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All posts for the day September 11th, 2013

Perseus, Wanderings and Exodus Comparisons

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

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[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]

Perseus

Perseus Compared to Moses and the Danites of Jaffa

by

John R. Salverda

Contents:

The Wanderings

Perseus at the Danite seaport of Joppa

The Wanderings

The story of Perseus, like the story of the Exodus includes an episode of extensive wandering over African desert sands. “But Perseus, with the snake-haired monster’s head, that famous spoil, in triumph made his way on rustling pinions through the balmy air and, as he hovered over Libya’s sands, the blood-drops from the Gorgon’s Head dripped down. The spattered desert gave them life as snakes, smooth snakes of many kinds, and so that land still swarms with deadly serpents to this day.” (Ovid’s Metamorphoses 4.770) For when the godlike Perseus, ‘flew over Libya brining the Gorgon’s newly severed head to the king, every drop of dark blood that fell from it to the ground produced a brood of these serpents.” (Argonautica 4.1505) Notice the myth also has miraculously appearing poisonous serpents, and see Numbers 21:6, Moses had a curative serpent stick, while Hermes carried the caduceus. “Nimble knee Perseus, waving his winged feet, held his course near the clouds, a wayfarer pacing through the air ‘Perseus fled with flickering wings’ with Hermes’ wings though Zeus was his father; he sailed a fugitive on swiftest shoes,” (Dionysiaca 24.270) Notice the myth also has wings on which Perseus fled, and see Ex.19:4 where God’s Earthly wife was delivered from her slavery on “eagles wings” (The eagle is the well known bird of Zeus. In fact Lycophron, a little known Greek poet from the 3rd B.C. calls Perseus “the eagle son of the golden Sire.” Alexandra 838 ff). One may wonder why the myth makes the wandering of Perseus out to be an aerial phenomenon, but on the other hand, there was a very famous appearance in the sky associated with the Hebrew Exodus that lead the Israelites on their wanderings, the pillar of cloud and fire. “Thence wafted by the never-constant winds through boundless latitudes, now here now there, as flits a vapor-cloud in dizzy flight, down-looking from the lofty skies on earth, removed far, so compassed he the world. Three times did he behold the frozen Bears, times thrice his gaze was on the Crab’s bent arms. Now shifting to the west, now to the east, how often changed his course'” (Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 617 ff). Two towns are named in the mythic wanderings of Perseus, Joppa in Phoenicia which was well known and was mentioned by many ancient mythographers, and the Egyptian city of Chemmis. It is Herodotus who tells us that Perseus was in the Egyptian city of Chemmis before proceeding to Joppa; “‘they (the Egyptians) said that Perseus ‘had come to Egypt’ to bring from Libya the Gorgon’s head, and had then visited them also and recognized all his kinsfolk,'” (Histories Book 2 Page 91) Herodotus further connects Perseus with specifically, the Nile delta region when he says that it is; “the opinion of the Ionians, who say that only the Delta is Egypt, and that its seaboard reaches from the so-called ‘Watchtower of Perseus’ forty schoeni to the Salters at Pelusium.” (Histories Book 2 Page 15) Perseus then came to Joppa at the end of his wandering.

Perseus at the Danite seaport of Joppa

[Note: The city of “Joppa” is on the coast of Israel. At present it is known as Jaffa (pronounced Yaffa) and adjoins Tel Aviv.

As legend has it, Joppa was founded by Japheth, the son of Noah, just after the flood and was named for him. (The “tent” of Japheth included many Semitic peoples, Danes are considered to be “Japhetic,” so are the Cimmerians the Medes the Persians the Greeks and the Scythians.) It was the well known capital of tribal Dan, the seaport of Jerusalem and Hebron. Solomon had placed a fleet of Ships called “Tarshish” ships at Joppa. A land route was established between Joppa and the Red Sea port of Ezion Geber where Solomon had placed another fleet of Tarshish ships so that goods could be shipped back and forth from India/Ethiopia to the Mediterranean lands and beyond (Tarsus in Cilicia not withstanding, Tarshish is usually thought to be Spain, Tartessos). The city of Joppa was well known to the Greeks of the mythological age. “Red water, in color like blood, is found in the land of the Hebrews near the city of Joppa. The water is close to the sea, and the account which ‘the natives give’ of the spring is that Perseus, after destroying the sea-monster, to which the daughter of Cepheus was exposed, washed off the blood in the spring.”(Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 35. 9)

It is apparent that this episode of the Perseus myth (where he destroyed the sea serpent at Joppa) is not a part of the original, but is a later addition to the story. Just as the city of Joppa could not have been included in the Exodus story of Moses. It must have been a generation or so after the death of Moses, who died before entering the promised land, that the city of Joppa became established as the capital of tribal Dan. It would have been even longer before emigrants from the Danite Joppa would have become established, as the Danaans, in the cities of Mycenaean Greece.

This particular part of the Perseus tale has often, and for good reason, been compared to the story of Heracles at Troy, which is said to have occurred a generation before the Trojan War. Hercules came to Troy as he sailed with the Argonauts. He found the city in utter turmoil, because its King Laomedon had cheated Poseidon. For punishment the god sent a sea monster, to consume his daughter the princess Hesione. She was chained to a rock as the creature approached. Heracles agreed to kill the monster for a reward. Heracles was swallowed by the monster, and after spending three days in the belly of the beast, he managed to cut his way out thus killing it. Heracles never got his reward so he sacked Troy, and took Hesione instead. Thus the story of Heracles at Troy is much like the story of Perseus at Joppa. There is also, because of the death defying three days, an apparent debt owed to the story of Jonah (the Septuagint has “Jonas”). Jonah, it is worth noticing, embarked from Joppa (like Perseus) and also encountered a sea serpent (Cetus, the astronomical name of the “sea serpent” of Perseus means, “whale”) furthermore Jonah, like Heracles, was swallowed by the creature for three days. There is at least one version of the story about Perseus that has him swallowed by Cetus, for Lycophron, even so far back in history as the third century B.C. tells us that the sea monster, in its attempt to devour Andromeda “leapt in quest of food, but carried off in his jaws, instead of a woman, the eagle son of the golden Sire (Perseus) a male with winged sandals who destroyed his liver.” (Alexandra 838 ff)

As we have intimated earlier, a different source contributed this episode, a source that had a more intricate knowledge of astrology, for the characters included in this particular segment of the story, as told by those exiles from the Danite Joppa, have constellations named after them such as Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Cepheus, and the sea serpent. However none of the characters from the previous adventures of Perseus, neither Danae, Polydectes, Acrisius, the Gorgons, the Graeae, nor any of those Danaans who had fled from Aegyptus, seem to have been so honored as to be included in the stellar cast. Of course, Perseus himself is also a constellation but presumably, only in regards to this episode of his story, outlining his exploits at the city of Joppa.

