..................................THE TRUE NAME OF GOD
(The "Historical Evolution" of the Hebrew God, variously called Yahweh, Yaw, Yah, Yahu, El or Elohim)
To be brief and blunt, Yahweh is merely an amalgamation of various and multiple earlier gods and goddesses. The “Proto-Hebrews having imbued their God with the functions, epithets, symbols and achievements of many other earlier and contemporary gods and goddesses.
The evolution of God, from a multitude of various earlier deities to the currently accepted and locally popular version of a single omnipotent deity, is well documented.
It is a scholastically well known but, an under appreciated fact, that many portions of the Old Testament are dedicated to establishing Yahweh’s superiority over the other Gods.
Transliterations and Allusions to Assyrian, Babylonian, Hittite, Hurrian, Persian, Aramean and Caananite creation myths are incorporated into many passages praising Yahweh’s supremacy.
Contrary to popular belief the Hebrews did not originally have a monotheistic religion. Theirs were the gods and goddesses of the land from which they were native; the hierarchy of gods and goddesses who included Baal, the god of storms, who made the land fertile, and Lotan, the seven-headed dragon, known to Old Testament readers as Leviathan. Ashera, identical to the Egyptian Isis, There is Yam Nahar, the god of the seas and rivers, and other pantheons and hierarchies of gods and goddesses. A little known fact is that the Hebrews also had twelve main deities and a multitude of minor ones.
It is startling and profoundly sobering when the words of the world's oldest surviving literatures – of India and Sumeria, correspond so closely to current Judeo-Christian-Islamic scriptures that an actual historical chain of descent can be followed.
The Bible’s repeated uses of “Pagan” mythologies confirm for us that the Semites believed that other Gods existed. They simply used the myths of other peoples to argue the superiority of Yahweh.
Strict monotheists would have felt no need to support a monotheistic viewpoint from “pagan mythology”.
Comparisons between battle myths from the ancient Near Eastern and biblical narratives have convinced most scholars that the Hebrew accounts of ‘Yahweh’s’ battles with various monsters and other entities is additional evidence that Hebrew theology is borrowed from surrounding nations.
In every case where these references are used it is to affirm the triumph of Yahweh over the other “Gods”, the establishment of his rule on earth and his superiority over the other gods.
These features can be found in Indian, Sumerian, Akkadian (later Babylonian and Assyrian) and even many Mesoamerican texts.
The accumulation of these legends and stories and their eventual incorporation into a single coherent saga with a definite theological outlook was a product of the astonishingly creative period of literature in the kingdom of Judah in the 7th through 6th century BCE.
The Bible's owes a great indebtedness to the motifs found in the literature of surrounding contemporary and ancient countries.
The literature created by the Sumerians left a deep impression on the Proto-Semites who in turn heavily influenced the Hebrews. One of the most thrilling aspects of reconstructing and translating Sumerian cuneiform script consists in tracing parallels and resemblances between Sumerian and Biblical literary motifs.
Since the Sumerians preceded and ruled the same lands prior to the rise of the Semitic peoples, there is no doubt that the Sumerians had directly and deeply influenced the “Proto-Semites”, including [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and especially the Canaanites and their neighbors, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians, Arameans and Midianites amongst others.
These influences are easily traceable in matters of law, religion and philosophy as well as myths, legends and stories.
This information is not surprising; most scholars have long recognized that along with many other tribal chieftains of the period, Abraham led members of his tribe from the Sumerian city of Ur, west towards the Mediterranean, to the "promised land" of Canaan. With these “Proto-Semitics” came their Gods and Goddesses.
Thanks to the re-discovery in modern times, of considerable portions of Sumerian, Egyptian, Hittite and Hurrian, Ugaritic and many other ancient texts and literature it is now possible to recognize in the Bible many traces of Near and even Far Eastern mythologies.
These “traces” generally appear in three forms:
In all cases they are accommodated to the religion of Israel by boldly transferring to Yahweh the heroic feats of older/other pagan gods.
- Direct Parallels
- Survivals (in figurative expressions)
For example, Sumerian literature contains a number of literary forms and themes found much later in the Bible.
Some of the more conspicuous themes involve:
- The creation of the universe
- The creation of Man
- The techniques used in creation
- Paradise (Eden or Dilmun)
- The withholding of immortality from man
- The ‘Cain-Abel’ motif
- The ‘Tower of Babel’ motif
- The earth and its organization
- Divine retribution and natural catastrophe
- The plague
- The ‘Job’ motif
- Death and the under world
- Concerns with law, ethics and morality
- The flood (the story that has the closest connection with biblical literature.)Below are just a few parallels to digest (there are many, many more):
The Throne of God
Sits upon a throne decorated with pots from which flow two streams of water, indicating he is the source of the earth's streams of freshwater.
Sits upon a throne portrayed as being over a stream of freshwater that leaves the temple in Jerusalem and travels eastward to the Dead Sea, rejuvenating it.
Many similar motifs can be found in:The “Myth” of Adapa
Food conferring immortality, a god denying man immortality, the acquisition of forbidden knowledge.
