of Hestiaeus on an event which occurred in Babel, prior to the dispersion of tongues, in which priests “took the sacred vessels of Jupiter Enyalius,” the planet of whom, as well, belonged to Enlil. This is why the Roman writer Hyginus, writing of a time before government was known, declared that “men lived their lives without cities or laws, speaking a single language and under Jupiter’s authority.” Whether the name Enlil is a result of Sumerian nomenclature, cannot be concluded as of yet; what is certain is that we have a Sumerian identification with a god who was the supreme divinity prior to the dispersion of tongues; and in analyzing the ziggurat, it is a requisite for one to inquire this deity of universalism. Where there is an empowered tyrant, there lies a god to provide for him justification for his cruel indulgences; to study the divinity of a despot, would result in an understanding of not only his nature, but the reasons for his tyranny.
We find Enlil to have had been of such high importance in Mesopotamia, that he was the head of the pantheon even into the times of Babylonian supremacy.
The conviction of the Sumerians that “without the Great Mountain [Enlil], no cities would be built, no settlements founded …no king would be raised, no en-priest born,” is an indication that Enlil was the chooser of kings, who would have, emphatically, been potential builders and founders of cities, appellations which Nimrod certainly would have held. In the ways of rulership in Sumeria, kings boasted of how this Enlil had bestowed upon them their kingship over the nation; and had given them their scepter, and all the lands to conquer. Therefore it is made apparent, that Nimrod believed that he ascended to power on account of Enlil, who had given him the jurisdiction which he so attained. Based on the nature that we know of the ancient cults, it is probable that Enlil was some ancestor, his identity after death becoming the divinity who was represented by Nimrod on earth. Such a relationship between god and despot was exemplified by the Sumerian king Ur-Nammu, who was chosen as the earthly representative of the moon-god Nanna.
It is not venturesome to state, that Nimrod, ruler of Akkad, Babel, Erech, and Calneh, held this same title for the god Enlil, as was the common custom in Mesopotamia for centuries after; for in the opinion of Tertullian, a man cannot claim godhood, without the belief in a higher divinity who was to grant them his apotheosis. We find Enlil declared as the bestower of kingship from Enkidu, proclaiming to his companion, king Gilgamesh of Erech, “High over warriors you are exalted, to be king of the people Enlil made it your destiny!” Bur-Sin, another king, was “proclaimed by Enlil in Nippur as SAG-USH of the temple of Enlil, the powerful king of Ur, the king of the four regions, unto Enki, his beloved king, hath his beloved Apsu (i.e. ‘Ocean’).”
King Sargon of Akkad, whose valor and love for the sting of battle built a reputation unforgettable in the antiquity of the Near East, was gazed upon with such divine attributes, that his kingship believed to have been given to him by Enlil. “Sargon the king of Agade,” reads an ancient inscription, “from below to above, Enlil had given lordship and kingship.” It was said that king Lugalkiginnedudu had been conferred his kingship by Enlil, so that he may rule over the cities of Erech and Ur. “When Enlil,” reads one text, “the king of all the lands, directed a firm call to Lugalkiginnedudu and gave him the en-ship together with the kingship–the en-ship he exercised in Erech, and the kingship in Ur.” One ancient text describes the relationship between the ruler and Enlil as follows:– “Enlil, the shepherd upon whom you gaze (favorably), who you have called and made high in the land, … who prostrates the foreign lands wherever he steps forth, soothing libations from everywhere, sacrifices from heavy booty, has brought; in the storehouse, in the courtyards, he has directed his offerings; Enlil, of the worthy shepherd… of the leading herdsmen of all who have breath (the king), brought into being his princeship, placed the holy crown on his head.” The king of Lagash, Eannautum, was praised as he “whose name Enlil had pronounced,” and he “who was granted might by Enlil,” and it is logical to affirm that it was this same deity who was believed to have made Nimrod a mighty hunter.
Nimrod doubtless had knowledge of the Deluge, and his elders Noah, Ham, and Cush; and thus must have known of God and godly doctrine, to which he was defiant; for his name signifies ‘rebel’; for “from rebellion shall derive his name, though of rebellion others he accuse.” So, in his revolt against the Almighty, he expressed his servitude to the Prince of Darkness. On the authority of the Spell of Enki, it can be confirmed that Enlil was the deity to whom the tower of Nimrod was erected in honor and reverence. Temples of Mesopotamia were built under the authority of a priest-king, who found inspiration in his tutelary deity, to erect the edifice, and Enlil, must have been the spiritual cause for Nimrod’s ambitions.
The epithets of Enlil correspond with those of Lucifer; “Lord of Demons” and “Lord of Might”, was he called by his priests of Sumer. Since Enlil is the god said by the Sumerians to have been worshipped in Shinar prior to the great dispersion, and since he is identified with Jupiter, he must then correspond with the Greek Zeus, whose identification with Lucifer is made by Tatian that the demons are “with Zeus at their head”.
As Lucifer is called by Paul “the prince of the power of the air, the spirt that now worketh in the children of disobedience”, (Ephesians 2:2) it was so that Enlil was exalted as the air-god; and an ancient text confirms his identity as one which corresponds with the intention behind the Tower of Babel: “O great Enlil, …[wind of the underworld mountain,] whose head rivals the Heavens, whose foundation is laid in the pure abyss, who reposes in the lands like a furious wild bull, whose horns gleam like the rays of the sun-god.” It was Enlil who was represented as the highest stage, of the Sumerian ziggurat, the “heaven of heavens”, or the highest heaven, as it was called; and so Nimrod must have gazed at his attempted temple-tower with the same light; his tower would have represented man’s journey to the celestial realm, each stage of the edifice being represented as a heaven, with its apex signifying the seat of Enlil or Bel. Such a design, based upon the ways of the stars and planets, was perpetuated all the way to Babylonian times, and therefore the common structure of the stage-tower emanated from the mind of Nimrod, who ruled the earliest kingdom of Chaldea.
The ziggurat was beheld, in that age of Nimrod, as a tool which would unify the earth with the Heaven, and we find this same amongst the epithets of Enlil. He was declared as Duranki, “bond of heaven and earth”, and we find that such a title had applied to temple-towers as well. The ziggurat of Larsa was praised as “The House of the Bond between Heaven and Earth,” a title which emphatically connects with the function of that infamous Tower of Babel. That mountains were likened to temples used to bridge man with heaven, is revealed by one inscription in which the Sumerian king Enmerkar describes a sanctuary as “a pure mountain!”
In one ancient Sumerian text we find a verse to Enlil in which it speaks of the seed of the god impregnating his goddess Ninlil. “The ‘water’ of my king, let it go toward heaven, let it go toward earth, let the ‘water,’ like the ‘water’ of my king, go toward earth.” The ‘water’ here mentioned was, in accordance with ancient near eastern philosophy, representative of the creative principle of the universe. This fluid, of which Enlil was believe to have possessed, was upheld as that which connected heaven and earth, and we find ziggurats to have been viewed in the same light.
Etemenenki is depicted on one ancient seal of the tenth-century B.C., as being built on a stream, called the apsu or nether sea, which is represented as a rope that was referred to as markash, “band of the universe.” The infamous tower, in Mesopotamian religion, is thus connected with the creative seed of man, and is therefore associated with the phallic symbol, that decrepit image so worshipped in antiquity before the light of Christ had revealed itself throughout the earth.
The appellations of Enlil corresponded with that most known religious concept of the Sumerians: that man, by the use of a high edifice or pinnacle, may reach the heavens for the purpose of establishing his name as an eternal memory for his countrymen of both the present, and of the posterity. The religion of the Sumerian was, in essence, a type of totemism; nature was exalted with offerings; the souls of the dead, their names eternal to the posterity, was remembered with sacrifices and other libations. It was held that in the beginning there was the external primeval sea, which begot the “cosmic mountain”, consisting of the heaven–Anu–and the earth–Ki–and by their union and copulation, Enlil was spawned; therefore the god whom the whole world worshipped in the time of Nimrod’s kingdom, symbolized the earth unifying with the heaven; for Enlil was identified with such a union, obtaining the epithet of “the Great Mountain,” thus why his temple in Nippur was venerated as the Ekur, “House of the Mountains,” which lied on the top of a lofty mountain considered to be the highest part of the earth.
Such a union of heaven and earth was the mission of Nimrod and his subjects. (Gen. 11:4) We find an analogous purpose with the Ekur, a temple upon a mountain; for it was addressed as “the shrine where dwells the father, the ‘the great mountain,’ the dais of plenty, the Ekur which rises…, the high mountain, the pure place…, its prince, ‘the great mountain,’ Father Enlil, has established his seat on the dais of the Ekur, lofty shrine; the temple–its decrees like heaven cannot be overturned, its pure rites like the earth cannot be shattered, its decrees are like the decrees of the abyss, none can look upon them, its ‘heart’ is like a distant shrine, unknown like heaven’s zenith … the Ekur, the lapis lazuli house, the lofty dwelling place, awe-inspiring, its awe-inspiring, its awe and dread are next to heaven, its shadow is spread over all the lands, its loftiness reaches heaven’s heart”.
Reminiscent to the universalist kingdom of Nimrod, it was to the Ekur where “all the lords and princes conduct thither their holy gifts, offerings, utter their prayer, supplication, and petition.” That mountains and temple-towers corresponded in Mesopotamia, is shown in ancient verses. The Eninnu temple-tower of king Gudea was adored “House! Mountain founded by An,” and in another as “a great mountain abutting heaven”. The sacred offices of the Ekur are even described as “an unshatterable heaven” and its borders as “the wide sea, the unknown borders of heaven”. In Sumer, the Ekur, or “mountain house,” was the main temple of Enlil, esteemed as the most exalted sanctuary on the earth. In the older period, it received the homage from rulers who wished to claim their sovereignty, of Kish, Erech, Ur, Lagash, and Akkad. This universality of the Ekur, and its ascendency to the heavens, is praised in, and illustrated by, a hymn to Enlil:
“Enlil, to match that in your holy tract traced by you on the ground you had built Nippur your own city, you founded in Duranki [bond of heaven and earth] in the center of the universe Kiur, which graces your virgin mountain. Its soil is the life’s breath of the country, the life’s breath of all lands. Its brickwork–ruddy gold on a foundation laid on lapis lazuli–is tossing like an aurochs widely splayed horns in Sumer, will lock horns with all lands. At its great festivals the people are spending the day beside it amid plenty. Enlil, your holy secret premises imbued with allure, your font grandly fit for the holy of holies, the place where you relax, your Ekur, the pure house, the august abode, imbued with awesome nimbus–its nimbus and halo bear against heaven, its shadow for its part lies stretched over all lands, its crest for its part recedes into the midst of heaven–all lords, and all dwellers on throne daises, send in to it straight the holy contributions, are deferring to him in salutations and prayers.”
The functions of the Ekur, as believed by the Sumerians, have a correspondence with those of Nimrod’s tower; both were held to have united the earth with the Heaven, and both were set up to receive a collective worship, observed by all the all the world. Another important connection to be found in the quoted hymn, is how the Sumerian poet here associated the Ekur with the city in which it was built, Nippur, with a collectivist purpose, as those of Babel had built their city and tower as one place of universal unity, “lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. 11:4)
There are beliefs of the Cushite people which correspond with those of the Sumerians, which may be adduced. Within the necromancy of the Sumerians, the tops of mountains, such as the Ekur mountain-temple, was seen as that which may assist man in ascending closer to the gods, who, as it was believed, could as well reside in the natural structure; this corresponds with the Ethiopian or Cushite Mount Kakulima, which was addressed as “the Chariot of the Gods”. It was reported to Alexander the Great, according to Clitarchus, of an island on the Eastern Sea of Africa, on which “a holy mountain had been found”. The Chaga of Tanzania believe that a mythical race of elves or dwarves, called the Wakonyingo, reside on the top of Mount Kilimanjaro, where they, with their ladders, are capable of reaching the heavens; this mountain was held within the convictions of these same people to lie “in the east, where sky and earth join.” Such a way to reach the gods was also known to the ancient Persian, who would climb to the pinnacles of the loftiest of mountains for the purpose of sacrificing to the heaven, moon, sun, the wind and fire.
Where the constellations and planets lie, is where the Mesopotamians believed heaven was, and it was held that mountains, like the Tower of Babel, could bring man closer to this lofty and divine realm. One Sumerian seal from the twenty-fifth century B.C., depicts the sun-god Shamash or Babbar, arising from the mountains of the east, and in his hand he holds the key to the gate of sunrise. Over the sun-god is Ishtar or Ininni, the morning star, and under his feet lies a bull, a symbol of the god of thunder and rain. Near the sun-god is an eagle which symbolizes an astral light; the beheld bird is shown flying across “the vault of Heaven”, and travels passed the stars and constellations, upon which it descends towards the rising sun from the thick clouds. In one inscription, the king of Erech, Enmerkar, describes Venus as “Heaven’s great queen riding on high in ruddy robe, enthroned on the range of mountain crests, arrayed on the throne dais of the mountain crests”.
The mountain was used as a “high place”, as we find being done amongst the follies of king Solomon, in which he built lofty altars for the Sidonian divinity Chemosh, and the Moabite deity Ashtoreth–who both represented Venus–on top of 1the Mount of Olives, and on account of such an iniquity did the Lord rename it “the mount of corruption”. Rooftops were also used to bring one closer to the gods; Ninsun, the mother of Gilgamesh, an ancient king of Erech, was said to have “climbed the staircase and went up on the roof, on the roof she set up a censer to Shamash. Scattering incense she lifted her arms in appeal to the Sun God”.
Veneration and prayer to mountains were apart of Sumerian observances, as can be seen in the ancient verses on king Gilgamesh who, in search of a sign, seeks for significant dreams in his sleep under the starry sky of an eastern night. “Facing the sun they dug a well,” recounts the poet, “[they put fresh] water [in…] Gilgamesh climbed to the top [of the mountain,] [to the hill] he poured out an offering of flower: ‘O mountain, bring me a dream, [so I see a good sign!]'” Such a verse further signifies that the Mesopotamians used mountains to bring their confused souls closer, to what they thought, was paradise, when in reality, as they believed themselves ascending, and on the verge of touching the fabric of heaven, they were descending, their souls emerging down to Hades. The stage-tower, like the mountain, was received with worship; and evidence for this is found on a cylinder seal from the tenth-century B.C., which depicts a priest before the great edifice Etemenaki, to which he pours out a libation, and holds up, with approbation, a jar, from which arrises the flames of incense. The infamous temple-tower Esagila received prayer from the Babylonian high-priests, an example of which took place in the New-year festival, in which on the fourth-day of Nisan, the wizard would face north and proclaim thus:–“O canal star, the Esagila, likeness of Heaven and Earth.”
Our inquiry on Nimrod’s influence in Mesopotamia, would be undone without the mention of Gilgamesh and his labors; his celestial persona, which the Sumerians so exalted, was believed to have been granted to him by the gods; the ancient heros Ninurta and Nergal endowed his “physique with manly hardness and matchless strength.” The accomplishments of the old heroes became the inspiration for later men, who wished to emulate their ancestors. Cults became formulated around the past generation by the posterity; those who wished to commit the deeds of the old heroics, those men who aspired to make their name eternal for their descendants and their countrymen. A strong pattern is found in despotism, throughout human history to our very own age: that the individual becomes nothing, and the state everything. Like a powerful gust of wind, do we find it traveling throughout the annals of man; the foundations of civility it makes unsteady; the establishment of absolute morality in the minds of the people, does it convince to be uncertain.
Like the scorching sun in the prime of the summer season, do the ideas of the oppressive set ablaze the dry souls of men, whose condition is naturally evil. Such is what took place with Gilgamesh who, by about 2800 BC, ruled Erech or Uruk, the most supreme city of his time; and for his subjects, did Gilgamesh have them endure a most debased tyrannical nature. “The young men of Uruk he harries without warrant,” cries the lamenting poet, “Gilgamesh lets no son go free to his father. By day and by night his tyranny grows harsher,” and with his power did he, with the most decadent indulgence, let “no [daughter go free to her] mother.” Apotheosis did Nimrod wish to attain, and Gilgamesh, despite the enforcement of his decrepitness, received deification after his death, as the god who “governs the shades of the dead in the Netherworld.” The city of Erech was apart of Nimrod’s kingdom, an indication to us that the influence of that Cushite sovereign, must have been still alive in that age. Moreover, king Enmerkar, a proclaimer of the Spell of Enki, a recounting of the dispersion of tongues, was Gilgamesh’s grandfather, which concludes the belief of the present author: that Gilgamesh had knowledge of Nimrod’s existence; therefore, his ideology and ambitions had a direct connection with that first king of Babel.
At the beginning of his Epic, Gilgamesh boasts of his temple of the goddess Ishtar, Eanna, of which he built for the purpose of of his name’s glory. “Take the stairway of a bygone era,” cries he, “draw near to Eanna, seat of Ishtar the goddess, that no later king could ever copy!” Gilgamesh associates his own reputation to his temple, exalting himself over all other kings in this regard. Such were the motives of those builders in Shinar who, in realizing that their single tongue was about to be altered and thus their fame unattained, hastened to build a temple of magnificent standing. “Go to,” said they, in wishing to build “a tower, whose top [may reach] unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” (Gen. 11:4)
Gilgamesh, throughout the ancient accounts which speak of him, persisted in an ambition to go up to the top of a mountain, which was believed to have been connected to the heavens. In one verse, Gilgamesh comes to a mountain range in Mashu in Phoenicia, the appellations of which are like those of Enlil, ‘the great mountain.’ “To Mashu’s twin mountain he [Gilgamesh] came,” says the poet, “which daily guards the rising [sun,] whose tops support the fabric of heaven, whose base reaches down to the Netherworld.” It was with these mountains that Gilgamesh aspired to reach heaven for the purpose of warring with the of the gods, and to kill the deity Humbaba, whose position was prominent. Humbaba was “[the god, of whom men talk,] [whose name the earth [does constantly] repeat”; his significance in the assembly of the gods, being second to the thunder-god Adad, was just as pompous as Gilgamesh’s defiance against the divinities. Thus, the ambition of Gilgamesh in his war against the immortals was not of a small degree; the revolt of the king, in opposition to the gods, is expressed by Enkidu who, in encouraging Gilgamesh to finish off the wounded Humbaba, makes known their defiance against the supreme of all the gods, Enlil, for the reason of making a name: “My friend, Humbaba who guards the Forest [of Cedar –] [finish him,] slay him, [do away with his power,] before [Enlil] the foremost hears what we do! The [great] gods will take against us in anger, Enlil in Nippur, Shamash in [Larsa]…, Establish forever [a fame] that endures, how Gilgamesh slew ferocious Humbaba.”
What lies in the verses on Gilgamesh, are things most paralleled with those aspirations of Nimrod and his debased companions; a name of glory did these men wish to make; to tower to that most high place of the divine, did these two persons of renowned figure, wish to attain; the gods did they glorify, for the sake of their own glorification; Heaven did they wish to vanquish for the gain of an eternal status. As had been mentioned earlier, mountains and ziggurats, or temple-towers, corresponded with one another, and in the Sumerian history, Gilgamesh embarks on a journey to reach the top of the Mountain of Cedar in Phoenicia, which was given divine status by the wizards of Sumer, as a “seat of gods and goddess’ throne”, and as “the secret abode of the gods”; an indication that when this Sumerian hero-king went up the mountain, he was using the great structure of nature to reach the heavenly realm, to which he would make his incursion and kill the god Humbaba, the purpose of which, was stated by Gilgamesh: “I will conquer him [Humbaba] in the Forest of Cedar: let the land learn Uruk’s [Erech’s] offshoot is mighty! Let me start out, I will cut down the cedar, I will establish for ever a name eternal!” This in depth inscription parallels with the ambitions of the builders in Shinar; both wish to use lofty structures to reach, and make war with, the exalted divine realm, for the purpose of establishing for themselves a great name; this observation is our precedent for the comparison between the aspirations of Nimrod and Gilgamesh. In one fragment, we find a passage from Gilgamesh which refers to the same ambition, but in this case, with the the word mountain, and also his declaration that he shall make a name, not for just himself, but for the gods as well; all of this does he wish to do, with the goal of becoming a god on earth, and it appears that in the minds of both Nimrod and Gilgamesh, in order to transcend man, and become divine, one must make victory against Heaven. “O Enkidu,” says Gilgamesh, “since no man can escape life’s end, I will enter the mountain and set up my name, where names are not set up, I will set up my name, where names are not set up gods’ names.” In this same fragment, the hero-king states, an apparently common phrase of his time: “No man can stretch to the sky, no matter how tall, no man can compass a mountain, no matter how broad!” Observe, thus, that Gilgamesh is speaking of a natural limit of man, but in wishing to surpass mankind, proclaims thus:–“Since no man can escape life’s end, I will enter the mountain and set up my name.”
This inscription has, with another version of the same story, a correspondence of most pertinence to our inquiry; for in this inscription, Gilgamesh poses the same cliche of man’s natural boundaries, but, he likens the mortal incapability of ascending to the lofty heaven, to reaching a across the mountain: “No man can reach across a mountain, no matter how lofty, no man can compass a mountain, no matter how broad!” We, thus, find here a connection between Gilgamesh going up the mountain, and reaching up to the sky; and so his journey to kill a divinity, and in its consisting of him entering into the realm of the gods, is symbolic of him ascending to the heavens. Therefore, Nimrod’s tower, and the Mountain of Cedar which Gilgamesh uses to war with the divine, are most paralleled; for they were seen with the same function: to ascend to heaven and war with its kingdom. This affirmation may be further evidenced by a passage in the same fragment, in which the lair of Humbaba is located on a high place of the mountain, unreachable by man alone; and Gilgamesh, in order to reach there, uses trickery and offers the god his sisters, in exchange for his ‘seven auras,’ to which the jovial Humbaba gives them away. Gilgamesh and his troops, in turn, use the auras by heaping them “in piles on the mountain”, towering their way to the god’s domain; an analogous image of Nimrod attempting, by the use of a tower, to reach the kingdom of the Almighty. Therefore, in conclusion, Nimrod and Gilgamesh, though not the same person, had the same aspirations: to conquer heaven. To fulfill this pompous desire, Nimrod had attempted to use a tower, while Gilgamesh a lofty mountain. The connection reveals that the aspiration to conquer heaven began in Shinar, but continued in the later kingdoms within Mesopotamia.
Another evidence for this conclusion is found in one Sumerian account of Gilgamesh’s funeral, in which the deified king of Erech is praised as having ascended to the mountain of cedar, or the place of the gods, and founded temples and monuments which made himself a name: “In the assembly, the place of [the gods’] ceremonial, [the lord] Bilgames [having] drawn [nigh,] they said to him, the lord [Bilgames, on his account:] ‘Your matter — having traveled each and every road, having fetched that unique cedar down from its mountain, having smitten Huwawa in his forest, having set up monuments for future days, having founded temples of the gods, you reached Ziusudra in his abode!” Here Gilgamesh is praised for ascending the mountain and slaying Huwawa, or reaching to the heaven and warring with the abode of the gods; and also for building monuments and temples for the gods which glorify his name. Such a accomplishment parallels with the wish of the builders in Babel: to ascend to, and war with, heaven, and to build a lofty temple-tower, for the attainment of a great name.
Nimrod had within his aspirations to build a temple “whose top may reach unto heaven”; (Gen. 11:4) Gilgamesh, after slaying Humbaba, wished to construct a sanctuary to Enlil, and in doing so, the companion of the hero, Enkidu, finds a cedar tree of great height for the use of constructing a door for the shrine. “My friend,” says Enkidu to Gilgamesh, “we have felled a lofty cedar, whose top thrust up to the sky. I will make a door, six rods in height, two rods in breadth, one cubit in thickness, whose pole and pivots, top and bottom, will be all of one piece.” Enkidu, subsequently, bids Gilgamesh to seek out for him “a lofty cedar, whose crown is high as heaven!” The two heros let the divine cedar do down the river Euphrates so the people of Nippur may rejoice over it, and for the god Enlil to delight in it.
That the idea of the builders of Babel, for man to ascend to heaven, was deemed as a possibility for a mere mortal to accomplished, is evidenced by the Mesopotamian story of one Adapa, a sage from Eridu. As we read from the inscription, while on a boat to catch fish for the temple, Adapa was overtaken by the waters and rescued by the heaven god Anu. Upon this, Ea took a hold of him and foretold: “[Adapa], thou art going [before Anu], the king; [the road to heaven thou wilt take.” Ea advised him that if, in heaven, he was offered bread and water of death, that he should reject it; if oil he was to anoint himself with it; and if a garment was to wear it. Soon Adapa had ascended heaven, and was standing before Anu, who upon seeing the mortal complained of Ea teaching the human the secrets of heaven and thus giving him a renown name. “Why did Ea to a worthless human of the heaven and of the earth the plan disclose,” asked Anu, “rendering him distinguished and making a name for him?” The question reminds one of the declaration of the Babel builders; for they had believed that by ascending the heaven they would attain a great name. From the story of Adapa we find that the aspiration of those of Shinar had remained in Mesopotamia, still being held as a feat possible for man to accomplish. Since Adapa had reached heaven, Anu had offered him the “Bread of life” and “water of life”, which would grant him the immortality of a god. But, thinking it was the same bread of death which Anu had forewarned about, he had rejected the offer and thus unknowingly lost his opportunity for gaining apotheosis. From this, it is apparent that there was a belief amongst the Mesopotamians, that if man reached heaven was to find there immortal life, and therefore, those of Babel had obviously endeavored to obtain godship by bridging themselves with heaven. The ascension of Adapa is said by the inscription to have been from the horizon to the farthest point of heaven. “As Adapa from the horizon of heaven to the zenith of heaven cast a glance,” reads the inscription, “he saw its awesomeness.”
Another example of Mesopotamians ascending high places to reach the host of heaven, is Balaam, a Chaldean wizard who was hired by Balak to curse Israel. But, unlike the heathen tales of men attempting to reach heaven, God continuously intervened in Balaam’s pagan rituals, offering him numerous opportunities to avoid his evil plan, and turn to the Lord. This intervening is truly an image of the war between good and evil. Though Balaam had professed to worship the Almighty, whom he called “the Lord my God,” (Num. xxii.18) he was one who, in the words of St. Paul, “loved the wages of unrighteousness;” (2 Peter ii.15) he had mingled the worship of the true God with that of Baal, (Num. xxii.41) or the sun. “Build me here seven altars,” said Balaam to Balak, “and prepare me here seven oxen and seven ram.” (Num. xxiii.1) The plurality of altars signifies that Balaam had wished to exalt Jehovah amongst astral and naturist deities of the ancient Near East; the religious confusion of Balaam is of no marvel once it is observed that the wizard had followed that doctrine of Babel, which held elevated places as ways for man to reach the divine. But, the works of the devil can never prevail, and the voice of the Lord had decided to share his mercy with the infamous wizard Balaam, to whom he had commanded to bless the Hebrews, as opposed to the wishes of Balak who had bid the necromancer to bring upon Israel a curse. “How shall I curse,” asked Balaam, “whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy, whom the Lord hath not defied?” (Num. xxiii.8) Nor did the high-place which Balaam had ascended prevent the light of the Almighty to compel him to do that which is right. “For from the top of the rocks I see him,” proclaimed Balaam, “and from the hills I behold him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall not be reckoned among the nations. Who can count the dust of Jacob, and the number of the fourth part of Israel? Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!” (Num. xxiii.9-10) The blessing of Balaam was to the rage of Balak who had, in turn, brought the wizard “into the field of Zophim, to the top of Pisgah, and built seven altars, and offered a bullock and a ram on every altar.” (Num. xxiii.14) We find here in this passage, another reference to a high-place in use to connect with the gods; for Pisgah signifies “the hill”, and was a mountain “looking toward Jeshimon”, (Num. xxi.20) and is said to be on the east of Jordan,and on the north-east shore of the dead sea.