The Joppa episode of the Perseus myth has a much more historic flavor, for here we not only learn that the sons of Perseus, after sailing out of Joppa, became the Kings of, and fortified the cities of, Mycenae in Greece, which we will detail a little further on. (A partial list of royal families and heroes that were known to the Greeks to have been descended from Perseus were 1. The royal family of Mycenae, his sons King Alcaeus, King Electryon and King Sthenelus, grandson King Eurystheus, and great granddaughter Queen Clytemnestra 2. The royal family of Elis, his son King Heleius, and grandson King Augeias 3. The royal family of the Taphian Islands, Kings Taphos and Pterelaus 4. The royal family of Messenia, his daughter Queen Gorgophone, and grandsons King Aphareus and King Leucippus, and great-grandsons the heroes Idas and Lynceus 5. The royal family of Sparta, his daughter Queen Gorgophone, grandson King Tyndareus, and great-grandchildren (in fact or putatively) : the Dioskouroi and Queen Helene. 6. The kings of Persia, from his son Perses 7. Heracles, and his descendants, who eventually assumed power in the Peloponnese.) “They [the Persians] were formerly called by the Greeks Cephenes . . . When Perseus son of Danae and Zeus had come to Cepheus son of Belus and married his daughter Andromeda, a son was born to him whom he called Perses, and he left him there; for Cepheus had no male offspring; it was from this Perses that the Persians took their name.” (Herodotus, Histories Book 7 Page 61) “Perseus, the son of Danae ‘ wanting to establish for himself his own kingdom, despised that of the Medes.” (Suidas “Medusa”) “There is a story told in Hellas that before Xerxes set forth on his march against Hellas, he sent a herald to Argos, who said on his coming (so the story goes), ‘Men of Argos, this is the message to you from King Xerxes. Perses our forefather had, as we believe, Perseus son of Danae for his father, and Andromeda daughter of Cepheus for his mother; if that is so, then we are descended from your nation.’ ” (Herodotus, Histories Book 7 Page 150)

Now, it is not my intention with this article to trace the Achaemenid Kings of Persia to Moses, (I shall make that the subject of a future article) but only to trace the Greek myth of Perseus to the story of Moses. However since serious Greek historians, such as Herodotus, Xenophon, and others, do quite confidently report that the Persian Kings themselves make the claim that they descend from Perseus and Andromeda, I would be remiss if I did not make a few remarks on the subject here. We know, for example, that the cities of the Medes were occupied by the exiled Israelites. (see 2KI 17:6 and 18:11) The Magi were the dominant religious organization, a tribe priests analogous to the Levites among the Israelites, officiating the sacrifices for those Medes and the later Persians. (“Deioces then [709 BC.] united the ‘Medes there are the tribes which here follow, namely, Busai, Paretakenians, Struchates, Arizantians, Budians, Magians” Herodotus Book 1, Page 101. See also Page 132,”‘ without a Magian it is not lawful for them to make sacrifices.”) However, the question arises, as to what the Magi had to do with those exiled Israelites. If these Magi were living in the cities of the Medes with the exiled Israelites, then one wonders indeed, what their relationship to the Levites was.

The Danites had a Levitical priesthood, it was not however, the usual one descended from Aaron, but instead their priesthood was descended from Moses (Perseus) through his grandson Jonathan (Perses). These Priests were known as the priesthood of Micah. (“Micah,” meaning “image” is a plausible transliteration for the term “Magus”) At that very time there was a legendary religious leader named Zoroaster, he was famous for, not originating, but for reorganizing the already existing Magi priesthood into one of the most powerful religious organizations in the world at that time. We are told that Zoroaster was born in the city Rages, (the same city, and at the same time, where the relatives of Tobit the Naphtalite lived Tob. 5:6) according to the Parse tradition in the year 660 BC. (It could have been he who was born to the exiled Virgin Israel nearly 65 years after the fall of Samaria, he was a famous curd eater, and famed for his “Zoroastrian” dualism distinguishing good from evil, compare Isaiah Chap. 7). Zoroaster died in the year 583 BC. at the age of seventy seven. As a major religious leader, he must have been aware of the destruction of the Jewish temple when he was 73, in 587 BC. this act may have prompted him to raise up a “Messiah” to overthrow the, Temple destroying, Babylonians, and to deliver the Jews from their Babylonian captivity.

Zoroaster lived long enough, (eleven years into the reign of Astyages,) to have, as the chief of the Magi, orchestrated the birth of Cyrus. We learn of the role that the Magi played in the birth of Cyrus from Herodotus (“Histories.” Book 1, Pages 107-129)…The name “Zoroaster” is plausibly a sleight corruption from the Hebrew for “Seed of the Woman” (Zeru-ish-shah).

So much for the role of “Perseus” in the Persian culture and beyond, an influence that is certainly worthy of a “Moses.” We may now return to the Greek myth armed with a better understanding of the conflict between the priesthood of the Aaronic Phinehas, and the priesthood of the Mosaic Jonathan.

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

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The Youth of Perseus

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

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[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]


Perseus

The Youth of Perseus

by

John R. Salverda

The Anakim (the Greek Inachids) were flushed out of Hebron by Caleb in the days of Joshua and fled to Argolis in Greece. These worshipped the “Queen of Heaven,” Hera (Ashtoreth) and his champion (Argos) against the monstrous Echidna. Not long after that, in the days of Deborah and Barak, the Danites, having had a falling out with the sons of Jacob, quit their homeland and joined the Anakim in Greece. (These were the Danaans fleeing from the sons of Aegyptus.) They brought the story of Moses and the Exodus with them to Greece as the story of Io, with Moses therein referred to as Hermes Argiophontes. A later version of the story was brought over by later waves of Danites who came to Argos from the city of Joppa over an extended period of time starting about six years after the death of Solomon. To these Danites, whom we can call the “Perseids,” Moses was not deified as the god Hermes, (a telling adjustment in theology) but was merely a hero called Perseus, a human son of the chief god. The story of Perseus is the story of Moses and the law giving, as told by these and subsequent waves of Danite emigrants from Palestine. (Those mythographers who told more recent “Perseus” version of the Exodus must have known that the already extant “Hermes Argiophontes” version was the same story, for the god Hermes was liberally written into the story of Perseus. “Perseus ‘ received from Mercury [Hermes], who is thought to have loved him, talaria and petasos, and, in addition, a helmet which kept its wearer from being seen by an enemy. [Hyginus Astronomica 2.12])

The myths of Perseus meeting the Graeae, and that of Perseus verses the Gorgons, as well as Perseus killing the sea serpent, are most likely two or three separate versions of the Moses story that were brought to Greece over a prolonged period of time, about three or four generations, and were forged into episodes of the same tale. These various episodes display the influence from at least three distinct groups of people. The rendition of it that contains the “Graeae,” reveals a more Arabian, and Egyptian, flavor that can be traced to its Idumean, and Hagarite, origins. The “Gorgon” interpretation of the Perseus story, shows a strong post-Solomonic, Israelite bias. The episode where Perseus kills a “sea serpent” at Joppa is even later still and leans heavily upon a Midianite/Ethiopian and Danite/Philistine faction, for its point of view.

These Danaans, (the Greeks of Argolis) themselves claimed to have come up out of the land of Egypt. Herodotus has something interesting to tell us in this regard, he says that while the Greeks considered the Danaan royalty to be Egyptians, the Persians, who also claim to be descendants of Perseus, argue that Perseus was not an Egyptian at all but was an Assyrian. Ovid, on the other hand, says that the Danaans were of the Cadmean (Phoenician) race and he even refers to Perseus at least once as “Agenorides,” a descendant of Agenor, the father of Cadmus, Europa and Phoenix. Herodotus even mentions the name of the Egyptian city from which came these Danaans, he calls it Chemmis and says, “The Egyptians are averse to adopt Greek customs, or, in a word, those of any other nation. This feeling is almost universal among them. At Chemmis, however, which is a large city in the Thebaic canton, near Neapolis, there is a square enclosure sacred to Perseus, son of Danae. … Inside this precinct is a temple, and in the temple an image of Perseus. … I made inquiries of the Chemmites why it was that Perseus appeared to them and not elsewhere in Egypt, … to which they answered, “that Perseus belonged to their city by birth. Danaus and Lynceus were Chemmites before they set sail for Greece, and from them Perseus was descended,” they said, tracing the genealogy; “and he, … paid them a visit, and acknowledged them for his kinsmen he had heard the name of their city from his mother ‘”. (Herodotus Book 2 Page 91)

The Danaans then, were a group whom the Greeks thought of, at first, as coming up out of the land of Egypt, but about seven generations later these same Danaans were coming out of Joppa in Phoenicia. This is just what we would expect of the Biblical Danites who did come up out of Egypt to live in the seaport of Joppa.

