"In Love and War"
(Patriarchs Irad, Mehujael, Mehushael and Lamech)
Sacrifice and Conflict
Despite their desirability, some of the selected women of the new mixed race had to be "sacrificed" in order to become one flesh with their divine masters. Genesis 3:16 (KJV)a reads: "Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception." Complications and especially death in childbirth in the very first generation point not to sin, but implies that "Adam and Eve" were not created together and were not particularly well matched for reproduction. Robert Graves writes, "Her [Eve's] Sumerian name was Iahu ('exalted dove'), a title which later passed to Jehovah as the Creator. It was as a dove that Marduk symbolically sliced her in two at the Babylonian Spring Festival, when he inaugurated the new world order."b
In Greek Mythology, another related and recurring theme is the cutting open of pregnant women. It was the final service for many a little woman of the mixed race to bear children to their monstrous masters. In Myth, the mother is on occasion slain, but her baby boy miraculously rescued, delivered as if by emergency C-Section. The child is spirited away from an angry or jealous "god-father" who seems to no longer want them or their mothers around any more. Gods were long-lived, and in no particular hurry to be outdone or undone by a gifted human son. They feared, justifiably so, that they would produce an heir who was more capable than themselves. However, the progenies of father-daughter unions were guarded with equal jealousy by the goddesses! It seems that the younger Ladies came to prefer dashing young demi-gods to their lumbering old Lords as companions and sexual partners. These so-called demi-gods were also just as often their brothers, which is again to be expected. For genetic purposes, father-daughter/mother-son coupling would soon be replaced with sister-brother bonds.
If "human" and "divine" blood was mixed from the start, then what separated a god from a demi-god or mortal? Possibly very little other than manifest greatness and access to the secrets of longevity. Prospective gods and goddesses appear to have been subjectively judged ("favored") based on an optimal mix of best qualities from both genetic lines. Membership of the Greek (and Mesopotamian) pantheon was limited to only 12 at any one time, and included a balance of gods and goddesses. If one god or goddess expired or relinquished their post, another could be initiated. However, transfer of power was not peaceful. Each new generation of the mixed race proved to be more vital than the previous one. This points again to a program of genetic reconstitution and the goal of achieving an ideal admixture. However, the process depended on "inferior" elder gods and goddesses yielding to "superior" but younger ones. Conflict was inevitable.
Hated Love Child
One such prodigy was Adonis ("the lord"), who was born to King Cinyras ("plaintive cry") by his beautiful daughter Smyrna ("myrrh").c When Cinyras learned that he was the father, he took his sword and split her in half. However, baby Adonis popped out and was claimed by Aphrodite. Aphrodite in turn placed Adonis in the care of her sister Persephone. When Adonis became a man he was coveted both by Persephone and Aphrodite. They could not resolve their dispute, so it was finally ruled that Adonis should spend half of the year with each. However, Aphrodite provoked Persephone by persuading Adonis to make her his exclusive partner. Aphrodite also alienated Apollo by blinding or killing his son Erymonthus, because Erymonthus had made unwanted sexual advances toward her.d Apollo and Persephone, having a mutual grudge against Aphrodite, appealed to Ares. In response, Ares took the form of a boar (Apollo) and gored Adonis to death. In other traditions, Apollo is explicitly named as the killer of Adonis.e
In the Egyptian version of the story, the role of Apollo is played by the belligerent god Set, whose thoughtless aggression is on occasion compared to the wild pig. Moreover, when Seth (a.k.a. Set) murdered his rival Osiris, he was said to have had 72 accomplices. This implicitly identifies the god Re as having an indirect role in the act. In the Book of the Dead, Re has 72 names. For most of the pharaonic period, Re was worshipped as the supreme god in Egypt. Therefore, it is not surprising that his role in the death of Osiris would later be disguised. After the death of Osiris, Re mourned for seven years. Ciny-ras, meaning "plaintive cry," and A-res, "warrior," are both easily identified as Greek aliases of the Egyptian god Ra/Re. As with Adonis, Osiris is thought to have been the son of Re by his own daughter or granddaughter, and not the true son of Geb. The name of Erymonthus (son of Apollo) is an obvious transliteration of Iry-Monthu, "heir/eye of Montu/Set." Persephone ("bringer of destruction") is the Egyptian goddess Nephthys and the Canaanite Anat ("destroyer"). Aphrodite is the Egyptian goddess Isis, also known in Canaan as Asherah and in Mesopotamian as Inanna/Ishtar.
In Egypt, the murdered Osiris was remembered as the god who had taught them to "train vines to grow on poles."f Osiris (along with Geb) is credited with inventing wine and beer. Naturally Osiris was greatly celebrated for this. The Greek counterpart of Osiris in this regard was Dionysos, god of wine. Dionysos, son of the supreme god Zeus and Semele ("moon"), was "a horned child crowned with serpents."g This is a clear indicator of his privileged status within the line of serpent-kings. As an infant, Dionysos was mutilated and then boiled by order of Queen Hera. However, attacks on expectant mothers may represent something other than infanticide. If a "divine" baby was too large to be delivered vaginally, then there may have been no other choice but to sacrifice the mother in order to save the child. This would of course have been a very bloody ordeal and may have been construed later as a hate crime against mother and child. It would also have required sterilization and treatment of the newborn.