Pisgah was, in actuality, the name of its peak, while the overall structure was called “the mountain of Nebo,” (Deut. xxxiv.1) an indication that it was dedicated to the Babylonian god Nebo, or Nabu, whose luminary was the planet Mercury; and thus we find that this pinnacle which Balaam ascended was a place to worship this heavenly body. The mountain of Nebo, was indeed a high place, and we find in one ancient Assyrian omen, an account of an observing of the host of heaven from a “high place,” or ziggurat, on top of which was seen that “the moon over the cornfields was fixed, having two crowns on his head (double halo) … while Nusku (the planet Mercury) stood at its side.” It is not adventuresome to affirm, therefore, that Balaam went up to the peak of mount Nebo to inquire the knowledge of the host of heaven; for he was emphatically a follower of the pagan doctrine of Mesopotamia, where omens like the Assyrian inscription just mentioned were beheld by the superstitious. It was the Mesopotamian doctrine of far antiquity which held that the mountain or ziggurat, or step-tower, could bring one close to the planets and other luminaries; and such an observance is found being partaken by Balaam, and the malicious king Balak.
But, yet again, the word of the Lord did not cease to bestow another chance for Balaam to bless his people, and indeed he chose the righteous choice. “Behold,” said he, “I have received commandment to bless: and he hath blessed; and I cannot reverse it.” (Num. xxiii.20) Such a bold declaration was to the disappointment of Balak, who would bring Balaam to another mountain, or high place, “unto the top of Peor, that looketh toward Jeshimon.” (Num. xviii.28) Peor was an eminence not too far from Mount Nebo, and is called in Deuteronomy “Beth-peor”, which signifies “the house or temple of peor,” since they had, on its pinnacle, exalted Baal, that is, the sun. The Moabites had placed an idol of Baal upon the top of mount Peor, upon which we find Balaam commanding Balak, “Build me here seven altars, and prepare me here seven bullocks and seven rams.” (Num. xxiii.28) Balak had offered a bull and ram upon each altar, and when such a pagan rite was done, Balaam had realized his soothsayings were but chimeras, and thus “saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel,” (Num. xxiv.1) and declared that the Almighty’s kingdom “shall be exalted.” (Num. xxiv.7) The anger of Balak was kindled again by Balaam’s refusal, and the king had told the wizard to “flee thou to thy place: I thought to promote thee unto great honour; but, lo, the Lord hath kept thee back from honour.” (Num. xxiv.11) Before departure, Balaam, by the influence of the Almighty, prophesies the coming of Christ; the Messiah Whose arrival the Mesopotamian charmer declares will not occur within the time of his generation, nor in any near age. Balaam prognosticates to the king, not only the first coming of Christ, but the second, in which the Messiah shall vanquish Moab and Edom, two lands which are a part of Arabia, and two lands which are now under Muhammad’s spell. “I shall see him,” declared Balaam on the coming of Christ, “but not now: I shall behold him, but not nigh: there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a passion for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city.” (Num. xxiv.17-19)
In the history of paganism, we see how people in Mesopotamia also had a knowledge of the true God mixed in with idolatry. When Jacob, the son of Isaac, had resided in Mesopotamia with his wives Rachel and Leah, under the roof of his uncle and father-in-law Laban, he had received from God a commandment to leave the land for Canaan. “I am the God of Beth-el,” declared the Lord to Jacob, “and where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred.” (Gen. 31:13) Before leaving Mesopotamia, Rachel, still observing the idolatry of her ancestors, had seized the images of her father Laban without the knowledge of Jacob. (Genesis 31:19)
When the men of Shinar had endeavored to construct a tower to bridge their world with the host of heaven, they had commenced and established a belief which would perpetuate to the souls of Mesopotamia’s pagan posterity, be it Babylonian, AssyrianAkkadian, or Sumerian. King Gilgamesh was said to have built “Numunburra of the House of Enlil.” At Ur, the founder of the third Sumerian dynasty, Ur-Nammu, and his son Dungi, began the construction of “the great” ziggurat which was finally completed by Nabonidus, which consisted of four stages with one on top of the other; the first stage being 9.75 meters, the second 2.50 meters, the third 2.30 meters, and the fourth 4 meters. King Khammurabi and his son Samsu-iluna, constructed the top of the ziggurat Unirkidur-makh, so that it would be “made high, like heaven.” In a revolt against the Assyrian king Sardanapallus, as we are told by Diodorus, a Babylonian priest named Belesys embraced the spirit of defiance against the ruler, and with rebellion did he avow to Baal that if success was brought to the revolution, and their coup completed, he would bring fourth the ashes of the despot to Babylon, and deposit them near the Euphrates where he would construct a mound which would evoke such awe on all those who sailed through the river. The construction was to be “an eternal memorial” of Arbaces, the man who led the revolt. Although Belesys was lying to the rebel, it nonetheless is indicative that the use of towers or mounds to express eminence, and establish an eternal name, was based on the worship of ancestors. To the sycophants of this land, the heaven was not that sublime kingdom of the Almighty, but the place wherein the planets and stars had kept afloat, or what may be called “the frame of heaven;” and so the the continuance of mediocrity was preserved in the minds of wizards, and made mighty by a venerating multitude. The Chaldean necromancer had almost the entire world of the divine in the host of heaven, and thus did he worship those corrupt spirits which had fallen from the true Heaven.
In a treaty of king Esarhaddon of Assyria, it forewarns the reader that he is “adjured by the gods of heaven and earth”, and among such divinities are listed “Jupiter, Venus, Saturn, Mercury, Mars, and Sirius;” and the god Marduk, according to the necromancers of Babylon, “founded the station of Nebiru [Jupiter]”,and he as well “constructed stations for the great gods, fixing their astral likeness as constellations.” The Chaldean had set his gaze upon the beaming sun, and had called the luminary “the light of the gods,” and “the establisher of heaven and earth;” he as well bestowed upon it the title of “he who illuminates the expanse of heaven and earth.” The sun was believed by the Sumerians to have been “at the base of heaven”; and though the names of the gods of the Sumerians and Babylonians may have altered, from the time of Nimrod’s reign to those of later kingdoms, it would not disprove the fact that the gods of these later civilizations were based upon the same astral system. This belief has its connections with the tyranny of the kings who reigned in Mesopotamia; the despotic power of the tyrant was bestowed upon him by the astral divinities in the sky, and with such jurisdiction did he enforce his subjects to build in harmony, step-towers dedicated to the stars and planets above them, and built for the sake of his glory. Such was the narrow view which those builders in Shinar had of the incomprehensible realm of the Almighty; the seat of God had existed, in their eyes and mind, which was so riddled with chimeras and superstition, in the physical bodies which were viewed under the night sky.
THE COLLECTIVISM OF THE TEMPLE AND ITS IDOLATRY
What took place in Babel was continually attempted by the later kings of Mesopotamia. When one looks to the aspects of Sumerian civilization, one finds that in each city was a most cherished temple, which gradually became a ziggurat or temple-tower, the most important structure of the metropolis. These lofty temples were the centers of each city, showing full well that that which was endeavored in Shinar had perpetuated to these later times. The tower of each city-state had towered above all the homes of the subjects, since it was to be the focal point of their lives, the unifier of the individuals which had made them collectivist.
In the age of Sumerian civilization, we find Gudea, an ancient king, building a tower with a design based on the heavenly bodies. The king, as he slumbered during the starry night, had a dream in which he saw a man of a colossus figure; his body was between two lions, he had the wings of a lion-headed bird, a divine crown was placed on his head, and his lower body appeared as a “flood-wave”. The angelic being commanded Gudea to construct his temple, but the king understood not. When, in his dream, the sun arose, there appeared a woman, with a gold stylus in her hand, studying a tablet which depicted the heaven riddled with start. A heroic figure then appeared, holding a tablet of lapis lazuli, on which he drew out a plan for a house; he placed brick in a brick mold, together with a carrying basket. While this was occurring, an impatient donkey appeared, hitting against the earth. The king awoke, his spirit uneasy, and in his trouble did he inquire with the goddess Nanshe for an interpretation. The goddess proclaimed that the winged figure which he saw in his dream, was the god Ningirsu, the power in, and to, the yearly rains of the spring season and river floods, and his command was to construct the temple Eninnu; the woman that appeared to him holding a tablet which showed an astrological based temple, was the goddess of writing Nidaba, commanding him to construct the sanctuary in accordance with the “holy stars.” The heroic figure was architect god Nindub, who was revealing the physical design for the structure; his brick mold, and “the brick of fate” which he placed in it, was symbolic for the building blocks which he would use in the actual building. The meaning of his dream was deciphered; his spirits were high, and in his religious fervor did he, like Nimrod in the plain of Shinar, command his people to construct this beheld edifice of the celestial bodies. Numerous phrases and appellations of the Eninnu are reminiscent to that of the Tower of Babel, in regards to its astral connections, and the want of its builders to establish a great name. The Eninnu was praised as “the house whose halo thrusts against heaven, whose offices embrace heaven and earth,” showing the intent of the Sumerians to have the temple connect both heaven and earth, as those of Babel. This is made clearer by another verse from the same text which calls the Enninu that which “separated heaven and earth,” and in another which describes the temple-tower’s head as being between “heaven and earth,” thus acting as a metaphoric bridge. The loftiness of the Enninu was likened to the Sumerian with, as we read from an ancient cylinder, “the heights of heaven awe-inspiring; the roofing of the house, like a white cloud, was floating in the midst of heaven.”
In a cylinder of Gudea, the god Ningirsu praises the king for the temple-tower, proclaiming thus:–“you had [my house] shine for me like Utu [the sun god] in [heaven’s mist], separating, like a lofty foothill range, heaven and earth.”
In bestowing several blessings upon the temple-tower, Gudea equated and compared it with several natural phenomena, exclaiming thus:–“It is the blue sky carrying splendor! …It is the sun arrived–laden with loveliness! …Eninnu is like the moon at dawn, shining upon the country.”
A close comparison can be made between the Sumerian Gudea and the earliest tyrant of Shinar, Nimrod: both had temple-towers constructed to compete, or vie, with the heaven, and to make a great name for themselves; and both edifices were dedicated to the host of heaven. On the top of Gudea’s tower was placed a crown appearing as a new moon, which has a crescent shape. In a cylinder of Gudea, we find an adoration for Gudea and his tower, which is strikingly similar to the aspirations of the Babel builders, alongside intentions of gaining fame and rivaling with heaven:
“Well did he build his master’s house, Gudea, the able shepherd, made it grow (to vie) with the heaven and earth, had it wear a crown like the new moon, had its fame go forth unto the heart of the highlands.”
As the people at Babel collectively built the tower, so were the subjects of Gudea to unite with bliss as they, in unison, built this temple Eninnu. People from diverse nations, such as Magan and Meluha, or Egypt and Ethiopia, were pilgrimage to Eninnu in their universal reverence, just as it was in Shinar:
“Next, for the sleeper, for the sleeper, at the head her stood, was briefly touching him: ‘O you who are to build for me, O you who are to build for me, ruler who are to build for me my house, Gudea–for building my house let me give you the signposts and let me tell you the stars above, (the heralds) of my appointed tasks. The offices of my house, Eninnu, founded by An, are great offices surpassing all (other) offices. Espying from afar its owner, the house has, as the thunderbird, the heavens quake before its roar. Thrust against heaven is its dread halo, and over all lands hovers great awe of my house, at (the mention of) its name, all lands will gather, e’en from heaven’s borders; Magan and Meluhha will come down from their mountains.”
Later, the inscription illustrates the use of foreign labour to erect this sanctuary, further indicating its universalist purpose:
“The Elamite came to him from Elam, the Susian came to him from Susa, Magan and Meluhha in their mountains loaded wood upon their shoulders for him and gathered, to build Ningirsu’s house, to Gudea to his city Girsu.”
The worshippers who congregated within the Enninu would, in complete unison, sing their chants to their gods, being a further evidence to the collectivist nature of the temple-towers:
“The house, founded by An [heaven] on refined silver, adorned with antimony paste paste, standing forth like the moon amid the splendors of heaven, a house whose front was like a great mountain, firmly grounded, its inside (full of) chants and singing in close harmony, its rear the sky, a mighty storm cloud risen amid abundance.”
With all of the texts quoted, the Enninu is another evidence that the temple-tower, from its provenance in Shinar, and throughout the later Mesopotamian kingdoms, was connected to both collectivism, and astral religion; and that the latter is inseparable from the former.
One of the most revealing texts of Mesopotamia, for finding the traits of Nimrod’s beliefs in those of the posterity, is one which belongs to Shulgi, a king of Ur, and the successor of king Ur-Nammu; he reigned for forty-eight years, and though he established his reputation as a sovereign who brought relative order and peace in Sumer, his religious views is found paralleling that of a tyrant A hero was he proclaimed; his throne did he gaze upon as being high as heaven, and from the celestial kingdom, as he was convinced, descended to him his sacred crown. The subjects of Shulgi, like those of Babel, praise him in a collective manner. Tyranny is founded upon such unity; for the binding of souls is but bondage by the state. “How could Collectivism work,” asked Hilaire Belloc, “without a military despotism? How could it work with the existing attitude of the individual conscience unchanged?” While the tyrant claims to uphold justice and equality, he enforces them for reasons different from those of the righteous; the former justifies the tyrant to inflict the subject when he observes his individuality, and the latter, a common cliche of the enemies of liberty, represents enforced collectivism. Such was the custom of sovereigns in Mesopotamia, from Nimrod onwards. “I, the king,” proclaims Shulgi, “a hero from the (mother’s) womb am I, I, Shulgi, a mighty man from (the day) I was born am I […] the trustworthy, the god of all the lands am I […] Like my heroship, like my might, I am accomplished in wisdom (as well) […] By the side of my spouse, the maid Inanna […] An [heaven] set the holy crown upon my head, made me take the scepter in the ‘lapis-lazuli’ Ekur, on the radiant dais, he raised heaven high the firmly founded throne, he exalted the power of (my) kingship. I bent low all the lands, made secure the people, the four-corners of the universe, the people in unison, call my name, chant holy songs, pronounce my exaltation (saying): ‘He that it nurtured by the exalted power of kingship, presented by Sin, out of the Ekishnagal, with heroship, might, and a good life, endowed with lofty power by Nanamnir, Shulgi, of all the foreign lands, who makes all the people secure, who in accordance with the me of the universe, Shulgi, cherished by the trusted son of An (Sin)!”
In the mind of the Sumerian, kings were divinely granted the authority to conquer other peoples for the purpose of enslaving them, forcing them to toil for the luster of a temple-tower, and thus for the supremacy of the throne. This is fully exemplified by king Enmerkar or Erech, or Uruk, when he had declared his wish to vanquish the king of Aratta in Persia, seize all of the land’s precious metals and stones, and enslave all of his people. The metals were to be added, by the toil and laboring of the captured, to his beloved temple of Venus, or Inanna, to only elevate its pomp, and degrade the shackled builders. Inanna would see the subjugation of human beings with delight, and the Sun, or Utu, would gaze upon the monarch with joy, and thus was the servility of mortals under the throne justified by the host of heaven.
“May Aratta skillfully work me gold and silver for Uruk,” proclaimed Enmerkar to Inanna, “may it cut me clear lapis lazuli in its blocks, and with amber and clear lapis lazuli may Aratta in Uruk build a pure mountain! May Aratta build in a high place the exterior of your abode, the house come down from heaven, may Aratta skillfully do up for me the interior of your seat … May Aratta submit to Uruk for me, may the people of Aratta fetch [d]own for me mountain stone [from their mounta]ins, may they build the Urugal for me, and may they set out great banquets for me, produce for me great banquets, ban[quets for the gods,] and make for me my sacred office in Kullab what rightly it should be! May they make the Apsu temple shoot up for me like the pure mountains, and they make Eridu pristine for me like the foothills, may they make the Apsu close stand out like silver in the lode! …may the people look at me admiring, and Utu joyfully watch me!”
After such a request, Venus appears in the sky and commands Enmerkar to send a messenger to Arrata, demanding the full submission of his kingdom to Erech. And when such was done, Enmerkar was to “Shine forth like a sun disk … Praise be unto you Enmerkar, son of Utu [the Sun]!” Once the messenger had reached Aratta, he had declared the threat of Enmerkar: “Enmerkar, son of Utu, has sent me to you; what my master has to say (is:) ‘May I not have to make his city fly off from him like wild doves from their tree, may I not have to make it fly like birds out of their nests, may I not have to appraise it at current market rate (for slaves).” And, ultimately, Arrata was conquered and made subject to the despotic Enmerkar.
To the eyes of this tyrant there was no evil in conquering a nation to seize its belongings, and to shackle its people to have them collectively slave for the luster of a temple. His utopian idea was thought righteous because Venus had saw it with favor; he was esteemed as the son of Utu, or the Sun, and thus was granted with the divine right of tyrants advance, by the sword, a universal empire, blessed by host of heaven. His temple of Inanna had served for the same purpose as the Tower of Babel: the lowering of a multitude of mortals, only to be under the shadow of a towering tyrant. Only one who’s soul is absent of that light which emanates from the sublime teachings of Christ, could esteem that evil may be inflicted upon men by the justification of superstition.
The king of Lagash, Ur-Nanshe, built a temple to the god Ningirsu, one to Ninmar, and another to Gatumdug, and the wood used to contract them was taken as tribute from the other nations which had submitted to him. On a door socket dedicated to Ur-Nanshe, was found an inscription dedicated to this conquering king; it refers to the said temples, and the taken material to erect these monuments of despotism for those deities of the infernal abyss:
“Ur-Nanshe, the king of Lagash, the son of Gunidu, the son of Gurmu, built the house of Ningirsu: built the house of Nanshe: built the house of Gatumdug: built the harem: built the house of Ninmar. The ships of Dilmun brought him wood as a tribute from foreign lands. He built the Ibqal: built the Kinir: built the sceptre-house.”
The Ekur, the most infamous temple of the Sumerian, believed to have been the bridge between the heaven and earth, and a collectivist sanctuary, was immensely associated with the expanding of a universal empire. The king, or shepherd, was believed to have been chosen by Enlil, the god who would confer to him the submission of nations, and the victims of the conquering sword. And the property of the vanquished, seized in the indulgence of rapine, and their tribute, was to be placed in the Ekur:
“Enlil, unto the shepherd kindly regarded by you, duly called and raised to office in the country by you, lands to his hands, lands to his feet submit to him far and wide in the highlands. In layers like snow, things from all the world, greeting gifts, their heavy tribute, he has arrive in the storehouse; the regular offerings he sends straight to the main courtyard, brings them in heaps (!?) in the lustrous house Ekur.”
Because the Ekur was believed to have been a uniter of all nations, as was the Tower of Babel, it was also held to be temple associated with conquest, and the advancing of an empire.
In the Hymn to Kesh, one of the oldest pieces of Sumerian writing discovered, the fragmented copies of the original dating to the early third millennium B.C., it describes the storehouses of the temple-tower Kesh as reaching from earth to heaven, and thus make its corners as large as the four corners of the cosmos traditionally known. “[I]t’s (well)-stocked storehouse is the corners of heaven and the corners of earth,” reads the hymn; It is another clear indication that the temple-tower, from its very provenance, was interconnected with the expansion of empire, and the supremacy of its conquering builders.
When the Sumerian king Gudea had finished the construction of his temple-tower Eninnu, it was believed that various deities were assigned certain duties, by the god Ningirsu, in the caring for the edifice. One god of war, Lugalkurdub, was summoned to “hold the seven-headed mace and, opening the doors of the armory, the gate of battle, regularly to keep in proper shape the sword blades, the mittum-(mace), the flood storm(-weapon), and the (weapon) ‘Bitterness,’ its implements of battle, so as to submerge like (flood)waters the totality of Enlil’s enemies, the highlands at (his) mercy, the mighty marshal of Eninnu, a falcon to rebel regions”. Another verse from the same text further shows the connection which the Eninnu, and thus temple-towers as a whole, had with military expansion. The war-god Kurshunashenam is commissioned for the caring of the Enninu, and in describing his attributes and nature, the verse states that he “would, when the lord [Ningirsu] has frowned upon the rebel region, the highland, when he had hurled at it his angry voice, had become enraged, be going about his duties for the lord Ningirsu.”
Gudea also places inside his temple-tower his weapons used for the conquest of other lands, such as a “chariot… terror-laden, riding the great gales… The seven-headed mace, the fierce battle weapon, the weapon under which the earth’s four corners cannot bear up, a battle bludgeon, the mittu(-mace)… the sword blades, the nine standards, and the (very) arm of martial prowess, his bow… his angry arrows all set to flash like lightening in the battle, and his quiver… weapons of battle for outfitting kingship, was the ruler, the builder of the house, Gudea, ruler of Lagash, bestowing upon it [the Eninnu] as gifts.”
Within the Eninnu lied also a “lapis lazuli chariot laden with allure”, alongside the war deity Ningirsu, “a very sun god.”
The king was believed to have received his power in the temple-tower; for his coronation ritual was conduct within the lofty sanctuary. One text describes the rite being observed by a Sumerian king in Erech in the temple-tower Eanna:
“He (the ruler) entered into Eanna. He drew near the resplendent throne dais. He placed the bright scepter in his hand. He drew near the throne dais of Nin-men-na (‘Lady of the Crown’)
he fastened the golden crown upon his head.”
THAT THE TEMPLE-TOWERS WERE DEDICATED TO THE PLANETS AND STARS
In the knowledge of astrology in the Near East, the Chaldeans were most learned. It would have been required in the envisioning of Nimrod’s tower, with its design based on the heavenly bodies; for the ziggurats and temple-towers of later Mesopotamia, were as well constructed for the purpose of astral veneration. This necromancy was greatly observed by the Chaldeans, most definitely, in a very ancient period. The Chaldeans would attest to this, since they had believed themselves to belong to the most ancient people of Babylon; a statement which also rests on Josephus, who wrote that Arphaxad, a son of Shem and the father of the Chaldeans, was born only twelve years after the flood. So early was this superstition amongst the Chaldeans, that it has been affirmed that their system of astrology had already been set in place at the time of Abraham’s birth in “Ur of the Chaldees.” It is therefore of no marvel that Chaldean kings, or more accurately, priest-kings, would follow the folly of Babel, and erect temple-towers for the sole purpose of acquiring a great name, political authority, and to collectivize the subjects under the throne.
Nebuchadnezzar described the motivation of resuming the ziggurat’s construction, the words of which are reminiscent to the description of Enlil, and the purpose which the builders at Shinar proclaimed: “To raise up the top of Etemenanki that it may rival heaven, I laid to my hand”, a confirmation of Nimrod’s perpetuating influence throughout the ancient Near East, in regards to the ziggurat, its bases on astrology, and its rivalry with heaven.
When Nebuchadnezzar had exalted himself for the building of a temple-tower to Marduk, and his repairing of the House of the Seven Lights of the Earth, the tower which has been shown to be the Tower of Babel, he had requested of the gods Nebo and Marduk to empower his warring hand, grant him victory over other lands, and to bestow blessings upon his buildings in order to preserve his imperial power, which implies that the temple-tower was indeed associated with the aspiration of universal empire. “Nebo,” says he, “son of himself, ruler who exaltest Merodach, be propitious to my works, to maintain my authority. Grant me… the stability of my throne, the victory of my sword, the pacification of foes, the triumph over the lands! O Merodach… bless my buildings, strengthen my authority.” Since Nebuchadnezzar is here connecting his repairing of the Tower of Babel with his imperial authority and conquests, it should not be doubted that the builders of Shinar had held the same reasons for their building when they had endeavored in the original construction of the infamous structure.
THAT NOT ALL MEN WERE CORRUPTED BY PAGANISM, BUT THAT A FEW STAYED THE COURSE,
The victor within the battle of ideas cannot be predicted as though it were a science. Values are not determined by evolutionary biology, as the moderns would have us think, but are chosen purely by the free will of man. There lies a recurring wind within the souls of men: all of mankind had once known God, but soon forgot Him; some rediscovered Him, only to have their posterity soon forget again. Man is forgetting God yet again, and as a lost traveller retraces his steps to find his way, so must we peruse the annals of history to find our original religion.
“And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.” (Gen. 8:20.)
Such was a rite first established by the Almighty, partaken by Noah after the flood, and eventually defiled by human blood and that heathen confusion which emanates from turbulent souls. Upon the altar of Noah, the first recorded in antiquity, were the bodies of clean beasts and fowl; and upon those of later heathens was the blood of man, shed for the thirst of gods infernal and sinister. Redemption was bestowed upon man for such a sacrifice; and after the pure rite was completed did Noah receive from his Creator laws which had honored life, and expressed with the sternest prohibition the shedding of human blood. It is the law of the City of God; broken were they by those enemies of liberty, citizens of the City of the Devil, who glorify in the chains of despotism, and are vexed by that Prince of Peace who prevails over the dark creed of the pagan.
It calls for the honoring of the sanctity of the human soul, the continuity of mankind, the preventing of mortals from barbarism, the affirmation that men are under God alone and may in no way be despotic demagogues, and the end of those who thirst for the blood of man. “Be fruitful and multiply,” declared the Almighty to Noah, “and replenish the earth. And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth, and upon every fowl of the air, upon all that moveth upon the earth, and upon all the fishes of the sea; into your hand are they delivered. Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green have I given you all things. But flesh with the life thereof, which is the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man. Whose sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.” (Gen. 9: 1-6) These sublime commands of the Almighty places man as not belonging to himself, but to his Creator, and therefore was mankind designed to be not under the possession of earthly governments, but free from them. The laws given to Noah hold dearly to the honoring of man, not as an animal, but as a human soul.