Having explained a bit about the people who told the story of Perseus, we shall begin to cover the individual motifs of the story itself. First of all there is the virgin birth; If Perseus is Moses, then Why isn’t Moses born of a virgin like Perseus? Well he is, because Israel is the Virgin. In the book of Deuteronomy chapter 18 verses 15 through 18, God promises to Moses that He will raise up a special prophet who will be born to the nation of Israel like he was.

It is not unusual for a nation, a city, a church, or a population, to be figuratively symbolized as a female character. Even modern nations, (without, presumably, resorting to idolatry), have similar traditions. The U.S.A. has its “Columbia,” the U.K. has “Britannia,” and Rome had its “Roma,” all feminine personifications that are symbolic of each their own national spirit. The nation of Israel was also referred to as a “woman,” and the “maiden,” and the “virgin,” she was known as Zion (or Jerusalem) and called the “bride,” or “wife,” of God. The slaying of Medusa is portrayed as a prerequisite to freedom for the captive mother of Perseus, “Danae.” Danae was the earthly wife of Zeus, and she was being held captive by an earthly king, there can be no mistake in identifying her with Zion, the nation that gave birth to Moses. It is evident that while in Egypt, the Israelites pronounced the name “Zion,” as “Zoan,” it was the name of the City-state of their captivity, “the field of Zoan.” The classical Greeks knew of this place and called it “Tanis,” they identified the goddess, who was named after this place, with “Athena.” In the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions, the same Egyptian district was called, “Sinu.” A clever philologist can find this far famed woman’s name throughout ancient literature, besides those already mentioned, here is a partial list of the name Zion transliterated; Diana, Dione, Deino, Dion, Dinah, Sinai, Hesione, Thyone, (even backwards) Anath, Neith, and Nut.

Robert Graves, in book 1 of his two volume work, “the Greek myths,” (60.1,3) says that the Greek Danae was called, by the Hebrews, Dinah. Perhaps by way of explanation he previously intimates, that the Danaans who told her story, were part of a group of early arriving Helladic colonists from Palestine. In the Scriptures Dinah is the virgin daughter of Israel. Some did not believe that Perseus was the son of Zeus, neither did they accept the notion of his virgin birth, but instead they impugn his birth by insisting that he was the product of an incestuous relationship between Danae and her uncle Proetus. Perhaps this version of the birth owed some of its origin to the Scriptural one, it is similar to the parentage of Moses because he also was said to have been the product of an incestuous relationship. The father of Moses, a man named Amram had taken his aunt Jochabed to be his wife (Amram was thus not only the father of Moses but his uncle as well,) and Moses was their issue. According to the Greek myths, Acrisius, who has previously been identified with the Hebrew patriarch Israel, was the father of Danae, the mother of Perseus, while the Scriptural Israel was the father of Dinah, he was also grandfather (via Levi, whom the Greeks appear not to know about) of Jochabed, the Biblical mother of Moses.

Like the “seed of the woman,” the birth of Perseus was predicted before hand, and the king sought to prevent his birth, but like Pharaoh, and Herod, his attempt was to no avail. Should anyone claim to be the “son of God,” the Law would be in place to put him to death, thus, upon the birth of Perseus, the king proclaimed that he must die, the instrument of his attempted death, (and, incidentally, his salvation) was an ark, and the Ark, symbolizes the Law. There was a pre-birth royal decree in place to prevent the arrival Moses as well, and at his birth he was placed in an ark, (even Sargon the Great of Akkad, and Osiris, the Egyptian god, had an attempt made upon their lives in an ark). The identification of Perseus with Moses, goes way beyond their both being placed in an ark and set adrift on the water, but it includes an entire series of shared motifs; Both had their arks discovered by a relative of the king, both were raised at the court of the king, and each had a happy childhood until the king had a change of heart.

An objection might be made that the mother of Moses was not in the ark like the mother of Perseus was. Yes, but it is also known that one of the first things that those who found the baby Moses did, was to send for a Hebrew woman to serve as a nurse for the child, who turned out to be none other than the actual mother of Moses, Jochabed. Therefore, as it was in the story of Perseus so it was in the story of Moses, the mother in each case was with the child from his very infancy throughout his life in the court of the King/Pharaoh, however, also in each case, she was there as a servant only.

While most Mythographers agree that Perseus was raised at the royal court they usually refer to the situation of his mother, the virgin Danae, as being held captive against her will. As if to reinforce my theory that Danae was Zion, there is one very important ancient source, no less than the great Greek poet Pindar, who wrote about 480 BC in his Pythian Ode (12 Str1-3) who plainly refers to Danae as being held in slavery! The quote from Pindar runs thus; “Perseus … had made blind the grim offspring of Phorcys (Medusa), ‘ thus to end his mother’s long slavery…”. What the nature of the slavery that Danae was forced into we are not told, but it is apparent that Pindar knew of the tradition so saying that Perseus had freed his mother from “slavery” by his act.

Perseus wanted to take Danae and leave, just as Moses wanted to take Zion and leave, but the king would not let her go. However Perseus did go somewhere, for he first, like Moses, had to perform a task in the wilderness, which would give him the divine authority which he would need to acquire freedom for Danae. This is the point in the combined rendition of the account, that has come down to us, where the mythographer has inserted the Hagarite version of the story, that features the Graeae, it is also the point in the Scriptural story where Moses has his first meeting with God at Mount Sinai.

The Hebrew story has Moses taking a pre Exodus wilderness adventure to Mount Sinai, where he lives among the Midianites for quite some time. The Scriptures make this adventure to be a prerequisite to the main adventure of Moses, for there he learns to worship the one God of Abraham at His holy mountain, He there tells Moses, not only His name, but also gives him instructions and three “magic” tricks that he can use to deliver Zion from her slavery (Ex. 4:1-9).

Perseus also had “divine” training sessions prior to his actual adventure. The gods, Athena (delivered from the head of Zeus), and Hermes (the messenger of Zeus and deliverer of Io), each had experience to lend this new deliverer Perseus. What has Athena to do with the Exodus’ Athena (Parthenos) was a female personification of the city state of Athens, in the same way that (the Virgin) Zion was a female personification of Jerusalem. In truth, the “myth” about the founding of Athens is clearly derived from the history of the Jews. Cecrops the anguipede (serpent footed, this is noteworthy because wayward Jews blasphemously pictured Yahweh as an anguipede. This is such an outrageous claim that I implore the reader to look it up on his own. Furthermore, don’t let the fact that the history of Athens is full of serpents throw you off, because the tribal chief of Judah, the man who lead the Jews up out of the land of Egypt under Moses, was named “Nahshon,” the usual Hebrew word for “serpent.”) was the Athenian version of Moses, (or perhaps Nahshon) he lead the Athenians up out of Egypt (Sais = Zoan = Tanis = Tanit = Athena = Zion), gave them their laws and divided the land into twelve districts. He instituted monogamy, and was the first to recognize paternity (Egypt was a matrilineal society). Although the religion of the Athenians was corrupted by their worship of Baalath (Pallas/Athene = Baalath/Zion = Palestine = Philistine), still, intricate doctrines of the Jewish belief system, permeate the myths of Athens. There was a contest with Poseidon (Dagon’s alias Apsu-Adon), the symbol of the olive branch (Salem = peace). The daughters of Cecrops carried with them an ark and were given instructions not to look upon the contents, namely, a baby born to be the dynastic King (Erecthonius, also an anguipede) to the Athenians, while the Jewish Ark contained the Messianic promise that a baby would be born who would be the King of Kings (thus the little understood but widespread symbol of the baby in an ark, such as Sargon, Adonis, Etc.). The Mythographers who inserted the story of Athena into the story of Perseus must have known what they were doing. This is also true of the story about Hermes delivering Io (the “Jew”), which I have explained elsewhere. All three stories contain maidens who are freed in accordance with the will of Zeus, by smitten heads.

