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Ahiqar and Aba-enlil-dari

Published February 28, 2019 by amaic
Image result for ahiqar

Part One:

Ahiqar as a figure of real history

 

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 “… the listing of Ahiqar in a Late Babylonian tablet testifies to the fact that the

role of Ahiqar, as known from the Aramaic version found at Elephantine, the book of Tobit, and the later Ahiqar sources, was firmly entrenched in Babylonian tradition”.

 John Day et al.

 

John Day, Robert P. Gordon, Hugh Godfrey Maturin Williamson write about the important sage, Ahiqar, in Wisdom in Ancient Israel, pp. 43-44:

 

The figure of Ahiqar has remained a source of interest to scholars in a variety of fields. The search for the real Ahiqar, the acclaimed wise scribe who served as chief counsellor to Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, was a scholarly preoccupation for many years. …. He had a sort of independent existence since he was known from a series of texts – the earliest being the Aramaic text from Elephantine, followed by the book of Tobit, known from the Apocrypha and the later Syriac, Armenian and Arabic texts of Ahiqar. …. An actual royal counsellor and high court official who had been removed from his position and later returned to it remains unknown.

 

Mackey’s comment: I have also identified this Ahiqar (var. Achior, Vulgate Book of Tobit) as the “Achior” (and also the “Arioch”) of the Book of Judith; and as the “Arioch” of the Book of Daniel. See e.g.:

 

Meeting of the wise – Arioch and Daniel

 

https://www.academia.edu/37485637/Meeting_of_the_wise_Arioch_and_Daniel

 

Day et al. continue:

 

…. E. Reiner found the theme of the ‘disgrace and rehabilitation of a minister’ combined with that of the ‘ungrateful nephew’ in the ‘Bilingual Proverbs’, and saw this as a sort of parallel to the Ahiqar story.

 

Mackey’s comment: For my identification of the ‘ungrateful nephew’, Nadin (var. Nadab), see my article:

 

“Nadin” (Nadab) of Tobit is the “Holofernes” of Judith

 

https://www.academia.edu/36576110/_Nadin_Nadab_of_Tobit_is_the_Holofernes_of_Judi

 

Day et al. continue:

 

…. She [Reiner] also emphasized that in Mesopotamia the ummânu was not only a learned man or craftsman but was also a high official.

 

At the time that Reiner noted the existence of this theme in Babylonian wisdom literature, Ahiqar achieved a degree of reality with the discovery in Uruk, in the investigations of winter 1959/60, of a Late Babylonian tablet (W20030,7) dated to the 147th year of the Seleucid era (= 165 BCE).

 

Mackey’s comment: For my proposed radical revision of this Seleucid era, see my article:

 

A New Timetable for the Nativity of Jesus Christ

 

https://www.academia.edu/36672214/A_New_Timetable_for_the_Nativity_of_Jesus_Chri

 

Day et al. continue:

 

…. This tablet contains a list of antediluvian kings and their sages (apkallû) and postdiluvian kings and their scholars (ummânu). The postdiluvian kings run from Gilgamesh to Esarhaddon. This text informs us (p. 45, lines 19-20) that in the time of King Aššur-aḫ-iddina, one A-ba-dninnu-da-ri (= Aba-enlil-dari), (whom) the Aḫlamu (i.e., Arameans) call Aḫ-‘u-qa-ri (= Aḫuqar), was the ummânu. As was immediately noted, Aḫuqar was the equivalent of Aḥiqar. ….

The names of the ummânē of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon are known to us from a variety of sources, but Ahiqar’s name does not appear in any contemporary source. ….

 

Mackey’s comment: But what is actually “contemporary” may now need to be seriously reconsidered if there is any weight to my series:

 

Aligning Neo Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part One: Shortening the Chaldean Dynasty

 

https://www.academia.edu/38330231/Aligning_Neo_Babylonia_with_Book_of_Daniel._Part_One_Shortening_the_Chaldean_Dynasty

 

Aligning Neo-Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part Two: Merging late neo-Assyrians with Chaldeans

 

https://www.academia.edu/38330399/Aligning_Neo-Babylonia_with_Book_of_Daniel._Part_Two_Merging_late_neo-Assyrians_with_Chaldeans

 

Day et al. continue:

 

Indeed, it has been recently claimed that the passage from the Uruk document ‘is clearly fictitious and of no historical value’, for A-ba-dninnu-da-ri was the name of a scholar known from the Middle Babylonian period.

 

Mackey’s comment: That is exactly what I would expect to find, the sage ummânu existing in both the so-called Middle and the neo Assyro-Babylonian periods, due to a necessary as demanded by revision) folding of the Middle into the later period.

Day et al. continue:

 

…. Yet, the listing of Ahiqar in a Late Babylonian tablet testifies to the fact that the role of Ahiqar, as known from the Aramaic version found at Elephantine, the book of Tobit, and the later Ahiqar sources, was firmly entrenched in Babylonian tradition.

 

 

He may also be Esagil-kini-ubba

 

 

“The story of Ahikar is one of the most phenomenal in the ancient world in that it

has become part of many different literatures and has been preserved in several

different languages: Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Slavonic, and Old Turkish”.

 

  1. Murphy

 

 

 

Looking further to identify the Israelite sage and proverb-writer, Ahiqar (Ahikar) – a most famous ummânu in the neo Assyrian court – with a similarly famous Middle Babylonian ummânu, Esagil-kini-ubba, I wrote in my university thesis:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

 

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

 

(Volume One, pp. 185-186)

 

A Legendary Vizier (Ummânu)

 

Perhaps a further indication of a need for merging the C12th BC king of Babylon, Nebuchednezzar I, with the C8th BC king of Assyria, Sargon II/ Sennacherib ….

 

My comment: At that stage I had considered Nebuchednezzar I to be what I had described as ‘the Babylonian face’ of Sargon II (my Sennacherib).

But now, with my further crunching of neo-Assyrian and neo-Babylonian history:

 

Aligning Neo Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part One: Shortening the Chaldean Dynasty

 

https://www.academia.edu/38330231/Aligning_Neo_Babylonia_with_Book_of_Daniel._Part_One_Shortening_the_Chaldean_Dynasty

 

Aligning Neo-Babylonia with Book of Daniel. Part Two: Merging late neo-Assyrians with Chaldeans

 

https://www.academia.edu/38330399/Aligning_Neo-Babylonia_with_Book_of_Daniel._Part_Two_Merging_late_neo-Assyrians_with_Chaldeans

 

I would be more inclined to identify Nebuchednezzar I as Nebuchednezzar II.

Continuing with my thesis:

 

… is that one finds during the reign of ‘each’ a vizier of such fame that he was to be remembered for centuries to come. It is now reasonable to assume that this is one and the same vizier.

I refer, in the case of Nebuchednezzar I, to the following celebrated vizier: …. “The name Esagil-kini-ubba, ummânu or “royal secretary” during the reign of Nebuchednezzar I, was preserved in Babylonian memory for almost one thousand years – as late as the year 147 of the Seleucid Era (= 165 B.C.) …”.

Even better known is Ahikar (var. Akhiqar), of Sennacherib’s reign, regarding whose immense popularity we read: ….

 

The story of Ahikar is one of the most phenomenal in the ancient world in that it has become part of many different literatures and has been preserved in several different languages: Syriac, Arabic, Armenian, Greek, Slavonic, and Old Turkish. The most ancient recension is the Aramaic, found amongst the famous 5th-cent. BC papyri that were discovered … on Elephantine Island in the Nile. The story worked its way into the Arabian nights and the Koran; it influenced Aesop, the Church Fathers as well as Greek philosophers, and the OT itself.

 

According to the first chapter of [the Book of Tobit]: “Ahikar had been chief cupbearer, keeper of the signet, administrator and treasurer under Sennacherib” and he was kept in office after Sennacherib’s death. At some point in time Ahikar seems to have been promoted to Ummânu, or Vizier, second in power in the mighty kingdom of Assyria, “Chancellor of the Exchequer for the kingdom and given the main ordering of affairs” (1:21, 22).

Ahikar was Chief Cupbearer, or Rabshakeh … during Sennacherib’s Third Campaign when Jerusalem was besieged (2 Kings 18:17; Isaiah 36:2). His title (Assyrian rab-šakê) means, literally, ‘the great man’. It was a military title, marking its bearer amongst the greatest of all the officers. Tobit tells us that Ahikar (also given in the Vulgate version of BOT as Achior) was the son of his brother Anael (1:21). Ahikar was therefore Tobit’s nephew, of the tribe of Naphtali, taken into captivity by ‘Shalmaneser’.

 

This Ahikar/Achior was – as I shall be arguing in VOLUME TWO (cf. pp. 8, 46-47) – the

same as the important Achior of [the Book of Judith].

 

Kraeling, whilst incorrectly I believe suggesting that: … “There does not appear to be any demonstrable connection between this Achior [Judith] and the Ahikar of the [legendary] Aramaic Story”, confirms however that the name Achior can be the same as Ahikar ….

….

I had suggested … that Adad-apla-iddina, ruler of Babylon at the time of Tiglathpileser I, may have been the same person as Merodach-baladan I/II. I may now be able to strengthen this link to some degree through the agency of the vizier just discussed. For, according to Brinkman: …. “… Esagil-kini-ubba served as ummânu … under Adad-apla-iddina…”.

 

Babylonia, a cunning, ‘crooked serpent’ diplomatically, has also been a tortuous riddle for historians to try to unravel. ….