The abuse Dionysos suffered was evidently not intended to kill him, but to save his life. He was resuscitated by his grandmother Rhea, who then placed him in the care of Persephone (as was Adonis). As a further precaution against rivals Persephone arranged for him to be cloistered among women and raised as a little girl. Upon reaching manhood his identity was "discovered" by the jealous Hera, after which he traveled abroad and led military campaigns. As he did, the art of wine making was spread from Egypt to India along with his fame.h
Michael Astour wrote: "No Greek god had so many names and surnames as Dionysos, whom Sophoclesi called 'thou of the many names.' "j In addition to Adonis son of Cinyras mentioned above, he was also called Actaeon son of Aristaeos ("the Best"), Aqht son of Danel/Danaos ("the Judge"), and Pentheus ("Grief") son of Echion ("the Serpent Man"). Other common names of Dionysos were Bassareus, Bacchus, Iacchos, Zagreus, Orpheus, Orion, and Euphemos. Almost all of these names have meanings that allude to his divinity and tragic death.k Outside of Greece, Dionysos was known by many more names. We have already mentioned Osiris (Ser/Asar) in Egypt. In Babylon, he was known as Siris, the god of wine, and as the "dying-god" Dumuzi. In Phoenicia, he was called Eshmun and Attis. In the Old Testament, Dionysos is variously called Tammuz and Rimmon.
The "dismemberment" and "reconstitution" of Dionysos occurred when he was an infant. As an adult, Dionysos did not die but ascended to Heaven to be at the right hand of the father Zeus. With the advent of Adonis-Dionysos and his generation, the distinction between gods and men becomes less clear. Egyptian Osiris and Mesopotamian Dumuzi were considered fully divine. However, in Greek legend, Adonis was a mere mortal. The characterization of Dionysos was much more lofty, but he was still considered only a demi-god. In Classical Greece, he was included among the pantheon of 12 Olympic gods, not by inheritance alone, but by virtue of his achievements. In the Book of Genesis, all of the gods are instead demoted to the status of Patriarchs, and were not especially venerated even as such. The goddesses were scarcely mentioned at all.
Dionysos had the favor not of one goddess but two. This undoubtedly was a factor in his greatness, but also led to his demise. Dionysos was trapped in a classic love triangle. He could not give himself equally to both sisters and aroused the jealous fury of the one he neglected. The "other woman" who had raised, educated and desired him turned against him in her personal struggle with her sister. The obsession of both sisters for the effeminate Dionysos deprived macho Apollo of respect and provoked him to wrath. His "male warrior" father, Ares, had evidently also favored Apollo over the dandy Dionysos. Ares and Apollo (Re and Seth) must have been made even more insecure by the military successes and increasing popularity of Dionysos (Osiris).
Eternal Memory, Eternal Life
In the Mesopotamian tradition, the dying-god Dumuzi (Osiris/Dionysos) is also the victim of a vicious love triangle formed with his two sisters Inanna (Isis/Aphrodite) and Ereshkigal (Nephthys/Persephone). The conflict escalates when the farmer god Enkimdu (Seth/Apollo) enters into a hot dispute with the shepherd god Dumuzi over the love of Inanna. As an obvious repetition of the Cain and Abel story, the shepherd Dumuzi is ultimately murdered. Despite the best efforts of Utu (Thoth/Ningishzidda), he cannot be revived.l The various accounts of this god's death (Egyptian, Mesopotamian, Greek, Syrian and Biblical) include diatribe, beating, mauling by animals, hanging, spearing, mutilation, dumping ("baptism") of his dead body in a watery grave, and the descent of his soul into the Underworld.1
Deuteronomy 21:22-23 (KJV) reads: "And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be to be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree: His body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day; (for he that is hanged is accursed of God;) that thy land be not defiled, which the Lord thy God giveth thee for an inheritance." Because of the stigma associated with the brutal execution and post-mortem defamation of Osiris, the event was later euphemized. In the Egyptian New Kingdom rendition of the story, the body of Osiris was first sealed within a cedar coffin. After being thrown into the Nile, the coffin containing the dead body of Osiris washed up on the shore, not at morbid Abydos in Egypt, but at Byblos of Phoenicia. A tamarisk seed sprouted under it and grew into a great tree. The coffin was lifted up and became encased in the trunk of the tree as it grew. An even more abstract version states that a pine tree grew where the blood of Osiris was shed, and thereby assimilated his essence or spirit. In these later tales, the dead body of Osiris was not directly exposed, but hidden in a wooden chest or within the trunk of a tree.
