Re: Ark of the Covenant of Aten or Amun-ra?
If Aten/Aton/Adon is the same as Amen/Amun, etc then maybe the following may have some significance to the messages.
HIGH PLACES & HOLY PLACES; QADESH & KEDESH; CITADELS & TOWERS, CITIES OF REFUGE AND THE ARK OF THE COVENENT.
In this section I have used definitions taken from a number of sources, such as The International Dictionary and Concordance of the Bible (IDCB), National Geographic (NG), and The Pictorial Dictionary of the Bible (PDB).
Terms used to describe God. “Most High”, “Over All”, “Go Up before Him”. Note all these terms indicate that God is “Above us all”, residing in a “High Place” and to find him one must “Go Up”, to find him. What can we make of the term “Go Up”? In many cases “Up” obviously means, above, high above, in the sky, on top of a mountian, looking over the surrounding area, etc. The term “High Places” could mean a Tower, a hill or a mountain, or a city or temple on top of a mountain or hill, etc. These places are, in most cases, also considered to be “Holy Places”.
But, to go up, can also mean to go up river, as in go upstream, from the low level areas of the delta to the hills or mountains of the source. Thus in Egypt, to “Go Up”, could very well mean to go South, or up-stream. In Israel it would mean to go North and in Mesopotamia it could mean to go North or North West or West. In Israel that would be from the Dead Sea to the Mountains of Lebanon, in Mesopotamia it would mean going from the Persian Gulf to Asia Minor, in Egypt from the Mediteranean Sea to the land of Cush or Ethiopia, etc. While doing research in these areas one has to be careful to determine just what the author means when the term “Go up”, or “High Places” or “Most High”, etc. is found.
One must also be careful, for the same reasons, when ever you read the words “to Go Down ”, etc. Thus should you expect the description to mean “go down the hill or mountain” or to “go down stream or down the river’, etc. When the term “high place(s)” is used, I feel that a hill or mountain or a tall man-made structure can be safely determined. That is if you have faith that the term was faithfully copied from some earlier source, both written or orally passed down. Thus it is possible that the term “High Place (s)”, could be a mistranslation, in some cases, and really mean “up River.” The best policy therfore is to keep an open mind when ever you come across these terms.
Since I am for more familiar with the Hebrew meaning of words than the Egyptian, I will have to leave most speculation on the Egyptian words, to an expert in that area. In the Hebrew, however, my reference volumes, appear to have done an pretty good job of explaining certain words and phrases that are related to this topic.
HOLINESS OR HOLY
Holiness or Holy- from the Hebrew words Qadesh (Q, d, s, h) which is the same as the Greek “Hag”. The basic meaning of Qadesh is “seperateness, withdrawal.” Kadesh, from Hebrew Qadesh, from Qadhosh, means “to be holy”, it can also be written as Kedesh. A Qedesh place is the same as a “holy place”. “Withdrawal, seperateness”, tends to make me think that the meaning may tend to refer to a place similar to a monastary, or a place of an oracle, or a place to be alone with God, etc.
Kadehesh, also means “to sanctify”, or bless or make holy a place. IE, a sacred, or holy place, made holy by some deed of God, or by one of Gods followers, etc. In many, if not all cases, the use of Kedesh/Kadesh has some connection to another term. That term is “High Place(s).”
A “High Place”, in the Bible, was especially referred to during the invasion of Canaan and the subsequent rule of the Judges and the early kingdom. From the PBD, A “High Place” could be the “Promised Land- Men try to chose high places to worship God(s) and build alters, etc. Numbers 33:52, instructs the children of Israel to ‘destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places.’” High places were used in the worship of the Canaanite god, Baal or Baalim.
SANCTUARY OR REFUGE
The definition of “Sanctuary”- this word is written in Hebrew as Miqdash or could it be Miqdesh?
In any event this is quite close to the word Qadesh. If an “a” was inserted between the “q” and the “d” in Miqdash, as would be expected, then the word would have been spelled as Mi-qadash or Mi-qadesh!, which cold easily be transposed as Mi-Kedesh or Mi-Kadesh or maybe Mi-Kadehesh? A Sanctury used to signify “holy” would be a “Temple” or “the established earthly abode of God.” When Miqdesh is used in its plural form it usually denotes “idolatrous shrines or high places”.
A Sanctuary could also be a place of asylum or refuge. In the Bible are listed six “cities of refuge” or “Arehamiqlat”, they were located on each side of the River Jordan, and are spaced out from North to South, they were under the supervision of the Levites. On the East side of the Jordan starting in the South and working North, are Bezer (Benjamin), Ramoth-Gilead (Gad) and Golan (Manasseh). On the West side of he river were, Hebron (Judah), Shechem (Ephraim) and Kedesh (Nathtali). Now this is interesting, since Kedesh can mean both “high place”, “holy place” and “sanctuary.”