But such laws did many men spurn, and in time were the seeds of despotism planted in the soils of Shinar; the multitude had cultivated their own souls, and by such laboring for evil to prevail, did there sprout the tower which they believed would ascend them from earth to the host of heaven. The fruits of their labour had arisen; they toiled the dry dirt, and when the time of harvest came, all that had been found was not wheat, but tares. But, regardless of the tares which revered the tower, there were amongst them the wheat. “Let both grow together”, says the Christ, “until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” (Matthew 13:30) Before that time comes, the war between the two Cities, that of God and that of Satan, shall continue; and since the latter is the lord of this world, it is to be expected that the evil shall be many, and the saints few. “So there is nothing thou shouldst wonder at,” declares Boethius, “if on the high seas of this life we are tossed by storm-blasts, seeing that we have made it our chiefest aim to refuse compliance with evildoers. And though, maybe, the host of the wicked is many in number, yet is it contemptible, since it is under no leadership, but is hurried hither and thither at the blind driving of mad error.”
But while many a nation have fallen and decayed to the capricious and heathen passions of modish peoples, the Saints of God have always remained, their feet posted on the path of truth, their minds grounded upon that moral sense granted to them by the Divine; and written upon their hearts are those Laws of the Almighty, which were, are, and will always be preserved by the righteous, who see the Light of the Church in the darkness, as more important than any vain and vague popularity to which the masses flock to; the tranquility of the peaceful life than for the chaotic ways of the masses. The saint is like a bird: he forever more sings unto God, and without ceasing is ever so focused on the Heaven as the trilling thrush tirelessly flies toward the sun.
Regardless of those laws inculcated after the flood, most of mankind had chosen rather to corrupt the altar, and the laws of Noah, and therefore to spill, instead of honor, the blood of man; and to subject, instead of respect, one’s fellowman. Since the earliest forms of this corruption, after the deluge, resulted in the building of Babel and its tower in Shinar, it is incumbent for us to inquire how that most sublime altar of Noah was defiled for the sake of deified planets, stars, and men, in Mesopotamia. From Noah did all men learn of sacrifice, and by men was the holy rite used for evil. According to Richard Hooker, the heathen had preserved the story of Noah only by report, as opposed to written record, as was used by Moses in his writing, by divine inspiration, of the first five books of Holy Scripture; and therefore, over time, it was tainted with the fabulous imaginations of wizards, where as the truth was preserved in the sacred works of God’s people. Surely this foolish way of preserving histories is used by Lucifer to taint the truth; for he, to use the words of Tertullian, “from the beginning has been the despoiler of the divine image.” But authenticity is always easy to spot out; as one may distinguish between an original painting from a copy by the distinct creativity of its master, so one may discern between pure and pristine holy history, and the corruptions of it. The vague tales of the heathen speak of their god as creating the world from pre-existing parts, not from eternity nor conceived by unbegotten command; and yet how sublime, transcendent, and of the purest beauty is the history composed by Moses, in which God Himself, not with any assistance nor matter, brings the universe and the cosmos into existence by His very Word.
Paul’s recounting that the heathen had “changed the truth of God into a lie,” (Rom. i. 25) is made clearer by the Babylonian tradition on the creation. The Chaldean historian Berosus, when writing on the genesis of the world, does not begin with “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth,” but “In the beginning, all was darkness and water, and therein were generated monstrous animals of strange and peculiar forms.”The creation account of the Babylonian does not contain that sublime and pure character of Genesis, but is of a most “mundane and grotesque” disposition. The Almighty created the world ex nihlo, or out of nothing, while the Babylonian Baal merely plays a role within the creation itself, matter already existing without divine action. God, in Genesis, by His own will creates the heavens and the earth; Baal on the other hand takes a woman named Thalath and splits her “in twain; and of the one half of her he made the heaven, and of the other half the earth”.
The belief that God created the heavens and the earth out of pre-existing parts is a tyrannical one, for if God can only create with physical pieces then He is limited as man is limited, and thus man can be like God. This same belief is what gave justification to the heretical German tyrant Fredrick II, who declared that since God created the world with already existing matter, he then was equal to God.
Moses declared that the Almighty had “formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” (Gen. ii. 7) Such a pure account is emphatically superior to the reprobate story of the Babylonian, who believed that Baal had himself decapitated by another god, who he bade to “mix the blood which flowed forth with earth, and form men therewith, and beasts that could bear the light.” The true purpose of man’s provenance was to live in pure bliss and peace in the Garden of Eden, but the Babylonian, following the corruption of the authentic account, believed that Bel-Marduk made mortals to be the slaves of the gods:
“Arteries I will know and bring bones into being. I will create lullu, ‘man’ be his name; I will form lilli, man. Let him be burdened with the toil of the gods, that they may freely breathe.”
It is from these writings of Babylon where we find the corruption of the true event of Genesis. And because Babylon was the first land to have been adopted into the City of Darkness, and to have made war with the City of God, Berosus’ tainting of the truth is apparently the result of that decay of the soul which began with Nimrod in Mesopotamia.
The degraded view of the Babylonian on the creation of man, would lead to a path of degradation on human life, and so would the laws of Noah be looked upon with contempt by such a people. The altar was, from the beginning, to be honored with the blood of beasts and birds for the redemption of the Almighty, but the peoples of Mesopotamia had accepted the corruption of what Noah had done upon leaving the ark.
The corruption of the altar is found in the Babylonian account of Noah’s sacrifice after the flood. Moses recounts that Noah “builded an altar unto the Lord;” (Gen. 8:20) the Babylonian account, by Berosus, states that Ziusudra, the one who had prevented man’s total destruction by the flood, after exiting the ark, “fell down and worshipped the earth, and built an altar, and offered sacrifice to the gods; after which he disappeared from sight, together with those who had accompanied him.” The Sumerian account of the flood exemplifies this same corruption of the true history of Noah, and has the patriarch turn to the worship of the Sun (Utu) instead of pure religion: “After, for seven days (and) seven nights, the flood had swept over the land, and the huge boat had been tossed about by the windstorms of the great waters, Utu [the sun god] came forth, who sheds light on heaven (and) earth, Ziusudra opened a window of the huge boat, the hero Utu brought his rays into the giant boat, Ziusudra, the king, prostrated himself before Utu, the king kills an ox, slaughters a sheep.”
Noah places himself under God, while Ziusudra immediately turns to idolatry. Another Sumerian account has Uta-napishti, a different name for Ziusudra, espouse the same corruption of Noah’s sacrifice. Uta-napishti, like Noah, sends from the ark a dove to see if the waters have receded, but it returns; he sends a swallow but it too comes back to rest; he lastly lets loose a raven, which never returns, giving the sign that it was now safe to leave the large boat. But, although this part of the story is similar to that of Noah sending out birds from the ark, the Sumerians had accepted a tainted rendering of the truth; for they had presented the patriarch, upon his leaving of the boat, as not sacrificing to God, but to nature. “I brought out an offering,” says Uta-napishti, “to the four winds made sacrifice, incense I placed on the peak of the mountain. Seven flasks and seven I set in position, reed, cedar and myrtle I piled beneath them.”
Noah observes his offering upon the altar as a way of expressing man’s need for redemption, thus acknowledging his inferiority to God; while Uta-napishti ascends to the top of a mountain to bridge himself, like those of Babel, to heaven, receives no redemption, and thus implies a belief that one is above salvation. When Noah had made his burnt offering, “the Lord smelled a sweet savour;” (Gen. 8:21) He blesses mankind with redemption, which He establishes by the sign of the bow or rainbow. “And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it,” declared the Almighty, “that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.” (Gen. 9:16) God bestows upon man His eternal redemption, while in the Sumerian corruption of the true story, Enlil, the head god of the pantheon, is enraged upon seeing the sacrifice of Uta-napishti, saying to the spirits of heaven (the Igigi): “[From] where escaped this living being? No man was meant to survive the destruction!”
To the Sumerian, the flood was an act of evil done by Enlil, whose intention was not to destroy the wicked and preserve the righteous, but to annihilate all of mankind. God had foretold to Noah the coming flood, to preserve the saints; but the Sumerian deities had, to the surprise and anger of Enlil, warned Uta-napishti because they had needed man to be their slaves, as they would later reveal: “But there is one secret of the gods: They need men.” When Noah had made his sacrifice, God redeemed mankind, and had then communicated to him His law, which commanded man to replenish the earth, honor human life, and eschew barbarity; no such thing is conveyed by Enlil to Uta-napishti. Instead, Enlil disputes as to how Uta-napishti had knowledge of the coming flood, and even receives rebuke from his contemporaries for commencing it. “Instead of your causing the Deluge,” chides Ea to Enlil, “a famine could have happened, and slaughtered the land! Instead of your causing the Deluge, the Plague God could have risen, and slaughtered the land!”
The account of Moses presents us with a most serious Creator, affirming His decision to punish man with a great flood, preserving the righteous Noah and his family, and then blessing the mortals with forgiveness; it is an event which foreshadows the Christ and His sacrifice which is salvation for all; but the tale of the Sumerian is a mere corruption of the truth, which provides for man not redemption, but a comedy. God gives Noah His perfect law, which had affirmed that man belonged to God, and not to other men; the Sumerian had recounted that Uta-napishti was transformed from being mortal to a god by Enlil, after enduring the rebuke of Ea. “In the past Uta-napishti was a mortal man,” says Enlil to the patriarch, “but now he and his wife shall become like us gods! Uta-napishti shall dwell far away, where the rivers flow forth!”
Moses does not espouse a cult of Noah, but merely recounts that “he died.” (Gen. 9:29) The Babylonians, corrupting the story of Noah with the cloud of heathenism, like the Sumerians, believed that Ziusudra had supernaturally disappeared; and his voice was heard declaring himself divine with apotheosis: “Worship God; for because I worshipped God, am I gone to dwell with the gods; and they who were with me have shared the same honour.” Man is to now worship nature, and to no longer be under God, but equal with Him. No longer would the altar of Noah be used to show man’s independence on God, but for the vain glory of tyrannical wizards endeavoring for apotheosis. When a people turn to paganism, they will turn to tyranny. The first king of Babel, Nimrod, had began his reign with both despotism, and the building of a tower which was to be a symbol of paganism; hence both tyranny and idolatry are associated.
The first city of tyranny and idolatry, after the flood, was built in Mesopotamia, and it was for this reason why God had bade Abraham to leave this land of oppression. Idolatry had overran the world so immensely that God had to appoint a saint to preserve His holy precepts. He was called by divine inspiration to leave his native land, Ur of the Chaldees, and to go to Canaan where a new beginning was to be started; where the City of God was going to be established and become the only true force against the City of the Devil. Thus St. Paul writes: “By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:8-10) As Noah and his family was preserved from the deluge, so was Abraham called from the waters of idolatry, which had flooded the whole world. Many souls were drowned by the flood waters, but few had the Spirit which brings one to eternal life. Abraham, out of all the land of Mesopotamia, was the most upright, as we find in the Dead Sea Scrolls, in which Daniel recounts how God had searched “among the sons of [men, to find one righteous…] […Abraham, I]s[aac, and Jacob…]”.
Ur was a major site for the worship of the moon. The moon-god Nanna, or Sin, was praised as “lord of Ur,” and the Sumerians had held a tradition that after the genesis of the world, the gods Anu and Enlil had entrusted the city of Ur to the lord of the moon. Even the very name of Ur had signified a place dedicated to the veneration of the moon.
The Chaldeans who had lived in Ur were subjected by the chains of vain and diabolical beliefs, and even in such a place did God, in the words of St. Stephen to the Jews, “appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran, and said unto him, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and come into the land which I will shew thee.” (Acts 7:2-3) Abraham and his family had journeyed out of Ur, originally with the purpose of settling in Canaan, but on the way they made their stop in Charran, or Ha’ran, which is located in Mesopotamia, that land of despotism where the patriarch was commanded to utterly depart.
“And Terah took Abram his son,” writes Moses, “and Lot the son of Har’an his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan unto Ha’ran and dwelt there.” (Gen. 11:31) The people of Harran had followed the same idolatrous creeds of the Chaldeans of Ur. In Harran there lied a ziggurat where priests would ascend to worship the moon; the god Sulpauddu, or the planet Mercury, was worshipped as “the messenger of the rising sun,” and “the prince of the men of Kharran [Harran]”.
Harran was even described by Adad-guppi, the mother of king Nabonidus, as belonging to the crescent moon-god Sin, calling it “his city”. The corruption of the altar was as well observed in Harran, since on a seal found in that land, there is inscribed the image of a priest in worship before an altar with a star above it, and behind this engraved picture reads a text: “the god of Kharran.”
It was this idolatry which Abraham, by the inspiration of God, had eschewed. But, before such an inspiration occurred, Abraham and his family, though they had knew God, had followed the same folly of tainting the truth with idols. “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel,” declared the inspired Joshua to all of the tribes of Israel, “Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah, the father of Abraham, and the father of Nachor: and they served other gods.” (Joshua 24:2) They had conjoined their traditional knowledge of the true God with those images of astral and naturist worship.
But the Almighty had brought him out of that land of tyranny, into Canaan where Israel, the nation of the City of God, would begin. The words of the Lord, by the mouth of Joshua, continues thus:–“And I took your father Abraham from the other side of the flood, and led him throughout all the land of Canaan, and multiplied his seed, and gave him Isaac.” (Joshua 24:3) The “flood,” here mentioned, is referring to the Euphrates river which runs through Mesopotamia, the land of fantasy, which Abraham had left for the land of truth. And as the patriarch still resided in Harran, the Lord again had spoke to him, declaring thus:–“Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee; and I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. 12:1-3) No more was he to be a part of “the land of graven images”; (Jeremiah 50:38) no longer a citizen of that first kingdom of sinister sovereignty.
A citizen of God’s City was Abraham, and from his family, and from him countrymen, was he to sever himself; for in their hands did they hold their idols, and their hearts, souls, and minds, were in the possession of deities of a mad and frenzied nature. The destiny of man was foreseen by Abraham; he had known through Divine inspiration the coming Redeemer Who was to be the salvation to all the world. Christ Himself attested to this, declaring: “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John 8:56) It was in Shinar where the first tyranny was built, and in that land was a saint called to sweep the dust off a path neglected and forgotten; one which would have the loftiest of towers crumble, and would end the cruelest of tyrants; one which uplifts the soul of man, honors the individual, and spurns any attempt to make the life of mortals but a multitude of herds, all as one, bowing down to the golden image of a tyrant’s pomp. It was this path which had Abraham called to no longer be a part of a people, who collectively followed their despots, revered them as divine, and glorified their kingdom as one which ascended the heavens. It is the path which leads men from tyranny to true civilization. It is the path to God, and therefore to Christ, who in his return shall establish the City of God, and topple the City of the Devil, that well of all despotism. This path was spoken of by Christ, through the pen of David in the Psalms, Who speaks of His saints–the citizens of His Kingdom–His disdain for human sacrifice, His passion, and the path to God:
“Preserve me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust. O my soul, thou hast said unto my Lord, Thou art my my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; but to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight. Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips. The Lord is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. I will bless the Lord, who hath given me counsel: my reins also instruct me in the night seasons. I have set the Lord always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth: my flesh also shall rest in hope. For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16)
Here we have the Christ speaking of His future crucifixion; from His passion, do we receive salvation, and by accepting this, do we become saints. The rage of Christ against the offerings of blood by the heathen, is a declaration against pagan cruelty, and a sublime expression of His love for human life. The path of life is that which takes one from death, to the Kingdom of Heaven; it is that eternal salvation which the sacrifice of Christ has brought to us; for the Messiah declares that the Almighty will not leave His soul in hell. It is this path to salvation which St. Peter, reciting the same Psalm, proclaimed: “Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.” (Acts 2:28) Certainly it was this path which Abraham took; for when the beggar Lazarus had died he, in the words of Christ, “was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom”, which was in paradise. (Luke 16:22, 24) Abraham entered the Kingdom of Heaven; for he had worshipped the Messiah, Who is here without beginning nor end. “Verily, verily, I say unto you,” declares the Christ, “before Abraham was, I am.” (John 8:58) By following the path of God Abraham had gone to Canaan; by his posterity the nation of Israel was made; from there did the Christ arise; from Him we attain our salvation and our peace; and upon His coming will He establish the City of God, and then shall a new Jerusalem be founded. It is the City of God which is the true civilization, and all of the tyrannies of the world shall it crumble. The revelation which was bestowed upon Abraham, would commence the religion which is the basis for our morality, which places the blood of humanity over the those of beasts; beauty and elegance over the horrifying images and drawings of heathens, both of antiquity and today; and the unalienable rights of the individual over the reckless despotism of the mob. To use the words of Mozley: “The creed of Abraham has become the creed of the civilized world.” It must always be remembered that when Abraham had left Mesopotamia, he did so with the rejection of his native heathenish culture.
We find in Josephus, a declaration by Abraham before his migration from Ha’ran in Mesopotamia to Canaan, against the worship of the hosts of heaven, of which was to the tumult of the Chaldeans and other peoples of their land. His sentiments toward the idolatry would distinguish him from his countrymen; his words were but an evil to the idolater, but proclamations of relief from bondage to those of sound religion. Josephus recounts that Abraham had published his belief for the sake of the deceived souls in the land, who had held the perfidious creed that the heavenly bodies were deities. “If these bodies had power of their own,” declared the Abraham, “they would certainly take care of their own regular motions; but since they do not preserve such regularity, they make it plain, that in so far as they cooperate to our advantage, they do it not of their own abilities, but as they are subservient to him that commands them; to whom alone we ought justly to offer our honor and thanksgiving.” The righteous protest of Abraham fueled the frenzy of the idolatrous; like a mass of Muslims angered at infidels, did the the riotous nature, derived from the pagan dispossession, arise out of the souls of the people, and their violence had so justified the leaving of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, to Canaan.
Achior, a leader of the Ammonites, had told a similar account to Holofernes, a general of Nebuchadnezzar, when asked on who the Hebrews were, and whether or not it was worthy to war with them. “Let our lord now hear a word from the mouth of thy servant,” said Achior to Holofernes, “and I will declare unto thee the truth concerning the people which dwelleth near thee in this hill country, and there shall no lie come out of the mouth of thy servant. For this people is descended from the Chaldeans, and they dwelt heretofore in Mesopotamia, because they would not follow the gods of their fathers, which were glorious in the land of the Chaldeans, but went out of the way of their ancestors, and adored the God of heaven, whom they knew; and they fled into Mesopotamia, and dwelt there many days. And their God said to them, that they should depart from their habitation, and go into the land of Canaan; and they dwelt”. In another rendering of this quote from Achior, found in the Septuagint, the Ammonite recounts how the Hebrews were in fact “driven out of their land [Chaldea] because they refused to worship their ancestors’ gods.” (Judith 5.7-8)
By the words of both Abraham, as quoted by Josephus, and Achior, it is evident that the patriarch had left Ur for the reason that he had endured religious persecution by the hand of the Chaldean. This indicates the despotism of Chaldean idolatry: those who had followed it were a part of a collective body, and therefore when one had rejected their creed, one had become no longer a member of that collective, and was thus subjected to punishment. But, the fact that there was persecution toward those who had believed in the Almighty, signifies to us that God was not isolated, or solely exclusive to the Hebrews, as many believe. Since Noah knew God, his sons had to as well; when posterity grew, so did the corruption of the truth, hence heresy. Shinar is where we find the first significant result of this spiritual corruption, and therefore within this same land the true God must have been obscurely known. A perusal of Scripture will show, that in the times of Abraham, and even in those of Moses, within the land of Mesopotamia there was a struggle between individuals who had known the true God, and those who had believed in the corruption of the truth; and thus the war between the two Cites was being done even in those far ages of antiquity.
When Jacob had asked Laban, his uncle and father-in-law, and father of his wives Rachel and Leah, to be permitted to leave Ha’ran in Mesopotamia to go to Canaan, (Gen. 30:25-26) the latter had said: “I pray thee, if I have found favour in thine eyes, tarry: for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake.” (Gen. 30:27) Here Laban refers to the Lord, the true God; but later, when Jacob and his family were about to leave Ha’ran, without Laban’s knowledge, “Rachel had stolen the images that were her father’s.” (Gen. 31:19) These images, or the Teraphim, and some commentators even believe that they were images representing certain ancestors. Pseudo-Jonathan had affirmed that these idols were, in actuality, human heads which were decapitated in the ritual of human sacrifice, worshipped, and beheld as having the ability to supernaturally speak to their devotees. “For they would slay a man a first-born,” says he, “cut off his head and sprinkle it with salt and spices. They would write magical formulas on a plate of gold and put it under its tongue. Then they would it up on the wall, and it would speak to them. And it was these (idols) that her father [Laban] bent down.” Notwithstanding this, it is certain that Laban had intermixed the worship of the Almighty with the gods of his ancestors. This is evidenced by several events: firstly, when Laban had pursued his fleeing daughters, Rachel and Leah, and his son-in-law Jacob, (Gen. 31:23) he was visited by God Who commanded him thus:–“Take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.” (Gen. 31:24) When Laban had arrived to where Jacob and his family were settled, he had declared to them his vision, and acknowledged the God of Abraham: “It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your father spake unto me yesterday, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to jacob either good or bad.” (Gen. 31:29)
But while expressing belief in the true God, he subsequently asks Jacob on his idols: “And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longest after thy father’s house, yet wherefore had thou stolen my gods?” (Gen. 31:30) He esteems his idols as gods, and yet reveals to them what the true God had commanded him; it is thus emphatic that Laban, a Mesopotamian, had known the true God, while he had fell to the corruption of the truth by his countrymen, who had followed that rebellion which began in Shinar. It further shows that the inhabitants of Mesopotamia had not fully forgotten the true God who, therefore, was not first shown to Abraham nor Moses, but was known from the beginning. That Laban had fell for the tainting of true religion, is further evidenced by the declaration he makes when establishing a covenant of peace with Jacob: “The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us.” (Gen. 31:53) Nahor, and his father Terah, were both idolaters, as we learn from Joshua 24:2, and thus to swear by their god, and the God of Abraham, was an attempt to intertwine the worship of the Almighty, with heathenism.
The worship paid to these idols by Laban, therefore, was identical to those of his ancestors, indicating that the true God was known, and the knowledge of Him corrupted, amongst Mesopotamia’s oldest inhabitants; and that there was a struggle from the beginning, within men’s souls on whether the true God should be followed purely, or be clouded by the worship of nature. The war between the two Cities has been occurring from the farthest antiquity, and thus have the righteous have always been in the midst of humanity, as pilgrims in a strange land. “Hearken unto me,” declares the Almighty, “ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my law; fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be ye afraid of their reviling.” (Isaiah 51:7)
This contention between puritan and heretic is seen between Jacob and his family; for though they had known the true God, they had come from Mesopotamia, which is not only an idolatrous environment, but the beginning point of where the corruption of the religion divinely given to Noah began, and thus it was the spawner of idolatry. To purify this heresy Jacob had bade his family to rid themselves of their idols, and to no more trod upon multiple ways of religion; for there is only one path to heaven, and this is through the Holy Trinity. “Put away the strange gods that are among you,” commanded Jacob to his family, “and be clean, and change your garments: and let us arise, and go up to Beth-el; and I will make there an altar unto God, who answered me in the day of my distress, and was with me in the way which I went.” (Gen. 35:2-3)
The idols of Mesopotamia, those of their ancestors, were now going to be shattered; no more would they believe in the debasement of the true doctrine, but in the pure worship of God, and His precepts, as they were observed by Noah before the great arise of idolatry in Shinar. Amongst these idols were those of Laban, as Josephus tells us, which Jacob had rightfully seized and buried under the earth, beneath an oak tree. The inspired Moses recounts thus:–“And they gave unto Jacob all the strange gods which were in their hand, and all their earrings which were in their ears; and Jacob hid them under the oak which was by Shechem.” (Gen. 35:4)
By this it is apparent that Jacob’s family had been partakers of Mesopotamian idolatry, following the heathenism of their ancestors, while at the same time knowing of the true God; they too had knowledge of the truth while following degraded religion. This further shows that the earliest forms of heathenism was a mixture of the worship of the true God, with idols. Even Rachel had followed this heresy; she too was a part of the family who was commanded rid themselves of the idols, but when her son Gad was born, she had praised the true God. “God hath judged me,” said she, “and hath also heard my voice and hath given me a son”. (Gen. 30:6) Therefore was her religion, prior to her purification, a degrading of the true faith.
After Jacob had his family purged themselves of their pagan images, they had journeyed to Beth-el in Canaan; and upon their arrival did the patriarch build an altar to the true God. “And he built there an altar,” says Moses, “and called the place El-beth-el: because there God appeared unto him, when he fled from the face of his brother [Esau].” (Gen. 35:7) (Brackets mine). Just as Noah sacrificed upon an altar for forgiveness when the flood waters had resided, so did Jacob construct the same monument, and gave an offering for redemption, when the deluge of his family’s idols had gone away.
Another person of Mesopotamia who had known the true God, without the knowledge of Moses, while observing the idolatry of Mesopotamia, was Balaam. Within the Book of Numbers Balaam is described as one who “knew the knowledge of the most high”. (Numbers 24:16) Balak, king of Moab, had sent messengers to Mesopotamia (See Deut. xxiii: 4) to hire this infamous Balaam to curse Israel, their enemy. (Numbers 22:5-7) When the messengers had told Balaam the request of Balak, the necromancer had responded thus:–“Lodge here this night, and I will bring you word again, as the Lord shall speak unto me”. (Numbers 22:8) God appears to Balaam commanding him not to go with the messengers, and not to curse Israel. (Numbers 22:9-12) When Balaam had arose, he had declared to Balak’s messengers his commands from the Almighty: “Get you into your land: for the Lord refused to give me leave to go with you.” (Numbers 22:13) The refusal of Balaam was to the earnest persistence of Balak, who had in turn sent to the wizard princes of a more honorable status than the formal messengers. (Numbers 22:15.) “Thus saith Balak the son of Zippor,” declared the princes to Balaam, “Let nothing, I pray thee, hinder thee from coming unto me: For I will promote thee unto very great honour, and I will do whatsoever thou sayest unto me: come therefore, I pray thee, curse me this people.” (Numbers 22:16-17) But even such an offer did not compel Balaam to be dishonorable to the commands of God.