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

Medusa

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

untitled

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]

Perseus

Medusa

by

John R. Salverda

The main monster in the story of Perseus is Medusa, one of the three Gorgons. It occurs to me that the most likely origin for the Greek name “Medusa,” is that it derives from the Hebrew word that has come down to us as, “Mitzwah,” which means, “commandments.” There were a lot of commandments (a figurative mountain of laws) but it was the head of Medusa, that symbolized the cut out tablets of the ten commandments, as opposed to the rest of the commandments, ordinances and judgments. The head of Medusa, was carried in a magic container which was plated with a precious metal, and was the Perseid equivalent to the Ark of the Covenant. “‘the head of the monster, the dreaded Gorgo, and the bag floated about it, a wonder to look at, done in silver, but the shining tassels fluttered, and they were gold, …” (Shield of Heracles 220-237) The special attribute of this magic container was that it could contain anything, no matter how great, within its space, without increasing in its bulk. This was probably in reference to the unbelievable fact that the ALMIGHTY spoke from the relatively tiny Ark. Medusa’s head was kept in its magic container because no one could look upon it and yet live, it was carried into battles, shown to the enemy, and thus insured the victories for Perseus, in the same way that the Ark and its contents were used by Israel (a rare motif indeed). The primary method of capital punishment that was prescribed by the Law, was stoning. This, no doubt, left numerous piles of stones as “monuments” to those who violated the Law, all along the way of the wandering Zion, just as we imagine the way of Medusa to be strewn with stone statues of those whom she had put to death. It is not inconceivable that whenever a violator of the law was discovered there was a ritualistic reading (looking upon) of the law that was violated which preceded the stony execution. Thus leading to the myth that it was the “looking upon” of the object itself that brought about the subsequent death. At any rate, we have come to a point where I feel that I must remind the reader; that as this series of intricately interrelated conformities, between the Greek myths and the Hebrew historic account grows, it leaves less and less room for the, “mere coincidence” explanation which will be offered by some.

When Moses received the second set of the Ten Commandments, he requested that God manifest Himself to him. God reminded Moses that no man could look upon His face and yet live, however God had a plan to protect Moses with His hand while His face was exposed, removing it only afterwards, so that Moses would only see God’s “back,” or as some translations have put it, His “afterglow.” When Perseus received the Medusa head he also had an encounter, the face of whom he was reminded that he could not look upon and yet live. The supreme god in the story of Perseus was called Zeus, and just as God did in the story of Moses, Zeus protected Perseus, in this case by lending him his shield. The shield of Zeus was highly polished, and with it Perseus would not have to look directly upon the deadly face, but could use it like a mirror, to see only it’s, “reflection.” Now that a point has been made concerning a connection between the “hand” of God, and the “shield” of Zeus, an explanation of the relationship between the cut off Medusa head, Daniel’s cut off Messiah, and the Law, presents itself.

Once Perseus had received the cut off Medusa head, the Greek mythographers have him showing it to Atlas, which put an end to him. To quote Ovid on the matter, “‘Very well!’ he (Perseus) taunted, ‘if you (Atlas) rate my thanks so low accept a gift!’ and turned his face away and on his left held out the loathsome head, Medusa’s head. Atlas, so huge, became a mountain; beard and hair were changed to forests, shoulders were cliffs, hands ridges; where his head had lately been, the soaring summit rose; his bones were turned to stone.” (Ovid, Metamorphoses 4.653). As the reader may recall, Mount Atlas can be shown to be a reasonable analogy to the Hebrew Mount Sinai, in place because of the sin of Adam, who can further be identified with Atlas himself.

We all pray for the Kingdom of Heaven to come down to the Earth, but there is something in the way, it is the sin of Adam, because of which, there needs to be a “covenant with sin and death” in place, the mountain of the Law. Years before Christianity, the Greeks also had a mountain in the way of kingdom come, their “Adam,” as Atlas, held up (away, a logical symbolic analogy) the heavens.

When Atlas was cursed to be the impediment to the Kingdom of Heaven, he was told that he could expect the son of god to come, who would kill the serpent, and pluck from the tree of the ancient garden. Quoting Ovid again; “Atlas, mindful of an oracle since by Themis, the Parnassian, told, recalled these words, ‘O Atlas! mark the day a son of Jupiter [Zeus] shall come to spoil; for when thy trees been stripped of golden fruit, the glory shall be his.’ Fearful of this, Atlas had built solid walls around his orchard, and secured a dragon, huge, that kept perpetual guard, and thence expelled all strangers from his land.” How many stories contain, the ancient gardener, the highly valued fruit of the tree with the famous taboo against touching it, an expulsion from the garden, the serpent, the crime against heaven, and a prediction of an eventual savior’ Just these two. Furthermore, the wife of Atlas was named after the sun setting, “Hesperus” (Evening, Eve’).

Medusa, like the daughter of Zion, wasn’t always repulsive, for the Greek myths make it clear that she was once quite beautiful, but, again like Heavenly Zion’s daughter, her ugliness was inflicted upon her by god. The once beautiful Medusa brought the condemnation of god upon herself, for the same reason that God’s once faithful city did. For as we are told in the first three chapters of Isaiah, (a name that incidentally, is much like the Greek name “Hesiod,” the Septuagint has “Esaias,”) specifically at Isa. 1:21, 2:6, and 3:16-26, so we are told in the Greek myth; Medusa had prostituted herself with a foreign god. She had laid with Poseidon, the Greek version of the Philistine fish god Dagon, (in Babylon, Dagon was called “Enki,” the Sumerian, “Ea,” and his regular title was “Lord of the watery deep,” thus, the origin of the well known, but little understood name, “Poseidon,” comes as I have previously said from the Hebrew, “Apsu-Adon.”) in the temple of Athena, (Athena, the reader will recall, is the Ionic transliteration of the Hebrew name Zion.) Because of Medusa’s prostitution, god had removed her golden tresses, and replaced them with ugliness. To quote Ovid, “Her beauty was far-famed ‘ and of all her charms her hair was loveliest; so I was told by one who claimed to have seen her. She, it’s said, was violated in Athena’s shrine by the Rector Pelagi (Lord of the Sea, Poseidon). Jove’s daughter (Athena) turned away and covered with her shield her virgin’s eyes. And then for fitting punishment transformed the Gorgon’s lovely hair to loathsome snakes.” (Metamorphoses 4.770) Compare this with Lamentations chapters 1 and 2. Another of her penalties was that she be doomed to wander in the wilderness, where Perseus would have to go to find her. Thus another entire series of Medusa’s attributes has a precedent in the story of Earthly Jerusalem. A further chronological clue can be gathered from this motif, for if we are correct in applying the symbolism employed herein to the Jerusalem that was castigated by the prophets, then we must conclude that the story of the “ugly Gorgon” could not have been imagined much before the days of the prophet Ahijah, when the northern ten tribes revolted against the post-Solomonic Jerusalem.

It has been suggested that the two episodes of the Perseus myth, one having the Graeae and the other having the Gorgons, were originally two separate versions of the same story (a “doublet”). This seems to be a reasonable conclusion, for the “eye” received from the Graeae could easily have been the equivalent of the “head” received from the Gorgons. The ancient mythographers, knowing both tales, may have simply crafted the two versions into the two episodes of the same story. Ovid combines the two episodes into one by making the Graeae to be twins, and thus only two, his quote runs as follows; “And Agenorides (Perseus) told him of the place that lies, a stronghold safe below the mountain mass of icy Atlas; how at its approach twin sisters, the Phorcides (Graeae), lived who shared a single eye, and how that eye by stealth and cunning, as it passed from twin to twin, his sly hand caught,” … (Metamorphoses 4.770). On the other hand, the scriptural story of Moses and the Law giving, where he gets the Law on one visit, breaks it and has to make a second visit to receive the Law again, is never questioned as a “doublet.” Regardless, that part of the myth that has Perseus destroying a sea serpent at Joppa is almost certainly a later addition that was contributed subsequently by some separate source.