Other places of sanctuary are; the Luxor Temple in Thebes, which is located on the West side of the Nile river. It was called the “Southern City of Sanctuary” or “Opet”! See more on this sanctuary later.
Note that the Arab name for Jerusalem is “Al-Kuds or al-Sharif”, which also means “City of Sanctuary!”
LUXOR/THEBES - KARKAK AND OPET - HOLY CITY OF SANCTUARY
The following was found in a National Geographic map on Egypt (2001). “The Temple at Luxor” (Thebes) (or Thebez?, see the story of Abimelech.) “is dedicated to Amun-Re, built by Amenhotep III. The temple probably stood on the site of an earlier shrine. It is south of the main Luxor/Thebes ara and the great temple of Amun-Re and the Temple of Mut. The Egyptians called the Luxor Temple ‘Opet”, or the southern sanctuary. In the annual ‘Opet’ festival... statues of the God Amun-Re, his consort Mut, and their son Khonsu travelled from Karnak to the temple of Luxor, which still displays reliefs depicting the public areas.”
The Amun-Re complex was begun in the 12th Dynasty. This temple had an east-west axis following the sun and a north-south axis following the Nile river.
Looking at the National Geographic map of the temple complex at Karnak and Luxor you can observe just where each facility at this “holy place” was located. If I have my facts correct there was a Temple at Luxor/Thebes dedicated to Amun-Re. This temple was located about one and one half miles from the center of the Great Temple of Amun-Re, which was located down river and North of the Temple in Luxor. The Great Temple of Amun-Re, was located at Karnak, and along with the adjoining temple complex of Mut, is approximately one mile in length from South to North. The older Temple of Amun-Re was located in Thebes/Luxor and is approximately one mile to the South from the southernmost point of the Temple of Mut. I only say older because this Temple was built by Amenhotep III (18th Dynasty), on what is thought to have been a more ancient temple, probably dating from the 12th Dynasty.
Once a year there was a celebration to honor the god Amun-Re. The festival is believed to have been called the festival of “opet”. Opet, on its on, may mean “refuge” or “sancturary.” Before the 18th Dynasty (from the 12th to the 18th ), it appears the festival of Opet, had the images of the Gods travel over land from the Temple in Karnak to the Temple in Thebes, the procession was down a large processional avenue. Sometime during the 18th Dynasty, the images were transported from the Great Temple complex in Karnak, to the Nile river and then barged up-river to a landing site near the Old Temple Complex in Thebes.
As mentioned earlier, the temple complex at Luxor was from ancient time been designated as the “southern sanctuary”, or “opet”, and was dedicated to a primeval form of the god Amun-Re. If I understand the purposes of the different temples listed on the map, I can make the assumption that the statues of the gods Amun-Re, his queen Mut and their son Khonsu were kept for most of the year in seperated temple complexes located in Karnak. It appears that the opet festival, was designed to mimic some ancient ritual when the living gods themselves made the procession from Karnak to Luxor and back. This is probably what was is meant by the term “primeval form of the god Amun-Re” mentioned above. It is also possible that the “Opet” Temple, was an actual place of refuge or sanctuary for some prince or king of Egypt in earlier days. This would make it similar to the places mentioned in the Bible that became cities or places of refuge for Biblical heroes such as Jacob and David, etc. It was also in Egypt that Abraham sought refuge from the drought, and Mary, Joseph and Jesus (Joshua) found refuge from King Herod. Many experts consider that On or Heliopolis (the Northern refuge) was the city of refuge in Egypt.
LUZ OR LUXOR?- THEBES OR BETHEL?
Note on the word “Luxor”. I do not know from what source the modern name Luxor is derived. If it has any ancient Egyptian conatations, I do not know what they are. In the Hebrew language the word “Luz” is equated to a place (sanctuary?) Jacob came to when fleeing from home. “Luz” also is equated with “Bethel”, Bethel means “the house of God.” Could Lux-or also be the same as Luz-or? Are the words Lux and Luz synonymous?