“If Balak would give me his house full of silver and gold, I cannot go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.” (Numbers 22:18) Such a staunch proclamation indicates that he, an infamous necromancer, without the instruction of Moses, knew the true God; and that in Mesopotamia, where he had lived, the knowledge of the Almighty was common; for even a man as eminent as Balaam declared his belief in the Most High. But Mesopotamia was an idolatrous land, and thus Balaam would have followed that corruption of the truth; for when he had eventually decided to go to Moab, he had went with Balak “into the high places of Baal, that thence he might see the utmost part of the people.” (Numbers 22:41) This high place of Baal was in actuality a mountain top, and thus was Balaam following that common practice of Mesopotamia of ascending such lofty structures to reach the heavens, and idea which had originated in Shinar. Balaam had therefore conjoined the pompous ritual of human ascendency, which had began with the the Tower of Babel, and the worship of the true God; it is a further proof that the peoples of Mesopotamia, despite the spiritual corruption which had arose there, had remembered the true God, while following a debased religion. When Balaam and Balak were upon the mountain, the former had bade the latter to build seven altars and to burn upon each of them a bullock and a ram. (Numbers 23:2)
While the offerings were scorching, Balak bade Balaam: “Stand by thy burnt offering, and I will go: peradventure the Lord will come to meet me: and whatsoever he sheath me I will tell thee.” (Numbers 23:3) The altars were evidently done for the true God, (See Ainsworth, Annotations on the Pentateuch, vol. ii, p. 108, on Numbers 23:1) but were at the same time placed upon a high place of Baal, and thus lied the corruption which Balaam partook in. The religion of Balaam was, therefore, a degenerate form of that pure religion Noah had followed. Noah had burnt his offering upon an altar purely for the pleasing and forgiveness of God, while Balaam had made his sacrifices to obtain the spirit of prophecy, he had yet done so with a mixture of idolatry.
Such was the corruption of Noah’s altar which the Mesopotamian had observed; what God had established, did such a people degrade. The altar would be of no use to the Mesopotamian for the honoring of, and the repenting to, the Almighty, but for the glory of pompous pagan priests and kings; for such men had esteemed it holy for one to end the life of a man with the blade, for the sake of gods not real and sanguinary. The ritual of human sacrifice done in Mesopotamia was, in truth, of a collectivist nature. They were done in honor of idols which, as we learn from the historian Josephus, were worshipped in accordance with the laws of Mesopotamia; therefore was there a jurisprudence around the cult of these images, which would have applied to the rituals thereof. Human sacrifice was amongst the rites observed in Mesopotamia, and would have, emphatically, been dictated by the code of religious law followed in that land, a savage jurisprudence which had replaced the laws of Noah. The bloody ritual was a part of a government religion, a cult of a state which was held as being close to the gods who had to be collectively appeased by the masses through human sacrifice.
Collectivism does not merely unite people as one, but degrades the sanctity of human life; man is no longer a singular person, each with his own unalienable rights bestowed upon him by his Creator, but a lifeless mass within which lies an uncountable number of followers. And in such a multitude of numbers, man no longer observes his right to life, but his unconditional, and obsequious loyalty to the body politic.
Those who are of this blind allegiance no longer care for the individual, but for the common good, and the common cause, of the collective. The sacrifice of human life is now executed without hesitance; for if the death of a man brings blessings from the gods upon the collective, then no longer does the individual matter, but only the body politic. No longer does the man love his son, but is willing to sacrifice him for the sake of divine blessing upon himself and his people. Human sacrifice is of the utmost of tyranny and diabolical nature; for it implies that a man may have power over another, under the pretense that the sacrificer has justification granted to him by the gods, who are not divine at all but mere embodiments of nature.
In the case of the age of Abraham, especially that of his nation, the father apparently was granted full authority of his son, without any regard for his individual freedom, nor for his right to life; an idea contradicted, and much replaced, by the enlightenment and inculcations of Christianity. What is certain, is that such a rite could have only been conceived by a follower of Lucifer, who “was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him.” (John 8:44. William Whiston as well used this verse when referring to human sacrifice, in Dissertation 2: Concerning God’s command to Abraham to offer up Isaac, his son, for a sacrifice, in the appendix of his Josephus, ed. Thomas Nelson, p. 993).
The Mesopotamians had partaken in human sacrifice; and in so doing was their altar the corruption of that of Noah’s. The Akkadians had called the first month of the year the “Month of the Altar of Righteousness”, in which they would worship the Sun, whom they addressed as Bel, by spilling human blood. One Akkadian text, addressing these bloody rites, exalts the act of one sacrificing his offspring:–“The sin (?) may he extirpate; and the offspring who raises the head among mankind;–(his) offspring for his life he gave; the head of the offspring for the head of the man he gave; the front of the offspring for the front of the man he gave; the breast of the offspring for the breast of the man he gave.” Another Akkadian text describes a ritual of a son being passed through the fire for the pleasing of the god Rammanu, who name means “sky,” and for prosperity: “When the air-god Rammanu is fine, prosperity. On the high places the son is burnt”. Most contrary are such rites to the pure precepts of Christianity, and thus to our civilization; the liberties conferred upon man from his Creator apply to every individual, even when his life has just commenced into existence. From his very conception does man hold that right to his individuality, with clenched hands which no tyrant can break. For a son to be slaughtered for the sake of the father, or vice versa, was prohibited in the laws of Moses. “The fathers shall not be put to death,” reads Deuteronomy, “neither shall the children be put to death for the fathers: every man shall be put to death for his own sin.” (Deut. 24:16)
Chaldea, alongside Egypt, was the fist land to have worshipped deceased kings; each city had consecrated the spirits of their own rulers, to which they would observe the ritual of human sacrifice. In Ur of th Chaldees, the native land of Abraham, (Gen. 11:28) tyrants had been deified after their deaths, in which obsequies were observed with the human sacrifice of their servants, as Sir Leonard Woolley had discovered in his excavation of the ancient grave of Queen Shub-ab, and that of a Sumerian king.
The Sumerian kings had been deified, upon their deaths, as Tummuz, or the sun, and his subjects had collectively worshipped their spirits as united with the solar star, to which they would shed human blood. The nature of the ritual was contrary to the sacred rights of the individual; for the life of each man was not honored, but grouped into subjects compelled by duty to collectively sacrifice themselves for the good of the deified tyrant. The worship of the sun was not merely man worshipping his deity, but an entire religious code which consisted of an imperial cult, under which lied the devoted subjects who had believed the gods to have divine association with the state and the throne. For the good of the collectivist kingdom, were human sacrifices committed.
It was this corruption of Noah’s altar which God had wanted Abraham to spurn, and to return to the true, and original, use of that pure and holy monument. God had wanted to show Abraham that the bloody ritual of the heathen, so common in that age of man, were of no part of His nature, or His precepts.
“Take now thy son,” commanded the Almighty to Abraham, “thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.” (Gen. 22:2) Such a command was obeyed with haste by Abraham; the wood was gathered, the saddle was made ready, and Isaac was taken to journey to the pinnacle of a mountain only for his blood to be spilt by the edge of the blade. When the destination was near did Abraham set his gaze upon the site, consecrated for the sacrifice of his only son. (Gen. 22:6) The ritual was contrary to everything taught to Noah, but through the command made to Abraham to commit such a cruel ritual, was God going to teach that most pure law of honoring the soul, and thus the life, of man. The two were approaching the top of the mountain, and as they ascended did the younger ask the older a question which sublimely penetrates the natural sympathy which lodges within our hearts and minds. “My father”, said Isaac, “Here am I,” responded Abraham, “my son.” “Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Gen. 22:7) “My son,” responded Abraham, “God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering”. (Gen. 22:8)
The pinnacle was reached; the altar was built, the wood was laid in order, and Isaac was bound and placed upon the monument of slaughter. That ritual which was observed by Noah with the blood of clean animals, was about to be defiled by the blood of an innocent lad; the sacrificial lamb was Isaac now to be. The arm of Abraham was raised, his hand clutched on the blade, ready to be brought done upon the flesh of his son. But suddenly did an angel come to Abraham, and bade him to shed not the blood of Isaac; it was to the relief of the father, and to the salvation of the son. “Lay not thine hand upon the lad,” declared the angel, “neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou ferrets God, seeing thou hast now withheld thy son, thine only son.” (Gen. 22:12) It was not for blood that God had commanded Abraham to sacrifice his son, but to express a prophecy of the coming Christ, and that only through Him, the Begotten Son of the Father, that man finds redemption. Abraham had trusted God would resurrect his son Isaac after sacrificing him, as we learn from St. Paul: “By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, of whom it was said, that in Isaac shall thy seed be called: accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)
Therefore was the command to Abraham to slay his own son, and God’s forbidding thereof, was a foreshadowing of the coming Messiah: Christ was the one Who was to rise up after His sacrifice; and it is only by His blood, and not that of man, does one find redemption. The wood which Isaac carried up the mountain, which was to be used to kindle a fire and burn his flesh, was symbolic of the Christ carrying His own cross up to Golgotha. And when God had stopped Abraham from committing the slaughter, there was behind the patriarch “a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” (Gen. 22:13)
Who did this ram represent but the Christ? For He had endured that ultimate sacrifice, which offers to all men salvation which needs not constant offerings; “for this he did once, when he offered up himself.” (Hebrews 7:27) To the heathen, the greatest proof of one’s love for the gods was to offer the lives of their children to them; but through the eyes of heaven it is God who offers Himself for His love of humanity, just as the ram had died in Isaac’s place. Such a sublime and prophetic symbolism was the reason as to why the English St. Bede had within his church aesthetic artwork, “vividly portraying the relationship of the Old and New Testament, such as Isaac carrying the wood for his own sacrifice, and our Lord carrying the cross on which He was to suffer.” The blood of mortals was not to be shed; for only the blood of Christ, pure and divine, is worthy of cleansing the human soul. But many in our times feel themselves disturbed by the story, posing the question as to why Abraham would even obey such a commandment, to kill his son.
The fact that Abraham was not hesitant to carry out the command, shows to us that such a cruel rite were not uncommon in this age; and that we are troubled by this indicates that we, in this modern age, are most influenced by God’s overturning of his instruction as a whole. Abraham preparing his son for the offering, frightens us; but God’s canceling of the commandment, relieves us for its mercy, and establishes the foundational precept against human sacrifice. God had thus used a savage ritual, prevalent in that age, to extract from it a moral which has been being observed by the followers of true religion for countless centuries. The story, therefore, deserves our praise rather than our troubling emotions. We may point our fingers toward Abraham with out critiques, but there is no justification for such; for the story intentionally opposes human sacrifice, while throughout antiquity we find no such narrative as that found in Scripture.
EGYPTIAN RELIGION ONCE REVERED GOD, BUT THEN DECAYED INTO ARABIAN IDOLATRY
The Egyptian religion was so evil that when God set the seven plagues against the Pharaoh, He was showing that it was all but a lie. The Book of Wisdom affirms this:
“When they were punished with those creatures they considered gods, they became bitterly disillusioned and recognized that the true God was the one they had refused to acknowledge. That is why they suffered the final punishment.” (Wisdom 12:27, GNT)
But Egypt had at one point in their history the knowledge of the true God. When Potiphar, an officer of the pharaoh, had Joseph, who he had then purchased, live in his household, he in the words of Moses, “saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.” (Gen. 39:3) For Potiphar, an Egyptian living before the time of Moses, to have been able to identify the providence of God, evinces that the Almighty was truly known in Egypt, and that the knowledge of Him was corrupted with the worship of the Creation.
Therefore did the Egyptian gradually fall deeper in this folly, until the plague of idolatry utterly decayed his souls. This is further illustrated by the Pharaoh himself: when he was troubled by two dreams–in the first seven sickly cows consume seven plumped cows, and in the second seven ears of diseased corn devour seven healthy ones (Gen. 41:1-7 )—he had sent for his wise men, and his magicians, who would seek after the host of heaven, and the spirits of the dead, for interpretation; but none of these impostors “could interpret them unto Pharaoh.” (Gen. 41:8) But when the Pharaoh had called for Joseph, who was then in prison, the latter had declared the proper interpretation: that Egypt will endure seven years of plenty and seven years of famine, (Gen. 41:14-31) and that a wise man must be appointed to store food for the nation. (Gen. 41:33-36) The prophesying, and prudence, of Joseph had met the satisfaction of the Pharaoh, who had then asked his servants: “Can we find such a one as this, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?” (Gen. 41:38)
With such a statement is it most clearly shown that God was known in Egypt before Moses; but indeed was this knowledge corrupted. Moreover, since Egypt was by this time under the pharaonic age, it indicates that the cult of the pharaoh, in which the monarch was worshipped as a human embodiment of the Sun, was by then taking place. Thus, the worship of the state, and the knowledge of God, were both in existence in this period; the former conspicuously being preponderant over the latter. One would be mistaken to assume that Joseph had taught these Egyptians on the true God; for it is unfounded in Scripture, and ignores the statement of the Pharaoh, in which the Almighty is openly refereed to. With solely the text of the Bible, and not assumptions, one can only conclude that there was an intertwining by the Egyptian of the true religion, as was preached by Noah, with the naturist and astral superstition.
According to Eusebius, the first idolatrous veneration of the Egyptians was made toward the Sun and Moon, and such worship was already observed in the time of Joseph, since when the Pharaoh had granted him a wife, the lady chosen was the daughter of one Potipherah, a priest of On, (Gen. 41:45) whose name is Coptic for “consecrated to the sun”, or “he whom the Ra gave.” Ra was the sun-god of Egypt, and the center of his worship was the city of On, where Potiphera had served sacerdotally, the name of which meant “light.” On was given the name “sun-city”, and it would even be later hellenized as Heliopolis, or City of the Sun; and in the hieroglyphs the city was revered as Re-ci, or “abode of the sun.”This city was not built by Egyptians, but Arabs, indicating the deep Sabaean roots of Egyptian idolatry. All of these evidences show that the worship of the Sun was observed in Egypt when the Almighty was still known there; and that the name of God was proclaimed by the Pharaoh in the time of Joseph, makes it most evident that the corruption of true religion amongst the Egyptians by Arabian idolatry began in far antiquity.
The Sabaean origins of Egyptian religion are also evidenced by Thoth who, according to the Egyptian priests, was an actual historical figure, and was said to be the first to have established the religion and priestly order of Egypt, and to have taught the art of studying the deified stars and planets. He was influenced by the religion of the Zabian or Sabaean of Arabia, which began the idolatry of Babel, since he was said to have written two books in praise of them, entitled “Isaac the Zabian,” in which he defends the legislation of the Sabaean, and “Of the Customs and Particularities of the Laws of the Zabii,” in which he writes on their beliefs and rituals. Sabaeanism was Cushite Arab in origin, was the religion of Babel, and would spread itself into Egypt where it would legitimize the tyranny and the cult of the pharaohs.
Not only was the worship of the Sun observed while God was still known, but also that of a goddess named Neith, the mother of the Sun. The woman whom the Pharaoh had given to Joseph to marry was Asenath, (Gen. 41:45) whose name has been translated as “favorite of Neith,” and “who belongs to Neith.” Nevertheless, it is emphatic that the name indicates a reverence to the goddess, which thus shows that her cult had existed in the time when God was but darkly known in Egypt.
The mention of the true God by both Potiphar and the Pharaoh, the father-in-law of Joseph being a priest of the sun-god, and his wife’s name referring to the goddess Neith, makes it conclusive that the Egyptian had once known God, but revolted as those of Babel did, and began worshipping the host of heaven, and nature. It is, therefore, in the story of Joseph which one find’s an image of the transition in Egypt, from pure religion to the corrupt and vain imaginations of wizards. By the time of the Pharaoh who had ruled when Moses was called to rescue the Hebrews, heathenism had completely deluged Egypt, and the knowledge of the true God was greatly lost in their memories. For, when Moses and Aaron had first approached the Pharaoh, and had declared to him: “Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, Let my people go, that they may hold a feast unto me in the wilderness”, (Exodus 5:1) the tyrant had expressed his absence of knowledge on who God was. “Who is the Lord,” asked the Pharaoh, “that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the Lord, neither will I let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:2)
To the pompous eyes of the Pharaoh, God was not above him or his throne; for he was the monarch over all Egypt, a god to the masses to whom all the earth owned their submission. The imperial cult of the Pharaoh had therefore taken full precedence over the God Whom Noah preached, unlike the Pharaoh of Joseph’s time, who at least had known but a little on the Almighty in a flood of paganism. The grace of the Almighty was bestowed upon the Egyptians, as it was given to all the sons of Noah; His redemption was granted to all of humanity, but as is most common, man had given himself over to his passions, and rejected his salvation. “Their wickedness misled them into silly ideas,” reads the Book of Wisdom on Egypt’s descent into idolatry, “so that they worshipped snakes and other disgusting animals, creatures without reason.” (Wisdom 11:15-16, GNT)
In one ancient work of the Egyptians, the prophet Thoth described how his ancestors had turned to the making of images, though he spoke of the event in no positive light, but lamented it, and deemed it as a time when his people had erred. “Thus humanity,” he said, “always mindful of its nature and origin, perseveres in the imitation of divinity; and as the Lord and Father made eternal gods, that they should be like Himself, so humanity fashioned its own gods according to the likeness of its own countenance.” In another quote, Thoth recounts how is “forefathers erred very far with respect to the knowledge of the gods, through incredulity and through want of attention to their worship and service, they invented this art of making gods; and this art once invented, they associated with it a suitable virtue borrowed from universal nature, and, being incapable of making souls, they evoked those of demons or of angels, and united them with these holy images and divine mysteries, in order that through these souls the images might have power to do good or harm men.”
They therefore fell into that folly of antiquity: that which praises the creation over the Creator. It is no wonder that their pharaohs were worshipped, since they too were of the creation. In the text Thoth recounts honestly that the idolatry of his countrymen, from its very provenance, was the veneration of demons, and it was believed by the Egyptians that their gods “were driven out of Heaven,” making their pantheon of the City of Satan, the greatest of deceivers and murderers, the father of all tyranny, tyrant of all tyrants.
The provenance of Egyptian idolatry was attributed also to the earth deity Ptah. It was said that he created the local cults of Egypt, formed the idols out of clay, wood, and stone, to the liking of the gods who in turn would enter into the images. “He [Ptah] created the (local) gods,” reads the text, “he made the cities, he founded the provincial divisions; he put the gods in their places of worship, he fixed their offerings, he founded their chapels. He made their bodies resemble that which pleased their hearts (i.e., the forms in which they wished to be manifest). And so the gods entered into their bodies of every kind of wood, of every king of stone, of every kind of clay, of every king of thing which grows upon him, in which they have taken form.”
The ancient Ethiopians of the Sudan, who no doubt were related to the Cushite Sabaeans, believed that the worship of the pharaohs originated from their own religion. They affirmed that the most infamous Egyptian god, Osiris, was once the leader of an Ethiopian colony who entered Egypt, where he would be ultimately deified; the Egyptians themselves alluded to this when they made the birth of Osiris in Ethiopia. “Modern Sudani beliefs are identical with those of ancient Egypt,” writes Budge, “because the Egyptians were Africans and the modern peoples of the Sudan are Africans. And making allowance for differences in natural circumstances and geographical position, ancient and modern Nilotic peoples give outward expression to their beliefs in the same way.”
Numerous other religious observances which were kept by the Egyptians, were said to have emanated from the necromancers of Ethiopia: the rites and practices of purification, the symbols of their hieroglyphic system of writing; the dress and staff of the priests, as well as their tradition of keeping their heads shaven, originated, according to the ancient Cushites, from Ethiopia. But most importantly, is the fact that Egyptian religion is connected with the Cushites of ancient Arabia. As certain similarities have been found between certain Babylonian inscriptions and the languages of the Abyssinian Galla and south Arabian Mahra, both of Cush, so were certain names used by the Ancient Egyptians taken from the dialect of the Cushites in the country of Pount, or South Arabia. The Egyptian religion, then, has roots in the Sabaeanism of the southern Arabs, and therefore in the cult which came from Babel, and thus Islam.
Henry Rawlinson, in 1858, as well found in his inquiry of the cuneiform of the primitive Babylonians, considerable resemblances between the hieroglyphs of the Egyptians, and the languages of Cushite people, such as the Galla of Abyssinian, and the Mahra of South Arabia. Resemblances found between the ancients of Egypt and the Cushite, in regards to their languages, and physical and ethnological traits, make a firm connection between the Hamitic-speaking people of East Africa, and the Egyptians of antiquity. Even the countenance found in the Sphinx of the Pyramids and in the drawings of the kings, have Cushite characteristics; the elongated eye seen in such portraits, are as well found to be a Nubian trait.
Henry Rawlinson made note of inscriptions of Babylonian monuments, which went back to the earliest times of that land, had a considerable resemblance to those of a primitive form of writing which existed in Egypt from a very remote date. Babylonian cuneiform, in its oldest form, began as purely hieroglyphic, a kind of writing, as is commonly known, used by the Egyptians, gradually developing into a system verging closely on the alphabetic type. Both of the primitive forms of writing of Babylon and Egypt, which were assiduously inquired by Henry Rawlinson, were shown to be both pictorial; to a certain extent the two were symbolic, and in some instances they had characters which were identical. The Egyptian hyk or hake, which the ancient historian Manetho translated as “king,” appeared in the royal names of both Babylon and Susa, as khak; the name “Tirkhak” is, according to George Rawlinson, common in royal lists of both Susa and Ethiopia.
Henry Rawlinson “noted, moreover, a considerable resemblance in the system of writing which the primitive race employed, and that which was established from a very remote date in Egypt. Both were pictorial; both to a certain extent symbolic; both in some instances used identically the same symbols. Again, he found words in use among the primitive Babylonians and their neighbours and kinsmen, the Susianians, which seemed to be identical with ancient Egyptian, or Ethiopic, roots. The root hyk or hak, which Mantheo interprets as ‘king,’ and which is found in the well-known ‘Hyksos,’ or ‘Shepherd-kings,’ appeared in Babylonian and Susianian royal names under the form of khak, and as the terminal element–which is its position also in royal Ethiopic names. The name ‘Tirkhak’ is common to the royal lists of Susiana and Ethiopia, as that of Nimrod is to the royal lists of Babylon and Egypt. The sun-god is called ‘Ra’ in Egyptian, and ‘Ra’ was the Cushite name of the supreme god of the Babylonians.” Manetho, as we read from Josephus, affirmed that the term Hyk, “according to the sacred dialect, denotes a king” (Joseph., Against Apion, 1.2., trans. William Whiston).
Both the Egyptian and the east African peoples, gave divine status to bulls, cows, rams, and falcons; both also regarded the sun as the embodiment of the creator. Evidence from archeology are also adduced to affirm the connection which the Egyptian had with the Cushite; the arm rings which were worn by the Masai of Kenya, are also found, identical in design, in Egyptian graves from between 3000 and 2700 B.C. While these ornaments ceased to be used in an early period of Egypt, they were still worn for a somewhat longer period by the Nubian people of the upper Nile, and are still found amongst them in modern times. Furthermore, the Masai and the ancient Egyptians, are the only people to identify the day after the last visibility of the moon, as the beginning of a new month.
A certain type of bow, used by the ancient Egyptians, is found to be in the hands of not only Masai, but Somali, and Bahima peoples as well; and the fact that the habit among the Nubians, Bisharin, Tuaregs, and Berbers, to place their daggers in a bracelet around their upper arms, is exemplified by the mummies of pharaohs, such as that of king Kamose, is of no coincidence. The observations made thus evidence as to why the religion of ancient Egypt, when compared with the pagan semitic beliefs of antiquity, differs throughout; yet, once it is paralleled with the paganism of other Hamites, such as east Africans, it is found to be considerably similar. Nimrod, who most certainly was a patron ancestor of the Ethiopians, brought to Chaldea that great enemy of liberty, the worship of the king as god on earth, his kingdom a sovereignty of heaven; and we find such a tradition held by the Ethiopians of antiquity, that they had brought this same custom to the Egyptians, who would pay their pharaohs the highest approbation and reverence.
Before the pharaonic age, Egypt was broken down into “loose confederacies”; tribalism was the way of the land, and there lied no central king. There was, however, a mighty leader who had engaged in unifying, by conquest, all of the tribes; his name was Scorpion, and he had succeeded in becoming king over all of Upper Egypt. But, he had never managed to bring all of Egypt to submit to his throne. The unification of Egypt was fully completed by Menes, the Nimrod of the Egyptians, and the first pharaoh.
The god Ammon, the Zeus of Egypt, was said to have arose from the Ammonians, a people who had been settlers and had sprung from the Egyptians and the Ethiopians, and whose language was a mixture of the tongues of these two peoples.
One deity worshipped by the Egyptians was Harupuka-ka-sharu-shabau, a name, according to Lenormant, taken by the Anu people of Nubia.
The sun-god Khnum, who had been worshiped by the Egyptians as the lord of the Nile, was originally a deity of the Nubian city of Elephantine, which emphatically was apart of Cush. One ancient text recounts that the pharaoh Djoser of the Third Dynasty, about the 28th century B.C., speaks to his chief priest Imhotep for divine wisdom on how to end the famine which was occurring in his land. “What is the birth place of the Nile?” asked the pharaoh, “Who is…the god there? Who is the god?” Imhotep entered into the temple of Thoth, and as he perused the ancient heathen books of Egypt, he received his answer, and in haste had returned to the pharaoh, to whom he had revealed that there was “a city in the midst of the waters [from which] the Nile rises, named Elephantine. It is the Beginning of the Beginning, the Beginning Nome, (facing) toward Wawat. It is the joining of the Land, the primeval hillock of earth, the throne of Re, when he reckons to caste life beside everybody. …Khnum is there as a god.” Such a text indicates the religious significance of Nubia, and the Nubian god, to the Egyptian, and therefore do we find how important the heathenism of the Cushite was to the idolatry of Egypt. The pharaoh, as we continue our perusal of the text, sleeps in satisfaction, and during his slumber does he see Khnum, who now hovers over him. “I propitiated him with praise; I prayed to him in his presence. He revealed himself to me,” proclaimed the pharaoh, “his face being fresh.” The Cushite god declares his promise letting the Nile pour itself in abundance for Egypt, and how such an occurrence will cease the famine which Egypt had so suffered. The pharaoh awoke from his dream, and in religious zeal cried out his praise for Khnum. “An offering which the king gives to Khnum,” exclaimed he, “the Lord of the Cataract Region, Who presides over Nubia, in recompense for these things thou wilt do for me: I offer to thee thy west in Manu and thy east (in) Bakhu, from Elephantine as far a [Takompso]”.
Another Cushite connected deity of Egypt was Aqa, since it was believed that he had spiritual messengers who dwelt in Kenset, a part of Sudan.
The Psalms describe Egypt as “the land of Ham”, (Psalm. 105: 22-23, 27) which indicates that the Egyptians, who sprung from the patriarch Ham, were of the same stock as that of Cush, the father of Nimrod. The natives of Egypt themselves entitled their land Chem, or Chemi, “the Black,” as is found in the native inscriptions, which corresponds with Ham, whose name has been translated “burnt or black”. Plutarch used this same title when he addressed Egypt as Chemia; the Egyptians also perpetuated this name in their large city of Chemmis in the Thebaid. All of these observations signify that the patron Ham, or Cham, did not fully leave their memory, and was thus preserved in the name of their nation. Cush who, ruling over the Ethiopians, seems to have granted his son sovereignty over the land which was called Shinar in Iraq; and therefore it is probable that the ways of an imperial cult, was influential in both the families of Cush and Mizraim, whose nations, Ethiopia and Egypt, were in ancient times so intimately connected.