For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

Perseus The Graeae and the Mountain

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

N4GIM05BHR

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]

Perseus

The Graeae and the Mountain

by John R. Salverda

As I have intimated previously, the Graeae have probably derived their name from a well known, in ancient times, Arabian People known as the Agraioi, who were Scripturally called the Hagarites. Although this great nation gets downplayed in the Scriptures, it must have at one time encompassed not only the Arabian Ishmaelites, but also the Keturite Midianites and even the Ethiopians and other Sabeans, all under the title of “Hagarite.” It becomes apparent that the Midianites of Mount Sinai were anciently considered as Hagarites, thus Paul, who wrote of an analogy between Mount Sinai and Hagar (at Gal. 4:24-26), had a precedent to do so. “The Hagarites,” known to Pliny (NH. 6,159-161), Strabo (XVI. 4,2), and Ptolemy (5.19.2), who called them, “the Agraioi,” occupied the wilderness of Mount Sinai and were largely of Ethiopian/Egyptian extraction. (From “John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible;” Gal.4:25 – For this Agar is Mount Sinai in Arabia,…. The Syriac version makes Hagar to be a mountain, ‘ “for Mount Hagar is Sinai, which is in Arabia”: and some have been of opinion that Sinai was called Hagar by the Arabians. ‘ Hagar was the name of the chief city of Bahrain, a province of Arabia ‘ the wilderness of Paran, Gen.21:21 ‘ However, it is clear, that Sinai was in Arabia, out of the land of promise, where the law was given, and seems to be mentioned by the apostle with this view, ‘ . It is placed by Jerome in the land of Midian; ‘ Exo.3:1. And according to Philo the Jew, the Midianites, as formerly called, were a very populous nation of the Arabians: and Madian, or Midian, is by Mahomet spoken of as in Arabia; and it may be observed, that they that are called Midianites in Gen 37:36 are said to be Ishmaelites, Gen 39:1.) The Egyptians themselves referred to this people as the “Mitanni” (apparently the same word as the Biblical “Midianite”). They, as descendants of Abraham, believed in only one god, but it would be considered a dangerous heresy to even say such a thing in polytheistic Greece (thus the symbolism instead).

The Graeae are said to have had only one eye, and/or only one tooth between them, they used it alternately and were helpless during the exchange (The ancient mythographers, it appears, had some problem understanding how “two” separate nations could claim the same “one” god). The single eye refers to the single God of monotheism, and likewise the solitary tooth means the one word of god (the Law), thus, just as Perseus took these from the Graeae, at Mount Atlas, so Moses adopted these tenants under the crook of Jethro, priest of Midian, at Mount Sinai, as a prerequisite to freeing his people. The single eye of the Graeaes is not the only place where the Greeks have used this motif. Let us not forget those sun worshipping masons and metallurgists of antiquity, the Cyclopes. Because there is only one Sun, we are perhaps justified in seeing Sun worship as a step toward monotheism, especially as it was used among the Mithraic Persians, who claim themselves to be descendants of Perseus. Ahura Masda being the “one” god of the Zoroastrians, Mithra (sometimes identified with Perseus) himself could not have been originally thought of as a god but only as a type of Persian Moses, a mediator of the contract between God and men, a lord of the covenant (the Midian Baal-Berith). The eye is often a symbol of god, especially among the Egyptians, but also within the Chaldean sphere of influence such as the Assyrians, Hittites and Syrians where the winged eye was a widely used symbol of the deity.

Perseus visits the winged Graeae, the guardians of the Gorgon, at Mount Atlas, this was his first visit to the Mountain, where he learns how to get the magic purse. He returned to Mount Atlas, for his second visit, after he had obtained the head of Medusa. Moses, at the law giving, also makes two visits to his mountain. On his first visit he had a vision at Mount Sinai where he saw, before it’s actual construction, the “pattern” of the Ark of the covenant’s cover with the two golden cherubs bowing over, as if to protect, it. This was done so that Moses could oversee the accurate building of the Ark. Similarly, there was a town in Samos called Deicterion, where there was a “statue” of the three Gorgons. Athena took Perseus on a pre-adventure journey there so that he could learn what the Gorgons looked like, in order for him to be able to distinguish Medusa from her two winged sisters who protected her.

God would oftentimes appear to Moses seated upon the wings of the statue of the two cherubs (this was called the “mercy seat,”) that were sculpted on the cover of the Ark. “The Gorgons … had … wings of gold on which they flew. All who looked at them were turned to stone.” (Apollodorus 2.38-46) If an artistic rendering, or a symbolic description, of these appearances were ever to feature God in the symbol of an eye, then it would serve as the obvious origin to the motif of the winged Graeae having the one eye between them. Although he does receive a set of law tablets on this first visit, he breaks that set, and does not keep them. He obtains the commandments, that he will keep in the Ark, on his second visit.

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

Scandinavian Legends and the Book of Genesis

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

Midgard-norse-mythology-23499804-2062-1312

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]

Taken from: http://www.britam.org/AesirSalverda.html


Scandinavian Legends and the Hebrew Bible

The Aesir Legends from Norse Mythology

by John R. Salverda

The ancient religion of the Northern Europeans was originally divided into two groups of gods called the Aesir and the Vanir. After a bit of confrontation, these two groups seem to have realized their relationship to one another and joined forces to oppose their common enemy, the giants. The Vanir gods, such as Freyr, were fertility gods who were associated with ships and pigs. I suppose that the Vanir stories represent those who arrived in Europe via the sea in ships (those of Danish descent, the Swedes, the Frisians, and the Jutes or Anglos for example). The Aesir on the other hand were wanderers, they arrived over land (the Saxons and the Scythians or Goths). The Aesir group is the division of Norse mythology that this article mainly concerns itself (The Vanir group, which also has many correspondences with the ancient Israelites, although much more Canaanite in nature, can be dealt with separately.).Although the Norse had the notion of an over all god of everything, whom they referred to as “Alfadur” (Odin is sometimes referred to as Alfadur meaning “All-father,” but this name is also used in a way that shows that the Norse had an idea of a deity superior to Odin, uncreated and eternal.), he was a mystery and they had virtually no mythology about him (after the end of time he is destined to step up and provide a new, perfected, Heaven and Earth). For all intents and purposes they called their supreme god “Odin.” The name “Odin” is to be compared to the name “Adon,” the very name that the Israelites used for God at the time of their Assyrian exile. To the Israelites “Adon” means “Lord” and the they used it because the Almighty’s actual name was considered by them to be ineffable.

Oddly enough, the Greek and Roman historians who looked into the matter did not usually identify Odin with Zeus (Jupiter), but with Hermes (Mercury) as the god of wandering. This is not so strange as it may seem because the ultimate origin of the Greek mythological character Hermes was the Hebrew patriarch Moses (the serpent stick carrying messenger of god who freed the earthly wife of god (Io) from her captivity and lead her on her famous wanderings, see http://www.britam.org/salverda/io.html).

That is why the day of Hermes “Wednesday,” as it is called in the Northern European languages, is named for Odin. The Norse myths about Odin, and indeed much of Norse mythology in general, is based upon the God of Moses and the writings of Moses.

Take for instance Norse mythology’s debt to Genesis, the first book of Moses. At the foundation of the world of Norse Mythology is a very significant tree (called Ygdrasill). It grew at the center of a place called Midgard (Gen. 2:9), where Odin had formed and placed the first human pair Askr and Embla. He imbued them with life and gave them spirit with his breath (Gen. 2:7). Here also could be found the Norse archetype of evil, a serpent called the Midgard serpent (Gen. 3:1). Odin, foreseeing the trouble that the serpent posed, made it an outcast by throwing the serpent out of Midgard into the sea, where it grew and grew until it encompassed the entire world (Rev. 12:9). The first born son of Odin, Thor (Torah?) is destined, at the end of time, to destroy the Midgard serpent and sacrifice his own life in the act (Gen. 3:15). This is the outline of a very familiar story indeed, one that could easily be derived from the works of Moses.

