HIDDEN HISTORY: ‘Babylon’, Baphomet & The Order Of The Dragon

Source – ordoabchao.ca

  • “…Understanding the cult of the ancient Chaldean Magi of Babylon, the purported priests of Zoroastrianism, is essential to understanding the development of cults and philosophies of the Hellenistic Age, and therefore, the subsequent history of Western occultism, including Freemasonry and ultimately the New Age movement”

Babylon – The Dying-God

Franz Cumont (1868 – 1947), Belgian scholar known for founding the modern study of Mithraism

Understanding the cult of the ancient Chaldean Magi of Babylon, the purported priests of Zoroastrianism, is essential to understanding the development of cults and philosophies of the Hellenistic Age, and therefore, the subsequent history of Western occultism, including Freemasonry and ultimately the New Age movement. However, numerous scholars have disputed the extent of the influence of the Magi on in the ancient world, as Zoroastrianism clearly exercised a very limited impact. The puzzle was resolved by Franz Cumont, one of the greatest scholars of the last century, whose research may have failed to have made an impression for the fact that his most important work, Les Mages Hellénisés (“The Hellenized Magi”), remains untranslated into English. Cumont’s key finding was that the Magi were not orthodox Zoroastrians, but heretics whom he renamed Magusseans, who corrupted their original faith with the Babylonian magic. What Cumont did not note however, is that the sixth century BC, the period during which the heretical Magian cult was developed in Babylon, was the same period and city where the Jews were held there in Exile and developed the Kabbalah.

And while conventional scholars dispute their role, it has been openely acknowledged by secret societies who regard them as the source of their teachings. Though largely anachronistic, Morals and Dogma, by former Civil War General Albert Pike (1809 – 1891), Grand Master of Scottish Rite Freemasonry, provided an explanation of the origins of occult history with a level of precision and detail not seen among mainstream scholars, noting that the Illuminati, like their predecessors the Templars, Rosicrucians and Freemasons, were all inheritors of the ancient tradition of the Kabbalah by way of the Magi:

The Occult Science of the Ancient Magi was concealed under the shadows of the Ancient Mysteries: it was imperfectly revealed or rather disfigured by the Gnostics: it is guessed at under the obscurities that cover the pretended crimes of the Templars; and it is found enveloped in enigmas that seem impenetrable, in the Rites of the Highest Masonry.

Magism was the Science of Abraham and Orpheus, of Confucius and Zoroaster. It was the dogmas of this Science that were engraven on the tables of stone by Enoch and Trismegistus. Moses purified and re-veiled them, for that is the meaning of the word reveal. He covered them with a new veil, when he made of the Holy Kabbalah the exclusive heritage of the people of Israel, and the inviolable Secret of its priests. The Mysteries of Thebes and Eleusis preserved among the nations some symbols of it, already altered, and the mysterious key whereof was lost among the instruments of an ever-growing superstition. Jerusalem, the murderess of her prophets, and so often prostituted to the false gods of the Syrians and Babylonians, had at length in its turn lost the Holy Word, when a Prophet announced by the Magi by the consecrated Star of Initiation [Sirius], came to rend asunder the worn veil of the old Temple, in order to give the Church a new tissue of legends and symbols, that still and ever conceal from the Profane, and ever preserves to the Elect the same truths.[1]

 

King Solomon (c. 970 to 931 BC)
King Solomon (c. 970 to 931 BC)

Freemasonry is founded on the belief that the teachings of the Magi were adopted by King Solomon, who employed them in the construction of his famous Temple. According to the Quran, Solomon was falsely accused of practicing magic by apostate Jews who learned magic from the “Satans” in Babylon. In 1856, in Spiritualism, a Satanic Delusion, and a Sign of the Times, Pastor William Ramsey remarked:

 

One of the most striking proofs of the personal existence of Satan, which our times afford us, is found in the fact, that he has so influenced the minds of multitudes in reference to his existence and doings, as to make them believe that he does not exist.[2]

 

One of the consequences of the empirical tradition inaugurated by the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century is a rejection of anything associated with the so-called “supernatural.” While the possibility of the existence of disembodied entities is ridiculed in Western academia and considered contrary to science and empiricism, belief in such entities throughout human history has been nearly universal. They have gone under many names and interpretations throughout the centuries, including ghosts, goblins, demons, leprechauns, elves, fairies, and in Islam they are known as “Jinn,” popularized in the English language as “genies.” Most recently, they have also been referred to as extra-terrestrials.

According to the Quran, Satan was not a Fallen Angel, but belonged to this race of Jinn, who were composed of “smokeless fire.” This perhaps was a reference, in the language of the sixth century AD, to energy. According to Islam, these Jinn are subject to free-will, and maintain an invisible yet parallel existence to that of human beings. According to Islamic tradition, Jinn are capable of numerous abilities, including shape-shifting into the form of a dog, cat, snake, or travelling great distances instantaneously. They can also enter and “possess” the consciousness of a human being. They are known to listen in on the activities in the lowest heaven, and to transmit such information to fortune-tellers, while mixing into them numerous lies. The Quran recounts that when God ordered Satan to bow down before Adam, he refused, and God therefore condemned him for eternity. However, Satan asked for respite, and to be given the chance to corrupt humanity, to effectively attempt to prove to God that man was not worthy of his reverence.

Cain slaying Abel
Cain slaying Abel

The Kabbalah is purportedly the “Ancient Wisdom” transmitted by the Fallen Angels, referred to in the Bible as the Sons of God, who interbred with the female descendants of the cursed Cain. Following their expulsion from the garden, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. Out of jealousy, Cain murdered his brother, and God said to him:

And now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand; When you cultivate the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you; you shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth; And Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear! Behold Thou hast driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Thy face I shall be hidden, and I shall be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and it will come about that whoever finds me will kill me.” So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed a mark for Cain, lest anyone finding him should slay him.

 

fallen-angel.jpg

The Bible recounts that after Abel was unjustly slain by his brother, Adam and Eve had a third son, Seth. Therefore, there were two branches that developed to populate the earth, a righteous generation descended from Seth, and another branch descended from Cain, which filled the earth with violence and corruption. According to legend, the race of Cain intermarried with the Sons of God.[3] In the Bible, however, the story is mentioned only briefly, and fails to state that the Sons of God intermarried with the “Daughters of Cain.” Their offspring were a race of giants, referred to as the Anakim. Unaware of the story’s true significance, translators of the Bible have struggled with this subject, and consequently, have often translated the size of the Anakim as referring to other qualities. Hence, they are usually translated as “Mighty Men of Renown,” or “Mighty Ones of Eternity.” In Genesis 6:1-4:

 

Now it came about, when men began to multiply on the face of the land, and daughters were born to them, that the Sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were beautiful; and they took them wives of all which they chose. Then the Lord said, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years. The Nephilim were upon the Earth in those days and thereafter too. Those sons of the gods who cohabited with the daughters of Adam, and they bore children into them. They were the Mighty Ones of Eternity (Anakim).

