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CONTENTS.

PART I.

Introductioniii

List of Authorities, and Books Quoted fromxi

 

CHAPTER I.

The Creation and Fall of Man1

 

CHAPTER II.

The Deluge

 

CHAPTER III.

The Tower of Babel

 

CHAPTER IV.

The Trial of Abraham's Faith

 

CHAPTER V.

Jacob's Vision of the Ladder

 

CHAPTER VI.

The Exodus from Egypt

 

CHAPTER VII.

Receiving the Ten Commandments

 

CHAPTER VIII.

Samson and his Exploits

 

[Pg viii]CHAPTER IX.

Jonah Swallowed By A Big Fish

 

CHAPTER X.

Circumcision

 

CHAPTER XI.

Conclusion Of Part First

 

PART II.

 

CHAPTER XII.

The Miraculous Birth Of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XIII.

The Star Of Bethlehem

 

CHAPTER XIV.

The Song of The Heavenly Host

 

CHAPTER XV.

The Divine Child Recognized, and Presented with Gifts

 

CHAPTER XVI.

The Birth-place of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XVII.

The Genealogy of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XVIII.

The Slaughter of The Innocents

 

CHAPTER XIX.

The Temptation, and Fast Of Forty Days

 

CHAPTER XX.

The Crucifixion of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XXI.

The Darkness at the Crucifixion

 

CHAPTER XXII.

"He Descended into Hell."

 

CHAPTER XXIII.

The Resurrection and Ascension of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XXIV.

The Second Coming of Christ Jesus, and the Millennium

 

CHAPTER XXV.

Christ Jesus as Judge of the Dead

 

CHAPTER XXVI.

Christ Jesus as Creator, and Alpha and Omega

 

CHAPTER XXVII.

The Miracles of Christ Jesus, and the Primitive Christians

 

CHAPTER XXVIII.

Christ Crishna and Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XXIX.

Christ Buddha and Christ Jesus289

 

CHAPTER XXX.

The Eucharist or Lord's Supper305

 

CHAPTER XXXI.

Baptism316

 

CHAPTER XXXII.

The Worship of the Virgin Mother

 

CHAPTER XXXIII.

Christian Symbols

 

CHAPTER XXXIV.

The Birth-day of Christ Jesus

 

CHAPTER XXXV.

The Trinity

 

[Pg x]CHAPTER XXXVI.

Paganism in Christianity

 

CHAPTER XXXVII.

Why Christianity Prospered

 

CHAPTER XXXVIII.

The Antiquity of Pagan Religions

 

CHAPTER XXXIX.

Explanation

 

CHAPTER XL.

Conclusion

 

 

 

PART I.

THE OLD TESTAMENT.

 

CHAPTER I.

THE CREATION AND FALL OF MAN.

The Old Testament commences with one of its most interesting myths, that of the

Creation and Fall of Man. The story is to be found in the first three chapters

of Genesis, the substance of which is as follows:

After God created the "Heavens" and the "Earth," he said: "Let there be light,

and there was light," and after calling the light Day, and the darkness Night,

the first day's work was ended.

God then made the "Firmament," which completed the second day's work.

Then God caused the dry land to appear, which he called "Earth," and the waters

he called "Seas." After this the earth was made to bring forth grass, trees,

&c., which completed the third day's work.

The next things God created were the "Sun,"[1:1] "Moon" and [Pg 2]"Stars," and

after he had set them in the Firmament, the fourth day's work was ended.[2:1]

After these, God created great "whales," and other creatures which inhabit the

water, also "winged fowls." This brought the fifth day to a close.

The work of creation was finally completed on the sixth day,[2:2] when God made

"beasts" of every kind, "cattle," "creeping things," and lastly "man," whom he

created "male and female," in his own image.[2:3]

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on

the seventh[2:4] day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the

seventh day, from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh

day, and sanctified it, because that in it he had rested from all his work which

God created and made."

After this information, which concludes at the third verse of Genesis ii.,

strange though it may appear, another account of the Creation commences, which

is altogether different from the one we have just related. This account

commences thus:

"These are the generations of the heavens and the earth when they were created,

in the day (not days) that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens."

It then goes on to say that "the Lord God formed man of the dust of the

ground,"[2:5] which appears to be the first thing he made. After planting a

garden eastward in Eden,[2:6] the Lord God put the man therein, "and out of the

ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and

good for food; the Tree of Life,[2:7] also in the midst of the garden, and the

Tree of [Pg 3]Knowledge of good and evil. And a river went out of Eden to water

the garden, and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." These

four rivers were called, first Pison, second Gihon, third Hiddekel, and the

fourth Euphrates.[3:1]

After the "Lord God" had made the "Tree of Life," and the "Tree of Knowledge,"

he said unto the man:

"Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat, but of the tree of the

knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it, for in the day that thou

eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Then the Lord God, thinking that it would

not be well for man to live alone, formed—out of the ground—"every beast of the

field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he

would call them, and whatever Adam called every living creature, that was the

name thereof."

After Adam had given names to "all cattle, and to the fowls of the air, and to

every beast of the field," "the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam,

and he slept, and he (the Lord God) took one of his (Adam's) ribs, and closed up

the flesh instead thereof."

"And of the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and

brought her unto Adam." "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and

they were not ashamed."

After this everything is supposed to have gone harmoniously, until a serpent

appeared before the woman[3:2]—who was afterwards called Eve—and said to her:

"Hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?"

The woman, answering the serpent, said:

"We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the

tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it,

lest ye die."

Whereupon the serpent said to her:

[Pg 4]"Ye shall not surely die" (which, according to the narrative, was the

truth).

He then told her that, upon eating the fruit, their eyes would be opened, and

that they would be as gods, knowing good from evil.

The woman then looked upon the tree, and as the fruit was tempting, "she took of

the fruit, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband, and he did eat." The

result was not death (as the Lord God had told them), but, as the serpent had

said, "the eyes of both were opened, and they knew they were naked, and they

sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons."

Towards evening (i. e., "in the cool of the day"), Adam and his wife "heard the

voice of the Lord God walking in the garden," and being afraid, they hid

themselves among the trees of the garden. The Lord God not finding Adam and his

wife, said: "Where art thou?" Adam answering, said: "I heard thy voice in the

garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself."

The "Lord God" then told Adam that he had eaten of the tree which he had

commanded him not to eat, whereupon Adam said: "The woman whom thou gavest to be

with me, she gave me of the tree and I did eat."

When the "Lord God" spoke to the woman concerning her transgression, she blamed

the serpent, which she said "beguiled" her. This sealed the serpent's fate, for

the "Lord God" cursed him and said:

"Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy

life."[4:1]

Unto the woman the "Lord God" said:

"I will greatly multiply thy sorrow, and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt

bring forth children, and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule

over thee."

Unto Adam he said:

"Because thou hast 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 shalt thou return."

[Pg 5]The "Lord God" then made coats of skin for Adam and his wife, with which

he clothed them, after which he said:

"Behold, the man is become as one of us,[5:1] to know good and evil; and now,

lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live

forever" (he must be sent forth from Eden).

"So he (the Lord God) drove out the man (and the woman); and he placed at the

east of the garden of Eden, Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every

way, to keep the way of the Tree of Life."

Thus ends the narrative.

Before proceeding to show from whence this legend, or legends, had their origin,

we will notice a feature which is very prominent in the narrative, and which

cannot escape the eye of an observing reader, i. e., the two different and

contradictory accounts of the creation.

The first of these commences at the first verse of chapter first, and ends at

the third verse of chapter second. The second account commences at the fourth

verse of chapter second, and continues to the end of the chapter.

In speaking of these contradictory accounts of the Creation, Dean Stanley says:

"It is now clear to diligent students of the Bible, that the first and second

chapters of Genesis contain two narratives of the Creation, side by side,

differing from each other in most every particular of time and place and

order."[5:2]

Bishop Colenso, in his very learned work on the Pentateuch, speaking on this

subject, says:

"The following are the most noticeable points of difference between the two

cosmogonies:

"1. In the first, the earth emerges from the waters and is, therefore, saturated

with moisture.[5:3] In the second, the 'whole face of the ground' requires to be

moistened.[5:4]

[Pg 6]"2. In the first, the birds and the beasts are created before man.[6:1] In

the second, man is created before the birds and the beasts.[6:2]

"3. In the first, 'all fowls that fly' are made out of the waters.[6:3] In the

second 'the fowls of the air' are made out of the ground.[6:4]

"4. In the first, man is created in the image of God.[6:5] In the second, man is

made of the dust of the ground, and merely animated with the breath of life; and

it is only after his eating the forbidden fruit that 'the Lord God said, Behold,

the man has become as one of us, to know good and evil.'[6:6]

"5. In the first, man is made lord of the whole earth.[6:7] In the second, he is

merely placed in the garden of Eden, 'to dress it and to keep it.'[6:8]

"6. In the first, the man and the woman are created together, as the closing and

completing work of the whole creation,—created also, as is evidently implied, in

the same kind of way, to be the complement of one another, and, thus created,

they are blessed together.[6:9]

"In the second, the beasts and birds are created between the man and the woman.

First, the man is made of the dust of the ground; he is placed by himself in the

garden, charged with a solemn command, and threatened with a curse if he breaks

it; then the beasts and birds are made, and the man gives names to them, and,

lastly, after all this, the woman is made out of one of his ribs, but merely as

a helpmate for the man.[6:10]

"The fact is, that the second account of the Creation,[6:11] together with the

story of the Fall,[6:12] is manifestly composed by a different writer altogether

from him who wrote the first.[6:13]

"This is suggested at once by the circumstance that, throughout the first

narrative, the Creator is always spoken of by the name Elohim (God), whereas,

throughout the second account, as well as the story of the Fall, he is always

called Jehovah Elohim (Lord God), except when the writer seems to abstain, for

some reason, from placing the name Jehovah in the mouth of the serpent.[6:14]

This accounts naturally for the above contradictions. It would appear that, for

some reason, the productions of two pens have been here united, without any

reference to their inconsistencies."[6:15]

Dr. Kalisch, who does his utmost to maintain—as far as his knowledge of the

truth will allow—the general historical veracity of this narrative, after

speaking of the first account of the Creation, says:

"But now the narrative seems not only to pause, but to go backward. The grand

and powerful climax seems at once broken off, and a languid repetition appears

to follow. Another cosmogony is introduced, which, to complete the perplexity,

is, in many important features, in direct contradiction to the former.

"It would be dishonesty to conceal these difficulties. It would be

weakmindedness and cowardice. It would be flight instead of combat. It would be

an ignoble retreat, instead of victory. We confess there is an apparent

dissonance."[6:16]

[Pg 7]Dr. Knappert says:[7:1]

"The account of the Creation from the hand of the Priestly author is utterly

different from the other narrative, beginning at the fourth verse of Genesis ii.

Here we are told that God created Heaven and Earth in six days, and rested on

the seventh day, obviously with a view to bring out the holiness of the Sabbath

in a strong light."

Now that we have seen there are two different and contradictory accounts of the

Creation, to be found in the first two chapters of Genesis, we will endeavor to

learn if there is sufficient reason to believe they are copies of more ancient

legends.

We have seen that, according to the first account, God divided the work of

creation into six days. This idea agrees with that of the ancient Persians.

The Zend-Avesta—the sacred writings of the Parsees—states that the Supreme being

Ahuramazdâ (Ormuzd), created the universe and man in six successive periods of

time, in the following order: First, the Heavens; second, the Waters; third, the

Earth; fourth, the Trees and Plants; fifth, Animals; and sixth, Man. After the

Creator had finished his work, he rested.[7:2]

The Avesta account of the Creation is limited to this announcement, but we find

a more detailed history of the origin of the human species in the book entitled

Bundehesh, dedicated to the exposition of a complete cosmogony. This book states

that Ahuramazdâ created the first man and women joined together at the back.

After dividing them, he endowed them with motion and activity, placed within

them an intelligent soul, and bade them "to be humble of heart; to observe the

law; to be pure in their thoughts, pure in their speech, pure in their actions."

Thus were born Mashya and Mashyâna, the pair from which all human beings are

descended.[7:3]

The idea brought out in this story of the first human pair having originally

formed a single androgynous being with two faces, separated later into two

personalities by the Creator, is to be found in the Genesis account (v. 2).

"Male and female created he them, and blessed them, and named their name Adam."

Jewish tradition in the Targum and Talmud, as well as among learned rabbis,

allege that Adam was created man and woman at the same time, having two faces

turned in two opposite directions, and that the Creator separated the feminine

half from him, in order to make of her a distinct person.[7:4]

[Pg 8]The ancient Etruscan legend, according to Delitzsch, is almost the same as

the Persian. They relate that God created the world in six thousand years. In

the first thousand he created the Heaven and Earth; in the second, the

Firmament; in the third, the Waters of the Earth; in the fourth, the Sun, Moon

and Stars; in the fifth, the Animals belonging to air, water and land; and in

the sixth, Man alone.[8:1]

Dr. Delitzsch, who maintains to the utmost the historical truth of the Scripture

story in Genesis, yet says:

"Whence comes the surprising agreement of the Etruscan and Persian legends with

this section? How comes it that the Babylonian cosmogony in Berosus, and the

Phœnician in Sanchoniathon, in spite of their fantastical oddity, come in

contact with it in remarkable details?"

After showing some of the similarities in the legends of these different

nations, he continues:

"These are only instances of that which they have in common. For such an account

outside of Israel, we must, however, conclude, that the author of Genesis i. has

no vision before him, but a tradition."[8:2]

Von Bohlen tells us that the old Chaldæan cosmogony is also the same.[8:3]

To continue the Persian legend; we will now show that according to it, after the

Creation man was tempted, and fell. Kalisch[8:4] and Bishop Colenso[8:5] tell us

of the Persian legend that the first couple lived originally in purity and

innocence. Perpetual happiness was promised them by the Creator if they

persevered in their virtue. But an evil demon came to them in the form of a

serpent, sent by Ahriman, the prince of devils, and gave them fruit of a

wonderful tree, which imparted immortality. Evil inclinations then entered their

hearts, and all their moral excellence was destroyed. Consequently they fell,

and forfeited the eternal happiness for which they were destined. They killed

beasts, and clothed themselves in their skins. The evil demon obtained still

more perfect power over their minds, and called forth envy, hatred, discord, and

rebellion, which raged in the bosom of the families.

Since the above was written, Mr. George Smith, of the British Museum, has

discovered cuneiform inscriptions, which show conclusively that the Babylonians

had this legend of the Creation and [Pg 9]Fall of Man, some 1,500 years or more

before the Hebrews heard of it.[9:1] The cuneiform inscriptions relating to the

Babylonian legend of the Creation and Fall of Man, which have been discovered by

English archæologists, are not, however, complete. The portions which relate to

the Tree and Serpent have not been found, but Babylonian gem engravings show

that these incidents were evidently a part of the original legend.[9:2] The Tree

of Life in the Genesis account appears to correspond with the sacred grove of

Anu, which was guarded by a sword turning to all the four points of the

compass.[9:3] A representation of this Sacred Tree, with "attendant cherubim,"

copied from an Assyrian cylinder, may be seen in Mr. George Smith's "Chaldean

Account of Genesis."[9:4] Figure No. 1, which we have taken from the same

work,[9:5] shows the tree of knowledge, fruit, and the serpent. Mr. Smith says

of it:

"One striking and important specimen of early type in the British Museum

collection, has two figures sitting one on each side of a tree, holding out

their hands to the fruit, while at the back of one (the woman) is scratched a

serpent. We know well that in these early sculptures none of these figures were

chance devices, but all represented events, or supposed events, and figures in

their legends; thus it is evident that a form of the story of the Fall, similar

to that of Genesis, was known in early times in Babylonia."[9:5]

This illustration might be used to illustrate the narrative of Genesis, and as

Friedrich Delitzsch has remarked (G. Smith's Chaldäische Genesis) is capable of

no other explanation.

M. Renan does not hesitate to join forces with the ancient commentators, in

seeking to recover a trace of the same tradition among the Phenicians in the

fragments of Sanchoniathon, translated into Greek by Philo of Byblos. In fact,

it is there said, in speaking of the first human pair, and of Æon, which seems

to be the translation of Havvâh (in Phenician [Pg 10]Havâth) and stands in her

relation to the other members of the pair, that this personage "has found out

how to obtain nourishment from the fruits of the tree."

The idea of the Edenic happiness of the first human beings constitutes one of

the universal traditions. Among the Egyptians, the terrestrial reign of the god

Râ, who inaugurated the existence of the world and of human life, was a golden

age to which they continually looked back with regret and envy. Its "like has

never been seen since."

The ancient Greeks boasted of their "Golden Age," when sorrow and trouble were

not known. Hesiod, an ancient Grecian poet, describes it thus:

"Men lived like Gods, without vices or passions, vexation or toil. In happy

companionship with divine beings, they passed their days in tranquillity and

joy, living together in perfect equality, united by mutual confidence and love.

The earth was more beautiful than now, and spontaneously yielded an abundant

variety of fruits. Human beings and animals spoke the same language and

conversed with each other. Men were considered mere boys at a hundred years old.

They had none of the infirmities of age to trouble them, and when they passed to

regions of superior life, it was in a gentle slumber."

In the course of time, however, all the sorrows and troubles came to man. They

were caused by inquisitiveness. The story is as follows: Epimetheus received a

gift from Zeus (God), in the form of a beautiful woman (Pandora).

"She brought with her a vase, the lid of which was (by the command of God), to

remain closed. The curiosity of her husband, however, tempted him to open it,

and suddenly there escaped from it troubles, weariness and illness from which

mankind was never afterwards free. All that remained was hope."[10:1]

Among the Thibetans, the paradisiacal condition was more complete and spiritual.

The desire to eat of a certain sweet herb deprived men of their spiritual life.

There arose a sense of shame, and the need to clothe themselves. Necessity

compelled them to agriculture; the virtues disappeared, and murder, adultery and

other vices, stepped into their place.[10:2]

The idea that the Fall of the human race is connected with agriculture is found

to be also often represented in the legends of the East African negroes,

especially in the Calabar legend of the Creation, which presents many

interesting points of comparison with the biblical story of the Fall. The first

human pair are called by a bell at meal-times to Abasi (the Calabar God), in

heaven; and in place of the forbidden tree of Genesis are put agriculture [Pg

11]and propagation, which Abasi strictly denies to the first pair. The Fall is

denoted by the transgression of both these commands, especially through the use

of implements of tillage, to which the woman is tempted by a female friend who

is given to her. From that moment man fell and became mortal, so that, as the

Bible story has it, he can eat bread only in the sweat of his face. There

agriculture is a curse, a fall from a more perfect stage to a lower and

imperfect one.[11:1]

Dr. Kalisch, writing of the Garden of Eden, says:

"The Paradise is no exclusive feature of the early history of the Hebrews. Most

of the ancient nations have similar narratives about a happy abode, which care

does not approach, and which re-echoes with the sounds of the purest

bliss."[11:2]

The Persians supposed that a region of bliss and delight called Heden, more

beautiful than all the rest of the world, traversed by a mighty river, was the

original abode of the first men, before they were tempted by the evil spirit in

the form of a serpent, to partake of the fruit of the forbidden tree Hôm.[11:3]

Dr. Delitzsch, writing of the Persian legend, observes:

"Innumerable attendants of the Holy One keep watch against the attempts of

Ahriman, over the tree Hôm, which contains in itself the power of the

resurrection."[11:4]

The ancient Greeks had a tradition concerning the "Islands of the Blessed," the

"Elysium," on the borders of the earth, abounding in every charm of life, and

the "Garden of the Hesperides," the Paradise, in which grew a tree bearing the

golden apples of Immortality. It was guarded by three nymphs, and a Serpent, or

Dragon, the ever-watchful Ladon. It was one of the labors of Hercules to gather

some of these apples of life. When he arrived there he found the garden

protected by a Dragon. Ancient medallions represent a tree with a serpent twined

around it. Hercules has gathered an apple, and near him stand the three nymphs,

called Hesperides.[11:5] This is simply a parallel of the Eden myth.

The Rev. Mr. Faber, speaking of Hercules, says:

"On the Sphere he is represented in the act of contending with the Serpent, the

head of which is placed under his foot; and this Serpent, we are told, is that

which guarded the tree with golden fruit in the midst of the garden of the

Hesperides. But the garden of the Hesperides was none other than the garden of

Paradise; consequently the serpent of that garden, the head of which is crushed

beneath the heel of Hercules, and which itself is described as encircling with

its [Pg 12]folds the trunk of the mysterious tree, must necessarily be a

transcript of that Serpent whose form was assumed by the tempter of our first

parents. We may observe the same ancient tradition in the Phœnician fable

representing Ophion or Ophioneus."[12:1]

And Professor Fergusson says:

"Hercules' adventures in the garden of the Hesperides, is the Pagan form of the

myth that most resembles the precious Serpent-guarded fruit of the Garden of

Eden, though the moral of the fable is so widely different."[12:2]

The ancient Egyptians also had the legend of the "Tree of Life." It is mentioned

in their sacred books that Osiris ordered the names of some souls to be written

on this "Tree of Life," the fruit of which made those who ate it to become as

gods.[12:3]

Among the most ancient traditions of the Hindoos, is that of the "Tree of

Life"—called Sôma in Sanskrit—the juice of which imparted immortality. This most

wonderful tree was guarded by spirits.[12:4]

Still more striking is the Hindoo legend of the "Elysium" or "Paradise," which

is as follows:

"In the sacred mountain Meru, which is perpetually clothed in the golden rays of

the Sun, and whose lofty summit reaches into heaven, no sinful man can exist. It

is guarded by a dreadful dragon. It is adorned with many celestial plants and

trees, and is watered by four rivers, which thence separate and flow to the four

chief directions."[12:5]

The Hindoos, like the philosophers of the Ionic school (Thales, for instance),

held water to be the first existing and all-pervading principle, at the same

time allowing the co-operation and influence of an immaterial intelligence in

the work of creation.[12:6] A Vedic poet, meditating on the Creation, uses the

following expressions:

"Nothing that is was then, even what is not, did not exist then." "There was no

space, no life, and lastly there was no time, no difference between day and

night, no solar torch by which morning might have been told from evening."

"Darkness there was, and all at first was veiled in gloom profound, as ocean

without light."[12:7]

The Hindoo legend approaches very nearly to that preserved in the Hebrew

Scriptures. Thus, it is said that Siva, as the Supreme Being, desired to tempt

Brahmá (who had taken human form, and was called Swayambhura—son of the

self-existent), and for this object he dropped from heaven a blossom of the

sacred fig tree.

[Pg 13]Swayambhura, instigated by his wife, Satarupa, endeavors to obtain this

blossom, thinking its possession will render him immortal and divine; but when

he has succeeded in doing so, he is cursed by Siva, and doomed to misery and

degradation.[13:1] The sacred Indian fig is endowed by the Brahmins and the

Buddhists with mysterious significance, as the "Tree of Knowledge" or

"Intelligence."[13:2]

There is no Hindoo legend of the Creation similar to the Persian and Hebrew

accounts, and Ceylon was never believed to have been the Paradise or home of our

first parents, although such stories are in circulation.[13:3] The Hindoo

religion states—as we have already seen—Mount Meru to be the Paradise, out of

which went four rivers.

We have noticed that the "Gardens of Paradise" are said to have been guarded by

Dragons, and that, according to the Genesis account, it was Cherubim that

protected Eden. This apparent difference in the legends is owing to the fact

that we have come in our modern times to speak of Cherub as though it were an

other name for an Angel. But the Cherub of the writer of Genesis, the Cherub of

Assyria, the Cherub of Babylon, the Cherub of the entire Orient, at the time the

Eden story was written, was not at all an Angel, but an animal, and a

mythological one at that. The Cherub had, in some cases, the body of a lion,

with the head of an other animal, or a man, and the wings of a bird. In Ezekiel

they have the body of a man, whose head, besides a human countenance, has also

that of a Lion, an Ox and an Eagle. They are provided with four wings, and the

whole body is spangled with innumerable eyes. In Assyria and Babylon they appear

as winged bulls with human faces, and are placed at the gateways of palaces and

temples as guardian genii who watch over the dwelling, as the Cherubim in

Genesis watch the "Tree of Life."

Most Jewish writers and Christian Fathers conceived the Cherubim as Angels. Most

theologians also considered them as Angels, until Michaelis showed them to be a

mythological animal, a poetical creation.[13:4]

[Pg 14]We see then, that our Cherub is simply a Dragon.

To continue our inquiry regarding the prevalence of the Eden-myth among nations

of antiquity.

The Chinese have their Age of Virtue, when nature furnished abundant food, and

man lived peacefully, surrounded by all the beasts. In their sacred books there

is a story concerning a mysterious garden, where grew a tree bearing "apples of

immortality," guarded by a winged serpent, called a Dragon. They describe a

primitive age of the world, when the earth yielded abundance of delicious fruits

without cultivation, and the seasons were untroubled by wind and storms. There

was no calamity, sickness, or death. Men were then good without effort; for the

human heart was in harmony with the peacefulness and beauty of nature.

The "Golden Age" of the past is much dwelt upon by their ancient commentators.

One of them says:

"All places were then equally the native county of every man. Flocks wandered in

the fields without any guide; birds filled the air with their melodious voices;

and the fruits grew of their own accord. Men lived pleasantly with the animals,

and all creatures were members of the same family. Ignorant of evil, man lived

in simplicity and perfect innocence."

Another commentator says:

"In the first age of perfect purity, all was in harmony, and the passions did

not occasion the slightest murmur. Man, united to sovereign reason within,

conformed his outward actions to sovereign justice. Far from all duplicity and

falsehood, his soul received marvelous felicity from heaven, and the purest

delights from earth."

Another says:

"A delicious garden refreshed with zephyrs, and planted with odoriferous trees,

was situated in the middle of a mountain, which was the avenue of heaven. The

waters that moistened it flowed from a source called the 'Fountain of

Immortality'. He who drinks of it never dies. Thence flowed four rivers. A

Golden River, betwixt the South and East, a Red River, between the North and

East, the River of the Lamb between the North and West."

The animal Kaiming guards the entrance.

Partly by an undue thirst for knowledge, and partly by increasing sensuality,

and the seduction of woman, man fell. Then passion and lust ruled in the human

mind, and war with the animals began. In one of the Chinese sacred volumes,

called the Chi-King, it is said that:

"All was subject to man at first, but a woman threw us into slavery. The wise

husband raised up a bulwark of walls, but the woman, by an ambitious desire of

knowledge, demolished them. Our misery did not come from heaven, but from a

woman. She lost the human race. Ah, unhappy Poo See! thou kindled the fire [Pg

15]that consumes us, and which is every day augmenting. Our misery has lasted

many ages. The world is lost. Vice overflows all things like a mortal

poison."[15:1]

Thus we see that the Chinese are no strangers to the doctrine of original sin.

It is their invariable belief that man is a fallen being; admitted by them from

time immemorial.

The inhabitants of Madagascar had a legend similar to the Eden story, which is

related as follows:

"The first man was created of the dust of the earth, and was placed in a garden,

where he was subject to none of the ills which now affect mortality; he was also

free from all bodily appetites, and though surrounded by delicious fruit and

limpid streams yet felt no desire to taste of the fruit or to quaff the water.

The Creator had, moreover, strictly forbid him either to eat or to drink. The

great enemy, however, came to him, and painted to him, in glowing colors, the

sweetness of the apple, and the lusciousness of the date, and the succulence of

the orange."

After resisting the temptations for a while, he at last ate of the fruit, and

consequently fell.[15:2]

A legend of the Creation, similar to the Hebrew, was found by Mr. Ellis among

the Tahitians, and appeared in his "Polynesian Researches." It is as follows:

After Taarao had formed the world, he created man out of aræa, red earth, which

was also the food of man until bread was made. Taarao one day called for the man

by name. When he came, he caused him to fall asleep, and while he slept, he took

out one of his ivi, or bones, and with it made a woman, whom he gave to the man

as his wife, and they became the progenitors of mankind. The woman's name was

Ivi, which signifies a bone.[15:3]

The prose Edda, of the ancient Scandinavians, speaks of the "Golden Age" when

all was pure and harmonious. This age lasted until the arrival of woman out of

Jotunheim—the region of the giants, a sort of "land of Nod"—who corrupted

it.[15:4]

In the annals of the Mexicans, the first woman, whose name was translated by the

old Spanish writers, "the woman of our flesh," is always represented as

accompanied by a great male serpent, who seems to be talking to her. Some

writers believe this to be the tempter speaking to the primeval mother, and

others that it is intended to represent the father of the human race. This

Mexican Eve is represented on their monuments as the mother of twins.[15:5]

[Pg 16]Mr. Franklin, in his "Buddhists and Jeynes," says:

"A striking instance is recorded by the very intelligent traveler (Wilson),

regarding a representation of the Fall of our first parents, sculptured in the

magnificent temple of Ipsambul, in Nubia. He says that a very exact

representation of Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden is to be seen in that cave,

and that the serpent climbing round the tree is especially delineated, and the

whole subject of the tempting of our first parents most accurately

exhibited."[16:1]

Nearly the same thing was found by Colonel Coombs in the South of India. Colonel

Tod, in his "Hist. Rajapoutana," says:

"A drawing, brought by Colonel Coombs from a sculptured column in a cave-temple

in the South of India, represents the first pair at the foot of the ambrosial

tree, and a serpent entwined among the heavily-laden boughs, presenting to them

some of the fruit from his mouth. The tempter appears to be at that part of his

discourse, when

'——his words, replete with guile,

 

Into her heart too easy entrance won:

 

Fixed on the fruit she gazed.'