 

Ahiqar, Aesop and Lokman

Published February 20, 2019 by amaic
Image result for aesop fables

Ahiqar and Aesop

 

Part Two:

Ahiqar, Aesop and Lokman

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“Now concerning this Lokman, the commentators and the critics have diligently thrown their brains about. The former have disputed whether Lokman was an inspired prophet or merely a philosopher and have decided against his inspiration: and they have given him a noble lineage, some saying that he was sister’s son to Job, and others that he was nephew to Abraham, and lived until the time of Jonah”.

C. Conybeare et al.

 

According to these authors, “… the legend of Ahikar was known to Mohammed, and … he has used it in a certain Sura of the Koran”.

First of all, there was no historical Mohammed – ‘he’, as a single historical entity supposedly of the C7th AD is as dead as a doornail. See e.g. my article:

 

Prophet Jonah, Nineveh, and Mohammed

https://www.academia.edu/30409779/Prophet_Jonah_Nineveh_and_Mohammed

 

noting that Mohammed claimed to be a ‘brother of the prophet Jonah’, an anomalous historical mish-mash as crazy as the above suggestion that “Lokman … was nephew to Abraham, and lived until the time of Jonah”.

But, then, why not? That would make Lokman only something like a thousand years old!

A veritable spring chicken.

 

“The Story of Ahiqar” by F. C. Conybeare et al. does make some interesting connections, however – Ahiqar/Aesop and Lokman:

http://archive.org/stream/TheStoryOfAhikar/Ahikar_djvu.txt

 

….

ON THE USE OF THE LEGEND OF AHIKAR IN THE

KORAN AND ELSEWHERE.

 

We pass on, in the next place, to point out that the legend of Ahikar was known to Mohammed, and that he has used it in a certain Sura of the Koran.

 

There is nothing a priori improbable in this, for the Koran is full of Jewish Haggada and Christian legends, and where such sources are not expressly mentioned, they may often be detected by consulting the commentaries upon the Koran in obscure passages. For example, the story of Abimelech and the basket of figs, which appears in the Last Words of Baruch, is carried over into the Koran, as we have shown in our preface to the Apocryphon in question. It will be interesting if we can add another volume to Mohammed’s library, or to the library of the teacher from whom he derived so many of his legends.

 

The 31st Sura of the Koran is entitled Lokman (Luqman) and it contains the following account of a sage of that name.

 

* We heretofore bestowed wisdom on Lokman and commanded him, saying, Be thou thankful unto God: for whoever is thankful, shall be thankful to the advantage of his own soul: and if any shall be unthankful, verily God is self-sufficient and worthy to be praised. And remember when Lokman said unto his son, as he admonished him.

….

 

O my son, Give not a partner unto God, for polytheism is a great impiety.

 

♦ ♦♦♦♦♦

 

O my son, verily every matter, whether good or bad, though it be of the weight of a grain of mustard-seed, and be hidden in a rock, or in the heavens, God will bring the same to light: for God is clear-sighted and knowing.

 

O my son, be constant at prayer, and command that which is just, and forbid that which is evil, and be patient under the afflictions that shall befall thee: for this is a duty absolutely incumbent upon all men.

 

♦ ♦♦#♦♦

 

And be moderate in thy pace, and lower thy voice, for the most ungrateful of all voices surely is the voice of asses.’

 

♦ ♦♦#♦♦

 

Now concerning this Lokman, the commentators and the critics have diligently thrown their brains about.

The former have disputed whether Lokman was an inspired prophet or merely a philosopher and have decided against his inspiration: and they have given him a noble lineage, some saying that he was sister’s son to Job, and others that he was nephew to Abraham, and lived until the time of Jonah. Others have said that he was an African: slave. It will not escape the reader’s notice that the term sister’s son to Job, to which should be added nephew of Abraham, is the proper equivalent of the [€f aSeX^o?] by which Nadan and Ahikar are described in the Tobit legends.

Job, moreover, is singularly like Tobit.

That he lived till the time of Jonah reminds one of the destruction of Nineveh as described in the book of Tobit, in accordance with Jonah’s prophecy. Finally the African slave is singularly like Aesop … who is a black man and a slave in the Aesop legends. From all of which it appears as if the Arabic Commentators were identifying Lokman with Ahikar on the one hand and with Aesop on the other; i.e. with two characters whom we have already shown to be identical.

 

The identification with Aesop is confirmed by the fact that many of the fables ascribed to Aesop in the west are referred to Lokman in the east: thus Sale says: —

 

‘The Commentators mention several quick repartees of Luqman which agree so well with what Maximus Planudes has written of Aesop, that from thence and from the fables attributed to Luqman by the Orientals, the latter has been generally thought to be no other than the Aesop of the Greeks. However that may be (for I think the matter may bear a dispute) I am of opinion that Planudes borrowed a great part of his life of Aesop from the traditions he met with in the east concerning Luqman, concluding them to have been the same person ….

 

These remarks of Sale are confirmed by our observation that the Aesop story is largely a modification of the Ahikar legend, taken with the suggestion which we derive from the Mohammedan commentators, who seem to connect Lokman with Tobit on the one hand and with Aesop on the other.

 

Now let us turn to the Sura of the Koran which bears the name Lokman, and examine it internally: we remark (i) that he bears the name of sage, precisely as Ahikar does: (ii) that he is a teacher of ethics to his son, using Ahikar’s formula ‘ ya bani ‘ in teaching him : (iii) although at first sight the matter quoted by Mohammed does not appear to be taken from Ahikar, there are curious traces of dependence. We may especially compare the following from Ahikar: ‘ O my son, bend thy head low and soften thy voice and be courteous and walk in the straight path and be not foolish And raise not thy voice when thou laughest, for were it by a loud voice that a house was built, the ass would build many houses every day.’

 

Clearly Mohammed has been using Ahikar, and apparently from memory, unless we like to assume that the passage in the Koran is the primitive form for Ahikar, rather than the very forcible figure in our published texts. Mohammed has also mixed up Ahikar’s teaching with his own, for some of the sentences which he attributes to Lokman appear elsewhere in the Koran. But this does not disturb the argument. From all sides tradition advises us to equate Lokman with Aesop and Ahikar, and the Koran confirms the equation. The real difficulty is to determine the derivation of the names of Lokman and Aesop from Ahikar ….

 

Some of the Moslem traditions referred to above may be found in Al Masudi c. 4 : ‘ There was in the country of Ailah and Midian a sage named Lokman, who was the son of Auka, the son of Mezid, the son of Sar ….

 

….

 

Another curious point in connexion with the Moslem traditions is the discussion whether Loqman was or was not a prophet.

This discussion cannot have been borrowed from a Greek source, for the idea which is involved in the debate is a Semitic idea.

But it is a discussion which was almost certain to arise, whether Lokman of whom Mohammed writes so approvingly had any special … as a prophet, because Mohammed is the seal of the prophets.

 

And it seems from what Sale says on the subject, that the Moslem doctors decided the question in the negative; Lokman * received from God wisdom and eloquence in a high degree, which some pretend were given him in a vision, on his making choice of wisdom preferably to the gift of prophecy, either of which was offered him.’ Thus the Moslem verdict was that Lokman was a sage and not a prophet.

 

On the other hand it should be noticed that there are reasons for believing that he was regarded in some circles and probably from the earliest times as a prophet. The fact of his teaching in aphorisms is of no weight against this classification: for the Hebrew Bible has two striking instances of exactly similar character, in both of which the sage appears as prophet. Thus Prov. XXX. begins :

 

* The words of Agur the son of Jakeh, even the prophecy*

 

and Prov. xxxi begins :

 

*The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.’

 

Both of these collections appear to be taken from popular tales*, and they are strikingly like to the sentences of Ahikar.

 

….

 

The legend of Ahikar has also had an influence upon other books of a similar type, where story-telling and the enforcement of ethical maxims are combined. Such a case is the Story of Syntipas the Philosopher, a late Greek translation of a Syriac text, of which the date of composition is uncertain, as also whether it was primitively composed in Syriac or in some other language ….

 

There was an Arabic form of this story extant as early as 956 A.D., and the diffusion of the collection of tales is phenomenal in later times.

 

The opening of the story is as follows :

 

‘There was once a king whose name was Cyrus. He had seven wives; but had become old and had no son. Then He arose and prayed, and vowed a vow and anointed himself.

And it pleased God to give him a son. The boy grew and shot up like a cedar …. Then he gave him over to learn wisdom and he was three years with his teacher, without however learning anything.’

 

The opening of the story is common matter to an Eastern novelist, but there are allusions which betray the use of a model of composition. To put Ahikar into the form Cyrus was not difficult in view of the Slavonic Akyrios for the same name; ‘seven wives’ is the modification of a later age on the original * sixty wives ‘ of Ahikar ; but what is conclusive for the use of the earlier legend is the remark that the king’s son ‘ shot up like a cedar.’ Thus we have in the Arabic version, ‘Nadan grew big and walked, shooting up like a tall cedar,’ and in the final re-proaches of the sage, ‘ My boy! I brought thee up with the best upbringing and trained thee like a tall cedar.’ So that Ahikar is as truly a model for Syntipas as he was for Tobit [sic].

 

At the conclusion of the Syntipas legends, when the young man is solving all the hard ethical problems that his father proposes to him, we again find a trace of Ahikar, for he speaks of the ‘insatiate eye which as long as it sees wealth is so ardent after it that he regards not God, until in death the earth covers his eyes.’ And amongst the sayings of Ahikar we find one to the effect that * the eye of man is as a fountain, and it will never be satisfied with wealth until it is filled with dust.’ Dr Dillon points out that this is one of the famous sayings of Mohammed, and if that be so, we have one more loan from Ahikar in the Koran.