The story of Genesis
Food conferring immortality, God denying man immortality, the acquisition of forbidden knowledge.
The Tower Of BabelEnki/Ea
Confounded the language of the people of the earth.
“Enki, the contender...En of cunning, the shrewd one of the land, sage of the gods, gifted in thinking, the En of Eridu, change the speech of their mouths, he having set up contention in it, in the human speech that had been one.”
Confounded man's single language because of their hubris in building the Tower of Babel.
Warned Ziusudra (or Utnapishtim) of an impending Flood that would destroy the world and all of mankind. Telling him to save himself and the seeds of all living things by building a boat.
Warned [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] of an impending Flood that would destroy the world and all of mankind. Telling him to save himself and all the animals by building a boat.
(Later generations embellished this Sumerian myth into a world-encompassing flood. Archaeologists later found flood deposits at Utnapishtim's city of Shurrupak in Lower Mesopotamian, “the Flood” was determined to have been a flooding of the Euphrates river in the 4th-3rd millenniums BCE, based on the microscopic analysis of the flood sediments.)
Almost every ancient civilization has a story of the great flood and the survivors who were warned by a God.
The biblical version of the "Great Flood’s" happy ending is chock full of biblical contradictions. It begins by telling of man's abominations including the corruption of the purity of the "Sons of God". A decision is reached to have all flesh perish.
The same Deity rushes Noah in 7 days to build an Ark to save the seed of mankind and all living things. Why? Was the Deity's purpose in this to defeat his own plan? When the flood is over and the Ark lands the deity who is enticed by the smell of roasting meat, forgets his original determination to end all mankind, and even makes a covenant with Noah to never do so again.
The nagging contradictions can easily be placed to rest if one considers the fact that the bible’s version is an edited version of the original Sumerian account. As in many other instances, the edited "monotheistic" Bible has compressed into one deity the roles played by one or more other gods who did not always act in accord.
From the Sumerian version, Enki who disagreed with his brother Enlil’s command to destroy all humans found a way to warn Utnapistim/Ziusudra.
'Man of Shuruppak, son of Ubar-tutu: Tear down thy house, build a ship! Give up possessions, seek thou life! Foreswear belongings, keep soul alive! Aboard ship take thou the seed of all living things; That ship thou shalt build - Her dimensions shall be to measure…
From the Bible, God determined to end all mankind then gives a reprieve and warns Noah.
Genesis 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch.
Genesis 6:15 And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits.
After the flood, Utnapishtim/Ziusudra built an altar and offered a sacrifice.
From the Enuma Elish;
'the gods smelled the savor, the gods smelled the sweet savor the gods crowded like flies about a sacrificer'
From the Bible;
Genesis 8:20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Genesis 8:21 And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake; for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
At first when Enlil discovered Enki's ploy of saving the Adamu he was furious. He soon relented after realizing that all livestock and produce had been destroyed in the flood and that Enki's forethought had also prevented a disaster for the Anunnaki. Enlil was very forgiving after hunger set in and he partook of the burnt sacrifices offered by Utnapishtim/Zuisudra/Noah.
A pledge was then made to the Adamu by the Elohim as also by Yahweh to Noah, that never again would the Elohim order their destruction. It is a promise made to man that has been kept ever since (so far).
By Sumerian and biblical reckoning this flood occurred at approximately 11,000 BC. This is coincidental to the end of the last Ice Age and the time frame for the Earth Crust Displacement theory, and the emerging theory of the “Vela Intruder” and the approximate time frame when geologists believe that water erosion on the Sphinx Occurred.
[Only registered and activated users can see links. ] then said to God, `Look, if I go to the Israelites and say to them, “The god of your ancestors has sent me to you,” and they say to me, “What is his name?” what am I to tell them?The Name of God
God said to Moses, `I am who I am’. Exodus 3:13-14As we have learned, Enki (`Lord of the Earth’) was called Ea in Akkadian (East Semitic) – that is to say in the Babylonian tradition. Scholars have determined that Ea was vocalized as ‘Eya’. So, when Moses stood before the burning bush and asked the name of the god of the mountain, did “God” really reply `I am who I am’ (Heb. Eyah asher eyah)? This puzzling phrase has long perplexed many theologians here is our simple explanation.The voice of God simply replied `Eyah asher Eyah’ - `I am (the one) who is called Eyah’ – the name of Ea in its West Semitic (Hebrew) form.
Some Scholars have simply failed to recognize (most often those with strong theological ties) that this is another of those characteristic puns in which the Old Testament abounds. `I am (Eyah) he who is called (asher) Ea (Eyah)’ is a classic biblical play on words.
It also explains God’s apparently nonsensical instruction:
`This is what you are to say to the Israelites, “I am has sent me to you”.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the above statement makes no sense. The words properly translated are `Eyah has sent me to you’.
Cross-pollination of ideas
Ideas do not necessarily die when the civilization that nurtured them expires. Eridu declined, and only the Royalty, the Priests and an educated literate elite maintained the Sumerian language.