 

"This is a curious subject to be engraved on an ancient Pagan temple."[16:2]

So the Colonel thought, no doubt, but it is not so very curious after all. It is

the same myth which we have found—with but such small variations only as time

and circumstances may be expected to produce—among different nations, in both

the Old and New Worlds.

Fig. No. 2, taken from the work of Montfaucon,[16:3] represents one of these

ancient Pagan sculptures. Can any one doubt that it is allusive to the myth of

which we have been treating in this chapter?

That man was originally created a perfect being, and is now only a fallen and

broken remnant of what he once was, we have seen to be a piece of mythology, not

only unfounded in fact, but, beyond intelligent question, proved untrue. What,

then, is the significance of the exposure of this myth? What does its loss as a

scientific fact, and as a portion of Christian dogma, imply? It implies that

with it—although many Christian divines who admit this to be a legend, do not,

[Pg 17]or do not profess, to see it—must fall the whole Orthodox scheme, for

upon this MYTH the theology of Christendom is built. The doctrine of the

inspiration of the Scriptures, the Fall of man, his total depravity, the

Incarnation, the Atonement, the devil, hell, in fact, the entire theology of the

Christian church, falls to pieces with the historical inaccuracy of this story,

for upon it is it built; 'tis the foundation of the whole structure.[17:1]

According to Christian dogma, the Incarnation of Christ Jesus had become

necessary, merely because he had to redeem the evil introduced into the world by

the Fall of man. These two dogmas cannot be separated from each other. If there

was no Fall, there is no need of an atonement, and no Redeemer is required.

Those, then, who consent in recognizing in Christ Jesus a God and Redeemer, and

who, notwithstanding, cannot resolve upon admitting the story of the Fall of man

to be historical, should exculpate themselves from the reproach of

inconsistency. There are a great number, however, in this position at the

present day.

Although, as we have said, many Christian divines do not, or do not profess to,

see the force of the above argument, there are many who do; and they, regardless

of their scientific learning, cling to these old myths, professing to believe

them, well knowing what must follow with their fall. The following, though

written some years ago, will serve to illustrate this style of reasoning.

The Bishop of Manchester (England) writing in the "Manchester Examiner and

Times," said:

"The very foundation of our faith, the very basis of our hopes, the very nearest

and dearest of our consolations are taken from us, when one line of that sacred

volume, on which we base everything, is declared to be untruthful and

untrustworthy."

The "English Churchman," speaking of clergymen who have "doubts," said, that any

who are not throughly persuaded "that the Scriptures cannot in any particular be

untrue," should leave the Church.

The Rev. E. Garbett, M. A., in a sermon preached before the University of

Oxford, speaking of the "historical truth" of the Bible, said:

[Pg 18]"It is the clear teaching of those doctrinal formularies, to which we of

the Church of England have expressed our solemn assent, and no honest

interpretation of her language can get rid of it."

And that:

"In all consistent reason, we must accept the whole of the inspired autographs,

or reject the whole."

Dr. Baylee, Principal of a theological university—St. Aiden's College—at

Birkenhead, England, and author of a "Manual," called Baylee's "Verbal

Inspiration," written "chiefly for the youths of St. Aiden's College," makes use

of the following words, in that work:

"The whole Bible, as a revelation, is a declaration of the mind of God towards

his creatures on all the subjects of which the Bible treats."

"The Bible is God's word, in the same sense as if he had made use of no human

agent, but had Himself spoken it."

"The Bible cannot be less than verbally inspired. Every word, every syllable,

every letter, is just what it would be, had God spoken from heaven without any

human intervention."

"Every scientific statement is infallibly correct, all its history and

narrations of every kind, are without any inaccuracy."[18:1]

A whole volume might be filled with such quotations, not only from religious

works and journals published in England, but from those published in the United

States of America.[18:2]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[1:1] The idea that the sun, moon and stars were set in the firmament was

entertained by most nations of antiquity, but, as strange as it may appear,

Pythagoras, the Grecian philosopher, who flourished from 540 to 510 B. C.—as

well as other Grecian philosophers—taught that the sun was placed in the centre

of the universe, with the planets roving round it in a circle, thus making day

and night. (See Knight's Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 59, and note.) The

Buddhists anciently taught that the universe is composed of limitless systems or

worlds, called sakwalas.

They are scattered throughout space, and each sakwala has a sun and moon. (See

Hardy: Buddhist Legends, pp. 80 and 87.)

[2:1] Origen, a Christian Father who flourished about A. D. 230, says: "What man

of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second, and third days,

in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun, moon and

stars?" (Quoted in Mysteries of Adoni, p. 176.)

[2:2] "The geologist reckons not by days or by years; the whole six thousand

years, which were until lately looked on as the sum of the world's age, are to

him but as a unit of measurement in the long succession of past ages." (Sir John

Lubbock.)

"It is now certain that the vast epochs of time demanded by scientific

observation are incompatible both with the six thousand years of the Mosaic

chronology, and the six days of the Mosaic creation." (Dean Stanley.)

[2:3] "Let us make man in our own likeness," was said by Ormuzd, the Persian God

of Gods, to his WORD. (See Bunsen's Angel Messiah, p. 104.)

[2:4] The number SEVEN was sacred among almost every nation of antiquity. (See

ch. ii.)

[2:5] According to Grecian Mythology, the God Prometheus created men, in the

image of the gods, out of clay (see Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 26; and

Goldzhier: Hebrew Myths, p. 373), and the God Hephaistos was commanded by Zeus

to mold of clay the figure of a maiden, into which Athênê, the dawn-goddess,

breathed the breath of life. This is Pandora—the gift of all the gods—who is

presented to Epimetheus. (See Cox: Aryan Myths, vol. ii., p. 208.)

[2:6] "What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in

Paradise, in Eden, like a husbandman." (Origen: quoted in Mysteries of Adoni, p.

176.) "There is no way of preserving the literal sense of the first chapter of

Genesis, without impiety, and attributing things to God unworthy of him." (St.

Augustine.)

[2:7] "The records about the 'Tree of Life' are the sublimest proofs of the

unity and continuity of tradition, and of its Eastern origin. The earliest

records of the most ancient Oriental tradition refer to a 'Tree of Life,' which

was guarded by spirits. The juice of the fruit of this sacred tree, like the

tree itself, was called Sôma in Sanscrit, and Haôma in Zend; it was revered as

the life preserving essence." (Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, p. 414)

[3:1] "According to the Persian account of Paradise, four great rivers came from

Mount Alborj; two are in the North, and two go towards the South. The river

Arduisir nourishes the Tree of Immortality, the Holy Hom." (Stiefelhagen: quoted

in Mysteries of Adoni p. 149.)

"According to the Chinese myth, the waters of the Garden of Paradise issue from

the fountain of immortality, which divides itself into four rivers." (Ibid., p.

150, and Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i., p. 210.) The Hindoos call their Mount Meru

the Paradise, out of which went four rivers. (Anacalypsis, vol. i., p. 357.)

[3:2] According to Persian legend, Arimanes, the Evil Spirit, by eating a

certain kind of fruit, transformed himself into a serpent, and went gliding

about on the earth to tempt human beings. His Devs entered the bodies of men and

produced all manner of diseases. They entered into their minds, and incited them

to sensuality, falsehood, slander and revenge. Into every department of the

world they introduced discord and death.

[4:1] Inasmuch as the physical construction of the serpent never could admit of

its moving in any other way, and inasmuch as it does not eat dust, does not the

narrator of this myth reflect unpleasantly upon the wisdom of such a God as

Jehovah is claimed to be, as well as upon the ineffectualness of his first

curse?

[5:1] "Our writer unmistakably recognizes the existence of many gods; for he

makes Yahweh say: 'See, the man has become as ONE OF US, knowing good and evil;'

and so he evidently implies the existence of other similar beings, to whom he

attributes immortality and insight into the difference between good and evil.

Yahweh, then, was, in his eyes, the god of gods, indeed, but not the only god."

(Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 51.)

[5:2] In his memorial sermon, preached in Westminster Abbey, after the funeral

of Sir Charles Lyell. He further said in this address:—

"It is well known that when the science of geology first arose, it was involved

in endless schemes of attempted reconciliation with the letter of Scripture.

There was, there are perhaps still, two modes of reconciliation of Scripture and

science, which have been each in their day attempted, and each have totally and

deservedly failed. One is the endeavor to wrest the words of the Bible from

their natural meaning, and force it to speak the language of science." After

speaking of the earliest known example, which was the interpolation of the word

"not" in Leviticus xi. 6, he continues: "This is the earliest instance of the

falsification of Scripture to meet the demands of science; and it has been

followed in later times by the various efforts which have been made to twist the

earlier chapters of the book of Genesis into apparent agreement with the last

results of geology—representing days not to be days, morning and evening not to

be morning and evening, the deluge not to be the deluge, and the ark not to be

the ark."

[5:3] Gen. i. 9, 10.

[5:4] Gen. ii. 6.

[6:1] Gen. i. 20, 24, 26.

[6:2] Gen. ii. 7, 9.

[6:3] Gen. i. 20.

[6:4] Gen. ii. 19.

[6:5] Gen. i. 27.

[6:6] Gen. ii. 7: iii. 22.

[6:7] Gen. i. 28.

[6:8] Gen. ii. 8, 15.

[6:9] Gen. i. 28.

[6:10] Gen. ii. 7, 8, 15, 22.

[6:11] Gen. ii. 4-25.

[6:12] Gen. iii.

[6:13] Gen. i. 1-ii. 8.

[6:14] Gen. iii. 1, 3, 5.

[6:15] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. pp. 171-173.

[6:16] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 59.

[7:1] The Relig. of Israel, p. 186.

[7:2] Von Bohlen: Intro. to Gen. vol. ii. p. 4.

[7:3] Lenormant: Beginning of Hist. vol. i. p. 6.

[7:4] See Ibid. p. 64; and Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 31.

[8:1] "The Etruscans believed in a creation of six thousand years, and in the

successive production of different beings, the last of which was man." (Dunlap:

Spirit Hist. p. 357.)

[8:2] Quoted by Bishop Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 115.

[8:3] Intro. to Genesis, vol. ii. p. 4.

[8:4] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 63.

[8:5] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 158.

[9:1] See Chapter xi.

[9:2] Mr. Smith says, "Whatever the primitive account may have been from which

the earlier part of the Book of Genesis was copied, it is evident that the brief

narration given in the Pentateuch omits a number of incidents and

explanations—for instance, as to the origin of evil, the fall of the angels, the

wickedness of the serpent, &c. Such points as these are included in the

cuneiform narrative." (Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 13, 14.)

[9:3] Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 88.

[9:4] Ibid. p. 89.

[9:5] Ibid. p. 91.

[10:1] Murray's Mythology, p. 208.

[10:2] Kalisch's Com. vol. i. p. 64.

[11:1] Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 87.

[11:2] Com. on the Old Test. vol. i. p. 70.

[11:3] Ibid.

[11:4] Ibid. "The fruit, and sap of this 'Tree of Life' begat immortality."

(Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 240.)

[11:5] See Montfaucon: L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 211, and Pl. cxxxiii.

[12:1] Faber: Origin Pagan Idolatry, vol. i. p. 443; in Anacalypsis, vol. i. p.

237.

[12:2] Tree and Serpent Worship, p. 13.

[12:3] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 159.

[12:4] See Bunsen's Keys of St. Peter, p. 414.

[12:5] Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 153.

[12:6] Buckley: Cities of the Ancient World, p. 148.

[12:7] Müller: Hist. Sanskrit Literature, p. 559.

[13:1] See Wake: Phallism in Ancient Religions, pp. 46, 47; and Maurice: Hist.

Hindostan, vol. i. p. 408.

[13:2] Hardwick: Christ and Other Masters, p. 215.

[13:3] See Jacolliot's "Bible in India," which John Fisk calls a "very

discreditable performance," and "a disgraceful piece of charlatanry" (Myths, &c.

p. 205). This writer also states that according to Hindoo legend, the first man

and woman were called "Adima and Heva," which is certainly not the case. The

"bridge of Adima" which he speaks of as connecting the island of Ceylon with the

mainland, is called "Rama's bridge;" and the "Adam's footprints" are called

"Buddha's footprints." The Portuguese, who called the mountain Pico d' Adama

(Adam's Peak), evidently invented these other names. (See Maurice's Hist.

Hindostan, vol. i. pp. 301, 362, and vol. ii. p. 242).

[13:4] See Smith's Bible Dic. Art. "Cherubim," and Lenormant's Beginning of

History, ch. iii.

[15:1] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 206-210, The Pentateuch Examined,

vol. iv. pp. 152, 153, and Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 38.

[15:2] Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 31.

[15:3] Quoted by Müller: The Science of Relig., p. 302.

[15:4] See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 409.

[15:5] See Baring Gould's Legends of the Patriarchs; Squire's Serpent Symbol, p.

161, and Wake's Phallism in Ancient Religions, p. 41.

[16:1] Quoted by Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 403.

[16:2] Tod's Hist. Raj., p. 581, quoted by Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 404.

[16:3] L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i.

[17:1] Sir William Jones, the first president of the Royal Asiatic Society, saw

this when he said: "Either the first eleven chapters of Genesis, all due

allowance being made for a figurative Eastern style, are true, or the whole

fabric of our religion is false." (In Asiatic Researches, vol. i. p. 225.) And

so also did the learned Thomas Maurice, for he says: "If the Mosaic History be

indeed a fable, the whole fabric of the national religion is false, since the

main pillar of Christianity rests upon that important original promise, that the

seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent." (Hist. Hindostan, vol.

i. p. 20.)

[18:1] The above extracts are quoted by Bishop Colenso, in The Pentateuch

Examined, vol. ii. pp. 10-12, from which we take them.

[18:2] "Cosmogony" is the title of a volume lately written by Prof. Thomas

Mitchell, and published by the American News Co., in which the author attacks

all the modern scientists in regard to the geological antiquity of the world,

evolution, atheism, pantheism, &c. He believes—and rightly too—that, "if the

account of Creation in Genesis falls, Christ and the apostles follow: if the

book of Genesis is erroneous, so also are the Gospels."

 

 

 

[Pg 19]CHAPTER II.

THE DELUGE.[19:1]

After "man's shameful fall," the earth began to be populated at a very rapid

rate. "The sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they

took them wives of all which they chose. . . . . There were giants in the earth

in those days,[19:2] and also . . . mighty men . . . men of renown."

But these "giants" and "mighty men" were very wicked, "and God saw the

wickedness of man . . . and it repented the Lord that he had made man upon the

earth,[19:3] and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said; I will destroy

man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, and the

creeping thing, and the fowls of the air, for it repenteth me that I have made

them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (for) Noah was a just man . .

. and walked with God. . . . And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is

come before me, for the earth is filled with violence through them, and, behold,

I will [Pg 20]destroy them with the earth. Make thee an ark of gopher wood,

rooms shalt thou make in the ark, (and) a window shalt thou make to the ark; . .

. . And behold I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy

all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven, and every thing

that is in the earth shall die. But with thee shall I establish my covenant; and

thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons'

wives, with thee. And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort

shalt thou bring into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male

and female. Of fowls after their kind, and of cattle after their kind, of every

creeping thing of the earth after his kind, two of every sort shall come in to

thee, to keep them alive. And take thou unto thee of all food that is eaten, and

thou shalt gather it to thee; and it shall be for food for thee and for them.

Thus did Noah, according to all that God commanded him."[20:1]

When the ark was finished, the Lord said unto Noah:

"Come thou and all thy house into the ark. . . . Of every clean beast thou shalt

take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and of beasts that are not

clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the

male and the female."[20:2]

Here, again, as in the Eden myth, there is a contradiction. We have seen that

the Lord told Noah to bring into the ark "of every living thing, of all flesh,

two of every sort," and now that the ark is finished, we are told that he said

to him: "Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens," and, "of fowls

also of the air by sevens." This is owing to the story having been written by

two different writers—the Jehovistic, and the Elohistic—one of which took from,

and added to the narrative of the other.[20:3] The account goes on to say, that:

"Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into

the ark. . . . Of clean beasts, and of beasts that are not clean, and of fowls,

and of every thing that creepeth upon the earth, there went in two and two, unto

Noah into the ark, the male and the female, as God had commanded Noah."[20:4]

We see, then, that Noah took into the ark of all kinds of beasts, of fowls, and

of every thing that creepeth, two of every sort, and that this was "as God had

commanded Noah." This clearly shows that the writer of these words knew nothing

of the command [Pg 21]to take in clean beasts, and fowls of the air, by sevens.

We are further assured, that, "Noah did according to all that the Lord commanded

him."

After Noah and his family, and every beast after his kind, and all the cattle

after their kind, the fowls of the air, and every creeping thing, had entered

the ark, the Lord shut them in. Then "were all the fountains of the great deep

broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the

earth forty days and forty nights. . . . . And the waters prevailed exceedingly

upon the earth; and all the hills, that were under the whole heaven, were

covered. Fifteen cubits upwards did the waters prevail; and the mountains were

covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of

cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth,

and every man. And Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the

ark."[21:1] The object of the flood was now accomplished, "all flesh died that

moved upon the earth." The Lord, therefore, "made a wind to pass over the earth,

and the waters assuaged. The fountains of the deep, and the windows of heaven,

were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained. And the waters decreased

continually. . . . . And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah

opened the window of the ark, which he had made. And he sent forth a raven,

which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth.

He also sent forth a dove, . . . but the dove found no rest for the sole of her

foot, and she returned unto him into the ark." . . .

At the end of seven days he again "sent forth the dove out of the ark, and the

dove came in to him in the evening, and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf,

plucked off."

At the end of another seven days, he again "sent forth the dove, which returned

not again to him any more."

And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month,

upon the mountains of Ararat. Then Noah and his wife, and his sons, and his

sons' wives, and every living thing that was in the ark, went forth out of the

ark. "And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord, . . . and offered burnt offerings

on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour, and the Lord said in his

heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake."[21:2]

[Pg 22]We shall now see that there is scarcely any considerable race of men

among whom there does not exist, in some form, the tradition of a great deluge,

which destroyed all the human race, except their own progenitors.

The first of these which we shall notice, and the one with which the Hebrew

agrees most closely, having been copied from it,[22:1] is the Chaldean, as given

by Berosus, the Chaldean historian.[22:2] It is as follows:

"After the death of Ardates (the ninth king of the Chaldeans), his son Xisuthrus

reigned eighteen sari. In his time happened a great deluge, the history of which

is thus described: The deity Cronos appeared to him (Xisuthrus) in a vision, and

warned him that upon the fifteenth day of the month Desius there would be a

flood, by which mankind would be destroyed. He therefore enjoined him to write a

history of the beginning, procedure, and conclusion of all things, and to bury

it in the City of the Sun at Sippara; and to build a vessel, and take with him

into it his friends and relations, and to convey on board everything necessary

to sustain life, together with all the different animals, both birds and

quadrupeds, and trust himself fearlessly to the deep. Having asked the deity

whither he was to sail, he was answered: 'To the Gods;' upon which he offered up

a prayer for the good of mankind. He then obeyed the divine admonition, and

built a vessel five stadia in length, and two in breadth. Into this he put

everything which he had prepared, and last of all conveyed into it his wife, his

children, and his friends. After the flood had been upon the earth, and was in

time abated, Xisuthrus sent out birds from the vessel; which not finding any

food, nor any place whereupon they might rest their feet, returned to him again.

After an interval of some days, he sent them forth a second time; and they now

returned with their feet tinged with mud. He made a trial a third time with

these birds; but they returned to him no more: from whence he judged that the

surface of the earth had appeared above the waters. He therefore made an opening

in the vessel, and upon looking out found that it was stranded upon the side of

some mountain; upon which he immediately quitted it with his wife, his daughter,

and the pilot. Xisuthrus then paid his adoration to the earth, and, having

constructed an altar, offered sacrifices to the gods."[22:3]

This account, given by Berosus, which agrees in almost every particular with

that found in Genesis, and with that found by George Smith of the British Museum

on terra cotta tablets in Assyria, is nevertheless different in some respects.

But, says Mr. Smith:

"When we consider the difference between the two countries of Palestine and

Babylonia, these variations do not appear greater than we should expect. . . .

It was only natural that, in relating the same stories, each nation should [Pg

23]color them in accordance with its own ideas, and stress would naturally in

each case be laid upon points with which they were familiar. Thus we should

expect beforehand that there would be differences in the narrative such as we

actually find, and we may also notice that the cuneiform account does not always

coincide even with the account of the same events given by Berosus from Chaldean

sources."[23:1]

The most important points are the same however, i. e., in both cases the

virtuous man is informed by the Lord that a flood is about to take place, which

would destroy mankind. In both cases they are commanded to build a vessel or

ark, to enter it with their families, and to take in beasts, birds, and

everything that creepeth, also to provide themselves with food. In both cases

they send out a bird from the ark three times—the third time it failed to

return. In both cases they land on a mountain, and upon leaving the ark they

offer up a sacrifice to the gods. Xisuthrus was the tenth king,[23:2] and Noah

the tenth patriarch.[23:3] Xisuthrus had three sons (Zerovanos, Titan and

Japetosthes),[23:4] and Noah had three sons (Shem, Ham and Japhet).[23:5]

As Cory remarks in his "Ancient Fragments," the history of the flood, as given

by Berosus, so remarkably corresponds with the Biblical account of the Noachian

Deluge, that no one can doubt that both proceeded from one source—they are

evidently transcriptions, except the names, from some ancient document.[23:6]

This legend became known to the Jews from Chaldean sources,[23:7] it was not

known in the country (Egypt) out of which they evidently came.[23:8] Egyptian

history, it is said, had gone on [Pg 24]uninterrupted for ten thousand years

before the time assigned for the birth of Jesus.[24:1] And it is known as

absolute fact that the land of Egypt was never visited by other than its annual

beneficent overflow of the river Nile.[24:2] The Egyptian Bible, which is by far

the most ancient of all holy books[24:3], knew nothing of the Deluge.[24:4] The

Phra (or Pharaoh) Khoufou-Cheops was building his pyramid, according to Egyptian

chronicle, when the whole world was under the waters of a universal deluge,

according to the Hebrew chronicle.[24:5] A number of other nations of antiquity

are found destitute of any story of a flood,[24:6] which they certainly would

have had if a universal deluge had ever happened. Whether this legend is of high

antiquity in India has even been doubted by distinguished scholars.[24:7]

The Hindoo legend of the Deluge is as follows:

"Many ages after the creation of the world, Brahma resolved to destroy it with a

deluge, on account of the wickedness of the people. There lived at that time a

pious man named Satyavrata, and as the lord of the universe loved this pious

man, and wished to preserve him from the sea of destruction which was to appear

on account of the depravity of the age, he appeared before him in the form of

Vishnu (the Preserver) and said: In seven days from the present time . . . the

worlds will be plunged in an ocean of death, but in the midst of the destroying

waves, a large vessel, sent by me for thy use, shall stand before thee. Then

shalt thou take all medicinal herbs, all the variety of feeds, and, accompanied

by seven saints, encircled by pairs of all brute animals, thou shalt enter the

spacious ark, and continue in it, secure from the flood, on one immense ocean

without light, except the radiance of thy holy companions. When the ship shall

be agitated by an impetuous wind, thou shalt fasten it with a large sea-serpent

on my horn; for I will be near thee (in the form of a fish), drawing the vessel,

with thee and thy attendants. I will remain on the ocean, O chief of men, until

a night of Brahma shall be completely ended. Thou shalt then [Pg 25]know my true

greatness, rightly named the Supreme Godhead; by my favor, all thy questions

shall be answered, and thy mind abundantly instructed."

Being thus directed, Satyavrata humbly waited for the time which the ruler of

our senses had appointed. It was not long, however, before the sea, overwhelming

its shores, began to deluge the whole earth, and it was soon perceived to be

augmented by showers from immense clouds. He, still meditating on the commands

of the Lord, saw a vessel advancing, and entered it with the saints, after

having carried into effect the instructions which had been given him.

Vishnu then appeared before them, in the form of a fish, as he had said, and

Satyavrata fastened a cable to his horn.

The deluge in time abated, and Satyavrata, instructed in all divine and human

knowledge, was appointed, by the favor of Vishnu, the Seventh Menu. After coming

forth from the ark he offers up a sacrifice to Brahma.[25:1]

The ancient temples of Hindostan contain representations of Vishnu sustaining

the earth while overwhelmed by the waters of the deluge. A rainbow is seen on

the surface of the subsiding waters.[25:2]

The Chinese believe the earth to have been at one time covered with water, which

they described as flowing abundantly and then subsiding. This great flood

divided the higher from the lower age of man. It happened during the reign of

Yaou. This inundation, which is termed hung-shwuy (great water), almost ruined

the country, and is spoken of by Chinese writers with sentiments of horror. The

Shoo-King, one of their sacred books, describes the waters as reaching to the

tops of some of the mountains, covering the hills, and expanding as wide as the

vault of heaven.[25:3]

The Parsees say that by the temptation of the evil spirit men became wicked, and

God destroyed them with a deluge, except a few, from whom the world was peopled

anew.[25:4]

In the Zend-Avesta, the oldest sacred book of the Persians, of whom the Parsees

are direct descendants, there are sixteen countries spoken of as having been

given by Ormuzd, the Good Deity, for the Aryans to live in; and these countries

are described as a land of delight, which was turned by Ahriman, the Evil Deity,

into a [Pg 26]land of death and cold, partly, it is said, by a great flood,

which is described as being like Noah's flood recorded in the Book of

Genesis.[26:1]

The ancient Greeks had records of a flood which destroyed nearly the whole human

race.[26:2] The story is as follows:

"From his throne in the high Olympos, Zeus looked down on the children of men,

and saw that everywhere they followed only their lusts, and cared nothing for

right or for law. And ever, as their hearts waxed grosser in their wickedness,

they devised for themselves new rites to appease the anger of the gods, till the

whole earth was filled with blood. Far away in the hidden glens of the Arcadian

hills the sons of Lykaon feasted and spake proud words against the majesty of

Zeus, and Zeus himself came down from his throne to see their way and their

doings. . . . Then Zeus returned to his home on Olympos, and he gave the word

that a flood of waters should be let loose upon the earth, that the sons of men

might die for their great wickedness. So the west wind rose in its might, and

the dark rain-clouds veiled the whole heaven, for the winds of the north which

drive away the mists and vapors were shut up in their prison house. On hill and

valley burst the merciless rain, and the rivers, loosened from their courses,

rushed over the whole plains and up the mountain-side. From his home on the

highlands of Phthia, Deukalion looked forth on the angry sky, and, when he saw

the waters swelling in the valleys beneath, he called Pyrrha, his wife, and said

to her: 'The time has come of which my father, the wise Prometheus, forewarned

me. Make ready, therefore, the ark which I have built, and place in it all that

we may need for food while the flood of waters is out upon the earth.' . . .

Then Pyrrha hastened to make all things ready, and they waited till the waters

rose up to the highlands of Phthia and floated away the ark of Deukalion. The

fishes swam amidst the old elm-groves, and twined amongst the gnarled boughs on

the oaks, while on the face of the waters were tossed the bodies of men; and

Deukalion looked on the dead faces of stalwart warriors, of maidens, and of

babes, as they rose and fell upon the heavy waves."

When the flood began to abate, the ark rested on Mount Parnassus, and Deucalion,

with his wife Pyrrha, stepped forth upon the desolate earth. They then

immediately constructed an altar, and offered up thanks to Zeus, the mighty

being who sent the flood and saved them from its waters.[26:3]

According to Ovid (a Grecian writer born 43 B. C.), Deucalion does not venture

out of the ark until a dove which he sent out returns to him with an olive

branch.[26:4]

[Pg 27]It was at one time extensively believed, even by intelligent scholars,

that the myth of Deucalion was a corrupted tradition of the Noachian deluge, but

this untenable opinion is now all but universally abandoned.[27:1]

The legend was found in the West among the Kelts. They believed that a great

deluge overwhelmed the world and drowned all men except Drayan and Droyvach, who

escaped in a boat, and colonized Britain. This boat was supposed to have been

built by the "Heavenly Lord," and it received into it a pair of every kind of

beasts.[27:2]

The ancient Scandinavians had their legend of a deluge. The Edda describes this

deluge, from which only one man escapes, with his family, by means of a

bark.[27:3] It was also found among the ancient Mexicans. They believed that a

man named Coxcox, and his wife, survived the deluge. Lord Kingsborough, speaking

of this legend,[27:4] informs us that the person who answered to Noah entered

the ark with six others; and that the story of sending birds out of the ark,

&c., is the same in general character with that of the Bible.

 

 

 

Dr. Brinton also speaks of the Mexican tradition.[27:5] They had not only the

story of sending out the bird, but related that the ark landed on a mountain.

The tradition of a deluge was also found among the Brazilians, and among many

Indian tribes.[27:6] The mountain upon which the ark is supposed to have rested,

was pointed to by the residents in nearly every quarter of the globe. The

mountain-chain of Ararat was considered to be—by the Chaldeans and Hebrews—the

place where the ark landed. The Greeks pointed to Mount Parnassus; the Hindoos

to the Himalayas; and in Armenia numberless heights were pointed out with

becoming reverence, as those on which the few survivors of the dreadful scenes

of the deluge were preserved. On the Red River (in America), near the village of

the Caddoes, there was an eminence to which the Indian tribes for a great

distance around paid devout homage. The Cerro Naztarny on the Rio Grande, the

peak of Old Zuni in New Mexico, that of Colhuacan on the Pacific coast, Mount

Apoala in Upper Mixteca, and Mount Neba in the province of Guaymi, are some of

many elevations asserted by the neighboring [Pg 28]nations to have been places

of refuge for their ancestors when the fountains of the great deep broke forth.