 

Cf Sura 102, ‘The emulous desire of multiplying [riches and children] employeth you, until ye visit the graves.’ ….

 

Deborah and Neith

Published February 19, 2019 by amaic
Image result for athene and homer

Neith a goddess

of great antiquity

 

Part Two:

Aspects of Deborah story absorbed into Egyptian Neith mythology

 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 “One of the features of Neith worship, according to Herodotus, was a great festival known as the Feast of Lamps, during which her devotees all through the night kept numerous lights burning. So we have Neith, who is worshipped at the House of the Bee with a festival of torches, and Deborah, “the Bee” who is married to “torches” [Lapidoth]. A coincidence?

 Gary Greenberg

 

 

By far the majority of the ancient pagan gods, we have found, had their origins in antediluvian heroes or villains. But this does not mean that the mythology associated with any one of them was incapable also of absorbing, or appropriating, much later literary aspects.

 

The goddess Athene (Athena), for instance – {the Greek version of Neith: “Among the festivals confirmed in Greek papyri for AthenaNeith at Sais is the festival of lamps (Lychnocaia) …”}: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312531134_The_Illumination_of_Lamps_Lychnokaia_for_Neith_in_SaisEsna_in_Greco-Roman_Egypt – plays a part in Homer’s The Odyssey that I think has been dragged straight out of the Book of Tobit. See e.g. my article:

 

Similarities to The Odyssey of the Books of Job and Tobit

 https://www.academia.edu/8914220/Similarities_to_The_Odyssey_of_the_Books_of_Job_and_Tobit

There I noted:

 

The ‘Divine’ Messenger

 

From whom the son, especially, receives help during his travels.

 

In the Book of Tobit, this messenger is the angel Raphael (in the guise of “Azarias”).

In The Odyssey, it is the goddess Athene (in the guise of “Mentes”).

 

 

Now, Gary Greenberg has convincingly proposed that a part of the account of the biblical Deborah can be discerned in some of the Neith mythology:

http://ggreenberg.tripod.com/writings/w-neith-deb.htm

 

Neith and the Two Biblical Deborahs:

One and the Same

….

[Neith’s] role as both mother goddess and warrior is most evident from the Hymn to Neith preserved at the Esna temple, where she is quoted as saying:

 

“An august god will come into being today. When he opens his eyes, light will come into being; when he closes them, darkness will come into being. People will come into being from the tears of his eye, gods from the spittle of his lips. I will strengthen him by my strength, I will make him effective by my efficacy, I will, make him vigorous by my vigor. His children will rebel against him, but they will be beaten on his behalf and struck down on his behalf, for he is my son issued from my body, and he will be king of this land forever. I will protect him with my arms . . .. I am going to tell you his name: It will be Khepri in the morning and Atum in the evening; and he will be the radiating god in his rising forever, in his name of Re, every day.”

 

Compare elements of this hymn with the Song of Deborah.

 

  1. Deborah and Neith both talk about their role as a mother;
  2. Deborah and Neith each talk about how their actions led to an increase in population;
  3. In both stories we find a rebellion of new gods battling against heaven;
  4. In both stories, the mother, in her role as mother, promise to intervene in the fighting;
  5. In both stories, the mother fights on the side of the chief deity;
  6. In both stories there is talk about the enemy being struck down; and
  7. In both stories the side representing the chief deity wins.

 

Additionally, we note that in the prose version, Barak is made effective by Deborah’s participation, and, in the Hymn to Neith, Re was made effective and vigorous by the actions of the goddess.

 

One difference between the two stories is that the Neith is identified as the mother of the chief deity, but the child of Deborah is not named. This is not surprising given the monotheistic nature of Hebrew religion. Permitting a character to have too close a resemblance to the chief Egyptian deity would be highly offensive.

 

Although we don’t know the name of Deborah’s child, we do know the names of the only two persons with a close relation to her. Her husband’s name, Lapidoth, translates as “torches”. Barak’s name means “lightening.” Both of these names are interesting in connection with the iconography of Neith.

 

One of the features of Neith worship, according to Herodotus, was a great festival known as the Feast of Lamps, during which her devotees all through the night kept numerous lights burning. So we have Neith, who is worshipped at the House of the Bee with a festival of torches, and Deborah, “the Bee” who is married to “torches”. A coincidence?

 

Perhaps, but certainly very suggestive of a close mythological relationship.

 

Neith and Deborah also have a connection as Judges. In the New Kingdom story known as “the Contendings of Horus and Set”, Neith appears twice in a judiciary role. In this story, Set and Horus sue for the right to succeed Osiris as king of Egypt. Early in the story we are told that the struggle has been going on for eighty years but the dispute was unresolved. The gods then implored Thoth to send a letter to Neith, asking for guidance on how to resolve the dispute. Neith replied that the office should go to Horus, and then adds that if the gods don’t award judgment to Horus, “I shall become so furious that the sky will touch the ground.” This threat sounds very much like a description of lightening, an interesting phrase considering that Deborah’s general, the enforcer of her will, is named “lightening.” Later in the story of the “Contendings”, Neith is once again called upon to make a decision.

 

From the above, we can see a number of points of comparison between Neith and Deborah the warrior/judge. Not only were there thematic similarities between the Hymn to Neith and the Song of Deborah, we find both are judges, both are associated with the bee, and both have an important connection to torches and perhaps lightening. ….

 

 

Conflation of Cambyses and Nebuchednezzar  

Published February 18, 2019 by amaic
Image result for cambyses

  

Further possible indication that Cambyses,

otherwise known as “Nebuchadnezzar”,

was Nebuchadnezzar II ‘the  Great’ himself.

 

 

F. Venticinque writes of the “conflation of Cambyses … and Nebuchadnezzar” in the article, “What’s in a Name? Greek, Egyptian and Biblical Traditions” (“Abstract”, pp. 139-140): https://www.jstor.org/stable/24519587

 

This paper investigates the literary and historiographical implications for the conflation of Cambyses, the Persian king who conquered Egypt in 525 BC, and Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who ordered the destruction of the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem in 586 BC in the late antique Coptic text known as the Cambyses Romance.

In this fictionalized [sic?] account of the Persian invasion of Egypt, the anonymous author of the Coptic Cambyses Romance blends Greek, Egyptian and Biblical traditions of destruction and impiety committed at the hands of these two [sic?] rulers and employs these tales for his own rhetorical ends. In conflating the characters of these two notorious rulers, the author of the Coptic story draws an implicit comparison between their destructive and impious actions in Egypt and Jerusalem, and thereby forges a link not only between Greek and Egyptian traditions that deal with Cambyses and Biblical representations of Nebuchadnezzar, but also with Jerusalem and Egypt itself, which becomes the new Jerusalem.

….

The fictional [sic?] elements of the Cambyses Romance are readily apparent thanks to a number of peculiarities in the text that have complicated its overall interpretation; the pharaoh against whom Cambyses leads the attack is not Psammetichus III, as one might expect, but Apries; the force which Cambyses leads against the Egyptians is at times referred to as the Assyrians rather than the Persians; and at three points in the text, the author refers to Cambyses as Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian ruler who in 586 BC ordered the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem and the subsequent exile as described in the Old Testament. It is this last peculiarity that H.L. Jansen has called “the greatest difficulty in the whole work” ….

 

[End of quote]

 

“… the force which Cambyses leads against the Egyptians is at times referred to as the Assyrians rather than the Persians …”.

But what if, as according to my view that Cambyses = Nebuchednezzar were also Ashurbanipal:

 

Ashurbanipal and Nabonidus

https://www.academia.edu/35855917/Ashurbanipal_and_Nabonidus

 

For the Assyrian armies of Ashurbanipal assuredly did invade and conquer Egypt.

 

Ushanahuru as Udjahorresne

Published February 14, 2019 by amaic
Image result for udjahorresnet

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“The Chronicle of John of Nikiu who wrote of Cambyses[’] exploits after his name change to Nebuchadnezzar. He wrote of how Cambyses under his new name Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and desolated Egypt. It becomes apparent therefore that John gave credit to Cambyses for what Nebuchadnezzar accomplished”.

 

Too many invasions of Egypt

 

Introduction

 

Between c. 670 BC and c. 525 BC, nearly 150 years, three separate great world powers (Assyria, Babylonia and Persia) invaded Egypt.

Or so the history books tell us.

 

The king-invaders were (i) neo-Assyria’s Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal; (ii) neo-Babylonia’s Nebuchednezzar II; and (iii) Persia’s Cambyses.

 

However, if Esarhaddon – thought to have been the father of Ashurbanipal – were actually the same person as Ashurbanipal – see my multi-part series beginning with:

 

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”: dreams, illness-madness, Egyptophobia. Part One: Brief Introductory Section

 

https://www.academia.edu/37511819/_Nebuchednezzar_Syndrome_dreams_illness-madness_Egyptophobia._Part_One_Brief_Introductory_Section

 

in the very fashion that I have suggested regarding the supposed father and son combination:

 

Assyrian King Sargon II, Otherwise Known As Sennacherib

 

https://www.academia.edu/6708474/Assyrian_King_Sargon_II_Otherwise_Known_As_Sennacherib

 

and if Ashurbanipal/Esarhaddon were also Nebuchednezzar II himself:

 

Esarhaddon a tolerable fit for King Nebuchednezzar

 

https://www.academia.edu/38017900/Esarhaddon_a_tolerable_fit_for_King_Nebuchednezzar

 

then two (i) and (ii) of those three major invasion eras above would become just the one.

 

But there is more.

