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Neith and Athena

Published October 18, 2016 by amaic

Image result for goddess neith weaving 

by

Damien F. Mackey

 

 

According to Plato’s dialogue, Timaeus, the Egyptian goddess Neith

was the same as, in Greek mythology, the goddess Athena.

 

 

The hoary-with-age Egyptian priest of the Timaeus had spoken of the Greeks as being like children with their lack of ancient traditions. Following that sort of sentiment, I wrote in:

A black Athena. Part One: Correcting the Timaeus

https://www.academia.edu/29223708/A_black_Athena._Part_One_Correcting_the_Timaeus

of the Egyptian traditions and legends as being prior to those of the Greeks:

 

…. the fanciful Greek and Roman mythologies had their origins in the real antediluvian histories of which the Book of Genesis provides only the barest of details. According to my revised estimation, these real histories would largely (perhaps not entirely) have come second-hand to Egypt, then third-hand, or worse, to Greece.

[End of quote]

 

The goddess Athena, whose antediluvian origins some would trace to Naamah, the sister of Tubalcain, was, as Neith, a most ancient goddess of the Egyptian pantheon. In “A black Athena”, I further wrote of:

 

… the Greek goddess Athena, whom biblical aficionados would identify in her origins with the biblical Eve, or with Naamah, the wife of Ham – and possibly as having black skin, as Roy Schulz has suggested here http://www.book.dislib.info/b1-history/4036992-14-compiled-roy-schulz-social-studies-department-imperial-schools-pa.php

 

…. Jewish tradition does tell us who Ham married! HAM MARRIED NAAMAH, THE DAUGHTER OF LAMECH BY ZILLAH! (See Jameison, Faucett, and Brown Commentary). Zillah, remember was the first truly black woman in history! And, quite late in Lamech’s life, his black wife, Zillah, had a daughter named Naamah. Naamah became famous as a weaver of cloth — and this is who Ham married! Ham should not have married this beautiful and famous dark woman, a daughter of Lamech. But he could not resist her beauty and so he married her on impulse, against the wishes of others, particularly Noah.

Ancient sources tell us that, after their marriage, an agreement was made whereby Naamah could spend some time with her family and some time with her husband’s family. Remember that Noah had remained separate from the line of Cain — and he would insist on keeping his family separate, and so after Ham married this woman, a difficult situation had been created. A compromise was agreed upon whereby she could still spend time with her non-white relatives.

Naamah was a famous individual in the pre-Flood world. Her brother was Tubalcain, a great military leader, and she took on some of his war-like characteristics. The ancient Greeks, who applied to her the name Athena, pictured her brandishing a spear and regarded her as a goddess of war. She is said to have make a war on the giants during the lifetime of Tubalcain. She had an interesting variety of characteristics because she was also pictured as being a goddess of wisdom as well as of war, in addition to being especially famous as the goddess of weaving or womanly industry. In no connection is she ever pictured as a harlot of prostitution as was Venus of Aphrodite. This is the woman who Ham married. She is the one who carried the WAY OF CAIN THROUGH THE FLOOD! The line of Cain did not die with the Flood, as might easily be supposed! A descendant of Cain and Lamech lived on into the post-Flood world. It was none other than this Naamah to whom God calls our attention in Genesis 4:22. This is why her name is in the Bible! From Ham and Naamah came the Negroid stock after the Flood — the line of Cush (Gen. 10:6).

[End of quote]

 

In Wikipedia, we read of the interesting goddess Neith (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neith):

Neith (… also spelled Nit, Net, or Neit) was an early goddess in the Egyptian pantheon. She was the patron deity of Sais, where her cult was centered in the Western Nile Delta of Egypt and attested as early as the First Dynasty.[1] The Ancient Egyptian name of this city was Zau.

….

 

Symbolism …

 

Neith was a goddess of war and of hunting and had as her symbol, two arrows crossed over a shield. However, she is a far more complex goddess than is generally known, and of whom ancient texts only hint of her true nature. In her usual representations, she is portrayed as a fierce deity, a human female wearing the Red Crown, occasionally holding or using the bow and arrow, in others a harpoon. In fact, the hieroglyphs of her name are usually followed by a determinative containing the archery elements, with the shield symbol of the name being explained as either double bows (facing one another), intersected by two arrows (usually lashed to the bows), or by other imagery associated with her worship. Her symbol also identified the city of Sais.[2] This symbol was displayed on top of her head in Egyptian art. In her form as a goddess of war, she was said to make the weapons of warriors and to guard their bodies when they died.

 

Mackey’s comment: Most interesting here is Neith’s connection with “the Great Flood” and “the primeval waters”:

 

As a deity, Neith is normally shown carrying the was scepter (symbol of rule and power) and the ankh (symbol of life). She is also called such cosmic epithets as the “Cow of Heaven”, a sky-goddess similar to Nut, and as the Great Flood, Mehet-Weret (MHt wr.t), as a cow who gives birth to the sun daily. In these forms, she is associated with creation of both the primeval time and daily “re-creation”. As protectress of the Royal House, she is represented as a uraeus, and functions with the fiery fury of the sun, In time, this led to her being considered as the personification of the primordial waters of creation. She is identified as a great mother goddess in this role as a creator. As a female deity and personification of the primeval waters, Neith encompasses masculine elements, making her able to give birth (create) without the opposite sex. She is a feminine version of Ptah-Nun, with her feminine nature complemented with masculine attributes symbolized with her association with the bow and arrow. In the same manner, her personification as the primeval waters is Mehetweret (MHt wr.t), the Great Flood, conceptualized as streaming water, related to another use of the verb sti, meaning ‘to pour’.