The question now may naturally be asked, How could such a story have originated

unless there was some foundation for it?

In answer to this question we will say that we do not think such a story could

have originated without some foundation for it, and that most, if not all,

legends, have a basis of truth underlying the fabulous, although not always

discernible. This story may have an astronomical basis, as some suppose,[28:1]

or it may not. At any rate, it would be very easy to transmit by memory the fact

of the sinking of an island, or that of an earthquake, or a great flood, caused

by overflows of rivers, &c., which, in the course of time, would be added to,

and enlarged upon, and, in this way, made into quite a lengthy tale. According

to one of the most ancient accounts of the deluge, we are told that at that time

"the forest trees were dashed against each other;" "the mountains were involved

with smoke and flame;" that there was "fire, and smoke, and wind, which ascended

in thick clouds replete with lightning." "The roaring of the ocean, whilst

violently agitated with the whirling of the mountains, was like the bellowing of

a mighty cloud, &c."[28:2]

A violent earthquake, with eruptions from volcanic mountains, and the sinking of

land into the sea, would evidently produce such a scene as this. We know that at

one period in the earth's history, such scenes must have been of frequent

occurrence. The science of geology demonstrates this fact to us. Local deluges

were of frequent occurrence, and that some persons may have been saved on one,

or perhaps many, such occasions, by means of a raft or boat, and that they may

have sought refuge on an eminence, or mountain, does not seem at all improbable.

During the Champlain period in the history of the world—which came after the

Glacial period—the climate became warmer, the continents sank, and there were,

consequently, continued local floods which must have destroyed considerable

animal life, including man. The foundation of the deluge myth may have been laid

at this time.

[Pg 29]Some may suppose that this is dating the history of man too far back,

making his history too remote; but such is not the case. There is every reason

to believe that man existed for ages before the Glacial epoch. It must not be

supposed that we have yet found remains of the earliest human beings; there is

evidence, however, that man existed during the Pliocene, if not during the

Miocene periods, when hoofed quadrupeds, and Proboscidians abounded, human

remains and implements having been found mingled with remains of these

animals.[29:1]

Charles Darwin believed that the animal called man, might have been properly

called by that name at an epoch as remote as the Eocene period.[29:2] Man had

probably lost his hairy covering by that time, and had begun to look human.

Prof. Draper, speaking of the antiquity of man, says:

"So far as investigations have gone, they indisputably refer the existence of

man to a date remote from us by many hundreds of thousands of years," and that,

"it is difficult to assign a shorter date from the last glaciation of Europe

than a quarter of a million of years, and human existence antedates that."[29:3]

Again he says:

"Recent researches give reason to believe that, under low and base grades, the

existence of man can be traced back into the Tertiary times. He was contemporary

with the Southern Elephant, the Rhinoceros-leptorhinus, the great Hippopotamus,

perhaps even in the Miocene, contemporary with the Mastodon."[29:4]

[Pg 30]Prof. Huxley closes his "Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature," by

saying:

"Where must we look for primeval man? Was the oldest Homo Sapiens Pliocene or

Miocene, or yet more ancient? . . . If any form of the doctrine of progressive

development is correct, we must extend by long epochs the most liberal estimate

that has yet been made of the antiquity of man."[30:1]

Prof. Oscar Paschel, in his work on "Mankind," speaking of the deposits of human

remains which have been discovered in caves, mingled with the bones of wild

animals, says:

"The examination of one of these caves at Brixham, by a geologist as trustworthy

as Dr. Falconer, convinced the specialists of Great Britain, as early as 1858,

that man was a contemporary of the Mammoth, the Woolly Rhinoceros, the

Cave-lion, the Cave-hyena, the Cave-bear, and therefore of the Mammalia of the

Geological period antecedent to our own."[30:2]

The positive evidence of man's existence during the Tertiary period, are facts

which must firmly convince every one—who is willing to be convinced—of the great

antiquity of man. We might multiply our authorities, but deem it unnecessary.

The observation of shells, corals, and other remains of aquatic animals, in

places above the level of the sea, and even on high mountains, may have given

rise to legends of a great flood.

Fossils found imbedded in high ground have been appealed to, both in ancient and

modern times, both by savage and civilized man, as evidence in support of their

traditions of a flood; and, moreover, the argument, apparently unconnected with

any tradition, is to be found, that because there are marine fossils in places

away from the sea, therefore the sea must once have been there.

It is only quite recently that the presence of fossil shells, &c., on high

mountains, has been abandoned as evidence of the Noachic flood.

Mr. Tylor tells us that in the ninth edition of "Horne's Introduction to the

Scriptures," published in 1846, the evidence of fossils is confidently held to

prove the universality of the Deluge; but the argument disappears from the next

edition, published ten years later.[30:3]

Besides fossil remains of aquatic animals, boats have been found on tops of

mountains.[30:4] A discovery of this kind may have given rise to the story of an

ark having been made in which to preserve the favored ones from the waters, and

of its landing on a mountain.[30:5]

[Pg 31]Before closing this chapter, it may be well to notice a striking incident

in the legend we have been treating, i. e., the frequent occurrence of the

number seven in the narrative. For instance: the Lord commands Noah to take into

the ark clean beasts by sevens, and fowls also by sevens, and tells him that in

seven days he will cause it to rain upon the earth. We are also told that the

ark rested in the seventh month, and the seventeenth day of the month, upon the

mountains of Ararat. After sending the dove out of the ark the first time, Noah

waited seven days before sending it out again. After sending the dove out the

second time, "he stayed yet another seven days" ere he again sent forth the

dove.

This coincidence arises from the mystic power attached to the number seven,

derived from its frequent occurrence in astrology.

We find that in all religions of antiquity the number seven—which applied to the

sun, moon and the five planets known to the ancients—is a sacred number,

represented in all kinds and sorts of forms;[31:1] for instance: The candlestick

with seven branches in the temple of Jerusalem. The seven inclosures of the

temple. The seven doors of the cave of Mithras. The seven stories of the tower

of Babylon.[31:2] The seven gates of Thebes.[31:3] The flute of seven pipes

generally put into the hand of the god Pan. The lyre of seven strings touched by

Apollo. The book of "Fate," composed of seven books. The seven prophetic rings

of the Brahmans.[31:4] The seven stones—consecrated to the seven planets—in

Laconia.[31:5] The division into seven castes adopted by the Egyptians and

Indians. The seven idols of the Bonzes. The seven altars of the monument of

Mithras. The seven great spirits invoked by the Persians. The seven archangels

of the Chaldeans. The seven archangels of the Jews.[31:6]

[Pg 32]The seven days in the week.[32:1] The seven sacraments of the Christians.

The seven wicked spirits of the Babylonians. The sprinkling of blood seven times

upon the altars of the Egyptians. The seven mortal sins of the Egyptians. The

hymn of seven vowels chanted by the Egyptian priests.[32:2] The seven branches

of the Assyrian "Tree of Life." Agni, the Hindoo god, is represented with seven

arms. Sura's[32:3] horse was represented with seven heads. Seven churches are

spoken of in the Apocalypse. Balaam builded seven altars, and offered seven

bullocks and seven rams on each altar. Pharaoh saw seven kine, &c., in his

dream. The "Priest of Midian" had seven daughters. Jacob served seven years.

Before Jericho seven priests bare seven horns. Samson was bound with seven green

withes, and his marriage feast lasted seven days, &c., &c. We might continue

with as much more, but enough has been shown to verify the statement that, "in

all religions of antiquity, the number SEVEN is a sacred number."

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[19:1] See "The Deluge in the Light of Modern Science," by Prof. Wm. Denton: J.

P. Mendum, Boston.

[19:2] "There were giants in the earth in those days." It is a scientific fact

that most races of men, in former ages, instead of being larger, were smaller

than at the present time. There is hardly a suit of armor in the Tower of

London, or in the old castles, that is large enough for the average Englishman

of to-day to put on. Man has grown in stature as well as intellect, and there is

no proof whatever—in fact, the opposite is certain—that there ever was a race of

what might properly be called giants, inhabiting the earth. Fossil remains of

large animals having been found by primitive man, and a legend invented to

account for them, it would naturally be that: "There were giants in the earth in

those days." As an illustration we may mention the story, recorded by the

traveller James Orton, we believe (in "The Andes and the Amazon"), that, near

Punin, in South America, was found the remains of an extinct species of the

horse, the mastodon, and other large animals. This discovery was made, owing to

the assurance of the natives that giants at one time had lived in that country,

and that they had seen their remains at this certain place. Many legends have

had a similar origin. But the originals of all the Ogres and Giants to be found

in the mythology of almost all nations of antiquity, are the famous Hindoo

demons, the Rakshasas of our Aryan ancestors. The Rakshasas were very terrible

creatures indeed, and in the minds of many people, in India, are so still. Their

natural form, so the stories say, is that of huge, unshapely giants, like

clouds, with hair and beard of the color of the red lightning. This description

explains their origin. They are the dark, wicked and cruel clouds, personified.

[19:3] "And it repented the Lord that he had made man." (Gen. iv.) "God is not a

man that he should lie, neither the son of man that he should repent." (Numb.

xxiii. 19.)

[20:1] Gen. iv.

[20:2] Gen. vi. 1-3.

[20:3] See chapter xi.

[20:4] The image of Osiris of Egypt was by the priests shut up in a sacred ark

on the 17th of Athyr (Nov. 13th), the very day and month on which Noah is said

to have entered his ark, (See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 165, and Bunsen's

Angel Messiah, p. 22.)

[21:1] Gen. vi.

[21:2] Gen. viii.

[22:1] See chapter xi.

[22:2] Josephus, the Jewish historian, speaking of the flood of Noah (Antiq. bk.

1, ch. iii.), says: "All the writers of the Babylonian histories make mention of

this flood and this ark."

[22:3] Quoted by George Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 43-44; see also,

The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 211; Dunlap's Spirit Hist. p. 138; Cory's

Ancient Fragments, p. 61, et seq. for similar accounts.

[23:1] Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 285, 286.

[23:2] Volney: New Researches, p. 119; Chaldean Acct. of Genesis, p. 290; Hist.

Hindostan, vol. i. p. 417, and Dunlap's Spirit Hist. p. 277.

[23:3] Ibid.

[23:4] Legends of the Patriarchs, pp. 109, 110.

[23:5] Gen. vi. 8.

[23:6] The Hindoo ark-preserved Menu had three sons; Sama, Cama, and Pra-Japati.

(Faber: Orig. Pagan Idol.) The Bhattias, who live between Delli and the Panjab,

insist that they are descended from a certain king called Salivahana, who had

three sons, Bhat, Maha and Thamaz. (Col. Wilford, in vol. ix. Asiatic

Researches.) The Iranian hero Thraetona had three sons. The Iranian Sethite

Lamech had three sons, and Hellen, the son of Deucalion, during whose time the

flood is said to have happened, had three sons. (Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp.

70, 71.) All the ancient nations of Europe also describe their origin from the

three sons of some king or patriarch. The Germans said that Mannus (son of the

god Tuisco) had three sons, who were the original ancestors of the three

principal nations of Germany. The Scythians said that Targytagus, the founder of

their nation, had three sons, from whom they were descended. A tradition among

the Romans was that the Cyclop Polyphemus had by Galatea three sons. Saturn had

three sons, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto; and Hesiod speaks of the three sons

which sprung from the marriage of heaven and earth. (See Mallet's Northern

Antiquities, p. 509.)

[23:7] See chap. xi.

[23:8] "It is of no slight moment that the Egyptians, with whom the Hebrews are

represented as in earliest and closest intercourse, had no traditions of a

flood, while the Babylonian and Hellenic tales bear a strong resemblance in many

points to the narrative in Genesis." (Rev. George W. Cox: Tales of Ancient

Greece, p. 340. See also Owen: Man's Earliest History, p. 28, and ch. xi. this

work.)

[24:1] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 198, and Knight's Ancient Art and Mythology, p.

107. "Plato was told that Egypt had hymns dating back ten thousand years before

his time." (Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 185.) Plato lived 429 B. C. Herodotus

relates that the priests of Egypt informed him that from the first king to the

present priest of Vulcan who last reigned, were three hundred forty and one

generations of men, and during these generations there were the same number of

chief priests and kings. "Now (says he) three hundred generations are equal to

ten thousand years, for three generations of men are one hundred years; and the

forty-one remaining generations that were over the three hundred, make one

thousand three hundred and forty years," making eleven thousand three hundred

and forty years. "Conducting me into the interior of an edifice that was

spacious, and showing me wooden colossuses to the number I have mentioned, they

reckoned them up; for every high priest places an image of himself there during

his life-time; the priests, therefore, reckoning them and showing them to me,

pointed out that each was the son of his own father; going through them all,

from the image of him who died last until they had pointed them all out."

(Herodotus, book ii. chs. 142, 143.) The discovery of mummies of royal and

priestly personages, made at Deir-el-Bahari (Aug., 1881), near Thebes, in Egypt,

would seem to confirm this statement made by Herodotus. Of the thirty-nine

mummies discovered, one—that of King Raskenen—is about three thousand seven

hundred years old. (See a Cairo [Aug. 8th,] Letter to the London Times.)

[24:2] Owen: Man's Earliest History, p. 28.

[24:3] Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 185.

[24:4] Ibid. p. 411.

[24:5] Owen: Man's Earliest History, pp. 27, 28.

[24:6] Goldzhier: Hebrew Mytho. p. 319.

[24:7] Ibid. p. 320.

[25:1] Translated from the Bhagavat by Sir Wm. Jones, and published in the first

volume of the "Asiatic Researches," p. 230, et seq. See also Maurice: Ind. Ant.

ii. 277, et seq., and Prof. Max Müller's Hist. Ancient Sanskrit Literature, p.

425, et seq.

[25:2] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 55.

[25:3] See Thornton's Hist. China, vol. i. p. 30, Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p.

205, and Priestley, p. 41.

[25:4] Priestley, p. 42.

[26:1] Bunce: Fairy Tales, Origin and Meaning, p. 18.

[26:2] The oldest Greek mythology, however, has no such idea; it cannot be

proved to have been known to the Greeks earlier than the 6th century B. C. (See

Goldzhier: Hebrew Mytho., p. 319.) This could not have been the case had there

ever been a universal deluge.

[26:3] Tales of Ancient Greece, pp. 72-74. "Apollodorus—a Grecian mythologist,

born 140 B. C.,—having mentioned Deucalion consigned to the ark, takes notice,

upon his quitting it, of his offering up an immediate sacrifice to God."

(Chambers' Encyclo., art, Deluge.)

[26:4] In Lundy's Monumental Christianity (p. 209, Fig. 137) may be seen a

representation of Deucalion and Pyrrha landing from the ark. A dove and olive

branch are depicted in the scene.

[27:1] Chambers' Encyclo., art. Deucalion.

[27:2] Baring-Gould: Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 114. See also Myths of the

British Druids, p. 95.

[27:3] See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 99.

[27:4] Mex. Antiq. vol. viii.

[27:5] Myths of the New World, pp. 203, 204.

[27:6] See Squire: Serpent Symbol, pp. 189, 190.

[28:1] Count de Volney says: "The Deluge mentioned by Jews, Chaldeans, Greeks

and Indians, as having destroyed the world, are one and the same

physico-astronomical event which is still repeated every year," and that "all

those personages that figure in the Deluge of Noah and Xisuthrus, are still in

the celestial sphere. It was a real picture of the calendar." (Researches in

Ancient Hist., p. 124.) It was on the same day that Noah is said to have shut

himself up in the ark, that the priests of Egypt shut up in their sacred coffer

or ark the image of Osiris, a personification of the Sun. This was on the 17th

of the month Athor, in which the Sun enters the Scorpion. (See Kenrick's Egypt,

vol. i. p. 410.) The history of Noah also corresponds, in some respects, with

that of Bacchus, another personification of the Sun.

[28:2] See Maurice's Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 268.

[29:1] "In America, along with the bones of the Mastodon imbedded in the

alluvium of the Bourbense, were found arrow heads and other traces of the

savages who had killed this member of an order no longer represented in that

part of the world." (Herbert Spencer: Principles of Sociology, vol. i. p. 17.)

[29:2] Darwin: Descent of Man, p. 156. We think it may not be out of place to

insert here what might properly be called: "The Drama of Life," which is as

follows:

Act i.Azoic: Conflict of Inorganic Forces.

Act ii.Paleozoic: Age of Invertebrates.

Primary

 

 

 

Scene   i. Eozoic: Enter Protozoans and Protophytes.

Scene  ii. Silurian: Enter the Army of Invertebrates.

Scene iii. Devonian: Enter Fishes.

Scene  iv. Carboniferous: (Age of Coal Plants) Enter First Air breathers.

Act iii.Mesozoic: Enter Reptiles.

Secondary

 

 

Scene   i. Triassic: Enter Batrachians.

Scene  ii. Jurassic: Enter huge Reptiles of Sea, Land and Air.

Scene iii. Cretaceous: (Age of Chalk) Enter Ammonites.

Act iv.Cenozoic: (Age of Mammals.)

Tertiary

 

 

Scene   i. Eocene: Enter Marine Mammals, and probably Man.

Scene  ii. Miocene: Enter Hoofed Quadrupeds.

Scene iii. Pliocene: Enter Proboscidians and Edentates.

Act v.Post Tertiary: Positive Age of Man.

Post Tertiary

 

 

 

Scene   i. Glacial: Ice and Drift Periods.

Scene  ii. Champlain: Sinking Continents; Warmer; Tropical Animals go

North.

Scene iii. Terrace: Rising Continents; Colder.

Scene  iv. Present: Enter Science, Iconoclasts, &c., &c.

 

[29:3] Draper: Religion and Science, p. 199.

[29:4] Ibid. pp. 195, 196.

[30:1] Huxley: Man's Place in Nature, p. 184.

[30:2] Paschel: Races of Man, p. 36.

[30:3] Tylor: Early History of Mankind, p. 328.

[30:4] Ibid. pp. 329, 330

[30:5] We know that many legends have originated in this way. For example, Dr.

Robinson, in his "Travels in Palestine" (ii. 586), mentions a tradition that a

city had once stood in a desert between Petra and Hebron, the people of which

had perished for their vices, and been converted into stone. Mr. Seetzen, who

went to the spot, found no traces of ruins, but a number of stony concretions,

resembling in form and size the human head. They had been ignorantly supposed to

be petrified heads, and a legend framed to account for their owners suffering so

terrible a fate. Another illustration is as follows:—The Kamchadals believe that

volcanic mountains are the abode of devils, who, after they have cooked their

meals, fling the fire-brands out of the chimney. Being asked what these devils

eat, they said "whales." Here we see, first, a story invented to account for the

volcanic eruptions from the mountains; and, second, a story invented to account

for the remains of whales found on the mountains. The savages knew that this was

true, "because their old people had said so, and believed it themselves."

(Related by Mr. Tylor, in his "Early History of Mankind," p. 326.)

[31:1] "Everything of importance was calculated by, and fitted into, this number

(SEVEN) by the Aryan philosophers,—ideas as well as localities." (Isis Unveiled,

vol. ii. p. 407).

[31:2] Each one being consecrated to a planet. First, to Saturn; second, to

Jupiter; third, to Mars; fourth, to the Sun; fifth, to Venus; sixth, to Mercury;

seventh, to the Moon. (The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 269. See also The

Angel Messiah, p. 106.)

[31:3] Each of which had the name of a planet.

[31:4] On each of which the name of a planet was engraved.

[31:5] "There was to be seen in Laconia, seven columns erected in honor of the

seven planets." (Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 34.)

[31:6] "The Jews believed that the Throne of Jehovah was surrounded by his seven

high chiefs: Gabriel, Michael, Raphael, Uriel, &c." (Bible for Learners, vol.

iii. p. 46.)

[32:1] Each one being consecrated to a planet, and the Sun and Moon. Sunday,

"Dies Solis," sacred to the SUN. Monday, "Dies Lunae," sacred to the MOON.

Tuesday, sacred to Tuiso or Mars. Wednesday, sacred to Odin or Woden, and to

Mercury. Thursday, sacred to Thor and others. Friday, sacred to Freia and Venus.

Saturday, sacred to Saturn. "The (ancient) Egyptians assigned a day of the week

to the SUN, MOON, and five planets, and the number SEVEN was held there in great

reverence." (Kenrick: Egypt, i. 238.)

[32:2] "The Egyptian priests chanted the seven vowels as a hymn addressed to

Serapis." (The Rosicrucians, p. 143.)

[32:3] Sura: the Sun-god of the Hindoos.

 

 

 

[Pg 33]CHAPTER III.

THE TOWER OF BABEL.

We are informed that, at one time, "the whole earth was of one language, and of

one speech. And it came to pass, as they (the inhabitants of the earth)

journeyed from the East, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they

dwelt there.

"And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them

thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar.

"And they said, Go to, let us build us a city, and 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. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower,

which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one,

and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will

be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down,

and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's

speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the

earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called

Babel, because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth; and

from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the

earth."[33:1]

Such is the "Scripture" account of the origin of languages, which differs

somewhat from the ideas of Prof. Max Müller and other philologists.

Bishop Colenso tells us that:

"The story of the dispensation of tongues is connected by the Jehovistic writer

with the famous unfinished temple of Belus, of which probably some wonderful

reports had reached him. . . . The derivation of the name Babel from the Hebrew

word babal (confound) which seems to be the connecting point between the story

and the tower of Babel, is altogether incorrect."[33:2]

[Pg 34]The literal meaning of the word being house, or court, or gate of Bel, or

gate of God.[34:1]

John Fiske confirms this statement by saying:

"The name 'Babel' is really 'Bab-il', or 'The Gate of God'; but the Hebrew

writer erroneously derives the word from the root 'babal'—to confuse—and hence

arises the mystical explanation, that Babel was a place where human speech

became confused."[34:2]

The "wonderful reports" that reached the Jehovistic writer who inserted this

tale into the Hebrew Scriptures, were from the Chaldean account of the confusion

of tongues. It is related by Berosus as follows:

The first inhabitants of the earth, glorying in their strength and size,[34:3]

and despising the gods, undertook to raise a tower whose top should reach the

sky, in the place where Babylon now stands. But when it approached the heavens,

the winds assisted the gods, and overthrew the work of the contrivers, and also

introduced a diversity of tongues among men, who till that time had all spoken

the same language. The ruins of this tower are said to be still in

Babylon.[34:4]

Josephus, the Jewish historian, says that it was Nimrod who built the tower,

that he was a very wicked man, and that the tower was built in case the Lord

should have a mind to drown the world again. He continues his account by saying

that when Nimrod proposed the building of this tower, the multitude were very

ready to follow the proposition, as they could then avenge themselves on God for

destroying their forefathers.

"And they built a tower, neither sparing any pains nor being in any degree

negligent about the work. And by reason of the multitude of hands employed on

it, it grew very high, sooner than any one could expect. . . . . It was built of

burnt brick, cemented together, with mortar made of bitumen, that it might not

be liable to admit water. When God saw that they had acted so madly, he did not

resolve to destroy them utterly, since they were not grown wiser by the

destruction of the former sinners, but he caused a tumult among them, by

producing in them divers languages, and causing, that through the multitude of

those languages they should not be able to understand one another. The place

where they built the tower is now called Babylon."[34:5]

The tower in Babylonia, which seems to have been a foundation for the legend of

the confusion of tongues to be built upon, was [Pg 35]evidently originally built

for astronomical purposes.[35:1] This is clearly seen from the fact that it was

called the "Stages of the Seven Spheres,"[35:2] and that each one of these

stages was consecrated to the Sun, Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, and

Mercury.[35:3] Nebuchadnezzar says of it in his cylinders:

"The building named the 'Stages of the Seven Spheres,' which was the tower of

Borsippa (Babel), had been built by a former king. He had completed forty-two

cubits, but he did not finish its head. From the lapse of time, it had become

ruined; they had not taken care of the exits of the waters, so the rain and wet

had penetrated into the brick-work; the casing of burnt brick had bulged out,

and the terraces of crude brick lay scattered in heaps. Merobach, my great Lord,

inclined my heart to repair the building. I did not change its site, nor did I

destroy its foundation, but, in a fortunate month, and upon an auspicious day, I

undertook the rebuilding of the crude brick terraces and burnt brick casing,

&c., &c."[35:4]

There is not a word said here in these cylinders about the confusion of tongues,

nor anything pertaining to it. The ruins of this ancient tower being there in

Babylonia, and a legend of how the gods confused the speech of mankind also

being among them, it was very convenient to point to these ruins as evidence

that the story was true, just as the ancient Mexicans pointed to the ruins of

the tower of Cholula, as evidence of the truth of the similar story which they

had among them, and just as many nations pointed to the remains of aquatic

animals on the tops of mountains, as evidence of the truth of the deluge story.

The Armenian tradition of the "Confusion of Tongues" was to this effect:

The world was formerly inhabited by men "with strong bodies and huge size"

(giants). These men being full of pride and envy, "they formed a godless resolve

to build a high tower; but whilst they were engaged on the undertaking, a

fearful wind overthrew it, which the wrath of God had sent against it. Unknown

words were at the same time blown about among men, wherefore arose strife and

confusion."[35:5]

The Hindoo legend of the "Confusion of Tongues," is as follows:

There grew in the centre of the earth, the wonderful "World [Pg 36]Tree," or the

"Knowledge Tree." It was so tall that it reached almost to heaven. "It said in

its heart: 'I shall hold my head in heaven, and spread my branches over all the

earth, and gather all men together under my shadow, and protect them, and

prevent them from separating.' But Brahma, to punish the pride of the tree, cut

off its branches and cast them down on the earth, when they sprang up as Wata

trees, and made differences of belief, and speech, and customs, to prevail on

the earth, to disperse men over its surface."[36:1]

Traces of a somewhat similar story have also been met with among the Mongolian

Tharus in the north of India, and, according to Dr. Livingston, among the

Africans of Lake Nganu.[36:2] The ancient Esthonians[36:3] had a similar myth

which they called "The Cooking of Languages;" so also had the ancient

inhabitants of the continent of Australia.[36:4] The story was found among the

ancient Mexicans, and was related as follows:

Those, with their descendants, who were saved from the deluge which destroyed

all mankind, excepting the few saved in the ark, resolved to build a tower which

would reach to the skies. The object of this was to see what was going on in

Heaven, and also to have a place of refuge in case of another deluge.[36:5]

The job was superintended by one of the seven who were saved from the

flood.[36:6] He was a giant called Xelhua, surnamed "the Architect."[36:7]

Xelhua ordered bricks to be made in the province of Tlamanalco, at the foot of

the Sierra of Cocotl, and to be conveyed to Cholula, where the tower was to be

built. For this purpose, he placed a file of men reaching from the Sierra to

Cholula, who passed the bricks from hand to hand.[36:8] The gods beheld with

wrath this edifice,—the top of which was nearing the clouds,—and were much

irritated at the daring attempt of Xelhua. They therefore hurled fire from

Heaven upon the pyramid, which threw it down, and killed many of the workmen.

The work was then discontinued,[36:9] as each family interested in the building

of the tower, received a language of their own,[36:10] and the builders could

not understand each other.

[Pg 37]Dr. Delitzsch must have been astonished upon coming across this legend;

for he says:

"Actually the Mexicans had a legend of a tower-building as well as of a flood.

Xelhua, one of the seven giants rescued from the flood, built the great pyramid

of Cholula, in order to reach heaven, until the gods, angry at his audacity,

threw fire upon the building and broke it down, whereupon every separate family

received a language of its own."[37:1]

The ancient Mexicans pointed to the ruins of a tower at Cholula as evidence of

the truth of their story. This tower was seen by Humboldt and Lord Kingsborough,

and described by them.[37:2]

We may say then, with Dr. Kalisch, that:

"Most of the ancient nations possessed myths concerning impious giants who

attempted to storm heaven, either to share it with the immortal gods, or to

expel them from it. In some of these fables the confusion of tongues is

represented as the punishment inflicted by the deities for such

wickedness."[37:3]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[33:1] Genesis xi. 1-9.

[33:2] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 268.

[34:1] Ibid. p. 268. See also Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 90.

[34:2] Myths and Myth-makers, p. 72. See also Encyclopædia Britannica, art.

"Babel."

[34:3] "There were giants in the earth in those days." (Genesis vi. 4.)

[34:4] Quoted by Rev. S. Baring-Gould: Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 147. See

also Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 48, and Volney's Researches in

Ancient History, pp. 130, 131.

[34:5] Jewish Antiquities, book 1, ch. iv. p. 30.

[35:1] "Diodorus states that the great tower of the temple of Belus was used by

the Chaldeans as an observatory." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, art. "Babel.")

[35:2] The Hindoos had a sacred Mount Meru, the abode of the gods. This mountain

was supposed to consist of seven stages, increasing in sanctity as they

ascended. Many of the Hindoo temples, or rather altars, were "studied

transcripts of the sacred Mount Meru;" that is, they were built, like the tower

of Babel, in seven stages. Within the upper dwelt Brahm. (See Squire's Serpent

Symbol, p. 107.) Herodotus tells us that the upper stage of the tower of Babel

was the abode of the god Belus.

[35:3] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 269. See also Bunsen: The Angel

Messiah, p. 106.

[35:4] Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 484.

[35:5] Legends of the Patriarchs, pp. 148, 149.

[36:1] Ibid. p. 148. The ancient Scandinavians had a legend of a somewhat

similar tree. "The Mundane Tree," called Yggdrasill, was in the centre of the

earth; its branches covered over the surface of the earth, and its top reached

to the highest heaven. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities.)

[36:2] Encyclopædia Britannica, art. "Babel."

[36:3] Esthonia is one of the three Baltic, or so-called, provinces of Russia.