The tree of Dionysos was also the straight-trunk pine. The symbol of Dionysos was the pole, with a clambering grape vine coiled around it rather than a serpent as in the common caduceus. It was also sometimes crowned with a pinecone. The trained vine again associates him with grape cultivation and wine making. A pomegranate tree was also said to have grown where the blood of the infant Dionysos was shed.m This is connected to the Syrian cult of Osiris called Rimmon or Rimmon-Parez, which means "pomegranate-breach," i.e., a splitting open or breaking forth out of a pomegranate. The belly of a pregnant woman is compared in this case to the pomegranate. This imagery relates to the violence of his birth rather than to that of his death. Dionysos was born of the tree (his mother Smyrna, the "split myrrh"), and was in his death reborn of the tree (pine, cedar or acacia). The image of a dead god hanging upon a pole or tree is the ultimate contradiction. It represents the duality of life and death.
The name of Dionysos itself provides further clues to his death and resurrection. The conventional definition of Dio-nysos is "Son (of) God" or "God of the Underworld/ Afterlife" from the Greek Nyseion, "Fairyland."n However, given the context, other connotations are appropriate:
- "Bound (and) Pierced," from Gk. deo, "to bind" and nusso (3572) "pierce."2 In John 19:34, there is the deliberate choice of the archaic Greek word nusso to describe the piercing of Christ on the cross.
- "Bound (to) Pole/Stake/Tree," i.e., hung from a pole or tree, from nysa "tree" or nes, "pole/stake."o The divine Biblical epithet, Jehovah-Nissi (Ex. 17:15), means "Jehovah is my Standard," i.e., the pole with a flag/emblem.
One of the most potent and mysterious symbols of the Torah is that of the brazen serpent lifted upon a pole. In the Exodus account, the Israelites challenged the authority of Moses and were attacked by serpents. Num 21:6-9 (KJV) reads:
"And the Lord sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died ... And the Lord said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived."
The symbol of the serpent on a pole represented the slain Osiris. It instantly evoked sentiments of compassion, forgiveness and consolation. In this sense, the pointless tragedy of his death had a purpose. He had not died in vain. Euphemistically, it had been the will of God, and his literal Father, to strike him down for some greater good. Those who mourned his death were comforted by the hope that he had been resurrected, and that faith in him brought mercy, healing and immortality. Moreover, evildoers would ultimately be judged and punished. Throughout all of pharaonic history, the resurrected Osiris played the part of Judge of the Dead. This and other aspects of Osiris were later assimilated into resurrected and ascended Jesus, the Christian Osiris.3
The crucified and resurrected Osiris was originally not a god of the living, but of the dead and dying. At the time of Osiris' death, mourners were comforted with his bodily preservation and symbolic resurrection. Veneration of Osiris was the essential element in the funeral cult of the pharaohs. If one's DNA is preserved, the essence of that person is also preserved and could be theoretically brought back to life on some future day. This practice of the pharaohs was extended to the noble class in the Egyptian Middle Kingdom, and eventually even to commoners. Ultimately, embalmment was no longer considered necessary for identification with Osiris, but only faith. The condemned and terminally ill, even those who were poor or dispossessed, could be comforted with the hope of sharing in the immortality of Osiris. Those who were "snake-bit" in the Numbers passage quoted above did not live on in the literal sense, but only in a spiritual one. Likewise, in John 11:25 (KJV), Jesus, the New Testament Osiris, asserts: "I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
In the Book of Genesis, the pseudonym given to Osiris is itself a telltale epitaph. It very simply reads: Mehujael, meaning "Smitten of God." The murder of Osiris was tragic in and of itself. However, he had been taunted, tortured, killed and then desecrated with such extreme prejudice. This served to permanently transfix his memory. It also forever raised him up as the champion of all who were victims of misfortune, injustice and tyranny. However, the cult of Osiris was later tainted by its association with the drunken excesses of the Dionysos-Tammuz cult and the erotic rites of Aphrodite-Ashtaroth worship. In Ezekiel 8:14, women weeping for the slain Tammuz are called a detestable thing. Prior to Ezekiel's time, King Hezekiah, a contemporary of the prophet Isaiah, destroyed the "brasen serpent" that represented the crucified Osiris.4
The Patriarch Mehujael is not the first casualty in the Genesis narrative. However, he does represent the archetypal crucified messiah. The first martyr of Genesis is Abel, who was struck down by his "brother" Cain. The name Abel (1893) means "emptiness or vanity," from the verb habal (1891) "to be vain; spec. to lead astray." This pseudonym indicates that the author considered the divine Abel (Alal) to be unworthy of his station. In fact, there is no record outside of the Bible that Cain (Anu) had been punished. On the contrary his victory was celebrated. Dionysos/Osiris was certainly not without faults, however his brutal death was seen by most as entirely undeserved. In Egypt, "he was given the epithet Wennefer, 'the perpetually good being', in recognition of his beneficence."p One of the many epithets of Greek Dionysos was ortho, meaning "straight," i.e., correct, possessing integrity and being morally upright.