Neith is one of the most ancient deities associated with ancient Egyptian culture. Flinders Petrie (Diopolis Parva, 1901) noted the earliest depictions of her standards were known in predynastic periods, as can be seen from a representation of a barque bearing her crossed arrow standards in the Predynastic Period, as displayed in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Her first anthropomorphic representations occur in the early dynastic period, on a diorite vase of King Ny-Netjer of the Second Dynasty, found in the Step Pyramid of Djoser (Third Dynasty) as Saqqara. That her worship predominated the early dynastic periods is shown by a preponderance of theophoric names (personal names which incorporate the name of a deity) within which Neith appears as an element. Predominance of Neith’s name in nearly forty percent of early dynastic names, and particularly in the names of four royal women of the First Dynasty, only emphasizes the importance of this goddess in relation to the early society of Egypt, with special emphasis upon the Royal House. In the very early periods of Egyptian history, the main iconographic representations of this goddess appear to have been limited to her hunting and war characteristics, although there is no Egyptian mythological reference to support the concept this was her primary function as a deity.

….

It appears from textual/iconographic evidence she was something of a national goddess for Old Kingdom Egypt, with her own sanctuary in Memphis indicated the political high regard held for her, where she was known as “North of her Wall,” as counterpoise to Ptah’s “South of his Wall” epithet. While Neith is generally regarded as a deity of Lower Egypt, her worship was not consistently located in that region.

….

Neith’s symbol and part of her hieroglyph also bore a resemblance to a loom, and so in later syncretisation of Egyptian myths by the Greek ruling class, she also became goddess of weaving. At this time her role as a creator conflated with that of Athena, as a deity who wove all of the world and existence into being on her loom.

 

 

Mackey’s comment: Pictures added (of Neith weaving; of Athena weaving).

The article proceeds to tell of Neith’s great antiquity:

 

Neith was considered to be eldest of the gods, and was appealed to as an arbiter in the dispute between Horus and Seth. Neith is said to have been “born the first, in the time when as yet there had been no birth.” (St. Clair, Creation Records: 176). In the Pyramid Texts, Neith is paired with Selket as braces for the sky, which places these two deities as the two supports for the heavens (see PT 1040a-d, following J. Gwyn Griffths, The Conflict of Horus and Seth, (London, 1961) p. 1). This ties in with the vignette in the Contendings of Seth and Horus when Neith is asked by the gods, as the most ancient of goddesses, to decide who should rule. In her message of reply, Neith selects Horus, and says she will “cause the sky to crash to the earth” if he is not selected.

 

 

 

 

 

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Cain and Osiris

Published October 6, 2016 by amaic

Image result for cain bible

 

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

Legends about the Egyptian god, Osiris, appear to have elements in common with the accounts of various biblical (Genesis) characters, such as Noah and Joseph, but also of the baby Moses as narrated in the Book of Exodus. Osiris is considered to be a most ancient of ancient gods. Can we find even earlier (prior to Noah) biblical reminiscences of him?

  

 

Egyptian myth and religion continue to be a complete puzzle even to the Egyptological experts. Thus it was found in:

Noah and Osiris

 

https://www.academia.edu/28946929/Noah_and_Osiris

 

that the likes of Sir Alan Gardiner and John Walton were at something of a loss to account for (J. Walton): “… the chief cultural content of Egyptian civilization, its religion, its mythological features …”, and (A. Gardiner): “The origin of Osiris remains from me an insoluble mystery”. Fr. A. Mallon had tried to simplify things when explaining in “The Religion of Ancient Egypt” (Studs. in Comparative Religion, CTS, 1956, p. 3) that whilst the Egyptians were “admittedly polytheistic, with a marked inclination towards idolatry … this plurality was of titles rather than of gods”:

 

… this multiplic­ity [of gods] was but superficial it was a multiplicity of titles, not of gods. The supreme Creator god was called Atum at Heliopolis; at Memphis, Ptah; at Hermopolis … Thoth; Amon at Thebes; Horus at Edfu; Khnum at Elephantine; but if we examine them minutely, we recognize at once that these divinities have everywhere a like nature, the same attributes and properties, an identical role. They differ only in external imagery and in a few accidental features.

 

From the point of view of correlating these gods to some extent to the early antediluvian characters of the Book of Genesis, where I think they originated, it would simplify matters again if there were available an easy phonetic name correlation, such as:

 

Adam = Atum;

 and

Seth = Seth (Set)

 

And, to some extent, this does turn out to be the case (as we shall read further on).

But, as we have so often found, characters of myth and even of quasi-history, such as the Prophet Mohammed:

Biography of the Prophet Mohammed (Muhammad) Seriously Mangles History. Part Two: From Birth to Marriage

https://www.academia.edu/28216595/Biography_of_the_Prophet_Mohammed_Muhammad_Seriously_Mangles_History._Part_Two_From_Birth_to_Marriage

 

– these characters having no historical reality per se – can be biblical composites, appropriating bits and pieces from various biblical characters and the events associated with these.

Such we have already found to have been the case with the god, Osiris.

Now, Gary Greenberg (The Generations of the Heavens and of the Earth: Egyptian Deities in the Garden of Eden, 1996, http://ggreenberg.tripod.com/writings/w-egypt-eden.htm), whilst embracing the conventional attitude that the pagan myths influenced the Hebrew scriptures: “… the series of Creation stories in Genesis draws upon the Theban doctrine of Creation”, has discerned Osiris likenesses to both Adam (also identified as the god Atum, and as Geb) and, especially, Cain:

 

ABSTRACT

 

“These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens . . .” Gen. 2:4

 

The above quote from Gen. 2:4 introduces us to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Many biblical scholars believe that the next few verses contain a slightly different version of Creation than that contained earlier in Gen. 1. What is especially unusual is the reference to the “generations of the heavens and the earth.” In the several other instances when Genesis says “These are the generations of . . .”, it refers to information about a parent and their children. This would imply that Genesis 2 is about the Children of the Heavens and Earth, a polytheistic throwback to an earlier cosmogony. But whose cosmogony?

