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 Post subject: Meet Yahweh
PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:28 am
Posts: 22

Meet Yahweh

This is the Ptolemaic image of Amun-Zeus.
Note the ram's horns, shofar horns, aka curly forelocks still sported by some Jews today.

There are two ways to identify a god, by name and by attributes. At times the name is congruent such as Ishtar to Ashara to Astarte. At times they are not or only close where Ishtar is also known as Isis and Aphrodite. When not close we look at the characteristics of the god. In this case fertility, childbirth and women's issues in general.

When the basic goddess appears in different cultures her story is reimagined. Why? That is what storytellers do. Any Hollywood fan should be able to rattle off their favorite reimaginings of movies -- and a longer list of those they hate.

In ancient times the story would be modified to fit into the local pantheon. At times a different story would become more popular and replace the older story. From our viewpoint of an immutable god finding significantly different stories about the same god at different times in the same place and even at the same time makes no sense to us.

So there is a generic problem here. The same god can have different attributes in the same place at different times, different places at the same time and occassionally the same place at the same time. We know perhaps the most about Egyptian gods. Should you research by name you will find different characteristics in different sources. Should you research by attribute such as the moon you will find different gods. In the moon case you will find Yah(weh) as a moon god from the Upper Nile region around the time of Elephantine letters.

So when it comes to Yahweh we should expect no different. The oldest known surviving record of Yahweh is from about 1100BC found in the ruins of Ugarit a few miles north of bibleland near modern Sidon. Here it is the name of a minor deity. What we can clearly say it the god had been invented at least that long ago and given a place in the local pantheon. It is not a foreign god to the locals.

As the Ugarit god does not have the characteristics of a chief god lets look at the characteristics of some chief gods to see which match Yahweh. We do not have to look further then Egypt to find Amun or Amen when pronounced as the ritual end to jewish and christian prayer.

Amun has several well known characteristics.

The first god, eldest god, none came before him as the first of the Ten Commandments says
Amun made the first two people out of clay just as Genesis says
Had the head of a ram whose horn as in the Shofar horn which is used but has no explanation in the Septuagint stories

Sounds like Yahweh to me. Certainly Amun served as a model when elevating the minor deity to a primary one just as Ramses served as a model for Solomon.

How about a genuine Ptolemaic Greek image of Amun-Zeus?

With ram horns even. Maybe they are forelocks?

It is hardly worth speculating on forelocks being imitation ram horns as there is no concrete reference to anything like them. Looks can always be deceiving as they say and as there is no concrete reference to the connection I will just leave it as a coincidence. Of course a single reference to Egyptians with forelocks would make the Judean hairstyle derivative of the Egyptian.

In any event, take away the horns and give it a bit of a scowl and you could pass it off as Yahweh by Michelangelo. It could also be his Zeus or Jupiter or just about any male god. Once a pantheon is anthropomorphized they look like their human counterparts. Human hierarchies are most always lead by senior males, the exceptions by young males like Alexander or beard/no beard.

The problem arises with the "take away the horns" part. When there are many gods the artisan needed something to show which god it was. It is a bit like our problem with soda cans. They all look the same without distinctive labeling. When only doing the head of a god there had to be something distinctive to the god so the customer knew which god he was buying.

That is a modern way of saying it. But without it how would a person know he was offering to the right god? More importantly how would the god know the statue was intended to represent him? Whether the fundamental approach to worship was cajoling, supplicating, bribing or compelling it was important for both the person to know he had the right god and for the god to know it was the one being addressed.

When dealing with just a head something on the head will make it distinctive of that god. The animal depiction of Amun was of a ram with that shape horn. Putting that shape horn on a human head makes it the same god. In modern times this sort of thing tells us which Jesus we are dealing with. Is it a generic Jesus or a Sacred Heart of Jesus? They have different uses.

Yahweh is described as having hands, feet, a face that spouts fire and smoke and is fond of mooning people. Excuse me, showing his backside. He even has to walk to Sodom to see what is going on because he doesn't know. And then he can be outwitted by Abraham in the matter of saving Lot and his family. Not much of a god that. So the whole invisible thing is clearly a baseless invention. Even in the burning bush stories it talks so it has a mouth, tongue, vocal cords and lungs. And it has ears because it holds conversations. === Yah an Egyptian moon god paralleling the claim Allah was also a moon god. === Was Judea a literate region? Pick a time you want the Old Testament to have been written and show me the contemporary writings from that same period. === Serapis associated with the Apis bull, Red Hefer for temple building

Matt Giwer © 2011


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