The list of the seven Patriarchs who preceded Noah is not a pure genealogy, but a succession list among the gods. The senior gods did grow old and yield with reluctance and conflict to the younger ones. However, most if not all of the gods were still very much alive when Osiris was put to death. This made his killing all the more exceptional and poignant. It was unimaginable that a god should go the way of all the earth at such an early age, especially one endued with such ability and beauty. The rare crime drew an equally unusual reaction. It was deemed that the Chief Justice, even Re himself, was not at all beyond reproach. Re, who was the "father" of Seth, was held primarily if not solely accountable for the killing of Osiris. With the urging of the widowed Isis, Re was sentenced to death for having passed premature judgment on Osiris. Re was sealed away in solitary confinement within his own Great Pyramid. However, on the third day, his accusers relented. Re was rescued and the death penalty was commuted to exile. This became the source of Re's Biblical pseudonym, Irad, the "fugitive."
All gods were guilty, as guilty as Sin,
Goddesses unclean, unclean as the men.
When the sun had fallen twice from the path,
So did blinding rays of self-righteous wrath.
Re traveled restlessly around the earth.
Nightly war alone ensured his rebirth.
Osiris lived in freedom, peace and mirth.
Never to suffer from excess or dearth.
Guilty by Association
There is no record that Seth was prosecuted or punished for his role. The lynch men were not held responsible. Seth and his companions could be excused for having carried out the order of a superior. In the short term, it was Seth who benefited the most from the disposal of Osiris. However, Seth was increasingly demonized in later tradition, because of his continued aggression. Disapproval of Seth is not surprising, but in the Pyramid Texts (Utterances 218 & 219) we unexpectedly find the incrimination of another vigilante:
"See what Seth and Thoth have done, your two brothers who do not know how to mourn you. ... O Seth, this one here is your brother Osiris, who has been caused to be restored that he may live and punish you ... O Thoth, this one here is your brother Osiris, who has been caused to be restored that he may live and punish you."q
Joseph Kaster writes, "[This is] one of the few references to Thoth as another brother of Osiris and an accomplice of Set." In most other texts Thoth is not a 'villain' but the scribe and attorney of the gods and the executor of their decrees."r
The Biblical name of Thoth is Lamech, who is the seventh and final Patriarch before the Flood.5 Lamech also is implicated in the death of a noble youth. Genesis 4:23-24 (KJV) reads, "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Based on the testimony of the Pyramid Texts, the young man or youth killed by Thoth (Lamech) was certainly Osiris (Mehujael). But, did Thoth kill in self-defense or out of slavish obedience? Was his act motivated by jealousy or retaliation? Thoth (Utu) was the twin brother and also a suitor of Isis (Inanna). (See Note 2) Like Re and Seth, he resented Osiris (Dumuzi), and was therefore willing to be a party to the crime. The Genesis text also indicates that the murder was not accidental but deliberate, which is in character for Thoth. The verse in question can be translated in the future tense. That is, "I will kill a man ..." In Egyptian lore, Thoth tried to resuscitate Osiris, but the Pyramid Texts reveal that he had no regrets. In Genesis, Lamech identifies with the pain suffered by the victim. However he justifies himself and declares his relative innocence by comparing his killing to that of Abel by Cain.6 Another interpretation is that when compared with Abel, Osiris was eleven times as vain and unworthy! This possibly reflects a shared bias against Osiris (Tammuz) that is found in the Book of Ezekiel. As in the case against Abel, the shepherd god Mehujael was perceived by some as only leading the sheep astray. In this view, it was only proper that he was "killed by God."
Released but not Reformed
The exile of Re did not put an end to the strife. It only led to greater conflict and to a permanent rift in the divine family. Horus the Elder (Methushael) was able to gain the upper hand and wrest the sovereignty of Upper Egypt away from Seth. However, after re-establishing himself in Phoenicia, Seth then defeated and killed Horus the Elder. Henceforth, Horus the Elder became known as "Horus who is in Osiris." In the Bible he is called Hadad-Rimmon (Horus-Osiris). From Zechariah 12:10-11, we can deduce that the site of the final conflict between Seth and Horus the Elder had been at the Valley of Megiddo (Armegeddon). It was prophesized both in Zechariah and in other Old and New Testament books that this awesome battle would be repeated, but with Set (Satan) being defeated in the rematch. After the death of Horus the Elder, another Horus, known as Horus the Younger, was groomed to succeed the king of chaos, Seth.