 

This paper examines some of the verses and images associated with the story of Adam and Eve and compares them with elements in the Heliopolitan Creation myths. It will be suggested that Adam and Eve correspond in part to Geb and Nut and in part to Osiris and Isis. Additionally, it will be suggested that the three male sons of Adam and Eve—Cain, Abel and Seth—correspond to the three male sons of Geb and Nut—Osiris, Seth, and Horus.

 

Although the main thrust of the paper will be on the Adam and Eve story, the paper will also look at the first Genesis Creation account as well as the story of Noah’s Flood, originally, perhaps, a third Creation story, and suggest that the series of Creation stories in Genesis draws upon the Theban doctrine of Creation in which Amen appears in a series of forms representing the Memphite, Heliopolitan and Hermpopolitan cosmogonies.

 

The paper will examine such common themes as the stirring of the primeval waters, creation by word, the separation of heaven and earth, the rising of a firmament between the heaven and earth, problems of childbirth as a punishment for disobeying God, the bruising of the serpent from the tree, the enmity between the child and the serpent, the killing of a brother as an agricultural myth, the introduction of civilization, the building of the first city, and the relationship between the husband/brother and wife/sister with the serpent.

This paper attempts to introduce the idea that the biblical Creation stories, from the dawn of Creation through Noah’s Flood, derive from Egyptian cosmogony, more specifically, the Theban doctrine of Creation. Thebes came late to the political scene in Egypt and its view of Creation attempted to incorporate the ideas of Memphis, Heliopolis and Hermopolis into a new cosmology that subordinated the chief deities of those cults to Amen, chief deity of Thebes.

 

The Theban doctrine holds that in the beginning there was the great primeval flood known as Nu or the Nun. The god Amen then appeared in a series of forms, first as an Ogdoad, then as Tatenen (a Memphite name for Ptah identified with the primeval hill), then as Atum, who created the first gods, then as Re. After this he created humanity, organized the Ennead, appointed the four male members of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad as his divine fathers and priests, and appointed Shu as their leader. Another Theban tradition holds that Osiris built the first city at Thebes.

 

To equate all these ideas with the biblical Creation stories would be a massive undertaking, far beyond the scope of this short paper. Therefore I will deal only with a small piece of this very large subject. In this paper I will just compare some elements of the Heliopolitan cycle with the biblical account of Adam and Eve and the second day of Creation [sic].

 

My point of departure is Genesis 2:4-5, which serves as a preamble to the story of Adam and Eve. Coming immediately after the account of the seven days of Creation, the text reads as follows.

 

These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.

 

The phrase “generations of” appears eleven times in the Book of Genesis, but in the other ten instances it refers to stories about members of a family, such as in “the generations of Noah” or “the generations of Jacob.” This indicates that the noun or nouns following after the words “generations of” refer to a parent or parents. Genesis 2:4, therefore, implies that “the heavens and the earth” are anthropomorphic beings with children, and that what follows is about the family of these two entities.

 

This formulation clearly implies a pagan throwback to the idea of Heaven and Earth as deities, but biblical scholars, determined to preserve the monotheistic view of biblical history, are reluctant to accept such an interpretation. Instead, they wrench the phrase out of context and assert that it simply means “things that are to follow” or “the history of.”

 

Comment: This is a total mis-reading by Greenberg of the meaning of the eleven “generations” divisions in the Book of Genesis. See my toledôt series, beginning with:

Toledôt of Genesis. Part One (a): Colophon Key to the Structure of Genesis

https://www.academia.edu/28732081/Toled%C3%B4t_of_Genesis._Part_One_a_Colophon_Key_to_the_Structure_of_Genesis?campaign=upload_email

 

Greenberg continues:

 

A second [sic] major difficulty with Gen. 2:4-5 is the time frame in question. The passage indicates that the stories we are about to read take place “in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens,” and before the appearance of plant life. When is that day?

 

Biblical scholars tell us that the preamble refers to stories that take place after the seven days of Creation. But reading the passage literally and in context, it quite explicitly states that the stories we are about to read occurred on the day that God made the earth and the heavens and before the appearance of plant life. That time frame is clearly defined in the account of the seven days of Creation.

 

On the second day of Creation, a firmament arises out of the primeval waters and separates the waters above from the waters below. The biblical text says that the firmament came to be called “heaven.” On the third day of Creation, the waters below gathered in one place to create the dry land, which was then called “earth,” after which, plant life appeared. So the preamble to the story of Adam and Eve places the upcoming stories in the period between the division of the waters and the appearance of plant life, in the middle of the third day of creation.

 

Biblical scholars, however, note an interesting problem with this division between the second and third day. The second day is the only day in the sequence that isn’t blessed by God. Instead, the third day receives two blessings, one after dry land or Earth appears, and one after the arrival of plant life. As many of these scholars have recognized, the gathering of the waters to create dry land continues the second day’s process of rearranging and dividing the primeval waters. For this reason, they argue that the second day’s blessing is held off to the middle of the third day because that is when the task of rearranging the primeval waters is finished. I would propose instead that the biblical redactor simply made an editing error, and the first half of Day Three actually belongs with Day Two and the associated blessing belongs at the end of Day Two. This would be consistent with the text of Genesis 2:4, which says that heaven and earth were created on the same day.