BETHEL- BETH-EL (means literally “House of El”)
The ID&cb says; “First mentioned during Abraham’s wanderings in Canaan as one of the sites near which he built an alter...(Gen 13:1-4). It was here that Abraham’s grandson, Jacob had his dream of a ladder connecting heaven and earth, whereupon he called the place Bethel, that is, ‘House of God’, ‘Gate of Heaven’ (its former name was Luz).... Judges 1:22-26 related to the conquest of Bethel and verse 23 refers to it by its former name of Luz, as in Genesis 35:6... The Israelite temple at Bethel ) cf Jacob’s ‘pillar’ there) was in existence for a long time: the tabernacle and the ark of the covenant were housed there in the period of the Judges (Judg 20:2), ...A guild of prophets flourished there in Elijah’s time (II Kgs 2:2ff). Bethel’s importance was diminished by the construction of Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem which overshadowed Bethel as the unique and central place of worship.” Later the King Jerobiam, of the Northern Kingdom, built a “high Place” in Bethel for one of his “golden calves”. “Bethel is identified with the modern Beitin, about 12 miles (19km) north of Jerusalem.”
Let us now look at the “festival of OPET!” Opet or Ophet, as mentioned above means sanctuary/refuge or a city of sanctuary. Is their any place in Israel that nearly fits this word and/or the description thereupon?
MT. OF OLIVES
The Mt. of Olives, in Jerusalem is also called the Mt. of “Olivet”, which is very close to the word “Opet”. The Mt. of Olives is known as the place of the Ascension of Jesus to heaven. Upon this same mountain or hill, “High Places” were built by King Solomon to the gods Chemosh, Ashtoreth and Milcom. Chemosh was the Egyptian “false prophet” of Josephus and the theopany of Zechariah. It is reported that it was located just 2,000 cubits from Jerusalem which is reported to be the distance a man was allowed to travel on the Sabbath. I do not know just how far 2,000 cubits are today or what distance it allowed in the time of David and Solomon. This will be discussed later. Other sources mention that an alter or temple was also built on the Mt. of Olives, to the god Moloch. If this is true then at one time there were four separate temples on the summit of, or in the area of, the Mountain.
After leaving the Temple in Jerusalem, Jesus has a meeting with his disciples on “Olivet,” where he fortells the distruction of the Temple. Jesus reportedly sought refuge in the Garden of Gethsemane, which is believed to have been a part of the Mt. of Olivet/Olives. St, Mark 11:1, says, “And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives,...” From this we see that Bethphage and Bethany were also considered a part of the Mount of Olivet/Olives.
According to the PBD; “About the Sabbath day’s journey there is some uncertainty. The term, used to indicated the distance one might walk without breaking the Sabbath law, seems to have been an elastic one. Josephus calls it five stadia in one place and six in another, which would make it equal to 3000 or 3600 feet. This is about the distance from Jerusalem to the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12).” If we are forced to use this meaure, then it is about 3/5ths of a mile. If we go by the 2000 cubit rule, and we use Ezekiel’s “long cubit” which is about 20 inches, the distance allowed would be about 3333 feet. According to the ID&CB; “There were at least two kinds of cubit: the long cubit that was used for sacred matters (Ezek 40:5); and the ordinary cubit, which was one had shorter than the sacred cubit.”
More information on the Mt. of Olives, taken from the PBD, “1. Geographical, the feature is a flattened, rounded ridge with four identifiable summits, name is from the olive trees that in antiquity covered it...., and form the highest level of the range of hills to the E of Jerusalem (Ezek. 11:23; Sech. 14:4), rising 250 feet higher than the Temple Mount, and to 2,600 feet above sea level. Hence the supreme tactical significance of the Mount of Olives, demonstrated in the Roman siege of Jerusalem under Titus in A.D. 70. The Romans seem to have named the northern extension of this ridge ‘the lookout’... 2. Historical. It was the route of David’s flight from Absalom.... the route of Christ’s approach...”
The AEHL has this to say about Bethany on page 48; “A village on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives (Mark 11:1), identified by some with biblical Ananiah (Neh. 11:32) and prominent in the events of the New Testament. Jesus left Jerusalem after his triumphant entry and spent the night here (Matt. 21:17) The last halt on the pilgrims’ road from Jericho to Jerusalem (Mark 11:1); Luke 24:50-1, 15 furlongs from Jerusalem (John 11:18).”
The IC&DB describes Bethany as; “A village about 13/4 miles (3km) southeast of Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives and close to Bethpage.... Jesus lodged in Bethany during his last week in Jerusalem and the palm procession set out from here (Luke 19:29)... The ascension occured in the vicinity.”
BETHPHAGE/BETH-PAGE-means “house of figs.”
The AEHL says; “A village on the Mount of Olives, close to Jerusalem (Matt. 21:1) and near Bethany (Mark 11:1); Luke 19:29). Early Christian tradition identified it with et-Tur, east of Jerusalem on a mountain overlooking the city, where the modern Church of the Ressurection was built.”