From Such an observation, it can be concluded that the Cushite and Egyptian forms of speech were cognate languages which sprang from one father tongue. “And somatic and ethnological resemblances,” writes Frankfurt, “and certain features of their languages, connect the ancient Egyptians firmly with the Hamitic-speaking people of East-Africa.” It is affirmed by Zyhlarz that the Egyptian tongue is “essentially Hamitic, containing two separate Hamitic strains and one recognizable Semitic strain.” (Found in Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, Notes to ch. i, p. 348, note 4).
On the authority of Moses, we know that the oldest empire of Mesopotamia was Cushite, and thus those ancient builders were a subgroup of the whole posterity of Ham, which consists of Cush, or those of ancient Ethiopia; Mizraim, or Egyptians; Phut, or Libyans; and Canaan, or Canaanites, Hamite Phoenicians and Syrians. And though they are related, the posterity of Cush has more of a connection with those Africans who, in ancient times, made their abode on the Upper Nile, who have been shown to have a strong and distinct relation with the ancient Egyptians, both physically and religiously.
While it is agreed by various authorities that astrology was brought to Egypt from Chladea, it is affirmed by Lucian it was the Ethiopians who transmitted this superstition “to the Aegyptians their neighbors.”
However, this does not mean that the plain worship of planets and stars was brought from the Ethiopians, but that the art thereof was; for the adoration of the hosts of heaven in Egypt was said by the Egyptians themselves, to have occurred as they came to existence in Egypt. The first inhabitants, as it is recounted, were enthralled with awe as they gazed upon the sun and moon, and thought the two astral objects worthy of worship, calling the former Osiris, and the latter Isis.
According to John Malalas the chronicler, the ancient Egyptians worshipped the planets Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and Mercury. They had revered not the Heaven where the Almighty sits, and the earth is His footstool, but had worshipped the planets and stars where the physical heaves lies. The Egyptians, in fact, had worshipped a sun-god named Shu, who they believed had proceeded “from the inferior heaven,” and thus did they believe not in throne of God, but in a chimera from the minds of wizards.
The Egyptians also worshipped nature, since in one of their hymns the goddess Isis says: “I am nature, the mother of all things, the mistress of the elements”.
The building of the pyramids and the worship of the planets and stars, was what the Egyptian had turned to in their rebellion. But for what? As will be shown, the road of idolatry was treaded up to gain absolute power, collectivism, the worship of the state, and universal empire through conquest. This will further vindicate the laws which Moses had written against idolatry, showing clearly that the fate of Israel would have been same as Egypt had the Hebrews not observed them, even this commandment:
“If there be found among you, within any of thy gates which the Lord thy God giveth thee, man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness in the sight of the Lord thy God, in transgressing his covenant, and hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either sun, or moon, or any of the host of heaven, which I have not commanded; and it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and inquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die.” (Deuteronomy 17:2-5)
The modern man reads with horror such a verse, but what he doesn’t understand is the result of idolatry, that it leads to utter despotism. It is only by reading the ancient history of heathenish governments, and how idol worship lead to their tyrannical ways, that one may fully comprehend why God was so adamant about His people venerating other gods.
Worship of kings
The divine kings of Egypt were coincided with the cosmos and natural phenomena: he was exalted as equal with the host of heaven, the hawk-god Horus, the bull, the crocodile, and other creatures; his mother, and even his throne, were deified as the goddess Isis. The worship of these things were all directly connected to the veneration of the pharaoh; and if the Hebrews had adopted such religion, they too would have formed themselves to be under the same imperial cult. Moses, in his final days, declared to the Israelites the holy prohibition of such heathenism:
“Take ye therefore good heed unto yourselves; for ye saw no manner of similitude on the day that the Lord spake unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire: lest ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven image, the similitude of any figure, the likeness of male or female, the likeness of any beast that is on the earth, the likeness of any winged fowl that flieth in the air, the likeness of any fish that is in the waters beneath the earth: and lest thou lift up thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them, which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven. But the Lord hath taken you, and brought you forth out of the iron furnace, even out of Egypt, to be unto him a people of inheritance, as ye are this day.” (Deuteronomy 4:15-20)
This teaching against idolatry which Moses makes, is directly referring the Egyptian religion, with which the Israelites were quite familiar, as Moses himself attested when he corrected the Pharaoh for his request that the Hebrews worship God in Egypt: “It is not meet so to do: for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the Lord our God: lo, shall we sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians before their eyes, and will they not stone us?” (Exodus 8:25-26) The animals which God required to be sacrificed, were worshipped by the Egyptians; and even if only but one was slaughtered in their sight, would they have become a violent mob ready to bring the Hebrews to annihilation.
“All the inhabitants of the cities off their prayers to their sacred animals,” writes Diodorus on Egypt, “and if any person kills one of them voluntarily, he is punished with death”. The command of God to the Hebrews to sacrifice oxen, rams, goats, and sheep, was therefore an affront to the Egyptian religion, as Maimonides affirms. According to Rabbi Abraham Seba, at the time when the Egyptians sacrificed to the constellation of the ram, was when God, in opposition to this, commanded His people to begin the Passover, in which an actual ram was offered, in order to show that the Almighty was the only truth, and the idols of Egypt nothing worthy of adoring. It is for this reason that Tacitus wrote that the Hebrews observed the Passover “in profanation of Ammon [the ram god].”
The Egyptians worshipped the animals which, as they had believed, the gods transformed themselves into when they went into hiding in Egypt, in their retreat from the giants with whom they had warred with. Ovid wrote of how the gods “found refuge in the land of Egypt and the seven-mouthed Nile”; how Jupiter “became a ram,” to be worshipped as the god Ammon, who was “represented with curving horns;” how Apollo, or Horus, “hid in a crow’s shape”; Bacchus, or Osiris,” in a goat;” Juno, or Nut, “in a snow-white cow”; Venus, or Hathor, “in a fish,” and Mercury, or Thoth, “in an ibis bird.”
All such deities, which Moses forbade, would have lead the Hebrews, and society for that matter, to the worship of government; for in egypt they were but manifestations, or symbols, of the pharaoh’s divine power. All of the idols, from which Moses told the people to stay away–those formed in the image of male and female, beast, water creature, bird, sun, moon, and the all the host of heaven–were interconnected with pharaoh worship. Isis was a symbol of the throne; Horus of his authority when he was alive, Osiris when he was dead; the deified bulls and cows symbolized his might and strength over the subjugated; the moon, sun, stars, sky, and planets, were celestial images of the king, and he was the living god who sat upon the throne of the sun. As the sun was over all the earth, and was seen by all peoples, so was the pharaoh ruler over the world who could hear every word said by all men. A text praising the pharaoh Merenptah reads:
“Thy rays reach unto the caverns. There is no place where thy goodnesses are not. Thou appointest the law in every land. As thou restest in thy place thou hearest the words of all lands. Thou are provided with millions of ears.”
The crocodile, a creature of the Nile, deified as Sebek, would be worshipped as the deceased pharaoh. The worship of nature was a means to the worship of the pharaoh; the people of Egypt had thought themselves good when they observed their religion, but in truth, they had enslaved themselves with their false piety. For, the objects of their veneration all lead to their pharaoh; and to him would they voluntarily grant their servility, to appease the gods. What is quite pertinent about this declaration from Moses, is the connection made between leaving idolatry, and God liberating them from Egypt. The yoke of the Pharaoh was broken by the Almighty so that the Hebrews may worship Him, and not remain in “the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage”, (Deuteronomy 6:12) where they would observe the imperial religion of their oppressors. Liberation from Egypt, is freedom from its idolatry; and the state of liberty is where man worships God. In fact, when God was punishing Pharaoh in order to have him liberate His people, it was a war upon the deities of the tyrant. “For I will pass through the land of Egypt this night,” said the Lord to Moses and Aaron, “and will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.” (Exodus 12:12) Since the gods were so intricately a part of Egyptian government, an attack on them was an attack on the Pharaoh and his despotic ways. The purging of the people from Egyptian idols, meant their liberty; hence why Joshua proclaimed: “Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:14)
The exodus from the hands of the pharaoh, is likened to the relief from an iron furnace, which is figurative of all the toils and slavery which they endured, which implies that if the Hebrews ever indulged themselves in the idolatry of the Egyptians, they would be returning back to Egypt in their hearts. For, Saint Stephen recounted how when the Hebrews demanded from Aaron idols, and erected the golden calf, they had “in their hearts turned back again into Egypt”. (Acts 7:39) Therefore, if the Hebrews returned to the heathenism of Egypt, have certainly become as those tyrannical governments which reigned over Egypt, and in turn, enslaved themselves.
To illustrate this, we must look to the Egyptians themselves, to see how, because of their idolatry, they worshipped their kings. And in so doing this, it would show clearly how the state of the Hebrews would have ultimately become if they had fully disobeyed God’s law against idolatry, and observed the religion of Egypt.
The Cushites had affirmed that the Egyptians’ worship of kings, had originally sprung from Ethiopia into Egypt. Numerous Cushite tribes had imperial cults analogous to that of the Egyptian pharaohs. For example, the Baganda of East Africa call their ruler a “divine king”, and have an imperial cult similar to that of the Egyptians, in that the royal family is believed to be of a superior and divine bloodline, as opposed to that of the commoners under them.
The worship of nature in ancient Egypt was inherently connected with government; for it was the gods who had bridged man with nature, and such a bond was believed by the pagans to only be conceivable through kingship. In other words, the entire community of Egypt had collectively worshipped the pharaoh because they had esteemed him as the only intermediary between themselves and nature, which was worshipped as divine. It is of no marvel, then, as to why the Egyptians had worshipped their earliest deceased kings as planets and natural phenomena, as they would do for the pharaohs.
It was held by the Egyptians that there was an age in which the gods ruled, called “the times of the Hor-Sheson,” or the Servants of Horus. Of this age it was recalled by Egypt’s natives that the sun was their first king, which would mean that this ruler was in actuality human, and after his death obtained godhood by his subjects, who believed that his spirit had entered the sun. and there was said to have been one ruling person personified as the planet Saturn, who was believed to have been the father of another renown figure, who was held as Jupiter, the ruler believed to have begotten the infamous Osiris. According to the Egyptians, this Osiris was in truth a king, deified and exalted as a god. Since the sun, or Ra, was beheld as the first king of Egypt, he was believed to have been the archetype of all kingship, from whom the absolute power of the pharaoh emanated, and thus had to be appeased before accession of any king. Therefore, the succeeding of the pharaoh to the throne had to be done at dawn, when the sun was born and its light first shined through the darkness of night. The story of the succession of Amenhotep II after the death of his father, Tuthmosis III attests to this:
“King Tuthmosis III went up to heaven; he was united with the sun disk; the body of the god joined him who had made him. When the next morning dawned the sun disk shone forth, the sky became bright, King Amenhotep II was installed on the throne of his father.”
The pharaohs were divinely connected with the stars and planets; numerous times they are found being identified with, or on others proclaimed to be descendants of, the host of heaven. The temples of the sun at Abusir, illustrating this belief, depict the king as the incarnate representative of the solar star. This was explained by the belief that when the pharaoh had impregnated his queen, he was the sun-god, and thus his successor, or his son, would be a descendent of the sun.
Within temples of the New Kingdom are found reliefs which show the sun-god Amon-Ra embodying the pharaoh and visiting the queen with whom she copulates, in order to have her give birth his successor, a son of the sun. One ancient text describes this process of divine procreation:
“Amon took his form as the majesty of this her husband, the king (Tuthmosis I). …Then he went to her immediately; then he had intercourse with her. …The words which Amon, Lord of the Two Lands, spoke in her presence: ‘Now Khenemet-Amon-Hatshepsut is the name of this my daughter whom I have placed in thy body…She is to exercise this beneficent kingship in this entire land.’” Hence the title attached to all of Egypt’s monarchs: “Pharaoh, son of the Sun-God, Ra,” who was depicted as surmounted by a crowned hawk, the symbol of the same sun-god.
Moreover, since the sun’s sovereignty was the first established in Egypt, the pharaoh was held as the restorer of what was done under the reign of the solar star. The pharaohs had prided themselves as accomplishers of “what had not been done since the time of Re”, and thus they were, as they had boasted, the revivers of what was established in the beginning of kingship. Like the Mesopotamians, the pharaoh was extolled as the sun shining over all the earth. The belief is indeed a collectivist one; for since the pharaoh was esteemed as king of the earth, he was as well likened to the sun with its rays illuminating all peoples.
The pharaoh Hatshepsut, while likening herself to the sun, declares herself as one with the solar star: “I have made bright Maat which he (Re) loves, I know that he lives by it. It is my bread; I eat of its brightness; I am a likeness from his limbs, one with him.”
The universal rule of the pharaoh was identified with the moon as well. Seti I is called “Re of Egypt and Moon of All Lands.”
The throne of the pharaoh was in fact revered as the throne of the sun. For example, Tuthmosis III was extolled as “he who is upon the throne of Atum [the sun-god].” Ramses II declared to his deceased father of his likeness to the sun-god Re, shining bright for his people; and that he had sat on the throne of the sun:
“Thou restest in the Netherworld as Osiris, while I shine as Re for the people, being upon the Great Throne of Atum, as Horus son of Isis.”
The pharaoh was also likened to the sun, or Atum, which was proclaimed to be his father. One hymn to the pharaoh illustrates how this superstitious and chimerical belief fortified the the power of tyrant: “Thou art the living likeness of thy father Atum of Heliopolis (for) Authoritative Utterance is in thy mouth, Understanding is in thy heart, thy speech is the shrine of Truth (maat).” An inscription elevates the pharaoh by comparing him to the sun-gods Re and Atum, and to the deity Horus; it as well interconnects the astral religion of Egypt to the worship of the state: “Thou joints thy palace as Atum (joins) the horizon; thou sittest in thy hall as Horus upon his throne; thou appearest in thy palanquin of the Sed festival as Re at the beginning of the year.”
Lunar worship corresponded with the Egyptian cult of the state, since Isis had represented the pharaoh’s throne, and she was always depicted with the crescent moon upon her head.
The pharaoh was not just associated with divinity, but was beheld as “a god”: he was literally Horus, the heir of Osiris. Since Horus was worshipped as a creature whose outstretched wings are the sky, and his eyes the moon and sun, or as “the venerable bird in whose shadow is the wide earth; the Lord of the Two Lands under whose wings is the circuit of heaven; the falcon radiating light from his eyes”, it is emphatic that the pharaoh was as well deified as this divine phenomena. Through this imperial cult, in which the sovereign is worshipped as a heavenly body, the pharaoh was divinely justified to conquer and subjugate others, and rule by the sword, for the advancement of a universal empire. As those of Babel saw laudable a universal monarchy, we find in the mindset of the ancient Egyptians, that there lied a universality in the power of the pharaoh; his realm was the whole earth, and it bridged, like the tower in Shinar, with the cosmos. In fact, in one depiction the pharaoh is symbolically portrayed as being between the heaven and the earth, and while it is said that this represents the king acting within a harmony for the two, this image of the pharaoh is nonetheless reminiscent as to how those of Shinar had envisioned their tower, bridging the earth with the host of heaven.
When a new pharaoh had ascended the throne, he was likened to a primal hill with the sun rising over it. In one ancient inscription a deceased king tells a succeeding ruler: “Thou who hast shone forth (h’i) as a god, hearken to what I shall tell thee.” The Egyptian word used for “forth” in this sentence is h’i, the hieroglyph of which is the rising sun hovering over the Primeval Hill, which commonly symbolized the ascension of the pharaoh to the throne, and the elevating sun and stars. The pharaoh, in this astral depiction, was thus associated with the heavenly bodies, and was believed to have even been a part of them. In the coronation of a pharaoh, the new ruler was made to “stand” high over his country to be presented to his “father” Ra, symbolizing the sun-god Atum, standing over the Primeval Hill. In this state of ascendancy, the gods are asked to permit the new pharaoh to reach the heavens, reminding us of that goal of the builders of Babel, to bridge man with the host of heaven. This request of the Egyptian heathens, as well the pharaoh being described as standing over his land, and being presented to the sun, is recorded in the following text:
“Stand (as king) over it, over this land which has come forth from Atum, the spittle which has come forth from the beetle. Be (king) over it; be high over it, that thy father may see thee, that Re may see thee. He comes to thee, O father of his; he comes to thee, or Re! …Let him grasp the Heavens and receive the Horizon”.
Seti I was praised as “the Son of Re”, “the good god,” and “the Horus of Gold”.
At Medinet, Tuthmosis III was portrayed as the son of Atum the sun-god, at Amada as the son of Ra, at Semnen as the son of the god Dedun, and at Karnak as the son of Amon, Ptah, and Hathor.
King Piankhi extolled himself as being born from Ra; that the seed of this god was lodged within him, and that he had done nothing unless he was commanded to do so by the solar deity which possessed him:
“I am he who was fashioned in the womb and created in the divine egg, the seed of the god [Ra] being in me. By his Ka [oath] there is nothing which I shall do without him; it is he who commands me to do it.”
The king ascending to the sky and given the ability to grasp the sun, was a symbol of his accession, and thus his absolute power on the throne. The desire of Babel to go up to heaven indicated their want for universal sovereignty; and we find this same belief observed by the Egyptians in regards to their pharaoh. In fact, a verse from the Pyramid Texts even describes the pharaoh as not just one who mounts the heaven, but as being one with the stars:
“The face of the sky is washed, the celestial expanse is bright, the god is given birth by the sky upon the arms of Shu and Tefnat, upon my arms. …Do not break up the ground, O you arms of mine which lift up to the sky as Shu; my bones are iron and mine limbs are the Imperishable Stars. I am a star which illumines the sky, I mount up to the god that I may be protected, for the sky will not be devoid of me and this earth will not be devoid of me forever. …[T]he King will not die because of any dead; for the King is an Imperishable Star, son of the sky-goddess who dwells in the Mansion of Saket.”
Pharaohs were believed to have been uplifted by the stars to the heavens after death, as one hymn attests, proclaiming to the dead king Unas, “the stars which never set bear thee up”. The soul of Unas was said to have flew with its wings to heaven where it would stand amongst the stars, and become Venus.
The effects of idolatry are clearly seen in not just hymns, but in how the Egyptians would openly worship the pharaoh. Each day, the pharaoh had sacrificed to the gods with the high priests by his side, and round about him were the common people, who stood by their tyrant as those of Babel revolved around their tower. The priests, in unison, would proclaim with a loud voice the great nature of their pharaoh: his justice, equitableness, honesty, self-control, and numerous other titles of flattery. After the vain praise was over, the complete holiness of their tyrant was proclaimed, in that he was entirely free from any error, and the punishment for any consequences would be placed on those who served him and taught him evil. An engraving has even been found showing a pharaoh worshipping his own image. Altars were built for each pharaoh, and even an entire sacerdotal order was instituted for his cult alone.
When the pharaoh perished, his spirit would ascend to heaven where he would unit with Ammon-Ra, or the sun. When pharaoh Amen-em-het I died, he was described by the Egyptians as “The god” who “ascended to his horizon; the king of Upper and Lower Egypt: Sehetep-ib-Re [son of Ra] was taken up to heaven and united with the sun disc. The body of the god merged with him who made him”, and like the wailings of the dead king Tammuz, “The Residence City was in silence, hearts were in mourning, the Great Double Doors were sealed shut. The courtiers (sat) head on lap, and the people were in grief.” The worship of the deceased king as a sun-god was done by the whole nation, and thus was collectivism done in the form of imperial, and astral, religion.
What were the consequences of this imperial cult? Utter servility on the part of the pharaoh’s subjects. Collectivism was exemplified within Egypt as well, and conducted by the most cruelest means. It was not “every man under his vine and under his fig tree,” (I Kings 4:25) as in ancient Israel under Solomon, in which one had the liberty to enjoy the produce of his land which he had owned, but every man under the throne, and all of his belongings were to the pleasures of the pharaoh. The wife belonged not to the husband, the son or daughter not to their father; lands not to their tiller, nor the fruits of labour to the one who had grown them. All land was the property of the state, its pharaoh, its priests, and its soldiers, to whom the peasant was compelled to pay a cruel taxation.
In a letter written in the reign of Ramses II, between Amenenan, the chief librarian of the same pharaoh, and his pupil the poet Pentaour, we find a clear description of how seriously, and cruelly, state collectivism was enacted upon the people. “Have you ever figured to yourself,” reads the letter, “what is the life of the peasant who tills the land? Even before he has reaped, the insects destroy a portion of his crop; there are multitudes of rats in the fields; then come the flights of locusts, the beasts that ravage his harvest, the sparrows that settle in flocks upon his sheaves. If he is slow to get in what he has reaped, thieves come and take it from him: so his horse dies with fatigue in dragging the cart. The tax-gatherer arrives at the storehouse of the district, having with him officers armed with sticks, and negroes armed with palm-branches. All cry, ‘Give us your corn,’ and he has no means of repelling of their extortions. Then the wretch is seized, bound, and carried off to forced labour at the canals: his wife is bound: his children are stripped of their all. During all this time his neighbours are each at his own work, unable to help, and fearing for his own turn.”
Property was owned not because it was a right granted to us by God, but because the pharaoh had allowed you to own it. Furthermore, every right, including that of property, was observed on account that it was bestowed to the subject by his pharaoh. Therefore, his rights could have been amended and seized at any given moment by the king; even the liberty to live was conferred by the pharaoh, and thus could be taken away when he pleased.
How did such a government, in which the king is worshipped, come to be in Egypt? The answer is found in the ancient Egyptian people themselves. It was the masses who had collectively believed, with the strongest ardency and pertinaciousness, that their tyrant was truly divinely associated with the stars and planets which they had so venerated. “The Egyptians,” wrote Diodorus, “adore their kings as equal to the gods;” and such reverence was found in the beliefs of the people. One Egyptian had rejoiced in the act of merely touching the pharaoh’s knee; and so sincerely did the people observe the imperial cult, that they were concerned more about the health of the pharaoh, than the welfare of their own wives and children.
Man, in the land of the pharaohs, was esteemed as capable of receiving apotheosis; for it was believed that the priests of that land could overpower even the gods themselves. The Egyptian wizard would command a certain deity to appear before his eyes, and any refusal to do so was met with the threatenings of the conjurer. The philosopher Porphyry, in his letter to Anebon, had spoke of such beliefs with disdain, esteeming them as utter blasphemy to the gods. “I am much disturbed,” says he, “at the idea that those whom we invoke as omnipotent (beings) should receive injections like the weakest; and that while exacting from their servants the practice of justice, they should nevertheless appear disposed to do unjust acts if they are so commanded; and that whilst refusing to grant the prayers of those who have not abstained from the pleasures of love, they should act as guides to any immoral man in unlawful and sensual pleasures.” The Egyptian would declare his commands to the Sun, Moon, and other heavenly bodies, and if they were not met, he would, like those of Babel, threaten to demolish the sky.The pharaoh Apries, or Pharaoh-Hophra, is said by Herodotus to have challenged his own deities, believing “that there was not a god who could cast him down from his eminence”.
Certain incantations found in ancient papyri have the wizard equate himself with various astral deities. In one prayer used to protect oneself against crocodiles, the necromancer declares himself as Anhur, the planet Mars: “Do not be against me! I am Amen. I am Anhur, the good guardian.” The same conjurer 56would equate himself to Month, a god of war and the Sun, and with the deity Set: “Do not erect thyself! I am Month. Do not try to surprise me! I am Set.”
When death had met the Egyptian, and his eternal fate was not the underworld, his soul transform into a hawk, the symbol of the sun-god Ra, and would make a journey to “the bark of the sun,” where he would be received by the solar deity. In order to make a dead person equal with the sun-god Osiris, one had to prefix the name of the same god with that of the deceased.
PHARAOH AND MAAT
The age of the pharaohs had its genesis with Menes: he had begun a system of government which had placed all of the authority over Egypt, the lives of its inhabitants, and its property, in the hands of one deified monarch. The masses were made insignificant, all united into a body of nameless persons; and the pharaoh was made great by the servile state of the people. They had been unified to be but a bed of slaves, only to be the footstool of their beloved pharaoh. Thus, the state which Menes had established was one of collectivism, and his power over it was greatly associated with the worship of the host of heaven and the earth.
The title of the pharaoh that indicated his power over all the land was “King of Upper and King of Lower Egypt,” and the appellation was certainly not secular, but was thoroughly connected to astral religion. For, accompanied with this title, was the epithet “The Two Ladies,” which signified that the pharaoh was the manifestation of the goddesses Nekhbet, who had represented Upper Egypt, and Wadjet, Lower Egypt. The pharaoh was also revered as “The Two Lords,” which indicated that he was the embodiment of both Seth, Upper Egypt, and Horus, Lower Egypt. Horus and Seth was symbolic of all conflict; they had quarreled and fought, with the latter subduing the former. But in the midst of their warring, it was believed, came reconciliation, and thus harmony amongst the cosmos. It was this mythological concept which the pharaoh represented: it was symbolic of his control over both Upper and Lower Egypt, his crushing over all opposition, and the unchanging order of the monarchy. It is the reason why one finds in the pyramid texts a depiction of a pharaoh calling upon the creator god Atum to look upon him, “the two-dwellers-in-the-place, that is Horus-and-Seth”. We find another example of this in another pyramid text which speaks of a pharaoh’s rebirth into eternity: “Thou art born of Horus (in thee) Thou art conceived because of Seth (in thee).”
The apotheosis of the pharaoh was not mere flattery, but in fact had dictated the way of life for the Egyptians: the entire political, economic, religious, and cultural, system of Egypt was moulded by this imperial cult.
It is most requisite for our study of Egyptian tyranny, to inquire of the concept of the goddess Maat, the daughter of the sun-god Ra, who represented the established order of the cosmos, and of the creation itself. When the pharaoh had ruled and kept order in his kingdom, it was believed that he was maintaining maat, which signified “right order”, which not only meant in caring for political and societal affairs, but for certain necessary phenomena of nature, such as the Nile river. When the pharaoh possessed maat, he was “maa kheru”, or he who possessed unlimited power over nature and the cosmos. It is for this reason that the pharaoh Amenhotep III boasts himself as working “to make the country flourish as in primeval times by means of the designs of Maat.” Also, in other text the pharaoh is praised as such: “Authoritative Utterance (hu) is in thy mouth. Understanding (sia) is in thy heart. Thy speech is the shrine of truth (maat).” All authority was was shouldered upon the pharaoh; all aspects of living, both secular and religious, and all functions of natural order, were under his authority. Hence the following boastings of the king Amenemhet:
“I was one who produced barley and locoed the corn-god. The Nile respected me at every defile. None hungered in my years, nor thirsted in them. None hungered in my years, nor thirsted in them. Men dwelt (in peace) through that which I wrought…All that I commanded was as it should be.”