 

To summarize briefly, so far: On the second day of Creation, god placed a firmament in the primeval waters, separating the waters above from the waters below. The firmament was called Heaven. Then he gathered the waters below into a single place and created dry land. The dry land was called Earth. The preamble to the story of Adam and Eve places the starting point for the biblical stories on the second day of Creation, before the appearance of plant life on Day Three.

 

The arrangement of events on Day Two seems to closely parallel the Heliopolitan Creation myth. A great hill arose out of the primeval flood. This hill would obviously constitute a form of firmament. In some traditions that hill was Atum, the Heliopolitan Creator deity. In other traditions, Atum appeared at the top of the hill.

 

Atum, through act of masturbatory sex, brought forth two deities, Shu and Tefnut, representing “air” and “moisture”. These two deities gave birth to the male deity Geb, who represented the earth, and the female deity Nut, who represented the heavens.

 

Several Egyptian pictures portray Shu as lifting Nut into the air and separating her from Geb. Sequentially, then, Atum appears as a firmament in the middle of the Nun and creates Shu who ultimately separates heaven and earth and symbolizes the space in between. Shu, therefore, becomes the firmament between Heaven and Earth.

 

Consider now how Genesis says the waters were divided. First, the waters above were divided from the waters below. Next, the waters below were gathered into a single place. “The waters above” is an Egyptian concept signifying the sky. We see it most clearly in images of the solar bark sailing through the heavens. Although Genesis says the firmament was called Heaven, I believe this was a late gloss by the biblical redactors. The firmament stands below the waters above. It is the waters above that would correspond to heaven. The firmament would be the space in between heaven and earth, corresponding first to the primeval mountain and then to Shu.

 

This brings us to the question of where in all the middle east would any people have such a concept as all the waters gathering in a single place, leaving fertile land behind in its retreat. The most logical location is the Nile River in Egypt. The gathering of the waters in one place is the primary Egyptian agricultural phenomenon. It derives from the annual overflowing of the Nile, which fertilizes the land and then withdraws, leaving the dry land in its place. For Egyptians, the Nile was the one and only great water way. Even the Mediterranean Sea attaches to the Nile.

 

Elsewhere, throughout Canaan and Mesopotamia, there were numerous large unconnected bodies of waters that were well known to the inhabitants of those lands. They include the Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Reed Sea, Dead Sea, The Jordan River, the Tigris and The Euphrates. It is unlikely that the people of those lands would think of all these waters as gathering in a single place.

 

Returning to Genesis 2:4-5, we are told that when dry land was formed, no plant life existed because no man existed to till the ground. The next Genesis verses in sequence tell us: a mist rose up to water the dry land, God created “the Adam” out of the dust, (note that the bible says “the Adam”, not “Adam”), then he planted a Garden and put “the Adam” in it. Observe here 1) Adam appears before the plant life on Day Three and 2) that woman has not yet appeared. This is contrary to the sequence in the seven days of Creation, which places man and woman on the sixth day. Eve, or “the woman”, which is how she is described until after the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, appears later in the sequence, after plants and after other animal life.

 

This arrangement strongly suggests that the man and woman created on Day Six were other than Adam and Eve, who appear earlier. The confusion arises from the fact that Adam and Eve originally represented Heliopolitan deities, the most important of whom was named Atum, a name virtually identical in pronunciation to the Semitic word “Adam”, which was used to describe the human male. The later biblical redactors, unable to conceive of Adam and Eve as deities, thought of them instead as the first humans, and equated them with the man and woman created on Day Six, who actually are the first humans in the Genesis Creation story.

 

Chronologically and contextually, we see that Genesis introduces Adam and Eve as the anthropomorphic beings referred to in Genesis 2:4 as heaven and earth, and since Adam is created out of the dust of the earth, we can equate him with the Egyptian deity Geb or Earth and we can equate Eve with the Egyptian deity Nut or heaven.

 

Eve enters the story, however, only after she is physically ripped from the body of Adam. This separation of Adam (the earth) from Eve (the Heaven) closely parallels the Egyptian account in which Shu physically pulls Heaven from the Earth. It also incorporates the Heliopolitan idea that a male and female deity were created from a single male deity.

 

There are some other interesting parallels between Geb and Nut and Adam and Eve. According to Plutarch’s account of the Osiris myth, Re, the chief deity, ordered Geb and Nut not to couple. They disobeyed his injunction and were punished. Re ordered Shu to separate the two bodies and declared that Nut would not be able to give birth on any day of the year. Thoth, sympathetic to Nut’s plight, won some light from the Moon and created five new days. Since these days were not yet part of the year, Nut could give birth on these five days. She had five children, one on each day, born in the following order: Osiris, Horus, Set, Isis and Nephthys, the three males first and then two females. The Egyptians memorialized this sequence in their calendar, which names the last five days of the year after these five deities in the order of their births. Because of the role of Geb and Nut in birthing these deities, they were often known as the father and mother of the gods.

 

Observe the sequence of events: The chief deity gives a direct command to Heaven and Earth. They violate the order and as a penalty the chief deity makes child birth a difficult act for the female. Subsequently she gives birth to three sons. As we know from other Egyptian myths, one of those three sons, Set, kills one of the other sons, Osiris.