The Id&CB says; “ A village east of the summit of the Mount of Olives and north of Bethany, near Jerusalem.”
MT. OPEL OR MT. OPHEL
Mt. Ophel, located also in Jerusalem. It is also known as “the Hill of Opel” or the “High Place of Opel”, which can be made out to mean the Tower or Stronghold or Citadel of Opel. The PBD refers to it as “the Palace of Solomon”. It should be noted that the “Millo” has also been referred to as a “strong-hold” as well as “the Palace of Solomon”. Although today most scholars think the Millo is just a name for the area of “fill” used to level the area between two old protuberances of Jerusalem, and the area upon which Solomon built his palace..
Ophel is also known as a “Citadel”, or as “forts and towers” or just “tower”. The Temple servants, after the Babylonian exile, lived in the remains of the “Ophel.” The word “Opel” in the Semantic languages means a “swell or rise”, hence an elevated part of the cities of Jerusalem and Samaria. The “Opel” probably contained the “inner citadel or the Acropolis, the seat of the King and the center of Royal administration”, in both Jerusalem and Samaria.
According to the ID&CB, “In Jerusalem the Ophel apparently included the City of David, the site of the former Jebusite castle of Zion (1st Chron. 11:5), located near the Water Gate, as well as the buildings which David and Solomon built higher up, towards the Temple Mount. The eastern slope, towards the Kidron Valley, was fortified by a series of walls from as early as the Middle Bronze Age.” Does anything about the word and description of Ophel seem similar to Opet?
The City of David
From the PBD; “David, city of, a part of the Jerusalem plateau,... During the Jebusite period, it appears the citadel of the Jebusites on Mt. Zion, was seperated from the area to the north known as Mt. Moriah;... but it was the old City of David which the Greeks chose to fortify as their citadel during the Maccabean wars (1st Macc. 1:33, 7:32). Simon reoccupied this ‘Lower City’ in 139 B.C. (14:36, 37). He partially leveled the ridge so that it should not rival Moriah to the north (Jos. Ant XIII, vi, 7), and the name Ophel (Ophlas) was shifted to the area between the old city and the temple.”
This definition may solve a lot of questions about the old City of David and its problems as related to Biblical scholars. If the above is correct then the narrow peninsula containing the remains of the City of David, which has been excavated in the last few years, does not do credit to the height this citadel had during the time of of the Jebusites, David and Solomon, when it may have towered over the rest of the area! At this time it probably had the steepest ascent on the south, the east and the west sides and the narrowest point of hard to defend rather level ground on the northern side. If indeed there was not another valley in the north! Note this was before the narrow valley of the cheesemakers was filled in, which has been called the Millo. It may not have been large but it was probably very imposing to any attackers due to its great height.
Remember, later Solomon built the Temple, to house the Ark of the Covenant, to the North of the City of David, on what is today higher land. The Temple, we remember, is to be the Holy House of the Lord, especially built upon a “high place”. A place to be “kept separate” from all that is not “Holy” or “sanctified.” It was to be God’s house, made “Holy by His special presence”, a sancturary that was “The established earthly abode of God”, or a Miqdash/Miqdesh.
From the PBD, “Heb. tsiyon, Gr. Sion, meaning of word uncertain, but probably citadel, on of the hills on which Jerusalem stood. It is first mentioned inthe OT as a Jebusite fortress (II Sam. 5:6-9). David captured it and called it the city of David. At this time the citadel tood on the long ridge running S of the temple, although not all scholars are agreed on this. This location is near the only known spring; it is suitable for defense; its size is about that of other fortified towns.... certain Bible references ( I Kings 8:1; II Chron. 5:2; 32:30; 33:14) indicate that this was the original Zion. David brought the Ark to Zion, and the hill henceforth became sacred (II Sam. 6:10-12). When Solomon later removed the Ark to the temple on nearby Mount Moriah, the name Zion was extended to take in the temple (Isa. 8:18; 18:7; 24:23; Joel 3:17; Micah 4:7).”
So from what we have read above we have a pretty good idea of what a holy area can be called, but I feel we should go over some of the above information in a little more detail.
WHAT IS HOLINESS?