At the base of the tree in the middle of Midgard is a spring that is divided into three heads (Gen. 2:9,10) one of which is called “the well of Ymir” it is the source of all knowledge (of good and evil?). Odin sacrificed one of his eyes in order to drink from it. Although the source of knowledge among the Norse was not the tree but a well, this Idea is not foreign to Israelite culture, consider the concept of “Miriam’s well” as is outlined in Ginzberg were it is said that God made it on the second day of creation, and other Jewish Legends were it is said that the drinking of it inspired prophecies.

Furthermore, they had the motif of the fruits of the tree of eternal life. In the Prose Edda we read about a character named “Idun” (Eden?). Idun is described as a woman with a certain box within which she keeps the apples of eternal youth. The apples are eaten by the gods when they age to make them young again. The downfall of all creation is caused when access to the miraculous fruits are denied. The great flood is also a feature of Norse mythology. Odin killed the Giant Ymir. The blood from Ymir’s wounds flooded the world (the blood of Ymir is explained in the myth as the seas.), and the Giants drowned. Only one, (a hero named “Begelmir”), was able to save himself and his wife, these were the ancestors of all later races. Also included is the symbolism of the rainbow. According to Norse mythology the rainbow (therein called “Bifrost”) is the bridge between Heaven and Earth, as such it is the pathway between god and man, much like the Scriptural rainbow symbolizes the covenant between God and man (Gen. 9:11-17).

Just as it is in the Hebrew Scriptures, The Norse giants were not completely wiped out in the great flood of Norse myths. Nephilim, a Scriptural term, often translated as “giants” actually means something like “shades” or “ghosts,” is very plausibly the origin of the Nordic term “Niffleheim ” which is their name for the land of the dead. The usual term for the land of the human dead was “Hela” this was the Nordic equivalent to the Hebrew “Sheol,” this was the repository for the bulk of mankind, the heroic dead went to Valhalla. However whenever a giant was dispatched it would go to Niffleheim (the world of the Nephilim?).

The racial features of the Amorites was depicted on the monuments of the Egyptians at Karnak. They were a tall people of blondes and brunettes with blue eyes. The Amorites were identified in the Scriptures as the descendants of the giants (the fallen angels). They had a sacred mountain that was the cultural focus of their nation, Mount Herman. It was the “Zion” (they called it “Sion” or “Senir”) of the Amorites. According to Ginzberg’s “Legends of the Jews” Mount Herman was the location where the Fallen angels had climbed down from Heaven to cohabitate with the daughters of men, ostensively the Amorite daughters. It was very probably the religion of the giants that is referred to in the Scriptures at Genesis 15:16 as “the iniquity of the Amorites,” The religion of Moses stood in opposition to and superseded it (see http://www.britam.org/salverda/olympus.html).

In the Judeo-Christian continuum the giants began as the fallen angels who were bred into the Amorite nation. Later, when the Amorites were transplanted from the immediate vicinity, the giants devolved back into the fallen angels again, who would eventually reappear for a war against the good angels at the end of times. The Greeks, colonists from the Levant living far from the Amorites, portrayed the giants as leaders of a previous religious system that was defeated an exiled to the west by Zeus and the Olympians. When Olympianism took over the giants were pretty much out of the picture, a mere afterthought. However, for the Norse the “giants,” as a national historical reality, continued to be an ongoing concern. The Norse had to live as neighbors with the remnants of the Amorites, the Germans (named for their original homeland in the shadow of mount “Herman”). Thus Norse mythology displays an enduring preoccupation with the giants unlike any other tradition. To them it was not the “spiritual” bad angels who had to be defeated, but the gods and the giants were at constant war, right up until the end of time, and there was no certainty of divine victory either.

Finally, as previously indicated, there is the notion of end times eschatology, not many religious systems include the idea that there will be an “end of times,” an Armageddon as it were. This is a primarily Israelite notion, Christianity, an offshoot of the Judean religion, has it. Zoroastrianism (I would argue that it also is an offshoot of the Israelite religion, [see http://britam.org/zarathustra.html%5D has it. Muslims, another people of “the book” also have their version of it. That’s about it, however, in keeping with the topic of this article, Norse Mythology has a very detailed end times eschatology, therein it is called “Ragnarok,” the “twilight of the gods.” At Ragnarok will occur the final battle of all creation, it is the culmination of the war between the gods and those giants from the days of old. At this time the rainbow bridge between Heaven and Earth, (the Norse symbol of the Covenant), will be broken to pieces. Also this is when the firstborn son of Odin is destined to finally destroy the Midgard serpent. This cannot help but remind one of the Judeo-Christian end times concept of war breaking out between the great leader of the host of Heaven and the fallen angels lead by the ancient serpent and its’ destruction (Rev.12:7). From where did they get this notion? Well, I submit that they got it from the same source that all the others got it from, the Israelites, in this case it is a legacy of their Israelite heritage.

-John R. Salverda

New Series Also by John R. Salverda:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

Taken from: http://www.britam.org/AesirSalverda.html

Scandinavian Legends and the Hebrew BibleThe Aesir Legends from Norse Mythology

by John R. Salverda

The ancient religion of the Northern Europeans was originally divided into two groups of gods called the Aesir and the Vanir. After a bit of confrontation, these two groups seem to have realized their relationship to one another and joined forces to oppose their common enemy, the giants. The Vanir gods, such as Freyr, were fertility gods who were associated with ships and pigs. I suppose that the Vanir stories represent those who arrived in Europe via the sea in ships (those of Danish descent, the Swedes, the Frisians, and the Jutes or Anglos for example). The Aesir on the other hand were wanderers, they arrived over land (the Saxons and the Scythians or Goths). The Aesir group is the division of Norse mythology that this article mainly concerns itself (The Vanir group, which also has many correspondences with the ancient Israelites, although much more Canaanite in nature, can be dealt with separately.).Although the Norse had the notion of an over all god of everything, whom they referred to as “Alfadur” (Odin is sometimes referred to as Alfadur meaning “All-father,” but this name is also used in a way that shows that the Norse had an idea of a deity superior to Odin, uncreated and eternal.), he was a mystery and they had virtually no mythology about him (after the end of time he is destined to step up and provide a new, perfected, Heaven and Earth). For all intents and purposes they called their supreme god “Odin.” The name “Odin” is to be compared to the name “Adon,” the very name that the Israelites used for God at the time of their Assyrian exile. To the Israelites “Adon” means “Lord” and the they used it because the Almighty’s actual name was considered by them to be ineffable.

Oddly enough, the Greek and Roman historians who looked into the matter did not usually identify Odin with Zeus (Jupiter), but with Hermes (Mercury) as the god of wandering. This is not so strange as it may seem because the ultimate origin of the Greek mythological character Hermes was the Hebrew patriarch Moses (the serpent stick carrying messenger of god who freed the earthly wife of god (Io) from her captivity and lead her on her famous wanderings, see http://www.britam.org/salverda/io.html).

That is why the day of Hermes “Wednesday,” as it is called in the Northern European languages, is named for Odin. The Norse myths about Odin, and indeed much of Norse mythology in general, is based upon the God of Moses and the writings of Moses.