 

I have also hinted that Cambyses was something of a mirror-image of Nebuchednezzar II:

 

“Nebuchednezzar Syndrome”: dreams, illness-madness, Egyptophobia. Part Two: Ashurbanipal; Nabonidus; Cambyses; Artaxerxes III

 

https://www.academia.edu/37512120/_Nebuchednezzar_Syndrome_dreams_illness-madness_Egyptophobia._Part_Two_Ashurbanipal_Nabonidus_Cambyses_Artaxerxes_III

 

In this last article I had noted that Cambyses even bore the name of “Nebuchednezzar”:

 

“The Chronicle of John of Nikiu who wrote of Cambyses[’] exploits after his name change to Nebuchadnezzar. He wrote of how Cambyses under his new name Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem and desolated Egypt. It becomes apparent therefore that John gave credit to Cambyses for what Nebuchadnezzar accomplished”.

 

http://www.topix.com/forum/religion/jehovahs-witness/THIK59UKCUF68BLNL/evidence-indicating-egypts-40-year-desolation

 

So basically what I am getting at here is that the above presumed century and a half of history (c. 670 BC and c. 525 BC) may need to be collapsed, like a star into a presumed black hole, into just the one point in time.

 

Three major invasion eras of Egypt becoming reduced to just the one.

Meeting and identifying Udjahorresne

 

 

If this Ushanahuru were Udjahorresne, then it would provide a

chronological connecting link between c. 670 BC and c. 525 BC.

 

 

 

Cambyses’ (and later Darius’) assistant or mentor (tour guide) in Egypt was one Udjahorresne (or Udjahorresnet, Wedjaḥorresnet, and many other variants).

We read about this important official as “Wedjahor-Resne” in the following account:

https://www.livius.org/articles/person/wedjahor-resne/

 

The … Egyptian inscription was written over a naophoros-statue, i.e., a statue representing a man carrying (“phoros“) a small shrine (“naos“) with an image of a god. In this case, the god can be identified with Osiris, the ruler of the Underworld. The text commemorates all pious acts of the carrier, an important courtier named Wedjahor-Resne or Udjahor-Resnet. The statue, which is about 70 centimeters high, was brought to Italy by the Roman emperor Hadrian (r. 117-138), who kept it in his villa in Tivoli. Currently, it is displayed in the Egyptian department of the Vatican Museums.

 

Wedjahor-Resne was not only the pharaoh‘s personal physician, but was also responsible for the royal navy. In 526 BCE, king Amasis died and was succeeded by his son Psammetichus III. During the transitional period, the Persian king Cambyses attacked Egypt and defeated his unprepared enemies near the Pelusian branch of the Nile. The standard account is written by Herodotus.

 

It is probable that Wedjahor-Resne defected to the Persians at some stage before or during this war, because nothing is known about naval operations, although the Egyptians owned a large navy and had occupied Cyprus.note[Herodotus, Histories 2.182.] The Greek historian Ctesias of Cnidus, who is not known for his reliability but may for once have had access to reliable information, explicitly mentions a traitor, although his name is Combaphis.note[Ctesias, Persica 10.] It should be noted that an ally of Egypt, the Greek leader Polycrates of Samos, allowed himself to be bribed away.

Cartouche of Cambyses (“Mesuti-Ra Cambyses”)

 

When Cambyses had taken the Egyptian capital Memphis, he was recognized as the new king. Wedjahor-Resne was reinstated in almost all his former functions and helped Cambyses to behave like a true Egyptian king. For example, he persuaded Cambyses to direct the Persian garrison in the holy city of Sais to another camp, making sure that the ancient sanctuary of Neith, the mother of the supreme god Ra, and the shrine of Osiris were purified. Wedjahor-Resne also composed Cambyses’ new royal name, Mesuti-Ra (“born of Ra”).

Cambyses left Egypt in the spring of 522, taking Wedjahor-Resne with him as his physician. Unfortunately, the king had an accident on his way back, and his doctor was unable to cure him.

 

After Cambyses’ death and a violent civil war (described in the Behistun Inscription), Darius became king. The new ruler allowed Wedjahor-Resne to return home and ordered him to supervise the medical schools – the “houses of life” in the text – that had been destroyed (by Cambyses?). Since the text does not mention Darius’ visit to Egypt in 519/518, it is likely that the naophoros-statue was made soon after Wedjahor-Resne’s return.

 

His tomb has been discovered in 1995 at Abusir. Except for two damaged sarcophagi, little was found in the burial chamber. It is interesting to note that in c.340 BCE, Wedjahor-Resne seems to have been venerated as a more or less holy person in Memphis.

[End of quote]

 

What I am interested in within my new historical context is: Does our Udjahorresne emerge elsewhere, in an era other than the supposed Persian era, in, say, the neo-Assyrian period?

 

I think that he Udjahorresne may well thus emerge.

 

My suggestion is that Udjahorresne was the same person as Tirhakah’s (Taharqa’s) son and heir, Ushanahuru, as referred to by Esarhaddon (N. Grimal’s A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell, 1994, p. 350):

 

I laid siege to Memphis, [Taharqa’s] royal residence and conquered it in half a day by means of mines, breaches and assault ladders. His queen, the women of his palace, Ushanahuru his ‘heir apparent’, his other children, his possessions, horses, large and small cattle beyond counting I carried away as booty to Assyria ….

[Pritchard 1955: 293].

 

If this Ushanahuru were Udjahorresne, then it would provide a chronological connecting link between c. 670 BC and c. 525 BC.

I think that we find the very same elements in the two names, Ushanahuru and Udjahorresne, the latter of which the Assyrians may well have found rather difficult to transliterate:

 

Udja – horre[s] – ne

Usha – huru – na

 

 

It would make perfect sense that Esarhaddon (= Ashurbanipal = Nebuchednezzar II) might later have used a man of such culture, education and high-standing as his Egyptian prisoner Ushanahuru, to take back with him to Egypt – as Cambyses (named “Nebuchednezzar”).

 

The Udjahorresne Inscription

 

  1. Offering by the king to [the god] Osiris-Hemag: thousands of bread and beer, beef and birds and all other things good and pure, for the ka of a man honored with the gods of the province of Sais, the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne.
  2. Offering by the king to Osiris, who lives in Khet-Bjet: a funeral offering of bread and beer, beef and birds, alabaster vases and garments, incense and perfumes and all other good things, for the ka of a man honored by the gods of the province of Sais, the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne.
  3. Oh Osiris, Lord of Eternity! The chief physician
  4. Wedjahor-Resne keeps you in his arms to
  5. protect you. May your ka order that people do all kinds of useful things to him
  6. because he stands guard behind your eternal shrine.
  7. This man honored with the great [goddess] Neit, the mother of the god [Re], and with the gods of Sais, the prince, the royal chancellor, the unique companion,
  8. the one truly known and loved by the king, the scribe, the inspector of the scribes of the dedet-court, the first among the great scribes of the prison, the director of the palace,
  9. the admiral of the royal navy of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Khnemibre [Amasis], the admiral of the royal navy of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt,
  10. Ankhkaenre [Psammetichus III], Wedjahor-Resne, son of the director of the castles, khrjep-priest, renep-priest, khepetwedet-priest, prophet of Neit, who is the head of the province of Sais Peftuôneit,
  11. says: ‘The great king of all foreign countries Cambyses came to Egypt, taking the foreigners of every foreign country with him. When he had taken possession of the entire country,
  12. they settled themselves down therein, and he was made great sovereign of Egypt and great king of all foreign countries. His Majesty appointed me his chief physician
  13. and caused me to stay with him in my quality of companion and director of the palace, and ordered me to compose his titulary, his name as king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Mesuti-Ra [born of Ra]. And I made sure that His Majesty knew of the greatness of Sais,
  14. which is the seat of the great Neit, the mother who brought forth Re, and who unveiled birth when birth did not exist. [And I made sure that His Majesty knew] the significance of the temple of Neit, which is the sky in all its dispositions, and knew the greatness of the castles of the Red Crown
  15. and all the gods and goddesses who live there, and knew significance of the greatness of Khet-Bjet, which is the dwelling of the sovereign, the lord of heaven [Osiris], and knew the greatness of the Resenet and the Mekhnet, of the dwelling of Re and the dwelling of Atum, which are the mysteries of all gods.’
  16. The man honored with his town’s god [Osiris] and all other gods, the prince, the royal chancellor, the unique companion, the one truly known and loved by the king,
  17. the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, son of Atemirtis, says: ‘I made a petition
  18. to His Majesty the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Cambyses concerning the many foreigners billeted on the temple of Neit
  19. that they should be driven thence, so that the temple of Neit was restored to its former greatness. And His Majesty ordered that all the foreigners
  20. who were living in the premises of Neit should be driven out, that all their houses and all their garbage should be thrown out of the temple, and that
  21. all their baggage should be carried away from its premises, His Majesty ordered the purification of the temple of Neit and its restoration to the people
  22. [lacuna] and the schedule of the priests. His Majesty ordered to restitute the revenues of the wakf-estate to the great Neit, the mother of the god, and to the gods of Sais. His Majesty ordered
  23. to conduct all their festivities and all their processions as they had always been. His Majesty ordered these things because I had informed him about the greatness of Sais, which is the town where all gods have placed their eternal thrones.’
  24. The man honored with the gods of Sais,
  25. the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, says: ‘The king of Upper and Lower Egypt Cambyses came to Sais. His Majesty came to the temple of Neit in person. Like all kings before, he prostrated himself before Her Majesty [Neit]. Like all good kings, he made a large sacrifice
  26. of all good things to the great Neit, mother of the god, and to all great gods of Sais. His Majesty did this because I had informed His Majesty about the greatness of Her Majesty,
  27. who is the mother of Re himself.’
  28. The man honored with Osiris-Hemag,
  29. the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, says: ‘His Majesty did all useful things in the temple of Neit. Like all kings before him, he established libations to the lord of eternity in the interior of the temple of Neit.
  30. His Majesty did this because I had informed His Majesty about all useful things which had been done in the temple by all kings because of the greatness of this temple, which is the eternal dwelling of all gods.’
  31. The man honored with the gods of the province Sais, the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, says: ‘I restored the revenues of the wakf-estate of the great Neit, the mother of the god,
  32. for eternity, as per His Majesty’s orders. I established [new and] pious funds for Neit, the mistress of Sais, like a servant
  33. excelling his master does. I am the benefactor of my city: I have saved its inhabitants from the very large troubles
  34. which had come over the whole country and which had not yet existed before in this country. I defended the meek
  35. against the powerful; I saved those who were afraid after an accident had happened to them; I gave them all useful things
  36. when they were unable to take care of themselves.’
  37. The man honored with his town’s god, the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, says: ‘I am honored by my father, praised by my mother,
  38. trusted by my brothers. As per His Majesty’s orders, I established them in the function of prophet and gave them a fief
  39. for eternity. I made a fine tomb for those who had no tomb. I nourished all their children. I made their houses strong. I did
  40. all useful things for them, like a father does for his children, when trouble came over
  41. this province, when very large troubles came
  42. over the country as a whole.’
  43. The prince, the royal chancellor, the unique companion, the prophet of the one who lives with them, the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, son of Atemirtis, says: ‘His Majesty the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Darius (may he live forever!) sent me back to Egypt, while His Majesty was in Elam, having become great king of all foreign countries and great sovereign of Egypt, ordering me to restore the Houses of Life
  44. and the [lacuna] after they had been ruined. The foreigners carried me from country to country until we reached Egypt, as per orders of the lord of both countries [Upper and Lower Egypt]. I did what His Majesty had ordered. I provided the [Houses of Life] with students, all sons of fine people; there were no sons of  common men. I placed them under the direction of all teachers
  45. [lacuna] all their works. His Majesty ordered to provide them with all necessary means to ensure that they could do their work. [Consequently], I gave them all they needed and all the scribes’ accessories, as it had always been. His Majesty did this, because he knew how useful this art can be to survive illness and to ensure that the names of the gods, their temples, the revenues of their wakf-estates and their rituals are remembered for eternity.’
  46. The chief physician Wedjahor-Resne, says: ‘I was honored by all my masters for all my life. They gave me golden ornaments and all kinds of useful things.’
  47. The man who was honored with Neit, says: ‘Oh great gods of Sais,
  48. remember all merituous actions done by the chief physician Wedjahor-Resne. Ensure that all kinds of useful things are done for him and ensure that his good reputation will remain unshattered in this country for ever.’