According to “The Illustrated Dictionary & Concordance of the Bible” (1986), herein after referred to as the ID&CB, Published by The Jerusalem Publishing House Ltd., Edited by Geoffrey Wigoder, Shalom M. Paul, and Ephrain, has, on p. 451, a definition of; “HOLINESS The Hebrew root for Holiness is k.d.sh, which means ‘distinguished, set apart’; it is the unique stamp for the divine.” We also know that some sources spell it q.d.sh or q.d.s.h. What do we know about Hebrew that is the same as Egyptian? It is that Hebrew is also written without vowels, thus to get a word understandable to us, you must insert vowels into the blank spaces. The editors of this Dictionary & Concordance, also knew what the English equivalent for k.d.sh, it is commonly used in some sources and is even found in common use in the Bible. The word is, Kedesh or as some have written it, Kadesh! Also another reocurring theme is the mention of “High Places”!
The same volume, p. 590, also has a listing for; “KEDESH 1. A Canaanite city in Galilee, in the territory of Naphtali, whose ruler was one of the 31 monarchs vanquished by Joshua (Josh 12:22). To distinguish Kedesh from other cities with the same name it was also referred to as ‘Kedesh in Galilee, in the mountains of Naphtali (20:7)” The article goes on to mention that, “..Josephus new it by a different form of the name,...” Was that form, Kadesh? I believe this is correct.
On p. 587, the dictionary & concordance has a definition of, KADESH, KADESH BARNEA Place in the wilderness of Zin which was the principal station onthe Israelites’ 40-year journey to the promised land (Deut 1:46. It was from here that 12 men were sent to spy out the land of Canaan (Num 13:1-33...” No other Kadesh is mentioned.
It also seems that the use of the term “High Places”, is sometimes synonymous with places that are Kedesh or Holy!
I happen to find the above information a little suspicious! Why would a “dictionary & concordance” fail to show the obvious relationship of the words Holiness, Kedesh and Kadesh?
Why would they fail to list all the places in the Bible where the word has been used? In my experience the word Kadesh has also been used to describe Jerusalem, but in none of the listings is the fact that Kedesh and Kadesh may mean the same thing. Is this an attempt to hide something?
Is there a fear among these scholars to hide the fact that Kedesh is used in the Bible not to name a particular place but to denote the holiness of a place. These would be places that the Hebrews and the natives of the area have always considered sanctified or holy for some reasons. It is obvious that Jebus/yeru-shalem/ Jerusalem is a holy city and considered holy from the early days. Genesis 14:18 definately shows that Jerusalem was a holy city or Kadesh/Kedesh even in the days of Abraham. Yet the word Kadesh/Kedesh/Qadash/Qadesh/Qadhesh seems to be kept out of public view.
Why do we know that Jerusalem was Kedesh or Holy? In the Bible, Jerusalem is often mentioned as a holy mountain, or some varient, such as “the mountain of the Lord” (Isa. 2:3), “the holy mountain of Jehovah” (Isa. 27:13). We also know that the Ark of the Covenent was kept, by King David, at the “high place at Gibeon”, which is located several miles North of Jerusalem. As we know “high places” were constantly being built and destroyed later in the Bible. We know that holy or kedesh places exist because they have become sanctified by the presence of God. Thus when the Ark of the Covenent was finally brought to Jerusalem by King David, the area around the Ark, or later on the whole city was made holy or kedesh. From all of the above, can we deduce that it would be very easy for anyone to describe the city of Jerusalem in the precise terms used to describe other places in the area? Yes we can! That descriptive name is Kedesh/Kadesh, and it justifiably could have been used by any general or sovereign ruler to describe Jerusalem. Why we even know that Abram described the city in those terms when the city was under the control of the Canaanites. Where in history could our present day historians have mislabeled Jerusalem for some other Israelite city?
Since we now know that holy objects were carried in a portable ark, and at later times on a barque or ark between the two temples in Karnak and Luxor, perhaps this is the origin of the Biblical tradition. In any case the times of Hatsusheput may have had a greater impact upon Egypt than currently believed.
- Ark of the Covenant of Aten
Naomi -- Sunday, 11 August 2002, at 4:16 a.m.
- Hymn to Aten
Naomi -- Tuesday, 13 August 2002, at 7:35 a.m.
- Re: Ark of the Covenant of Aten
Charles Pope -- Tuesday, 13 August 2002, at 7:44 p.m.
- Adon sun imagery
Naomi -- Wednesday, 19 February 2003, at 10:09 p.m.
- Adon sun imagery (2) - Adonai
Naomi -- Saturday, 22 February 2003, at 6:33 a.m.
- Adon sun imagery (2) - Adonai
- Adon sun imagery
- Re: Ark of the Covenant of Aten or Amun-ra?
Ronald L. Hughes -- Tuesday, 27 August 2002, at 8:42 p.m.
- Hymn to Aten
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.