Take for instance Norse mythology’s debt to Genesis, the first book of Moses. At the foundation of the world of Norse Mythology is a very significant tree (called Ygdrasill). It grew at the center of a place called Midgard (Gen. 2:9), where Odin had formed and placed the first human pair Askr and Embla. He imbued them with life and gave them spirit with his breath (Gen. 2:7). Here also could be found the Norse archetype of evil, a serpent called the Midgard serpent (Gen. 3:1). Odin, foreseeing the trouble that the serpent posed, made it an outcast by throwing the serpent out of Midgard into the sea, where it grew and grew until it encompassed the entire world (Rev. 12:9). The first born son of Odin, Thor (Torah?) is destined, at the end of time, to destroy the Midgard serpent and sacrifice his own life in the act (Gen. 3:15). This is the outline of a very familiar story indeed, one that could easily be derived from the works of Moses.

At the base of the tree in the middle of Midgard is a spring that is divided into three heads (Gen. 2:9,10) one of which is called “the well of Ymir” it is the source of all knowledge (of good and evil?). Odin sacrificed one of his eyes in order to drink from it. Although the source of knowledge among the Norse was not the tree but a well, this Idea is not foreign to Israelite culture, consider the concept of “Miriam’s well” as is outlined in Ginzberg were it is said that God made it on the second day of creation, and other Jewish Legends were it is said that the drinking of it inspired prophecies.

Furthermore, they had the motif of the fruits of the tree of eternal life. In the Prose Edda we read about a character named “Idun” (Eden?). Idun is described as a woman with a certain box within which she keeps the apples of eternal youth. The apples are eaten by the gods when they age to make them young again. The downfall of all creation is caused when access to the miraculous fruits are denied. The great flood is also a feature of Norse mythology. Odin killed the Giant Ymir. The blood from Ymir’s wounds flooded the world (the blood of Ymir is explained in the myth as the seas.), and the Giants drowned. Only one, (a hero named “Begelmir”), was able to save himself and his wife, these were the ancestors of all later races. Also included is the symbolism of the rainbow. According to Norse mythology the rainbow (therein called “Bifrost”) is the bridge between Heaven and Earth, as such it is the pathway between god and man, much like the Scriptural rainbow symbolizes the covenant between God and man (Gen. 9:11-17).

Just as it is in the Hebrew Scriptures, The Norse giants were not completely wiped out in the great flood of Norse myths. Nephilim, a Scriptural term, often translated as “giants” actually means something like “shades” or “ghosts,” is very plausibly the origin of the Nordic term “Niffleheim ” which is their name for the land of the dead. The usual term for the land of the human dead was “Hela” this was the Nordic equivalent to the Hebrew “Sheol,” this was the repository for the bulk of mankind, the heroic dead went to Valhalla. However whenever a giant was dispatched it would go to Niffleheim (the world of the Nephilim?).

The racial features of the Amorites was depicted on the monuments of the Egyptians at Karnak. They were a tall people of blondes and brunettes with blue eyes. The Amorites were identified in the Scriptures as the descendants of the giants (the fallen angels). They had a sacred mountain that was the cultural focus of their nation, Mount Herman. It was the “Zion” (they called it “Sion” or “Senir”) of the Amorites. According to Ginzberg’s “Legends of the Jews” Mount Herman was the location where the Fallen angels had climbed down from Heaven to cohabitate with the daughters of men, ostensively the Amorite daughters. It was very probably the religion of the giants that is referred to in the Scriptures at Genesis 15:16 as “the iniquity of the Amorites,” The religion of Moses stood in opposition to and superseded it (see http://www.britam.org/salverda/olympus.html).

In the Judeo-Christian continuum the giants began as the fallen angels who were bred into the Amorite nation. Later, when the Amorites were transplanted from the immediate vicinity, the giants devolved back into the fallen angels again, who would eventually reappear for a war against the good angels at the end of times. The Greeks, colonists from the Levant living far from the Amorites, portrayed the giants as leaders of a previous religious system that was defeated an exiled to the west by Zeus and the Olympians. When Olympianism took over the giants were pretty much out of the picture, a mere afterthought. However, for the Norse the “giants,” as a national historical reality, continued to be an ongoing concern. The Norse had to live as neighbors with the remnants of the Amorites, the Germans (named for their original homeland in the shadow of mount “Herman”). Thus Norse mythology displays an enduring preoccupation with the giants unlike any other tradition. To them it was not the “spiritual” bad angels who had to be defeated, but the gods and the giants were at constant war, right up until the end of time, and there was no certainty of divine victory either.

Finally, as previously indicated, there is the notion of end times eschatology, not many religious systems include the idea that there will be an “end of times,” an Armageddon as it were. This is a primarily Israelite notion, Christianity, an offshoot of the Judean religion, has it. Zoroastrianism (I would argue that it also is an offshoot of the Israelite religion, [see http://britam.org/zarathustra.html%5D has it. Muslims, another people of “the book” also have their version of it. That’s about it, however, in keeping with the topic of this article, Norse Mythology has a very detailed end times eschatology, therein it is called “Ragnarok,” the “twilight of the gods.” At Ragnarok will occur the final battle of all creation, it is the culmination of the war between the gods and those giants from the days of old. At this time the rainbow bridge between Heaven and Earth, (the Norse symbol of the Covenant), will be broken to pieces. Also this is when the firstborn son of Odin is destined to finally destroy the Midgard serpent. This cannot help but remind one of the Judeo-Christian end times concept of war breaking out between the great leader of the host of Heaven and the fallen angels lead by the ancient serpent and its’ destruction (Rev.12:7). From where did they get this notion? Well, I submit that they got it from the same source that all the others got it from, the Israelites, in this case it is a legacy of their Israelite heritage.

-John R. Salverda

New Series Also by John R. Salverda:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”

Salverda suggests idea of Amazons came from prophetess Miriam and her followers

Published September 11, 2013 by amaic

images

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]

Bellerophon

The Amazons and the Reproach of Egypt

by John Salverda

It is from Diodorus Siculus where we learn that the Amazons came originally from Libya, a land that we suppose began at the Western bank of the Nile River and ran to the shore of a huge lake called Lake Triton that occupied the entire Sahara Desert (not now, but anciently). Diodorus himself identifies this as the land of Mount Atlas and the Gorgons. They then took a large army of women into Egypt where they became allied to the Pharaoh, who was, at that time, Horus the son of Isis. (Diodorus places this mass movement of the Amazons into Egypt chronologically just before the deeds of Perseus.) From there they came up out of the land of Egypt under their Queen whose name has variously been handed down to us as “Myrina,” “Marian,” or as an alternative version of the name, given to us by Robert Graves has it, “Mariamne.” Diodorus goes on to say that they then invaded Arabia and took over Syria before they eventually showed up in Asia Minor. This association of the Amazons with the Libyans also associates them with the Egyptians, for the Nile delta was peopled largely with Libyans who worshipped a Goddess named “Tanit,” after whom the leading city of the district, and the capitol of Egypt, was named “Tanis” (not to mention the entire nation of Tunisia which is also her namesake). Tanit was perhaps even more well known as a “Phoenician” goddess while the Egyptians more regularly called her Neith or Nut and the Hebrews knew her as Anat or Zion, the Greeks used the name Athena. The Amazons were in fact well known worshippers of the warrior goddess Athena (Pallas Athene, Baalath Zion), who was identified, even in ancient times, with Tanit the chief goddess of the Egyptian city of Tanis, which city was otherwise known to the Hebrews by the (suspiciously “Zion” sounding) name of “Zoan,” the very name of the Hebrew home during their period of Egyptian slavery.

