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  • Tim Hurd posted an update 3 weeks, 2 days ago

    @shamaskuruk Do you believe the scriptures are true?

    • When you say the scriptures I make the assumption you mean the translation from the Hebrew Tanakh to the latter KJV? Or do you also include the Koine Greek as the original New Testament (which is Semitic writings) to the modern KJV? You are asking a very broad question, with no specificity and therefore it is hard to answer that question. If you mean the KJV Bible and whether I “believe” it in a “question none, accept all” that is also a broad sweeping question.

      I am a polytheist and so there is a lot of cross pollination between the books of –[Bereishit, Genesis] [Shemot, Exodus] [Vayikra, Leviticus] [Bamidbar, Numbers] [Devarim, Deuteronomy]– and we see earlier mongrelization between the Hebrew Semitic writings and Sumerian polytheism, Babylonian polytheism, Hurrian or Hittite polytheism, Canaanite polytheism which is adopted into Israelite culture. Though they are called Israelite’s there is no such thing as an Israelite, they (what is known as the Israelite’s) first appear in the Bible when Abraham crosses into Canaan, they (the Israelite’s) are Canaanite’s. We even see this in the linguistics; the Jewish language of today is a defunct Canaanite language. The Canaanite Language, also known as Phoenician is a branch of the West Semitic languages that include firstly Hebrew and is later adopted into Aramaic, Syriac, Arabic and other West Semitic language. Where Hebrew and Aramaic are closely related to the Canaanite language in vocabulary and grammar, Arabic is a little further off from grammatical proximity, but still retains much common vocabulary. Canaanite was spoken in Lebanon for thousands of years, and most of its lexicon is retained within the Lebanese colloquial dialect.

      Abraham is mainly thought to be a Hebrew patriarch from whom all Jews trace their descent (Genesis 11:27–25:10), however, Abraham comes from Ur (Ur is a Sumerian city and later is called Ur of the Chaldea’s). This would then state that Abraham or Ibrihim is not a Common Stock West Semitic name, but a Sumerian name. Hence, Abraham comes from Ur and doesn’t come from and is not born in any Hebraic culture. He is titled a Patriarch in Canaan and engages in polytheistic ceremonies with Melchizedek, also in Hebrews 7:3 we find that Melchizedek is born without father, 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. This does a few things, Hebrews 7:3 establishes a pre telling of the myth hero Jesus in the New Testament (and by myth I don’t mean folklore) also it indicates how there is intertextual foreshadowing shown in the Old Testament to the New Testament, but we don’t see Melchizedek as the first “Jesus” if you will in that context, there are earlier heroes, legends, and so on that establish this. Hebrews 7:3 also follows through with hints at priestly writings and their want for control and power in those early cultures. Melchizedek is made a priest, but he is Canaanite priest and hence any practices he would engage in are polytheistic and not monotheistic. While we find the character Abraham as monotheistic, yet Abraham engages in polytheistic practices, this in my opinion sets the stage for adoption. Adoption from ancient near Eastern polytheism to monotheism truly begins when the ancient Israelite’s (by this time they establish themselves as ancient Israelite’s) are released from Babylonian captivity.