This bestowing of agricultural benefits which the pharaoh had brought, such as the growing of barley, was not merely produced in an indirect way, such as by supporting the farmers of the land, but by the ruler’s maintaining of Maat, or the order which enabled nature to function without hinderance for the benefit of the society. The fertility of fields, beasts, and plants, were believed to be embodied by the god Min with whom the pharaoh was associated; for it was he who had insured the benefits of these natural phenomena. One text exemplifies this belief, uniting the heart of Min with that of the pharaoh, and comparing this with how Osiris united with his mother by having with her incestuous copulation:”Thy (Min’s) heart united with the king as the heart of Horus united with his mother Isis when he violated her and turned his heart toward her.”
The dominion over nature which the pharaoh had held, had dictated the existence of his subjects. A common title of the pharaoh was di ankh, or “giver of life”, which meant that while he was the sustainer of life of his people, he could take it away at any time to his liking. Di ankh also meant “endowed with life”, which has the same significance as the former explanation. It is for this reason why the pharaoh also held the title of he who “keeps the hearts alive”. So strongly was this belief instilled in the people of Egypt, that children were instructed by their parents on how great the imperial cult was. A certain Egyptian named Sehetepibre, had instructed his children on the aspects of the pharaoh as such:
“He is one who illuminates the Two Lands more than the sun disk. He is one who makes the Two Lands more green than a high Nile. He has filled the Two Lands with strength and life. The king Ka [vital force]. His mouth is increase. He is the one creating him who is to be. He is the Khunum (former) of all limbs, the begetter who causes the people to be.”
It was the pharaoh who had given each Egyptian his Ka, or vital force; it was essentially his will power. On a stela it is inscribed: “The king gives his servants Ka’s and feeds those who are faithful.” The pharaoh Akhenaten, was not only identified with the Ka of each subject, but was also attributed to the begetting, forming, and developing, of his people, as one Tell el Amarna inscription reveals:
“Praises to thee, O Ua-en-Re (Akhenaten), I give adoration to the height of heaven. I propitiate him who lives by truth (maat), the Lord of Diadems, Akhenaten, great in his duration; the Nile-god by whose decrees men are enriched; the food (kau) and fatness of Egypt; the good ruler who forms me, begets me, develops me, makes me to associate with princes; the light by sight of which I live–my Ka day by day.”
The maintaining of maat by the pharaoh was not considered as being done in Egypt, but also in all countries, and was thus associated with a universal dominance, since the king was indeed a conquering sovereign, who had expanded his kingdom for the attainment of world rule. A ancient Egyptian song, composed to celebrate the ascension of the throne by Merenptah, speaks of the universal rule of the pharaoh, his working of maat, and his punishment of supposed sinners:
“Rejoice, thou entire land, the goodly times has come. A lord is appointed in all countries. …O all ye righteous, come and behold! Truth has repressed falsehood. The sinners are fallen on their faces. All that are covetous are turned back. The water standeth and faileth not, the Nile carrieth a high flood. The days are long, the nights have hours, the months come aright. The gods are content and happy of heart, and life is spent in laughter and wonders.”
PAGANISM IN CANAAN
Why did God choose the land of Canaan? I once had a discussion on this in a Bible study, and the answers were quite vague and typical. One said, “I feel God in my backyard,” while another stated, “I sense the presence of God when I am snow skiing.” All of these answers show how limited and shallow Biblical thinkings has become. The question is why did God choose a specific land, and not one’s own backyard. Paul tells us that Abraham “looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Hebrews 11:10) Thus Jerusalem is the City of God; Abraham was chosen because he sought out a Godly place, unlike the heathen land of Mesopotamia where the despotic tower of Shinar was built. God picked Abraham because he thirsted for the truth, and guided him to a place of likeminded men. The Canaanites, therefore, knew and believed in God before they devolved into fanatical pagan violence. It is a false believe that the Hebrews just massacred a nation of Canaanites who had no idea of the true religion and innocently followed their native faith. The truth is that when the Hebrews conquered Canaan, they were not conquering a people who didn’t know God, but had forgotten God. People wonder why God chose Canaan for Abraham, and the answer is simple: it was a land where saints still lived in a world utterly lost.
The past knowledge of God by the Canaanites, is so well founded that they had even remembered the Biblical Adam, since they had called their god El, “abu adami”, or “the father of man”; Adam and adami both meaning ‘man.’ Humanity once knew the set of precepts taught by Noah, but those soon had become but pebbles in an endless sea of lost souls. In the age which Abraham had lived, there still lied a remnant of the followers of pure religion, one of which had resided in the land of Canaan: he was Melchizedek, whose name signifies “King of righteousness,” as St. Paul tells us. (Hebrews 7:2. Josephus interprets the name in the same manner (Joseph. Antiq. 1.9.2))
There are but few verses from Scripture which speak of him, but from such a small amount of references can one affirm his significant place in the greatest war of ideas: that between the City of God, and the City of the Devil. He had brought to Abraham after his rescuing of Lot, and his defeat over the king of Elam, bread and wine; he had blessed him, and declared his praise for the true God. Moses describes Melchizedek as “the priest of the most high God.” (Gen. 14:18) And upon blessing Abraham Melchizedek declared: “Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy land.” (Gen. 14:19-20) When such a blessing was said, Abraham gave Melchizedek “tithes of all”, which was an offering of a tenth of the spoils (Hebrews 7:4) from the patriarch. The holy priesthood of God, which had followed the laws divinely given to Noah, had its existence even in those days when the doctrines of wizards had overtaken most of the modish and docile souls of mankind. He was a man preserving a remnant of the purest percepts of the Almighty.
He was of those watchmen who kept the flame of their torches lit, in the midst of a world which cared not for the guidance of light in an ever going darkness, in order to prevent their fellowman from falling into the pit of confusion. He was of the line of Canaan, Melchizedek’s praise to God as “possessor of heaven and earth” (Gen. 15:19) is an expression of his worship of the Creator, and not the creation; but his countrymen, the Canaanites, were in the midst of collectively venerating the latter. God gave His law of light, and we flock to the darkness; from being made in the image of God, we degraded man to the level of the beasts, and saw the life of mortals with but the cruelest of contempt. Such was the nature which the Canaanite would soon fully espouse. In the time of Abraham the wickedness of Canaan was increasing; for the Almighty had prophesied to the patriarch of the coming subjection of the Hebrews by Egypt, the exodus, and the conquest made by Israel over the Canaanites on account of their evil. “Know of a surety that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs,” declared God to Abraham, “and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them four hundred years; and also that nation, whom they shall serve, will I judge: and afterward shall they come out with great substance. And thou shalt go to thy fathers in peace; thou shalt be buried in a good old age. But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.” (Gen. 15:13-16)
The reference to the Amorites is, in fact, speaking of all Canaanites of the land. The words of the Almighty are an attestation to His patience for the Canaanites; for in that day their violence had not yet exceeded to a level worthy of their replacement by the Hebrews, since a priest of God, Melchizedek, was in their midst; still was he but a candle in a land as black as the pitch of Babel. It is here that one can observe the transition of the Canaanites from the worship of Jehovah, to the veneration of the host of heaven above, the nature upon, and the spirits of Hades under, the earth.
There is indeed great significance in the person of Melchizedek: the Almighty describes the Messiah, Christ, as being of the priestly order of this Canaanite saint, coming to establish the Kingdom of Heaven over the tyrants of the earth:
“The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy mouth. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right hand shall strike through kings in the days of his wrath. He shall judge among the heathen, he shall fill the places with the dead bodies: he shall wound the heads over many countries. He shall drink of the brook in the the way: therefore shall he lift up the head.” (Psalm 110)
When Melchizedek “brought forth bread and wine” to Abraham, (Gen. 15:18) it was an observance of the Holy Eucharist, and thus an event which prophesied the atonement for all of humanity through the body and blood of Christ when He was crucified. The giving of the bread and wine by Melchizedek had foreshadowed that glorious Supper of the Lord, in which Christ had given the same to his disciples. “And as they were eating,” writes Matthew, “Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26:26-28) What beauty does the Holy Communion have, being observed by the Saints of the farthest antiquity, and announcing its abolition for the dark rite of human sacrifice, for the triumph of the Blood of Christ; what morality it instills, that even Voltaire, who wrote against Christianity, declared his reverence for the eternal ritual of the Church. “Here then are people,” says he, “who partake of the communion amid an august ceremony, by the light of a hundred tapers, after solemn music which has enchanted their senses, at the foot of an altar resplendent with gold. The imagination is subdued and the soul powerfully afflicted. We scarcely breathe; we forget all earthy considerations: we are united with God and he is incorporated with us. Who durst, who could, after this, be guilty of a single crime, or only conceive the idea of one? It would indeed be impossible to devise a mystery capable of keeping men more effectually within the bounds of virtue.”
The order of Melchizedek was, apparently, to the animosity of the heathen Canaanites, who had rejected the faith for a cult of despotism which had corrupted the altar of Noah by shedding the blood, not of clean animals, but of innocent babes; and by the atonement of Christ is the rite of human sacrifice impenetrably defied, since indeed was He the only one merited to die for our sins. Thus is Melchizedek a symbol of the saints against tyranny, in a world where God is acknowledged only in the prose of a remnant, and the seizing and dishonoring of human life is glorified. And as the sun breaks with with its rays the darkest of nights, so shall the light of the Savior illuminate the souls of mankind, and shatter every principality and doctrine of despotic nature, which chains and yokes the lives of men. “Come unto me,” declares the Christ, “all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
The priesthood of Christ was eternal; it has no beginning nor end, just as the origin of Melchizedek is never mentioned. He appears in Scripture just as Christ shall return: under the shadow of our expectations, and without us foreknowing. The origins of Melchizedek are not once alluded to: his father nor his mother are ever brought up, just as Christ, before the beginning and after the end Has no inception. “Without father,” declares St. Paul on Melchizedek, “without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.” (Hebrews 7:3)
Moses recounts that Melchizedek was “king of Salem”, (Gen. 14:18) or Jerusalem, Melchizedek was therefore the “King of peace” to use the verse of St. Paul; for such is the significance behind the word Salem. (Hebrews 7:2) And so was that city, Jerusalem, originally holy, and from the beginning the City of God. In fact, Josephus tells us that it was Melchizedek who built Jerusalem and served as its first king:
“But he who first built it was a potent man among the Canaanites, and is on our tongue called [Melchisedek], the Righteous King, for such he really was; on which account he was [there] the first priest of God, and first built a temple [there], and called the city Jerusalem, which was formerly called Salem.”
Even before the Hebrews conquered Jerusalem, the city knew God. But soon would its native inhabitants turn against the Kingdom of Heaven, and amend its citizenry to that of the City of Hell. The Book of Wisdom gives a vivid description of the cruelties which were done as a result of Canaanite religion:
“You hated the people who in you holy land long ago, because they did horrible things: they practices magic and conducted unholy worship; they killed children without mercy and ate the flesh and blood of human beings. They were initiated into secret rituals in which parents murdered their own defenseless children.” (Wisdom 12:2-6, GNT)
As we know from Scripture, (Leviticus 18:1-23) the Canaanites partook in the most grotesque of abominations: man laid with man, and woman with woman. Male prostitution was very prevalent and treated as a ritual in which the man was to be the counterpart of the female qedeshah, or “sacred harlot.”Their passions had escalated against natural moral sense, having copulated even with animals, and sacrificed their children to Saturn or Molech. It was for this reason why God, through Moses, forewarned his people on these horrid acts of the Canaanites:
“Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast before you: and the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgements, and shall not commit any of these abominations; neither any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you: (for all these abominations have the men of the land done, which were before you, and the land is defile;) that the land spue not you out also, when ye defile it, as it spued out the nations that were before you. For whosoever shall commit any of these abominations, even the souls that commit them shall be cut off from among their people. Therefore shall ye keep mine ordinance, that ye commit not any one of these abominable customs, which were committed before you, and that ye defile not yourselves therein: I am the Lord your God.” (Leviticus 18:24-29.)
The sons of Canaan were granted with the grace of the Almighty, but eventually their evils arose to where it was time for a people more righteous to replace them: the Hebrews. A people utterly debased will always be taken by a people more virtuous. The laws of Moses, by being against idolatry, prevented the people from becoming tyrannical, and sacrificing their children to heathenish gods. Let us first inquire the history of this evil which the Canaanites had observed, in order to further inquire on the origins of tyranny.
The peoples of Canaan, Phoenicia, and Carthage, called themselves Canaanites in antiquity, and therefore they had heathen religion of the Canaanites which exalted the nature and the hosts of heaven. And while the worship of nature may excite the moderns, who esteem the gods of the heathen with romantic descriptions, in truth, the major gods of the Canaanite were those of pure horror and cruelty; they had called for death, and grinned with sadistic laughter at the butchering of men, and the suffering of mortals. The goddess Anath was believed to have ornamented herself with human heads and hands after committing a slaughter of men, in which, as an ancient text reads: “her liver swelled with laughter, her heart was full of joy, the liver of Anath (was full of) exultation (?).” Once her thirst for blood is satisfied, it was said that Anath washed her hands in human blood.
The Phoenician historian Sanchoniathon, who was said to have lived before the Trojan war, had recounted the religious beliefs, and superstitions, of the earliest people of Phoenicia. Sanchoniathon, as he is quoted by Eusebius, refers to the beginning of the worship of nature, before the inhabitation of Phoenicia, in which the “first men consecrated the productions of the earth, and judged them gods, and worshipped those things upon which they themselves lived, and all their posterity and all before them: to these they made libations (or drink-offerings), and sacrifices.” Those who were the first to make their abode in Phoenicia, the Canaanites, had lifted their hands toward the sun in tumultuous times, and esteemed it as the ruler of all heaven. When “great droughts came (upon the land) they stretched forth their hands to heaven,” says Sanchoniathon on these first Phoenicians, “towards the Sun, to this (he says), they suppose to be the only God, the Lord of Heaven, calling him Beelsamin, which name among the Phoenicians signifies Lord of Heaven”.
This very ancient worship of the sun exemplified by the Canaanites is shown in the name of a city of Canaan, Beth-shean, the inhabitants of which showed a tenacious resistance toward the children of the Hebrew Manasseh. “The hill is not enough for us: and all the Canaanites that dwell in the land of the valley have chariots of iron,” declared the Hebrews, “both they who are of Beth-shean and her towns, and they who are of the valley of Jezreel.” (Joshua xvii.16.) It was the name of this city, Beth-shean, which was said by Byzantine historian Eugesippus to mean “domus Solis,” or “house of the sun.” The title of this Canaanite city is also said to have Hamitic origins, an observation which testifies to the fact that it was indeed the posterity of Ham who originated the worship of the host of heaven.
Canaanites observe the cruel rite of human sacrifice, following the infernal rituals of the Phoenicians. The origin of Canaanite human sacrifice is described by the historian Sanchoniathon who recounted that the ancient Phoenician king named Il or Ilus, the founder of Byblos, was the first who commenced the debased observance when he slaughtered his son on a decorated alter as a sacrifice to receive the help of the gods during the perils of war. It was thus this king who the Canaanites followed when they passed their sons and daughters through the fire of Molech.
The Canaanites had used high places to, like those of Babel, reach the host of heaven. They worshipped their idols, in the words of Moses, “upon the high mountains, and upon the hills,” (Deuteronomy 12:2) since, to them, to be lofty was to bring them closer to the gods, and to bridge them with heaven. This belief is shown by the fact that they had a Mount Heres, or “the Mountain of the Sun.”Hence why the Canaanite deity Hadad was believed to have lived in the northern heavens, while his throne was upon a high mountain. But this idolatry led them to esteem themselves superior over the most helpless of beings, shedding the blood of babes and youths. It was a civic duty to go up to these high places, since when Jehoram had adopted Canaanite religion, he compelled his people to ascend the high places on the tops of mountains, where no doubt human sacrifice took place. Archeology has proven these human sacrifices to be true, and not based on Hebrew biases toward the Canaanites. In Gezer a high place was found which contained ten pillars, the tallest of which was ten feet and nine inches. The bodies of sacrificed babies were found all around the heathen structure, most of them being stuffed in large jars, not being honored as human beings, but mere objects.
They had made themselves tyrants in worshipping the sun, moon, stars and planets. When the king of Judah, Manesseh, had adopted this heathenism, he, observing it with far more zeal than even the Amorites, (II Kings 21:11) “reared up altars for Baal, and made a grove, as did Ahab king of Israel; and worshipped all the host of heaven and served them.” (II Kings 21:3) Manesseh had erected altars for sidereal and planetary worship, in the temple of God in Jerusalem, and in “the two courts of the house of the Lord.” (II Kings 21:4-5) His debased superstition resulted in the sacrifice of his own son, just as the Canaanites had done. “And he made his son pass through the fire,” recounts Scripture, “and observed times, and used enchantments, and dealt with familiar spirits and wizards: he wrought much wickedness in the sight of the Lord, to provoke him to anger.” (II Kings 21:6) He had done everything which the Laws of Moses forbade, and the result was tyranny; for those holy precepts which God declared against idolatry are a preventive of despotism. Genesis 11, in which God stops the building of Babel and its tower, was a statement against tyranny; and since the tower was used to worship the host of heaven, Manesseh, and the Canaanites, had followed the ultimate road to despotism.
Many Hebrews had followed the astral religion of the Canaanites, and the fruits of their belief had shown to be just as rotten. The idolatrous Hebrews, like the Mesopotamians, had ascended to their roof tops to worship the host of heaven: “And the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Topeth, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have burned incense unto all the host of heaven, and have poured out drink offerings unto other gods.” (Jeremiah 19:13) Notice how the Hebrews went up to their roof tops, as Ninsun the mother of Gilgamesh had done, in order to worship astral gods; they needed to ascend a lofty place to figuratively bridge themselves with the planets, just as those of Babel had attempted with their tower. And as those of Shinar had wanted to use the tower to defy God and establish tyranny, so did the Hebrews, by rejecting the Almighty, and trying to ascend to the host of heaven, end in despotism. God Himself makes this connection between idolatry and tyranny, between false religion and cruel violence, when He rebuked the people of Hinnom:
“Because they have forsaken me, and have estranged this place, and have burned incense in it unto other gods, whom neither they nor their fathers have known, nor the kings of Judah, and have filled this place with the blood of innocents; they have built also the high places of Baal, to burn their sons with fire for burnt offerings unto Baal, which I commanded not, nor spake it, neither came it into my mind: therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that this place shall no more be called Topeth, nor The valley of the son of Hinnom, but The valley of slaughter.” (Jeremiah 19:4-6.)
This Baal was no other than Molech, the Canaanite god for the planet Saturn, as God clearly declares: “And they built the high places of Baal, which are in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to cause their sons and their daughters to pass through the fire unto Molech; which I commanded them not, neither came it into my mind, that they should do this abomination, to cause Judah to sin.” (Jeremiah 32:35)
The Hebrews, because they had worshipped the planets, belittled human life, and nullified the sanctity of the individual for the appeasement of astral deities. The despotism which was done upon the high places was the reason why Moses ordered the Hebrews, that when “ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan; then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places: and ye shall dispossess the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein: for I have given you the land to possess it.” (Numbers 33:51-53) If the Hebrews had followed through this commandment, and had not turned to the ways of the Canaanite, then the atrocities they had committed for Molech would have never taken place.
REFERENCES AND NOTES
See Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 58, on Gen. 4:4.
St. Aug. City. God. 15.15, trans. Marcus Dodds. See also Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 60, on Gen. 4:8.)
See Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 63, on Gen. 4:26; Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 22, Homilies by Various Authors, on verses 25-26.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 15, on Gen. 4:26.*
See Young, An Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions in Religion, vol. i, ch. i, p. 19.*
M. Henry, Commentary., Gen. vi: 1-2; Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 68, on Gen. vi: 1-2. Raleigh affirms that the sons of God were men appointed by the Almighty to teach (Hist. World., vol. i, b. i, ch. v, sect. vii, p. 158). See also H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. vi, p. 258, on Gen. vi.4; James Unger, The Annals of the World, 14, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce; Bossuet, An Universal History, pr. 1, p. 9; Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 128, on Gen. vi. 1-8; Julius Africanus, frag. ii (in Georgius Syncellus, Chron., p. 19, al. 15), in The Extant Writings of Julius Africanus, trans. Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. vi; Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part i, p. 45.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 16, on Gen. vi.2; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, p. 87, on Gen. vi.1-4*
See James Ussher, The Annals of the World, 14, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce.*
See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 16, on Gen. vi.2; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, p. 88, on Gen. vi.1-2.*
Luther had called these men “tyrants”, see Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 137, on Gen. vi.4; H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. vi, p. 258, on Gen. vi.4. See also The Pulpit Commentary, on Gen. vi.4; M. Henry, Comm. Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 52, on Gen. vi.4.*
See Poole, A Comm. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 17, on Gen. vi.4; M. Henry, Comm. Whole Bible, on Gen. vi: 4-5; Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, on Gen. vi.4; Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 137, on Gen. vi. 4.*
See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, p. 90, on Gen. vi.5.*
See Poole, Com. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 17, on Gen. vi.4*
See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, pp. 68-69, on Gen. vi: 4.*
See M. Henry, Com. Whole Bible, Gen. vi: 4-5.*
See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, pp. 68-69, on Gen. vi.1, 4-5.*
See Poole, Com. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 17, on vi.4; Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 69, on Gen. vi.5; Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, on Gen. vi.*
See Philo Judaeus, Questions and Answers on Genesis, i, question 95, on Gen. 6:7, trans. C.D. Yonge.*
Rashi uses this verse from Deut. iv.16 to present the meaning of the text in Gen. vi.11 (see A.M. Silbermann and M. Rosenbaum, Torah with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s Commentary). See also Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions in Religion, vol. i, ch. i, p. 7.
See James Townley, Dissertation ii: On the Zabian Idolatry, in his Maimonides, The Reasons of the Laws of Moses, p. 40; Poole, Comm. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 18, on Gen. vi.11. Philo Judaeus affirms that the postdiluvians had an “excess of impiety” (Questions and Answers on Genesis, i, question 100, trans. C.D. Yonge).
Lact. Div. Inst. 4.1, trans. William Fletcher.
See Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, Pulpit Commentary, on Gen. 6: 9, 11.
See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part ii, pp. 46-47.*
Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 4.4, trans. Charles I. White.*
This latter phrase was learned from Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 5.4, trans. Charles I. White.*
The Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet I, lines 43-43, trans. Andrew George.*
Quoted by Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, Gods in the Land of Ur, p. 35.*
Maimonides in Faber, A Dissertation on the Cabiri, ch. i, pp. 10-11.*
Joseph de Maistre, Considerations on France, ch. i, p. 3, trans. Richard E. Lebrun.*
See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part i, p. 41.*
See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part ii, p. 47.*
Tertullian, Against The Valentinians, ch. iii, trans. Dr. Roberts, in The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. iii, part ii.iv, p. 504.*
See Aristides, Apology, Armenian Fragment, trans. and ed. J. Rendel Harris, in Text and Studies, vol. i, p. 37.*
“Idolatry of every kind sprang from the proneness of men to ascribe the benefits they enjoyed rather to the agency of such senses,” writes Bloomfield, “than to that of a supreme Providence.” (Found in M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, ed. Thomas Nelson, on Rom. i.23)*
See Cox in M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 7, on Rom. i.31, ed. Thomas Nelson. “‘Without natural affection;’ the exposing new-born infants, and putting aged parents to death, are striking instances of the correctness of his declaration.”*
Lact. Div. Inst. 4.1, trans. William Fletcher.*
See M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 7, on Rom. 28, ed. Thomas Nelson.*
Quoted in M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 7, on Rom. i.32, ed. Thomas Nelson.*
See Poole, Comm. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 17, on Gen. vi.4; R. Jamison, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 90, on Gen. vi.5-6; Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 69, on Gen. vi.5, 11; Bossuet, Univ. Hist. pr. i, pp. 9-10; Philo Judaeus, Questions and Answers on Genesis, i, question 100, on Gen. 6:13, trans. C.D. Yonge.*
See M. Henry, Comm. Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 55, on Gen. vi.11-12.*
See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 69, on Gen. vi: 4.*
M. Henry, Commentary., Gen. 10:8-10.*
Boccaccio, Genealogy of the Pagan gods, vol. i, book iv, ch. 68.12, trans. J. Solomon; St. Augustine, City of God, book xvi.3, trans. Marcus Dodds. Augustine affirms that Cush was the “father of the giant Nimrod”. See Raleigh, Hist. World, vol. i, b.i, ch . v , sect. viii, p. 159.*
Herod. 3.20, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
See Cory’s Ancient Fragments, ed. by Hodges, p. 77, from Eupolemus, extracted from Eusebius’ Praep. Evan., 9.*
Burnet quoted by Townsend, in James Townley, Dissertation ii: On the Zabian Idolatry, in his Maimonides, The Reasons of the Laws of Moses, pp. 40-41.*
Joseph. Antiq. 1.2.3, trans. William Whiston.*
See The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, ix.1, found in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps That Once, part vii, p. 400.*
See Thorkild Jacobson, The Harps and Once, part vii, p. 400, footnote 45. “Annals of Ashurbanipal”, writes Jacobson, “from the middle of the sixth century B.C. identify Magan with Egypt, Meluhha with Ethiopia.”*
See James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. viii, p. 267, Sargon II (721-705): The Fall of Samaria, According to the Annals of the Room XIV (11-15), trans. A Leo Oppenheim. “Iamani from Ashdod,” says Sargon II, “afraid of my armed force (lit.:weapons), left his wife and children and fled to the frontier of M[usru] which belongs to Meluhha (i.e. Ethiopia)”.*
See Kramer, Sumerian Mythology, ch. ii, pp. 60-61.*
Diod. Sic. 3.2, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
See Faber, A Dissertation on the Cabiri, ch. i, pp. 11-13.*
Henry calls the mocking of Ham “impudence and impiety” (M. Henry, Comm. Whole. Bible., on Gen. 9:22). See also St. Aug. City. God. 16.2, trans. Marcus Dodds; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 108, on Gen. 9:25; H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, pp. 346-347, on Gen. 9: 22, 23.*
See H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, p. 346, on Gen. 9:22.*
*See St. Augustine, The City of God, 16.2, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 82, on Gen. 9: 25. See also Philo Judaeus, Questions and Answers on Genesis, ii, question 68, on Gen. 9:21, trans. C.D. Yonge.*
See Poole, Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 25, on Gen. 9:25.*
*See Oswald T. Allis, God Spoke Through Moses, p. 26, on Gen. 9: 25-27.*
(See H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, p. 347, on Gen. 9:22)
*M. Henry says that Noah’s sacrifice represented Christ’s sacrifice (Comm. Whole. Bible. vol. i, p. 68, on Gen. 8:21). This interoperation is agreed by Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part ii, p. 50.*
*Lact. Div. Inst. 2.14, trans. William Fletcher.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient History, book i, part i, p. 16. “Babylon, Erech or Orchoe, Accad, and Calneh,” writes Rawlinson, “were founded by Nimrod. Ur was from an early date a city of importance. The attempt to build a tower ‘which should reach to heaven,’ made here (Gen. xi. 4), was in accordance with the general spirit of the Chaldean people.” The same historian (G. Rawlinson, Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. viii, p. 154) also tells us that “the most striking ruins now existing in the Mesopotamian valley, whether in its upper or its lower portion, are made in this way monuments of his [Nimrod’s] glory.” Brackets mine.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, ch. v, p. 70.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. v, p. 71.*
. *Joseph., Antiq., 1.6.2; see Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 27, on Gen. x:7; G. Rawlinson, The Origen of Nations, part ii, ch. iv, p. 205; Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 85, on Gen. x.7; James Strong, Main Concordance, p. 111, no. 7614.*
*See G. Rawlinson, The Origen of Nations, part ii, ch. iv, p. 205.*
*See Joseph., Antiq., 2.10.2; G. Rawlinson, The Origen of Nations, part ii, ch. iv, p. 205.*
*See Herod. Hist. 2.29, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*Diod. Sic., 3.46, trans. C.H. Oldfather. The Sabaeans, according to Diodorus, “are the most numerous of the tribes of the Arabians.” See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 27, on Gen. x:7. “Seba; or, Saba, or Sheba,” writes Poole, “whose seed were the Sabeans in Arabia the Desert.”*
*Pliny, Nat. Hist. 6.35*
*Sir Walter Raleigh, Hist. World., book i, ch. iii, sect. xiv; Diod. Sic. 3.46; Tert. Apol. ch. 42, trans. T.R. Glover & G.H. Rendall.*
*Josephus, in regards to this verse, speaks of the “Arabians that lived near to Ethiopia” (Joseph. Antiq. 9.5.3). That these Ethiopians were from south Arabia, see Lang, Commentary on the Scriptures, vol. ii, on II Chronicles 21:16.*
*Steuch. Eugub. in Gen. ii, in Raleigh, Hist. World., book i, ch. iii, sect. xiv. See also Gill, Commentary, on Acts 8:27*
*See Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v, ch. l, p. 896*
*G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, pp. 206-207. The presence of the Sabaeans, according to Rawlinson, was, “as early as Solomon”, “the chief in Arabia”.*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. iii, p. 139, on Job xxxi.26.*
*Lucian, Astrology, trans. A.M. Harmon, ed. Loeb, p. 351, brackets mine.*
*See Andrew Crichton, History of Arabia, ch. v, p. 201*
*G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, p. 193.*
*See Raleigh, Hist. World., b. i, ch. iii, sect. xiv, p. 125.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 27, on Gen. x:7. “Seba; or, Seba,” writes Poole, “whose seed were the Sabeans in Arabia the Desert; see Psal. lxxii. 10; Isa. xlii. 3; and as some think, the Abyssines in Africa.”*
*Wendell Philips, Qataban and Sheba, ch. v, p. 42. See also Diane Moczar, Islam at the Gates, prologue, p. 5, where she writes that the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula “had been influenced, and perhaps controlled, by the ancient African civilization centered in Ethiopia.”*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. i, pp. 1-4.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v, ch. ii, p. 154; G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 138.*
*G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, p. 209.*
*G. Rawlinson (The Origin of the Nations, part ii, ch. iii, p. 209) affirms the Cushite connection with the Himyaric tongue. Langdon (Semitic Mythology, ch. i, pp. 2-4) affirms that the Akkadian language is “closely allied to Himyaritic, Sabaeans, and Minaean or the South branch of the Semitic people”. Wendell Philips (Qataban and Sheba, ch. v, pp. 41-42) presents a chart of South Arabian letters by Dr. Albert Jamme, W.F., and states its close resemblance with the Ethiopic, or Abyssinian alphabet. According to Albright (Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. ii, p. 56) the language of the South Arabian inscriptions discovered are related both to Arabic and Ethiopic, but at the same time is much more ancient than either.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. xvii, p. 353, sect. 5.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, pp. 212-213.