The great empires of Akkad, Assyria, and even Babylon were brought down as all great empires eventually are, including their predecessor, the Sumerians. Assyria in the late seventh century BCE, Babylon less than a century later. The Persians, Macedonians, Seleucids, Arsacids, Sassanians, Ummayyad and Abbasid caliphs and later dynasties all exercised lordship in Mesopotamia at one time or another.
Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were deeply rooted in the Near East, and as often as not shared beliefs and legends with their predecessors.
Enki/Ea survived, in new guises, under different names. Although Enki and his city-state have all but disappeared, literary traditions and religious syncretism keep something of them alive.
Two of the main traditions that formed the basis of Western civilization - Greek and Biblical - obviously know the stories of Enki/Ea, in barely veiled form. For various reasons, orthodox and official streams of those traditions ignored or denounced outside influences.
We are very much the inheritors of civilization in its earliest, Sumerian, forms.
Evidence has it that the “Yahweh” movement originated with the court of King Solomon's son Rehoboam about 960 BCE, at that time many documents were written to strongly favor the Davidic line of succession in a bid to unite the kingdoms of Judah and Israel.
The Yahweh ‘sect’ was concentrated in the south in Judah and is associated with temple ritual among the Jews and the El ‘sect’ was in the north among the Israelites - just as Chemosh was the patron god of the Moabites, Milcom of the Ammonites, Hadad of the Arameans, Melkart of the Tyrians.
Though initially of the same clan and stock the Judeans felt they had a claim to rule over all Hebrews and the Israelites did not feel the same. They each developed their own countries with their own kings and both also had their own biblical versions. During the 7th and 6th centuries BCE these separate but similar [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] were merged in an effort to once again unite the tribes of Israel under one King and one Banner.
The efforts of the Hebrews in the 7th and 6th centuries BCE were not so much the creation of new gods and new concepts from whole cloth, but rather the taking of older concepts and adding a "New Twist." Yahweh-El is the result of the new twists derived from a re-working and transformation of older concepts by the Hebrews, who followed in the footsteps of their Mesopotamian predecessors.
Yahweh-El is simply a re-working and transformation of the Sumerian god of Wisdom and Knowledge, Enki, also called Ea or Ia, which later became - Iah/Yah/Yaw. This transformation may have also come to the Hebrews from other places but the fact remains that even those others we can trace that contributed to the Supremacy of Yahweh-El simply re-interpret and spun their own twists on the Sumerian epics.
The Ugaritic influence
The Ugaritic myths are dated @1500-1200 BCE when Israel first settled the land with settlements extending from Galilee to the Negev, as portrayed in the book of Joshua.
We are informed that an agrarian Israel under the Judges, whose simple rural village life appears to have worshipped Baal and Yahweh. Some Israelites bore Baal names. Israel's first king, Saul, had sons bearing Baal names. Hosea informs us that at times Yahweh was called Baal.
We suspect that the animosity between Baal and Yahweh, @ 1200-587 BCE is arising directly from the 1500-1200 BCE Ugaritic myths, and the animosity between Baal (Baal-Hadad) and his brother Yam or Yaw, to see which would become "lord of the earth." This sibling rivalry is yet another distorted reflection of the early Sumerian strife between Enlil and Enki.
In the Ugaritic myths the supreme god is called El or Bull-El. He is portrayed as bearded and gray-haired. He is the father of the gods and the father of mankind as Yahweh-El is a type of "father" to man, we see a borrowing of concepts by the Hebrews straight from the Ugaritic motifs.
God is alternately called El or Elohim (the latter being a plural meaning ‘Gods and Goddesses’). Bull-El is the father of Baal (also called Baal-Hadad) and Yam (also called Yaw). Baal is identified with thunder-clouds which bring rain to nourish the earth. Thunder-clouds are called "Adad's Calves." The thunder is Baal's voice. Baal's brother, who contends with him for ruler-ship of the earth, is Yam, meaning "Sea," also called Nahar or "river." He acquires a new name from El, Yaw.
Tiamat the female personification of the salty ocean in Babylonian myths has been transformed into a mere body of water, Tehom, in the Ugaritic myths and the Hebrews drew directly from the Ugaritic imagery in associating Yahweh-El in the opening lines of Genesis with Tehom (English: "the deep").
Bull-El or El dwells in the depths of a mountain, at the source of the double deep (Tehom), that is the source of the fresh and salt water oceans. So she is to a degree associated with the sea. Enki dwelt in the watery depths of the Abzu, and was associated as being the source of freshwater streams or rivers. The Ugaritic myths are simply reinterpretations of the older Mesopotamian myths.
El being called "Bull-El" suggests his sons are born as "bull-calves" and become "bulls" at maturity.
-Thus Baal-Hadad is shown at times standing on a bull hurling lightning bolts. Thunderclouds being called "Adad's Calves."
-Yahweh-El appeared at Mt. Sinai as a Thundercloud.
-A golden calf is made at Mt. Sinai to represent their ‘God’ shortly after Yahweh's appearance as a Thundercloud.