 

Genesis has a similar plot. God gives Adam and Eve (or Earth and Heaven) a direct order. They disobey that order and one of the punishments inflicted includes difficulties with child birth. Subsequently, Eve gives birth to three named sons, Cain, Abel, and Seth, one of whom kills one of the other brothers. Also, Eve is identified in the bible as the “mother of all living”, an identification similar to Nut’s designation as mother of the gods. So, as with Nut, Eve disobeys God, is punished with difficulty in childbirth, has three male sons, one of whom kills one of the others, and she is thought of as the first mother.

 

Interestingly, the Hebrew name Seth and the Egyptian name Set are philologically identical and both children are born third in sequence. However, as some will note, in the biblical sequence it is not Seth who kills his brother. Instead, Cain does the killing. Cain, as the oldest brother, should correspond to Osiris and his killing of another brother is inconsistent with the Egyptian story. Why that occurs is too complex an issue to be resolved in this paper and we will let it pass. However, a little further below, we will see that Cain and Osiris share some other characteristics.

 

Although Adam and Eve start out as Geb and Nut they also share some aspects of Osiris and Isis. In this regard, we should observe that the Egyptians recognized a deity known as Geb-Osiris who was thought to have created the cosmic egg in Hermopolitan creation myths. Therefore, a merging of Geb and Osiris into a single character involved with Creation does not undermine the theme of this paper. However, I should observe that I believe the biblical character of Adam initially corresponds to the Egyptian god Atum and that Genesis incorporates within Adam all the members of the Ennead. This is consistent with the Egyptian view of Atum, who was also thought of as including within himself all the members of the Ennead.

 

The connection between Adam and Eve and Osiris and Isis is most apparent in the story of the serpent and the forbidden fruit. Osiris, as ruler of the afterlife, had to make two decisions with regards to the people who appeared before him. First he had to decide if the person lived a moral life; then he had to determine whether to grant that individual eternal life.

 

In Genesis, we learn that the Garden of Eden had two special trees. The fruit of one gave knowledge of good and evil; the fruit of the other gave eternal life. Thus, the ability of Adam to have control over the fruit of these tree would give him the same status as Osiris, but the biblical theology can not allow an Osiris to exist, so access to those fruits was forbidden by the one true deity. The nature of this conflict is even noted in the bible when God says to one of his angels, “Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:”

 

I suppose almost everyone who reads the story of Adam and Eve has at one time or another questioned why it was such a terrible thing for these two people to learn about the difference between good and evil. I suggest that to ask this question is to misunderstand what the story was really about. The story was not about good and evil [sic]. It was about the need to diminish the role of Osiris as a cult figure.

 

As a consequence of Adam and Eve eating the fruit, God administered some punishments. We have already mentioned the problem of childbirth. In addition, Adam lost his kingdom and was banished from the Garden. He journeyed to a new land where he became a farmer who had to suffer hard labor in order to produce food. As to the serpent who tricked Adam into losing his kingdom, God declared that there should be enmity between the woman and the serpent and between her seed and his seed. Furthermore, the seed of the woman shall bruise the head of the serpent and the serpent shall bruise the heel of the woman’s seed.

 

Again, these themes seem to be drawn from the Osiris cycle. In the Osiris myth, especially as related by Plutarch, Osiris and Isis ruled in a golden age. Osiris traveled far and wide teaching the people what he knew and Isis ruled in his absence. But the god Set, whom the Egyptians frequently identified with the serpent Apep, enemy of Re, conspired to take the throne for himself. Through trickery, he trapped Osiris in a chest, killed him, and hid the box away. Subsequently, Set hacked the body into pieces and buried them around the land of Egypt. Isis, fearing for the safety of Horus, her child, hid him away from Set. Still, Set managed to sneak up on Horus, and in the form of a serpent bit at his heel. But for the intervention of the gods, Horus would have died. When Horus grew up he avenged his father’s murder and defeated Set in battle.

 

In Genesis, the Osiris role is shared between Adam and Cain. For comparisons, we begin with the observation that the key scene in the Garden of Eden involves a serpent in a tree trying to kill Adam by tricking him into eating the forbidden fruit. The trick worked. Where Adam was essentially a fertile agricultural deity in the Garden of Eden, he has now been figuratively killed in that he now lives as a mortal and he must sweat out agricultural growth. He no longer rules as king in a golden age.

 

Indeed, the bible implicitly recognizes that the serpent killed Adam. The text explicitly says that if Adam ate from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil he would surely die. Since the serpent tricked Adam into committing this life extinguishing act, he has, like Set, killed the king. That Adam didn’t actually die in accord with the warning is no doubt due to the confusion of identities in later times between Adam and Eve and the first man and woman created on Day Six.

 

As to the serpent who tricked Adam, just as Set tricked Osiris, he and Eve became enemies, just as Set and Isis became enemies. Also, just as Set bit the heel of Horus, Genesis said that the serpent would bruise the heel of Eve’s children. And just as Horus avenged Set by beating him in battle, Genesis says that the seed of Eve will bruise the head of the serpent.

 

With regard to this last matter, let me call your attention to a well-known Egyptian scene generally identified as “The Great Cat of Heliopolis”. It shows a cat with a stick bruising the head of a serpent who is sitting in a tree. Egyptologists usually identify the Cat as Re and the serpent as Apep his enemy. Iconographically, while the Great Cat scene no doubt derives from the conflict between Re and Apep, the image portrayed seems remarkably consistent with the biblical story of Adam and Eve. I suspect that if we replaced the Cat with a more human image of one of the sun Gods, Re, Atum, or Horus, and left out the identifying words, many persons unfamiliar with the origin of the picture might consider it an illustration for the story of Adam and Eve.