[36:4] Encyclopædia Britannica, art. "Babel."

[36:5] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 27.

[36:6] Brinton: Myths of the New World, p. 204.

[36:7] Humboldt: American Researches, vol. i. p. 96.

[36:8] Ibid.

[36:9] Ibid., and Brinton: Myths of the New World, p. 204.

[36:10] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 272.

[37:1] Quoted by Bishop Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 272.

[37:2] Humboldt: American Researches, vol. i. p. 97. Lord Kingsborough: Mexican

Antiquities.

[37:3] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 196.

 

 

 

[Pg 38]CHAPTER IV.

THE TRIAL OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH.

The story of the trial of Abraham's faith—when he is ordered by the Lord to

sacrifice his only son Isaac—is to be found in Genesis xxii. 1-19, and is as

follows:

"And it came to pass . . . that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him:

'Abraham,' and he said: 'Behold, here I am.' And he (God) said: 'Take now thy

son, 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.'

"And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of

his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt

offering, and rose up and went into the place which God had told him. . . .

(When Abraham was near the appointed place) he said unto his young men: 'Abide

ye here with the ass, and I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come

again to thee. And Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering, and laid it

upon (the shoulders of) Isaac his son, and he took the fire in his hand, and a

knife, and they went both of them together. And Isaac spake unto Abraham his

father, and said: 'Behold the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the

burnt offering?' And Abraham said: 'My son, God will provide himself a lamb for

a burnt offering.' So they went both of them together, and they came to the

place which God had told him of. And Abraham built an altar there, and laid the

wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.

And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son. And

the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said: 'Abraham!

Abraham! lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him, for

now I know that thou fearest God, seeing that thou hast not withheld thy son,

thine only son from me.'

"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him 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. . . . And the angel of the Lord

called unto Abraham, out of heaven, the second time, and said: 'By myself have I

sworn saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not

withheld thy son, thine only son, . . . I will bless thee, and . . . I will

multiply thy seed as the stars in the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the

sea shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. And in thy seed

shall all the nations of the earth be blest, because thou hast obeyed my voice.'

So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to

Beer-sheba, and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba."

[Pg 39]There is a Hindoo story related to the Sânkhâyana-sûtras, which, in

substance, is as follows: King Hariscandra had no son; he then prayed to Varuna,

promising, that if a son were born to him, he would sacrifice the child to the

god. Then a son was born to him, called Rohita. When Rohita was grown up his

father one day told him of the vow he had made to Varuna, and bade him prepare

to be sacrificed. The son objected to being killed and ran away from his

father's house. For six years he wandered in the forest, and at last met a

starving Brahman. Him he persuaded to sell one of his sons named Sunahsepha, for

a hundred cows. This boy was bought by Rohita and taken to Hariscandra and about

to be sacrificed to Varuna as a substitute for Rohita, when, on praying to the

gods with verses from the Veda, he was released by them.[39:1]

There was an ancient Phenician story, written by Sanchoniathon, who wrote about

1300 years before our era, which is as follows:

"Saturn, whom the Phœnicians call Israel, had by a nymph of the country a male

child whom he named Jeoud, that is, one and only. On the breaking out of a war,

which brought the country into imminent danger, Saturn erected an altar, brought

to it his son, clothed in royal garments, and sacrificed him."[39:2]

There is also a Grecian fable to the effect that one Agamemnon had a daughter

whom he dearly loved, and she was deserving of his affection. He was commanded

by God, through the Delphic Oracle, to offer her up as a sacrifice. Her father

long resisted the demand, but finally succumbed. Before the fatal blow had been

struck, however, the goddess Artemis or Ashtoreth interfered, and carried the

maiden away, whilst in her place was substituted a stag.[39:3]

Another similar Grecian fable relates that:

"When the Greek army was detained at Aulis, by contrary winds, the augurs being

consulted, declared that one of the kings had offended Diana, and she demanded

the sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. It was like taking the father's

life-blood, but he was persuaded that it was his duty to submit for the good of

his country. The maiden was brought forth for sacrifice, in spite of her tears

and supplications; but just as the priest was about to strike the fatal blow,

Iphigenia suddenly disappeared, and a goat of uncommon beauty stood in her

place."[39:4]

There is yet still another, which belongs to the same country, and is related

thus:

"In Sparta, it being declared upon one occasion that the gods demanded a human

victim, the choice was made by lot, and fell on a damsel named Helena. [Pg

40]But when all was in readiness, an eagle descended, carried away the priest's

knife, and laid it on the head of a heifer, which was sacrificed in her

stead."[40:1]

The story of Abraham and Isaac was written at a time when the Mosaic party in

Israel was endeavoring to abolish idolatry among their people. They were

offering up human sacrifices to their gods Moloch, Baal, and Chemosh, and the

priestly author of this story was trying to make the people think that the Lord

had abolished such offerings, as far back as the time of Abraham. The Grecian

legends, which he had evidently heard, may have given him the idea.[40:2]

Human offerings to the gods were at one time almost universal. In the earliest

ages the offerings were simple, and such as shepherds and rustics could present.

They loaded the altars of the gods with the first fruits of their crops, and the

choicest products of the earth. Afterwards they sacrificed animals. When they

had once laid it down as a principle that the effusion of the blood of these

animals appeased the anger of the gods, and that their justice turned aside upon

the victims those strokes which were destined for men, their great care was for

nothing more than to conciliate their favor by so easy a method. It is the

nature of violent desires and excessive fear to know no bounds, and therefore,

when they would ask for any favor which they ardently wished for, or would

deprecate some public calamity which they feared, the blood of animals was not

deemed a price sufficient, but they began to shed that of men. It is probable,

as we have said, that this barbarous practice was formerly almost universal, and

that it is of very remote antiquity. In time of war the captives were chosen for

this purpose, but in time of peace they took the slaves. The choice was partly

regulated by the opinion of the bystanders, and partly by lot. But they did not

always sacrifice such mean persons. In great calamities, in a pressing famine,

for example, if the people thought they had some pretext to impute the cause of

it to their king, they even sacrificed him without hesitation, as the highest

price with which they could purchase the Divine favor. In this manner, the first

King of Vermaland (a province of Sweden) was burnt in honor of Odin, the Supreme

God, to put an end to a great dearth; as we read in the history of Norway. The

kings, in their turn, did not spare the blood of their subjects; and many of

them even shed that of their children. Earl Hakon, of Norway, offered his son in

sacrifice, to obtain of Odin the victory over the Jomsburg pirates. Aun, King of

Sweden, [Pg 41]devoted to Odin the blood of his nine sons, to prevail on that

god to prolong his life. Some of the kings of Israel offered up their first-born

sons as a sacrifice to the god Baal or Moloch.

The altar of Moloch reeked with blood. Children were sacrificed and burned in

the fire to him, while trumpets and flutes drowned their screams, and the

mothers looked on, and were bound to restrain their tears.

The Phenicians offered to the gods, in times of war and drought, the fairest of

their children. The books of Sanchoniathon and Byblian Philo are full of

accounts of such sacrifices. In Byblos boys were immolated to Adonis; and, on

the founding of a city or colony, a sacrifice of a vast number of children was

solemnized, in the hopes of thereby averting misfortune from the new settlement.

The Phenicians, according to Eusebius, yearly sacrificed their dearest, and even

their only children, to Saturn. The bones of the victims were preserved in the

temple of Moloch, in a golden ark, which was carried by the Phenicians with them

to war.[41:1] Like the Fijians of the present day, those people considered their

gods as beings like themselves. They loved and they hated; they were proud and

revengeful; they were, in fact, savages like themselves.

If the eldest born of the family of Athamas entered the temple of the Laphystian

Jupiter, at Alos, in Achaia, he was sacrificed, crowned with garlands, like an

animal victim.[41:2]

The offering of human sacrifices to the Sun was extensively practiced in Mexico

and Peru, before the establishment of Christianity.[41:3]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[39:1] See Müller's Hist. Sanscrit Literature; and Williams' Indian Wisdom, p.

29.

[39:2] Quoted by Count de Volney; New Researches in Anc't Hist., p. 144.

[39:3] See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 104.

[39:4] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 302.

[40:1] Ibid.

[40:2] See chapter xi.

[41:1] Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, vol. i. p. 368.

[41:2] Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p. 448.

[41:3] See Acosta: Hist. Indies, vol. ii.

 

 

 

[Pg 42]CHAPTER V.

JACOB'S VISION OF THE LADDER.

In the 28th chapter of Genesis, we are told that Isaac, after blessing his son

Jacob, sent him to Padan-aram, to take a daughter of Laban's (his mother's

brother) to wife. Jacob, obeying his father, "went out from Beer-sheba (where he

dwelt), and went towards Haran. And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried

there all night, because the sun was set. And he took of the stones of the

place, and put them for his pillow, and lay down in that place to sleep. And he

dreamed, and behold, a ladder set upon the earth, and the top of it reached to

heaven. And he beheld the angels of God ascending and descending on it. And,

behold, the Lord stood above it, and said: 'I am the Lord God of Abraham thy

father, and the God of Isaac, the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give

it, and to thy seed.' . . . And Jacob awoke out of his sleep, and he said:

'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I know it not.' And he was afraid, and

said: 'How dreadful is this place, this is none other than the house of God, and

this is the gate of Heaven.' And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took

the stone that he had put for his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured

oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el."

The doctrine of Metempsychosis has evidently something to do with this legend.

It means, in the theological acceptation of the term, the supposed transition of

the soul after death, into another substance or body than that which it occupied

before. The belief in such a transition was common to the most civilized, and

the most uncivilized, nations of the earth.[42:1]

It was believed in, and taught by, the Brahminical Hindoos,[42:2] the

Buddhists,[42:3] the natives of Egypt,[42:4] several philosophers of [Pg

43]ancient Greece,[43:1] the ancient Druids,[43:2] the natives of

Madagascar,[43:3] several tribes of Africa,[43:4] and North America,[43:5] the

ancient Mexicans,[43:4] and by some Jewish and Christian sects.[43:5]

"It deserves notice, that in both of these religions (i. e., Jewish and

Christian), it found adherents as well in ancient as in modern times. Among the

Jews, the doctrine of transmigration—the Gilgul Neshamoth—was taught in the

mystical system of the Kabbala."[43:6]

"All the souls," the spiritual code of this system says, "are subject to the

trials of transmigration; and men do not know which are the ways of the Most

High in their regard." "The principle, in short, of the Kabbala, is the same as

that of Brahmanism."

"On the ground of this doctrine, which was shared in by Rabbis of the highest

renown, it was held, for instance, that the soul of Adam migrated into David,

and will come in the Messiah; that the soul of Japhet is the same as that of

Simeon, and the soul of Terah, migrated into Job."

"Of all these transmigrations, biblical instances are adduced according to their

mode of interpretation—in the writings of Rabbi Manasse ben Israel, Rabbi

Naphtali, Rabbi Meyer ben Gabbai, Rabbi Ruben, in the Jalkut Khadash, and other

works of a similar character."[43:4]

The doctrine is thus described by Ovid, in the language of Dryden:

"What feels the body when the soul expires,

 

By time corrupted, or consumed by fires?

 

Nor dies the spirit, but new life repeats

 

Into other forms, and only changes seats.

 

Ev'n I, who these mysterious truths declare,

 

Was once Euphorbus in the Trojan war;

 

My name and lineage I remember well,

 

And how in fight by Spartan's King I fell.

 

In Argive Juno's fame I late beheld

 

My buckler hung on high, and own'd my former shield

 

Then death, so called, is but old matter dressed

 

In some new figure, and a varied vest.

 

Thus all things are but alter'd, nothing dies,

 

And here and there the unbodied spirit flies."

 

The Jews undoubtedly learned this doctrine after they had been subdued by, and

become acquainted with other nations; and the writer of this story, whoever he

may have been, was evidently endeavoring to strengthen the belief in this

doctrine—he being an advocate of it—by inventing this story, and making Jacob a

witness to the truth of it. Jacob would have been looked upon at the time the

story was written (i. e., after the Babylonian captivity), [Pg 44]as of great

authority. We know that several writers of portions of the Old Testament have

written for similar purposes. As an illustration, we may mention the book of

Esther. This book was written for the purpose of explaining the origin of the

festival of Purim, and to encourage the Israelites to adopt it. The writer, who

was an advocate of the feast, lived long after the Babylonish captivity, and is

quite unknown.[44:1]

The writer of the seventeenth chapter of Matthew has made Jesus a teacher of the

doctrine of Transmigration.

The Lord had promised that he would send Elijah (Elias) the prophet, "before the

coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,"[44:2] and Jesus is made to

say that he had already come, or, that his soul had transmigrated unto the body

of John the Baptist, and they knew it not.[44:3]

And in Mark (viii. 27) we are told that Jesus asked his disciples, saying unto

them; "Whom do men say that I am?" whereupon they answer: "Some say Elias; and

others, one of the prophets;" or, in other words, that the soul of Elias, or one

of the prophets, had transmigrated into the body of Jesus. In John (ix. 1, 2),

we are told that Jesus and his disciples seeing a man "which was blind from his

birth," the disciples asked him, saying; "Master, who did sin, this man (in some

former state) or his parents." Being born blind, how else could he sin, unless

in some former state? These passages result from the fact, which we have already

noticed, that some of the Jewish and Christian sects believed in the doctrine of

Metempsychosis.

According to some Jewish authors, Adam was re-produced in Noah, Elijah, and

other Bible celebrities.[44:4]

The Rev. Mr. Faber says:

"Adam, and Enoch, and Noah, might in outward appearance be different men, but

they were really the self-same divine persons who had been promised as the seed

of the woman, successively animating various human bodies."[44:5]

We have stated as our belief that the vision which the writer of the

twenty-eighth chapter of Genesis has made Jacob to witness, was intended to

strengthen the belief in the doctrine of the Metempsychosis, that he was simply

seeing the souls of men ascending and descending from heaven on a ladder, during

their transmigrations.

We will now give our reasons for thinking so.

The learned Thomas Maurice tells us that:

[Pg 45]The Indians had, in remote ages, in their system of theology, the

sidereal ladder of seven gates, which described, in a symbolical manner, the

ascending and descending of the souls of men.[45:1]

We are also informed by Origen that:

This descent (i. e., the descent of souls from heaven to enter into some body),

was described in a symbolical manner, by a ladder which was represented as

reaching from heaven to earth, and divided into seven stages, at each of which

was figured a gate; the eighth gate was at the top of the ladder, which belonged

to the sphere of the celestial firmament.[45:2]

That souls dwell in the Galaxy was a thought familiar to the Pythagoreans, who

gave it on their master's word, that the souls that crowd there, descend and

appear to men as dreams.[45:3]

The fancy of the Manicheans also transferred pure souls to this column of light,

whence they could come down to earth and again return.[45:4]

Paintings representing a scene of this kind may be seen in works of art

illustrative of Indian Mythology.

Maurice speaks of one, in which he says:

"The souls of men are represented as ascending and descending (on a ladder),

according to the received opinion of the sidereal Metempsychosis in Asia."[45:5]

Mons. Dupuis tells us that:

"Among the mysterious pictures of the Initiation, in the cave of the Persian God

Mithras, there was exposed to the view the descent of the souls to the earth,

and their return to heaven, through the seven planetary spheres."[45:6]

And Count de Volney says:

"In the cave of Mithra was a ladder with seven steps, representing the seven

spheres of the planets by means of which souls ascended and descended. This is

precisely the ladder of Jacob's vision. There is in the Royal Library (of

France) a superb volume of pictures of the Indian gods, in which the ladder is

represented with the souls of men ascending it."[45:7]

In several of the Egyptian sculptures also, the Transmigration of Souls is

represented by the ascending and descending of souls from heaven to earth, on a

flight of steps, and, as the souls of wicked men were supposed to enter pigs and

other animals, therefore pigs, monkeys, &c., are to be seen on the steps,

descending from heaven.[45:8]

"And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it

reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it."

[Pg 46]These are the words of the sacred text. Can anything be more convincing?

It continues thus:

"And Jacob awoke out of his sleep . . . and he was afraid, and said . . . this

is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven."

Here we have "the gate of heaven," mentioned by Origen in describing the

Metempsychosis.

According to the ancients, the top of this ladder was supposed to reach the

throne of the most high God. This corresponds exactly with the vision of Jacob.

The ladder which he is made to see reached unto heaven, and the Lord stood above

it.[46:1]

"And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for

his pillow, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of

it."[46:2]

This concluding portion to the story has evidently an allusion to Phallic[46:3]

worship. There is scarcely a nation of antiquity which did not set up these

stones (as emblems of the reproductive power of nature) and worship them. Dr.

Oort, speaking of this, says:

Few forms of worship were so universal in ancient times as the homage paid to

sacred stones. In the history of the religion of even the most civilized

peoples, such as the Greeks, Romans, Hindoos, Arabs and Germans, we find traces

of this form of worship.[46:4] The ancient Druids of Britain also worshiped

sacred stones, which were set up on end.[46:5]

Pausanias, an eminent Greek historian, says:

"The Hermiac statue, which they venerate in Cyllenê above other symbols, is an

erect Phallus on a pedestal."[46:6]

This was nothing more than a smooth, oblong stone, set erect on a flat

one.[46:7]

The learned Dr. Ginsburg, in his "Life of Levita," alludes to the ancient mode

of worship offered to the heathen deity Hermes, or Mercury. A "Hermes" (i. e., a

stone) was frequently set up on the road-side, and each traveller, as he passed

by, paid his homage to the deity by either throwing a stone on the heap (which

was thus collected), or by anointing it. This "Hermes" was the symbol of

Phallus.[46:8]

[Pg 47]Now, when we find that this form of worship was very prevalent among the

Israelites,[47:1] that these sacred stones which were "set up," were called (by

the heathen), BÆTY-LI,[47:2] (which is not unlike BETH-EL), and that they were

anointed with oil,[47:3] I think we have reasons for believing that the story of

Jacob's setting up a stone, pouring oil upon it, and calling the place Beth-el,

"has evidently an allusion to Phallic worship."[47:4]

The male and female powers of nature were denoted respectively by an upright and

an oval emblem, and the conjunction of the two furnished at once the altar and

the Ashera, or grove, against which the Hebrew prophets lifted up their voices

in earnest protest. In the kingdoms, both of Judah and Israel, the rites

connected with these emblems assumed their most corrupting form. Even in the

temple itself, stood the Ashera, or the upright emblem, on the circular altar of

Baal-Peor, the Priapos of the Jews, thus reproducing the Linga, and Yoni of the

Hindu.[47:5] For this symbol, the women wove hangings, as the Athenian maidens

embroidered the sacred peplos for the ship presented to Athênê, at the great

Dionysiac festival. This Ashera, which, in the authorized English version of the

Old Testament is translated "grove," was, in fact, a pole, or stem of a tree. It

is reproduced in our modern "Maypole," around which maidens dance, as maidens

did of yore.[47:6]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[42:1] See Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Transmigration."

[42:2] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Transmigration." Prichard's Mythology, p. 213,

and Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 59.

[42:3] Ibid. Ernest de Bunsen says: "The first traces of the doctrine of

Transmigration of souls is to be found among the Brahmins and Buddhists." (The

Angel Messiah, pp. 63, 64.)

[42:4] Prichard's Mythology, pp. 213, 214.

[43:1] Gross: The Heathen Religion. Also Chambers's Encyclo., art.

"Transmigration."

[43:2] Ibid. Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 13; and Myths of the British

Druids, p. 15.

[43:3] Chambers's Encyclo.

[43:4] Ibid.

[43:5] Ibid. See also Bunsen: The Angel-Messiah, pp. 63, 64. Dupuis, p. 357.

Josephus: Jewish Antiquities, book xviii. ch. 13. Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. 94;

and Beal: Hist. Buddha.

[43:6] Chambers, art. "Transmigration."

[44:1] See The Religion of Israel, p. 18.

[44:2] Malachi iv. 5.

[44:3] Matthew xvii. 12, 13.

[44:4] See Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 78.

[44:5] Faber: Orig. Pagan Idol, vol. iii. p. 612; in Anacalypsis, vol. i. p.

210.

[45:1] Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 202.

[45:2] Contra Celsus, lib. vi. c. xxii.

[45:3] Tylor: Primitive Culture, vol. i. p. 324.

[45:4] Ibid.

[45:5] Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 262.

[45:6] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, p. 344.

[45:7] Volney's Ruins, p. 147, note.

[45:8] See Child's Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 160, 162.

[46:1] Genesis xxviii. 12, 13.

[46:2] Genesis xxviii. 18, 19.

[46:3] "Phallic," from "Phallus," a representation of the male generative

organs. For further information on this subject, see the works of R. Payne

Knight, and Dr. Thomas Inman.

[46:4] Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 175, 276. See, also, Knight: Ancient Art

and Mythology; and Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. i. and ii.

[46:5] See Myths of the British Druids, p. 300; and Higgins: Celtic Druids.

[46:6] Quoted by R. Payne Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 114, note.

[46:7] See Illustrations in Dr. Inman's Pagan and Christian Symbolism.

[46:8] See Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. i. pp. 543, 544.

[47:1] Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 177, 178, 317, 321, 322.

[47:2] Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 356.

[47:3] Ibid.

[47:4] We read in Bell's "Pantheon of the Gods and Demi-Gods of Antiquity,"

under the head of Baelylion, Baelylia or Baetylos, that they are "Anointed

Stones, worshiped among the Greeks, Phrygians, and other nations of the East;"

that "these Baetylia were greatly venerated by the ancient Heathen, many of

their idols being no other;" and that, "in reality no sort of idol was more

common in the East, than that of oblong stones erected, and hence termed by the

Greeks pillars." The Rev. Geo. W. Cox, in his Aryan Mythology (vol. ii. p. 113),

says: "The erection of these stone columns or pillars, the forms of which in

most cases tell their own story, are common throughout the East, some of the

most elaborate being found near Ghizni." And Mr. Wake (Phallism in Ancient

Religions, p. 60), says: "Kiyun, or Kivan, the name of the deity said by Amos

(v. 26), to have been worshiped in the wilderness by the Hebrews, signifies God

of the pillar."

[47:5] We find that there was nothing gross or immoral in the worship of the

male and female generative organs among the ancients, when the subject is

properly understood. Being the most intimately connected with the reproduction

of life on earth, the Linga became the symbol under which the Sun, invoked with

a thousand names, has been worshiped throughout the world as the restorer of the

powers of nature after the long sleep or death of winter. But if the Linga is

the Sun-god in his majesty, the Yoni is the earth who yields her fruit under his

fertilizing warmth.

The Phallic tree is introduced into the narrative of the book of Genesis: but it

is here called a tree, not of life, but of the knowledge of good and evil, that

knowledge which dawns in the mind with the first consciousness of difference

between man and woman. In contrast with this tree of carnal indulgence, tending

to death, is the tree of life, denoting the higher existence for which man was

designed, and which would bring with it the happiness and the freedom of the

children of God. In the brazen serpent of the Pentateuch, the two emblems of the

cross and serpent, the quiescent and energising Phallos, are united. (See Cox:

Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. pp. 113, 116, 118.)

[47:6] See Cox: Aryan Mytho., ii. 112, 113.

 

 

 

[Pg 48]CHAPTER VI.

THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT, AND PASSAGE THROUGH THE RED SEA.

The children of Israel, who were in bondage in Egypt, making bricks, and working

in the field,[48:1] were looked upon with compassion by the Lord.[48:2] He heard

their groaning, and remembered his covenant with Abraham,[48:3] with Isaac, and

with Jacob. He, therefore, chose Moses (an Israelite, who had murdered an

Egyptian,[48:4] and who, therefore, was obliged to flee from Egypt, as Pharaoh

sought to punish him), as his servant, to carry out his plans.

Moses was at this time keeping the flock of Jeruth, his father-in-law, in the

land of Midian. The angel of the Lord, or the Lord himself, appeared to him

there, and said unto him:

"I am the God of thy Father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God

of Jacob. . . . I have seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and

have heard their cry by reason of their tormentors; for I know their sorrows.

And I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to

bring them up out of that land into a good land and a large, unto a land flowing

with milk and honey. I will send thee unto Pharaoh, that thou mayest bring forth

my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt."

Then Moses said unto the Lord:

"Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, the

God of your fathers hath sent me unto you, and they shall say unto me: What is

his name? What shall I say unto them?"

Then God said unto Moses:

"I am that I am."[48:5] "Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I am

hath sent me unto you."[48:6]

[Pg 49]And God said, moreover, unto Moses:

"Go and gather the Elders of Israel together, and say unto them: the Lord God of

your fathers . . . appeared unto me, saying: 'I have surely visited you, and

seen that which is done to you in Egypt. And I have said, I will bring you up

out of the affliction of Egypt . . . unto a land flowing with milk and honey.'

And they shall hearken to thy voice, and thou shall come, thou and the Elders of

Israel, unto the king of Egypt, and ye shall say unto him: 'the Lord God of the

Hebrews hath met with us, and now let us go, we beseech thee, three days journey

in the wilderness, that we may sacrifice to the Lord our God.'[49:1]

"I am sure that the king of Egypt will not let you go, no, not by a mighty hand.

And I will stretch out my hand, and smite Egypt with all my wonders, which I

will do in the midst thereof: and after that he will let you go. And I will give

this people (the Hebrews) favor in the sight of the Egyptians, and it shall come

to pass, that when ye go, ye shall not go empty. But every woman shall borrow of

her neighbor, and of her that sojourneth in her house, jewels of silver and

jewels of gold, and raiment. And ye shall put them upon your sons and upon your

daughters, and ye shall spoil the Egyptians."[49:2]

The Lord again appeared unto Moses, in Midian, and said:

"Go, return into Egypt, for all the men are dead which sought thy life. And

Moses took his wife, and his son, and set them upon an ass, and he returned to

the land of Egypt. And Moses took the rod of God (which the Lord had given him)

in his hand."[49:3]

Upon arriving in Egypt, Moses tells his brother Aaron, "all the words of the

Lord," and Aaron tells all the children of Israel. Moses, who was not eloquent,

but had a slow speech,[49:4] uses Aaron as his spokesman.[49:5] They then appear

unto Pharaoh, and falsify, "according to the commands of the Lord," saying: "Let

us go, we pray thee, three days' journey in the desert, and sacrifice unto the

Lord our God."[49:6]

The Lord hardens Pharaoh's heart, so that he does not let the children of Israel

go to sacrifice unto their God, in the desert.

[Pg 50]Moses and Aaron continue interceding with him, however, and, for the

purpose of showing their miraculous powers, they change their rods into

serpents, the river into blood, cause a plague of frogs and lice, and a swarm of

flies, &c., &c., to appear. Most of these feats were imitated by the magicians

of Egypt. Finally, the first-born of Egypt are slain, when Pharaoh, after having

had his heart hardened, by the Lord, over and over again, consents to let Moses

and the children of Israel go to serve their God, as they had said, that is, for

three days.

The Lord having given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, they

borrowed of them jewels of silver, jewels of gold, and raiment, "according to

the commands of the Lord." And they journeyed toward Succoth, there being six

hundred thousand, besides children.[50:1]

"And they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped in Etham, in the edge of

the wilderness. And the Lord went before them by day, in a pillar of a cloud, to

lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light to go by

day and night."[50:2]

"And it was told the king of Egypt, that the people fled. . . . And he made

ready his chariot, and took his people with him. And he took six hundred chosen

chariots, and all the chariots of Egypt, . . . and he pursued after the children

of Israel, and overtook them encamping beside the sea. . . . And when Pharaoh

drew nigh, the children of Israel . . . were sore afraid, and . . . (they) cried

out unto the Lord. . . . And the Lord said unto Moses, . . . speak unto the

children of Israel, that they go forward. But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch

out thine hand over the Red Sea, and divide it, and the children of Israel shall

go on dry ground through the midst of the sea. . . . And Moses stretched out his

hand over the sea,[50:3] and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east

wind that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided. And the

children of Israel went into the midst of the sea upon the dry ground; and the

waters were a wall unto them upon the right hand, and on their left. And the

Egyptians pursued, and went in after them to the midst of the sea, even all

Pharaoh's horses, and his chariots, and his horse-men."

After the children of Israel had landed on the other side of the sea, the Lord

said unto Moses:

"Stretch out thine hand over the sea, that the waters may come again upon the

Egyptians, upon their chariots, and upon their horse-men. And Moses stretched

forth his hand over the sea, and the sea returned to his strength. . . . And the

Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea. And the waters returned,

and covered the chariots, and the horse-men, and all the host of Pharaoh [Pg

51]that came into the sea after them; there remained not so much as one of them.

But the children of Israel walked upon dry land in the midst of the sea, and the

waters were a wall unto them on their right hand, and on their left. . . . And

Israel saw the great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians, and the people

feared the Lord, and believed the Lord and his servant Moses."[51:1]

The writer of this story, whoever he may have been, was evidently familiar with

the legends related of the Sun-god, Bacchus, as he has given Moses the credit of

performing some of the miracles which were attributed to that god.

It is related in the hymns of Orpheus,[51:2] that Bacchus had a rod with which

he performed miracles, and which he could change into a serpent at pleasure. He

passed the Red Sea, dry shod, at the head of his army. He divided the waters of

the rivers Orontes and Hydaspus, by the touch of his rod, and passed through

them dry-shod.[51:3] By the same mighty wand, he drew water from the rock,[51:4]

and wherever they marched, the land flowed with wine, milk and honey.[51:5]

Professor Steinthal, speaking of Dionysus (Bacchus), says:

Like Moses, he strikes fountains of wine and water out of the rock. Almost all

the acts of Moses correspond to those of the Sun-gods.[51:6]

Mons. Dupuis says:

"Among the different miracles of Bacchus and his Bacchantes, there are prodigies

very similar to those which are attributed to Moses; for instance, such as the

sources of water which the former caused to sprout from the innermost of the

rocks."[51:7]

In Bell's Pantheon of the Gods and Heroes of Antiquity,[51:8] an account of the

prodigies attributed to Bacchus is given; among these, are mentioned his

striking water from the rock, with his magic wand, his turning a twig of ivy

into a snake, his passing through the Red Sea and the rivers Orontes and

Hydaspus, and of his enjoying the light of the Sun (while marching with his army

in India), when the day was spent, and it was dark to others. All these are

parallels too striking to be accidental.