 

The Deluge by Francis Danby (1840)
The Deluge by Francis Danby (1840)

The corruption that filled the Earth by the descendants of the Sons of God angered God, who caused the Flood, to destroy humanity, all except Noah and his family who survived by building the Ark. According to the Bible, Noah had survived the Flood with his three sons, Shem, Japheth and Ham. After a bout of drunkenness, Noah fell asleep without covering himself. When his son Ham came into his tent, he saw his father naked, and laughed. His two other brothers, Shem and Japheth, were wiser and entered backwards into their father’s tent to cover him. For his sin, Ham was cursed by Noah, but due to his nearness in relation to him, he placed the curse not on Ham, but on Ham’s son, Canaan, and his descendants, the Canaanites. Noah then pronounced, according to Exodus 9:24-25, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brothers.”

The sin of Ham resulting in the curse pronounced by his father on Ham’s son Canaan
The sin of Ham resulting in the curse pronounced by his father on Ham’s son Canaan

However, similar corruption returned to the earth under the reign of Nimrod, the son of Canaan’s brother Cush, and the ruler of the ancient city of Babylon, where there took place the failed attempt to build the legendary Tower of Babel. The Bible hints that Nimrod is to be identified with the constellation of Orion, an important symbol of the dying-god. The myth of the dying-god would come to pervade, not only the mystical systems of antiquity, but which would transform Western religion and philosophy. Typically, the dying-god was a usurper, who supplants the original creator god by vanquishing the Dragon, who was leader of a race of giants. The underlying dying-god mythology involved the cycle of the seasons. The dying-god was a representation of the Sun, who dies at the winter solstice (Christmas) and resurrects at the spring equinox, or Easter. Further festivals were timed with the summer solstice (Saint John’s Day), and fall equinox (Halloween, All Hallows’ Eve, or All Saints’ Eve). The dying-god’s goddess-spouse was Venus, the “morning star,” though the two were seen as dual aspects of the same deity. The Latin name for Venus is Lucifer. The dying-god was universally regarded as the god of the underworld, where he ruled over the “spirits of the dead,” as discarnate entities were interpreted to be by many early cultures.

Abel_Grimmer_attr._-_The_Tower_of_Babel.jpg
Sir James George Frazer (1854 – 1941), author of The Golden Bough, which first proposed the existence of the recurring myth of the dying-god

The first to recognize the recurring archetype of the dying-and-rising gods was James Frazer in The Golden Bough, first published in 1890, which has had a substantial influence on European anthropology and thought.[4] The focus of Frazer’s research was to attempt to discover the source of the ancient religious tradition of the sacred killing of the king. In ancient paganism, the king was perceived to be the living embodiment of the dying-god, and therefore the fertility of the land was considered dependent on his health. As the king became frail with old age, the success of crops would become at risk, and it was therefore necessary to execute him to allow him to be succeeded by a more virile heir. Ancient monarchs eventually exercised their influence, such that a replacement, or scapegoat, was put in the king’s place for a time, and allowed to revel in his temporary role, until he was himself sacrificed in the king’s stead, during an annual New Years festival.[5]

Nimrod was referred to in the Bible as “a mighty hunter before the Lord,” which Jewish tradition identified with the constellation of Orion.The dying-god was symbolized by Orion, one of the most conspicuous constellations. Lying along the celestial equator, Orion is visible from practically all the earth, in the beginning and end of the year. Therefore, Orion is the subject of many ancient myths and legends, and seems to have been considered the center of the universe. The Assyrian Adad, the Hurrian Teshub, the unnamed Hittite weather-god, and the Canaanite Baal, all had similar appearances and mythological themes identifying him with Orion.

Constellation of Orion
Constellation of Orion

Nimrod was identified with Bel, or Marduk, the chief god of the Babylonian pantheon. [6] The original Babylonian religion was headed by a trinity: Sin, Shamash and Ishtar. Sin, became the Moon god, considered to have fathered many children, among whom were twins, brother and sister, Shamash and Ishtar, which became, respectively, the Sun and Venus. In mythology, Shamash was the son of the moon god Sin (known as Nanna in Sumerian), and thus the brother of the goddess Ishtar (Sumerian: Inanna), who represented the great “star” of Venus. In early inscriptions, Shamash’s consort was the goddess Aya, whose role was gradually merged with that of Ishtar. In later Babylonian astral mythology, Sin, Shamash, and Ishtar formed a major triad of divinities, which still today plays an important role in astrological systems, though under different names. Ninurta was Saturn, the brother of Mars. Mars was Nergal, god of war, lord of the dead, and god of the Underworld. Mercury was Nabu, messenger of the gods, presiding over wisdom, writing, accounts, and patron of scribes and writing.

Anunnaki

The Sun god battling the Dragon of Chaos from engraving was made by Ludwig Gruner
The Sun god battling the Dragon of Chaos from engraving was made by Ludwig Gruner

The origin of the sacred killing of the king was the Zagmuk, or New Year’s festival, corresponding to our Easter, when Babylonians celebrated the death and resurrection of their chief god Marduk, the patron deity of Babylon, also known as Bel. Three important ceremonies were performed for Bel. These acts of worship were fertility rites, referring to the agricultural cycle of nature, with the death of crops in winter and the return of life in the spring, but were also viewed as actually recreating the cosmos itself. In Uruk the festival was associated with the god An, the Sumerian god of the night sky. Both are essentially equivalent in all respects to the Akkadian Akitu festival.

Zagmuk, which literally means “beginning of the year,” was a Mesopotamian festival celebrating the triumph of Marduk, over the forces of Chaos, symbolized in later times by Tiamat. As the battle between Marduk and Chaos lasts twelve days, so does Zagmuk. The peak of the festival took place on the Spring Equinox.[7] First, the Enuma elish, the Babylonian epic of creation, was read, which recounted when the Anunnaki gods gathered together to find one god who could defeat the gods rising against them. Annunaki, seven judges of the Underworld, the children of the god Anu, who had once lived in heaven but were banished for their misdeeds, are the origin of the numerous accounts of legendary giants, known as the Anakim in Flood story of the Bible, otherwise recognized as the Fallen Angels, or the Titans of Greek mythology.

Akitu festival in Babylon
Akitu festival in Babylon

Marduk answered the Annunaki’s call and was promised the position of head god. Marduk sets out for battle, mounting his storm-chariot drawn by four horses with poison in their mouths and defeats the leader of the Anunnaki gods, who is the Dragon, Tiamat. There was a dramatic representation of the conflict between Marduk and Tiamat, during which the god is vanquished and slain, but is raised from death by magical ceremonies, and eventually overcomes the Dragon. Secondly, the king is brought before the image of Marduk, his insignia are removed, and he is slapped in the face by the high-priest. An omen was taken at this point, that if the blow produced tears, the year would be prosperous and vegetation would grow. Finally, in a ceremony known as a sacred marriage, the king, acting the part of the god, practiced ritual copulation with a priestess, symbolizing the union of the god and the goddess. At the festival’s end, the king was slain. To spare their king, Mesopotamians often utilized a mock king, played by a criminal who was anointed as king before the start of Zagmuk, and killed on the last day.