Psammetichus and other links

 

 

 

  • Ashurbanipal invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus I (c. 664 BC);
  • Nebuchednezzar II invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus II (c. 595-589 BC);
  • Cambyses invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus III (c. 526-525 BC).

 

Psammetichus coincidences

 

We are told that:

 

  • Ashurbanipal invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus I (c. 664 BC);
  • Nebuchednezzar II invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus II (c. 595-589 BC);
  • Cambyses invaded Egypt at the time of Psammetichus III (c. 526-525 BC).

 

Greek coincidences

 

Each of the above phases was said to be a time when Egypt was ‘opening itself up to the world’, including the Greeks. Thus we read in N. Grimal’s A History of Ancient Egypt:

 

  1. 355: “Egypt opened up increasingly to the outside world during the fifty-four years of Psammetichus [I]’s reign. Foreign merchants arrived on the heels of foreign soldiers, and diplomatic relations between Egypt and Greece evolved …”.

 

  1. 360: “Necho II [presumed father of Psammetichus II] pursued a policy of opening Egypt up to the Greek world …”.
  2. 262: “Psammetichus [II] … had troops – including numerous Carians …”.

 

  1. 363: “[Psammetichus III] … there was a peculiar mixture of Egyptian, Greek, Jewish and Oriental themes”.

Divine Adoratrice

 

  1. 361: “Psammetichus I had Nitocris adopted by the Divine Adoratrices of the time, Shepenwepet II and Amenirdis II”.

 

  1. 361: “Psammetichus [II] made sure that Ankhnesneferibre … was adopted by the Divine Adoratrice Nitocris”.

 

  1. 365: “Saites and Kushites were moreover agreed on the maintenance of the office of Divine Adoratrice at Thebes”.

 

Hebrew Law absorbed by Mesopotamians, Greeks

Published February 7, 2019 by amaic
Image result for greek law

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“The name of Aqht, the son of Danel, returns as Qehat, the grandfather of Moses.

The name of the locality Mrrt, where Aqht was killed, figures in the gentilic form Merarî as the brother of Qehat in the Levite genealogy. The name of P?t, the daughter of Danel and the devoted sister of Aqht, is met in the Moses story as Pû’ã, a midwife who saved the life of the new-born Moses”.

Michael Astour

 

 

Law and Government

 

Moses

 

The great Lawgiver in the Bible, and hence in Hebrew history, was Moses, substantially the author of the Torah (Law). But the history books tell us that the Torah was probably dependent upon the law code issued by the Babylonian king, Hammurabi (dated to the first half of the 18th BC). I shall discuss this further on.

For possible Egyptian identifications of Moses, see e.g. my series:

 

Moses – may be staring revisionists right in the face. Part One: Historical Moses has presented quite a challenge

 

https://www.academia.edu/36803416/Moses_may_be_staring_revisionists_right_in_the_face._Part_One_Historical_Moses_has_presented_quite_a_challenge

 

Moses – may be staring revisionists right in the face. Part Two: Moses as Vizier and Chief Judge

 

https://www.academia.edu/people/search?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=moses+as+judge+damien+

 

The Egyptians may have corrupted the legend of the baby Moses in the bulrushes so that now it became the goddess Isis who drew the baby Horus from the Nile and had him suckled by Hathor (the goddess in the form of a cow – the Egyptian personification of wisdom). In the original story, of course, baby Moses was drawn from the water by an Egyptian princess, not a goddess, and was weaned by Moses’ own mother (Exodus 2:5-9).

 

But could both the account of the rescue of the baby Moses in the Book of Exodus, and the Egyptian version of it, be actually based upon a Mesopotamian original, as the textbooks say; based upon the story of king Sargon of Akkad in Mesopotamia?

Sargon tells, “in terms reminiscent of Moses, Krishna and other great men”, that [as quoted by G. Roux, Ancient Iraq, Penguin Books, 1964, p. 152]:

 

.… My changeling mother conceived me, in secret she bore me. She set me in a basket of rushes, with bitumen she sealed my lid. She cast me into the river which rose not over me. The river bore me up and carried me to Akki, the drawer of water. Akki, the drawer of water, took me as his son and reared me ….

 

Given that Sargon is conventionally dated to the C24th BC, and Moses about a millennium later, it would seem inevitable that the Hebrew version, and the Egyptian one, must be imitations of the Mesopotamian one. Such is what the ‘history’ books say, at least, despite the fact that the extant Sargon legend is very late (C7th BC); though thought to have been based upon an earlier Mesopotamian original.

See my own explanation of all this in:

 

Did Sargon of Akkad influence the Exodus account of the baby Moses?

 

https://www.academia.edu/35752394/Did_Sargon_of_Akkad_influence_the_Exodus_account_of_the_baby_Moses

 

Dean Hickman has re-dated king Hammurabi of Babylon to the time of kings Solomon and David (mid-C10th BC), re-identifying Hammurabi’s older contemporary, Shamsi-Adad I, as king David’s Syrian foe, Hadadazer (2 Samuel 10:16) (“The Dating of Hammurabi”, Proceedings of the Third Seminar of Catastrophism and Ancient History, Uni. of Toronto, 1985, ed. M. Luckerman, pp. 13-28).

For more on this, see e.g. my article:

 

Davidic Influence on King Hammurabi

 

https://www.academia.edu/30639370/Davidic_Influence_on_King_Hammurabi

 

According to this new scenario, Hammurabi could not possibly have influenced Moses.

 

(a) Greek and Phoenician ‘Moses-like Myths’

 

Michael Astour believes that Moses, a hero of the Hebrew scriptures, shares “some cognate features” with Danaos (or Danaus), hero of Greek legend.

He gives his parallels as follows (Hellenosemitica, p. 99):

Moses grows up at the court of the Egyptian king as a member of the royal family, and subsequently flees from Egypt after having slain an Egyptian – as Danaos, a member of the Egyptian ruling house, flees from the same country after the slaying of the Aigyptiads which he had arranged. The same number of generations separates Moses from Leah the “wild cow” and Danaos from the cow Io.

 

Mackey’s Comment: The above parallel might even account for how the Greeks managed to confuse the land of Ionia (Io) with the land of Israel in the case of the earliest philosophers.

Astour continues (pp. 99-100):

 

Still more characteristic is that both Moses and Danaos find and create springs in a waterless region; the story of how Poseidon, on the request of the Danaide Amymona, struck out with his trident springs from the Lerna rock, particularly resembles Moses producing a spring from the rock by the stroke of his staff. A ‘cow’ features also in the legend of Cadmus, son of Agenor, king of Tyre upon the disappearance of his sister Europa, who was sent by his father together with his brothers Cilix and Phoenix to seek her with instructions not to return without her. Seeking the advice of the oracle at Delphi, Cadmus was told to settle at the point where a cow, which he would meet leaving the temple, would lie down. The cow led him to the site of Thebes (remember the two cities by that name). There he built the citadel of Cadmeia. Cadmus married Harmonia, the daughter of Ares, god of war, and Aphrodite and, according to the legend, was the founder of the House of Oedipus.