We might also mention the fact, that Bacchus, as well as Moses [Pg 52]was called

the "Law-giver," and that it was said of Bacchus, as well as of Moses, that his

laws were written on two tables of stone.[52:1] Bacchus was represented horned,

and so was Moses.[52:2] Bacchus "was picked up in a box, that floated on the

water,"[52:3] and so was Moses.[52:4] Bacchus had two mothers, one by nature,

and one by adoption,[52:5] and so had Moses.[52:6] And, as we have already seen,

Bacchus and his army enjoyed the light of the Sun, during the night time, and

Moses and his army enjoyed the light of "a pillar of fire, by night."[52:7]

In regard to the children of Israel going out from the land of Egypt, we have no

doubt that such an occurrence took place, although not in the manner, and not

for such reasons, as is recorded by the sacred historian. We find, from other

sources, what is evidently nearer the truth.

It is related by the historian Choeremon, that, at one time, the land of Egypt

was infested with disease, and through the advice of the sacred scribe

Phritiphantes, the king caused the infected people (who were none other than the

brick-making slaves, known as the children of Israel), to be collected, and

driven out of the country.[52:8]

Lysimachus relates that:

"A filthy disease broke out in Egypt, and the Oracle of Ammon, being consulted

on the occasion, commanded the king to purify the land by driving out the Jews

(who were infected with leprosy, &c.), a race of men who were hateful to the

Gods."[52:9] "The whole multitude of the people were accordingly collected and

driven out into the wilderness."[52:10]

Diodorus Siculus, referring to this event, says:

"In ancient times Egypt was afflicted with a great plague, which was attributed

to the anger of God, on account of the multitude of foreigners in Egypt: by whom

the rites of the native religion were neglected. The Egyptians accordingly drove

them out. The most noble of them went under Cadmus and Danaus to Greece, but the

greater number followed Moses, a wise and valiant leader, to Palestine."[52:11]

[Pg 53]After giving the different opinions concerning the origin of the Jewish

nation, Tacitus, the Roman historian, says:

"In this clash of opinions, one point seems to be universally admitted. A

pestilential disease, disfiguring the race of man, and making the body an object

of loathsome deformity, spread all over Egypt. Bocchoris, at that time the

reigning monarch, consulted the oracle of Jupiter Hammon, and received for

answer, that the kingdom must be purified, by exterminating the infected

multitude, as a race of men detested by the gods. After diligent search, the

wretched sufferers were collected together, and in a wild and barren desert

abandoned to their misery. In that distress, while the vulgar herd was sunk in

deep despair, Moses, one of their number, reminded them, that, by the wisdom of

his councils, they had been already rescued out of impending danger. Deserted as

they were by men and gods, he told them, that if they did not repose their

confidence in him, as their chief by divine commission, they had no resource

left. His offer was accepted. Their march began, they knew not whither. Want of

water was their chief distress. Worn out with fatigue, they lay stretched on the

bare earth, heart broken, ready to expire, when a troop of wild asses, returning

from pasture, went up the steep ascent of a rock covered with a grove of trees.

The verdure of the herbage round the place suggested the idea of springs near at

hand. Moses traced the steps of the animals, and discovered a plentiful vein of

water. By this relief the fainting multitude was raised from despair. They

pursued their journey for six days without intermission. On the seventh day they

made halt, and, having expelled the natives, took possession of the country,

where they built their city, and dedicated their temple."[53:1]

Other accounts, similar to these, might be added, among which may be mentioned

that given by Manetho, an Egyptian priest, which is referred to by Josephus, the

Jewish historian.

Although the accounts quoted above are not exactly alike, yet the main points

are the same, which are to the effect that Egypt was infected with disease owing

to the foreigners (among whom were those who were afterwards styled "the

children of Israel") that were in the country, and who were an unclean people,

and that they were accordingly driven out into the wilderness.

When we compare this statement with that recorded in Genesis, it does not take

long to decide which of the two is nearest the truth.

Everything putrid, or that had a tendency to putridity, was carefully avoided by

the ancient Egyptians, and so strict were the Egyptian priests on this point,

that they wore no garments made of any animal substance, circumcised themselves,

and shaved their whole bodies, even to their eyebrows, lest they should

unknowingly harbor any filth, excrement or vermin, supposed to be bred from

putrefaction.[53:2] We know from the laws set down in Leviticus, that the

Hebrews were not a remarkably clean race.

[Pg 54]Jewish priests, in making a history for their race, have given us but a

shadow of truth here and there; it is almost wholly mythical. The author of "The

Religion of Israel," speaking on this subject, says:

"The history of the religion of Israel must start from the sojourn of the

Israelites in Egypt. Formerly it was usual to take a much earlier

starting-point, and to begin with a religious discussion of the religious ideas

of the Patriarchs. And this was perfectly right, so long as the accounts of

Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were considered historical. But now that a strict

investigation has shown us that all these stories are entirely unhistorical, of

course we have to begin the history later on."[54:1]

The author of "The Spirit History of Man," says:

"The Hebrews came out of Egypt and settled among the Canaanites. They need not

be traced beyond the Exodus. That is their historical beginning. It was very

easy to cover up this remote event by the recital of mythical traditions, and to

prefix to it an account of their origin in which the gods (Patriarchs), should

figure as their ancestors."[54:2]

Professor Goldzhier says:

"The residence of the Hebrews in Egypt, and their exodus thence under the

guidance and training of an enthusiast for the freedom of his tribe, form a

series of strictly historical facts, which find confirmation even in the

documents of ancient Egypt (which we have just shown). But the traditional

narratives of these events (were) elaborated by the Hebrew people."[54:3]

Count de Volney also observes that:

"What Exodus says of their (the Israelites) servitude under the king of

Heliopolis, and of the oppression of their hosts, the Egyptians, is extremely

probable. It is here their history begins. All that precedes . . . is nothing

but mythology and cosmogony."[54:4]

In speaking of the sojourn of the Israelites in Egypt, Dr. Knappert says:

"According to the tradition preserved in Genesis, it was the promotion of

Jacob's son, Joseph, to be viceroy of Egypt, that brought about the migration of

the sons of Israel from Canaan to Goshen. The story goes that this Joseph was

sold as a slave by his brothers, and after many changes of fortune received the

vice-regal office at Pharaoh's hands through his skill in interpreting dreams.

Famine drives his brothers—and afterwards his father—to him, and the Egyptian

prince gives them the land of Goshen to live in. It is by imagining all this

that the [Pg 55]legend tries to account for the fact that Israel passed some

time in Egypt. But we must look for the real explanation in a migration of

certain tribes which could not establish or maintain themselves in Canaan, and

were forced to move further on.

"We find a passage in Flavius Josephus, from which it appears that in Egypt,

too, a recollection survived of the sojourn of some foreign tribes in the

north-eastern district of the country. For this writer gives us two fragments

out of a lost work by Manetho, a priest, who lived about 250 B. C. In one of

these we have a statement that pretty nearly agrees with the Israelitish

tradition about a sojourn in Goshen. But the Israelites were looked down on by

the Egyptians as foreigners, and they are represented as lepers and unclean.

Moses himself is mentioned by name, and we are told that he was a priest and

joined himself to these lepers and gave them laws."[55:1]

To return now to the story of the Red Sea being divided to let Moses and his

followers pass through—of which we have already seen one counterpart in the

legend related of Bacchus and his army passing through the same sea

dry-shod—there is another similar story concerning Alexander the Great.

The histories of Alexander relate that the Pamphylian Sea was divided to let him

and his army pass through. Josephus, after speaking of the Red Sea being divided

for the passage of the Israelites, says:

"For the sake of those who accompanied Alexander, king of Macedonia, who yet

lived comparatively but a little while ago, the Pamphylian Sea retired and

offered them a passage through itself, when they had no other way to go . . .

and this is confessed to be true by all who have written about the actions of

Alexander."[55:2]

He seems to consider both legends of the same authority, quoting the latter to

substantiate the former.

"Callisthenes, who himself accompanied Alexander in the expedition," "wrote, how

the Pamphylian Sea did not only open a passage for Alexander, but, rising and

elevating its waters, did pay him homage as its king."[55:3]

It is related in Egyptian mythology that Isis was at one time on a journey with

the eldest child of the king of Byblos, when coming to the river Phœdrus, which

was in a "rough air," and wishing to [Pg 56]cross, she commanded the stream to

be dried up. This being done she crossed without trouble.[56:1]

There is a Hindoo fable to the effect that when the infant Crishna was being

sought by the reigning tyrant of Madura (King Kansa)[56:2] his foster-father

took him and departed out of the country. Coming to the river Yumna, and wishing

to cross, it was divided for them by the Lord, and they passed through.

The story is related by Thomas Maurice, in his "History of Hindostan," who has

taken it from the Bhagavat Pooraun. It is as follows:

"Yasodha took the child Crishna, and carried him off (from where he was born),

but, coming to the river Yumna, directly opposite to Gokul, Crishna's father

perceiving the current to be very strong, it being in the midst of the rainy

season, and not knowing which way to pass it, Crishna commanded the water to

give way on both sides to his father, who accordingly passed dry-footed, across

the river."[56:3]

This incident is illustrated in Plate 58 of Moore's "Hindu Pantheon."

There is another Hindoo legend, recorded in the Rig Veda, and quoted by Viscount

Amberly, from whose work we take it,[56:4] to the effect that an Indian sage

called Visvimati, having arrived at a river which he wished to cross, that holy

man said to it: "Listen to the Bard who has come to you from afar with wagon and

chariot. Sink down, become fordable, and reach not up to our chariot axles." The

river answers: "I will bow down to thee like a woman with full breast (suckling

her child), as a maid to a man, will I throw myself open to thee."

This is accordingly done, and the sage passes through.

We have also an Indian legend which relates that a courtesan named Bindumati,

turned back the streams of the river Ganges.[56:5]

We see then, that the idea of seas and rivers being divided for the purpose of

letting some chosen one of God pass through is an old one peculiar to other

peoples beside the Hebrews, and the probability is that many nations had legends

of this kind.

That Pharaoh and his host should have been drowned in the Red Sea, and the fact

not mentioned by any historian, is simply impossible, especially when they have,

as we have seen, noticed the fact of the Israelites being driven out of

Egypt.[56:6] Dr. Inman, speaking of this, says:

[Pg 57]"We seek in vain amongst the Egyptian hieroglyphs for scenes which recall

such cruelties as those we read of in the Hebrew records; and in the writings

which have hitherto been translated, we find nothing resembling the wholesale

destructions described and applauded by the Jewish historians, as perpetrated by

their own people."[57:1]

That Pharaoh should have pursued a tribe of diseased slaves, whom he had driven

out of his country, is altogether improbable. In the words of Dr. Knappert, we

may conclude, by saying that:

"This story, which was not written until more than five hundred years after the

exodus itself, can lay no claim to be considered historical."[57:2]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[48:1] Exodus i. 14.

[48:2] Exodus ii. 24, 25.

[48:3] See chapter x.

[48:4] Exodus ii. 12.

[48:5] The Egyptian name for God was "Nuk-Pa-Nuk," or "I am that I am."

(Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 395.) This name was found on a temple in Egypt.

(Higgins' Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 17.) "'I am' was a Divine name understood by

all the initiated among the Egyptians." "The 'I am' of the Hebrews, and the 'I

am' of the Egyptians are identical." (Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, p. 38.) The

name "Jehovah," which was adopted by the Hebrews, was a name esteemed sacred

among the Egyptians. They called it Y-ha-ho, or Y-ah-weh. (See the Religion of

Israel, pp. 42, 43; and Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 329, and vol. ii. p. 17.) "None

dare to enter the temple of Serapis, who did not bear on his breast or forehead

the name of Jao, or J-ha-ho, a name almost equivalent in sound to that of the

Hebrew Jehovah, and probably of identical import; and no name was uttered in

Egypt with more reverence than this Iao." (Trans. from the Ger. of Schiller, in

Monthly Repos., vol. xx.; and Voltaire: Commentary on Exodus; Higgins' Anac.,

vol. i. p. 329; vol. ii. p. 17.) "That this divine name was well-known to the

Heathen there can be no doubt." (Parkhurst: Hebrew Lex. in Anac., i. 327.) So

also with the name El Shaddai. "The extremely common Egyptian expression Nutar

Nutra exactly corresponds in sense to the Hebrew El Shaddai, the very title by

which God tells Moses he was known to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob." (Prof.

Renouf: Relig. of Anc't Egypt, p. 99.)

[48:6] Exodus iii. 1, 14.

[49:1] Exodus iii. 15-18.

[49:2] Exodus iii. 19-22. Here is a command from the Lord to deceive, and lie,

and steal, which, according to the narrative, was carried out to the letter (Ex.

xii. 35, 36); and yet we are told that this same Lord said: "Thou shalt not

steal." (Ex. xx. 15.) Again he says: "That shalt not defraud thy neighbor,

neither rob him." (Leviticus xix. 18.) Surely this is inconsistency.

[49:3] Exodus iv. 19, 20.

[49:4] Exodus iv. 10.

[49:5] Exodus iv. 16.

[49:6] Exodus v. 3.

[50:1] Exodus vii. 35-37. Bishop Colenso shows, in his Pentateuch Examined, how

ridiculous this statement is.

[50:2] Exodus xiii. 20, 21.

[50:3] "The sea over which Moses stretches out his hand with the staff, and

which he divides, so that the waters stand up on either side like walls while he

passes through, must surely have been originally the Sea of Clouds. . . . A

German story presents a perfectly similar feature. The conception of the cloud

as sea, rock and wall, recurs very frequently in mythology." (Prof. Steinthal:

The Legend of Samson, p. 429.)

[51:1] Exodus xiv. 5-13.

[51:2] Orpheus is said to have been the earliest poet of Greece, where he first

introduced the rites of Bacchus, which he brought from Egypt. (See Roman

Antiquities, p. 134.)

[51:3] The Hebrew fable writers not wishing to be outdone, have made the waters

of the river Jordan to be divided to let Elijah and Elisha pass through (2 Kings

ii. 8), and also the children of Israel. (Joshua iii. 15-17.)

[51:4] Moses, with his rod, drew water from the rock. (Exodus xvii. 6.)

[51:5] See Taylor's Diegesis, p. 191, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 19.

[51:6] The Legend of Samson, p. 429.

[51:7] Dupuis: Origin of Religious Beliefs, p. 135.

[51:8] Vol. i. p. 122.

[52:1] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122; and Higgins: Anacalypsis vol. ii. p. 19.

[52:2] Ibid. and Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 174.

[52:3] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 190; Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. under "Bacchus;" and

Higgins: Anacalypsis ii. 19.

[52:4] Exodus ii. 1-11.

[52:5] Taylor's Diegesis, p. 191; Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. under "Bacchus;" and

Higgins: p. 19, vol. ii.

[52:6] Exodus ii. 1-11.

[52:7] Exodus xiii. 20, 21.

[52:8] See Prichard's Historical Records, p. 74; also Dunlap's Spirit Hist., p.

40; and Cory's Ancient Fragments, pp. 80, 81, for similar accounts.

[52:9] "All persons afflicted with leprosy were considered displeasing in the

sight of the Sun-god, by the Egyptians." (Dunlap: Spirit. Hist. p. 40.)

[52:10] Prichard's Historical Records, p. 75.

[52:11] Ibid. p. 78.

[53:1] Tacitus: Hist. book v. ch. iii.

[53:2] Knight: Anc't Art and Mythology, p. 89, and Kenrick's Egypt, vol. i. p.

447. "The cleanliness of the Egyptian priests was extreme. They shaved their

heads, and every three days shaved their whole bodies. They bathed two or three

times a day, often in the night also. They wore garments of white linen, deeming

it more cleanly than cloth made from the hair of animals. If they had occasion

to wear a woolen cloth or mantle, they put it off before entering a temple; so

scrupulous were they that nothing impure should come into the presence of the

gods." (Prog. Relig. Ideas, i. 168.)

"Thinking it better to be clean than handsome, the (Egyptian) priests shave

their whole body every third day, that neither lice nor any other impurity may

be found upon them when engaged in the service of the gods." (Herodotus: book

ii. ch. 37.)

[54:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 27.

[54:2] Dunlap: Spirit Hist. of Man, p. 266.

[54:3] Hebrew Mythology, p. 23.

[54:4] Researches in Ancient History, p. 146.

[55:1] The Religion of Israel, pp. 31, 32.

[55:2] Jewish Antiq. bk. ii. ch. xvi.

[55:3] Ibid. note.

"It was said that the waters of the Pamphylian Sea miraculously opened a passage

for the army of Alexander the Great. Admiral Beaufort, however, tells us that,

'though there are no tides in this part of the Mediterranean, considerable

depression of the sea is caused by long-continued north winds; and Alexander,

taking advantage of such a moment, may have dashed on without impediment;' and

we accept the explanation as a matter of course. But the waters of the Red Sea

are said to have miraculously opened a passage for the children of Israel; and

we insist on the literal truth of this story, and reject natural explanations as

monstrous." (Matthew Arnold.)

[56:1] See Prichard's Egyptian Mytho. p. 60.

[56:2] See ch. xviii.

[56:3] Hist. Hindostan, vol. ii. p. 312.

[56:4] Analysis Relig. Belief, p. 552.

[56:5] See Hardy: Buddhist Legends, p. 140.

[56:6] In a cave discovered at Deir-el-Bahari (Aug., 1881), near Thebes, in

Egypt, was found thirty-nine mummies of royal and priestly personages. Among

these was King Ramses II., the third king of the Nineteenth Dynasty, and the

veritable Pharaoh of the Jewish captivity. It is very strange that he should be

here, among a number of other kings, if he had been lost in the Red Sea. The

mummy is wrapped in rose-colored and yellow linen of a texture finer than the

finest Indian muslin, upon which lotus flowers are strewn. It is in a perfect

state of preservation. (See a Cairo [Aug. 8th] letter to the London Times.)

[57:1] Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 58.

[57:2] The Religion of Israel, p. 41.

 

 

 

[Pg 58]CHAPTER VII.

RECEIVING THE TEN COMMANDMENTS.

The receiving of the Ten Commandments by Moses, from the Lord, is recorded in

the following manner:

"In the third month, when the children of Israel were gone forth out of the land

of Egypt, the same day came they into the wilderness of Sinai, . . . and there

Israel camped before the Mount. . . .

"And it came to pass on the third day that there were thunders and lightnings,

and a thick cloud upon the Mount, and the voice of the tempest exceedingly loud,

so that all the people that was in the camp trembled. . . .

"And Mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it

in fire, and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole

Mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the tempest sounded long, and waxed

louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice.

"And the Lord came down upon the Mount, and called Moses up to the top of the

Mount, and Moses went up."[58:1]

The Lord there communed with him, and "he gave unto Moses . . . . two tables of

testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God."[58:2]

When Moses came down from off the Mount, he found the children of Israel dancing

around a golden calf, which his brother Aaron had made, and, as his "anger waxed

hot," he cast the tables of stone on the ground, and broke them.[58:3] Moses

again saw the Lord on the Mount, however, and received two more tables of

stone.[58:4] When he came down this time from off Mount Sinai, "the skin of his

face did shine."[58:5]

[Pg 59]These two tables of stone contained the Ten Commandments,[59:1] so it is

said, which the Jews and Christians of the present day are supposed to take for

their standard.

They are, in substance, as follows:

1—To have no other God but Jehovah.

2—To make no image for purpose of worship.

3—Not to take Jehovah's name in vain.

4—Not to work on the Sabbath-day.

5—To honor their parents.

6—Not to kill.

7—Not to commit adultery.

8—Not to steal.

9—Not to bear false witness against a neighbor.

10—Not to covet.[59:2]

 

We have already seen, in the last chapter, that Bacchus was called the

"Law-giver," and that his laws were written on two tables of stone.[59:3] This

feature in the Hebrew legend was evidently copied from that related of Bacchus,

but, the idea of his (Moses) receiving the commandments from the Lord on a

mountain was obviously taken from the Persian legend related of Zoroaster.

Prof. Max Müller says:

"What applies to the religion of Moses applies to that of Zoroaster. It is

placed before us as a complete system from the first, revealed by Ahuramazda

(Ormuzd), proclaimed by Zoroaster."[59:4]

The disciples of Zoroaster, in their profusion of legends of the master, relate

that one day, as he prayed on a high mountain, in the midst of thunders and

lightnings ("fire from heaven"), the Lord himself appeared before him, and

delivered unto him the "Book of the Law." While the King of Persia and the

people were assembled together, Zoroaster came down from the mountain unharmed,

bringing with him the "Book of the Law," which had been revealed to him by

Ormuzd. They call this book the Zend-Avesta, which signifies the Living

Word.[59:5]

[Pg 60]According to the religion of the Cretans, Minos, their law-giver,

ascended a mountain (Mount Dicta) and there received from the Supreme Lord

(Zeus) the sacred laws which he brought down with him.[60:1]

Almost all nations of antiquity have legends of their holy men ascending a

mountain to ask counsel of the gods, such places being invested with peculiar

sanctity, and deemed nearer to the deities than other portions of the

earth.[60:2]

According to Egyptian belief, it is Thoth, the Deity itself, that speaks and

reveals to his elect among men the will of God and the arcana of divine things.

Portions of them are expressly stated to have been written by the very finger of

Thoth himself; to have been the work and composition of the great god.[60:3]

Diodorus, the Grecian historian, says:

The idea promulgated by the ancient Egyptians that their laws were received

direct from the Most High God, has been adopted with success by many other

law-givers, who have thus insured respect for their institutions.[60:4]

The Supreme God of the ancient Mexicans was Tezcatlipoca. He occupied a position

corresponding to the Jehovah of the Jews, the Brahma of India, the Zeus of the

Greeks, and the Odin of the Scandinavians. His name is compounded of Tezcatepec,

the name of a mountain (upon which he is said to have manifested himself to man)

tlil, dark, and poca, smoke. The explanation of this designation is given in the

Codex Vaticanus, as follows:

[Pg 61]Tezcatlipoca was one of their most potent deities; they say he once

appeared on the top of a mountain. They paid him great reverence and adoration,

and addressed him, in their prayers, as "Lord, whose servant we are." No man

ever saw his face, for he appeared only "as a shade." Indeed, the Mexican idea

of the godhead was similar to that of the Jews. Like Jehovah, Tezcatlipoca dwelt

in the "midst of thick darkness." When he descended upon the mount of

Tezcatepec, darkness overshadowed the earth, while fire and water, in mingled

streams, flowed from beneath his feet, from its summit.[61:1]

Thus, we see that other nations, beside the Hebrews, believed that their laws

were actually received from God, that they had legends to that effect, and that

a mountain figures conspicuously in the stories.

Professor Oort, speaking on this subject, says:

"No one who has any knowledge of antiquity will be surprised at this, for

similar beliefs were very common. All peoples who had issued from a life of

barbarism and acquired regular political institutions, more or less elaborate

laws, and established worship, and maxims of morality, attributed all this—their

birth as a nation, so to speak—to one or more great men, all of whom, without

exception, were supposed to have received their knowledge from some deity.

"Whence did Zoroaster, the prophet of the Persians, derive his religion?

According to the beliefs of his followers, and the doctrines of their sacred

writings, it was from Ahuramazda, the God of light. Why did the Egyptians

represent the god Thoth with a writing tablet and a pencil in his hand, and

honor him especially as the god of the priests? Because he was 'the Lord of the

divine Word,' the foundation of all wisdom, from whose inspiration the priests,

who were the scholars, the lawyers, and the religious teachers of the people,

derived all their wisdom. Was not Minos, the law-giver of the Cretans, the

friend of Zeus, the highest of the gods? Nay, was he not even his son, and did

he not ascend to the sacred cave on Mount Dicte to bring down the laws which his

god had placed there for him? From whom did the Spartan law-giver, Lycurgus,

himself say that he had obtained his laws? From no other than the god Apollo.

The Roman legend, too, in honoring Numa Pompilius as the people's instructor, at

the same time ascribed all his wisdom to his intercourse with the nymph Egeria.

It was the same elsewhere; and to make one more example,—this from later

times—Mohammed not only believed himself to have been called immediately by God

to be the prophet of the Arabs, but declared that he had received every page of

the Koran from the hand of the angel Gabriel."[61:2]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[58:1] Exodus xix.

[58:2] Exodus xxxi. 18.

[58:3] Exodus xxii. 19.

[58:4] Exodus xxxiv.

[58:5] Ibid.

It was a common belief among ancient Pagan nations that the gods appeared and

conversed with men. As an illustration we may cite the following, related by

Herodotus, the Grecian historian, who, in speaking of Egypt and the Egyptians,

says: "There is a large city called Chemmis, situated in the Thebaic district,

near Neapolis, in which is a quadrangular temple dedicated to (the god) Perseus,

son of (the Virgin) Danae; palm-trees grow round it, and the portico is of

stone, very spacious, and over it are placed two large stone statues. In this

inclosure is a temple, and in it is placed a statue of Perseus. The Chemmitæ (or

inhabitants of Chemmis), affirm that Perseus has frequently appeared to them on

earth, and frequently within the temple." (Herodotus, bk. ii. ch. 91.)

[59:1] Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, had TEN commandments. 1. Not to kill. 2.

Not to steal. 3. To be chaste. 4 Not to bear false witness. 5. Not to lie. 6.

Not to swear. 7. To avoid impure words. 8. To be disinterested. 9. Not to avenge

one's-self. 10. Not to be superstitious. (See Huc's Travels, p. 328, vol. i.)

[59:2] Exodus xx. Dr. Oort says: "The original ten commandments probably ran as

follows: I Yahwah am your God. Worship no other gods beside me. Make no image of

a god. Commit no perjury. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. Honor your

father and your mother. Commit no murder. Break not the marriage vow. Steal not.

Bear no false witness. Covet not." (Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 18.)

[59:3] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122. Higgins, vol. ii. p. 19. Cox: Aryan

Mytho. vol. ii. p. 295.

[59:4] Müller: Origin of Religion, p. 130.

[59:5] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 257, 258. This book, the Zend-Avesta,

is similar, in many respects, to the Vedas of the Hindoos. This has led many to

believe that Zoroaster was a Brahman; among these are Rawlinson (See Inman's

Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 831) and Thomas Maurice. (See Indian Antiquities,

vol. ii. p. 219.)

The Persians themselves had a tradition that he came from some country to the

East of them. That he was a foreigner is indicated by a passage in the

Zend-Avesta which represents Ormuzd as saying to him: "Thou, O Zoroaster, by the

promulgation of my law, shalt restore to me my former glory, which was pure

light. Up! haste thee to the land of Iran, which thirsteth after the law, and

say, thus said Ormuzd, &c." (See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 263.)

[60:1] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 301.

[60:2] "The deities of the Hindoo Pantheon dwell on the sacred Mount Meru; the

gods of Persia ruled from Albordj; the Greek Jove thundered from Olympus, and

the Scandinavian gods made Asgard awful with their presence. . . . Profane

history is full of examples attesting the attachment to high places for purpose

of sacrifice." (Squire: Serpent Symbols, p. 78.)

"The offerings of the Chinese to the deities were generally on the summits of

high mountains, as they seemed to them to be nearer heaven, to the majesty of

which they were to be offered." (Christmas's Mytho. p. 250, in Ibid.) "In the

infancy of civilization, high places were chosen by the people to offer

sacrifices to the gods. The first altars, the first temples, were erected on

mountains." (Humboldt: American Researches.) The Himalayas are the "Heavenly

mountains." In Sanscrit Himala, corresponding to the M. Gothic, Himins; Alem.,

Himil; Ger., Swed., and Dan., Himmel; Old Norse, Himin; Dutch, Hemel; Ang.-Sax.,

Heofon; Eng., Heaven. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 42.)

[60:3] Bunsen's Egypt, quoted in Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 367. Mrs. Child

says: "The laws of Egypt were handed down from the earliest times, and regarded

with the utmost veneration as a portion of religion. Their first legislator

represented them as dictated by the gods themselves and framed expressly for the

benefit of mankind by their secretary Thoth." (Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p.

173.)

[60:4] Quoted in Ibid.

[61:1] See Squire's Serpent Symbol, p. 175.

[61:2] Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 301.

 

 

 

[Pg 62]CHAPTER VIII.

SAMSON AND HIS EXPLOITS.

This Israelite hero is said to have been born at a time when the children of

Israel were in the hands of the Philistines. His mother, who had been barren for

a number of years, is entertained by an angel, who informs her that she shall

conceive, and bear a son,[62:1] and that the child shall be a Nazarite unto God,

from the womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the

Philistines.

According to the prediction of the angel, "the woman bore a son, and called his

name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him."

"And Samson (after he had grown to man's estate), went down to Timnath, and saw

a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up and told

his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the

daughters of the Philistines; now therefore get her for me to wife."

[Pg 63]Samson's father and mother preferred that he should take a woman among

the daughters of their own tribe, but Samson wished for the maid of the

Philistines, "for," said he, "she pleaseth me well."

The parents, after coming to the conclusion that it was the will of the Lord,

that he should marry the maid of the Philistines, consented.

"Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to

the vineyards of Timnath, and, behold, a young lion roared against him (Samson).

And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him (the lion) as

he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand."

This was Samson's first exploit, which he told not to any one, not even his

father, or his mother.

He then continued on his way, and went down and talked with the woman, and she

pleased him well.

And, after a time, he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the

carcass of the lion, and behold, "there was a swarm of bees, and honey, in the

carcass of the lion."

Samson made a feast at his wedding, which lasted for seven days. At this feast,

there were brought thirty companions to be with him, unto whom he said: "I will

now put forth a riddle unto you, if ye can certainly declare it me, within the

seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets,

and thirty changes of garments. But, if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye

give me thirty sheets, and thirty changes of garments." And they said unto him,

"Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it." And he answered them: "Out of the

eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."

This riddle the thirty companions could not solve.

"And it came to pass, on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife:

'Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle.'"

She accordingly went to Samson, and told him that he could not love her; if it

were so, he would tell her the answer to the riddle. After she had wept and

entreated of him, he finally told her, and she gave the answer to the children

of her people. "And the men of the city said unto him, on the seventh day,

before the sun went down, 'What is sweeter than honey, and what is stronger than

a lion?'"

Samson, upon hearing this, suspected how they managed to find out the answer,

whereupon he said unto them: "If ye had not ploughed with my heifer, ye had not

found out my riddle."

[Pg 64]Samson was then at a loss to know where to get the thirty sheets, and the

thirty changes of garments; but, "the spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he

went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and

gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle."

This was the hero's second exploit.

His anger being kindled, he went up to his father's house, instead of returning

to his wife.[64:1] But it came to pass, that, after a while, Samson repented of

his actions, and returned to his wife's house, and wished to go in to his wife

in the chamber; but her father would not suffer him to go. And her father said:

"I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her, therefore, I gave her to

thy companion. Is not her younger sister fairer than she? Take her, I pray thee,

instead of her."

This did not seem to please Samson, even though the younger was fairer than the

older, for he "went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and

turned (the foxes) tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two

tails. And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing

corn of the Philistines, and burned up both the shocks and also the standing

corn, with the vineyards and olives."

This was Samson's third exploit.

When the Philistines found their corn, their vineyards, and their olives burned,

they said: "Who hath done this?"

"And they answered, 'Samson, the son-in-law of the Timnite, because he had taken

his wife, and given her to his companion.' And the Philistines came up, and

burned her and her father with fire. And Samson said unto them: 'Though ye have

done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease.' And he

smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter, and he went and dwelt in the

top of the rock Etam."

This "great slaughter" was Samson's fourth exploit.

"Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in

Lehi. And the men of Judah said: 'Why are ye come up against us?' And they

answered: 'To bind Samson are we come up, and to do to him as he hath done to

us.' Then three thousand men of Judah went up to the top of the rock Etam, and

said to Samson: 'Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? What

is this that thou hast done unto us?' And he said unto them: 'As they did unto

me, so have I done unto them.' And they said unto him: 'We are come down to bind

thee, that we may deliver thee into the hands of the Philistines.' And Samson

said unto them: 'Swear unto me that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.' And

they spake unto him, saying, 'No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee

into their hands: but surely we will not kill thee.' And they bound him with two

new cords, and [Pg 65]brought him up from the rock. And when he came unto Lehi,

the Philistines shouted against him; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily

upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burned

with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands. And he found a new jaw-bone

of an ass, and put forth his hand and took it, and slew a thousand men with it."

This was Samson's fifth exploit.

After slaying a thousand men he was "sore athirst," and called unto the Lord.

And "God clave a hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water

thereout, and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived."[65:1]

"Then went Samson to Gaza and saw there a harlot, and went in unto her. And it

was told the Gazites, saying, 'Samson is come hither.' And they compassed him

in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all

the night, saying: 'In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.' And

Samson lay (with the harlot) till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the

doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar

and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of a

hill that is in Hebron."

This was Samson's sixth exploit.

"And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Soreck,

whose name was Delilah. And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and

said unto her: 'Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by

what means we may prevail against him.'"

Delilah then began to entice Samson to tell her wherein his strength lay.

"She pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed

unto death. Then he told her all his heart, and said unto her: 'There hath not

come a razor upon mine head, for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my

mother's womb. If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall

become weak, and be like any other man.' And when Delilah saw that he had told

her all his heart, she went and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying:

'Come up this once, for he hath showed me all his heart.' Then the lords of the

Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hands (for her).

"And she made him (Samson) sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and

she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to

afflict him, and his strength went from him."

The Philistines then took him, put out his eyes, and put him in prison. And

being gathered together at a great sacrifice in honor of their God, Dagon, they

said: "Call for Samson, that he may make us sport." And they called for Samson,

and he made them sport.

"And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand. Suffer me that I may

feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

[Pg 66]"Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the

Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men

and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

"And Samson called unto the Lord, and said: 'O Lord God, remember me, I pray

thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at

once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.'

"And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood and

on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with

his left. And Samson said: 'Let me die with the Philistines.' And he bowed

himself with all his might; and (having regained his strength) the house fell

upon the lords, and upon the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew

at his death, were more than they which he slew in his life."[66:1]

Thus ended the career of the "strong man" of the Hebrews.

That this story is a copy of the legends related of Hercules, or that they have

both been copied from similar legends existing among some other nations,[66:2]

is too evident to be disputed. Many churchmen have noticed the similarity

between the history of Samson and that of Hercules. In Chambers's Encyclopædia,

under "Samson," we read as follows:

"It has been matter of most contradictory speculations, how far his existence is

to be taken as a reality, or, in other words, what substratum of historical

truth there may be in this supposed circle of popular legends, artistically

rounded off, in the four chapters of Judges which treat of him. . . .

"The miraculous deeds he performed have taxed the ingenuity of many

commentators, and the text has been twisted and turned in all directions, to

explain, rationally, his slaying those prodigious numbers single-handed; his

carrying the gates of Gaza, in one night, a distance of about fifty miles, &c.,

&c."

That this is simply a Solar myth, no one will doubt, we believe, who will take

the trouble to investigate it.

Prof. Goldziher, who has made "Comparative Mythology" a special study, says of

this story:

"The most complete and rounded-off Solar myth extant in Hebrew, is that of

Shimshôn (Samson), a cycle of mythical conceptions fully comparable with the

Greek myth of Hercules."[66:3]

We shall now endeavor to ascertain if such is the case, by comparing the

exploits of Samson with those of Hercules.

The first wonderful act performed by Samson was, as we have seen, that of

slaying a lion. This is said to have happened when he was but a youth. So

likewise was it with Hercules. At the age of eighteen, he slew an enormous

lion.[66:4]

The valley of Nemea was infested by a terrible lion; Eurystheus ordered Hercules

to bring him the skin of this monster. After [Pg 67]using in vain his club and

arrows against the lion, Hercules strangled the animal with his hands. He

returned, carrying the dead lion on his shoulders; but Eurystheus was so

frightened at the sight of it, and at this proof of the prodigious strength of

the hero, that he ordered him to deliver the accounts of his exploits in the

future outside the town.[67:1]

To show the courage of Hercules, it is said that he entered the cave where the

lion's lair was, closed the entrance behind him, and at once grappled with the

monster.[67:2]

Samson is said to have torn asunder the jaws of the lion, and we find him

generally represented slaying the beast in that manner. So likewise, was this

the manner in which Hercules disposed of the Nemean lion.[67:3]

The skin of the lion, Hercules tore off with his fingers, and knowing it to be

impenetrable, resolved to wear it henceforth.[67:4] The statues and paintings of

Hercules either represent him carrying the lion's skin over his arm, or wearing

it hanging down his back, the skin of its head fitting to his crown like a cap,

and the fore-legs knotted under his chin.[67:5]

Samson's second exploit was when he went down to Ashkelon and slew thirty men.

Hercules, when returning to Thebes from the lion-hunt, and wearing its skin

hanging from his shoulders, as a sign of his success, met the heralds of the

King of the Minyæ, coming from Orchomenos to claim the annual tribute of a

hundred cattle, levied on Thebes. Hercules cut off the ears and noses of the

heralds, bound their hands, and sent them home.[67:6]

Samson's third exploit was when he caught three hundred foxes, and took

fire-brands, and turned them tail to tail, and put a fire-brand in the midst

between two tails, and let them go into the standing corn of the Philistines.

There is no such feature as this in the legends of Hercules, the nearest to it

in resemblance is when he encounters and kills the Learnean Hydra.[67:7] During

this encounter a fire-brand figures conspicuously, and the neighboring wood is

set on fire.[67:8]

[Pg 68]We have, however, an explanation of this portion of the legend, in the

following from Prof. Steinthal:

At the festival of Ceres, held at Rome, in the month of April, a fox-hunt

through the circus was indulged in, in which burning torches were bound to the

foxes' tails.

This was intended to be a symbolical reminder of the damage done to the fields

by mildew, called the "red fox," which was exorcised in various ways at this

momentous season (the last third of April). It is the time of the Dog-Star, at

which the mildew was most to be feared; if at that time great solar heat follows

too close upon the hoar-frost or dew of the cold nights, this mischief rages

like a burning fox through the corn-fields.[68:1]

He also says that:

"This is the sense of the story of the foxes, which Samson caught and sent into

the Philistines' fields, with fire-brands fastened to their tails, to burn the

crops. Like the lion, the fox is an animal that indicated the solar heat, being

well suited for this both by its color and by its long-haired tail."[68:2]

Bouchart, in his "Hierozoicon," observes that:

"At this period (i. e., the last third of April) they cut the corn in Palestine

and Lower Egypt, and a few days after the setting of the Hyads arose the Fox, in

whose train or tail comes the fires or torches of the dog-days, represented

among the Egyptians by red marks painted on the backs of their animals."[68:3]

Count de Volney also tells us that:

"The inhabitants of Carseoles, an ancient city of Latium, every year, in a

religious festival, burned a number of foxes with torches tied to their tails.

They gave, as the reason for this whimsical ceremony, that their corn had been

formerly burnt by a fox to whose tail a young man had fastened a bundle of

lighted straw."[68:4]

He concludes his account of this peculiar "religious festival," by saying:

"This is exactly the story of Samson with the Philistines, but it is a Phenician

tale. Car-Seol is a compound word in that tongue, signifying town of foxes. The

Philistines, originally from Egypt, do not appear to have had any colonies. The

Phenicians had a great many; and it can scarcely be admitted that they borrowed

this story from the Hebrews, as obscure as the Druses are in our own times, or

that a simple adventure gave rise to a religious ceremony; it evidently can only

be a mythological and allegorical narration."[68:4]

So much, then, for the foxes and fire-brands.

Samson's fourth exploit was when he smote the Philistines "hip and thigh," "with

great slaughter."

[Pg 69]It is related of Hercules that he had a combat with an army of Centaurs,

who were armed with pine sticks, rocks, axes, &c. They flocked in wild

confusion, and surrounded the cave of Pholos, where Hercules was, when a violent

fight ensued. Hercules was obliged to contend against this large armed force

single-handed, but he came off victorious, and slew a great number of

them.[69:1] Hercules also encountered and fought against an army of giants, at

the Phlegraean fields, near Cumae.[69:2]

Samson's next wonderful exploit was when "three thousand men of Judah" bound him

with cords and brought him up into Lehi, when the Philistines were about to take

his life. The cords with which he was bound immediately became as flax, and

loosened from off his hands. He then, with the jaw-bone of an ass, slew one

thousand Philistines.[69:3]

A very similar feature to this is found in the history of Hercules. He is made

prisoner by the Egyptians, who wish to take his life, but while they are

preparing to slay him, he breaks loose his bonds—having been tied with cords—and

kills Buseris, the leader of the band, and the whole retinue.[69:4]

On another occasion, being refused shelter from a storm at Kos, he was enraged

at the inhabitants, and accordingly destroyed the whole town.[69:5]

Samson, after he had slain a thousand Philistines, was "sore athirst," and

called upon Jehovah, his father in heaven, to succor him, whereupon, water

immediately gushed forth from "a hollow place that was in the jaw-bone."

Hercules, departing from the Indies (or rather Ethiopia), and conducting his

army through the desert of Lybia, feels a burning thirst, and conjures Ihou, his

father, to succor him in his danger.

[Pg 70]Instantly the (celestial) Ram appears. Hercules follows him and arrives

at a place where the Ram scrapes with his foot, and there instantly comes forth

a spring of water.[70:1]

Samson's sixth exploit happened when he went to Gaza to visit a harlot. The

Gazites, who wished to take his life, laid wait for him all night, but Samson

left the town at midnight, and took with him the gates of the city, and the two

posts, on his shoulders. He carried them to the top of a hill, some fifty miles

away, and left them there.

This story very much resembles that of the "Pillars of Hercules," called the

"Gates of Cadiz."[70:2]

Count de Volney tells us that:

"Hercules was represented naked, carrying on his shoulders two columns called

the Gates of Cadiz."[70:3]

"The Pillars of Hercules" was the name given by the ancients to the two rocks

forming the entrance or gate to the Mediterranean at the Strait of

Gibraltar.[70:4] Their erection was ascribed by the Greeks to Hercules, on the

occasion of his journey to the kingdom of Geryon. According to one version of

the story, they had been united, but Hercules tore them asunder.[70:5]

Fig. No. 3 is a representation of Hercules with the two posts or pillars on his

shoulders, as alluded to by Count de Volney. We have taken it from Montfaucon's

"L'Antiquité Expliquée."[70:6]

J. P. Lundy says of this:

[Pg 71]"Hercules carrying his two columns to erect at the Straits of Gibraltar,

may have some reference to the Hebrew story."[71:1]

We think there is no doubt of it. By changing the name Hercules into Samson, the

legend is complete.

Sir William Drummond tells us, in his "Œdipus Judaicus," that:

"Gaza signifies a Goat, and was the type of the Sun in Capricorn. The Gates of

the Sun were feigned by the ancient Astronomers to be in Capricorn and Cancer

(that is, in Gaza), from which signs the tropics are named. Samson carried away

the gates from Gaza to Hebron, the city of conjunction. Now, Count Gebelin tells

us that at Cadiz, where Hercules was anciently worshiped, there was a

representation of him, with a gate on his shoulders."[71:2]

The stories of the amours of Samson with Delilah and other females, are simply

counterparts of those of Hercules with Omphale and Iole. Montfaucon, speaking of

this, says:

"Nothing is better known in the fables (related of Hercules) than his amours

with Omphale and Iole."[71:3]

Prof. Steinthal says:

"The circumstance that Samson is so addicted to sexual pleasure, has its origin

in the remembrance that the Solar god is the god of fruitfulness and

procreation. We have as examples, the amours of Hercules and Omphale; Ninyas, in

Assyria, with Semiramis; Samson, in Philistia, with Delila, whilst among the

Phenicians, Melkart pursues Dido-Anna."[71:4]

Samson is said to have had long hair. "There hath not come a razor upon my

head," says he, "for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother's womb."

Now, strange as it may appear, Hercules is said to have had long hair also, and

he was often represented that way. In Montfaucon's "L'Antiquité Expliquée"[71:5]

may be seen a representation of Hercules with hair reaching almost to his waist.

Almost all Sun-gods are represented thus.[71:6]

Prof. Goldzhier says:

"Long locks of hair and a long beard are mythological attributes of the Sun. The

Sun's rays are compared with locks of hair on the face or head of the Sun.

[Pg 72]"When the sun sets and leaves his place to the darkness, or when the

powerful Summer Sun is succeeded by the weak rays of the Winter Sun, then

Samson's long locks, in which alone his strength lies, are cut off through the

treachery of his deceitful concubine, Delilah, the 'languishing, languid,'

according to the meaning of the name (Delilah). The Beaming Apollo, moreover, is

called the Unshaven; and Minos cannot conquer the solar hero Nisos, till the

latter loses his golden hair."[72:1]

Through the influence of Delilah, Samson is at last made a prisoner. He tells

her the secret of his strength, the seven locks of hair are shaven off, and his

strength leaves him. The shearing of the locks of the Sun must be followed by

darkness and ruin.

From the shoulders of Phoibos Lykêgênes flow the sacred locks, over which no

razor might pass, and on the head of Nisos they become a palladium, invested

with a mysterious power.[72:2] The long locks of hair which flow over his

shoulders are taken from his head by Skylla, while he is asleep, and, like

another Delilah, she thus delivers him and his people into the power of

Minos.[72:3]

Prof. Steinthal says of Samson:

"His hair is a figure of increase and luxuriant fullness. In Winter, when nature

appears to have lost all strength, the god of growing young life has lost his

hair. In the Spring the hair grows again, and nature returns to life again. Of

this original conception the Bible story still preserves a trace. Samson's hair,

after being cut off, grows again, and his strength comes back with it."[72:4]

Towards the end of his career, Samson's eyes are put out. Even here, the Hebrew

writes with a singular fidelity to the old mythical speech. The tender light of

evening is blotted out by the dark vapors; the light of the Sun is quenched in

gloom. Samson's eyes are put out.

Œdipus, whose history resembles that of Samson and Hercules in many respects,

tears out his eyes, towards the end of his career. In other words, the Sun has

blinded himself. Clouds and darkness have closed in about him, and the clear

light is blotted out of the heaven.[72:5]

The final act, Samson's death, reminds us clearly and decisively of the

Phenician Hercules, as Sun-god, who died at the Winter Solstice in the furthest

West, where his two pillars are set up to mark the end of his wanderings.

Samson also died at the two pillars, but in his case they are not the Pillars of

the World, but are only set up in the middle of a great banqueting-hall. A feast

was being held in honor of [Pg 73]Dagon, the Fish-god; the Sun was in the sign

of the Waterman, Samson, the Sun-god, died.[73:1]

The ethnology of the name of Samson, as well as his adventures, are very closely

connected with the Solar Hercules. "Samson" was the name of the Sun.[73:2] In

Arabic, "Shams-on" means the Sun.[73:3] Samson had seven locks of hair, the

number of the planetary bodies.[73:4]

The author of "The Religion of Israel," speaking of Samson, says:

"The story of Samson and his deeds originated in a Solar myth, which was

afterwards transformed by the narrator into a saga about a mighty hero and

deliverer of Israel. The very name 'Samson,' is derived from the Hebrew word,

and means 'Sun.' The hero's flowing locks were originally the rays of the sun,

and other traces of the old myth have been preserved."[73:5]

Prof. Oort says:

"The story of Samson is simply a solar myth. In some of the features of the

story the original meaning may be traced quite clearly, but in others the myth

can no longer be recognized. The exploits of some Danite hero, such as Shamgar,

who 'slew six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad' (Judges iii. 31), have been

woven into it; the whole has been remodeled after the ideas of the prophets of

later ages, and finally, it has been fitted into the framework of the period of

the Judges, as conceived by the writer of the book called after them."[73:6]

Again he says:

"The myth that lies at the foundation of this story is a description of the

sun's course during the six winter months. The god is gradually encompassed by

his enemies, mist and darkness. At first he easily maintains his freedom, and

gives glorious proofs of his strength; but the fetters grow stronger and

stronger, until at last he is robbed of his crown of rays, and loses all his

power and glory. Such is the Sun in Winter. But he has not lost his splendor

forever. Gradually his strength returns, at last he reappears; and though he

still seems to allow himself to be mocked, yet the power of avenging himself has

returned, and in the end he triumphs over his enemies once more."[73:7]

Other nations beside the Hebrews and Greeks had their "mighty men" and

lion-killers. The Hindoos had their Samson. His name was Bala-Rama, the "Strong

Rama." He was considered by some an incarnation of Vishnu.[73:8]

[Pg 74]Captain Wilford says, in "Asiatic Researches:"

"The Indian Hercules, according to Cicero, was called Belus. He is the same as

Bala, the brother of Crishna, and both are conjointly worshiped at Mutra;

indeed, they are considered as one Avatar or Incarnation of Vishnou. Bala is

represented as a stout man, with a club in his hand. He is also called

Bala-rama."[74:1]

There is a Hindoo legend which relates that Sevah had an encounter with a tiger,

"whose mouth expanded like a cave, and whose voice resembled thunder." He slew

the monster, and, like Hercules, covered himself with the skin.[74:2]

The Assyrians and Lydians, both Semitic nations, worshiped a Sun-god named

Sandan or Sandon. He also was believed to be a lion-killer, and frequently

figured struggling with the lion, or standing upon the slain lion.[74:3]

Ninevah, too, had her mighty hero and king, who slew a lion and other monsters.

Layard, in his excavations, discovered a bas-relief representation of this hero

triumphing over the lion and wild bull.[74:4]

The Ancient Babylonians had a hero lion-slayer, Izdubar by name. The destruction

of the lion, and other monsters, by Izdubar, is often depicted on the cylinders

and engraved gems belonging to the early Babylonian monarchy.[74:5]

Izdubar is represented as a great or mighty man, who, in the early days after

the flood, destroyed wild animals, and conquered a number of petty kings.[74:6]

Izdubar resembles the Grecian hero, Hercules, in other respects than as a

destroyer of wild animals, &c. We are told that he "wandered to the regions

where gigantic composite monsters held and controlled the rising and setting

sun, from these learned the road to the region of the blessed, and passing

across a great waste of land, he arrived at a region where splendid trees were

laden with jewels."[74:7]

He also resembles Hercules, Samson, and other solar-gods, in the particular of

long flowing locks of hair. In the Babylonian and Assyrian sculptures he is

always represented with a marked physiognomy, and always indicated as a man with

masses of curls over his head and a large curly beard.[74:8]

[Pg 75]Here, evidently, is the Babylonian legend of Hercules. He too was a

wanderer, going from the furthest East to the furthest West. He crossed "a great

waste of land" (the desert of Lybia), visited "the region of the blessed," where

there were "splendid trees laden with jewels" (golden apples).

The ancient Egyptians had their Hercules. According to Herodotus, he was known

several thousand years before the Grecian hero of that name. This the Egyptians

affirmed, and that he was born in their country.[75:1]

The story of Hercules was known in the Island of Thasos, by the Phenician colony

settled there, five centuries before he was known in Greece.[75:2] Fig. No. 4 is

from an ancient representation of Hercules in conflict with the lion, taken from

Gorio.

Another mighty hero was the Grecian Bellerophon. The minstrels sang of the

beauty and the great deeds of Bellerophon throughout all the land of Argos. His

arm was strong in battle; his feet were swift in the chase. None that were poor

and weak and wretched feared the might of Bellerophon. To them the sight of his

beautiful form brought only joy and gladness; but the proud and boastful, the

slanderer and the robber, dreaded the glance of his keen eye. For a long time he

fought the Solymi and the Amazons, until all his enemies shrank from the stroke

of his mighty arm, and sought for mercy.[75:3]

The second of the principal gods of the Ancient Scandinavians was named Thor,

and was no less known than Odin among the Teutonic nations. The Edda calls him

expressly the most valiant of the sons of Odin. He was considered the "defender"

and "avenger." He always carried a mallet, which, as often as he discharged it,

returned to his hand of itself; he grasped it with gauntlets of iron, and was

further possessed of a girdle which had the virtue of renewing his strength as

often as was needful. It was with these formidable arms that he overthrew to the

ground the monsters and giants, when he was sent by the gods to oppose their

enemies. He was represented of gigantic size, and as the stoutest and strongest

[Pg 76]of the gods.[76:1] Thor was simply the Hercules of the Northern nations.

He was the Sun personified.[76:2]

Without enumerating them, we can safely say, that there was not a nation of

antiquity, from the remotest East to the furthest West, that did not have its

mighty hero, and counterpart of Hercules and Samson.[76:3]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[62:1] The idea of a woman conceiving, and bearing a son in her old age, seems

to have been a Hebrew peculiarity, as a number of their remarkable personages

were born, so it is said, of parents well advanced in years, or of a woman who

was supposed to have been barren. As illustrations, we may mention this case of

Samson, and that of Joseph being born of Rachel. The beautiful Rachel, who was

so much beloved by Jacob, her husband, was barren, and she bore him no sons.

This caused grief and discontent on her part, and anger on the part of her

husband. In her old age, however, she bore the wonderful child Joseph. (See

Genesis, xxx. 1-29.)

Isaac was born of a woman (Sarah) who had been barren many years. An angel

appeared to her when her lord (Abraham) "was ninety years old and nine," and

informed her that she would conceive and bear a son. (See Gen. xvi.)

Samuel, the "holy man," was also born of a woman (Hannah) who had been barren

many years. In grief, she prayed to the Lord for a child, and was finally

comforted by receiving her wish. (See 1 Samuel, i. 1-20.)

John the Baptist was also a miraculously conceived infant. His mother,

Elizabeth, bore him in her old age. An angel also informed her and her husband

Zachariah, that this event would take place. (See Luke, i. 1-25.)

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was born of a woman (Anna) who was "old and stricken

in years," and who had been barren all her life. An angel appeared to Anna and

her husband (Joachim), and told them what was about to take place. (See "The

Gospel of Mary," Apoc.)

Thus we see, that the idea of a wonderful child being born of a woman who had

passed the age which nature had destined for her to bear children, and who had

been barren all her life, was a favorite one among the Hebrews. The idea that

the ancestors of a race lived to a fabulous old age, is also a familiar one

among the ancients.

Most ancient nations relate in their fables that their ancestors lived to be

very old men. For instance; the Persian patriarch Kaiomaras reigned 560 years;

Jemshid reigned 300 years; Jahmurash reigned 700 years; Dahâk reigned 1000

years; Feridun reigned 120 years; Manugeher reigned 500 years; Kaikans reigned

150 years; and Bahaman reigned 112 years. (See Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. 155,

note.)

[64:1] Judges, xiv.

[65:1] Judges, xv.

[66:1] Judges, xvi.

[66:2] Perhaps that of Izdubar. See chapter xi.

[66:3] Hebrew Mythology, p. 248.

[66:4] Manual of Mythology, p. 248. The Age of Fable, p. 200.

[67:1] Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 200.

[67:2] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 249.

[67:3] Roman Antiquities, p. 124; and Montfaucon, vol. i. plate cxxvi.

[67:4] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 249.

[67:5] See Ibid. Greek and Italian Mythology, p. 129, and Montfaucon, vol. i.

plate cxxv. and cxxvi.

[67:6] Manual of Mythology, p. 247.

[67:7] "It has many heads, one being immortal, as the storm must constantly

supply new clouds while the vapors are driven off by the Sun into space. Hence

the story went that although Herakles could burn away its mortal heads, as the

Sun burns up the clouds, still he can but hide away the mist or vapor itself,

which at its appointed time must again darken the sky." (Cox: Aryan Mytho., vol.

ii. p. 48.)

[67:8] See Manual of Mytho., p. 250.

[68:1] Steinthal: The Legend of Samson, p. 398. See, also, Higgins: Anacalypsis,

vol. i. p. 240, and Volney: Researches in Anc't History, p. 42.

[68:2] Ibid.

[68:3] Quoted by Count de Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 42, note.

[68:4] Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 42.

[69:1] See Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 251.

"The slaughter of the Centaurs by Hercules is the conquest and dispersion of the

vapors by the Sun as he rises in the heaven." (Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p.

47.)

[69:2] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 257.

[69:3] Shamgar also slew six hundred Philistines with an ox goad. (See Judges,

iii. 31.)

"It is scarcely necessary to say that these weapons are the heritage of all the

Solar heroes, that they are found in the hands of Phebus and Herakles, of

Œdipus, Achilleus, Philoktetes, of Siguard, Rustem, Indra, Isfendujar, of

Telephos, Meleagros, Theseus, Kadmos, Bellerophon, and all other slayers of

noxious and fearful things." (Rev. Geo. Cox: Tales of Ancient Greece, p. xxvii.)

[69:4] See Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 41. Higgins: Anacalypsis,

vol. i. p. 239; Montfaucon: L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 213, and Murray:

Manual of Mythology, pp. 259-262.

It is evident that Herodotus, the Grecian historian, was somewhat of a skeptic,

for he says: "The Grecians say that 'When Hercules arrived in Egypt, the

Egyptians, having crowned him with a garland, led him in procession, as

designing to sacrifice him to Jupiter, and that for some time he remained quiet,

but when they began the preparatory ceremonies upon him at the altar, he set

about defending himself and slew every one of them.' Now, since Hercules was but

one, and, besides, a mere man, as they confess, how is it possible that he

should slay many thousands?" (Herodotus, book ii. ch. 45).

[69:5] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 263.

[70:1] Volney: Researches in Anc't History, pp. 41, 42.

In Bell's "Pantheon of the Gods and Demi-Gods of Antiquity," we read, under the

head of Ammon or Hammon (the name of the Egyptian Jupiter, worshiped under the

figure of a Ram), that: "Bacchus having subdued Asia, and passing with his army

through the deserts of Africa, was in great want of water; but Jupiter, his

father, assuming the shape of a Ram, led him to a fountain, where he refreshed

himself and his army; in requital of which favor, Bacchus built there a temple

to Jupiter, under the title of Ammon."

[70:2] Cadiz (ancient Gades), being situated near the mouth of the

Mediterranean. The first author who mentions the Pillars of Hercules is Pindar,

and he places them there. (Chambers's Encyclo. "Hercules.")

[70:3] Volney's Researches, p. 41. See also Tylor: Primitive Culture, vol. i. p.

357.

[70:4] See Chambers's Encyclopædia, Art. "Hercules." Cory's Ancient Fragments,

p. 36, note; and Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 201.

[70:5] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Hercules."

[70:6] Vol. i. plate cxxvii.

[71:1] Monumental Christianity, p. 399.

[71:2] Œd. Jud. p. 360, in Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 239.

[71:3] "Rien de plus connu dans la fable que ses amours avec Omphale et

Iole."—L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 224.