Promised Land

The Sacrifice of Abraham by Laurent de la Hyre (1650)
The Sacrifice of Abraham by Laurent de la Hyre (1650)

God’s binding offer of the Promised Land to the Israelites as his “Chosen People” originates in the Covenant of the pieces. In Genesis 15:1-15, God tells Abraham that he would have a son born to him, asks him to count the stars, if possible, and promises “So shall thy seed be.” God commands Abram to prepare an animal sacrifice, by cutting the animals into two pieces. God then prophesied to Abraham that his seed would be strangers in a land that is not theirs (a strange land) and serve the rulers of the land for four hundred years but afterward, they would come out with “great substance” and in the fourth generation, they would return to Canaan. In Genesis 15:18-21, God tells Abraham that He has given to his offspring the land of the cursed Canaanites and all their descendants: “to your descendants I have given this land, from the river of Egypt as far as the great river, the river Euphrates: the land of Kenite and the Kenizzite and the Kadomite and the Hittite and the Perizzite and the Rephaim and the Amorite and the Canaanite and the Girgashite and the Jebusite.”

According to Genesis 22, God also tested Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on Moriah. When God sees that Abraham complies willingly, a messenger from God interrupts him. Abraham then sees a ram and sacrifices it instead. The sages of the Talmud understood this event, known as the Akedah, as an opportunity to teach humankind, once and for all, that human sacrifice, child sacrifice, is not acceptable. Nevertheless, once the Israelites enter Canaan following their Exodus from Egypt, the Bible recounts that they adopted the religion of their neighbors and practices pagan rituals, which included human sacrifice.

Abraham’s son Jacob, later renamed Israel, fathered twelve sons who became the twelve tribes of Israel, who also were understood mystically. According to apocalyptic writings, and the later generations of Rabbis, the twelve tribes were associated with the twelve astrological signs. Like the Zodiac, the twelve tribes were divided into four camps of three, each accorded a particular astrological sign, in accordance with the four seasons of the Zodiac, divided according to the Four Elements. Thus, Reuben, who is compared to running water, with Simeon and Gad, are Aquarius. Judah, the lion, with Issachar and Zebulon, are Leo. Benjamin, Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Jacob compares to the ox, are Taurus. Naphtali, Asher and Dan, whose device is the scorpion, synonymous astrologically with the eagle, are Scorpio.

Of Israel’s sons, Joseph was his favorite, making for him a coat of many colors. Joseph had a dream in which he saw the Sun and the Moon and eleven stars bowed down before him, signifying that he would be greater than his brothers. Out of envy, they sold Joseph into slavery. He was finally taken by his captors to Egypt where he became the Pharaoh’s chief minister. Stricken by famine, Israel and his remaining sons were forced to migrate to Egypt, where they joined their brother Joseph. After several centuries, the Jewish nation became so substantial that Pharaoh and the Egyptians felt threatened by them. Though, God still intended to fulfill His promise to their forefather Abraham, and due to the oppression inflicted upon them, sent Moses to plead with Pharaoh to release the people of Israel. After several horrible afflictions sent by God upon the Egyptians, as a sign that they should comply with Moses’ request, Pharaoh finally conceded, and Moses guided the Israelites across the Red Sea and north to the Promised Land.

Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin (c. 1634)
Adoration of the Golden Calf by Nicolas Poussin (c. 1634)

Already before they entered Canaan, the Israelites were guilty of worshipping the dying-god in the form of the Golden Calf. Shortly following the Exodus, and soon after having crossed the Red Sea, while Moses was on Mount Sinai receiving the tablets of the Ten Commandments, the Jews became concerned that their prophet was tarrying far too long on the mountain. Exodus 32:1-4 recounts that they approached Moses’ brother Aaron, demanding: “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Aaron advised them to collect their jewelry, and melting it, formed a statue of a calf, and said to them “this is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.” The Golden Calf recalls Apis, the Egyptian bull-god associated with Osiris, who was identified by the Egyptians with Orion. And its accompanying “pagan revelry,” understood to be a reference to the orgiastic rites associated with paganism. When Moses returned from the mountain, upon seeing the spectacle, he smashed the tablets of the Ten Commandments.

Baal Epic

David slaying Goliath, descendant of the Anakim
David slaying Goliath, descendant of the Anakim

After the Israelites were liberated from Egypt, God commanded them to conquer the land of Canaan, as fulfillment of the promise to Abraham. The frightful appearance of the Anakim, as described in the account of the Twelve Spies of the Bible, filled the Israelites with terror, when they encountered them in the Land of Canaan. The Twelve Spies, as recorded in the Book of Numbers, were a group of Israelite chieftains, one from each of the Twelve Tribes, who were sent by Moses to scout out the Land of Canaan in advance of its conquest. The Israelites seem to have identified them with the Nephilim, the giants (Genesis 6:4, Numbers 13:33) of the Flood story. Joshua finally expelled them from the land, except for some who found a refuge in the Philistine cities of Gaza, Gath, and Ashdod (Joshua 11:22), thus the Philistine giants like Goliath who was slain by David (2 Samuel 21:15-22) were descendants of the Anakim.

According to Deuteronomy 9:1-2, “Hear, O Israel! You are crossing over the Jordan today to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, great cities fortified to heaven, a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim whom you know and of whom you have heard it said, “Who can stand before the sons of Anak?” Similarly, according to Josephus, at that time in Palestine, “there were still then left a race of giants, who had bodies so large, and countenances so entirely different from other men, that they were surprising to the sight, and terrible to the hearing.”[8] In Deuteronomy chapter 3 we are told: “For only Og the king of Bashan was left of the remnant of the Rephaim; behold, his bedstead was a bedstead of iron; is it not in Rabbah of the Ammonites? Nine cubits was its length, and four cubits its breadth, according to the common cubit.” When Moses sends out a reconnaissance team to gather information about the land of the Canaanites, upon their return from the mission they report: We went in to the land where you sent us; and it certainly does flow with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. Nevertheless, the people who live in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large; and moreover, we saw the descendants of Anak there. Amalek is living in the land of the Negev and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Amorites are living in the hill country, and the Canaanites are living by the sea and by the side of the Jordan.[9]

Once they were to conquer the land of the Canaanites, the Israelites were clearly warned to refrain from the pagan cult of the dying god. According to Deuteronomy 18:9-12:

When you enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not learn to imitate the detestable ways of the nations there. Let no one be found among you who sacrifices their son or daughter in the fire, who practices divination or sorcery, interprets omens, engages in witchcraft, or casts spells, or who is a medium or spiritist or who consults the dead. Anyone who does these things is detestable to the Lord; because of these same detestable practices the Lord your God will drive out those nations before you.