 

 

Astour believes that “even more similar features” may be discovered if one links these accounts to the Ugaritic (Phoenicio-Canaanite) poem of Danel, which he had previously identified as “the prototype of the Danaos myth” (p. 100):

 

The name of Aqht, the son of Danel, returns as Qehat, the grandfather of Moses. The name of the locality Mrrt, where Aqht was killed, figures in the gentilic form Merarî as the brother of Qehat in the Levite genealogy. The name of P?t, the daughter of Danel and the devoted sister of Aqht, is met in the Moses story as Pû’ã, a midwife who saved the life of the new-born Moses. The very name of Moses, in the feminine form Mšt, is, in the Ugaritic poem, the first half of Danel’s wife’s name, while the second half of her name, Dnty, corresponds to the name of Levi’s sister Dinah.

 

Michael Astour had already explained how the biblical story of the Rape of Dinah (Genesis 34) was “analogous to the myth of the bloody wedding of her namesakes, the Danaides”.

He continues on here with his fascinating Greco-Israelite parallels:

 

Dân, the root of the names Dnel, Dnty (and also Dinah and Danaos), was the name of a tribe whose priests claimed to descend directly from Moses (Jud. 18:30); and compare the serpent emblem of the tribe of Dan with the serpent staff of Moses and the bronze serpent he erected. …Under the same name – Danaë – another Argive heroine of the Danaid stock is thrown into the sea in a chest with her new-born son – as Moses in his ark (tébã) – and lands on the serpent-island of Seriphos (Heb. šãrâph, applied i.a. to the bronze serpent made by Moses). Moses, like Danel, is a healer, a prophet, a miracle-worker – cf. Danel’s staff (mt) which he extends while pronouncing curses against towns and localities, quite like Moses in Egypt; and especially, like Danel, he is a judge….

 

(b) Roman ‘Moses-like Myth’

 

The Romans further corrupted the story of the infant Moses, following on probably from the Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Phoenicians and Greeks. I refer to the account of Romulus (originally Rhomus) and Remus, thought to have founded the city of Rome in 753 BC. Both the founders and the date are quite mythical. Did the Romans take an Egyptian name for Moses, such as Musare, and turnd it into Rhomus and Remus (MUSA-RE = RE-MUS), with the formerly one child (Moses) now being doubled into two babies (twins)? According to this legend, the twins were put into a basket by some kind servants and floated in the Tiber River, from which they were eventually rescued by a she-wolf. Thus the Romans more pragmatically opted for a she-wolf as the suckler instead of a cow goddess, or a lion goddess, Sekhmet (the fierce alter ego of Hathor).

 

The Romans may have taken yet another slice from the Pentateuch when they had the founder of the city of Rome, Romulus, involved in a fratricide (killing Remus); just as Cain, the founder of the world’s first city, had killed his own brother, Abel (cf. Genesis 4:8 and 4:17).

 

(c) Mohammed: Arabian `Moses-like Myths’

 

An Islamic lecturer, Ahmed Deedat [“What the Bible Says About Mohammed (Peace Be Upon Him) the Prophet of Islam” (www.islamworld.net/Muhammad.in.Bible.html)], told of an interview he once had with a dominee of the Dutch Reformed Church in Transvaal, van Heerden, on the question: “What does the Bible say about Muhummed?”

Deedat had in mind the Holy Qur’an verse 46:10, according to which “a witness among the children of Israel bore witness of one like him…”. This was in turn a reference to Deuteronomy 18:18’s “I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and I will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.” The Moslems of course interpret the “one like him [i.e. Moses]” as being Mohammed himself.

Faced with the dominee’s emphatic response that the Bible has “nothing” to say about Mohammed – and that the Deuteronomic prophecy ultimately pertained to Jesus Christ, as did “thousands” of other prophecies – Deedat set out to prove him wrong.

For some of my own views on Mohammed, see my series:

 

Biography of the Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) Seriously Mangles History

 

https://www.academia.edu/12500381/Biography_of_the_Prophet_Mohammed_Muhammad_Seriously_Mangles_History

 

Biography of the Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) Seriously Mangles History. Part One (b, ii): Mohammed and Nineveh

 

https://www.academia.edu/30409580/Biography_of_the_Prophet_Mohammed_Muhammad_Seriously_Mangles_History._Part_One_b_ii_Mohammed_and_Nineveh

 

Some Conclusions regarding Mohammed (c. 570-632 AD, conventional dating)

 

Whilst Mohammed supposedly lived much later than Moses, there nevertheless do seem to be Arabic borrowings of the Moses story itself (and even appropriations of certain very specific aspects of the life of Jesus, as we shall read later) in the legends about Mohammed, who especially resembles Moses in

 

(i) the latter’s visit to Mount Horeb (modern Har Karkom) with its cave atop, its Burning Bush, and angel (Exodus 3:1-2), possibly equating to Mohammed’s “Mountain of Light” (Jabal-an-Nur), and ‘cave of research’ (`Ghar-i-Hira’), and angel Gabriel;

(ii) at the very same age of forty (Acts 7:23-29), and

(iii) there receiving a divine revelation, leading to his

(iv) becoming a prophet of God and a Lawgiver.

 

Mohammed as a Lawgiver is a direct pinch I believe from the Hebrew Pentateuch, and also from the era of Jeremiah. Consider the following by M. O’Hair (“Mohammed”, A text of American Atheist Radio Series program No. 65, first broadcast on August 25, 1969. (www.atheists.org/Islam.Mohammed.html):

 

“Now the Kaaba or Holy Stone at Mecca was the scene of an annual pilgrimage, and during this pilgrimage in 621 Mohammed was able to get six persons from Medina to bind themselves to him. They did so by taking the following oath.

 

Not consider anyone equal to Allah;

Not to steal;

Not to be unchaste;

Not to kill their children;

Not willfully to calumniate”.

 

This is simply the Mosaïc Decalogue, with the following Islamic addition:

“To obey the prophet’s orders in equitable matters.

In return Mohammed assured these six novitiates of paradise.

The place where these first vows were taken is now called the first Akaba”.

 

“The mission of Mohammed”, perfectly reminiscent of that of Moses, and later of Nehemiah, was “to restore the worship of the One True God, the creator and sustainer of the universe, as taught by Prophet Ibrahim [Abraham] and all Prophets of God, and complete the laws of moral, ethical, legal, and social conduct and all other matters of significance for the humanity at large.”

 

The above-mentioned Burning Bush incident occurred whilst Moses

 

(a)    was living in exile (Exodus 2:15)

(b)   amongst the Midianite tribe of Jethro, in the Paran desert.

(c)    Moses had married Jethro’s daughter, Zipporah (v. 21).

 

Likewise Mohammed (also partly applicable to Jeremiah and to Nehemiah)

 

(a)    experienced exile;

(b)   to Medina, a name which may easily have become confused with the similar sounding, Midian, and

(c)    he had only the one wife at the time, Khadija. Also

(d)   Moses, like Mohammed, was terrified by what God had commanded of him, protesting that he was “slow of speech and slow of tongue” (Exodus 4:10). To which God replied: “Who gives speech to mortals? Who makes them mute or deaf, seeing or blind? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you are to speak’ (vv. 11-12).

 

Now this episode, seemingly coupled with Moses’s (with Jeremiah’s) call, has come distorted into the Koran as Mohammed’s being terrified by what God was asking of him, protesting that he was not learned. To which God supposedly replied that he had ‘created man from a clot of congealed blood, and had taught man the use of the pen, and that which he knew not, and that man does not speak ought of his own desire but by inspiration sent down to him’.

Ironically, whilst Moses the writer complained about his lack of verbal eloquence, Mohammed, ‘unlettered and unlearned’, who therefore could not write, is supposed to have been told that God taught man to use the pen (?). But Mohammed apparently never learned to write, because he is supposed only to have spoken God’s utterances. Though his words, like those of Moses (who however did write, e.g. Exodus 34:27), were written down in various formats by his secretary, Zaid (roughly equating to the biblical Joshua, a writer, Joshua 8:32, or to Jeremiah’s scribe, Baruch).

 

This is generally how the Koran is said to have arisen.

 

But Mohammed also resembles Moses in his childhood (and Tobit also) in the fact that, after his infancy, he was raised by a foster-parent (Exodus 2:10). And there is the inevitable weaning legend (Zahoor, A. and Haq, Z., “Biography of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)”, http://cyberistan.org/islamic/muhammad.html 1998.): “All biographers state that the infant prophet sucked only one breast of his foster-mother, leaving the other for the sustenance of his foster-brother”.

 

There is even a kind of Islamic version of the Exodus. Compare the following account of the Qoreish persecution and subsequent pursuit of the fleeing Moslems with the persecution and later pursuit of the fleeing Israelites by Pharaoh (Exodus 1 and 4:5-7) [O’Hair, op. cit., ibid.]:

 

When the persecution became unbearable for most Muslims, the Prophet advised them in the fifth year of his mission (615 CE) to emigrate to Abyssinia (modern Ethiopia) where Ashabah (Negus, a Christian) was the ruler. Eighty people, not counting the small children, emigrated in small groups to avoid detection. No sooner had they left the Arabian coastline [substitute Egyptian borders], the leaders of Quraish discovered their flight. They decided to not leave these Muslims in peace, and immediately sent two of their envoys to Negus to bring all of them back.