      To further my contention we see adoptions from Godly figures such as West Semitic descriptions emphasizing Baal’s theophany in the storm (KTU 1.4 V 6-9, 1.6 III 6f., 12f., 1.19 I 42-46) or his role as warrior (KTU 1.2 IV, 1.5 I 1-5, 1.119.26-29, 34-36; RS 16.144.9 334). These two dimensions of Baal are explicitly linked in KTU 1.4 VII 29-35, 1.101.1-4, and EA 147.13-15 as well as some iconography. F. M. Cross treats different descriptions of Baal as a single Gattung with four elements, which appear in these passages in varying degrees. The four components are: (a) the march of the divine warrior, (b) the convulsing of nature as the divine warrior manifests his power, (c) the return of the divine warrior to his holy mountain to assume divine kingship, and (d) the utterance of the divine warrior’s “voice” (i.e., thunder) from his palace, providing rains that fertilize the earth.336 Biblical material deriding other deities reserves power over the storm for Yahweh (Jer. 10:11-16; 14:22; Amos 4:7; 5:8; 9:6). Biblical descriptions of Yahweh as storm-god (1 Sam. 12:18; Psalm 29; Job 38:25-27, 34-38) and divine warrior (Pss. 50:1-3; 97:1-6; 98:1-2; 104:1-4; Deut. 33:2; Judges 4-5; Job 26:11-13; Isa. 42:10-15, etc.) exhibit this underlying unity and pattern explicitly in Psalm 18 (= 2 Sam. 22):6-19, 68:7-10, and 86:9-19.337 Psalm 29, 1 Kings 19, and 2 Esdras 13:1-4 dramatize the meteorological progression underlying the imagery of Yahweh as warrior. All three passages presuppose the image of the storm moving eastward from the Mediterranean Sea to the coast. In 1 Kings 19 and 2 Esdras 13:1-4 this force is portrayed with human imagery. The procession of the divine warrior is accompanied by a contingent of lesser divine beings (Deut. 32:34; 33:2; Hab. 3:5; KTU 1.5 V 6-9; cf. Judg. 5:20). The Ugaritic antecedent to Resheph in Yahweh’s entourage in Habakkuk 3:5 may be KTU 1. 82.1-3, which perhaps includes Resheph as a warrior with Baal against tnn, related to biblical tannînîm.338 Though the power of other Near Eastern warrior-gods was manifest in the storm (e.g., Amun, Ningirsu/Ninurta, Marduk, and Addu/Adad),339 the proximity of terminology and imagery between the Ugaritic and biblical evidence points to an indigenous cultural influence on meteorological descriptions of Yahweh. Israelite tradition modified its Canaanite heritage by molding the march of the divine warrior specifically to the element of Yahweh’s southern sanctuary, variously called Sinai (Deut. 33:2; cf. Judg. 5:5; Ps. 68:9), Paran (Deut. 33:2; Hab. 3:3), Edom (Judg. 5:4), and Teiman (Hab. 3:3 340 and in the Kuntillet ‘Ajrûd inscriptions; cf. Amos 1:12; Ezek. 25:13). This modification may underlie the difference between Baal’s epithet rkb ‘rpt, “cloud-rider” (e.g., CTA 2.4[KTU 1.2 IV].8), and Yahweh’s title, rokeb bāa‘ărābôt, “rider over the steppes,” in Psalm 68:5 (cf. Deut. 33:26; Ps. 104:3),341 although a shared background for this feature is evident from other descriptions of Baal and Yahweh. The notion of Baal riding on a winged war chariot is implicit in, mdl, one element in Baal’s meteorological entourage in KTU 1.5 V 6-11.342 Psalm 77:19 refers to the wheels in Yahweh’s storm theophany, which presumes a divine war chariot. Psalm 18 (2 Sam. 22):11 presents Yahweh riding on the wind surrounded by storm clouds. This image forms the basis for the description of the divine chariot in Ezekiel 1 and 10. Psalm 65:12 (E 11) likewise presupposes the storm-chariot image: “You crown your bounteous year, and your tracks drip with fatness.” Similarly, Yahweh’s storm chariot is the image presumed by Habakkuk 3:8 and 15:

      Was your wrath against the rivers, O Yahweh?
      Was your anger against the rivers,
      or your indignation against the sea,
      when you rode upon your horses,
      upon your chariot of victory?
      You trampled the sea with your horses,
      the surging of the mighty waters.