In the final act of the New Kingdom story, the perennial troublemaker Seth is bound and brought before the assembly of the gods for judgment. Like the defeated Satan of the Book of Revelation, he no longer appears strong and defiant, but meekly concedes the throne to Horus the Younger. His fate is not made explicit. It is thought that he was either banished or forced to commit suicide. However, his favor with Re was always remembered. Seth was given a place in the solar barque (boat), where he assisted Re in his nightly battles. In one tradition, he was said to have been adopted as the son of Re-Harakhty ("Re and Horus in the Two Horizons").s
In Greek tradition, Apollo was also bound and required to serve one year of hard labor. He thereafter reformed his ways and actually preached moderation! In the Classical Age of Greece, Apollo was further revered as a sun god. Nevertheless, in Jewish and especially later Christian tradition, the notion that Set/Apollo could ever reform was flatly rejected. He was himself emphatically libeled as the perennial bully and accuser, Satan. He remained the "Prince of Darkness," and became all the more insidious for disguising himself "as an angel of light," i.e., a sun god.t The Book of Revelation is careful to explicitly tell us the Greek form of his name, that is, Apollyon, the "Destroyer."u The original Egyptian form of the name Seth was Sutekh, which also meant "Destroyer" or "Instigator of Confusion."v
Succession without Aggression
Another Greek appellation of Apollo is that of Perseus son of Acrisius.w The name Perseus also means "Destroyer" and is synonymous with Apollo and Sutekh. Acrisius ("Ill-Judgment") is patently a pun on the name Re, the jostling judge of Egypt. Heracles (Horus the Younger) was specifically sired by the Supreme God Zeus to replace Perseus.x However, when the inauguration day of Horus the Younger finally came, changes were made. The prolonged and bitter conflict of both Osiris and Horus the Elder with Seth led to reforms in the rules of succession (co-regency) and a new balance of power. The authority of the destructive, younger gods would be curtailed. Horus the Younger was after much debate declared to be the rightful heir. He would be successor, however absolute power was not granted to him. According to the ancient king-lists, it is instead Thoth who heads the final dynasty of the gods. Egypt was ruled with Thoth as regent and elder advisor, Maat as divine queen, Horus as co-regent, and 30 demi-gods as ministers. (Maat is possibly Sheshat, consort of Thoth, and/or "queen mother" Isis). For better or worse, this basic model of government prevailed for the next 3500 years.
In the murder of Osiris, Thoth had taken an active role in carrying out the will of the "father" Re. He was later able to wash his hands of the deed, or was officially "justified" as having acted under duress. After the final judgment of Set, Thoth was appointed the intermediary between the aging and retiring older gods and emerging mankind. On the positive side, Thoth was patient, meticulous, reliable, faithful, and obedient. He specialized in written records and formal oratory. He was fast to do for others, and fastidious in his own work. He formed close bonds with all of his contemporaries. He pursued peace through compromise. He was the ideal political animal. However, Thoth also tended to be deliberate, calculating, organized, strict, stoical, pedantic and pompous. As with the other gods, Thoth was later parodied with animal humor. The baboon provided a well-suited lampoon of his love for contemplation and ceremony. The ibis was his most familiar icon, and depicts Thoth as the original "pencil-neck geek."
Thoth assumed the role of Atum as the self-created god. Ala Enlil, he was a god of clean hands, who hated evil and meted out severe punishment for disobedience. From Ptah he learned genetics, medicine, magic and mischief. Like Geb, he excelled in the knowledge of plant life and nutrition. Thoth became a master of astronomy and mathematics in the manner of Seth. He was the constant companion of Re and became known as his very heart and tongue. In other words, he spoke for Re and did much of his thinking! In his later years, Re was alternately indecisive and arbitrary and couldn't seem to function at all without the wise counsel of Thoth. In Egypt, Thoth was mainly associated with the moon and stars. However, in Syria and Mesopotamia, Thoth was known as the sun god Utu/Tutu and Shamash, respectively. The solar identity of Thoth would have been transferred to him by his patron, the sun god Marduk-Re.
The Greek identity of Thoth is Hermes, "messenger of the gods." The staff or Caduceus of Hermes is the traditional symbol of the medical profession. It is distinguished from others by the symmetry of its two intertwined serpents and matched pair of wings. The wings are usually thought to represent the wide and speedy travel of Hermes, or to signify his diplomatic immunity. The wings of a bird rest on the "shoulders" of the Hermes Caduceus. This signifies the favor of Thoth given to him by the senior gods. A falcon shown resting on the shoulder of a king designated him as "the Horus," the rightful heir to the throne. However, in the ancient world, wings and birds in general were just as commonly the symbols of the healing gods and of the afterlife. For example, a bird is shown hovering over the body of Osiris to signify the flight of his soul (ba) after death. Malachi 4:2 (KJV) reads: "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings ..."
The intertwined serpents of the Hermes Caduceus were inherited from the iconography of Enki/Ptah, and represented both life and healing in a genetic sense. Resurrection from the dead was the ultimate form of healing, which under certain circumstances Thoth was said to perform. Osiris was too badly damaged for Thoth to revive in a literal sense, however the mummification process was intended to preserve his essence, that is, his DNA, for "millions of years." One of the identities of Hermes/Thoth in Mesopotamia was as the fertility god Ningishzida. This name has been variously translated as "Lord of the Upright Pole" or "Lord of the Tree of Life"y, i.e., master of the genome. The emblem of Ningishzida was the same as that of Enki, the intertwined copulating serpents. Thoth excelled not only in medication, but also in mediation. Applied to Hermes/Thoth, the dual serpents represented the synthesis of diametrically opposed forces, and to the healing of relationships through arbitration. The bird of prey and the snake were natural enemies. The snake eats the eggs of the bird. The bird of prey eats the snake. Yet, even they seem to be reconciled in the emblem of Thoth/Hermes.