 

The Koran of Islam is basically just the Arabic version of the Hebrew Bible with all its same famous patriarchs and leading characters. That is apparent from what the Moslems themselves admit. For example [ibid.]:

 

The Qur’an also mentions four previously revealed Scriptures: Suhoof (Pages) of Ibrahim (Abraham), Taurat (‘Torah’) as revealed to Prophet Moses, Zuboor (‘Psalms’) as revealed to Prophet David, and Injeel (‘Evangel’) as revealed to Prophet Jesus (pbuh). Islam requires belief in all prophets and revealed scriptures (original, non-corrupted) as part of the Articles of Faith.

 

Mohammed is now for Islam the last and greatest of the prophets. Thus, “in the Al-Israa, Gabriel (as) took the Prophet from the sacred Mosque near Ka’bah to the furthest (al-Aqsa) mosque in Jerusalem in a very short time in the latter part of a night. Here, Prophet Muhammad met with previous Prophets (Abraham, Moses, Jesus and others) and he led them in prayer” [ibid.].

 

Thus Mohammed supposedly led Jesus in prayer.

 

The reputation of Ibn Ishaq (ca 704-767), a main authority on the life and times of the Prophet varied considerably among the early Moslem critics: some found him very sound, while others regarded him as a liar in relation to Hadith (Mohammed’s sayings and deeds). His Sira is not extant in its original form, but is present in two recensions done in 833 and 814-15, and these texts vary from one another. Fourteen others have recorded his lectures, but their versions differ [ibid.]:

 

It was the storytellers who created the tradition: the sound historical traditions to which they are supposed to have added their fables simply did not exist. . . . Nobody remembered anything to the contrary either. . . . There was no continuous transmission. Ibn Ishaq, al-Waqidi, and others were cut off from the past: like the modern scholar, they could not get behind their sources…. Finally, it has to be realized that the tradition as a whole, not just parts of it as some have thought, is tendentious, and that that tendentiousness arises from allegiance to Islam itself. The complete unreliability of the Muslim tradition as far as dates are concerned has been demonstrated by Lawrence Conrad. After close examination of the sources in an effort to find the most likely birth date for Muhammad–traditionally `Am al-fil, the Year of the Elephant, 570 C.E.–Conrad remarks that [“What Historians have Deduced about the Historical Mohammed.

(http://jeromekhan123.tripod.com/enlightenment/id11.html; – currently not online)

See also Barnes, T. D. “The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East II: Land Use and Settlement Patterns, ed. Averil Cameron and G. R. D.; King [Papers of the Second Workshop on Late Antiquity and Early Islam. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 1], volume II (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994)” (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.; “The Byzantine and Early Islamic Near East III: States, Resources and Armies, ed. Averil Cameron [Papers of the Third Workshop on Late Antiquity and Early Islam. Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 1], volume III (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1995)” (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.; “Albrecht Noth’s The Early Arabic Historical tradition. A Source-Critical Study, trans. Michael Bonner, in collaboration with Lawrence I. Conrad [Studies in Late Antiquity and Early Islam 3] (Princeton: The Darwin Press, 1994)”, (1996-1997), IX: 191-199.]:

 

“‘Well into the second century A.H. [A.H. is the muslim time reckoning and means `Asahhus-siyar’.] scholarly opinion on the birth date of the Prophet displayed a range of variance of eighty-five years. .. . . . Muhammad, as Prophet and mouthpiece for the universal deity Allah, is an invention of the ulama of the second and third centuries A.H”.

 

Our own estimation of the historical dislocation of the Prophet Mphammed would involve far more than a mere “variance of eighty-five years”. The fact is that we now have a ‘Mohammed’ who is a semi-legendary version of the original Prophet. Mohammed, a composite figure, seems to have likenesses even to pre-Mosaïc patriarchs, and to Jesus in the New Testament. Thus Mohammed, at Badr, successfully led a force of 300+ men (the number varies from 300-318) against an enemy far superior in number, as did Abraham (Genesis 14:14); and, like Jacob (Genesis 30, 31), he used a ruse to get a wife (in Jacob’s case, wives). And like Jesus, the greatest of all God’s prophets, Mohammed is said to have ascended into heaven from Jerusalem.

 

(d) Modern Myths about Moses

 

From the above it can now be seen that it was not only the Greeks and Romans who have been guilty of appropriation into their own folklore of famous figures of Israel. Even the Moslems have done it and are still doing it. A modern-day Islamic author from Cairo, Ahmed Osman, has – in line with psychiatrist Sigmund Freud’s view that Moses was actually an Egyptian, whose Yahwism was derived from pharaoh Akhnaton’s supposed monotheism [Out of Egypt. The Roots of Christianity Revealed (Century, 1998)] – identified all the major biblical Israelites, from the patriarch Joseph to the Holy Family of Nazareth, as 18th dynasty Egyptian characters. Thus Joseph = Yuya; Moses = Akhnaton; David = Thutmose III; Solomon = Amenhotep III; Jesus = Tutankhamun; St. Joseph = Ay; Mary = Nefertiti.

 

This is mass appropriation! Not to mention chronological madness!

 

I was asked by Dr. Norman Simms of the University of Waikato (N.Z.) to write a critique of Osman’s book, a copy of which he had posted to me. This was a rather easy task as the book leaves itself wide open to criticism. Anyway, the result of Dr. Simms’ request was my article, “Osman’s ‘Osmosis’ of Moses” article [The Glozel Newsletter, 5:1 (ns) 1999 (Hamilton, N.Z), pp. 1-17], in which I argued that, because Osman is using the faulty textbook history of Egypt, he is always obliged to give the chronological precedence to Egypt, when the influence has actually come from Israel over to Egypt. [This article, modified, can now be read at:

 

Osman’s ‘Osmosis’ of Moses. Part One: The Chosen People

 

https://www.academia.edu/27115376/Osmans_Osmosis_of_Moses._Part_One_The_Chosen_People

 

and:

 

Osman’s ‘Osmosis’ of Moses. Part II: Christ the King

 

https://www.academia.edu/27139956/Osmans_Osmosis_of_Moses._Part_II_Christ_the_King

 

The way that Egyptian chronology is structured at present – thanks largely to E. Meyer’s now approximately one century-old Ägyptische Chronologie (Philosophische und historische Abhandlungen der Königlich preussischen Akad. der Wissenschaften, Berlin, Akad. der Wiss., 1904).) could easily give rise to Osman’s precedence in favour of Egypt view (though this is no excuse for Osman’s own chronological mish-mash). One finds, for example, in pharaoh Hatshepsut’s inscriptions such similarities to king David’s Psalms that it is only natural to think that she, the woman-pharaoh – dated to the C15th BC, 500 years earlier than David – must have influenced the great king of Israel. Or that pharaoh Akhnaton’s Hymn to the Sun, so like David’s Psalm 104, had inspired David many centuries later. Only a revision of Egyptian history brings forth the right perspective, and shows that the Israelites actually had the chronological precedence in these as in many other cases.

 

It gets worse from a conventional point of view.

 

The ‘doyen of Israeli archaeologists’, Israel Finkelstein of Tel Aviv University, frequently interviewed by Beirut hostage victim John McCarthy on the provocative TV program “It Ain’t Necessarily So”, is, together with his colleagues, virtually writing ancient Israel right off the historical map, along with all of its major biblical characters. This horrible mess is an inevitable consequence of the faulty Sothic chronology with which these archaeologists seem to be mesmerized.

With friends like Finkelstein and co., why would Israel need any enemies!

 

The Lawgiver Solon

 

Whilst the great Lawgiver for the Hebrews was Moses, and for the Babylonians, Hammurabi, and for the Moslems, supposedly, Mohammed, the Lawgiver in Greek folklore was Solon of Athens, the wisest of the wise, greatest of the Seven Sages.

Though Solon is estimated to have lived in the C6th BC, his name and many of his activities are so close to king Solomon’s (supposedly 4 centuries earlier) that we need once again to question whether the Greeks may have been involved in appropriation.

And, if so, how did this come about?

It may in some cases simply be a memory thing, just as according to Plato’s Timaeus one of the very aged Egyptian priests supposedly told Solon (Plato’s Timaeus, trans. B. Jowett, The Liberal Arts Press, NY, 1949), 6 (22)) and /or Desmond Lee’s translation, Penguin Classics, p. 34]:

 

“O Solon, Solon, you Hellenes [Greeks] are never anything but children, and there is not an old man among you. Solon in return asked him what he meant. I mean to say, he replied, that in mind you are all young; there is no old opinion handed down among you by ancient tradition, nor any science which is hoary with age. …”

 

Perhaps what the author of the Timaeus really needed to have put into the mouth of the aged Egyptian priest was that the Greeks had largely forgotten who Solomon was, and had created their own fictional character, “Solon”, from their vague recall of the great king Solomon who “excelled all the kings of the earth in riches and in wisdom” (1 Kings 10:23). Solon resembles Solomon especially in roughly the last decade of the latter’s reign, when Solomon, turning away from Yahwism, became fully involved with his mercantile ventures, his fleet, travel, and building temples for his foreign wives, especially in Egypt (10:26-29; 11:1-8).

Now, it is to be expected that the pagan Greeks would remember this more ‘rationalist’ aspect of Solomon (as Solon) rather than his wisdom-infused, philosophical, earlier years when he was a devout Jew and servant of Yahweh (4:29-34).

And Jewish Solon apparently was!

Edwin Yamauchi has studied the laws of Solon in depth and found them to be quite Jewish in nature, most reminiscent of the laws of Nehemiah (c. 450 BC) (“Two reformers compared: Solon of Athens and Nehemiah of Jerusalem,” Bible world. New York: KTAV, 1980. pp. 269-292).