Gideon striking down an Asherah pole
Gideon striking down an Asherah pole

However, it was in Canaan that the Israelites adopted the worship of the dying-god Baal and his sister-spouse Astarte, which would underlie the beliefs of the Kabbalah. Baal was one of a trinity of gods worshipped among the Canaanites, composed of the father El, his daughter Astarte, and Baal, their son. They were both symbolized by the bull because at the resurrection of the god from the Underworld, celebrated at the spring equinox, the Sun and Venus rose in the constellation of Taurus. The mythology of Baal, is best illustrated in the longest of the known Canaanite myths the Baal Epic, discovered by archeologists at the ancient site of Ugarit, now Ras Shamra on the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria. The Baal Epic provides the basic account of the dying-god as a usurper god, mirroring much of the account of the Enuma elish, who gains mastery by defeating the Dragon of the Sea.

Baal, came to represent the sky-god, the god of thunder, who fertilizes the goddess, mother earth, to bring forth life. Thus, Baal was often symbolized as an erect phallus in the form of a pillar. This became the symbol of the single androgynous god, with both Baal and Astarte generally being represented by a pillar, known as an Asherah in the Bible, a Hebrew word, also a common noun, meaning a sacred tree or pole used in the goddess cult.[10] A priest and priestess would undergo a mock death and resurrection, and in a rite called a sacred marriage, the priest and priestess would copulate, symbolizing the union of the god and the goddess.

Temple of Solomon

The Queen of Sheba Before the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem by Salomon de Bray.
The Queen of Sheba Before the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem by Salomon de Bray.

Of the many elements of paganism that the Israelites introduced into Judaism, the most important was that of the sacred king, giving rise to the notion of the divine right of kings, when the Israelites asked Samuel: “appoint for us, then, a king to govern us, like other nations.”[11] The request for a king was an implicit rejection of God as king, and Samuel warned his people of the burden and oppression that would necessarily result. However, God advised Samuel to concede to their request.

 

And the Lord said to Samuel, “Obey the voice of the people in all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me from being king over them. According to all the deeds that they have done, from the day I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are also doing to you. Now then, obey their voice; only you shall solemnly warn them and show them the ways of the king who shall reign over them.[12]

 

Samuel anointed Saul and then David king over Israel as mashiach (“anointed one”). The essence of the innovation of kingship David, the father of Solomon, was the idea that, in addition to divine election through Samuel and public acclamation, was the idea that he also received God’s promise of an eternal dynasty. The promises of Psalms 132 and 2 Samuel 7 were conceived of as a covenant with David, through his descendants, paralleling the covenant with Israel.[13] The Bible describes how David captured Jerusalem and brought the Ark of the Covenant into the city, and sought to build a temple of God, thus joining the symbols of the dynastic and the national covenants. However, God would not let him build the Temple, for he had “shed much blood.”[14] Instead, the Temple was completed by his son Solomon, who placed the Ark in the Holy of Holies, the innermost room and most sacred area, the site of God’s presence.

The Israelites went so far as to pollute the very Temple of Jerusalem itself with the accouterments of this cult, including worshipping “Asherah” poles, or phallic pillars. The construction of the Temple of Jerusalem Solomon built, as described in the Bible, was in a manner quite foreign to the doctrines of the Israelites. The Bible maintains that Solomon had sent a message to the king of Tyre asking if he could hire the services of the king’s master builder Hiram, a Canaanite, skilled in geometry. Hiram was referred to as a “son of a widow”, a term traditionally used to refer to priests of the goddess. Two bronze pillars, Boaz and Jachin, were erected at the door of the Temple, the double pillars sacred to the dying-god and the goddess. Temples dedicated to the goddess in Tyre are said to have featured stone pillars of phallic design at their entrances, which were the focus of fertility rites performed in honor of Astarte at her special festivals. Herodotus, a Greek historian of the fifth century BC, described two pillars in the temple of a god he referred to as the “Phoenician Hercules,” meaning the Canaanite Baal.

Asmodeus as depicted in Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal (1818)
Asmodeus as depicted in Collin de Plancy’s Dictionnaire Infernal (1818)

According to later Jewish and Islamic traditions, Solomon possessed a signet ring known as the Seal of Solomon, the symbol of a six-pointed star, which gave Solomon the power to command demons, jinn (genies), or to speak with animals. Talmudic legend has Solomon deceiving Asmodai, the prince of the demons, into collaborating in the construction of the Temple of Jerusalem.[15] The name Asmodai or Asmodeus is believed to derive from Avestan language aeshma-daeva, Zoroastrianism’s demon of wrath, where aema means “wrath” and daeva signifies “demon.”[16] According to the deutero-canonical legend, Asmodeus gave Solomon the shamir, which according to the Gemara, was a worm or a substance that had the power to cut through or disintegrate stone, iron and diamond. Solomon is said to have used it instead of cutting tools, because it was inappropriate to use tools that could also cause war and bloodshed in the building of the Temple which was to promote peace.

Apparently, Solomon also used the blood of the shamir to make gemstones with a mystical seal or design, which led to the belief that gemstones could serve as talismans. The legend that Solomon possessed a seal ring on which the name of God was engraved and by means of which he controlled the demons is related at length in the Talmud.[17] This legend is especially developed by Arabic writers. In one version, the chief of the demons—either Asmodai or Sakhr—obtained possession of the ring and ruled in Solomon’s stead for forty days. According to the Talmud, Asmodai tricked Solomon into unbinding him and giving him his ring, and then threw him 400 leagues away from Jerusalem and ruled in Solomon’s place for several years. When Solomon returned to Jerusalem claiming to be the real king, the rabbis interrogated his wives who revealed that the imposter demanded to sleep with them while they were menstruating or to bed Solomon’s mother his mother, Bathsheba. The rabbi’s thereupon immediately reinstated Solomon and Asmodai fled off in the sky.[18]

The Quran mentions the shamir when pointing out the ignorance of the Jinn who worked for Solomon concerning the occult, and emphasizing that all knowledge rests only with God:

 

And when We decreed death for him, nothing showed his death to them save a creeping creature of the earth which gnawed away his staff. And when he fell the jinn saw clearly how, if they had known the Unseen, they would not have continued in despised toil.[19]

 

seal-solomon.png

According to commentators such as Ibn Abbas (c. 619 – 687), when Solomon died his body remained leaning on his staff for a long while after, nearly a year, until “a creature of the earth, which was a kind of worm,” gnawed through it and weakened it until the body fell to the ground. It was then that the Jinn realized that he had died a long before and that they had been hard at work the whole time falsely assuming they were being supervised. It also became clear to the humans who engaged in magical practices, or worshiped the Jinn, that they did not truly possess knowledge of the occult. This story was related on the authority of ibn Abbas, the son of Abbas ibn Abd al-Muttalib, an uncle of the prophet Muhammad, and a nephew of the Maymunah bint al-Harith, who later became Muhammad’s wife. Ibn Abbas was one of Muhammad’s cousins and one of the early Quran scholars.[20]