The Seventh of Seven Gods
In Greek legend, Hermes was celebrated for his musical ability and inventiveness. He is also credited with devising the musical scale.z The common musical scale is that of seven distinct notes that repeat in octaves. The reign of Thoth also represented the fulfillment of a grand cycle. Thoth was not the first note of a new cycle, but the seventh and final note of a completed scale. The number seven is the Biblical number of completion, and is emphasized in the narrative of Lamech. He is said to have lived 777 years. Thoth was the final Patriarch before the Flood, which signaled the end or completion of an Age. In the Book of Genesis, Thoth (Lamech) is the 7th Patriarch in the line of Adam. This was made possible by removal of the god Seth from the succession list. Lamech was to be avenged 77 times if killed in retaliation for helping Seth murder Osiris.
The god Thoth changed the Egyptian calendar from ten-day weeks to seven-day weeks. In the Bible, the seventh day, i.e., the Sabbath, was considered holy and a day of solemn rest. Sheshat, the consort of Thoth wore an ornamental headdress notable for its unique seven-pedal flower or seven-spiked star. The number seven is integral to the pyramid with its square base and triangular faces. The Great Pyramid also embodies the number Pi, which is closely approximated with whole numbers by the ratio of 22 divided by 7. Thoth was made the final custodian of the Great Pyramid. The Greek name Hermes means "cairn, or pillar"aa, i.e., a monument or heap of stones. As a fertility god, Thoth was called by the name of Min in Egypt. The Egyptian word men also means monument, as in the name Akh-menu, "most glorious of monuments."ab
The symmetry, serenity and solemnity of Thoth's character are misleading. The world he ruled was becoming an increasingly hectic place. Genesis 6:5,11 (KJV) states, "The wickedness of man was great in the earth and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence." Maintaining control was a Herculean labor, even for mighty Horus the Younger. However, Thoth (Hermes) and the other gods already realized that it didn't really much matter. The end of the Age was at hand. It was no time for piety or for sobriety. The plan of the day was "eat, drink and be merry ... for tomorrow we die."
The god Enlil had opposed both the making and the educating of man. Yet, an even greater sin in his eyes had come next. The "cursed" creatures became one with their blessed begetters. Enlil was enraged at this "evil" and determined to put an end to it. The coming Flood provided the perfect opportunity. The other gods, especially Enki, did not share the sentiment or sentence proposed by Enlil. Nevertheless, as senior god, Enlil pulled rank and imposed his will. Although a difference of opinion among the gods was to blame, it was their children who ultimately bore the shame.
We too are bloodthirsty like Cain and Seth.
Completely unworthy both Ben and Beth.
Our Judgment comes and Nun will thrive.
Is an Ark ready? Will knowledge survive?
Peace is to have purpose in every breath.
Lasting contentment comes only with death.
We are the happiest when we can strive,
To make life better for being alive.
- King James Version
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, (1.1), p 28.
- Definitions by Robert Graves, The Greek Myths.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, (126 a,1), pp 475, 477.
- Ibid, (18.h) pp 69-70.
- Barbara Watterson, Gods of Ancient Egypt, p 56.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, (27.a), p 103. Cf Smyrna and Semele.
- Ibid, pp 103-106.
- Antigone, line 1115.
- Michael Astour, Hellenosemitica, p190.
- Associations and definitions by Michael Astour, Hellenosemitica.
- Compare especially Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, and 1 Peter 3:19-22.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, (18.6), p 72; (27.10), p 110.
- Michael Astour, Helenosemitica, p 191.
- Michael Astour, Helenosemitica, p 107.
- Barbara Watterson, Gods of Ancient Egypt, p 56.
- Translation by R.O. Faulkner, The Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts, pp 46-47.
- The Wisdom of Ancient Egypt, p 81.
- Barbara Watterson, Gods of Ancient Egypt, p 83.
- 2 Corinthians 11:14
- Revelation 9:11
- Margaret Bunson, A Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, p 242.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, (73, 118), pp 237, 446.
- Ibid, (118.d), p 448.
- Michael Astour, Hellenosemitica, pp 156, 161, 229, 301.
- Robert Graves, The Greek Myths, 14, pp 63-67.
- Definition by R. Graves, The Greek Myths, p 764.
- Nigel & Helen Strudwick, Thebes in Egypt, p 55.
The murder can be reconstructed from the various sources, namely from the legends of "Dumuzi and Enkimdu: the Dispute between the Shepherd-God and the Farmer-God," "Inanna's Descent to the Nether World," and from "The Death of Dumuzi." The first two epics are published by Pritchard in Ancient Near Eastern Texts. The last text is pieced together by S.N. Kramer, et.al., and outlined in The Sumerians, pp 156-160.