That date of 450 BC may perhaps be some sort of clue as to approximately when the Greeks first began to create their fictional Solon.

Solomon was, as I have argued in my “Solomon and Sheba” article (“Solomon and Sheba”, SIS C and C Review, 1997:1, pp. 4-15), the most influential Senenmut of Egyptian history, Hatshepsut’s mentor; whilst Hatshepsut herself was the biblical Queen [of] Sheba. This article can now be read at:

 

Solomon and Sheba

 

http://www.academia.edu/3660164/Solomon_and_Sheba

 

I have also identified Hatshepsut/Sheba as the biblical Abishag, who comforted the aged David (I Kings 1-4), and the beautiful virgin daughter of David, Tamar. See my series:

 

The vicissitudinous life of Solomon’s pulchritudinous wife 

 

https://www.academia.edu/34418620/The_vicissitudinous_life_of_Solomons_pulchritudinous_wife

 

and:

 

https://www.academia.edu/36014908/The_vicissitudinous_life_of_Solomons_pulchritudinous_wife._Part_One_ii_Was_Abishag_indeed_married_to_King_David

 

The vicissitudinous life of Solomon’s pulchritudinous wife. Part Two: “Tamar” in the Song of Solomon

 

https://www.academia.edu/34453394/The_vicissitudinous_life_of_Solomons_pulchritudinous_wife._Part_Two_Tamar_in_the_Song_of_Solomon

 

The vicissitudinous life of Solomon’s pulchritudinous wife. Part Three: Tamar (Abishag) as the “Queen of Sheba”

 

https://www.academia.edu/34495117/The_vicissitudinous_life_of_Solomon_s_pulchritudinous_wife._Part_Three_Tamar_Abishag_as_the_Queen_of_Sheba_

 

Professor Henry Breasted had made a point relevant to my theme of Greek appropriation – and in connection too with the Solomonic era (revised). Hatshepsut’s marvellous temple structure at Deir el-Bahri, he said, was “a sure witness to the fact that the Egyptians had developed architectural styles for which the Greeks later would be credited as the originators” (A History of Egypt, 2nd ed., NY (Scribner, 1924), p. 274).

 

One need not necessarily perhaps always accuse the Greeks of a malicious corruption of earlier traditions, but perhaps rather of a ‘collective amnaesia’, to use a Velikovskian term; the sort of forgetfulness by the Greek nation as alluded to in Plato’s Timaeus.

 

There is also to be considered that the Phoenicians and/or Jews had migrated to Greece. In 1 Maccabees 12:21 [Areios king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greetings: “A document has been found stating that the Spartans and the Jews are brothers; both nations descended from Abraham.” Areus, der König zu Sparta, entbietet Onias, dem Hohenpriester, seinen Gruß. “Wir finden in unsern alten Schriften, daß die von Sparta und die Juden Brüder sind, dieweil beide Völker von Abraham herkommen.” 1. Macc. 12:20, 21, The New American Bible, 1970], for instance, the Spartans claim to have been, like the Jews, descendants of Abraham. By this late stage the earlier histories would already have been well and truly corrupted. The Abrahamic emigrants would naturally have carried their folklore – not to mention their architectural expertise – to the Greek archipelago where it would inevitably have undergone local adaptation.

 

 

 

Achior and Demaratus

Published February 6, 2019 by amaic
Image result for demaratus sparta

by

Damien F. Mackey

Several commentators compare the exchange … between

Holophernes and Achior to a discussion between the Persian ruler

Xerxes and the exiled Spartan king Demaratus found in Herodotus …”.

 Deborah Levine Gera

 

 

That the Jewish (Simeonite) heroine, Judith, and her deeds have been picked up in various pseudo-histories and mythologies, both BC and (supposedly) AD, I have shown in my series:

 

World Renowned Judith of Bethulia

https://www.academia.edu/37051861/World_Renowned_Judith_of_Bethulia

Another important character in the Book of Judith, Achior, has similarly been reproduced.

I gave an example of this in my university thesis:

 

A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background

AMAIC_Final_Thesis_2009.pdf

(Volume Two, p. 60, n. 1286):

 

This fiery confrontation between the commander-in-chief, his subordinates and Achior would be, I suggest – following on from my earlier comments about Greco-Persian appropriations – where Homer got his idea for the main theme of The Iliad: namely the argument at the siege of Troy between Agamemnon, supreme commander of the Greeks, and the renowned Achilles (Achior?). ….

 

Deborah Levine Gera has drawn a comparison between the Achior of the Book of Judith and the Spartan king Demaratus in Herodotus (Judith. Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature, 2013), which is rather interesting in light of the statement in I Maccabees 12:20-21 that the Spartans were, like the Jews, descendants of Abraham: “Arius, king of the Spartans, to Onias the high priest, greeting. It has been found in writing concerning the Spartans and the Jews that they are brethren and are of the family of Abraham”.

On p. 200, she writes:

 

Achior is also associated with two figures found outside biblical literature, the Assyrian sage Ahiqar ….

 

Mackey’s comment: In my university thesis, but also in articles such as:

 

“Arioch, King of the Elymeans” (Judith 1:6)

https://www.academia.edu/28190921/_Arioch_King_of_the_Elymeans_Judith_1_6_

I have estabished this very connection between Achior and “the Assyrian sage Ahiqar”. But this Ahiqar was not, as Deborah Levine Gera describes next, a “pagan”, nor was he ethnically “Assyrian”. He was an Israelite (Naphtalian) captive in Assyrian Nineveh.

Deborah Levine Gera continues:

 

…. and the Herodotean wise adviser, the Spartan Demaratus. Ahiqar, the pagan wise man who had a checkered career at the court of Sennacherib and Esarhaddon, and produced a series of of maxims and proverbs, may have been an actual historical Assyrian [sic] figure. Like Achior, Ahiqar is a good pagan [sic] who is persecuted by the powerful, but ultimately receives his due. The earliest surviving version of Ahiqar’s story is in Aramaic, found in fragmentary bits of the fifth century B.C.E. Elephantine papyri, but there are Greek, Arabic, Armenian, and Syriac versions as well. The tale was probably Assyrian in origin and clearly was popular in the East, among Jews as well as gentiles; see the useful survey of Lindenberger (1985, 479–493). Thus we find a Jewish Ahiqar in the Book of Tobit (1:21–22; 2:10; 11:19; 14:10). There, Ahiqar is said to be Tobit’s nephew, and he helps Tobit return to Nineveh, interceding on his behalf with Esarhaddon. He cares for the blind Tobit for two years and shares in the joy of the happy end of his story. We also hear of the bad behavior of Nadin, the adopted nephew of Ahiqar.

 

Mackey’s comment: This “Nadin” is, as I have explained:

 

“Nadin” (Nadab) of Tobit is the “Holofernes” of Judith

https://www.academia.edu/36576110/_Nadin_Nadab_of_Tobit_is_the_Holofernes_of_Judith

Deborah Levine Gera continues:

 

The Vulgate Tobit 11:20 has a reading “Achior” for the Greek Αξιαξαρο« or Αξικαρ (Tobit 11:19 short and long versions) …

 

Mackey’s comment: That is because Judith’s “Achior” is the Vulgate Tobit’s “Achior”,

 

and this may have influenced modern commentators who link the two figures; see Schmitz (2004b, 20–21 nn. 4-8).

There is a resemblance of sorts between the Ahiqar of Tobit (“converted” to Judaism by the author of Tobit, as it were) and Achior of Judith (a pagan who converts to Judaism in the course of the tale): both combine theoretical wisdom with actual deeds. Indeed Achior will later apply his theological speech to himself personally when he converts to Judaism (14:10); see further Cazelles (1951) and Schmitz (2004b).

Several commentators compare the exchange here between Holophernes [Holofernes] and Achior to a discussion between the Persian ruler Xerxes and the exiled Spartan king Demaratus found in Herodotus (Hdt. 7.101-104).

 

Mackey’s comment: This strengthens me in my view that the Herodotean “Xerxes” was a non-historical composite character. See e.g. my article:

 

King ‘Xerxes’. Part One: ‘Xerxes’ and Sennacherib

https://www.academia.edu/25282804/King_Xerxes_._Part_One_Xerxes_and_Sennacherib

Deborah Levine Gera continues:

 

Xerxes questions Demaratus about the Spartanswillingness to fight the much larger Persian army and Demaratus, speaking freely, contrasts Spartan courage, ability to wage war, and love of freedom with the Persian way of life. Both Achior and Demaratus describe the characteristics of a foreign people to an enemy leader about to go to war, but Demaratus concentrates on the Greek way of life, while Achior deals chiefly with the history of the Jews and their relationship with their God. Thus the chief parallel between the Xerxes-Demaratus scene and the encounter here between Holophernes and Achior is in the function of the speeches, rather than their content, as Schmitz (2004b) notes. ….

 

Mackey’s comment: As I also noted in my thesis, B. Childs (Isaiah and the Assyrian Crisis, Studies in Biblical Theology, Second Series 3-4, SCM Press, London, 1967) had discerned some degree of commonality between the speech of Achior to Holofernes, in the Book of Judith, and that of the Rabshakeh of Sennacherib’s army, with which high official I had further identified Achior/Ahiqar in my thesis.

Thus I wrote (Volume Two, p. 9):

 

Most interestingly, Childs – who has subjected the Rabshakeh’s speech to a searching form-critical analysis, also identifying its true Near Eastern genre – has considered it as well in relation to an aspect of the speech of [the Book of Judith’s Achior (who I shall actually be identifying with this Rabshakeh in Chapter 2, e.g. pp. 46-47) to Holofernes (Judith 5:20f.). ….