[71:4] The Legend of Samson, p. 404.

[71:5] Vol. i. plate cxxvii.

[71:6] "Samson was remarkable for his long hair. The meaning of this trait in

the original myth is easy to guess, and appears also from representations of the

Sun-god amongst other peoples. These long hairs are the rays of the Sun." (Bible

for Learners, i. 416.)

"The beauty of the sun's rays is signified by the golden locks of Phoibos, over

which no razor has ever passed; by the flowing hair which streams from the head

of Kephalos, and falls over the shoulders of Perseus and Bellerophon." (Cox:

Aryan Mytho., vol. i. p. 107.)

[72:1] Hebrew Mytho., pp. 137, 138.

[72:2] Cox: Aryan Myths, vol. i. p. 84.

[72:3] Tales of Ancient Greece, p. xxix.

[72:4] The Legend of Samson, p. 408.

[72:5] Cox: Aryan Mytho., vol. ii. p. 72.

[73:1] The Legend of Samson, p. 406.

[73:2] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 237. Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, p.

22. The Religion of Israel, p. 61. The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 418.

Volney's Ruins, p. 41, and Stanley: History of the Jewish Church, where he says:

"His name, which Josephus interprets in the sense of 'strong,' was still more

characteristic. He was 'the Sunny'—the bright and beaming, though wayward,

likeness of the great luminary."

[73:3] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 237, and Volney's Researches, p. 43,

note.

[73:4] See chapter ii.

[73:5] The Religion of Israel, p. 61. "The yellow hair of Apollo was a symbol of

the solar rays." (Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 679.)

[73:6] Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 414.

[73:7] Ibid. p. 422.

[73:8] Williams' Hinduism, pp. 108 and 167.

[74:1] Vol. v. p. 270.

[74:2] Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 155.

[74:3] Steinthal: The Legend of Samson, p. 386.

[74:4] Buckley: Cities of the World, 41, 42.

[74:5] Smith: Assyrian Discoveries, p. 167, and Chaldean Account of Genesis, p.

174.

[74:6] Assyrian Discoveries, p. 205, and Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 174.

[74:7] Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 310.

[74:8] Ibid. pp. 193, 194, 174.

[75:1] See Tacitus: Annals, book ii. ch. lix.

[75:2] Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 92.

[75:3] See Tales of Ancient Greece, p. 153.

[76:1] See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, pp. 94, 417, and 514.

[76:2] See Cox: Aryan Mythology.

[76:3] See vol. i. of Aryan Mythology, by Rev. G. W. Cox.

"Besides the fabulous Hercules, the son of Jupiter and Alcmena, there was, in

ancient times, no warlike nation who did not boast of its own particular

Hercules." (Arthur Murphy, Translator of Tacitus.)

 

 

 

[Pg 77]CHAPTER IX.

JONAH SWALLOWED BY A BIG FISH.

In the book of Jonah, containing four chapters, we are told the word of the Lord

came unto Jonah, saying: "Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against

it, for their wickedness is come up against me."

Instead of obeying this command Jonah sought to flee "from the presence of the

Lord," by going to Tarshish. For this purpose he went to Joppa, and there took

ship for Tarshish. But the Lord sent a great wind, and there was a mighty

tempest, so that the ship was likely to be broken.

The mariners being afraid, they cried every one unto his God; and casting

lots—that they might know which of them was the cause of the storm—the lot fell

upon Jonah, showing him to be the guilty man.

The mariners then said unto him; "What shall we do unto thee?" Jonah in reply

said, "Take me up and cast me forth into the sea, for I know that for my sake

this great tempest is upon you." So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the

sea, and the sea ceased raging.

And the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the

belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord

out of the fish's belly. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out

Jonah upon the dry land.

The Lord again spake unto Jonah and said:

"Go unto Ninevah and preach unto it." So Jonah arose and went unto Ninevah,

according to the command of the Lord, and preached unto it.

There is a Hindoo fable, very much resembling this, to be found in the Somadeva

Bhatta, of a person by the name of Saktideva who was swallowed by a huge fish,

and finally came out unhurt. The story is as follows:

"There was once a king's daughter who would marry no one [Pg 78]but the man who

had seen the Golden City—of legendary fame—and Saktideva was in love with her;

so he went travelling about the world seeking some one who could tell him where

this Golden City was. In the course of his journeys he embarked on board a ship

bound for the Island of Utsthala, where lived the King of the Fishermen, who,

Saktideva hoped, would set him on his way. On the voyage there arose a great

storm and the ship went to pieces, and a great fish swallowed Saktideva whole.

Then, driven by the force of fate, the fish went to the Island of Utsthala, and

there the servants of the King of the Fishermen caught it, and the king,

wondering at its size, had it cut open, and Saktideva came out unhurt."[78:1]

In Grecian fable, Hercules is said to have been swallowed by a whale, at a place

called Joppa, and to have lain three days in his entrails.

Bernard de Montfaucon, speaking of Jonah being swallowed by a whale, and

describing a piece of Grecian sculpture representing Hercules standing by a huge

sea monster, says:

"Some ancients relate to the effect that Hercules was also swallowed by the

whale that was watching Hesione, that he remained three days in his belly, and

that he came out bald-pated after his sojourn there."[78:2]

Bouchet, in his "Hist. d'Animal," tells us that:

"The great fish which swallowed up Jonah, although it be called a whale (Matt.

xii. 40), yet it was not a whale, properly so called, but a Dog-fish, called

Carcharias. Therefore in the Grecian fable Hercules is said to have been

swallowed up of a Dag, and to have lain three days in his entrails."[78:3]

Godfrey Higgins says, on this subject:

"The story of Jonas swallowed up by a whale, is nothing but part of the fiction

of Hercules, described in the Heracleid or Labors of Hercules, of whom the same

story was told, and who was swallowed up at the very same place, Joppa, and for

the same period of time, three days. Lycophron says that Hercules was three

nights in the belly of a fish."[78:4]

We have still another similar story in that of "Arion the Musician," who, being

thrown overboard, was caught on the back of a Dolphin and landed safe on shore.

The story is related in "Tales of Ancient Greece," as follows:

Arion was a Corinthian harper who had travelled in Sicily and

[Pg 79]Italy, and had accumulated great wealth. Being desirous of again seeing

his native city, he set sail from Taras for Corinth. The sailors in the ship,

having seen the large boxes full of money which Arion had brought with him into

the ship, made up their minds to kill him and take his gold and silver. So one

day when he was sitting on the bow of the ship, and looking down on the dark

blue sea, three or four of the sailors came to him and said they were going to

kill him. Now Arion knew they said this because they wanted his money; so he

promised to give them all he had if they would spare his life. But they would

not. Then he asked them to let him jump into the sea. When they had given him

leave to do this, Arion took one last look at the bright and sunny sky, and then

leaped into the sea, and the sailors saw him no more. But Arion was not drowned

in the sea, for a great fish called a dolphin was swimming by the ship when

Arion leaped over; and it caught him on its back and swam away with him towards

Corinth. So presently the fish came close to the shore and left Arion on the

beach, and swam away again into the deep sea.[79:1]

There is also a Persian legend to the effect that Jemshid was devoured by a

great monster waiting for him at the bottom of the sea, but afterwards rises

again out of the sea, like Jonah in the Hebrew, and Hercules in the Phenician

myth.[79:2] This legend was also found in the myths of the New World.[79:3]

It was urged, many years ago, by Rosenmüller—an eminent German divine and

professor of theology—and other critics, that the miracle recorded in the book

of Jonah is not to be regarded as an historical fact, "but only as an allegory,

founded on the Phenician myth of Hercules rescuing Hesione from the sea monster

by leaping himself into its jaws, and for three days and three nights continuing

to tear its entrails."[79:4]

That the story is an allegory, and that it, as well as that of Saktideva,

Hercules and the rest, are simply different versions of the same myth, the

significance of which is the alternate swallowing up and casting forth of Day,

or the Sun, by Night, is now all but universally admitted by scholars. The Day,

or the Sun, is swallowed up by Night, to be set free again at dawn, and from

time to time suffers a like but shorter durance in the maw of the eclipse and

the storm-cloud.[79:5]

Professor Goldzhier says:

[Pg 80]"The most prominent mythical characteristic of the story of Jonah is his

celebrated abode in the sea in the belly of a whale. This trait is eminently

Solar. . . . As on occasion of the storm the storm-dragon or the storm-serpent

swallows the Sun, so when he sets, he (Jonah, as a personification of the Sun)

is swallowed by a mighty fish, waiting for him at the bottom of the sea. Then,

when he appears again on the horizon, he is spit out on the shore by the

sea-monster."[80:1]

The Sun was called Jona, as appears from Gruter's inscriptions, and other

sources.[80:2]

In the Vedas—the four sacred books of the Hindoos—when Day and Night, Sun and

Darkness, are opposed to each other, the one is designated Red, the other

Black.[80:3]

The Red Sun being swallowed up by the Dark Earth at Night—as it apparently is

when it sets in the west—to be cast forth again at Day, is also illustrated in

like manner. Jonah, Hercules and others personify the Sun, and a huge Fish

represents the Earth.[80:4] The Earth represented as a huge Fish is one of the

most prominent ideas of the Polynesian mythology.[80:5]

At other times, instead of a Fish, we have a great raving Wolf, who comes to

devour its victim and extinguish the Sun-light.[80:6] The Wolf is particularly

distinguished in ancient Scandinavian mythology, being employed as an emblem of

the Destroying Power, which attempts to destroy the Sun.[80:7] This is

illustrated in the story of Little Red Riding-Hood (the Sun)[80:8] who is

devoured by the great Black Wolf (Night) and afterwards comes out unhurt.[80:9]

The story of Little Red Riding-Hood is mutilated in the English version. The

original story was that the little maid, in her shining Red Cloak, was swallowed

by the great Black Wolf, and that she came out safe and sound when the hunters

cut open the sleeping beast.[80:10]

[Pg 81]In regard to these heroes remaining three days and three nights in the

bowels of the Fish, they represent the Sun at the Winter Solstice. From December

22d to the 25th—that is, for three days and three nights—the Sun remains in the

Lowest Regions, in the bowels of the Earth, in the belly of the Fish; it is then

cast forth and renews its career.

Thus, we see that the story of Jonah being swallowed by a big fish, meant

originally the Sun swallowed up by Night, and that it is identical with the

well-known nursery-tale. How such legends are transformed from intelligible into

unintelligible myths, is very clearly illustrated by Prof. Max Müller, who, in

speaking of "the comparison of the different forms of Aryan Religion and

Mythology," in India, Persia, Greece, Italy and Germany, says:

"In each of these nations there was a tendency to change the original conception

of divine powers; to misunderstand the many names given to these powers, and to

misinterpret the praises addressed to them. In this manner some of the divine

names were changed into half-divine, half-human heroes, and at last the myths

which were true and intelligible as told originally of the Sun, or the Dawn, or

the Storms, were turned into legends or fables too marvellous to be believed of

common mortals. This process can be watched in India, in Greece, and in Germany.

The same story, or nearly the same, is told of gods, of heroes, and of men. The

divine myth became an heroic legend, and the heroic legend fades away into a

nursery tale. Our nursery tales have well been called the modern patois of the

ancient sacred mythology of the Aryan race."[81:1]

How striking are these words; how plainly they illustrate the process by which

the story, that was true and intelligible as told originally of the Day being

swallowed up by Night, or the Sun being swallowed up by the Earth, was

transformed into a legend or fable, too marvellous to be believed by common

mortals. How the "divine myth" became an "heroic legend," and how the heroic

legend faded away into a "nursery tale."

In regard to Jonah's going to the city of Ninevah, and preaching unto the

inhabitants, we believe that the old "Myth of Civilization," [Pg 82]so

called,[82:1] is partly interwoven here, and that, in this respect, he is

nothing more than the Indian Fish Avatar of Vishnou, or the Chaldean Oannes. At

his first Avatar, Vishnou is alleged to have appeared to humanity in form like a

fish,[82:2] or half-man and half-fish, just as Oannes and Dagon were represented

among the Chaldeans and other nations. In the temple of Rama, in India, there is

a representation of Vishnou which answers perfectly to that of Dagon.[82:3] Mr.

Maurice, in his "Hist. Hindostan," has proved the identity of the Syrian Dagon

and the Indian Fish Avatar, and concludes by saying:

"From the foregoing and a variety of parallel circumstances, I am inclined to

think that the Chaldean Oannes, the Phenician and Philistian Dagon, and the

Pisces of the Syrian and Egyptian Zodiac, were the same deity with the Indian

Vishnu."[82:4]

In the old mythological remains of the Chaldeans, compiled by Berosus, Abydenus,

and Polyhistor, there is an account of one Oannes, a fish-god, who rendered

great service to mankind.[82:5] This being is said to have come out of the

Erythraean Sea.[82:6] This is evidently the Sun rising out of the sea, as it

apparently does, in the East.[82:7]

Prof. Goldzhier, speaking of Oannes, says:

"That this founder of civilization has a Solar character, like similar heroes in

all other nations, is shown . . . in the words of Berosus, who says: 'During the

day-time Oannes held intercourse with man, but when the Sun set, Oannes fell

into the sea, where he used to pass the night.' Here, evidently, only the Sun

can be meant, who, in the evening, dips into the sea, and comes forth again in

the morning, and passes the day on the dry land in the company of men."[82:8]

Dagon was sometimes represented as a man emerging from a fish's mouth, and

sometimes as half-man and half-fish.[82:9] It was believed that he came in a

ship, and taught the people. Ancient history abounds with such mythological

personages.[82:10] There was also a Durga, a fish deity, among the Hindoos,

represented as a full grown man emerging from a fish's mouth[82:9] The

Philistines [Pg 83]worshiped Dagon, and in Babylonian Mythology Odakon is

applied to a fish-like being, who rose from the waters of the Red Sea as one of

the benefactors of men.[83:1]

On the coins of Ascalon, where she was held in great honor, the goddess Derceto

or Atergatis is represented as a woman with her lower extremities like a fish.

This is Semiramis, who appeared at Joppa as a mermaid. She is simply a

personification of the Moon, who follows the course of the Sun. At times she

manifests herself to the eyes of men, at others she seeks concealment in the

Western flood.[83:2]

The Sun-god Phoibos traverses the sea in the form of a fish, and imparts lessons

of wisdom and goodness when he has come forth from the green depths. All these

powers or qualities are shared by Proteus in Hellenic story, as well as by the

fish-god, Dagon or Oannes.[83:3]

In the Iliad and Odyssey, Atlas is brought into close connection with Helios,

the bright god, the Latin Sol, and our Sun. In these poems he rises every

morning from a beautiful lake by the deep-flowing stream of Ocean, and having

accomplished his journey across the heavens, plunges again into the Western

waters.[83:4]

The ancient Mexicans and Peruvians had likewise semi-fish gods.[83:5]

Jonah then, is like these other personages, in so far as they are all

personifications of the Sun; they all come out of the sea; they are all

represented as a man emerging from a fish's mouth; and they are all benefactors

of mankind. We believe, therefore, that it is one and the same myth, whether

Oannes, Joannes, or Jonas,[83:6] differing to a certain extent among different

nations, just as we find to be the case with other legends. This we have just

seen illustrated in the story of "Little Red Riding-Hood," which is considerably

mutilated in the English version.

[Pg 84]Fig. No. 5 is a representation of Dagon, intended to illustrate a

creature half-man and half-fish; or, perhaps, a man emerging from a fish's

mouth. It is taken from Layard. Fig. No. 6[84:1] is a representation of the

Indian Avatar of Vishnou, coming forth from the fish.[84:2] It would answer just

as well for a representation of Jonah, as it does for the Hindoo divinity. It

should be noticed that in both of these, the god has a crown on his head,

surmounted with a triple ornament, both of which had evidently the same meaning,

i. e., an emblem of the trinity.[84:3] The Indian Avatar being represented with

four arms, evidently means that he is god of the whole world, his four arms

extending to the four corners of the world. The circle, which is seen in one

hand, is an emblem of eternal reward. The shell, with its eight convolutions, is

intended to show the place in the number of the cycles which he occupied. The

book and sword are to show that he ruled both in the right of the book and of

the sword.[84:4]

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[78:1] Tylor: Early Hist. Mankind, pp. 344, 345.

[78:2] "En effet, quelques anciens disent qu' Hercule fut aussi devorà par la

beleine qui gurdoit Hesione, qu'il demeura trois jours dans son ventre, et qu'il

sortit chauve de ce sejour." (L'Antiquité Expliqueé, vol. i. p. 204.)

[78:3] Bouchet: Hist. d'Animal, in Anac., vol. i. p. 240.

[78:4] Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 638. See also Tylor: Primitive Culture, vol. i.

p. 306, and Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Jonah."

[79:1] Tales of Ancient Greece, p. 296.

[79:2] See Hebrew Mythology, p. 203.

[79:3] See Tylor's Early Hist. Mankind, and Primitive Culture, vol. i.

[79:4] Chambers's Encyclo., art. Jonah.

[79:5] See Fiske: Myths and Myth Makers, p. 77, and note; and Tylor: Primitive

Culture, i. 302.

[80:1] Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, pp. 102, 103.

[80:2] This is seen from the following, taken from Pictet: "Du Culte des

Carabi," p. 104, and quoted by Higgins: Anac., vol. i. p. 650: "Vallancy dit que

Ionn étoit le même que Baal. En Gallois Jon, le Seigneur, Dieu, la cause

prémière. En Basque Jawna, Jon, Jona, &c., Dieu, et Seigneur, Maître. Les

Scandinaves appeloient le Soleil John. . . . Une des inscriptions de Gruter

montre ques les Troyens adoroient le même astre sous le nom de Jona. En Persan

le Soleil est appelè Jawnah." Thus we see that the Sun was called Jonah, by

different nations of antiquity.

[80:3] See Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, p. 148.

[80:4] See Tylor: Early History of Mankind, p. 845, and Goldzhier: Hebrew

Mythology, pp. 102, 103.

[80:5] See Tylor: Early History of Mankind, p. 345.

[80:6] Fiske: Myths and Myth Makers, p. 77.

[80:7] See Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, pp. 88, 89, and Mallet's Northern

Antiquities.

[80:8] In ancient Scandinavian mythology, the Sun is personified in the form of

a beautiful maiden. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 458.)

[80:9] See Fiske: Myths and Myth Makers, p. 77. Bunce: Fairy Tales, 161.

[80:10] Tylor: Primitive Culture, vol. i. p. 307.

"The story of Little Red Riding-Hood, as we call her, or Little Red-Cap, came

from the same (i. e., the ancient Aryan) source, and refers to the Sun and the

Night."

"One of the fancies of the most ancient Aryan or Hindoo stories was that there

was a great dragon that was trying to devour the Sun, and to prevent him from

shining upon the earth and filling it with brightness and life and beauty, and

that Indra, the Sun-god, killed the dragon. Now, this is the meaning of Little

Red Riding-Hood, as it is told in our nursery tales. Little Red Riding-Hood is

the evening Sun, which is always described as red or golden; the old grandmother

is the earth, to whom the rays of the Sun bring warmth and comfort. The

wolf—which is a well-known figure for the clouds and darkness of night—is the

dragon in another form. First he devours the grandmother; that is, he wraps the

earth in thick clouds, which the evening Sun is not strong enough to pierce

through. Then, with the darkness of night, he swallows up the evening Sun

itself, and all is dark and desolate. Then, as in the German tale, the

night-thunder and the storm-winds are represented by the loud snoring of the

wolf; and then the huntsman, the morning Sun, comes in all his strength and

majesty, and chases away the night-clouds and kills the wolf, and revives old

Grandmother Earth, and brings Little Red Riding-Hood to life again." (Bunce,

Fairy Tales, their Origin and Meaning, p. 161.)

[81:1] Müller's Chips, vol. ii. p. 260.

[82:1] See Goldzhier's Hebrew Mythology, p. 198, et seq.

[82:2] See Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 277.

[82:3] See Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 259. Also, Fig. No. 5, next page.

[82:4] Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. pp. 418-419.

[82:5] See Pilchard's Egyptian Mythology, p. 190. Bible for Learners, vol. i. p.

87. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 646. Cory's Ancient Fragments, p. 57.

[82:6] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 646. Smith: Chaldean Account of

Genesis, p. 39, and Cory's Ancient Fragments, p. 57.

[82:7] Civilizing gods, who diffuse intelligence and instruct barbarians, are

also Solar Deities. Among these Oannes takes his place, as the Sun-god, giving

knowledge and civilization. (Rev. S. Baring-Gould: Curious Myths, p. 367.)

[82:8] Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, pp. 214, 215.

[82:9] See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. i. p. 111.

[82:10] See Chamber's Encyclo., art "Dagon."

[83:1] See Smith's Dictionary of the Bible, and Chambers's Encyclo., art.

"Dagon" in both.

[83:2] See Baring-Gould's Curious Myths.

[83:3] See Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 26.

[83:4] Ibid. p. 38.

[83:5] Curious Myths, p. 372.

[83:6] Since writing the above we find that Mr. Bryant, in his "Analysis of

Ancient Mythology" (vol. ii. p. 291), speaking of the mystical nature of the

name John, which is the same as Jonah, says: "The prophet who was sent upon an

embassy to the Ninevites, is styled Ionas: a title probably bestowed upon him as

a messenger of the Deity. The great Patriarch who preached righteousness to the

Antediluvians, is styled Oan and Oannes, which is the same as Jonah."

[84:1] From Maurice: Hist. Hindostan, vol. i. p. 495.

[84:2] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 634. See also, Calmet's Fragments, 2d

Hundred, p. 78.

[84:3] See the chapter on "The Trinity," in part second.

[84:4] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 640.

 

 

 

[Pg 85]CHAPTER X.

CIRCUMCISION.

In the words of the Rev. Dr. Giles:

"The rite of circumcision must not be passed over in any work that concerns the

religion and literature of that (the Jewish) people."[85:1]

The first mention of Circumcision, in the Bible, occurs in Genesis,[85:2] where

God is said to have commanded the Israelites to perform this rite, and thereby

establish a covenant between him and his chosen people:

"This is my covenant (said the Lord), which ye shall keep, between me and you

and thy seed after thee; every male child among you shall be circumcised."

"We need not doubt," says the Rev. Dr. Giles, "that a Divine command was given

to Abraham that all his posterity should practice the rite of

circumcision."[85:3]

Such may be the case. If we believe that the Lord of the Universe communes with

man, we need not doubt this; yet, we are compelled to admit that nations other

than the Hebrews practiced this rite. The origin of it, however, as practiced

among other nations, has never been clearly ascertained. It has been maintained

by some scholars that this rite drew its origin from considerations of health

and cleanliness, which seems very probable, although doubted by many.[85:4]

Whatever may have been its origin, it is certain that it was practiced by many

of the ancient Eastern nations, who never came in contact with the Hebrews, in

early times, and, therefore, could not have learned it from them.

The Egyptians practiced circumcision at a very early period,[85:5] [Pg 86]at

least as early as the fourth dynasty—pyramid one—and therefore, long before the

time assigned for Joseph's entry into Egypt, from whom some writers have claimed

the Egyptians learned it.[86:1]

In the decorative pictures of Egyptian tombs, one frequently meets with persons

on whom the denudation of the prepuce is manifested.[86:2]

On a stone found at Thebes, there is a representation of the circumcision of

Ramses II. A mother is seen holding her boy's arms back, while the operator

kneels in front.[86:3] All Egyptian priests were obliged to be

circumcised,[86:4] and Pythagoras had to submit to it before being admitted to

the Egyptian sacerdotal mysteries.[86:5]

Herodotus, the Greek historian, says:

"As this practice can be traced both in Egypt and Ethiopia, to the remotest

antiquity, it is not possible to say which first introduced it. The Phenicians

and Syrians of Palestine acknowledge that they borrowed it from Egypt."[86:6]

It has been recognized among the Kaffirs and other tribes of Africa.[86:7] It

was practiced among the Fijians and Samoans of Polynesia, and some races of

Australia.[86:8] The Suzees and the Mandingoes circumcise their women.[86:9] The

Assyrians, Colchins, Phenicians, and others, practiced it.[86:10] It has been

from time immemorial a custom among the Abyssinians, though, at the present

time, Christians.[86:11]

The antiquity of the custom may be assured from the fact of the New Hollanders,

(never known to civilized nations until a few years ago) having practiced

it.[86:12]

The Troglodytes on the shore of the Red Sea, the Idumeans, Ammonites, Moabites

and Ishmaelites, had the practice of circumcision.[86:11]

The ancient Mexicans also practiced this rite.[86:13] It was also [Pg 87]found

among the Amazon tribes of South America.[87:1] These Indians, as well as some

African tribes, were in the habit of circumcising their women. Among the Campas,

the women circumcised themselves, and a man would not marry a woman who was not

circumcised.[87:2] They performed this singular rite upon arriving at the age of

puberty.[87:3]

Jesus of Nazareth was circumcised,[87:4] and had he been really the founder of

the Christian religion, so-called, it would certainly be incumbent on all

Christians to be circumcised as he was, and to observe that Jewish law which he

observed, and which he was so far from abrogating, that he declared: "heaven and

earth shall pass away" ere "one jot or one tittle" of that law should be

dispensed with.[87:5] But the Christians are not followers of the religion of

Jesus.[87:6] They are followers of the religion of the Pagans. This, we believe,

we shall be able to show in Part Second of this work.

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES:

[85:1] Giles: Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. i. p. 249.

[85:2] Genesis, xvii. 10.

[85:3] Giles: Hebrew and Christian Records, vol. i. p. 251.

[85:4] Mr. Herbert Spencer shows (Principles of Sociology, pp. 290, 295) that

the sacrificing of a part of the body as a religious offering to their deity,

was, and is a common practice among savage tribes. Circumcision may have

originated in this way. And Mr. Wake, speaking of it, says: "The origin of this

custom has not yet, so far as I am aware, been satisfactorily explained. The

idea that, under certain climatic conditions, circumcision is necessary for

cleanliness and comfort, does not appear to be well founded, as the custom is

not universal even within the tropics." (Phallism in Ancient Religs., p. 36.)

[85:5] "Other men leave their private parts as they are formed by nature, except

those who have learned otherwise from them; but the Egyptians are circumcised. .

. . They are circumcised for the sake of cleanliness, thinking it better to be

clean than handsome." (Herodotus, Book ii. ch. 36.)

[86:1] We have it also on the authority of Sir J. G. Wilkinson, that: "this

custom was established long before the arrival of Joseph in Egypt," and that

"this is proved by the ancient monuments."

[86:2] Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, pp. 414, 415.

[86:3] Ibid. p. 415.

[86:4] Ibid. and Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 89.

[86:5] Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 415.

[86:6] Herodotus: Book ii. ch. 36.

[86:7] See Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 114. Amberly: Analysis Religious

Belief, p. 67, and Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 309.

[86:8] Bonwick's Egyptian Belief, p. 414, and Amberly's Analysis, pp. 63, 73.

[86:9] Amberly: Analysis of Relig. Belief, p. 73.

[86:10] Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 414: Amberly's Analysis, p. 63; Prog.

Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 163, and Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. pp. 18, 19.

[86:11] Bonwick: Egyptian Belief, p. 414.

[86:12] Kendrick's Egypt, quoted by Dunlap; Mysteries of Adoni, p. 146.

[86:13] Amberly's Analysis, p. 63, Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 309, and

Acosta, ii. 369.

[87:1] Orton: The Andes and the Amazon, p. 322.

[87:2] This was done by cutting off the clytoris.

[87:3] Orton: The Andes and the Amazon, p. 322. Gibbon's Rome, vol. iv. p. 563,

and Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 319.

"At the time of the conquest, the Spaniards found circumcised nations in Central

America, and on the Amazon, the Tecuna and Manaos tribes still observe this

practice. In the South Seas it has been met with among three different races,

but it is performed in a somewhat different manner. On the Australian continent,

not all, but the majority of tribes, practiced circumcision. Among the Papuans,

the inhabitants of New Caledonia and the New Hebrides adhere to this custom. In

his third voyage, Captain Cook found it among the inhabitants of the Friendly

Islands, in particular at Tongataboo, and the younger Pritchard bears witness to

its practice in the Samoa or Fiji groups." (Oscar Peschel: The Races of Man, p.

22.)

[87:4] Luke, ii. 21.

[87:5] Matthew, v. 18.

[87:6] In using the words "the religion of Jesus," we mean simply the religion

of Israel. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth was a Jew, in every sense of the

word, and that he did not establish a new religion, or preach a new doctrine, in

any way, shape, or form. "The preacher from the Mount, the prophet of the

Beatitudes, does but repeat with persuasive lips what the law-givers of his race

proclaimed in mighty tones of command." (See chap. xi.)

 

 

 

[Pg 88]CHAPTER XI.

CONCLUSION OF PART FIRST.

There are many other legends recorded in the Old Testament which might be

treated at length, but, as we have considered the principal and most important,

and as we have so much to examine in Part Second, which treats of the New

Testament, we shall take but a passing glance at a few others.

In Genesis xli. is to be found the story of

PHARAOH'S TWO DREAMS,

which is to the effect that Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by a river, and saw

come up out of it seven fat kine, and seven lean kine, which devoured the fat

ones. He then dreamed that he saw seven good ears of corn, on one stalk, spring

up out of the ground. This was followed by seven poor ears, which sprang up

after them, and devoured the good ears.

Pharaoh, upon awaking from his sleep, and recalling the dreams which he dreamed,

was greatly troubled, "and he sent and called for all the magicians of Egypt,

and all the wise men thereof, and Pharaoh told them his dreams, but there was

none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh." Finally, his chief butler tells

him of one Joseph, who was skilled in interpreting dreams, and Pharaoh orders

him to be brought before his presence. He then repeats his dreams to Joseph, who

immediately interprets them to the great satisfaction of the king.