-Jeroboam honors Yahweh-El with two golden calves set up at Dan and Bethel.
This is harkens back to the reality that Yahweh-El was portrayed alternately as a "bull-calf" in his manifestation as a Thundercloud.
The Bible's writers are either in denial of the true origins of Yahweh-El or have "covered up" the fact that he is really a merging together of Bull-El, Baal-Hadad and Yaw/Yam of the Ugaritic Myths.
It is fairly difficult to say for certain where, when and how the Israelites first came to identify with the god Yahweh. It may be that, as Exodus says, he was originally a Midianite god, introduced into the land of Canaan by immigrants from Egypt; or as some evidence indicates he may have started as a minor member of the Canaanite pantheon.
Originally El was the supreme god for the Israelites as he had always been for Canaanites. Even if one discounts the pronouncement of El in the Baal cycle, 'The name of my son is Yaw' one cannot ignore a passage in the Bible which shows Yahweh as subordinate to El. Deuteronomy 32:8 tells how when El Elyon, i.e., El the Most High, parceled out the nations between his sons, Yahweh received Israel as his portion.
Eventually Yahweh-El came to absorb the names, epithets, and feats of his rivals and other gods. Yahweh-El is a merging of the sea and river god Yaw (sea is Yam in Hebrew) and Baal-Hadad (Baal being associated with thunderclouds and Yahweh-El manifesting himself as a thundercloud at Mt. Sinai), as well as the persona of El (Bull-El), the father of Baal and Yam, and of mankind (Ugaritic ab-adm). Thus the Hebrews into Adam, the first man and eponym for mankind later transformed Ugaritic adm meaning “mankind”.
The contention between Yaw and his brother Baal-Hadad is the Ugaritic version of the rivalry between Enki/Ea and his brother Enlil. The heavenly father aspect attributed to Bull-El is their version of Anu ‘God of the Heavens” from Sumerian theology.
In the Ugaritic myths Baal conquers the tannin of the sea, so does Yahweh.
Baal-Hadad the storm god was the chief god of the Arameans, and it worth noting that Israel claimed her ancestors were Arameans, and that Yahweh is likened to possessing the epithets and achievements of Baal-Hadad, he appearing at Mount Sinai in the form of a Storm Cloud.
Baal Hadad (alternately, Adad) is portrayed as a god who dwells within the darkness of a thundercloud, whose thunder is his voice, and whose rains, initiate the Flood that destroys all mankind.
The Biblical portrayal of Yahweh as a god who dwells within the darkness of the thundercloud (Deut 4:11; 5:22, 23) is borrowing imagery from Baal-Hadad, who also dwells in a dark thundercloud and whose voice is the thunder.
The Bible also relates that Yahweh was called Baal by some Israelites
"And in that day, says the Lord, you will call me, 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me, 'My Ba'al.' For I will remove the names of the Ba'als from her mouth, and they shall be mentioned by name no more." Hosea 2:16
If Yahweh was originally subordinate to El, it be could that the Israelites at first imagined him as a god of the same type as Canaanite Baal.
-Yahweh as did Baal also appeared as a storm-god.
-Yahweh like Baal first established his kingship over the world by subduing the unruly cosmic waters, symbolized by a serpent or a dragon.
-There are psalms that show Yahweh subduing the waters along with the dragons Leviathan and Rahab.
-Like Baal, Yahweh had been a god who had to fight the waters until they submitted to his will.
-Like Baal, Yahweh constantly sustained the ordered world.
Yahweh did not - any more than Baal or Marduk - remain subordinate to the supreme god their fathers.
The elevation of Yahweh over his father “El” or brother Baal is a well documented and common occurrence by the peoples of the time. It was normal for a people to exalt their patron god to a position of unique dignity, setting him above all the other gods. This happened to Yahweh too: he came to be identified with El. A common epithet of El was Elyon, meaning 'the Most High.' In these psalms Yahweh is likewise called 'the Most High,' and his dominance is as absolute as El's.
Remember too that Israel did preserve a notion that their ancestors were Syrians ("Arameans"), the archaeological evidence extrapolated from the Syrian myths found in Ugarit about the struggle for supremacy to claim the title "Lord of the Earth", between Yaw/Yam and Baal seems to bear out the northern Israelite Yaw vs. Baal scenarios and confirms that Aramaean/Syrian religious beliefs are, to a degree, what is behind Yahwehism.
From The Gilgamesh Epic:
"There rises from the foundation of the heavens a black cloud. Adad thunders in the midst of it."
From The Bible:
"And you came near and stood at the foot of the mountain, while the mountain burned with fire to the heart of heaven, wrapped in darkness, cloud and gloom. Deut 4:11
"These words the Lord spoke to all your assembly at the mountain out of the midst of the fire, the cloud, and the thick darkness with a loud voice...And when you heard the voice out of the midst of the darkness, while the mountain was burning with fire...." Deut 5:22,23
Marduk became the supreme god of the Babylonians. Originally the supreme god of Lower Mesopotamia was An or Anu (father of Enki/Ea) later, in a national hymn called the Enuma Elish, Marduk, becomes "supreme" and honored above all of the other gods.
Marduk is declared "to be" the other gods, in as much as they became aspects of his persona, and they are assimilated to him. Like Marduk, Yahweh too came to assimilate, the Canaanite gods, El and Baal, as well as others.
Marduk, (Enki/Ea’s eldest son) after slaying Tiamat, holds his bow up for praise and places it in the heavens as a "bow star constellation," a type of memorial to his ending the threat of a flood to destroy the gods who dwelt on the earth. Yahweh-El, like Marduk, places his bow in the heavens after bringing to an end the Flood, as a rainbow.
When Marduk was given the rule he so long desired, a change in the mythology of the region took place - everything was rewritten with Marduk given the credit for all the heroic acts and attributes of all the other gods and goddesses, even the planet, ‘Nibiru’, was renamed ‘Marduk’.
In short both the creative force of Nibiru which formed the solar system as we know it and the greatness of the earlier pantheon became notions ascribed to but one of the pantheon to gods.
This sort of “Nationalism” was apparently standard practice for many of the Semitics in the area at the time, for example Ashur the national god of the Assyrians is credited by his people with many of the same exact feats and heroic acts as Marduk was to the Babylonians. As Yahweh-El is later credited for many of the same feats by his followers.
The Israelite world-view in the days of the monarchy had much in common with the world-views of the Canaanites, the Mesopotamians and even the Egyptians.
The Israelites also thought of themselves as living within a divinely appointed order which had been established for their benefit and which would basically never change.
In some cases Yahweh's triumph over the other gods is due to his absorbing these gods, that is their powers and feats are credited to him and the older gods, are then labeled as "false gods" of wood, stoneand metal are discredited.
The Midianite Influence
The cult of Ea extended throughout Babylonia and Assyria. We find temples and shrines erected in his honor, e.g. at Nippur, Girsu, Ur, Babylon, Sippar and Nineveh, and the numerous epithets given to him, as well as the various forms under which the god appears, also bear witness to the popularity which he enjoyed from the earliest to the latest period of Babylonian-Assyrian history.
`Eyah' or simply `Ya' is the hypocoristic form of the name Yahweh found as an element of so many Old Testament names. So Enki/Ea, the god who created Man and then later warned Ziusudra/Utnapishtim of the impending destruction of mankind, is one and the same as the god of Moses.This was the great revelation given to the hero of Exodus during his long exile from Egypt in the wilderness of Sinai. It was only when Moses came into contact with the Midianite priest, Jethro, that the highly Egyptian-ized Israelite learned of a much earlier history for his people their origins in the land of Eden, their descent into Shinar and the name of their primeval God.The Midianites were also descended from the patriarch, Abraham, through the sons of his wife, Keturah. They however, had not suffered oppression in the land of Egypt, having split off from the Abrahamic tribe and settled in northwestern Arabia [Genesis 25:1-6]. They had not lost their cultural and religious identity through slavery to a civilization with different beliefs and traditions.
It is likely that the Midianites would have been culturally closer to their origins than the Israelites. They too had a rich oral tradition stretching back to ancestral Mesopotamia. Or perhaps they carried with them original cuneiform tablets relating the different myths and epics of their ancestors from Sumer.
Moses then said to God, `Look, if I go to the Israelites and say to them "The god of your ancestors has sent me to you," and they say to me "What is his name?", what am I to tell them?' God said to Moses, `I am he who is called Ea'. And he said, `This is what you are to say to the Israelites, "Ea has sent me to you". You are to tell the Israelites, "Ea, the god of your ancestors, the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has sent me to you." This is my name for all time and in this way I am to be invoked for all generations to come.' Exodus 3:13,14, 15The implications are clear: the Israelites did not know the name Ea and so it follows that they had little or no idea of their ancestral heritage. All this had to be taught them by Moses.
This required a book of `origins' - a book that the Jewish scholars of Alexandria called `Genesis'.Moses employed those same ancient stories or tablets,held by Jethro, to construct the story of the epic originsof the Israelite nation.
Moses and Jethro the Midianite holy mancertainly met up once again at the foot of the sacred mountain of the Ten Commandments following the Israelite Exodus from Egypt.Then Jethro, Moses father-in-law, came with his sons and his wife unto Moses into the wilderness where he encamped at the Mount of God. Exodus 18:5It is also of interest to note that at this meeting it is Jethro the Midianite priest and not Moses who makes the sacrifice toYahweh.Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, then offered a burnt offering and other sacrifices to God, and Aaron and all the elders of Israel came and ate with Moses' father-in-law in the presence of God. Exodus 18:12His position as the officiating lead player in the sacrificial rites wouldmake much more sense if Jethro was, in fact, already apriest of Ya/Ea the long-time god of the Midianites and only therecently rediscovered ancestral god of the Israelites.
Also noteworthy is the fact that Jethro advised Moses on the establishment of judges, their duties, character and how they should go about their tasks (Exodus 18:16-26). Understandably Moses owed the man a certain degree of respect by virtue of the fact that he was his father in law, but it seems that during his stay with the Isreralites, Jethro played the role of advisor as well as religious superior to Moses.
With our identification of Yahweh with the Sumerian god Enki and the Akkadian god Ea we have had an opportunity to compare thecharacter and attributes of the deities to see if they represent the same basic natural elements. The following is the authoritative view of Yahweh.While the date and origins of the names are debatable, the character of Yahweh is certainly clear, although multifaceted in the biblical text.
·He is a storm god who speaks in the thunder, who hurls or shoots lightning (Exodus 19:16-19; 20:18; Psalm 18:14; Job 37:5; Amos 1:2; Habakkuk 3:11).
·He is a god of the mountains (Exodus 19; 1 Kings 20:3).
·Fire is both a sign of Yahweh's presence and a weapon (Exodus 13:21; 1 Kings 18:38).
·He is a god of the desert (Judges 5:4).
·He has control over the waters of the earth - the sea (Exodus 14:21; Jonah),
·He has control over the rivers Joshua 3:16-17),
·He has control over the rain (Genesis 2:5; 1 Kings 17).
·He is the giver of life and one who brings death.
·He is a god of war and of peace.
There are many aspects here that are characteristic of Enki/Ea whois the life-giving deity of fresh water, but there are alsoothers which reflect the more violent nature of his brother Enlil(`Lord of the Air') who was the head of the Mesopotamianpantheon, also known as Baal the Canaanite storm god and Seth,the Egyptian god of the desert. The god of Moses thus reflectsan amalgam of deities.
It would appear that Moses, influenced ashe was by both Egyptian religious beliefs and those of theneighboring Canaanite states, elaborated greatly upon theancestral god of Midian and Israel.
The Yahweh of Moses andJoshua was a god of his time - a god of tremendous natural destructiveforces - a god who was capable of rescuing the children of Israel from bondage in Egypt and destroying all those who might prevent their march towards the Promised Land. Beneath the chaotic surface of the destructive and vengeful Yahweh of Exodus and Conquest beats the benevolent and life-giving heart of the Sumerian god of wisdom - Enki, lord of the sweet water that was a key element to survival in the desert.
The Egyptian influences on the Israelites will be forthcoming in a self-contained chapter entitled “Moses” soon to come. The reason for this is that it will be a relatively large body of work that will deal primarily with Moses, the Exodus and the Egyptian influences on Hebraism.Egyptian influences
Worth mentioning here is the fact that Moses’ [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] are undoubtedly a reflection of similar rules found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead. Being raised as a member of the Egyptian ruling aristocracy Moses would have undoubtedly had access to this information.
"Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain....Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery...Thou shalt not bear false witness against they neighbor..." Exodus 20: 7-16
'Not have I despised god...Not have I killed...Not have I fornicated...Not have I despoiled the thing of the god...not have I defiled the wife of a man...Not have I cursed god...Not have I borne false witness'. Egyptian Book of the Dead
Of noteworthy significance are the direct parallels back to India and Sumer with the pantheon(s) of Egypt.
The Egyptians believed in Gods of Heaven and Earth. Great Gods that were clearly distinguished from the multitudes of lesser deities. Summarizing the evidence, shows that the Egyptian belief in Gods of Heaven who descended to Earth from the skies was an extremely ancient tradition. Some of the epithets of these Great Gods - Greatest God-Bull of Heaven (Anu = Bull-El), Lord of the Mountains – (El Shaddai ‘God of the Mountain’) sound very familiar.
Like Anu in Sumer - Ra ("creator") was the head of the Egyptian pantheon and presided over an Assembly of the Gods that numbered twelve.
Ra like Anu was an unseen celestial god who manifested himself only periodically.
Their shared manifestation was the Celestial Disc, depicted as a Winged Globe:
-Anu’s symbol of the Winged Star is a circle in which an eight-pointed star is enclosed with opened wings spanning from each of the circle's sides.
-Ra’s symbol - The ATEN was a blank circle with wings spanning from each side.
-Anu Had two sons Enki/Ea and Enlil
-Ra had two sons, Osiris and Seth.
The earlier notion that civilization may have begun in Egypt has long been discarded. There is ample evidence now showing that the Egyptian - organized society and civilization, which began more than half a millennium after the Sumerian one, drew its culture, architecture, technology, art of writing, and many other aspects of a high civilization from India and Sumeria. The weight of evidence also shows that the gods of Egypt originated in India or Sumeria.
Enki (En meaning ‘Lord’, Ki meaning ‘Earth’) also called Ea (meaning Lord of the Watery Abyss). Also known by the Greeks as Oannes. Elder son of Anu the original Sumerian “God” of the heavens.
Enki/Ea was a God of Heaven and Earth, a deity originally of the heavens, who had come down to Earth.
Ea (the name meant literally "house-water") who was a master engineer, planned and supervised the construction of canals, the diking of rivers, and the draining of the marshlands. He loved to go sailing on these waterways, and especially in the marshlands. The waters, as his name denoted were indeed his home. He built his "great house" in the city he had founded at the edge of the marshlands, a city appropriately named HA.A.KI ("place of the water-fishes"); it was also known as E.RI.DU ("home of going afar")....
Another epithet name of Ea was “Lord of the Salt-waters”, the seas and the oceans. As Lord of the Seas, Ea built ships that sailed to far lands, and especially to places from which precious metals and semi-precious stones were brought to Sumeria. This information provides a plausible explanation of the Mesoamerican legends of the Viracocha (Quetzalcoatl, Kukulkan) (< Link soon to come).
The earliest Sumerian cylinder seals depict Ea as a deity surrounded by flowing streams that were sometimes shown to contain fish. The sea associated Ea with the Moon (indicated by its crescent) an association stemming perhaps from the fact that the Moon caused the tides of the seas. It was no doubt in reference to such an astral image that Ea was given one of his many the epithet this one being - NIN.IGI.KU ("lord bright eye").
The Sumerians present Enki/Ea as Mankind's greatest benefactor and the god who brought about civilization. Many texts also depicted him as Mankind's chief defendant at the councils of the gods.
The Sumerian and Akkadian texts, which (like the Old Testament) adhered to the belief that a god or the gods created Man through a conscious and deliberate act, It was Enki/Ea who outlined to the other gods the method and the process by which Man was to be created.
According to the Sumerians, Man was created by Enki with the help of Ninhursag a half-sister to both Enki and Enlil, though all three had different mothers. To accomplish this she followed processes and formulas devised by Enki. She was the chief nurse, the one in charge of medical facilities, it was in that role that the goddess was called Ninti ("lady life").
Ea is alive and well today, though many of his feats and epithets have been ascribed or assimilated into later gods. Many of Enki’s motifs appear in Genesis, ascribed to Yahweh-El. Still later, Christianity ascribed Enki’s motifs to Christ, claiming that the God of the Old Testament was none-other than Christ himself. Then came Islam, understanding that the God of Abraham was Allah, and thus to Allah was ascribed Enki’s motifs.
Millions unknowingly honor Enki/Ea in his "new guises" as Yahweh, Christ and Allah.
Myths in which Ea figures prominently have been found in Assurbanipal’s library. Ea was regarded as the protector and teacher of mankind. He is essentially the god of civilization, and he is also credited as being the creator of man as well as our protector, and of the world in general.
Traces of this view appear in the Marduk epic celebrating the achievements of this god, and the close connection between the Ea cult at Eridu and that of Marduk also follows from the consideration that Marduk is the son of Ea, who derived his powers from the voluntary abdication (according to Babylonian sources) of Enki/Ea in favor of his son.
Accordingly, the incantations originally composed for the Ea cult were re-edited by the priests of Babylon and adapted to the worship of Marduk, and, conversely, the hymns to Marduk bear the traces of the transfer of attributes to Marduk that originally belonged to Ea.
The Greek Name for Enki/Ea was Oannes
Oannes, according to Sumerian history, introduced written language in the Mesopotamian Valley over 5,000 years ago. Many assume Oannes was merely a myth or legend of the Sumerians, others believe that he visited Earth from an extraterrestrial source.
According to legend, Oannes was a "fish man" who emerged from the sea in a fish skin and taught the Sumerians "letters, arts and sciences". The art of writing, cuneiform, was developed during this period and became the basis for the Aramaic language and later the Arabian alphabet.
The Babylonian historian Berossus, writing as a Chaldean, and priest of Belus, describes the legend of Oannes in a strictly historical context.
Berosus writes, “…whose whole body (according to the account of Apollodorus) was that of a fish, that under the fish's head he had another head, with feet also below, similar to those of a man, subjoined to the fish's tail. His voice too, and language, was articulated and human, and a representation of him is preserved even to this day.
This Being was accustomed to pass the day among men; but took no food at that season; and he gave them an insight into letters and sciences, and arts of every kind. He taught them to construct cities, to found temples, to compile laws, and explained to them the principles of geometrical knowledge. He made them distinguish the seeds of the earth, and shewed them how to collect the fruits; in short, he instructed them in everything which could tend to soften manners and humanize their lives. From that time, nothing material has been added by way of improvement to his instructions. And when the sun had set, this Being Oannes, retired again into the sea, and passed the night in the deep; for he was amphibious. After this there appeared other like Oannes."
Oannes was called Lord of the Waves, by the Babylonians, and was said to be amphibious, that is having the torso and head of a man with his bottom half resembling that of a fish, complete with scales. Some texts suggest he lived at the bottom of the Apsu or Abyss in fresh water.
It has also been said that he was the same entity as Enki or Ea. Ea was called the "fish of heaven" and Oannes, the Greek form of Ea, was half man, half fish and taught mankind writing and math. He is given credit by the Sumerians for giving civilization to man. The Philistines called him Dagon, a name many Bible readers will recall.
Dagon is mentioned in Bible at least 3 books:
·Book of Judges 16:23
·Book of 1 Samuel 5:2, 5:3, 5:4, 5:5, 5:7
·Book of 1 Chronicles 10:10.
Dagon is mentioned in the Bible in a derogatory fashion tying in with Philistine battles. Yet another case of Yahweh becoming supreme over another god – this time unbeknownst to the Israelites -with himself. This would have been easy for the Hebrews of the time to do as knowledge of who their god was had by this time been obscured in the mists of time.
Oannes or Dagon if you prefer ties in with other “myths and legends” all over the world, particularly in Africa with the Dogon tribe, and in South America with the Inca.
The Incas, who had a great technology (relatively speaking) when the Europeans were still barbaric nomads, said that their technology was taught to them by Viracocha who was described as a Caucasian, bearded God.
Viracocha was the creator of the people, the Sun, Earth and all else. Viracocha was called the supreme founder, and Creator of all.
Legends of the Aymara Indians say that the Creator God Viracocha rose from Lake Titicaca during the time of darkness to bring forth light.
Viracocha was a storm god and a sun god who was represented as wearing the sun for a crown, with thunderbolts in his hands.
Viracocha made the earth, the stars, the sky and mankind. Afterward he instructed these beings of his own creation in language, customs, arts, knowledge, cleanliness and civilized behavior and finally flew some of them to different continents, which they were supposed to inhabit thenceforth. At some later time Viracocha and his assistants traveled to many countries to check how his instructions were being followed.
Viracocha eventually left; some legends say across the Ocean to the east, other legends say to the west some say that he left by walking on the water, others that he left on a raft made from living and writhing snakes and still others say on a fantastic ship that sinks and travels under the waves which can only be meant to describe a submarine. He promised someday to return. It was thought that Viracocha would re-appear in times of trouble.
References are also found of a group of men named the “Suncasapa” or “Bearded Ones” they were the soldiers of Viracocha or the “Angelic Warriors of Viracocha”.
The legends say that Kukulkan came from heaven to earth. White-skinned and bearded, Kukulkan was also the god of life and divine wisdom. He brought love, penitence, and exemption from the usual rituals of sacrifice and blood offering.
He was a mystical being who met with people from distant places, and had the power to heal the sick and bring the dead back to life. When he departed for the east, traveling the ocean on a raft of serpents, he promised his followers that he would return.
He used to say: "ytzeen caan, ytzeen muyal," which in ancient Mayan means: "I am the dew and substance from heaven."
As with many world-wide Myths about Gods and Goddesses - Mayan Myths discuss connections with being from other realms who came to Earth to seed the planet. This theme is particularly apparent in the ancient Sumerian myths.
Many people see in the story of the Popol Vuh the story of extraterrestrial Gods who came down and made man in his own image.
Within their culture they have legends of visiting Gods from outer space. In the last thousand years the being known as Kukulkan the Great Feathered Serpent was a God who brought the teaching of peace to this part of the world and appeared as a white God with a beard. The drawings of him look almost identical to the drawings of the being known as Ea or Enki in the ancient Sumerian teachings.
Quetzalcoatl was the Lord of Intelligence and the Winds in Aztec mythology.
Quetzalcoatl originated as a water god. The first myth he appears in, he is called "Precious Serpent" and was "the spirit of the waters which flowed along the winding bends of rivers"
Myth has it that Quetzalcoatl did the following for humanity:
Quetzalcoatl and his brother Tezcatlipoca wrap themselves around Tlaltecuhtli and split her in half; one half creating the Earth, the other the Heavens.
- Named all of the landmarks of the Earth (mountains, seas, etc.)
- Discovered Maize (Corn)
- Created fire
- Established the maguey culture -- octli brewing and ceremonial drunkenness
- Gave instruction of music and dance
- Cured eye ailments, blindness, coughs, skin afflictions; gave the priests the practice of curandero, the diagnostic casting of lots (a sort of medical divination)
- Helped with fertility problems
- Sired royal lineages
- Established the priesthood -- gave proper instruction of sacrifice and created the Tonalmatal (Book of the Destiny Days)
- Domesticated animals.
Tezcatlipoca: Out of all the gods, is the one that Quetzalcoatl is most intimately associated with. The two gods would forever act out their polarity on the cosmic stage. On the one hand, they work together in creating the Earth and the Heavens; while on the other hand, they are constantly hostile to each other.
One explanation of their enduring conflict is in the nature of their being. As Tezcatlipoca is unpredictable, which is dangerous considering that he did not always have mankind’s best interests at heart. Quetzalcoatl in comparison is humanity's savior. He is not as powerful as his brother, but he need not be. His deeds are what matter. They are in the end more powerful, due to their importance to the people.
The Quetzalcoatl/Tezcatlipoca relationship is very similar to the sibling rivalry associated with the “gods” Enlil and Enki of the Sumerian pantheon.
In summary if all of the world’s most powerful leading deities, including Yahweh, are compared by their symbolism, epithets, attributes, names, works, deeds, legends and myths. The vast majority draw startling parallels straight back to Sumeria and the God Enki/Ea.