According to Islamic tradition, when Solomon lost his kingdom, a large number of people and Jinn had transgressed and pursued their lusts. When God restored to Solomon his kingdom and the transgressors reformed their ways, Solomon seized their holy scriptures which he buried underneath his throne. When Solomon died, the people and the Jinn uncovered the buried scriptures and the knowledge of magic they contained was falsely attributed to him.[21] Through Solomon’s reputation as a master magician, his seal came to be seen as an amulet or talisman, or a symbol or character in medieval and Renaissance-era magic, occultism, and alchemy. The legend of Solomon’s magical knowledge persisted through the centuries, such as the example of the seventeenth-century grimoire, The Lesser Key of Solomon. Ars Goetia is the title of the first section of The Lesser Key of Solomon, containing descriptions of the seventy-two demons that Solomon is said to have evoked and confined in a bronze vessel sealed by magic symbols, and that he obliged to work for him. In demonology, a seal, also known as a sigil, is the signature of a devil, demon or similar spirit, usually in order to sign a soul away.

 

Chaldeans

James Tissot’s The Flight of the Prisoners illustrates Judah’s exile from Jerusalem.
James Tissot’s The Flight of the Prisoners illustrates Judah’s exile from Jerusalem.

After Solomon, the Israelites persisted in their paganism. Political differences divided them between the kingdom of Israel in the north, comprised of ten tribes, and Judah in the south, composed of the two remaining tribes, Judah and Benjamin. Finally, according to the Bible, because of their repeated excesses, the Israelites were punished by being carried away into exile. From the end of the eighth century BC, to the beginning of the sixth, the Jews of ancient Palestine were attacked by the Assyrians and deported to Mesopotamia. According to the Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser, 13,750 of the wisest and most skilled of the Israelites were deported by 733 BC, while 27,290 more Israelite sages, musicians and artisans were brought to Babylonia by Sargon II in 727 BC. According to II Kings 17:16-20, this disaster came upon the nation of Israel because:

 

They defied all the commands of the Lord their God and made two calves from metal. They set up an Asherah pole and worshipped Baal and all the forces of heaven. They even sacrificed their own sons and daughters in the fire. They consulted fortune-tellers and used sorcery and sold themselves to evil, arousing the Lord’s anger. And because the Lord was angry, he swept them from his presence. Only the tribe of Judah remained in the land. But even the people of Judah refused to obey the commands of the Lord their God. They walked down the same evil paths that Israel had established. So the Lord rejected all the descendants of Israel. He punished them by handing them over to their attackers until they were destroyed.

 

Finally, between 598 and 596 BC, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, sacked the famous Temple of Solomon, and deported much of the remaining population to Babylon. The Jews would eventually remain in Babylon for half a century, until their release in 538 BC, when nearly 50,000 of them returned to Jerusalem. Nevertheless, a substantial portion chose to remain in Babylon, where they would continue to be an important community of the Jewish Diaspora for many centuries. Nebuchadnezzar’s capital of Babylon, which at one time may have held as many as 250,000 inhabitants, was the greatest city in the ancient world. According to the Bible, the city was founded by Nimrod, builder of the Tower of Babel, from which it derived its name, and was famed among the Jews and the later Greeks for its sensual living. Herodotus described: “Babylon lies in a wide plain, a vast city in the form of a square with sides nearly fourteen miles long and a circuit of some fifty-six miles, and in addition to its enormous size it surpasses in splendor any city of the known world.”[22]

Once in Babylon, instead of repenting for their past errors, a faction of heretical Jews insisted that the covenant was binding forever, and that, despite the temporary punishment, because they were God’s chosen people, they would eventually be restored to the Promised Land, and be appointed rulers of humanity, at the advent of their awaited Messiah. This Zionist interpretation was then assimilated to the heretical worship of the dying-god, in which the Israelites had persisted for nearly a thousand years and for which they were condemned. With the further addition of Babylonian astrology and magic, this new interpretation of Judaism would come to be known as Kabbalah, which was deceptively attributed to Solomon. This tradition is denounced in the Quran as follows:

 

When a messenger was sent to them [the Jews] by God confirming the revelations they had already received some of them turned their backs as if they had no knowledge of it. They followed what the demons attributed to the reign of Solomon. But Solomon did not blaspheme, it was the satans who blasphemed, teaching men magic and such things as were revealed at Babylon to the angels Harut and Marut. But neither of these taught anyone (such things) without saying; “we are a trial, so do not blaspheme.” They learned from them the means to sow discord between man and wife [love magic]. But they could not harm anyone except by God’ s permission. And they learned what harmed them, not what benefited them. And they knew that the purchasers [of magic] would have no share in the happiness of the hereafter. And vile was the price for which they sold their souls, if they but knew. [2:102]

 

The occult wisdom of the Babylonians was revered throughout ancient times as the special skills of the Chaldeans, a term that originally referred to the inhabitants of Chaldea, but which was eventually understood to refer to the Babylonian priesthood. Their practices were described by Diodorus of Sicily, a Greek historian of 80 to 20 BC, and author of a universal history, Bibliotheca Historica:

 

…being assigned to the service of the gods they spend their entire life in study, their greatest renown being in the field of astrology. But they occupy themselves largely with soothsaying as well, making predictions about future events, and in some cases by purifications, in others by sacrifices, and in others by some other charms they attempt to effect the averting of evil things and the fulfillment of the good. They are also skilled in the soothsaying by the flight of birds, and they give out interpretations of both dreams and portents. They also show marked ability in making divinations from the observations of the entrails of animals, deeming that in this branch they are eminently successful.[23]

 

To the Moon, the Sun and the five known planets was given the name of Interpreter Gods, because, while the fixed stars follow a single circuit, these follow each their own course, and thus, above all others make manifest to man the purpose of the gods. Worship was also conferred on all the constellations, as the revealers of the will of Heaven, and in particular the twelve signs of the Zodiac, and the thirty-six decans, which were called Counsellor Gods. Outside the Zodiac, were twenty-four stars, twelve in the northern, and twelve in the southern hemisphere. Those which are visible they assigned to the world of the living, and those which are invisible, to the world of the dead, and so they called them Judges of the Universe. The Chaldeans also worshipped the earth, the oceans, the winds, and fire, sources of all things, which they confounded with the stars under the name of the Four Elements.

Also among their beliefs was that the stars were apparently subject to an inflexible law which made it possible to calculate in advance all that they would eventually cause. The Chaldeans perceived the life of the universe as being composed of vast repeating periods. As it appeared to govern the regular movements of the heavenly bodies, the Chaldeans deified Time. They conceived of a cycle composed of a Great Year, wherein the planets were thought to return to their original places. Thus, they believed that the universe was a living breathing entity and could be measured in breaths. The basic unit for cosmic time was the Soss of 60 years, then the Ner of 600 years, and the Sar of 3,600 years. A great Sar equaled 21,600 and represented one breath. But as the universe must breathe in as well as out, the entire life of the universe was thought to be 432,000 years. Beyond these is the period of 12,960,000 years. Thus, astrology was closely associated with mathematics, numbers being regarded as sacred.