 

Greenberg now introduces some parallels between Cain and Osiris:

 

As noted above Cain as the oldest of Eve’s three children should correspond to Osiris, and many such correspondences exist. To begin with, like Osiris, Cain is an agricultural figure associated with fruit farming. Osiris wandered far and wide spreading his knowledge and teachings. Cain also wandered far and wide spreading his knowledge and teachings. In fact, Cain’s name is Semitic for “smith”, a craft figure, and Cain’s descendants, according to Genesis, are the founders of all the creative arts and sciences.

In Theban tradition, Osiris built Thebes, which was the first city. According to Genesis, Cain also built the first city. He built it in a land called Nod. Curiously, the bible refers to the city of Thebes by the name “No”, a rather close philological fit with “Nod”.

 

Finally, although we noted the anomaly of having Cain, the Osiris character, kill his brother instead of having the brother corresponding to Set do the killing, we do note that in both the Egyptian and biblical stories, we appear to have the story of the first murder and in each instance the killer buries the body and hides it from view, in the hope that no one will discover it.

[End of quote]

 

If Greenberg is correct, that the Osiris of mythology and Egyptian religion has likenesses to both Adam and Cain, then he is most ancient indeed.

 

 

 

Noah and Osiris

Published October 6, 2016 by amaic

Image result for osiris

 

by

 Damien F. Mackey

 

 

The myth of Osiris, wrote Sir Alan Gardiner, “is too remarkable and occurs in too many divergent forms not to contain a considerable element of historic truth”.

 

 

Introduction

 

The problem is that these “many divergent forms” make it most difficult for us now to find our way back to the origin of it all, to identify whatever “historic truth” may lie behind the myth.

A further complication is that the ancient gods and goddesses undergo various manifestations in literature. Athena (Athene), for instance, the Greek virgin goddess, will – according to my interpretation of it – substitute in The Odyssey for the angel Raphael of Hebrew literature.

See my:

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

 

Robert Bowie Johnson Jr. is emphatic that Athena arose from the biblical Naamah, sister of Tubal-cain (commonly considered to be the origin of the Roman god, Vulcan), Genesis 4:22. Whilst John R. Salverda has responded to Johnson: “Athena was Naamah? What about the, much more likely, Eve, or Zion, or even Lilith?” See the debate between the pair in my:

 

Biblical Foundation of Greco-Roman Myth. Part One: Salverda and Johnson Debate

https://www.academia.edu/28859035/Biblical_Foundation_of_Greco-Roman_Myth._Part_One_Salverda_and_Johnson_Debate

 

And there are other aspects to be considered.

For instance, ancient agrarian peoples recognised, in the life and death cycles of their deities, e.g. the god Tammuz, the usual birth-death cycle of vegetation.

And they also, cognizant of the alterations in the heavens, regarded their gods as astral deities.

Was Homer’s The Iliad, for instance, partly an epic about astronomy? A fascinating book by Florence and Kenneth Wood, Homer’s Secret Iliad. The Epic of the Night Skies Decoded, presents the ancient classic in a new light. (I do not necessarily accept all of the following):

 

From the flyleaf of Homer’s Secret Iliad, by Florence and Kenneth Wood, which was deservingly awarded Book of the Year when first released in 1999.

 

During the 1930s the young daughter of a Kansas farmer spent night after night watching the stars and planets wheel across the vast prairie sky. Later, as a teacher in England, she combined her devotion to astronomy with a passion for Homer. This led her to a discovery which would lie buried until her daughter, Florence Wood, inherited her papers in 1991.

Her years of study, it became clear, had revealed Homer’s great epic to be also the world’s oldest book of astronomy.

The changing configuration of the stars, so important for navigation and the measurement of time, had a fascination for the ancient world that it has lost today. In the Iliad, battles between Greeks and Trojans mirror the movements of stars and constellations as they appear to fight for ascendancy in the sky. The timescale of Homeric astronomy is breathtaking; elements can be dated to the ninth millennium BC [sic], long before the recorded astronomy of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Geography is also represented, since the shapes of constellations were used as ‘skymaps’ to direct ancient travellers throughout Greece and Asia Minor.

Homer was probably the last and most accomplished of a long line of bards who wove such knowledge into the epics they memorized and declaimed. After his lifetime the Greek alphabet preserved his works in writing, and the study of the skies changed too, moving away from pure observation to a science that applied mathematics and geometry. The astronomical content of the Iliad was gradually forgotten.

This unique and fascinating book unlocks its hidden meaning once again. It documents one of the most important discoveries this century about the ancient Greek world.

 

[End of quote]

 

Appropriate, too, is a quote from “The Worship of Saturn”: The Immanuel Velikovsky Archive http://www.varchive.org/itb/satwor.htm

 

The Egyptologist John Wilson wrote that it is an admission of failure that the chief cultural content of Egyptian civilization, its religion, its mythological features again and again narrated and alluded to in texts and represented in statues and temple reliefs, is not understood.(10) The astral meaning of Egyptian deities was not realized and the cosmic events their activities represent were not thought of.

 

 

Osiris

 

Perhaps few of the ancient gods could boast as many manifestations as Osiris, another of those gods of vegetation – also a stellar deity (http://www.starteachastronomy.com/egyptian.html): “The constellation Orion, for instance, represented Osiris, who was the god of death, rebirth, and the afterlife”.

 

Historically speaking, how far back does this Osiris go? He is most ancient according to:

http://www.beaconoftruth.com/could_obama_be_the_antichrist-3.htm

 

The Egyptian god Osiris was an ancient god of Egypt, who predated most of the gods of

the land including Ra or Re. Though his exact origin is unclear because of the many myths and legends about him, Osiris seems to have been known all around the Mediterranean with his own handiwork attesting to his presence.