A very similar story is related in the Buddhist Fo-pen-hing—one of their sacred

books, which has been translated by Prof. Samuel Beal—which, in substance, is as

follows:

Suddhôdana Raja dreamed seven different dreams in one night, when, "awaking from

his sleep, and recalling the visions he had seen, was greatly troubled, so that

the very hair on his body stood erect, and his limbs trembled." He forthwith

summoned to his side, within his palace, all the great ministers of his council,

and [Pg 89]exhorted them in these words: "Most honorable Sirs! be it known to

you that during the present night I have seen in my dreams strange and potent

visions—there were seven distinct dreams, which I will now recite (he recites

the dreams). I pray you, honorable Sirs! let not these dreams escape your

memories, but in the morning, when I am seated in my palace, and surrounded by

my attendants, let them be brought to my mind (that they may be interpreted.)"

At morning light, the king, seated in the midst of his attendants, issued his

commands to all the Brahmans, interpreters of dreams, within his kingdom, in

these terms, "All ye men of wisdom, explain for me by interpretation the meaning

of the dreams I have dreamed in my sleep."

Then all the wise Brahmans, interpreters of dreams, began to consider, each one

in his own heart, what the meaning of these visions could be; till at last they

addressed the king, and said: "Mahâ-raja! be it known to you that we never

before have heard such dreams as these, and we cannot interpret their meaning."

On hearing this, Suddhôdana was very troubled in his heart, and exceeding

distressed. He thought within himself: "Who is there that can satisfy these

doubts of mine?"

Finally a "holy one," called T'so-Ping, being present in the inner palace, and

perceiving the sorrow and distress of the king, assumed the appearance of a

Brahman, and under this form he stood at the gate of the king's palace, and

cried out, saying: "I am able fully to interpret the dreams of Suddhôdana Râja,

and with certainty to satisfy all the doubts."

The king ordered him to be brought before his presence, and then related to him

his dreams. Upon hearing them, T'so-Ping immediately interpreted them, to the

great satisfaction of the king.[89:1]

In the second chapter of Exodus we read of

MOSES THROWN INTO THE NILE,

which is done by command of the king.

There are many counterparts to this in ancient mythology; among them may be

mentioned that of the infant Perseus, who was, by command of the king (Acrisius

of Argos), shut up in a chest, and cast into the sea. He was found by one

Dictys, who took great care of the child, and—as Pharaoh's daughter did with the

child Moses—educated him.[89:2]

[Pg 90]The infant Bacchus was confined in a chest, by order of Cadmus, King of

Thebes, and thrown into the Nile.[90:1] He, like Moses, had two mothers, one by

nature, the other by adoption.[90:2] He was also, like Moses, represented

horned.[90:3]

Osiris was also confined in a chest, and thrown into the river Nile.[90:4]

When Osiris was shut into the coffer, and cast into the river, he floated to

Phenicia, and was there received under the name of Adonis. Isis (his mother, or

wife) wandered in quest of him, came to Byblos, and seated herself by a fountain

in silence and tears. She was then taken by the servants of the royal palace,

and made to attend on the young prince of the land. In like manner, Demeter,

after Aidoneus had ravished her daughter, went in pursuit, reached Eleusis,

seated herself by a well, conversed with the daughters of the queen, and became

nurse to her son.[90:5] So likewise, when Moses was put into the ark made of

bulrushes, and cast into the Nile, he was found by the daughters of Pharaoh, and

his own mother became his nurse.[90:6] This is simply another version of the

same myth.

In the second chapter of the second book of Kings, we read of

ELIJAH ASCENDING TO HEAVEN.

There are many counterparts to this, in heathen mythology.

Hindoo sacred writings relate many such stories—how some of their Holy Ones were

taken up alive into heaven—and impressions on rocks are shown, said to be

foot-prints, made when they ascended.[90:7]

According to Babylonian mythology, Xisuthrus was translated to heaven.[90:8]

The story of Elijah ascending to heaven in a chariot of fire may also be

compared to the fiery, flame-red chariot of Ushas.[90:9] This idea of some Holy

One ascending to heaven without dying was found in the ancient mythology of the

Chinese.[90:10]

The story of

DAVID KILLING GOLIATH,

by throwing a stone and hitting him in the forehead,[90:11] may be [Pg

91]compared to the story of Thor, the Scandinavian hero, throwing a hammer at

Hrungnir, and striking him in the forehead.[91:1]

We read in Numbers[91:2] that

BALAAM'S ASS SPOKE

to his master, and reproved him.

In ancient fables or stories in which animals play prominent parts, each

creature is endowed with the power of speech. This idea was common in the whole

of Western Asia and Egypt. It is found in various Egyptian and Chaldean

stories.[91:3] Homer has recorded that the horse of Achilles spoke to him.[91:4]

We have also a very wonderful story in that of

JOSHUA'S COMMAND TO THE SUN.

This story is related in the tenth chapter of the book of Joshua, and is to the

effect that the Israelites, who were at battle with the Amorites, wished the day

to be lengthened that they might continue their slaughter, whereupon Joshua

said: "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou, Moon, in the valley of

Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had

avenged themselves upon their enemies. . . . And there was no day like that

before it or after it."

There are many stories similar to this, to be found among other nations of

antiquity. We have, as an example, that which is related of Bacchus in the

Orphic hymns, wherein it says that this god-man arrested the course of the sun

and the moon.[91:5]

An Indian legend relates that the sun stood still to hear the pious ejaculations

of Arjouan after the death of Crishna.[91:6]

A holy Buddhist by the name of Mâtanga prevented the sun, at his command, from

rising, and bisected the moon.[91:7] Arresting the course of the sun was a

common thing among the disciples of Buddha.[91:8]

The Chinese also, had a legend of the sun standing still,[91:9] and a legend was

found among the Ancient Mexicans to the effect that one of their holy persons

commanded the sun to stand still, which command was obeyed.[91:10]

[Pg 92]We shall now endeavor to answer the question which must naturally arise

in the minds of all who see, for the first time, the similarity in the legends

of the Hebrews and those of other nations, namely: have the Hebrews copied from

other nations, or, have other nations copied from the Hebrews? To answer this

question we shall; first, give a brief account or history of the Pentateuch and

other books of the Old Testament from which we have taken legends, and show

about what time they were written; and, second, show that other nations were

possessed of these legends long before that time, and that the Jews copied from

them.

The Pentateuch is ascribed, in our modern translations, to Moses, and he is

generally supposed to be the author. This is altogether erroneous, as Moses had

nothing whatever to do with these five books. Bishop Colenso, speaking of this,

says:

"The books of the Pentateuch are never ascribed to Moses in the inscriptions of

Hebrew manuscripts, or in printed copies of the Hebrew Bible. Nor are they

styled the 'Books of Moses' in the Septuagint[92:1] or Vulgate,[92:2] but only

in our modern translations, after the example of many eminent Fathers of the

Church, who, with the exception of Jerome, and, perhaps, Origen, were, one and

all of them, very little acquainted with the Hebrew language, and still less

with its criticism."[92:3]

The author of "The Religion of Israel," referring to this subject, says:

"The Jews who lived after the Babylonish Captivity, and the Christians following

their examples, ascribed these books (the Pentateuch) to Moses; and for many

centuries the notion was cherished that he had really written them. But strict

and impartial investigation has shown that this opinion must be given up; and

that nothing in the whole Law really comes from Moses himself except the Ten

Commandments. And even these were not delivered by him in the same form as we

find them now. If we still call these books by his name, it is only because the

Israelites always thought of him as their first and greatest law-giver, and the

actual authors grouped all their narratives and laws around his figure, and

associated them with his name."[92:4]

As we cannot go into an extended account, and show how this is known, we will

simply say that it is principally by internal evidence that these facts are

ascertained.[92:5]

[Pg 93]Now that we have seen that Moses did not write the books of the

Pentateuch, our next endeavor will be to ascertain when they were written, and

by whom.

We can say that they were not written by any one person, nor were they written

at the same time.

We can trace three principal redactions of the Pentateuch, that is to say, the

material was worked over, and re-edited, with modifications and additions, by

different people, at three distinct epochs.[93:1]

The two principal writers are generally known as the Jehovistic and the

Elohistic. We have—in speaking of the "Eden Myth" and the legend of the

"Deluge"—already alluded to this fact, and have illustrated how these writers'

narratives conflict with each other.

The Jehovistic writer is supposed to have been a prophet, who, it would seem,

was anxious to give Israel a history. He begins at Genesis, ii. 4, with a short

account, of the "Creation," and then he carries the story on regularly until the

Israelites enter Canaan. It is to him that we are indebted for the charming

pictures of the patriarchs. He took these from other writings, or from the

popular legends.[93:2]

About 725 B. C. the Israelites were conquered by Salmanassar, King of Assyria,

and many of them were carried away captives. Their place was supplied by

Assyrian colonists from Babylon, Persia, and other places.[93:3] This fact is of

the greatest importance, and should not be forgotten, as we find that the first

of the three writers of the Pentateuch, spoken of above, wrote about this time,

and the Israelites heard, from the colonists from Babylon, Persia, and other

places—for the first time—many of the legends which this writer wove into the

fabulous history which he wrote, especially the accounts of the Creation and the

Deluge.

The Pentateuch remained in this, its first form, until the year 620 B. C. Then a

certain priest of marked prophetic sympathies wrote a book of law which has come

down to us in Deuteronomy, iv. 44, to xxvi., and xxviii. Here we find the

demands which the Mosaic party at that day were making thrown into the form of

laws. It was by King Josiah that this book was first introduced and proclaimed

as authoritative.[93:4] It was soon afterwards wove into the work of the first

Pentateuchian writer, and at the same time [Pg 94]"a few new passages" were

added, some of which related to Joshua, the successor of Moses.[94:1]

At this period in Israel's history, Jehovah had become almost forgotten, and

"other gods" had taken his place.[94:2] The Mosaic party, so called—who

worshiped Jehovah exclusively—were in the minority, but when King Amon—who was a

worshiper of Moloch—died, and was succeeded by his son Josiah, a change

immediately took place. This young prince, who was only eight years old at the

death of his father, the Mosaic party succeeded in winning over to their

interests. In the year 621 B. C., Josiah, now in the eighteenth year of his

reign, began a thorough reformation which completely answered to the ideas of

the Mosaic party.[94:3]

It was during this time that the second Pentateuchian writer wrote, and he makes

Moses speak as the law-giver. This writer was probably Hilkiah, who claimed to

have found a book, written by Moses, in the temple,[94:4] although it had only

just been drawn up.[94:5]

The principal objections which were brought against the claims of Hilkiah, but

which are not needed in the present age of inquiry, was that Shaphan and Josiah

read it off, not as if it were an old book, but as though it had been recently

written, when any person who is acquainted, in the slightest degree, with

language, must know that a man could not read off, at once, a book written eight

hundred years before. The phraseology would necessarily be so altered by time as

to render it comparatively unintelligible.

We must now turn to the third Pentateuchian writer, whose writings were

published 444 b. c.

At that time Ezra (or Ezdras) added to the work of his two predecessors a series

of laws and narratives which had been drawn up by some of the priests in

Babylon.[94:6] This "series of laws and narratives," which was written by "some

of the (Israelitish) priests in Babylon," was called "The Book of Origins"

(probably containing the Babylonian account of the "Origin of Things," or the

"Creation"). Ezra brought the book from Babylon to Jerusalem. He made some

modifications in it and constituted it a code of law for Israel, dove-tailing it

into those parts of the Pentateuch which existed before. A few alterations and

additions were [Pg 95]subsequently made, but these are of minor importance, and

we may fairly say that Ezra put the Pentateuch into the form in which we have it

(about 444 B. C.).

These priestly passages are partly occupied with historical matter, comprising a

very free account of things from the creation of the world to the arrival of

Israel in Canaan. Everything is here presented from the priestly point of view;

some events, elsewhere recorded, are touched up in the priestly spirit, and

others are entirely invented.[95:1]

It was the belief of the Jews, asserted by the Pirke Aboth (Sayings of the

Fathers), one of the oldest books of the Talmud,[95:2] as well as other Jewish

records, that Ezra, acting in accordance with a divine commission, re-wrote the

Old Testament, the manuscripts of which were said to have been lost in the

destruction of the first temple, when Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem.[95:3] This

we know could not have been the case. The fact that Ezra wrote—adding to, and

taking from the already existing books of the Pentateuch—was probably the

foundation for this tradition. The account of it is to be found in the

Apocryphal book of Esdras, a book deemed authentic by the Greek Church.

Dr. Knappert, speaking of this, says:

"For many centuries, both the Christians and the Jews supposed that Ezra had

brought together the sacred writings of his people, united them in one whole,

and introduced them as a book given by the Spirit of God—a Holy Scripture.

"The only authority for this supposition was a very modern and altogether

untrustworthy tradition. The historical and critical studies of our times have

been emancipated from the influence of this tradition, and the most ancient

statements with regard to the subject have been hunted up and compared together.

These statements are, indeed, scanty and incomplete, and many a detail is still

obscure; but the main facts have been completely ascertained.

"Before the Babylonish captivity, Israel had no sacred writings. There were

certain laws, prophetic writings, and a few historical books, but no one had

ever thought of ascribing binding and divine authority to these documents.

"Ezra brought the priestly law with him from Babylon, altering it and

amalgamating it with the narratives and laws already in existence, and thus

produced the Pentateuch in pretty much the same form (though not quite, as we

shall show) as we still have it. These books got the name of the 'Law of Moses,'

or simply the 'Law.' Ezra introduced them into Israel (B. C. 444), and gave them

binding authority, and from that time forward they were considered

divine."[95:4]

From the time of Ezra until the year 287 B. C., when the Pentateuch was

translated into Greek by order of Ptolemy [Pg 96]Philadelphus, King of Egypt,

these books evidently underwent some changes. This the writer quoted above

admits, in saying:

"Later still (viz., after the time of Ezra), a few more changes and additions

were made, and so the Pentateuch grew into its present form."[96:1]

In answer to those who claim that the Pentateuch was written by one person,

Bishop Colenso says:

"It is certainly inconceivable that if the Pentateuch be the production of one

and the same hand throughout, it should contain such a number of glaring

inconsistencies. . . . No single author could have been guilty of such

absurdities; but it is quite possible, and what was almost sure to happen in

such a case, that, if the Pentateuch be the work of different authors in

different ages, this fact should betray itself by the existence of

contradictions in the narrative."[96:2]

Having ascertained the origin of the Pentateuch, or first five books of the Old

Testament, it will be unnecessary to refer to the others here, as we have

nothing to do with them in our investigations. Suffice it to say then, that: "In

the earlier period after Ezra, none of the other books which already existed,

enjoyed the same authority as the Pentateuch."[96:3]

It is probable[96:4] that Nehemiah made a collection of historical and prophetic

books, songs, and letters from Persian kings, not to form a second collection,

but for the purpose of saving them from being lost. The scribes of Jerusalem,

followers of Ezra, who were known as "the men of the Great Synagogue," were the

collectors of the second and third divisions of the Old Testament. They

collected together the historical and prophetic books, songs, &c., which were

then in existence, and after altering many of them, they were added to the

collection of sacred books. It must not be supposed that any fixed plan was

pursued in this work, or that the idea was entertained from the first, that

these books would one day stand on the same level with the Pentateuch.[96:5]

In the course of time, however, many of the Jews began to consider some of these

books as sacred. The Alexandrian Jews adopted books into the canon which those

of Jerusalem did not, and this difference of opinion lasted for a long time,

even till the second century after Christ. It was not until this time that all

the books of the Old Testament acquired divine authority.[96:6] It is not known,

however, just when the canon of the Old Testament was closed. The time and

manner in which it was done is [Pg 97]altogether obscure.[97:1] Jewish tradition

indicates that the full canonicity of several books was not free from doubt till

the time of the famous Rabbi Akiba,[97:2] who flourished about the beginning of

the second century after Christ.[97:3]

After giving a history of the books of the Old Testament, the author of "The

Religion of Israel," whom we have followed in this investigation, says:

"The great majority of the writers of the Old Testament had no other source of

information about the past history of Israel than simple tradition. Indeed, it

could not have been otherwise, for in primitive times no one used to record

anything in writing, and the only way of preserving a knowledge of the past was

to hand it down by word of mouth. The father told the son what his elders had

told him, and the son handed it on to the next generation.

"Not only did the historian of Israel draw from tradition with perfect freedom,

and write down without hesitation anything they heard and what was current in

the mouths of the people, but they did not shrink from modifying their

representation of the past in any way that they thought would be good and

useful. It is difficult for us to look at things from this point of view,

because our ideas of historical good faith are so utterly different. When we

write history, we know that we ought to be guided solely by a desire to

represent facts exactly as they really happened. All that we are concerned with

is reality; we want to make the old times live again, and we take all possible

pains not to remodel the past from the point of view of to-day. All we want to

know is what happened, and how men lived, thought, and worked in those days. The

Israelites had a very different notion of the nature of historical composition.

When a prophet or a priest related something about bygone times, his object was

not to convey knowledge about those times; on the contrary, he used history

merely as a vehicle for the conveyance of instruction and exhortation. Not only

did he confine his narrative to such matters as he thought would serve his

purpose but he never hesitated to modify what he knew of the past, and he did

not think twice about touching it up from his own imagination, simply that it

might be more conducive to the end he had in view and chime in better with his

opinions. All the past became colored through and through with the tinge of his

own mind. Our own notions of honor and good faith would never permit all this;

but we must not measure ancient writers by our own standard; they considered

that they were acting quite within their rights and in strict accordance with

duty and conscience."[97:4]

It will be noticed that, in our investigations on the authority of the

Pentateuch, we have followed, principally, Dr. Knappert's ideas as set forth in

"The Religion of Israel."

This we have done because we could not go into an extended investigation, and

because his words are very expressive, and just to the point. To those who may

think that his ideas are not the same as those entertained by other Biblical

scholars of the present [Pg 98]day, we subjoin, in a note below, a list of works

to which they are referred.[98:1]

We shall now, after giving a brief history of the Pentateuch, refer to the

legends of which we have been treating, and endeavor to show from whence the

Hebrews borrowed them. The first of these is "The Creation and Fall of Man."

Egypt, the country out of which the Israelites came, had no story of the

Creation and Fall of Man, such as we have found among the Hebrews; they

therefore could not have learned it from them. The Chaldeans, however, as we saw

in our first chapter, had this legend, and it is from them that the Hebrews

borrowed it.

The account which we have given of the Chaldean story of the Creation and Fall

of Man, was taken, as we stated, from the writings of Berosus, the Chaldean

historian, who lived in the time of Alexander the Great (356-325 B. C.), and as

the Jews were acquainted with the story some centuries earlier than this, his

works did not prove that these traditions were in Babylonia before the Jewish

captivity, and could not afford testimony in favor of the statement that the

Jews borrowed this legend from the Babylonians at that time. It was left for Mr.

George Smith, of the British Museum, to establish, without a doubt, the fact

that this legend was known to the Babylonians at least two thousand years before

the time assigned for the birth of Jesus. The cuneiform inscriptions discovered

by him, while on an expedition to Assyria, organized by the London "Daily

Telegraph," was the means of doing this, and although by far the greatest number

of these tablets belong to the age of Assurbanipal, who reigned over Assyria B.

C. 670, it is "acknowledged on all hands that these tablets are not the

originals, but are only copies from earlier texts." "The Assyrians acknowledge

themselves that this literature was borrowed from Babylonian sources, and of

course it is to Babylonia we have to look to ascertain the approximate dates of

the original documents."[98:2] Mr. Smith then shows, from "fragments of the

Cuneiform account of the Creation and Fall" which have been discovered, that,

"in the period from b. c. 2000 to [Pg 99]1500, the Babylonians believed in a

story similar to that in Genesis." It is probable, however, says Mr. Smith, that

this legend existed as traditions in the country long before it was committed to

writing, and some of these traditions exhibited great difference in details,

showing that they had passed through many changes.[99:1]

Professor James Fergusson, in his celebrated work on "Tree and Serpent Worship,"

says:

"The two chapters which refer to this (i. e., the Garden, the Tree, and the

Serpent), as indeed the whole of the first eight of Genesis, are now generally

admitted by scholars to be made up of fragments of earlier books or earlier

traditions, belonging, properly speaking, to Mesopotamia rather than to Jewish

history, the exact meaning of which the writers of the Pentateuch seem hardly to

have appreciated when they transcribed them in the form in which they are now

found."[99:2]

John Fiske says:

"The story of the Serpent in Eden is an Aryan story in every particular. The

notion of Satan as the author of evil appears only in the later books, composed

after the Jews had come into close contact with Persian ideas."[99:3]

Prof. John W. Draper says:

"In the old legends of dualism, the evil spirit was said to have sent a serpent

to ruin Paradise. These legends became known to the Jews during their Babylonian

captivity."[99:4]

Professor Goldziher also shows, in his "Mythology Among the Hebrews,"[99:5] that

the story of the creation was borrowed by the Hebrews from the Babylonians. He

also informs us that the notion of the bôrê and yôsêr, "Creator" (the term used

in the cosmogony in Genesis) as an integral part of the idea of God, are first

brought into use by the prophets of the captivity. "Thus also the story of the

Garden of Eden, as a supplement to the history of the Creation, was written down

at Babylon."

Strange as it may appear, after the Genesis account, we may pass through the

whole Pentateuch, and other books of the Old Testament, clear to the end, and

will find that the story of the "Garden of Eden" and "Fall of Man," is hardly

alluded to, if at all. Lengkerke says: "One single certain trace of the

employment of the story of Adam's fall is entirely wanting in the Hebrew Canon

(after the Genesis account). Adam, Eve, the Serpent, the woman's [Pg

100]seduction of her husband, &c., are all images, to which the remaining words

of the Israelites never again recur."[100:1]

This circumstance can only be explained by the fact that the first chapters of

Genesis were not written until after the other portions had been written.

It is worthy of notice, that this story of the Fall of Man, upon which the whole

orthodox scheme of a divine Saviour or Redeemer is based, was not considered by

the learned Israelites as fact. They simply looked upon it as a story which

satisfied the ignorant, but which should be considered as allegory by the

learned.[100:2]

Rabbi Maimonides (Moses Ben Maimon), one of the most celebrated of the Rabbis,

says on this subject:—

"We must not understand, or take in a literal sense, what is written in the book

on the Creation, nor form of it the same ideas which are participated by the

generality of mankind; otherwise our ancient sages would not have so much

recommended to us, to hide the real meaning of it, and not to lift the

allegorical veil, which covers the truth contained therein. When taken in its

literal sense, the work gives the most absurd and most extravagant ideas of the

Deity. 'Whosoever should divine its true meaning ought to take great care in not

divulging it.' This is a maxim repeated to us by all our sages, principally

concerning the understanding of the work of the six days."[100:3]

Philo, a Jewish writer contemporary with Jesus, held the same opinion of the

character of the sacred books of the Hebrews. He has made two particular

treatises, bearing the title of "The Allegories," and he traces back to the

allegorical sense the "Tree of Life," the "Rivers of Paradise," and the other

fictions of the Genesis.[100:4]

Many of the early Christian Fathers declared that, in the story of the Creation

and Fall of Man, there was but an allegorical fiction. Among these may be

mentioned St. Augustine, who speaks of it in his "City of God," and also Origen,

who says:

"What man of sense will agree with the statement that the first, second, and

third days, in which the evening is named and the morning, were without sun,

moon and stars? What man is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted

trees in Paradise like an husbandman? I believe that every man must hold these

things for images under which a hidden sense is concealed."[100:5]

[Pg 101]Origen believed aright, as it is now almost universally admitted, that

the stories of the "Garden of Eden," the "Elysian Fields," the "Garden of the

Blessed," &c., which were the abode of the blessed, where grief and sorrow could

not approach them, where plague and sickness could not touch them, were founded

on allegory. These abodes of delight were far away in the West, where the sun

goes down beyond the bounds of the earth. They were the "Golden Islands" sailing

in a sea of blue—the burnished clouds floating in the pure ether. In a word, the

"Elysian Fields" are the clouds at eventide. The picture was suggested by the

images drawn from the phenomena of sunset and twilight.[101:1]

Eating of the forbidden fruit was simply a figurative mode of expressing the

performance of the act necessary to the perpetuation of the human race. The

"Tree of Knowledge" was a Phallic tree, and the fruit which grew upon it was

Phallic fruit.[101:2]

In regard to the story of "The Deluge," we have already seen[101:3] that

"Egyptian records tell nothing of a cataclysmal deluge," and that, "the land was

never visited by other than its annual beneficent overflow of the river Nile."

Also, that "the Pharaoh Khoufou-cheops was building his pyramid, according to

Egyptian chronicle, when the whole world was under the waters of a universal

deluge, according to the Hebrew chronicle." This is sufficient evidence that the

Hebrews did not borrow the legend from the Egyptians.

We have also seen, in the chapter that treated of this legend, that it

corresponded in all the principal features with the Chaldean account. We shall

now show that it was taken from this.

Mr. Smith discovered, on the site of Ninevah, during the years 1873-4, cylinders

belonging to the early Babylonian monarchy, (from 2500 to 1500 B. C.) which

contained the legend of the flood,[101:4] and which we gave in Chapter II. This

was the foundation for the Hebrew legend, and they learned it at the time of the

Captivity.[101:5] The myth of Deucalion, the Grecian hero, was also taken from

the same source. The Greeks learned it from the Chaldeans.

We read in Chambers's Encyclopædia, that:

"It was at one time extensively believed, even by intelligent scholars, that [Pg

102]the myth of Deucalion was a corrupted tradition of the Noachian deluge, but

this untenable opinion is now all but universally abandoned."[102:1]

This idea was abandoned after it was found that the Deucalion myth was older

than the Hebrew.

What was said in regard to the Eden story not being mentioned in other portions

of the Old Testament save in Genesis, also applies to this story of the Deluge.

Nowhere in the other books of the Old Testament is found any reference to this

story, except in Isaiah, where "the waters of Noah" are mentioned, and in

Ezekiel, where simply the name of Noah is mentioned.

We stated in Chapter II. that some persons saw in this story an astronomical

myth. Although not generally admitted, yet there are very strong reasons for

believing this to be the case.

According to the Chaldean account—which is the oldest one known—there were seven

persons saved in the ark.[102:2] There were also seven persons saved, according

to some of the Hindoo accounts.[102:3] That this referred to the sun, moon, and

five planets looks very probable. We have also seen that Noah was the tenth

patriarch, and Xisuthrus (who is the Chaldean hero) was the tenth king.[102:4]

Now, according to the Babylonian table, their Zodiac contained ten gods called

the "Ten Zodiac gods."[102:5] They also believed that whenever all the planets

met in the sign of Capricorn, the whole earth was overwhelmed with a deluge of

water.[102:6] The Hindoos and other nations had a similar belief.[102:7]

It is well known that the Chaldeans were great astronomers. When Alexander the

Great conquered the city of Babylon, the Chaldean priests boasted to the Greek

philosophers, who followed his army, that they had continued their astronomical

calculations through a period of more than forty thousand years.[102:8] Although

this statement cannot be credited, yet the great antiquity of Chaldea cannot be

doubted, and its immediate connection with Hindostan, or Egypt, is abundantly

proved by the little that is known concerning its religion, and by the few

fragments that remain of its former grandeur.

In regard to the story of "The Tower of Babel" little need be said. This, as

well as the story of the Creation and Fall of Man, and the Deluge, was borrowed

from the Babylonians.[102:9]

[Pg 103]"It seems," says George Smith, "from the indications in the (cuneiform)

inscriptions, that there happened in the interval between 2000 and 1850 B. C. a

general collection of the development of the various traditions of the Creation,

Flood, Tower of Babel, and other similar legends." "These legends were, however,

traditions before they were committed to writing, and were common in some form

to all the country."[103:1]

The Tower of Babel, or the confusion of tongues, is nowhere alluded to in the

Old Testament outside of Genesis, where the story is related.

The next story in order is "The Trial of Abraham's Faith."

In this connection we have shown similar legends taken from Grecian mythology,

which legends may have given the idea to the writer of the Hebrew story.

It may appear strange that the Hebrews should have been acquainted with Grecian

mythology, yet we know this was the case. The fact is accounted for in the

following manner:

Many of the Jews taken captive at the Edomite sack of Jerusalem were sold to the

Grecians,[103:2] who took them to their country. While there, they became

acquainted with Grecian legends, and when they returned from "the Islands of the

Sea"—as they called the Western countries—they brought them to Jerusalem.[103:3]

This legend, as we stated in the chapter which treated of it, was written at the

time when the Mosaic party in Israel were endeavoring to abolish human

sacrifices and other "abominations," and the author of the story invented it to

make it appear that the Lord had abolished them in the time of Abraham. The

earliest Targum[103:4] knows nothing about the legend, showing that the story

was not in the Pentateuch at the time this Targum was written.

We have also seen that a story written by Sanchoniathon (about B. C. 1300) of

one Saturn, whom the Phenicians called Israel, bore a resemblance to the Hebrew

legend of Abraham. Now, Count de Volney tells us that "a similar tradition

prevailed among the Chaldeans," and that they had the history of one

Zerban—which means "rich-in-gold"[103:5]—that corresponded in many respects with

the history of Abraham.[103:6] It may, then, have been from the Chaldean story

that the Hebrew fable writer got his idea.

[Pg 104]The next legend which we examined was that of "Jacob's Vision of the

Ladder." We claimed that it probably referred to the doctrine of the

transmigration of souls from one body into another, and also gave the apparent

reason for the invention of the story.