Though astrology was falsely regarded as an early invention of the early Babylonians, as Bartel van der Waerden has indicated, in Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy, its emergence should be dated to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar.[24] Before the eighth century BC, as scholars have pointed out, the science of astronomy was basically impossible due to the absence of a reliable system of chronology, which the Babylonians did not arrive at before the eighth century BC. It is only from that time onward that the records of eclipses begin which Ptolemy used, the oldest being dated to 721 BC. But more specifically, those innovations directly related to the cult of the Chaldeans were developed in the sixth century BC. According to noted historian of ancient history, Cumont, “it may be regarded as proved that this astral religion succeeded in establishing itself in the sixth century BC, during the period of the short-lived glory of the second Babylonian empire, and after its fall, when new ideas derived from East and West were introduced, first by the Persians and afterwards by the Greeks, into the valley of the Euphrates.”[25]

These developments coincided with the period known as the Exile, or the Captivity, when the great majority of the Jewish people were in Babylon.  While scholars often acknowledge Babylonian influence on Judaism, there is rarely a suggestion of the reverse. However, according to the Bible, Jews had already begun to worship the planets prior to the Exile. II Kings 23:5 recounts that the Jews offered incense “to the sun, the moon, the constellations, and to all the forces of heaven.” Nevertheless, Shaul Shaked, a renowned scholar of Babylonian influences on Judaism, maintains that astrological and other foreign ideas cannot be attributed to the Biblical times, but were acquired in Babylon. Shaked noted that, “it does not seem at all likely that so many similarities could have been formed in parallel independently, and, despite the chronological difficulties of the documentation, in most of the parallel points one may feel quite confident that these ideas were indigenous to Iran.”[26]

Moreover, we know that the Jews in Babylon had become substantial citizens, and that some had achieved minor administrative positions. Therefore, considering the size and prominence of the Jewish population living in Babylon, and taking into account the important role that astrology played in esoteric Judaism and the Kabbalah, it may be supposed that Jews themselves contributed to many of these innovations. In fact, in the Book of Daniel, Chapter 2:48, Daniel is made chief of the “wise men” of Babylon, that is of the Magi or Chaldeans, and yet remains faithful to the laws of his own religion. A table dated to 523 BC shows the astounding advances in astronomy that were made during this period. For the first time, the relative positions of the Sun and the Moon are calculated in advance. The conjunctions of the Moon with the planets and of the planets with each other, and their situation in the signs of the Zodiac, which appear definitely established, are noted with precise dates. The scientific discoveries achieved in this period enabled the astrologers to predict events with a level of certainty that was unattainable through other forms of prognostication. Therefore, divination by means of the stars became elevated in prestige above all other methods known, leading to a transformation in Babylonian religion.

 

Zoroaster

The state entry of Cyrus the Great into Babylon, c. 540 BC, from Hutchinson's History of the Nations (1915)
The state entry of Cyrus the Great into Babylon, c. 540 BC, from Hutchinson’s History of the Nations (1915)

Then, in 538 BC, Babylon was conquered by the Persians, led by Cyrus the Great (c. 600 – 530 BC). Cyrus released the Jews from captivity after which many returned to Palestine where they began work on building the Second Temple of Jerusalem, to replace the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BC. However, instead of reforming their ways, mystically-inclined Jews reformulated the teachings of Judaism by creating what came to be known as the Kabbalah. The Kabbalah is an esoteric interpretation of the Judaic religion which represents the co-optation of the dying-god cult, along with elements of Babylonian magic, astrology and numerology.

The early Kabbalists were known to the ancient world as “Magi,” and falsely believed to be heirs of Zoroaster, prophet of the Persian religion of Zoroastrianism. Zoroastrianism is believed to have been originally monotheistic, but to have later been modified by its priests, the Magi. Thus, while most religions posit the existence of an evil principle inferior to the good God, Zoroastrianism became the origin of a type of dualism wherein evil is elevated to the rank of a god, equal but opposite to the good, both existing eternally at war with each other. One is Ahura Mazda, the God, lord of goodness and of light. The other is Ahriman, the Destructive or Tormenting Spirit, lord of evil and darkness. According to Diogenes Laertius, Greek scholar of the third century AD, “Aristotle in the first book of his work On Philosophy says that the Magi are more ancient even than the Egyptians, and that according to them there are two first principles, a good spirit and an evil spirit, one called Zeus and Ahura Mazda, the other Hades and Ahriman.”[27]

As Yamauchi describes, “the relationship of the Magi to Zoroaster and his teachings is a complex and controversial issue.”[28] As long as the Persian empire lasted, there was always a distinction between the Persian Magi, the official priestly caste, and the Babylonian Magi, who were often considered to be outright impostors.[29] Essentially, when the Persians conquered Babylon, the Magi had come into contact with the Chaldeans, whose beliefs and teachings they introduced into their version of Zoroastrians. From the time of Xerxes, however, they began to receive increasing favor at court, until the title of Magi eventually lost its heretical connotations. As the French Assyriologist Lenormant noted, “to their influence are to be ascribed nearly all the changes which, towards the end of the Achaemenid dynasty, corrupted deeply the Zoroastrian faith, so that it passed into idolatry.”[30]

The Greek and Latin words for magic, mageia and magia was originally derived in reference to the supposed arts the Magi, astrologers known for having identified the birth of Jesus with the appearance of the “Star of Bethlehem.” At the time, it was common for mystical literature to attribute their sources to ancient sages and patriarchs. Many such works were attributed to Abraham and Enoch, and so on, and are referred to as Pseudepigrapha. A number of similar works were attributed to Zoroaster, as well as his supposed disciple Osthanes, or Zoroaster’s patron, Hystaspes. By the first century AD, in his Natural History, Pliny made Zoroaster the founder of magic:

 

Undoubtedly magic began in Persia with Zoroaster, as authorities are agreed. But there is insufficient agreement about whether he was the only man by that name, or whether there was another and later Zoroaster… What is particularly surprising is that the tradition and craft should have endured for so long; no original writings survive, nor are they preserved by any well-known or continuous line of subsequent authorities. For few people know anything by reputation of those who survive only in name and lack any memorials, as, for example, Apusorus and Zaratas of Media, Marmarus and Arabantiphocus of Babylon, or Tarmoendas of Assyria.[31]

 

The Magi venerated fire as the symbol of the divine, and adopted the trinity worshipped by the Babylonians, composed of a father, mother and their offspring, a son-god, represented by the Sun, Moon, and Venus, which they identified with the Persian deities of Ahura Mazda, Anahita and Mithras. They conserved the Chaldean doctrine of pantheism, regarding the universe as a single living being, governed by a fate determined by the stars. Astrology was connected to mathematics, and the use of numerology was widespread in their literature. The Zodiac of the Chaldeans was divided according to the four elements traditionally worshipped by the Persians. They saw the soul as subjected to numerous reincarnations, sometimes into beasts, causing them to abstain from the meat of animals.