A.R. Fausset, A Commentary, vol. ii, p. 18, on Jeremiah v: 15) See also Fausset’s commenta8ry on Amon ix. 7.*
*Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iv, Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga, p. 181; Emil G. Kraeling, Rand McNally Bible Atlas, Map iii, pp. 228-229.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise, Island, ch. v, pp. 103-105, 107, 154
*Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iv, Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga, intro, p. 183, see also n. 7.
*Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iv, p. 185, ellipses and brackets mine.*
*Enki and Ninsikila/Ninhursaga, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iv, p. 204, brackets mine, see also n. 67.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. iv, pp. 87-88.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. vi, p. 119.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 406.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 406.*
*In Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. v, pp. 106-107, brackets mine. The last ellipses used is mine.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. v, p. 108.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. v, p. 107.*
*In Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. v, p. 103.*
*In Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. v, p. 103.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. vi, p. 152.*
*See George A. Barton, Archeology and the Bible, ch. viii, p. 337.*
*In Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. ix, p. 261.*
*Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. ix, p. 270.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet ix, 75-77, trans. Andrew George. See also Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. ix, pp. 264-265.*
*Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. ii, p. 158.*
*Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 28.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 921, on Job i:1. Uz, according to Poole, “was either in Edom … or in some part of Arabia, not far from the Chaldeans and Sabeans, as this chapter witnesseth;” while Matthew Henry locates Uz in “the eastern part of Arabia.” John Gill tells us that the Sabaeans lived in Arabia Felix, and that Uz “was near to the Sabeans and Chaldeans” (Gill, Exposition of the Entire Bible, on Job i:1).*
*See G. Rawlinson, The Origen of Nations, part ii, ch. vii, pp. 241-242. Rawlinson tells us that Uz, where Job resided, was “probably also of a people, in the neighborhood of the Sabaeans and the Chaldeans. (See Job i. 1, 15, 17.)”. He as well informs us that “there were in Central Arabia, beyond the Jebel Shomer, about the modern countries of Upper and Lower Kaseem, two regions called respectfully Bazu and Khazu, which, considering the very close connection of Huz and Buz in Scripture (see Gen. xii. 21), it is only reasonable to regard as the countries those two names indicate.”*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. iii, p. 27, on Job i.17. “The Chaldeans inhabited each side of the Euphrates near to Babylon,” writes Clarke, “which was their capitol. They were also mixed with the wandering Arabs, and lived like them on rapine.”*
*Pliny, Nat. Hist. 16.4.1*
*Pliny, Nat. Hist. 5.21*
*Strabo, Geography, 16.1; 16.3.1 trans. Horace Leonard Jones.*
*Zach. Mityl. Syri. Chron. 7.2*
*Strabo Geography, 16.1.6.*
*This remark was learned from M. Henry and T. Scott, Logos Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 66, on Job xxxi: 24-32.*
*See Muir, Life of Muhammad, introd. ch. iii, p. ciii*
*See Fry in M. Henry and T. Scott, Logos Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 65, on Job xxxi: 24-32. Job’s description of this greatly archaic superstition is “justly considered a proof of the high antiquity of the book of Job, that he here mentions no other sort of idolatry, though his subject leads him to specify such if they were known.”*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 999, on Job xxxi: 27. “‘When it shined,'” writes Poole, “i.e. in its full strength and glory; for when it did most affect men’s eyes and hearts with admiration at its beauty and benefits, and so move them to adore it. Or, when it began to shine, (the complete verb being used of the beginning of it, as ‘he reigned’ is oft put for ‘he began to reign,’) i.e. at its first rising, which was a special and the chief time for its adoration.”*
*See John Landseer, Sabaean Researches, Essay iii, p. 52.*
*See Unger, Bible Dictionary, on Moab.*
See James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, no. 1242; Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 133.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet iii, lines 45-75, trans. Andrew George.*
*Strabo, Geography, 16.4.26, trans. Horace Leonard Jones.*
*See Langdon, Semitic Mythology, ch. i, p. 25.*
*See Langdon, Semitic Mythology, ch. i, p. 25.*
*See Marcus Minucius Felix, Octavius, ch. 2.4, trans. G.W. Clarke; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 999, on Job xxxi: 27; Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 29.*
*See I Kings xix: 18; Hosea xiii: 2; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 999, on Job xxxi: 27; Langdon, Semitic Mythology, Notes for ch. i, p. 378, note 17.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races: Semitic, Notes on ch. i, p. 378, note 17.*
*Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 115.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. 2, p. 417, on II Kings xvii.30.*
*See Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. i, p. 15.*
*G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 136.*
*G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, pp. 131, 133.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 116. *
*Philip Smith mentions this as well (Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. x, p. 206, sect. 10).*
*Ana or Anu is identifiable with the Greek Urania, or heaven, and the worship thereof has been called Uranolatria, or the worship of the host of heaven (See James Townley, Dissertation ii, On the Zabian Idolatry, in his Maimonides, The Reasons of the Laws of Moses, p. 38).*
*Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 999, on Job xxxi. The “idolatrous worship of the host of heaven,” writes Poole, “and especially of the sun and moon, the most eminent and glorious of that number, which was the most ancient kind of idolatry, and was most frequent in the Eastern countries, in one of which Job lived.” See Fry in M. Henry and T. Scott, Logos Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 65, on Job xxxi: 24-32. “The earliest apostasy of mankind”, writes Fry, “from the worship of the invisible God is known to have been worshipping the luminaries of the heavens;” and further more, see M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, p. 742, on Deut. iv: 19-20. “The worship of the sun,” writes Henry, “moon, and stars, is another sort of idolatry which they are here cautioned against, v. 19. This was the most ancient species of idolatry and the most plausible, drawing the adoration to those creatures that not only are in a situation above us, but are most sensibly glorious in themselves and most generally serviceable to the world.” See also Raleigh, Hist. World., vol. i, b. i, ch. vi, sect. ii, p. 162; Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. iii, p. 139, on Job xxxi.26; James Townley, Dissertation viii, in his Maimonides, Reasons for the Laws of Moses, p. 112; Warburton, The Divine Legation of Moses Demonstrated, book i, sect. iv, pp. 212-213, printed for Thomas Tegg; Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 28. The Malleus Maleficarum of of Kramer and Sprenger says that idolatry is “the first of all superstitions (Part i, quest. ii, p. 16, trans. Montague Summers).*
*See Faber’s A Dissertation on the Cabiri, ch. i, p. 9., in which he describes the Tower of Babel as “the introduction of the Sabian superstition by Nimrod.”*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 4.4, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*Quoted by St. Aug. City. God. 4.4, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See the introduction to Bilgames and Akka: ‘The envoys of Akka’, in Andrew George’s The Epic of Gilgamesh, p. 143.*
*Bilgames and Akka: ‘The envoys of Akka’, 5-7, trans. Andrew George.*
*See Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, A King of the Oppressed, pp. 129-130.*
*Quoted by Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, The King of the Oppressed, p. 130.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, p. 136. Kramer states that ziggurats and stage-towers were “intended to serve as connecting link, both real and symbolic, between the gods in heaven and the mortals on earth.”*
Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 3, p. 73
*See Gadd, Ideas of Divine Rule in the Ancient East, Lecture I, p. 6, Oxford University Press, 1948. “The Babylonian stories harp upon buildings with a notable persistence,” writes Gadd, “‘That he may lay brick of our houses in a clean place.’ (PBS. iv, no. I, p. 13, col. i. 8.) ‘Come, let us found a shrine, an abode for thee.’ (Creation Epic, vi. 40.) ‘Then was Eridu created, E-sagila was built.’ (CT. xiii. 35, I. 12.) The possession of a temple, i.e. a dwelling-house, was, in fact, the prime necessity for a god once he came to live in a civilized community.”*
*Gadd, Ideas of Divine Rule in the Ancient East, Lecture I, p. 13, Oxford University Press, 1948: “The multiplication of men led to the establishment of cities, which were portioned out amongst the brethren of the creator; from these and from their inhabitants the gods were to derive an existence of ease and plenty.”*
*See Andrew Geroge’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction p. xxxviii.*
*Herod., 1.181, trans. G.C. Macaulay; G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. v, p. 81.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xxxviii.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xxxviii.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xli. In an ancient script, it elaborates that the god Anu gave the king “his crown”; Anu or An, while the heaven-god, was as well the word for heaven. (Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, p. 122). See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. iii, pp. 166-167.*
*See Gadd, Ideas of Divine Rule in the Ancient East, Lecture I, p. 8. In the Sumerian story of the creation of mankind, while the genders of the two beings (as Mr. Gadd points out) are not specified (as opposed to the Biblical story of Adam and Eve in which their genders are made known), their purpose, and the purpose of their descendants, was to “discharge the manual duties of the gods, to toil with the spade and basket at building work, to till the fields and to celebrate the festivals, nourishing the gods by their produce. […] Building was the hardest, but it was not all. If there were no men the gods would have to provide their own food, and even prepare it for themselves. A fragment of Hittite myth introduces the god Ea uttering the usual protest at the folly of exterminating men since the gods would thereby only deprive themselves. ‘Shall it come to this,’ he exclaims, ‘that the Weather-god himself…must wield the knife, that Ishtar and Hepat must themselves grind at the mill?’. Were they to be their own butchers and bakers?”*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xlii.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part vi, ch. xix, p. 267.*
*See Joesph., Atiq., 1.4.3., trans. William Whiston.*
*See Hugu Radau, Sumerian hymns and prayers to god Nin-Ib, ch. v, p. 33.*
*Hyginus, Fabulae, 143, trans. R. Scott Smith & Stephen M. Trzaskoma.*
*See Jastrow, Religion in Babylonia and Assyria, lecture i.ii, p. 19. “The importance of Enlil continued throughout the history of Babylon,” writes Jastrow, “regardless of the political changes which erupted in the civilization, Enlil retained the theoretical headship of the pantheon.”*
*See Kramer, Sumer. Myth., preface, p. xv.*
*Kramer, ch. 4, p. 119.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. ii, pp. 83-84.*
*Tert., Apol., ch. xi, trans. Rev. S. Thelwall.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet i, lines 239-240, trans. Andrew George.*
*E.A. Wallis Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. 11, pp. 177-178.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. i, p. 63.*
*James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, The Curse of Agade, trans. Kramer, p. 416.*
*Lugalkiginnedudu of Erech of Ur (vase), in Kramer, The Sumerians, Appendixes, C. Votive Inscriptions, p. 308.*
*Kramer, the Sumerians, ch. iv, p. 121.*
*Eannatum of Lagash (boulder), in Kramer, The Sumerians, Appendixes, C. Votive Inscriptions, p. 309.*
*Eannatum of Lagash (door socket), in Kramer, The Sumerians, Appendixes, C. Votive Inscriptions, p. 309.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 27, on Gen. xi: 9.*
*Milton, Paradise Lost, book xii, lines 25-47.*
*See D.A. Mackenzie, Myths of Babylonia and Assyria, ch. iii, p. 35.*
*Tatian, Address to the Greeks, ch. viii, trans. B.P. Pratten.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. ii, p. 99. Brackets and ellipses mine. Langdon places the actual Sumerian term, “im-hur-sag,” instead of the English translation, “wind of the underworld mountain”, in the text itself.*
*Herod., 1.182, trans. G.C. Macaulay; Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. 11, p. 192.*
*See Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. 11, p. 192. Also see G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. v, p. 81, where the significance of the topmost shrine of the temple is written of.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. v, p. 79. Rawlinson affirms “that the idea of building in stages belongs to the first kingdom and to primitive times
*See Stephanie Dally’s Glossary in her Myths from Mesopotamia, p. 320.*.”*
*See Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, Temple Towers, p. 83. See also Jastrow, Religious Belief in Babylonia and Assyria, lect. v, sect. iii, pp. 287-288*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part vii, ch. xxii, p. 323.*
*Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, p. 280.*
*See Kramer, Sumer. Myth., ch. ii, p. 45, revised ed.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. ix, p. 309. In another translation of the same story, the text reads: “May the sperm, my (future) master, go heavenward, and may my sperm go to the netherworld” (in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iv, p. 176).*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. ix, p. 309.*
*Kramer, Sumer. Myth., ch. ii, p. 40, revised ed.*
*Kramer, Sumer. Myth., preface, p. xv.*
*Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. vi, p. 83.*
*Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. vi, p. 81.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, pp. 120-121.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, pp. 120-121.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part vii, p. 323.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 444.*
*Hymn to Enlil, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iii, p. 104.*
*Jastrow, Religion in Babylonia and Assyria, lecture i.ii, p. 18. “To this temple,” writes Jastrow, “known as E-Kur, ‘mountain house,’ they brought votive objects inscribed with their names. Rulers of Kish, Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Agade are thus represented in the older period, and it would appear to have been almost an official obligation for those who claimed sovereignty over the Euphrates Valley to mark their control by some form of homage of Enlil, the name of whose temple became in the course of time a general term for ‘sanctuary.'”*
*Hymn to Enlil, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iii, pp. 105-106.*
*See Pliny, Natural History, vi.xxxv, trans. H. Rackham. See also footnote c on p. 197 of this translation.*
*Pliny, Natural History, vi.xxxvi, trans. H. Rackham.*
*See Werner, African Mythology, ch. i, p. 136; found in The Mythology of All Races, vol. ii, ed. Canon John Arnott MacCulloch and George Foot Moore.*
*See Werner, African Mythology, ch. iv, p. 184, found in The Mythology of All Races, vol. ii, ed. Canon John Arnott MacCulloch and George Foot Moore.*
*See Herod. i.131, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. i, p. 60.*
*Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, p. 295.*
*See II Kings xxiii: 13.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet iii, lines 42-45, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 4, lines 39-42, trans. Andrew George.*
*See Langdon, Semitic Mythology, ch. ix, pp. 309-310.*
*This is the “temple of Zeus Belos” which Herodotus wrote of (Herod., 1.181).*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. i: Semitic, ch. ix, p. 309.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xxii.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, Time Chart.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet i, lines 15-17, trans. Andrew George.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 4.3, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*John of Salisbury, Policraticus, 1.3, trans. Cary J. Nederman.*
*See John of Salisbury, Policraticus, 3, prologue, trans. Cary J. Nederman.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xxxi.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet i, lines 67-69, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet i, line 72, trans. Andrew George.*
*See Andrew George’s translation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, introduction, p. xxxi.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet ix, lines 38-41, trans. Andrew George.*
*The fragment from Hattusa, BO1 fragment (d), trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 2, line 282, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, lines 240-245, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, lines 6-7, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 6, Ish 38′, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, Ish 25′-33’, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 2, Y 184-187, trans. Andrew George, brackets mine.*
*Version A of Bilgames and Huwawa: ‘The Lord of the Living One’s Mountain’, lines 3-6, trans. Andrew George.*
*Version A of Bilgamesh and Huwawa: ‘Lord of the Living One’s Mountain’, lines 28-29, trans. Andrew George.*
*Version A of Bilgamesh and Huwawa: ‘Lord of the Living One’s Mountain, lines 30-33, trans. Andrew George.*
*Version B of Bilgames and Huwawa: ‘Ho, hurrah!’, lines 11-13, trans. Andrew George.*
*Version B of Bilgames and Huwawa: ‘Ho, hurrah!’, lines 114-122, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Death of Bilgames, M 49-57, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, lines 2-5, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, IM 21-22, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet 5, IM 27-29, trans. Andrew George.*
*Adapa, frags. A-B, lines 10-13, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*Adapa, frag. B, lines 17-18, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*Adapa, frag. B, lines 29-32, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*Adapa, frag. B, lines 57-59, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*Adapa, frag. B, lines 59-68, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*Adapa, frag. D, lines 7-8, trans. E.A. Speiser.*
*See Raleigh, Hist. World., b. i, ch. x, pp. 368-369; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 460, on Judges ii.13.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i pr. i, p. 577, on Num. xxiii.1; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 312, on Num. xxiii.1; M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 677, on Num. xxiii.1.*
See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 645, on Num. xxiii.14, note on the word Pisgah; Poole, Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 407, on Deut. xxxiv.1; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 714, on Deut. xxxiv.1, n. 1.*
*See James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, p. 95, no. 6449.*
*See F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 820.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 714, on Deut. xxxiv.1.*
*See A.R. Fausset, Commentary, vol. ii, pr. i, p. 710, on Isaiah xlvi.1; Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. ii, pp. 160, 401, n. 177; G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 140.*
*Quoted by H.G. Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. ii, p. 59.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 580, on Num. xxviii.20.*
*Deut. iii.29, learned from Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 314, Num. xxviii.28.*
*See Poole, A Commentary, vol. i, p. 314, on Num. xxviii.28.*
*See Raleigh, Hist. World., b. i, ch. x, pp. 368-369; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 460, on Judges ii.13.*
*See Raleigh, Hist. World., b. i, ch. x, p. 368; Poole, Commentary on the Holy, vol. i, p. 314, on Num. xviii.28.*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 699, on Num. xxiv.17.*
*See M. Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 685, on Num. xxiv.17.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. i: Semitic, ch. i, pp. 59-60.*
, *Assyria followed the same religion, with minor differences, of the Babylonian (Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. xvii, p. 367, sect. 17.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. i, p. 47.*
*Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. xi, p. 189 & 192; P. 189.*
*Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. xii, p. 205.*
*See Diod. Sic., 2.28, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*On Jeremiah 7:18, where the prophet chastises the Hebrews for worshipping “the queen of heaven”, some have rendered it as “the frame of heaven” (Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. xvii, p. 367, sect. 17). The LXX does so as well (A.R. Fausset, Commentary, vol. ii, part ii, p. 27, on Jeremiah 7:18), but some also read it as “the host of heaven” (M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary, p. 171, on Jeremiah 7:18).*
*See F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. ix, p. 112.*
*The Vassal-Treaties of Esarhaddon, 2.13-3.25, trans. Albrecht Goetze, found in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. vi, p. 214.*
*The Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish), tablet v, lines 7-8, trans. E.A. Speiser, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. xi, p. 32, see footnote 21.*
*The Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish), tablet v, lines 1-2, trans. E.A. Speiser, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. xi, p. 32.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 126.*
*The Epic of Creation (Enuma Elish), tablet v, line 19, trans. E.A. Speiser, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. ii, p. 33.*
*See Ian Barnes, The Historical Atlas of the Bible, Patriarchs and Their World, p. 44. “The ziggurats in the temple of Uruk [Erech],” writes Barnes, “symbolized a transcendental like between heaven and earth in a society believing that kings came from heaven and laws were granted by the gods.” Brackets mine.*
*Diodorus recounts the Chaldeans’ reverence for the planets as “counseling gods”, one have of which “oversee the regions above the earth and other half beneath the earth, having under their purview the affairs of mankind and likewise those of the heavens” (Diod. Sic. 2.30, trans. C.H. Oldfather).*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. ii, p. 73.*
*See Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, The Creation of Paradise, pp. 50-51.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part v, ch. xvi, p. 222.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, p. 138.*
*See Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, The Cylinders of Gudea, intro, p. 387.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, pp. 138-139.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 409.*
” *The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, pp. 413, 415.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 419.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 442. The brackets which contain the words “the sun god” is mine.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 414, ellipses mine.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 418.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, ix.i, found in Thorkild Jacobson, The Harps that Once, part vii, pp. 399-400.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 406.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder A, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 422.*
*See Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 2, p. 68.*
*Found in Joseph Pearce, Old Thunder, ch. 6, p. 46.*
*See James B. Pritchard’s Ancient Near East, pp. 337-338, The King of the Road: A Self-Laudatory Shulgi Hymn, trans. Kramer.*
*Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, pp. 282-284. Ellipses mine.*
*Enmerkar and Aratta, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, p. 286. Ellipses and brackets mine.*
*See Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. ii, p. 45.*
*Enmerkar and Aratta, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, p. 292.*
*In Rice, Search for the Paradise Land, ch. vii, p. 177.*
*Hymn to Enlil, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part iii, pp. 106-107.*
*Hymn to Kesh, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 383, see also n. 25.* and at the same time it was to this ascending temple-tower, as the inscription describes, that “all (rulers on) throne daises are presenting their tribute.” *Hymn to Kesh, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 381.*
*Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, Hymn to Kesh, intro, p. 377.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 431.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 432.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 437, ellipses and brackets mine.*
*The Cylinders of Gudea, Cylinder B, in Thorkild Jacobsen, The Harps that Once, part vii, p. 439.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part v, ch. xvii, p. 245.*
See Diod. Sic. 2.29-30, trans. Oldfather; 17.12, trans. C Bradford Welles; G. Rawlinson (Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, ch. v, p. 70, see also p. 101) quotes Cicero’s On Divination, 1.41, which states that “In Syria the Chaldeans are pre-eminent for their knowledge of astronomy and for their quickness of mind.” (I used W. A. Falconer’s translation of the Latin quote which Rawlinson renders). Herodotus makes mention of the astronomical knowledge of the Chaldeans, writing thus:–“For as touching the sun-dial and the gnomon and the twelve divisions of the days they were learnt by the Hellenes from the Babylonian.” (Herod., 2.109, trans. G.C. Macaulay) See Faber, Pag. Idol., vol. i, ch. i, p. 37; Joseph. Antiq. 1.8.2, trans. William Whiston; Philo Judaeus, Questions and Answers in Genesis, iii, question i, trans. C.D. Yonge; On the Migration of Abraham, xxxii. 178; Cic. On Div. I, trans. C.D. Yonge; F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. ix, p. 121; James Townley, Dissertation viii, in his Maimonides, Reasons for the Laws of Moses, p. 112; Strabo, Geography, 16.1.6.*
*On ziggurats and temple-towers, in their relation with astrology, see Henry George Tomkins, Studies from the Times of Abraham, ch. 1, p. 8; Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, p. 138; Budge, Babylonian Life and History, ch. 3, pp. 57-58, and p. 192; G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. v, p. 101; Diod. Sic., 2.9, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Langdon, Semitic Mythology, ch. ix, p. 308-309; Faber, A Dissertation on the Cabiri, ch. i, p. 9; Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. x, p. 206, sect. 9.*
*Diod. Sic., 2.29, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*Joseph., Antiq., 1.6.4, trans. William Whiston.*
*Joseph., Antiq., 1.6.5, trans. William Whiston.*
*H.G. Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. i, p. 13: “The whole system then, of sidereal worship, with its hierarchy of the Chaldean Olympus, was in full working order when Abraham was born in his father’s house, in ‘Ur of the Chaldees'”.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. xvii, p 359, sect. 12.*
*See Koldewey, The Excavations at Babylon, ch. xxx, p. 195.*
*Quoted by Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. x, p. 201, sect. 6. Ellipses mine.*
See Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, on Gen. 8:21; Oswald T. Allis, God Spake by Moses, p. 25, on Gen. 8:20.*
*See M. Henry, Comm. Whole. Bible., vol. i, p. 70, on Gen. 9: 5-6.*
*Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, ch. iii, trans. H.R. James.*
Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 5.5, trans. Charles I. White.*
*See Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 2.4, trans. Charles I. White.*
*See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part ii, v, p. 51.*
*See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part i, pp. 35-36.*
*Richard Hooker, Of the Laws of Ecclesiastical Polity, 1.13.3, n. k, ed. R.W. Church, p. 84.*
*Tertullian, Against the Valentinians, ch. ii, trans. Dr. Roberts, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, vol. iii, part ii.iv, p. 504.*
*Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 3.1, trans. Charles I. White.*
Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 142.*
*See Carroll, A History of Christendom, vol. iii, ch. vi, p. 224*
*G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, p. 144, n. 6.*
*See Oswald T. Allis, God Spake by Moses, on Gen., p. 9. “‘Create’ (bara) is a rare word in the Old Testament,” writes Allis, “and it is always used of an act or activity of God. It does not necessarily mean creation out of nothing (ex nihlo); but this is clearly implied.”*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 144, n. 7.*
*Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 143.*
*Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 143.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part vii, ch. xxii, p. 323.*
” *Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 146.*
*Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 146.*
*In Ian Barnes, The Historical Atlas of the Bible, Patriarchs and the World, p. 46.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet xi, lines 157-160, trans. Andrew George.*
*See Andrew George’s Glossary of Proper Nouns in his translation of the Epic of Gilgamesh, on Igigi.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet xi, lines 175-176, trans. Andrew George.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet xi, lines 192-195, trans. Andrew George.*
*Quoted by Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, ch. iii, p. 30.*
*The Epic of Gilgamesh, tablet xi, lines 201-205, trans. Andrew George.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. viii, p. 155; Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 1.*
*See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part iii, i, p. 55.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 16.12, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*The Dead Sea Scrolls, ch. 40, 4Q243, 4Q244, 4Q245, trans. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, JR., Edward Cook, p. 267.*
*Jastrow, Religious Beliefs in Babylonia and Assyria, lect. ii, sect. vii, p. 112*
*Hymn to the Moon-God, trans. Ferris J. Stephens, in Isaac Mendelsohn, Religions of the Ancient Near East, part iv, p. 160.*
*See Hans Baumann, In the Land of Ur, Gudea, Builder of Temples, p. 145.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, on Gen. 11:28.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 16.12, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. ii, pp. 58-59, brackets mine.*
*The Mother of Nabonidus, i, trans. A. Leo Oppenheim, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. viii, p. 275.*
*See Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. ii, p. 58.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part ii, p. 67, on Joshua 24:2.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 454, on Joshua 24:3.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 124, on Gen. 12:1; M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 84, on Gen. 12:1; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 31, on Gen. 12:1.*
*See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 8.*
See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 23.*
*See Clarke, Commentary, vol. iii, pp. 261-262, on Psalm 16.*
*See Ainsworth, on Psalm 16:11.*
*Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 23.*
*Joseph. Antiq. 1.7.1, trans. William Whiston.*
*Achior in Judith, 5.5-9, as quoted by St. Aug. City of God. 16.13, trans. Macrus Dodds.*
See Unger, Bible Dictionary, on Laban.