Michael Astour (Hellenosemitica, p 159) notes that Geshtinanna ("the heavenly vine") was the consort of Ningishzida. The goddesses Bau (Ba-ba) and Belit-Seri were also consorts of Ningishzida. These three names may represent unique goddesses, but are more likely different names of the same goddess, the Egyptian Isis-Sret.
Texts relating to the death of Dumuzi are also commented upon by Zecharia Sitchin (The Wars of Gods and Men, pp 216-220). He cites another text (CT.15.28-29) in which Dumuzi rapes his sister Gesht-inanna. Gesht-innana is generally assumed to be another unattested sister of Dumuzi, (as by Kramer, cited above, and Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, p 637 footnote 2; and on p 639). In the city of Lagash, Geshtinanna was the consort of the god Ninurta (Geb). Perhaps Geshtinanna was an unknown sister or even an epithet of Ereshkigal (Nephyths/Persephone), and the attention showed her by Dumuzi provoked the jealously of Inanna. However, it seems more likely that G'esht-innana is an epithet derived from the two common Mesopotamian names of Isis, those being Inanna and Ishtar/Eshdar. The exclusive relationship between Dumuzi (Osiris) and Inanna (Isis) was at the root of the conflict. In the Greek account, Adonis (Dionysos-Osiris) is not killed for raping Aphrodite (Isis), but for withholding his sexual favors from Persephone (Nephthys).
Nephthys was not alone in her jealous fury. Many of the gods were also angry at Osiris for monopolizing the affections of Isis. Among these were not only Seth, but Geb (Ninurta) and Thoth. In Mesopotamian tradition, Geshtinanna was also the consort of Ningishzidda (Thoth). According to the Pyramid Texts, Thoth not only had a hand in the "resurrection" of Osiris, but also in his death! The rape of Geshtinanna by Dumuzi, or rather her exclusive relationship with Osiris, would have been equally an offence to Ningishzidda (Thoth).
Unfortunately, Sitchin does not associate Mesopotamian Dumuzi (Canaanite Tammuz) with the Egyptian god Osiris. If Sitchin had recognized the equivalence of Osiris and Dumuzi, his thesis and chronology would have been greatly simplified.
Piercing is a crucial aspect of the Old Testament memory of the death of Osiris.
Ps 22:16 (KJV) "For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet."
"pierced" from Heb. ariy (738) ar-ee'; a lion:- (young) lion, + pierce
from arah (717) to pluck
A play on words alluding to Re/Ares, the god held responsible for the death of Osiris.
Isaiah 27:1 (KJV) "
punish leviathan the piercing serpent."
"piercing" from Heb. bariach (1281) a fugitive, i.e. the serpent (as fleeing) and the constellation by that name:- crooked, noble, piercing
from barach (1272) to bolt, i.e. fig. to flee suddenly:- chase (away); drive away, fain, flee (away), put to flight, make haste, reach, run away, shoot.
A play on words alluding to Levi/Montu/Set, the god who performed the killing of Osiris.
Isaiah 36:6; 2 Kings 18:21 (KJV) "
it will go into his hand, and pierce it:"
"pierce" from Heb. naqab (5344) to puncture, lit. (to perforate with more or less violence) or fig. (to specify, designate, libel):- blaspheme, curse, pierce, strike through
cf naqam (5358) to grudge, i.e. avenge or punish
naqam, "avenged," is the word used by Lamech in Gen. 4:24
Zechariah 12:10-11 (NIV) "They will look upon me whom they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo." The word translated by the New International Version as "pierced" is the Hebrew daqar (1856) to stab; by anal. to starve; fig. to revile:- pierce, strike through, wound. Cf deqaq (1855) corresp. to (1854) beat in pieces (small); to crumble or (trans.) crush:- break to pieces
Rimmon (Osiris) and Hadad-Rimmon (Horus the Elder, "Horus who is in Osiris") were both slain by Seth. Horus the Elder and Seth staged their final battle at Megiddo (Armageddon).
In identification with the Osiris cult, there are strong agrarian themes in the Gospels. There is also a deliberate emphasis on wine. The critics of Jesus call him a "wine-bibber." Jesus changes the water into wine, and compared his shed blood to wine.
Jesus receives the adoration of women, as did Osiris. However, the sexuality and marriage of Jesus is entirely repressed. This discouraged the association of Jesus with licentious forms of the Osiris cult. It was important to present Jesus as being without sin, a sacrifice without defect. "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." - John 10:11 (NIV)
Jesus raised L'azarus ("The Osiris") from the dead, symbolizing that the Osiris cult was itself being "resurrected." At this time, Jesus also predicts his own death and resurrection.
Jesus weeps for Lazarus. His followers would in turn weep for him, but are comforted with his symbolic resurrection. Mourners at his empty tomb are told: "He is risen."
Jesus is "anointed" for burial prior to his crucifixion, and again when taken down from the cross. This was in recognition of the embalmment of Osiris. However, these substances were intended to disinfect and heal the wounds of Jesus, and not to preserve his corpse. His death and resurrection would not have been literal.