Pliny transmitted a definition of magic by a famous Magi named Osthanes: “there are several forms of it (i.e. magic); he professes to divine from water, globes, air, stars, lamps, basins and axes, and by many other methods, and besides to converse with ghosts and those in the underworld.”[32] Though communion with evil spirits was strictly forbidden in the orthodox version of the faith, the accounts of Greek authors accord in many respects with the doctrines of those referred to in the Avesta, and other Zoroastrian literature, as a certain people hostile to the orthodox community, called “sorcerers” or “daeva worshippers,” or devil-worshippers.[33] Therefore, when Roman satirist Lucian wishes to send one of his characters down to the realm of the dead, he resorts to the renowned experts: “as I was puzzling over these matters, it occurred to me to go to Babylon and ask one of the Magi, Zoroaster’s disciples and successors. I had heard that they could open the gates of the underworld with certain spells and rites and conduct down and bring back up safely whomever they wished.”[34]

Cumont maintained that the beliefs of these Magussaeans was influenced by the heretical Zoroastrian cult of Zurvan, the god of Time. In Armenian texts Saturn is called Zurvan.[35] Orthodox Zoroastrians worshipped the good god Ahura Mazda who was in an eternal comic battle with Ahriman, the evil god. As the Greater Bundahishn criticized, the prime object of worship of the false Magi was Ahriman, for “by the religion of the sorcerers (Ahriman) so inclines men to love him and to hate Ahura Mazda that they abandon the cult of Ahura Mazda and practice that of Ahriman.”[36] The worship of Ahriman was partly justified by Zurvanism. According to the Zurvanite myth, in the beginning, the great god Zurvan existed alone. Desiring offspring that would create “heaven and hell and everything in between,” he conceived Ohrmuzd and Ahriman, who are granted alternating rule over creation.[37]

R.C. Zaehner commented that in many cases it was more than Zurvanism, it was sorcery and daeva-worship. Zaehner continues:

 

The practice of worshipping the demons is also referred to by Clement of Alexandria: “the Magians,” he says, “worship angels and demons.”[38] This as we have seen, is the practice not of the Zoroastrians or Zurvanites but of the “devil-worshippers,” the third Iranian sect mentioned in the Denkart. With these facts in mind it will, perhaps be safe to conclude that Xerxes, in suppressing the daeva cult, caused a large-scale emigration of dissident Magians. These, after absorbing much of Babylonian speculation, transported their beliefs to Asia Minor; and from them arose the Graeco-Roman religion of Mithra.[39]

 

The worship of evil was disguised by the Magi through their veneration of Mithras, the Persian species of the dying-god, worshipped in India as Mitra, which the Magi reintroduced into Zoroastrianism. According to Jeffrey Burton Russell:

 

In his effort to move toward monotheism, Zarathustra emphasized the power of Ahura Mazda to the point of ignoring Ahura Mithra, and we have no idea what the prophet thought of this deity. His followers restored Mithras to power, assimilating him to Mazda and worshipping him as a manifestation of the god of light. But apparently the unregenerate daeva-worshippers untouched by Zarathustra’s reforms also continued to worship Mithras, and some of the later Magi may have been drawn in this direction.[40]

 

Mithras was assimilated by the Magi to the Babylonian Sun-god, Shamash, who was also identified with Bel. Mithras was one of three gods adapted from the trinity of a father, mother and son-god, worshipped by the Babylonians, and identified with the Sun, Moon and Venus, which the Magi assimilated to their own ancient Persian deities. According to Cumont:

 

Babylon…being the winter residence of the sovereigns, was the seat of a numerous body of official clergy, called Magi, who sat in authority over the indigenous priests. The prerogatives that the imperial protocol guaranteed to this official clergy could not render them exempt from the influence of the powerful sacerdotal caste that flourished beside them. The erudite and refined theology of the Chaldeans was thus superposed on the primitive Mazdean belief, which was rather a congress of traditions than a well-established body of definite dogmas. The legends of the two religions were assimilated, their divinities were identified, and the Semitic worship of the stars (astrolatry), the monstrous fruit of long-continued scientific observations, became amalgamated to the nature-myths of the Iranians. Ahura-Mazda was confounded with Bel, who reigned over the heavens; Anahita was likened to Ishtar, who presided over the planet Venus; while Mithra became the Sun, Shamash.[41]

 

The earliest indication of the worship of the god Mithras among the Persians is found in a sculptured tablet above the tomb of Darius I, who took the throne in 521 BC, in which the symbols of Mazda and of Mithra were placed in equally conspicuous positions, a practice that was continued by his successors. The fact that the Persians worshipped a god named Mitra was known to Herodotus, who mentioned that “Zeus, in their system, is the whole circle of the heavens, and they sacrifice to him from the tops of mountains. They also worship the sun, moon, the earth, fire, water, and winds [the Four Elements], which are their only original deities: it was later that they learned from the Assyrians and Arabians the cult of Uranian Aphrodite. The Assyrian name for Aphrodite is Mylitta, the Arabian Alilat, the Persian Mithra.”

 

Saturn

The Bible makes numerous condemnations of the ancient Israelites sacrificing their children to another derivation of Baal called Moloch, who was associated with Saturn. As god of the underworld, the dying-god was also a chthonic deity, or god of the Underworld, and therefore typically associated with evil.[42] According to the principles of apotropaic magic, the good god was appeased with good sacrifices, while the evil god required evil ones. The most evil sacrifice was the killing of a child. Rabbinical tradition depicted Moloch as a bronze statue heated with fire into which the victims were thrown. This has been associated with reports by Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus and Plutarch, who all mention the burning of children as an offering to Cronus or Saturn, that is to Baal Hammon, the chief god of Carthage. Cronus, also spelled Cronos or Kronos, in ancient Greek religion, is a male deity who was worshipped by the pre-Hellenic population of Greece. In Attica, his festival the Kronia celebrated the harvest and resembled the Roman Saturnalia.