      The description of Yahweh’s horses fits into the larger context of the storm theophany directed against the cosmic enemies, Sea and River. (The horses in this verse are unrelated to the horses dedicated to the sun in 2 Kings 23:11, unless there was a coalescence of the chariot imagery of the storm and the sun ) The motif of chariot-riding storm-god with his divine entourage extends in Israelite tradition to the divine armies of Yahweh riding on chariots with horses (2 Kings 2:11; 6:17). Other features originally attributed to Baal also accrued to Yahweh. Albright and other scholars 344 have argued the epithet ‘ly, “the Most High,” belonging to Baal in the Ugaritic texts (KTU 1.16 III 6, 8; cf. RS 18.22.4’), appears as a title of Yahweh in 1 Samuel 2:10, 2 Samuel 23:1, Psalms 18 (2 Sam. 22):14 and 68:6, 30, 35 (cf. Dan. 3:26, 32; 4:14, 21, 22, 29, 31; 5:18, 21; 7:25), in the biblical hypocoristicon ‘ē/î, the name of the priest of Shiloh,345 and in Hebrew inscriptional personal names yhw‘ly, “Yahu is Most High,” yw‘ly, “Yaw is Most High,” ̔lyhw, “Most High is Yahu,” and ‘lyw, “Most High is Yaw.”346 The bull iconography that Jeroboam I sponsored in Dan and Bethel (1 Kings 12:28-31) has been attributed to the influence of Baal in the northern kingdom. This imagery represented an old northern tradition of divine iconography for Yahweh used probably as a rival symbol to the traditional royal iconography of the cherubim of the Jerusalem temple.347 The old northern tradition of bull iconography for Yahweh is reflected in the name ‘glyw, which may be translated, “Young bull is Yaw,” in Samaria ostracon 41:1.348 The ca. twelfth-century bull figurine discovered at a site in the hill country of Ephraim and the young bull depicted on the tenth-century Taanach stand likewise involve the iconography of a god, either Yahweh or Baal. 349 Newer discoveries have yielded iconography of a deity on a bull on a ninth-century plaque from Dan and an eighth-century stele from Bethsaida.

      Indeed, evidence for Yahweh as bull appears in Amherst Papyrus 63 (column XI): “Horus-Yaho, our bull is with us. May the lord of Bethel answer us on the morrow.”351 Despite later syncretism with Horus, the text apparently preserves a prayer to Yahweh in his emblem-animal as a bull invoked as the patron-god of Bethel. The further question is whether these depictions were specific to either El or Baal (or both) in the Iron Age. The language has been thought also to derive from El, frequently called “bull” (tr) in the Ugaritic texts. There is some evidence pointing to the application of this iconography to El in the Iron Age.

      The title, ‘ăbîr ya‘ăqōb, “bull of Jacob” (Gen. 49:24; Ps. 132:2, 4), derived from the bovine imagery of El. The image of Yahweh having horns “like the horns of the wild ox” (kĕtô ̔ăpōt rĕ’ēm) in Numbers 24:8 also belongs to this background. Other Late Bronze and Iron I iconographic evidence might favor a connection with Baal.352 The reference to kissing Baal in 1 Kings 19:18 and the allusion to kissing calves in Hosea 13:2 353 would seem to bolster the Baalistic background to the bull iconography in the northern kingdom. However, the mention of kissing bulls in the apparent context of the Bethel cult in Papyrus Amherst 63 (column V) would point to the Yahwistic background of this practice.354 It is also possible that a number of major gods could be regarded as “the divine bull,”355 as this title applies also to Ashim-Bethel in Papyrus Amherst 63 (column XV).356 The polemics against the calf in Samaria in Hosea 8:5 and 10:5 may reflect indignation at the Yahwistic symbol that was associated also with Baal. Similarly, Tobit 1:5 (LXX Vaticanus and Alexandrinus) mentions the worship of “the Baal the calf” ( te Baal tē damalei) in the northern kingdom. Despite the evidence for the attribution of “bull” to Baal in the first millennium, a genetic solution tracing the imagery specifically to either El or Baal may not be applicable. B. Vawter argues that “bull” means no more than chief “male,”357 a point perhaps supported by the secular use of this term in KTU 1.15 IV 6, 8, 17, 19 and 4.360.3.358 The anti-Baalistic polemic of Hosea 13:2 and Tobit 1:5 may also constitute a secondary rejection of this Yahwistic symbol, because bull iconography may have represented both gods in the larger environment of Phoenicia and the northern kingdom.

      In any case, the Canaanite tradition of the bull iconography ultimately provides the background for this rendering of Yahweh. Common to both Yahweh and Baal was also a constellation of motifs surrounding their martial and meteorological natures. The best-known and oldest of these motifs is perhaps the defeat of cosmic foes who are variously termed Leviathan, ‘qltn, tnn,