 

Though Osiris, in his origins, must surely date back to antediluvian times, some see parallels between he in his various manifestations (ranging throughout the varying legends) and, now Joseph of the Book of Genesis, and, now Moses.

 

Joseph and Osiris

 

Aspects of the Osiris mythology can remind one of the story of Joseph in the Book of Genesis. Anna Patricio, who has authored a book called Asenath, tells of:

 

Parallels between Joseph’s Story and Egyptian Mythology

 

http://www.stephaniedray.com/2011/10/03/parallels-between-josephs-story-and-egyptian-mythology/

My novel ‘Asenath’ is about the Egyptian priestess who marries Joseph of the multicoloured coat fame.

I love the story of Joseph, hence my novel on his little-known wife. When I began delving deeper into his story some years ago, I was amazed to come across comparisons made between his story and various tales from Egyptian mythology. I always thought I knew the Genesis account and Egyptian myths pretty well, but I never thought to draw parallels between the two. I found these to be really insightful. Plus, being a mythology aficionado, my interest was duly piqued.

Possibly the most widespread comparison made was that between the Potiphar’s wife episode and the story of the two brothers, Anubis and Bata. As we know, in the Biblical account, Joseph fled the advances of his master’s wife, yet suffered unjustly. In the Egyptian myth, Anubis’ wife too tries to seduce Bata while her husband was out. Like Joseph, Bata spurned her. And like Mrs. Potiphar, Anubis’ wife falsely cried rape, and her husband sought to kill Bata.

The similarities do not end there. Joseph and Bata are long-suffering heroes. As we know, Joseph was in prison for many years until he interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams and was appointed vizier of Egypt. Bata, too, endures a lot but becomes a ruler in the end–a Pharaoh, at that.

Basically, after hearing his wife’s false accusations, Anubis goes after Bata to kill him. The gods then create a river between the two brothers, protecting Bata. When Anubis goes home, he found his wife duped him, and thus kills her. Meanwhile, the gods give Bata a wife. Alas, she is not faithful to him. When she catches Pharaoh’s eye, she marries the king and has her first husband killed.

Bata, however, is reincarnated several times–and murdered several times as well. Eventually, he is reincarnated as his wife’s son (this is made possible when, as a tree, he is cut down and a small chip flies into his wife’s mouth). When he grows into manhood, he is able to get his revenge and then rules Egypt together with his long-lost brother.

There is also a little-known episode of Joseph which takes place during the Exodus. Most people do not seem to be aware of this, probably because it is mentioned in passing, but when the Israelites left Egypt they brought the bones of Joseph with them. There is an interesting rabbinical story in which Moses, before leaving Egypt, calls on Joseph’s coffin which is apparently buried in the Nile. Joseph’s coffin rises up, and Moses then collects it.

This has been likened to the tale of Osiris. As you probably know, Osiris was murdered by his jealous brother Seth and was placed in a coffin, which was then dumped into the Nile. Osiris’ wife Isis went searching for him and later found him.

So, Joseph likened to Bata and Osiris. Intriguing stuff, indeed.

[End of quote]

 

Moses and Osiris

 

Others have detected an undoubted parallel between Horus son of Osiris and the baby Moses, the Exodus account apparently being a popular story of widespread influence. See e.g. my:

 

Did Sargon of Akkad Influence the Exodus Account of Baby Moses?

https://www.academia.edu/28925476/Did_Sargon_of_Akkad_Influence_the_Exodus_Account_of_Baby_Moses

Commentators tend to attribute the direction of influence as going from the pagan mythology to what they would consider to be the later Hebrew texts.

Gary A. Rendsburg has, in the following article, noted the likeness between baby Moses and Horus, the offspring of Osiris http://forward.com/articles/9812/the-subversion-of-myth/

 

The Subversion of Myth

 

One of the core myths of ancient Egypt concerned the gods Seth, Osiris, Isis and Horus. Seth and Osiris were brother deities, the former representing evil and chaos, the latter representing good and fertility. The battle between the two resulted in the death of Osiris, but before he died Osiris had impregnated his wife, Isis, goddess of wisdom and beauty. Isis in turn gave birth to Horus, the falcon-headed god of kingship. When Seth learned that his brother Osiris’s offspring had been born, he sought to kill the baby Horus. Isis prepared a basket of reeds to hide him in the marshland of the Nile Delta, where she suckled him and protected him, along with the watchful eye of her sister, Nephthys, from the snakes, scorpions and other dangerous creatures until he grew and prospered.

Scholars have noted that the birth story of Moses is part of a larger motif of ancient literature, namely the exposed-infant motif. The ancients delighted in telling tales of their heroic leaders who at birth were exposed to nature, usually by their parents who, for one reason or another, did not desire their newborn sons. Among the most famous accounts are the stories of Oedipus from Greece and Romulus and Remus from Rome, along with the less well known but equally important story of Sargon of Akkad (in ancient Mesopotamia). There is a difference, however, between the Moses story and the other exposed-infancy narratives, for in Exodus, chapter two, the goal of Moses’ mother is not to be rid of the child but to save him. This occurs elsewhere in ancient literature only in the story of the baby Horus, whose mother, Isis, sought to protect him from his wicked uncle, Seth. The Hebrew and Egyptian stories share this crucial feature, which is lacking in the other parallels, and therefore beckon us to read the former in the light of the latter.