Saturn Devouring His Son by Peter Paul Rubens (1636)
Saturn Devouring His Son by Peter Paul Rubens (1636)

Scholars have now come to acknowledge the striking similarities between Mesopotamian mythology and the works of the greatest of the Greek poets, Hesiod and Homer.[43] Hesiod, believed to belong to the eighth century BC, was the author of the Theogony, a systematization of early Greek mythology. Hesiod’s Theogony outlines a usurper myth, an account of how Zeus became superior following a war against Kronos and the Titans. According to Hesiod, Kronos was the son of Uranus and Gaea, being the youngest of the twelve Titans. After castrating his father, on the advice of his mother, he became the king of the Titans. He took for his consort his sister Rhea, who bore by him Hestia, Demeter, Hera, Hades, and Poseidon, all of whom he swallowed because his own parents had warned that he would be overthrown by his own child. When Zeus was born, however, Rhea hid him in Crete, and when he grew up, Zeus forced Kronos to disgorge his brothers and sisters, waged war on Kronos, and was victorious. According to one tradition, the period of Kronos’ rule was a Golden Age.[44]

The motif that the present rule of the gods came to power by overthrowing an older one is especially Near Eastern. According to M.L. West, “Hesiod’s integration of a dynastic history of this sort with a divine genealogy, starting from the beginning of things and ending with the king of the gods established in glory, has its closest parallel in Enuma elish, a poem of similar length to the Theogony.”[45] The myth of Kronos swallowing his children was compared to the Carthaginian worship of Moloch, or Saturn, by Diodorus:

 

Among the Carthaginians there was a brazen statue of Saturn putting forth the palms of his hands bending in such a manner toward the earth, as that the boy who was laid upon them, in order to be sacrificed, should slip off, and so fall down headlong into a deep fiery furnace. Hence, it is probable that Euripides took what he fabulously relates concerning the sacrifice in Taurus, where he introduces Iphigenia asking Orestes this question: “But what sepulchre will me dead receive, shall the gulf of sacred fire me have?” The ancient fable likewise that is common among all the Grecians, that Saturn devoured his own children, seems to be confirmed by this law among the Carthaginians.[46]

 

Like the defeat of Tiamat by Bel, Zeus with his thunderbolts defeats the monster Typhon and has him flung to Tartarus, and Zeus is proclaimed king of the gods.[47] The Titans correspond to the Anakim, or the Anunnaki of the Enuma elish, and to the Hittite Former Gods, the same term used by Hesiod to refer to the Titans, which are twelve in number, the same quantity as the Titans.[48] When the Titan Prometheus stole the fire of the gods, wishing to impart to man what was forbidden him, like the Bible’s Satan, Zeus finally punished the Titans for their insolence by sending the Flood. Of the connection between the myth of Deucalion, the Greek Flood hero, and Noah, according to M.L. West, “this Greek myth cannot be independent of the Flood story that we know from Sumerian, Akkadian, and Hebrew sources, especially from Atrahasis, the eleventh tablet of the Gilgamesh epic, and the Old Testament.”[49]

 

 

 

 

[1] Albert Pike. Morals and Dogma, p. 819.

[2] William Ramsey. Spiritualism, a Satanic Delusion, and a Sign of the Times, Chapter 2: The Case Stated (Peace Dale, Rhode Island: H. L. Hastings, 1856), p. 33.

[3] Found in Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, Saint Augustine, Sextus Julius Africanus, and the Letters attributed to St. Clement, Amharic Ethiopian Orthodox Bible: Henok 2:1–3 and The Conflict of Adam and Eve with Satan.

[4] K. Karbiener & G. Stade. Encyclopedia of British Writers, 1800 to the Present, Volume 2, (Infobase Publishing, 2009), pp. 188-190.

[5] James Frazer. The Golden Bough. Chapter 24 – The Killing of the Divine King and Chapter 58 – Human Scapegoats in Classical Antiquity.

[6] George Rawlinson. The Seven Great Monarchies of the Ancient Eastern World. Vol. 1. pp. 347–350.

[7] Dorothy Morrison. Yule: A Celebration of Light and Warmth (St. Paul, Minn: Llewellyn Publications). p. 4.

[8] Josephus. Antiquities of the Jews, II:3.

[9] Numbers, 13:27-29.

[10] Michael David Coogan, ed. & trans. Stories From Ancient Canaan (Louisville: The Westminster Press, 1978), p. 22

[11] 1 Samuel 8:4-6

[12] 1 Samuel 8:7-9

[13] “Judaism.” Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/topic/Judaism/The-Davidic-monarchy

[14] 1 Chronicles 22:1-10.

[15] Raphael Patai. Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions (Routledge 2015), p. 39.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Joseph Jacobs, M. Seligsohn. “Solomon.” Jewish Encyclopedia.

[18] Based on the Munich Codex of the Babylonian Talmud (Gittin 68a-b).

[19] Quran 34: 14

[20] Ibn Kathir. Stories Of The Quran.

[21] Muhammad Saed Abdul-Rahman and Ibn Kathir. Tafsir Ibn Kathir Juz’ 1: Al-Fatihah 1 to Al-Baqarah 141, 2nd Edition. MSA Publication Limited.

[22] Histories, I: 178.

[23] Bibliotheca Historica, Book II, 28:29.

[24] Bartel van der Waerden. Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy, p. 180.

[25] Cumont. Astrology and Religion Among the Greeks and Romans, p. 26

[26] “Iranian Influence on Judaism.” Cambridge History of Judaism, cited in Nigosian. The Zoroastrian Faith, p. 96

[27] Lives of Eminent Philosophers, I: 8

[28] Edwin Yamauchi. Persia and the Bible. Grand Rapids (Michigan: Baker Books, 1996), p. 468

[29] Francois Lenormant. Chaldean Magic: Its Origin and Development (York Beach, Maine: Samuel Weiser, 1999), p. 221.

[30] Ibid.

[31] Natural History, XXX: 3-6.

[32] Ibid., 5. 14.

[33] Greater Bundahishn, 182. 2. cited in Richard Charles Zaehner. Zurvan, a Zoroastrian dilemma (Oxford: Clarendon, 1955), p. 15.

[34] Menippus 6, cited in Mary Boyce and Franz Grenet. A History of Zoroastrianism, Vols. Two and Three, (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1982), Vol. 3., p. 518.

[35] Bartel L. van der Waerden. Science Awakening II: The Birth of Astronomy (New York: Oxford University Press, 1979), p. 194.

[36] Greater Bundahishn, 182. 2. quoted from Zeahner, Zurvan, p. 15

[37] Zaehner. Zurvan, a Zoroastrian dilemma, p. 419–428.

[38] Stromata, III. 6. 48.

[39] Zaehner. Zurvan, A Zoroastrian Dilemma, p. 19

[40] Jeffrey Burton Russell. The Devil: Perceptions of Evil from Antiquity to Primitive Christianity (Ithica, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), p. 120

[41] Cumont. The Mysteries of Mithra, p. 9

[42] H. D. Muller. “Mythologie der griech.” Stimme, II 39 f; K. O. Miiller, Aeschylos, Eumeniden, p. 146 f; . Stengel, “Die griech,” Sakralalterthimer, S. 87; cited in Arthur Fairbanks, “The Chthonic Gods of Greek Religion,” The American Journal of Philology , Vol. 21, No. 3 (1900), pp. 241-259.

[43] M. L. West. The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth (Oxford: Claredon Press, 1997), p. 277.

[44] “Cronus.” Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Ind, September 26, 2018).

[45] West. The East Face of Helicon, p. 277.

[46] Book XX, Chap. I.

[47] West. The East Face of Helicon, p. 302.

[48] Ibid., p. 298-99.

[49] Ibid., p. 490.

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