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 209, on Gen. 31:17; Onkelos on Gen. 31:19, ed. A.M. Silbermann and M. Rosenbaum.* were household idols shaped like men, *See F. Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 1076; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 72, on Gen. 31:19; Rev. Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 378, on Gen. 31:19, Homilies by Various Authors, on ver. 19, Teraphim.*
*That the teraphim were images of ancestors, was suggested by Lightfoot (referenced by Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 376, on Gen. 31:19); affirmed by Jurieu, and considered by Bunsen (see R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 209, on Gen. 31:19).*
*Pseudo-Jonathan on Gen. 31:19, trans. Michael Maher.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, pp. 212-213, on Gen. 49:51; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 72, on Gen. 31:19, 53; Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 300, on Gen. 31:53; Onkelos and Rashi, on Gen. 31:53, ed. A.M. Silbermann and M. Rosenbaum; Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 196, on Gen. 31:53.* Secondly, we find from the verse just quoted that the false gods which Laban worshipped were those of Terah, Nahor, and Abraham before God had called him, and therefore were they the idols venerated in the farthest antiquity of Mesopotamia. This is evinced by Laban himself (quoted by Josephus), in which he calls his idols “paternal images which were worshipped by my forefathers, and have been honored with the like worship which they paid them, by myself.” *Laban in Joseph. Antiq. 1.19.9, trans. William Whiston.*
*See Oswald T. Allis, God Spake by Moses, p. 42, on Gen. 31:30, 32.*
*Joseph. Antiq. 1.21.2, trans. William Whiston.*
*See M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 205, on Gen. 35:1-5.*
*See Joseph. Antiq. 4.6.4, trans. William Whiston; Philo Bibl. Antiq. 18.10, trans. N.R. James; Ainsworth, Annotations on the Pentateuch, vol. ii, p. 98, on Numbers 22:41.*
See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 577, on Numbers 23:1.*
*See M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 677, on Numbers 23:1.*
*See William Whiston, Dissertation 2: Concerning God’s command to Abraham to offer up Isaac, his son, for a sacrifice, in the appendix of his Josephus, ed. Thomas Nelson, p. 992.*
*See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. ii, pp. 37-38.*
*See Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. i, pp. 24-25.*
*See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. ii, p. 39.*
Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. ii, p. 55.
*See Tomkins, Studies on the Times of Abraham, ch. i, p. 25.*
*See Newton, Chron. Ancie. Hist. 362, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce. Langdon provides the Sumerian lists of the deified kings of both Ur and Esin (The Mythology of all Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. xi, pp. 344-346).*
*See Leonard Woolley, The Sumerians, ch. ii, pp. 30-31, 39-40.*
*That Sumerian kings were deified as Tammuz, see Langdon, The Mythology of all Races, vol. v: Semitic, ch. xi, pp. 341, 345-346; that Tammuz was a sun-god, see the same author, ch. xi, p. 350; that kings were believed to have ascended to the sun after death, see the Babylonian verse provided by G. Rawlinson, The Religions of the Ancient World, ch. ii, p. 78.*
*See Joseph. Antiq. 1.13.4, trans. William Whiston.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 16.32, trans. Marcus Dodds; William Whiston, Dissertation 2: Concerning God’s command to Abraham to offer up Isaac, his son, for a sacrifice, in the appendix of his Josephus, pp. 994-995, ed. Thomas Nelson.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 16.32, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 16.32, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
See James Hastings, The Great Texts of the Bible, vol. i, The Proving of Abraham, p. 196, on Gen. 22
*Bede in Leo Sherley-Price’s introduction to his translation of Bede, A History of the English Church and People, pp. 17-18.*
*See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. ii, p. 35.*
*See Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 62.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 88, on Gen. 39:3.*
*See Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 233, on Gen. 39:8; James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, no. 2748; see also a further definition of the word “chartom” in Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, A Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 355.*
*See The Torah with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s Commentary, ed. A.M. Silbermann and M. Rosenbaum, on Gen. 41:8.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 244, on Gen. 41:38; Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 236, on Gen. 41:38.*
*Euseb. Praep. Evang. i.9, as referenced in a footnote put in Cyprian, treatise ii. 1, ed. A Library of the Fathers of the Holy Catholic Church, John Henry Parker, J.G.F and J. Rivington, Oxford.*
*See Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 352, on Gen. 41:45.*
*See Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon on the Old Testament, p. 806.*
*See Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon on the Old Testament, p. 58.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 245, on Gen. 41:45; G. Rawlinson, The Religions of the Ancient World, ch. i, p. 26-27.
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 245, on Gen. 41:45.*
*See Joseph. Antiq. 2.6.1, trans. William Whiston.*
*See Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 237, on Gen. 41:45. See also Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 352, on Gen. 41:45; James Ussher, The Annals of the World, The Third Age of the World, p. 31, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce.*
*See R. Jamison, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 245, on Gen. 41:45.*
*Juba in Pliny, Nat. Hist. 6.34*
*Diod. Sic. 1.16, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 188, sect. 32; Jacop Passavanti, The Mirror of True Penitence, in Alan Charles Kors and Edward Peters, Witchcraft in Europe, part 3, p. 110*
*James Townley’s Maimonides, Reasons of the Laws of Moses, ch. iv, p. 166.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 171, sect. 16.*
*Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon, p. 62.* “worshiper of Neith,” *Smith, Bible Dictionary, on Asenath.*
*Unger, Bible Dictionary, on As’enath. See also R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 245, on Gen. 41:45.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 126, on Exodus 5:2.*
Hermes in St. Aug. City. God. 8.23, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*Hermes in St. Aug. City. God. 8.24, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. v, p. 270*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. ii, p. 30.*
*Diod., 3.3, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*See Diod. Sic., i.15, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Herod., Hist., ii.146, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*E.A. Wallis Budge, Osiris, vol. i, preface, p. xvii.*
*See Diod. Sic. 3.3-4, trans. C.H. Oldfather. Frankfurt finds it probable that the Pharaonic civilization, in which kings were held to have divine luster, arose upon this Northeast Hamitic substratum of Africa (See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, ch. i, p. 16).*
*See F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 106.*
*See G. Rawlinson, The Origen of Nations, part ii, ch. iv, pp. 212-213.*
*See Henry Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, ch. i, p. 16; Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, p. 27. On physical similarities, see also Philp Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, pp. 25-26.
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, p. 26.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, p. 213.*
*Jastrow, Religion in Babylonia and Assyria, lecture i.i, p. 8. “Like every other script,” writes Jastrow, “the cuneiform characters revert to a purely hieroglyphic form.” See p. 10 of Jastrow’s work, in which it is stated that it is “perhaps idle to indulge the hope of ever being able to follow details of a process so complicated as the transformation of a script from its oldest hieroglyphic aspect to a form verging closely on an alphabetic system.” See also Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. xvii, p. 349, sect. 1.*
See also G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 114. The Khak of Sinti-shil-Khak, father of the king of Susa, Kudur-mabuk, is found in the name of the Ethiopian Tirhakah (see Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. ii, ch. x, p. 209, n. 56).
*See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, ch. i, p. 16.*
*See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, Notes to ch. i, p. 348, note 4.*
*See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, Notes to ch. i, p. 348, note 4.*
*See Diod. Sic. 3.3, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, Notes to ch. i, p. 348, note 4.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, b. i, part i, ch. i, pp. 17-18.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, b. i, part i, ch. i, p. 22.*
*See Herod. Hist. ii.42, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 106.* who indeed were Cushites.
*That Khunum was a solar deity, see Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 158.*
*The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt, trans. John A. Wilson, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. i, p. 21. Ellipses mine.*
*The Tradition of Seven Lean Years in Egypt, trans. John A. Wilson, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. i, pp. 23-24.*
*Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. iv, p. 103, n. 6.*
*See G. Rawlinson, The Origin of Nations, part ii, ch. iii, p. 194.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, pp. 27-28.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. iii, p. 54, footnote 4.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, pp. 27-28.*
*See Hales in Adam Clarke, Comment., vol. i, p. 83, on Gen. ix.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. iii, pp. 50-51.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, pp. 27-28; See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. iii, p. 54, footnote 4.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. i, pp. 27-28.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Origin., part ii, ch. iii, p. 194.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i, Chaldea, ch. iii, p. 51.*
*See Joseph., Antiq., 1.8.2, trans. William Whiston; Faber, Pag. Idol., vol. i, b. i, ch. i, p. 37; Herod. Hist. 2.109, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*Lucian, Astrology, trans. A.M. Harmon, ed. Loeb, p. 351.*
*See Diod. Sic., i.ii, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*See Manetho, b. i, Fr. 5 (from the Chronicle of Malalas), trans. W.G. Waddel.*
*See F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 103.*
*Found in Faber, Pag. Idol., vol. i, b. i, ch. i, p. 43.*
*Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, ch. v, pp. 189-190*
*See Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 331, on Exodus 8:26; Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, ch. v, p. 191*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 133, on Exodus 8:26.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.6, in Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, ch. v, p. 188*
*See Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, ch. v, p. 191*
*See Arthur Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, ch. v, pp. 202-203*
*Ovid. Metamorph. book v, p. 93, trans. F.J. Miller, ed. Barnes & Noble.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.11, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Herod. Hist. 2.42, trans. G.C. Macaulay.*
*this identification is made by Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. i, p. 11.*
*Juno was believed to have been the mother of Osiris, (Newton, Rev. Hist. Anc. King., ch. i, part ii, p. 61, 363, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce), and hence must be Nut, who was held as the goddess who gave birth to Osiris (Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiv, p. 175).*
*Herodotus identifies Hathor with Aphrodite (Herod. Hist. 2.41, trans. G.C. Macaulay, see the footnote made by Donald Lateiner).*
*See Pseudo-Manetho, in Syncellus, trans. W.G. Waddell, ed. Loeb.*
*In Wiedemann, Religion of Ancient Egypt, ch. vii, p. 175*
*See Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. iv, p. 127.*
*See Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 633, on Deuteronomy 4:20; Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 748, on Deuteronomy 4:20; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 346, on Deuteronomy 4:20.*
*Diod. Sic. 3.3, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book, part ii, ch. iv, p. 53.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xv, p. 182.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xv, p. 207.*
*See Diod. Sic., 1.13, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 148; Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. ii, pp. 73-74, 108.* The successor of this ruler deified as the sun was, according to Manetho, one Sophis, *See Manetho, b. i, Fr. 1.1 (from Euseb., Armen. Chron.), trans. W.G. Waddel.*
*See Diod. Sic., i.13, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Manetho, b. i, Fr. 1.1 (from Euseb., Armen. Chron.), Fr. 3 (from Syncell.), Fr. 4 (from Excerpta Latina Barbari), trans. W.G. Waddel.* which the Egyptians called Seb, *See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist., b. i, ch. ii, p. 37.*
*See Diod. Sic., i.13, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*See Diod. Sic. 1.13-14, trans. C.H. Oldfather; Theophil. Autol. ch. ix, x, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iii, ch. viii, p. 102.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiv, p. 168.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iii, ch. viii, pp. 102-103.*
*Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. ii, p. 53.*
*Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 162, sect. 7.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 45.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 149.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 158.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book ii, part vii, ch. xxi, p. 308.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 149, brackets mine.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiv, p. 173.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 149.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 149.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.11, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*Alberto R.W. Green, The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East, ch. viii, p. 117; Notes on ch. viii, n. 48, p. 297; Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 37; Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 162, sect. 7.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 37.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 38.*
*See Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, ch. i, p. 19.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 57.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 57.*
Frankfurt, Kinship and the gods, book i, part iii, ch. viii, p. 108.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 38.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iii, ch. viii, p. 109.*
*A Campaign of Seti I in Northern Palestine, trans. John A. Wilson, in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. vii, p. 234.*
*That Atum is a sun-god, see Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. v, p. 66.
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 42.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. iii, p. 42.*
*In Alberto R.W. Green, The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East, ch. viii, pp. 137-138. Ellipses and brackets mine.*
*Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. iv, p. 110.*
*Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. iv, p. 105.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.70, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.70, trans. C.H. Oldfather. See also Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 163, sect. 7.*
*Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, pp. 162-163, sect. 7.*
*Found in James A. Pritchard’s The Ancient Near East, ch. i, p. 3.*
*Found in James A. Pritchard’s The= Ancient Near East, ch. i, p. 3.*
*See Clarke, Commentary, vol. ii, p. 399, on I Kings 4:25; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 658, on I Kings 4:25.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 159, sect. 3; p. 160, sect. 5.*
*Quoted by Peter Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. vi, pp. 103-104, sect. 11.*
*See Frankfurt, Kinship and the gods, book, part i, ch. iv, p. 51.*
*That life was given by the king, see Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iii, ch. xi, p. 132.*
*See Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 162, sect. 7.*
*Quoted by Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 162, sect. 7.*
*Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, p. 163, sect. 7.*
*Diod. Sic. 1.71, trans. C.H. Oldfather.*
*See F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 101.*
*Porphyry (in Euseb. Praep. Evang. v. 7), quoted by F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 102.*
*See St. Aug. City. God. 10.11, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*Herodotus in Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. viii, p. 151.*
*F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, ch. vii, p. 96, n.2.*
*Quoted by F. Lenormant, Chaldean Magic, vii, pp. 96-97.*
*Philip Smith, Anc. Hist. b. i, ch. ix, pp. 177-178, sect. 21.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, b. i, part i, ch. i pp. 20-22.*
*See Alberto R.W. Green, The Role of Human Sacrifice in the Ancient Near East, ch. viii, p. 117.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, pp. 51; ch. v, p. 61.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, pp. 51, 58.*
*See Budge, Osiris, vol. i, ch. iii, p. 91.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book, part ii, ch. iv, p. 51.*
” *In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 51.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 57.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 57.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xv, p. 189.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xv, p. 189.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 59.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 59.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. v, p 69.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. v, pp. 63, 68.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. v, p. 69.*
*In Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part ii, ch. iv, p. 58.*
*See Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. iii, p. 72.*
*See H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. xiv, p. 463, on Gen. 14:18; Newton, Chron. Ancie. King. 410, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce; Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 102, on Gen. 14:18.*
*See Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 208, on Gen. 14:18-20; Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 209, on Gen. 14:18; Poole, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 35, on Gen. 14:18; Newton, Chron. Ancie. Hist. 411, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce; Mozley, Ruling Ideas in Early Ages, lect. i, p. 20.* and had lived in a land in which his countrymen, like a violent river, were tumbling down into the labyrinth of heathenism. *See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 142, on Gen. 14:20; H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. xiv, p. 463; Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 209, on Gen. 14:18; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 35, on Gen. 14:18; Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 209, on Gen. 14:20; Kelso, Archeology and the Ancient Testament, ch. vi, p. 48.*
*See Joseph. Antiq. 1.10.3, trans. William Whiston.*
*See Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 216, on Gen. 15:16; H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. xix, p. 486 on Gen. 15:16; Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 221, on Gen. 15:16; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 37, on Gen. 15:16.
See H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. xix, pp. 486-487, on Gen. 15:16*
*See Thomas Whitelaw, The Pulpit Commentary, p. 210, on Gen. 14:22; M. Henry and T. Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, p. 335, on Hebrews 8, ed. Thomas Nelson.*
*See Augustine, City of God, 16.22; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 141-142, on Gen. 15:18; Kelso, Archeology and the Ancient Testament, ch. vi, p. 51.*
*See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part iii, ii, p. 59.*
*Voltaire, in Chateaubriand, The Genius of Christianity, 1.7, trans. Charles I. White.*
*See A.R. Fausset, Commentary, vol. iii, part iii, p. 546, on Hebrews 7:3.*
*See Joseph. Antiq. 1.9.2, trans. William Whiston; Kiel and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 207, on Gen. 14:18; The Dead Sea Scrolls, 1QapGen, col. 23, trans. Michael Wise, Martin Abegg, JR., & Edward Cook; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 35, on Gen. 14:18; Newton, Chron. Ancie. King. 410, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce; Theophil. To Auto. 2.31, trans. Marcus Dodds.* wherein the native Jebusites had resided. *Joshua 15:8. See also Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 438, on Joshua 15:8.*
*See H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Genesis, vol. i, ch. xix, p. 466.*
*Josephus, Wars of the Jews, 6.10.1, trans. William Whiston. Read the note of the translator where he writes that the assertions of Josephus are things which “may be very true for aught we know to the contrary”. It must also be recognize that the land was not originally called Israel, but Canaan, implying that Jerusalem was indeed built by Canaanites*
See Raleigh, Hist. World., b. i, ch. iii, sect. xiv, p. 123. Raleigh affirms that “the nations which remained of the ancient Canaanites held the strongest cities upon the sea-coast, as Tyre, Sidon, Acon, Gaza, and many others; yea, Jerusalem itself was withheld from Israel (from the days of Moses even unto the time of David) by the Jebusites.” Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. iii, p. 68.*
*Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. iii, p. 77; Kelso, Archeology and the Ancient Testament, ch. viii, pp. 74-75.*
*Sanchoniathon in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 1.6, quoted from I.P. Cory, Anc. Frag., Sanchon., p. 4, ed. Hodges.*
*Sanchoniathon in Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelica, 1.6, quoted from I.P. Cory, Anc. Frag., Sanchon., pp. 4-5.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Anc. Mon., vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 126, see footnote 5 on this page as well. This translation is agreed by R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, p. ii, p. 52, on Joshua xvii.11.*
*See G. Rawlinson, Anc. Mon., vol. i, Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 126; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, p. ii, p. 52, on Joshua xvii.11.*
*See Newton, Rev. Hist. Anc. Kingd., E09, sect. 13, ed. Larry and Marion Pierce. Newton writes that the Canaanites had “sacrificed men after the customs of the Phoenicians.”*
- *See Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 774, on Deuteronomy 12:2.*
- *See Jastrow, Religious Belief in Babylonia and Assyria, lect. v, iii, p. 288*
- *See Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 34.*
- *Albright, Archeology and the Religion of Israel, ch. iii, p. 73.*
- *Joseph. Antiq. 9.5.1, trans. William Whiston.*
*See Cory’s Ancient Fragments, ed. by Hodges, pp. 21-22.**See Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. ii, p. 98.*
See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part i, pp. 38-39; Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 15, on Gen. 4:26.*
See Milton, Paradise Lost, XII.36;*
*St. Aug. City. God. 16.2, trans. Marcus Dodds.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 108, on Gen. 9:26; M. Henry, Comm. Whole. Bible, vol. i, p. 74, on Gen. 9:25.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 108, on Gen. 9:26. “Noah here speaks not of bodily or temporal blessing but of the blessing through the future promised seed,” writes Luther, “which blessing he recognizes to be so great and rich that words cannot fully express it nor do justice to it.” (In H.C. Leupold, Exposition on Genesis, vol. i, p. 351, on Gen. 9:26) See also Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 25, on Gen. 9:26.*
*Kramer, The Sumerians, ch. 4, p. 139.*
*See M. Henry, Comm. Whole. Bible., vol. i, p. 70, on Gen. 9:5.*
*Berosus in G. Rawlinson, Ancient Monarchies, vol. i: Chaldea, ch. vii, p. 146.*
*See Unger, Bible Dictionary, on Ha’ran.*
Joseph. Antiq. 1.19.8, trans. William Whiston: “Rachel took along the images of the gods which, according to their laws, they used to worship in their country,” which was Mesopotamia as we learn from the same historian (1.19.1).*
*See William Whiston, Dissertation 2: Concerning God’s command to Abraham to offer up Isaac, his son, for a sacrifice, in the appendix of his translation of Josephus, ed. Thomas Nelson, p. 991.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part i, ch. 3, pp. 43-44; part iii, p. 108; part iv, p. 182.*
*Frankfurt, Kingship and the gods, book i, part iv, ch. xiii, p. 161.*
*See Frankfurt, Kingship and the Gods, b. i, part i, ch. i, pp. 1-19.*
George A. Barton, Archeology and the Bible, part i, ch. xi, pp. 215-216.*
(See Jonathan Edwards, The History of Redemption, period i, part i, pp. 34-35.)
*See Ian Barnes, The Historical Atlas of the Bible, The Holy Land Bible, p. 367.*
*See Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i introduction to the Book of Job.*
(See Poole, A Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. i, p. 119, on Exodus 2:16; M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, p. 278, on Exodus 2:15.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, part i, p. 283, on Exodus 2:15.*
*Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, pp. 68-69.*
*See Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 70.*
*Clarke, Commentary, vol. iii, Preface to the Book of Job, p. 14.*
Clarke, Commentary vol. iii, Preface to the Book of Job, p. 15.*
*See M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, on Job 1:1.*
*See Gibbon, Decline and Fall, vol. v, ch. l, p. 906*
*See Young, Historical Dissertation on Idolatrous Corruptions, vol. i, ch. i, p. 69.*
*See the Commentary of M. Henry and T. Scott, introduction to the Book of Job, p. 1.*
*See A.R. Fausset, Commentary, vol. ii, Introduction to the Poetical Books, the Book of Job, p. ix.*
*See Emil G. Kraeling, Rand Mcnally Bible Atlas, ch. xvii, p. 343.*
*Fretelius even said that there was a Naamath in the land of Uz, where Job had lived. (A.R. Fausset, vol. ii, part i, p. 5, on Job 2:11).*
*See Smith, Bible Dictionary, on Na’amathite.*
*See Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 115.*
*James Townley’s Maimonides, Reasons of the Laws of Moses, ch. iv, p. 158.*
*James Townley’s Maimonides, Reasons of the Laws of Moses, ch. iv, p. 167.*
*See Joseph., Antiq., 4.6.2, trans. William Whiston. Balaam is said by Philo to have been infamous to kings of Moab (Philo, Bib. Antiq., 18.2, trans. M.R. James). See also M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, pp. 670-671, on Num. xxii.1-14. Henry affirms that Balaam “was the most celebrated man of that profession, and yet owns himself baffled.” See also Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 309, on Num. xxii.6 *
Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 309, on Num. xvii.5.*
*See Joseph., Antiq., 4.6.2, trans. William Whiston. Balaam is said by Philo to have been infamous to kings of Moab (Philo, Bib. Antiq., 18.2, trans. M.R. James). See also M. Henry, A Commentary on the Whole Bible, vol. i, pp. 670-671, on Num. xxii.1-14. Henry affirms that Balaam “was the most celebrated man of that profession, and yet owns himself baffled.” See also Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 309, on Num. xxii.6 *
*See James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, p. 120, no. 8205; Philo, Bib. Antiq., 18.10, trans. M.R. James; Joseph., Antiq., 4.6.4, trans. William Whiston. Clarke connects this specific reference to high places in this verse to the mountain top Pisgah in Num. xxiii.14 (Clarke, Commentary, vol. i, p. 643, on Num. xxii.41). R. Jamieson affirms that these high places were “eminences consecrated to the worship of Baal-peor (ch. xxv.3) or Chemosh” (R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 577, on Num. xxii.41). Poole tells us that the high places were “especially in that mountainous country” (Poole, A Commentary on the Holy Bible, vol. i, p. 308, on Num. xxi.28).*
*Joseph., Antiq., 4.6.4, trans. William Whiston.*
*See Torah with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s Commentary, on Num. xxii.41.*
*Balaam in Joseph., Antiq., 4.6.6, trans. William Whiston.*
*Date from W.F. Albright, in his introduction for his translation of the Moabite Stone, found in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. ix, p. 287.*
*The Moabite Stone, trans. W.F. Albright, found in James B. Pritchard, The Ancient Near East, ch. ix, p. 288.*
*See R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. i, p. 572, on Num. xxi.29; James Strong, Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, p. 56, no. 3645.*
*See Francis Brown, S.R. Driver, and C.A. Briggs, Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, p. 484, on.*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. ii, p. 427, on I Kings xi.3-6; R. Jamieson, Commentary, vol. i, pr. ii, p. 329, on I Kings xi.2-8; Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. i: Semitic, ch. i, p. 47.*
*See Adam Clarke, Commentary, vol. ii, p. 427, on I Kings xi.3-6; Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. i: Semitic, ch. i, p. 25.*
*See Langdon, The Mythology of All Races, vol. i: Semitic, ch. i, p. 25.*