Christ forgives the criminal being crucified next to him. In the Osiris tradition, there was hope not only for the misfortunate of this world, but even for the damned.
2 Kings 18:4 (KJV) states that a later king, Hezekiah, "brake into pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.
"brasen serpent" (5180) Nehushtan (Heb. Nechushtan), from nechosheth (5178) "something made of copper, i.e., the copper serpent of the desert." The name Nehushtan is a play on Hebrew words with "serpent," nachash (5175), and "consolation," nacham (5163/5164).
Cf Sheth/Seth (8352) "substituted" as in Osiris the substitute for sinners.
Cf Sheth (8351) "tumult", an alternate form (8352) and an epithet of the Egyptian Set, the "noisy boaster."
Cf fiery serpents AND scorpions in Deut. 8:15; Cf Isaiah 14:29; 30:6; 2 Kings 18:4
Strong considers the etymology of the Hebrew name Lemekh/Lamech to be uncertain. However, related Hebrew words are instructive:
limmud (3929) instructed:- accustomed, disciple, learned, taught, used.
from lamad (3925) to goad, i.e (by impl.) to teach (the rod being an Oriental incentive):- expert, skilful, teach (er,-ing).
Among the gods, Thoth was the wise but strict teacher and preserver of knowledge.
The root lum means "light." The Latin luna is the word for "moon." Thoth was especially associated with the moon in Egypt. Likewise, on Crete he was called Minos ("the moon's creature"). Definition that of Robert Graves. This connects to another form of Thoth in Egypt, the god Min, who was worshipped at Coptos and Akhmin. Outside of Egypt, Thoth was known as the sun god, and named variously as Utu/Tutu and Shamash.
In the Book of Enoch, the name of Thoth/Lamech is Uriel, meaning "flame (or light) of God." Another Biblical pseudonym of Thoth is the wise Lemuel (Proverbs 31:1, 4)
The full etymology of the related names Min and Menes is found in the notes of the next chapter.
Thoth ruled Egypt with the help of his 30 "sons." The Bible only mentions 3 "sons" of Lamech. They are Jabal, Jubal, Tubal-cain. All three of these names are derived from the Hebrew yabal (2986) yaw-bal'; to flow; causat. to bring (espec. with pomp):- bring (forth)
Noah is not mentioned as one of these sons, unless Jabal/Jubal/Tubal are pseudonyms of Noah. In the various myths of the ancient world Noah himself has many names, including Utnapishtim, Ziasudra, Adapa and Deucalion.
Genesis 4:23-24 (KJV), "And Lamech said unto his wives, Adah and Zillah, Hear my voice; ye wives of Lamech, hearken unto my speech: for I have slain a man to my wounding, and a young man to my hurt. If Cain shall be avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy and sevenfold.
Thoth was inventor of the alphabet and writing ("from Adah to Zillah"). He was the messenger and spokesman of the gods. In the Bible, he addresses even his own wives in a formal speech!
According to the Schocken Bible: "The names [Ada and Tzilla] suggest 'dawn' and 'dusk.' " [from Theodor H. Gastor] This etymology connects Thoth with the cycles of the sun and moon. His consort Sheshat ("goddess-zilla") assisted him in surveying and shadow measurements. Zecharia Sitchin writes (When Time Began, p 163), "Sesheta too was associated with the number seven. One of her epithets was 'Sesheta means seven' and her name was often written hieroglyphically by the sign for seven placed above a bow."
Adah (5711) ornament
from (5710) to advance, i.e. pass on or continue
Zillah (6741) fem. of (6738) tsel, shade :- shadow
hear (8085) shama, to hear intelligently (often with impl. of attention obedience, etc.; caus. to tell, etc.)
voice (6963) qowl, to call aloud; a voice or sound:- proclamation
wives (802) ishshah (cf Sheshat, pronounced similarly to ishshah)
hearken (238) azan, to expand; but used only as a denom. from 241; to broaden out the ear (with the hand)
Cf Azriel, the name of an angel.
speech (565) imrah, commandment, speech, word.
from (561) emer and (559) amar
slain (2026) harag, smite with deadly intent (cf Har/Hor/Horus)
Cf (2029) to be (or become) pregnant, conceive (helped Isis conceive Horus)
man (376) iysh, every(one), (good-, great, mighty) man
young man (3206) yeled, something born, i.e. a lad or offspring:- boy, child, fruit, son, young man (one).
wounding (6482) petsa, a wound from the verb (6481) patsa "to split"
cf (6483) pitstets to dissever; a priest:- Apses (apogee or perigee, the altar or east end of a church)
(6475) patsah, to rend, i.e. open (espec. the mouth:- deliver, gape, open, rid, utter.
hurt (2250) prop. bound with stripes, i.e. a weal (or black and blue mark itself)
from chabar (2266) to join (lit. or fig.); spec. (by means of spells) to fascinate:- charm (-er), have fellowship with, heap up, join (self, together), league.
avenged (5358) naqam, to grudge, i.e. avenge or punish (cf Nabu)
truly, Heb. emoth or amen