      The seven-headed beast, Yamm, and Mot. A second-millennium seal from Mari depicts a god thrusting a spear into waters, apparently representing the conflict of the West Semitic war-god with the cosmic waters (cf. the piercing, *hll, of the serpent in Job 26:13 and of tannîn in Isa. 51:9).359 This conflict corresponds at Ugarit with Baal’s struggle with Yamm in KTU 1.2 IV, although Yamm appears as Anat’s adversary in KTU 1.3 III 43. Yamm appears as a destructive force in the Ugaritic texts (KTU 1.14 I 19-20; cf. 1.2 IV 3-4) and a proud antagonist to the divine warrior in the biblical record (Job 38:11; Ps. 89:10 [E 9]). Baal’s victory over Yamm in KTU 1.2 IV 27-34 presents the possibility of Yamm’s annihilation (*kly; cf. KTU 1.3 III 38-39, 46) and then proclaims his death, an image that appears rarely in biblical material (Rev. 21:1; cf. Testament of Moses 10:6). 360 Various biblical texts depict the divine defeat of Yamm with other images: the stilling (*sbhl *rg’) of Yamm (Pss. 65:8 [E 7]; 89:10 [E 9]; Job 26:11); the crushing 361 (*prr) of Yamm (Ps. 74:13; cf. the crushing, *dk’, of Rahab in Ps. 89:11 [E 10]); the drying up (*hrb) of Yamm (Isa. 51:10); the establishment of a boundary (gĕbûl) for Yamm (Ps. 104:9; Jer. 5:22; cf. Prov. 8:29); the placement of a guard (mišmār) over Yamm (Job 7:12); and the closing of Yamm behind doors (Job 38:8, 10); compare the hacking of Rahab into pieces (*hsb; Isa. 51:9); and the scattering (*pzr) of cosmic enemies (Ps. 89:11 [E 10]).

      A seal from Tel Asmar (ca. 2200) depicts a god battling a seven-headed dragon, a foe identified as Baal’s enemy in CTA 5.1 (KTU 1.5 I).3 (and reconstructed in 30) and Yahweh’s adversary in Psalm 74:13 and Revelation 13:1.362 A shell plaque of unknown provenance depicts a god kneeling before a fiery seven-headed dragon.363 Leviathan, Baal’s enemy mentioned in CTA 5.1 (KTU 1.5 I).1 (and reconstructed in 28), appears as Yahweh’s opponent and creature in Isaiah 27:1, Job 3:8, 26:13, 40:25 (E 41:1), Psalm 104:26, and 2 Esdras 6:49, 52.364 In Psalm 74:13-14 (cf. Ezek. 32:2), both Leviathan and the tannînîm have multiple heads, the latter known as Anat’s enemy in 1.83.9-10 and in a list of cosmic foes in CTA 3.3(D).35-39 (= KTU 1.3 III 38-42). This Ugaritic list includes “Sea,” Yamm//“River,” Nahar, Baal’s great enemy in CTA 2.4 (KTU 1.2 IV). In Isaiah 11:15 the traditions of Sea//River and the seven-headed dragon appear in conflated form:

      And the Yahweh will utterly destroy the tongue of the sea of Egypt, and will wave his hand over the River with his scorching wind, and smite it into seven channels that men may cross dry-shod. Here the destruction of Egypt combines both mythic motifs with the ancient tradition of crossing the Red Sea in Egypt. The seven-headed figure is attested in other biblical passages. In Psalm 89:10 the seven-headed figure is Rahab, mentioned in Isaiah 51:9-11 in the company of tannîn and Yamm. The seven-headed enemy also appears in Revelation 12:3, 13:1, 17:3 and in extra biblical material, including Qiddushin 29b, Odes of Solomon 22:5, and Pistis Sophia 66.365 Yamm appears in late apocalyptic writing as the source of the destructive beasts symbolizing successive empires (Dan. 7:3). J. Day has suggested that this imagery developed from the symbolization of political states hostile to Israel as beasts.366 For example, Rahab stands for Egypt (Isa. 30:7; Ps. 87:4), the River for Assyria (Isa. 8:5-8; cf. 17:12-14), tannîn for Babylon (jer. 51:34).367 This type of equation is at work in a less explicit way in Psalm 18 (2 Sam. 22):4-18. In this composition, monarchic victory over political enemies (w. 4, 18) is described in terms of a storm theophany over cosmic waters (w. 8-17).

      • I’ll take that as a “no”

        • Not sure if by “no” means I don’t take heed to what scripture says, if that is what you are getting at, then by any stretch it is incorrect. We see adaptation into monotheistic themes from polytheism, while I adhere to what polytheism points out, I am not so sure that the monotheistic adaptation of concepts and ideologies properly reflects in biblical mythologies.

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