The list of specific features shared by the two accounts is truly remarkable. In both stories, it is the mother who is the active parent (in the Egyptian version, Osiris is dead; in the Hebrew account, Moses’ father is mentioned in passing in Exodus 2:1, after which the role of the mother is highlighted). Both mothers construct a small vessel of reeds and place the baby in the marshland of the Delta. In both accounts, another female relative watches over the baby (Nephthys in the Horus story; Miriam in the biblical account). Significantly, in both stories the mother’s suckling of the child is emphasized: Isis’s nursing of the baby Horus is a prominent feature of Egyptian artwork, with many statues portraying this action; while in the biblical story, Miriam arranges for Moses’ mother to nurse the child. Most importantly, in both stories the baby is hidden and protected from the wicked machinations of the villain.

[End of quote]

 

The article, “The Worship of Saturn”, again, tells of the universality of the influence of Osiris:

 

The cult of Osiris and the mysteries associated with it dominated the Egyptian religion as nothing else. Every dead man or woman was entombed with observances honoring Osiris; the city of Abydos in the desert west of the Nile and north-west of Thebes was sacred to him; Sais in the Delta used to commemorate the floating of Osiris’ body carried by the Nile into the Mediterranean. What made Osiris so deeply ingrained in the religious memory of the nation that his cult pervaded mythology and religion?

 

Osiris’ dominion, before his murder by Seth, was remembered as a time of bliss. According to the legend Seth, Osiris’ brother, killed and dismembered him, whereupon Isis, Osiris’ wife, went on peregrinations to collect his dispersed members. Having gathered them and wrapped them together with swathings, she brought Osiris back to life. The memory of this event was a matter of yearly jubilation among the Egyptians.(3) Osiris became lord of the netherworld, the land of the dead. A legend, a prominent part of the Osiris cycle, tells that Isis gave birth to Horus, whom she conceived from the already dead Osiris,(4) and that Horus grew up to avenge his father by engaging Seth in mortal combat.

 

before proceeding to recount Sir Alan Gardiner’s complete puzzlement about the god:

 

In Egyptology the meaning of these occurrences stands as an unresolved mystery. The myth of Osiris “is too remarkable and occurs in too many divergent forms not to contain a considerable element of historic truth,” wrote Sir Alan Gardiner, the leading scholar in these fields;(5) but what historical truth is it? Could it be of “an ancient king upon whose tragic death the entire legend hinged”? wondered Gardiner.(6) But of such a king “not a trace has been found before the time of the Pyramid texts,” and in these texts Osiris is spoken of without end. There he appears as a dead god or king or judge of the dead. But who was Osiris in his life? asked Gardiner. At times “he is represented to us as the vegetation which perishes in the flood-water mysteriously issuing from himself. . . .” (7) He is associated with brilliant light.(8)

After a life of studying Egyptian history and religion Gardiner confessed that he remained unaware of whom Osiris represented or memorialized: “The origin of Osiris remains from me an insoluble mystery.” (9) Nor could others in his field help him find an answer.

 

[End of quotes]

 

Noah and Osiris

 

There is at least one clear connection between Osiris and Noah. Roger Waite writes of it (http://www.rogerswebsite.com/articles/Man’sHistoryfromAdamtoAbraham.pdf):

 

The time when Osiris was “shut up in his coffin,” and when that coffin was set afloat on the waters, as stated by Plutarch, agrees exactly with the period when Noah entered the ark. That time was “the 17th day of the month Athyr, when the overflowing of the Nile had ceased, when the nights were growing long and the days decreasing.”

 

The month Athyr was the second month after the autumnal equinox, at which time the civil year of the Jews and the patriarchs began. According to this statement, then, Osiris was “shut up in his coffin” on the 17th day of the second month of the patriarchal year. Compare this with the Scriptural account of Noah’s entering into the ark, and it will be seen how remarkably they agree (Gen 7:11), “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the SECOND MONTH, in the SEVENTEENTH DAY of the month, were all the fountains

of the great deep broken up; in the self-same day entered Noah into the ark.” The period,

too, that Osiris (otherwise Adonis) was believed to have been shut up in his coffin, was precisely the same as Noah was confined in the ark, a whole year…

 

This thought is also picked up at: http://www.truthbeknown.com/noah.htm

 

Like Noah, the Sumero-Armenian Ziusudra/Xisuthros had three sons, including one named “Japetosthes,” essentially the same as Noah’s son Japheth, also related to Pra-japati or Jvapeti, son of the Indian Menu, whose other sons possessed virtually the same names as those of Noah, i.e., Shem and Ham. As Oxford University Hebrew professor George Henry Bateson Wright says in Was Israel ever in Egypt? (51):

 

JAPHETH – Ewald…shows, with great probability, that this was a god of the north, as Ham was of the south, once again in imitation of Hindu mythology. Moreover, the fact, that in the Armenian legend, derived from “Assyrian or Babylonian documents,” the three sons of Xisuthros, who corresponds to Noah, are Zervin, Titan, and Japetosthe, is very instructive, suggesting that the unknown foreign word was retained in its original form…

 

“Coincidentally,” it was said that the Egyptian god Osiris was shut up in his ark on the very same day that Noah was likewise so disposed, as I relate in Suns of God (90):

 

When Osiris’s enemies pursue him, he enters into his “boat” on precisely the same date recorded of “Noah’s” entrance into his ark, Athyr 17th…long before the biblical tale was invented [sic]. Noah is not a Jewish “patriarch” but a sun god, and the tale of entering and exiting the Ark signifies the sun’s death and resurrection. The story of the eight passengers in a boat is an astral myth, reflecting the solar system. These eight are equivalent to the Egyptian octet of gods, who sail the ocean in a ship.

[End of quotes]

 

However, this particular Osirian legend amongst the many could be a late one – one that was influenced, in part, by the Genesis account of Noah and the Flood.