Now, the question arises; When were the Amazons in Egypt’ Diodorus himself gives us a clue to the answer, for he says that Horus, the son of Isis, was the Egyptian Pharaoh at the time. Since it was this same Horus who famously defeated Seth in a well known cataclysmic battle, and established the Osirian religion in Egypt. And since the Greeks have identified this conflict with the battle of Zeus against Typhon, and the establishment among the Greeks of “Olympianism,” we can logically suppose that the Amazons came up out of Egypt under Mariamne about the same time that Zeus battled Typhon. Quoting Herodotus, “Before men, they said, the rulers of Egypt were gods, … Of these gods one or another had in succession been supreme; the last of them to rule the country was Osiris’ son Horus, whom the Greeks call Apollo; he deposed Typhon [Set], and was the last divine king of Egypt. (Histories 2. 144. 1) I consider this is to be a fair chronological reference for I have shown in an article called “The Olympians,” that this was the exact same time that THE ALMIGHTY battled Leviathan (typical symbolic poetry used by the Hebrews to indicate the Red Sea crossing) and the Hebrews came up out of Egypt. Now, if the Amazons came up out of Egypt at about the same time that the Hebrews did, then perhaps we can find some mention of the Amazons in the Scriptural account of the Exodus. As we know, the Scriptures do mention that a large compliment of “mixed company” came up out of Egypt with the Hebrews, however, we certainly could not rely on such a general statement as this to identify the Amazons, but then, we don’t have to.

There was a group of specifically women who were detached from the men, and were lead separately, by “Miriam,” the little understood “sister” of Moses, at the Hebrew Exodus from Egypt. Furthermore these women had a very Amazonian sounding law that was enforced amongst them while they were in the land of Zoan, insisting that the male babies born must be put to death, but the girls should be preserved alive. Just as the name Mariamne, from the Greek stories, has it’s equivalent Hebrew form Miriam, (thought to be Hebrew for “rebellion” but just as likely from an originally Egyptian name such as “Meri-Amon,”) so, if the Greek word “Amazon” were the corruption of a Hebrew word, as many so called “Greek” words were, it could be referring to the “mothers” (ama) of “Zoan.” Now, the question must be asked; How many groups, of specifically women, were lead up out of Egypt by a leader named “Miriam,” into the land of Arabia and Syria, in the days when God/god fought the great dragon, were there’

While the Scriptures don’t seem to mention the Amazons by that name, the Greek myths do give a fairly thorough account of their peregrinations. Of course the Greeks could not read the Scriptures, and don’t seem to have had an interest in tracing the travels of Israel or any lost tribes thereof. The Greek myths are the reports of a disinterested third party, so to speak, and yet, they place the Amazons where ever and when ever the Scriptures, and later historians, place the Israelites. The Amazons went as foreigners into the land of Egypt, came up out of Egypt into Syria. (Io met the Amazons during the course of her famous wanderings and the first Greek hero to battle against them was Bellerophon, herein identified with Joshua.) Then, where the Scriptures loose track of the “lost” Israelites, the Greek myths trace the Amazons to all the places where historians claim that the Scythians and Cimmerians went. For the Greek myths then say that the Amazons went north to the area around the Black Sea, (near the Thermodon River, thence the Amazons are said to have fought on behalf of Priam’s Trojans. Achilles, is said to have killed an Amazon Queen named Penthesileia. Priam speaks of himself as having, in his youth, fought against Amazons invading Phrygia, Iliad 3. 188) and from there they began to take over Asia Minor founding several cities such as Sinope, Ephesus, Cyme, Myrina and Smyrna before they were again obliged to move, flushed out by the Lydians (These Amazons were thought to be of the Scythian race, but this should not deter us from identifying them as a branch of the Dam-ascenes [Ashkenaz] and Samarians [Cimmerians] exiled by Tiglathapilezer, as many do.).

Alexander the Great finally had to build the Caspian gate in the Caucasus to keep out the “Red Jews” and, guess who’ The Amazons, who were apparently with them, and, also apparently from this study, they were with (and in opposition to) the Israelites all along. At this point the reader’s mind must be running wild wondering what was the role of the Hebrew women in saving the ancient world from Amazonian feminism. Well, obviously it would take another entire book to explain such a thing. It would be entitled “The Way of the Wells” and would include chapters with titles like; “Eve vs. Lilith and the Head Waters of Eden”, “Sarah vs. Hagar and the Well of Ishmael’s Salvation”, “Dinah at Shechem and Jacob’s Well”, “Hebat vs. Persephone and the Well of Sheba”, “Zipporah vs. Miriam and Miriam’s Well”, etc. But, this is not the place for such a book, and it will have to wait until someone writes it. Until then all we can expect from this article is to touch on the origins of the Amazons as they relate to the identity of Joshua with Bellerophon, and in regards to how the Hebrews saved civilization from matriarchy, the next few paragraphs will have to suffice.

It is apparent that Egypt was matriarchal at the time that Israel was enslaved there. However, the Hebrew midwifes eventually balked at the Egyptian command to sacrifice the male babies. The life of Moses was nearly aborted under the Egyptian system, (in fact, overcoming such circumstances is a well known messianic attribute.) Miriam, the older sister of Moses is accredited with overlooking the safety of the infant Moses. (The reader is urged to do a triple comparison between the story of Moses, the Greek myth of Perseus, and the Egyptian tale about the infancy of Horus, where Horus is fostered by Isis and Nephthys at the delta city of “Chemmis.”) Although she probably nurtured Moses in the beginning, and was apparently reconciled to him in the end, “Miriam” was a “bitter rival” to the rule of Moses, murmuring and complaining about him throughout the Exodus wandering.

She denigrated the race of Zipporah, the Cushite wife of Moses and the expounder of circumcision, getting Aaron to join her in her in questioning the authority of THE ALMIGHTY’s chosen servant. Miriam said, speaking for Aaron and herself, “Is it by Moses alone that THE ALMIGHTY has spoken’ Is it not also by us that he has spoken'” THE ALMIGHTY Himself had to correct her of her error, reminding her of His direct support of Moses and striking her with a temporary bout of leprosy (Num. 12 :1-15). Although the “rebellion” of “Miriam” is downplayed in the Scriptural account, and gets rationalized in the legends, a more careful study of her story in conjunction with the Greek “myths” about the Amazons, reveals something a bit more disturbing concerning her rivalry. Moses certainly wrote Genesis 3:16, and it is evident that Miriam and her followers, the ancient feminists, resented their new station in regards to men. Furthermore, the Midianites whose priesthood Moses had married into, were strict circumcisers. (I believe that circumcision is patriarchal evolution’s determining factor, and the turning point of civilization, tipping the scale from barbaric Amazonian feminism, which included child sacrifice and even cannibalism, toward a slightly more refined existence.) They were proud children of Abraham, the patriarchal champion of circumcision through his third wife Keturah.

The Hebrews had a very hard time overcoming the influences of Egyptian matriarchy. Moses adopts the priesthood of his wife Zipporah’s father, not that of his own father, a point that causes the ever present “mumbling” of Miriam. On the other hand, it was the priesthood of Midian, as the descendants of Abraham through Keturah, that had more closely maintained the patriarchal Abrahamic traditions, such as circumcision and the name of THE ALMIGHTY, while Moses and Israel was being polluted under the Egyptian matriarchy. Zipporah chides Moses for not circumcising even his own sons. Moses, reluctant to be a patriarch, lets Miriam and the women march independently singing and dancing with their tambourines, and taking the credit for overthrowing the Pharaoh. Amazonian rites were also evident in the debauched worship of the calf god, but that was the last straw for Moses who would finally put his foot down. Even so the Israelites wanted to reject Moses and go back to Egypt. Those wayward leaders of Israel, the underlings of Moses, after much hardship and purging, which included killing many of them, would eventually come around and change their matriarchal ways. However, it would have to wait for a future generation to attempt a sincere effort to cleanse Israel of their Amazonian tendencies. Even they had to have one last plunge into dionysian matriarchal licentiousness at the incident of Baal Peor. It was not until Joshua at Gilgal when the reproach of Egypt would finally be rolled back. They celebrated their victory over the “reproach of Egypt” with a mass circumcision. And this, I suspect, is what has come down to us via Greek mythology as the defeat of the Amazons by Bellerophon.

 

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

“Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends”