The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
Book 2. How Persia Created Judaism
The Glory of God in The East
Yehouah of Hosts?
Yehouah of Hosts” and the “Hosts of Heaven” occur often in the Jewish scriptures. This Yehouah of Hosts is often described as sitting enthroned on the cherubim. The conspicuous object sitting among the host of heaven is the sun, and a reference in the El Amarna tablets is to a “sun of thousands”, a Canaanite expression closely similar to Yehouah of Hosts. Psalms 80 has a refrain repeated three times:
The clergy for whom these books are the word of an invisible and transcendental god, do not read them themselves, or when they do they invite us to believe that all of this imagery is metaphorical! K Vollers in 1900 told us that Yehouah was a sun god, but those with a vested interested in religion, the pious liars, closed ranks against him, and over a century later, few believers have been made any the wiser. No reasonable person can avoid concluding that Yehouah was once the sun, whatever the clergy say He is today. As H-P Stahli has shown, Jewish prayers, as late as the Greek period sometimes explicitly identified Yehouah with Helios, the Greek sun god:
Hail, Helios, thou God in the heavens, your name is Almighty.
Helios on the cherubim.
Yet, in Deuteronomy, worship of the sun is twice specifically forbidden. In Deuteronomy 4:19, the worship of heavenly bodies is expressly forbidden. That it should have to be forbidden so emphatically, however, shows that it was a practice that had been happening. Moreover, the law stated that the host of heaven should not be worshipped by the people addressed, the Jews—they had been provided by God for other nations to worship.
The next passage, Deuteronomy 17:3, is even more emphatic, saying that worshippers of the heavenly bodies must be stoned to death. J Glen Taylor (Yahweh and the Sun, Sheffield, 1993), for whom we are indebted for much of this material, suggests that the real issue in these commandments that seem to have been so flagrantly ignored is iconism—not that Yehouah was not conceived as the sun or the heavenly host but that He could not be depicted as them.
Perhaps so, but more likely might be that these verses have been added to the law at a later date when the evolution of the religion had led it into a belief in an invisible and transcendental god. The fact that Yehouah is now seen as an invisible god, both immanent and transcendental at the same time, does not mean He was always thus, and the bible shows it. Religions are conservative institutions, it is true, but even they evolve, and occasionally undergo revolutions. Sadly, believers cannot accept evolution in religion any more than many of them can accept it in life. They cannot conceive that human beings can add to and delete from, and alter texts, even holy ones, and so they finish believing what is impossible, contrary to the brain that they have in their heads, presumably courtesy of their own god.
If Yehouah was not represented by the Host of Heaven and had no idolatrous or astrological connexions, it is hard to see why much of the paraphernalia of the tabernacle, temple and the priesthood was manifestly astrological, according to reputable commentators such as Josephus and Clement of Alexandria. How is it possible for a Yehouah of the Hosts of Heaven to live in a wooden box in a tent, or even in a temple?
The explanation is that Yehouah was originally worshipped outdoors, beneath the celestial hemisphere, in al fresco churches on hills called “high places”. Even after the temple had been introduced, a controversial act, altars were set up on its roofs, to imitate a “high place”, where hymns and prayers would be sung to the heavens at night and the sun from before dawn to dusk at the several stations it passed through on its journey across the sky.
Yehouah was originally a Canaanite Baal, a storm god, but the Yehouah as we know Him began as Ahuramazda, the Persian High God, who wore the heavens as His “massy cloke” showing that He was mightier than the host of heaven because they were merely His outer appearance. Thus it was that the Persian colonists introduced Him to the Jews as Yehouah of Hosts (Yehouah Sebaoth).
The Persians originally had no idea of worshipping a god of the universe in a confined space, and did it in the open on natural or artificial mounds, but, after about 100 years of empire, the Persian royal family had been civilized by the Babylonians and their habits were asserting themselves. Babylonians worshipped in temples, albeit pyramid shaped ones. These temples also acted as banks and treasuries. The Persians set one up in Jerusalem.
The Persians seemed to rationalize the worship of a cosmic god in a “house” by regarding the house as a stairway or bridge to heaven, as apparently the Babylonians did. Like the Babylonian models, it was built on a series of ascending platforms, with the highest one reserved for God—the Holy of Holies—a sort of gateway to the cosmos. This room had its entrance oriented to the east, so that for a few days twice a year the rising sun would directly illuminate the otherwise dark and windowless room, filling it with the glory of God.
Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east: And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.
The glory of God can only be solar. These occasions were the two equinoxes, when the religious and the civic years began.
In the Holy of Holies, God is conceived of as sitting on the Ark of the Covenant between the cherubim. Cherubim are winged sphinx-like creatures that guarded entrances and thrones. Particularly large examples were found in the ruins of Assyria. In the bible they are identified as having four faces, and these equate with the four constellations at the four zodiacal points—Aquarius, Leo, Taurus, Eagle (Scorpio). Christians will note that these are the four images of the evangelists! Thus, cherubs are celestial objects which, in the scriptural metaphor, God, being the sun, could ride on with the clouds.
He placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way…
Philo Judaeaus certainly knew the author of Genesis was talking about astrological symbols, the flaming sword turning every way being none other than the sun itself that dwelt between the Taurus and the Eagle, the equinoctial zodiacal symbols. The angel of Yehouah also wielded a flaming sword, doubtless identifiable with the sun, and Eden was originally the dawn sky, “eden” meaning “delight”. In between the equinoxes, the sun sank to the level of man, the water carrier, at the winter solstice in capricorn, and rose to the lion, Judah, at the summer solstice in Leo.
When the stargazers of old first collected the pictures they imagined the stars made in the heavens, they seem to have understood the year as beginning at the spring equinox. They associated the rising of the sun in the constellation they saw as Taurus at the spring equinox, and said that was when the year began. The heliacal rising of the sun was seen as the sun killing the bull, as the solar light extinguished the stars of Taurus at dawn.
People were concerned for the fertility of the fields in the coming season, and the scientists of their day, the astronomer-priests, whose job it was to keep the world running smoothly, advised people to kill a bull to promote fertility. This practice must have started around 3000 BC, and became the basis of religious sacrifice for millennia. Many myths grew out of it, but among them was the thought that sun gods must be great cattle herders that they could carry on killing heavenly bulls every year, and so it is that sun gods in myths often keep large herds of cattle.
Of course, the tilt of the earth is not forever in the same direction. It slowly rotates backwards so that it covers a full circuit in about 26,000 years. To the priests for whom the heavenly bodies seemed so orderly compared with the chaos of the earth, it must have come as a shock when they noticed that the spring equinox was no longer in Taurus but was between Taurus and Aries. Perhaps they took no notice, thinking their predecessors were just stretching the truth a little, but before long there was no denying it—the heliacal rising of the sun at the vernal equinox was more in Aries than in Taurus!
Priests and scribes in the top level await the peasants and farmers who bring their produce in gratitude. British Museum, Sumerian inlaid panel dated 2000 BC.
This must have been obvious by about 1500 BC. Doubtless it was impossible to suddenly change the myths by then. Great religions depended on them, and the astronomical meaning of them might never have been known by the ordinary peasant farmers who merely did as the priests instructed, sang hymns to the gods and offered sacrifices to propitiate them—a convenient way for the priests to live without having to plough a field or feed a cow.
Still, the professional astronomer-priests can hardly have failed by now to have noticed that heavenly fact and the myths were out of kilter. The sun god was now killing a ram or a lamb when it rose heliacally at the spring equinox, and they must have had flocks of heavenly sheep. Perhaps they were fearful of what might happen to them if they let on. It was always a dodgy profession when cruel kings had to have bad news. It would have been a big shock to know that the sun god was now merely a shepherd.
Whatever the reason, they were not willing, or it was impossible to change the habits of the past two millennia, and the old myths stuck. The slightest concession might have been that the God of Hosts was indicating that a ram or lamb was now acceptable to people who could not afford an ox. The priests would not have objected to that because it would have brought in more sacrifices to keep them plump.
Now, despite this, it seems that the Persians who founded the Jerusalem temple, and themselves were traditionally cattle herders, decided that the appropriate sacrifice for the people coming to Jerusalem did not have to be a cow. The country was essentially sheep country which was a practical factor, but God had indicated He was quite happy to accept sheep. By the fifth century BC, when the temple was founded, the sun was actually moving out of Aries at the spring equinox towards Pisces. The Jewish celebration called the Passover (Pesach), held at the spring equinox, can only mean it was a celebration of the equinox itself, when the sun “passed over” from the lower celestial hemisphere to the higher one. The prescribed sacrifice was a lamb. The Persians called Aries, not the constellation of the Ram, but the constellation of the Lamb, and the equinoctial sun rising in the Lamb is what the Jews were invited to celebrate.
Orientation of the Jerusalem Temple
What are the paraphernalia of the temple that show it was the centre of an astrological sect? First, its eastward orientation must been related to the sun. East of the Jerusalem temple was the mount of Olives. We know it was oriented towards the mount of Olives because in the Mishnah, the priest sacrificing the red heifer on the mount could look directly into the temple. Not all ANE temples were oriented east but many were not temples of sun gods. The mount of Olives, 3400 feet (a kilometer) away from the temple, blocked the direct view of the eastern horizon because it rose 60 meters (200 feet) above the height of the temple mount. The sun was therefore delayed from actual dawn by the time it shone on the temple, having had to rise 4 degrees above the horizon. It had to rise not above the mount of Olives, the Greek word “Elaion” but above El Elyon, as it is properly, meaning the Most High God. So, the equinctial dawn at the Jerusalem temple was when the sun shone directly into the Holy of Holies from the Most High God!
In the vestibule of the temple was a table with four legs, common in itself, but interpreted to stand for the four quarters of the earth. Upon it were the twelve loaves of the shewbread, supposedly standing for the twelve tribes but, as there were more than twelve, no one knows which twelve they stood for. Josephus, although Jewish, was not so naïve, telling us there was a loaf for each month, and therefore for each constellation traversed by the sun in its annual journey.
The menorah was a golden candlestick, or more likely a lamp stand, with seven lamps, a central one with three on each side. These represented, it is said, the days of the week with the day of creation, Wednesday, in the centre, but it is also as Persian an image as it is possible to get. Ahuramazda is both God and the Holy Spirit, the central lampstand, and the three on each side are the other six major spirits or archangels of the Persian religion. The Persian kings were depicted in an identical way—the king central and three royal princes or advisers on each side.
Ahuramazda means the “Lord of Light” which is why Mazda was adopted as the name of a brand of electric light bulb. The Lord of Light is the sun. The Persians nevertheless considered their god as invisible and impossible to represent, and nor did they. How so?
Ahuramazda was the sun behind the sun, indeed behind the heavens—the sun that made the whole of the celestial host shine. Zoroaster tried to eliminate most of the pantheon of Indo-European gods, but some were too well loved and his reforms did not have enough centuries to get rid of these favourites. Mithras, one of many ancient sun gods, was apparently rejected by Zoroaster but was popular, and soon became identified with the Holy Spirit.
Thus, Mithras survived as the main aspect of Ahuramazda—the face of God, so to speak. He was the sun of justice and of victory over evil, and so governed covenants and battles, and later, in Roman times, became popular with merchants and soldiers. He was the god of the dawn and the morning sun and was worshipped at the solar stations from before dawn up to noon. Mithras was seen as the visible face of God—the sun itself—even though the sun was not Mithras! Since he was also the Holy Spirit, he was the “Angel of the Lord” in scriptural terms.
Now the concept of the High God with six advisers simply comes from the seven recognized planets. The sun was the main one then there was the moon, and the other five that could be observed in those days without telescopes, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus and Mercury. As Clement of Alexandria put it, remarking on the meaning of the menorah, the central sun, illuminated the other planets in “a certain divine harmony”.
R Hayward notes the solar symbolism of the temple of Leontopolis, founded in Egypt by the priest Onias (III or IV), much later than the Jerusalem temple, in the Greek period about 170 BC. Josephus said that this temple, which was closed down by the Romans after the Jewish war in 71 AD, was illuminated by a single lamp, hanging by a chain, that cast a brilliant light. Since Josephus, Philo and the rabbis all agreed that the Menorah stood for the sun and the planets, the single brilliant lamp at Leontopolis must have been the sun alone. The lamp was golden in colour and was described by Josephus in divine language.
The entrance to the Holy of Holies was normally covered by a “veil”. We have become used to thinking of a veil as a gauzy fabric meant to cover the lower part of a woman’s face, but the real point of it is to conceal. The temple veil was a substantial curtain that concealed what was in the Holy of Holies. This curtain was woven with astrological themes in four colours, described as purple, blue, scarlet and linen, presumably the white or pale yellow now called flaxen.
Both Josephus and Clement of Alexandria say the four colours stood for the four elements, which needless to say were venerated by the Persians—water, air, fire and earth respectively. Perhaps this is so, but the four colours are also the colours of the dawn sky, from the deep indigo purple of the disappearing night in the west through the blue of the sky and the fiery red of the sky at the horizon, to the whiteness of the solar disk itself.
The priests of the temple normally wore plain white linen but on ceremonial occasions the High Priest had brilliant robes of the same colours as the veil. He also wore five gems and two carbuncles representing the seven planets once again. The two carbuncles would therefore be the sun and the moon, one would imagine, but Clement says they were Saturn and the moon.
This illustrates a curiosity that stems back to the Semitic sun god, Shemesh, and is an odd piece of evidence for Shemesh being the god of the temple. Saturn is often called Shemesh too! Diodorus Siculus says it is because the Babylonians considered Saturn to be the “Star of the Sun”. The point is that the sun was the king—God—the cosmic king—and Saturn was the earthly king. Both were Melech and both were Shemesh. In astrological terms, the fate of the king was judged by the heavenly fate of Saturn. This oddity also accounts for some of the occasions when Shemesh is visible, in old records, at night!
The High Priest’s robe was also decorated with silver bells alternating with silver pomegranates. There were 366 of each, apparently tying in with the days in a year bar the odd one, but this could be explained if the priests were counting the maximum number of days in a year—on a leap year. The solar year was twelve months of 30 days, with, the Egyptians had decided, five intercalary days given special respect as the birthdates of the five main deities. They were short by a ¼ day, leading to the supposed Sothic cycle of 1460 years. The Persians apparently knew that sometimes an additional day had to be intercalated just as we do and the maximum length of the year was therefore 366 days. The year itself was probably identified with God as the full rotation of the heavens, and the six extra days would have been attributed to the six archangels, or Amesha Spentas, in Persian.
The pomegranates were supposed to represent the stars in the heavens, perhaps because their many seeds would seem uncountable. Josephus however, said the bells were thunder and the pomegranates were lightning. These were considered as celestial phenomena also in those days, and prophecies were issued based on them notably in relation to the phases of the moon.
The High Priest also wore twelve precious stones as the zodiacal signs, Josephus confirms, in four rows for the two equinoxes and the two solstices that divide the solar year into quarters, and we identify now with the seasons, although in those days it is doubtful they recognised autumn (Fall). The year was essentially divided into two—summer and winter—but the emergence of vegetation with the rainy season was recognized as a special time of year, as was the harvest. Two bright emeralds on the priestly ephod were the sun and the moon, but Josephus says that the robe was clasped with two sardonyxes which were the sun and the moon.
Crucifixion in Gibeon
The scriptures provide plenty of evidence that the Israelites were familiar with sun worship, as J Dus showed in 1960.
J L Crenshaw has noted the plain evidence for solar mythology in the story of Samson. Samson is the name of the Semitic sun god, Shemesh. A Mithraic plaque shows a lion with a bee in its mouth, and refers to Leo being the zodiacal sign when honey is best found. Ovid explains the human ritual of tying burning brands to foxes’ tails and releasing them into the fields in the month of Ceres. A boy caught a fox breaking into a hen house, and tied burning brands to it to burn it to death as a punishment, but the fox escaped and burnt the fields. This is simply a cruel but effective way of burning stubble, justified as a punishment for foxes, but fires and burning are typical of solar mythology. When Samson pushed over the pillars in the temple of Dagon, the symbolism is the sun setting in the west beyond the pillars of Hercules. The sun sets beyond the pillars and enters the underworld for a night—it dies. So did Samson.
Beth Shemesh is a place name that appears several times in the Jewish scriptures. It means the House or Temple of Shemesh, the sun god. A notable Beth Shemesh is mentioned in the Egyptian execration texts of about the eighteenth century BC, and so must have been Canaanite. It might have been the Beth Shemesh in the Shephalah, about 15 miles from Jerusalem. Many place names with solar implications in the region suggest it was a centre of a solar cult, but other than the Samson stories, set in the same region, there is no direct evidence. Among the obvious places are En Shemesh, the Eye or Spring of Shemesh, and the waters of En Shemesh, Timneth-heres, a town in the hill country of Ephraim (also Timnath-serah), har-heres or hill of the sun, and, further afield, an ascent of heres in Transjordan (mistranslated as “when the sun comes up”).
An unusual Hebrew verb is used only in Numbers 25:4 and in 2 Samuel 21:6. In the Septuagint, the 2 Samuel passage is translated with a word derived from the Greek word “helios”, meaning the sun. In the Numbers passage it is mentioned in the context of the sun.
Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto Yehouah in Gibeah of Saul, whom Yehouah did choose.
The people making the request to David were the Gibeonites whom the scriptures are anxious to discount as Israelites. The Gibeonites are called sojourners, “gerim”, or foreigners, “nokrim”. They turn out to be sun worshippers. Are these sun worshippers native Persians? Gibeon is associated with the sun in the famous passage in Joshua when the sun stood still:
Then spake Joshua to Yehouah in the day when Yehouah delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel:
The poetic couplet (12b-13a) is widely accepted as being from a different context. Joshua addresses Yehouah but appeals to the sun and the moon—to Shemesh and Yareah! Apologists say that Yehouah commands the sun and the moon, but in the text it is unquestionably Joshua. As if to confirm it, the text adds that Yehouah listened “to the voice of a man”. The interpretation says the listening and fighting were done by Yehouah, and only the sun responded but the couplet says it was the sun and the moon. It suggests that Shemesh was understood as Yehouah, and perhaps Yareah too, since Yehouah was of Hosts—until the redactors got to work!
Job swears that he has never been seduced into betraying God on high by admiring the sun or the moon.
If I beheld the sun when it shined, or the moon walking in brightness; And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand: This also were an iniquity to be punished by the judge: for I should have denied the God that is above.
All very well, but Job admits to us that it was done. The gesture of apparently blowing a kiss to the celestial object seems to have been captured on some pictures, notably some graffiti from Kuntillet Ajrud. The passage shows that the author knew there was a distinction between the celestial bodies and Yehouah but other people did not appreciate it. They therefore saw God as the host of heaven.
Saul had attempted genocide on the Gibeonites and they sought revenge on his sons, for which David gave his permission. The vengeance, rarely observed upon by Christians, is that the seven sons of Saul were crucified at the start of the barley harvest, otherwise known as Passover!
And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before Yehouah: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.
The word for “hanging” is “hoqia”, the extremely rare verb associated with the sun! It is better translated as crucify! The seven victims were left exposed on a hill until it rained—implying the whole summer. The ritual started at the vernal equinox was completed at the autumnal equinox.
In Numbers, the same word appears in the same ritual used as a punishment for the apostate Israelite leaders that have “yoked themselves” to the Baal of Peor:
And Yehouah said to Moses, Take all the leaders of the people and hang them up to Yehouah before the sun, that the fierce anger of Yehouah may be turned away from Israel.
So, here the victims are explicitly crucified “before the sun”, whereas in the 2 Samuel passage they are crucified before Yehouah in “Gibeah of Saul”. The passage in Joshua places the “sun… in Gibeon”.
The seven sons were hanged on a hill before Yehouah. A hill or mountain associated with the sun is the mysterious Har Heres (Mountain of the Sun), said to be in Aijalon (Jg 1:35) where the moon goddess was too, and Gibeah also means a hill, a suitable place for solar or astral worship. Gibeon is a place name, now called El-jib, about five miles northwest of Jerusalem. It is low, elliptical hill standing alone in a high, fertile plain.
The suffix “-on” is said by Hebrew specialists to be a diminutive, so Gibeon would be “Little Hill”, but this looks more like a deliberate attempt to distract attention from the fact that “On” means the “City of the Sun”, a name given to centres of sun worship, the best known of which was Heliopolis in Egypt. Moreover, the Hebrew word meaning “strength” or specifically “virility” is represented by these consonants, an unsurprising connexion with solar fertility cults. So, these Gibeonites were members of a solar cult, indeed the solar cult from whom Solomon had instructions on how to worship the sun!
In Gibeon, Yehouah appeared to Solomon in a dream by night: and God said, Ask what I shall give thee.
Gibeon was the origin of the cult of the solar temple of Solomon. It was the most important “bamah” or high place of Israel:
And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that was the great high place: a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.
The objective historian might think this was a good reason to look into it, but Gibeon is utterly neglected both by the authors of the Jewish scriptures and by modern scholars. Their motives are the same. They do not want to know! Indeed the authors of the scriptures seem to have been deliberately underplaying the role of Gibeon in times before the temple in Jerusalem became their central place of worship. The Jerusalem cult leaders were re-writing history.
So Solomon, and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of Yehouah had made in the wilderness.
The tabernacle was a tent, and, in this context, one used for worshipping a god peripatetically. The portable tent of meeting instituted by Moses in the wilderness was kept here at Gibeon but apparently not the Ark of the Covenant! In Amos, we read:
Ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.
The prophet condemns the people to exile for their apostasy in the myth, but in reality the people were not, or were only apostatizing in retrospect. It was the Persians who told them they had been wicked to keep them obedient. They were simply following the habits of their own Canaanite culture. Plainly it involved portable temples in tents for the worship of Moloch and Chiun.
Moloch has been described as having the head of a bull, and a body containing seven burning lamps. Chiun is the Assyrian god, Kewan, identified with Saturn. Diodorus decribed an idol of the national god, “Cronos”, at Carthage used for the immolation of the infant sacrifices whose ashes were venerated in the Tophet. Since Carthage is a Phœnician colony, this Cronos seems the same god as Moloch. The Romans thought Cronos was Saturn, and, if this was Baal Hammon of Carthage, who was represented as an old man with ram’s horns and a scythe, he looks more like Chronos, Old Father Time! The Greeks themselves mixed up Kronos and Xronos, suggesting that they are merely variant spellings of the same god—the Persian Zurvan, Time!
The word, “Moloch”, looks like a variant of Melek, meaning “king”, a title of the sun god—suns measure time, too. It might well be a deliberate alteration because the authors of the scriptures were fond of changing names that they considered shameful, like theophoric names in Baal which were changed to Bosheth, meaning “shame”. Moreover, the sacrifice of victims by burning is a practice commonly linked with sun gods, whose legends usually have pyres and fires in them, the sun god himself in his human guise often being incinerated, like Hercules. It does not seem unlikely that Moloch is Melkart, the god of the city of Tyre, whom the Romans saw as being Hercules, so presumably was a sun god, and the Carthaginians retained the Tophet long after the Persians had stopped the practice of immolating children in Phœnicia. Finally, we saw above that Saturn was the star of the sun god, just as Amos says.
The prophet issues his warnings that Yehouah will make the day into “darkness, and not light, even very dark, and no brightness in it”. This is a threat from a sun god. He adds,
Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them…
and no Jew or Christian ever stops to consider whether these burnt offerings might be the infants offered to Moloch for the Tophet. The Persians might have stopped the practice of burning children, but they themselves boiled their animal sacrifices, and roasting instead of boiling (1 Sam 2:13-15) was a serious crime for Eli’s sons! The implication is that seething was the right practice, not burning. Burnt offerings cannot have been boiled, and either the reference is pre-Persian or it was a reversion to older practice after the Persian empire fell. It could therefore refer to burning children, as Canaanites did!
The replacement god, Yehouah, was modelled on Ahuramazda as Amos describes:
Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth…
This is a sun god all right but one who has power over the host of heaven—Ahuramazda, alias Yehouah. The regularity and normal predictability of the host of heaven, once astronomy had made sufficient observations, led them to be seen as archetypes of universal harmony—in Persian, “Arta” or “Asha”—order. This order was the ultimate divine sign. God was harmony, and extraordinary events which broke the harmony were seen as omens, whence the growth of astrology and horoscopy. Whether the Persians perfected the idea or whether they just happened to be world rulers when the Babylonian Magi perfected it, horoscopes are first noted in the Persian period. These arts were being introduced at the same time as the Jerusalem temple was being dedicated by Ezra, the Persian minister.
The Gemara says that the entrance to the tabernacle was oriented east to catch the rising sun. This was a practice of the Persians on the march. Each tent in their camps was oriented towards the east to recieve the blessed light os Mithras as soon as it was dawn.
In front of the tabernacle was a bronze altar made by “Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur”. Each of these three names is concerned with light. Bezaleel means “the shadow of God”, Uri means “my light” or “my fire” and Hur means “light”, “fire” or “sun”. Biblicists simply write these details off as fictitious, showing they have no respect for God’s word when it suits them to ignore it.
To digress briefly, the use of names like these in the bible are evidence of the solar nature of the Jewish religion at origin. Theophoric names incorporating the name of the Jewish god are not common but are there. Uriah and Uriyahu mean Yehouah is my light, my fire or my sun. Ner and Neriyahu mean respectively lamp or light and Yehouah is my light or my lamp. Yehozarah means Yehouah shines forth, dawns or has risen. Yizraiah means the same in the future tense. Sheraiah means Yehouah is dawn and Samson means the same as Shemesh, as does Shimsai, the name of the scribe who with Rehum wrote a letter to the Persian chancellery about the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem (Ezra 4;8ff).
The temple of Solomon had a bronze altar immediately before the entrance to its inner building, matching the arrangement at Gibeon. Ezekiel 8:16 describes the sun worshippers in the temple standing outside this entrance and facing the sun in the east because they were worshipping it across the altar of bronze. A bronze altar, if highly polished, could itself be considered a solar symbol, being a dark but reflective yellow, and since the worshippers were required to face the temple, not face away from it, they would have seen the sun reflected on the front of the altar, giving the illusion that it shone from within the temple itself. In Mishnah Sukkoth 4:5, the altar itself was praised! Rabbi Eleazar even used the expression, “praise to Yehouah and to you, O Altar”. In the ceremony, a reading from Psalms 118:26-27 was also given, mentioning the altar.
The Chronicler justifies David building an altar at the threshing floor of Ornan (DH, Araunah), even though there was the traditional one at Gibeon. He is building an altar to replace the one at Gibeon, because David was utterly petrified about going there for fear of the sword of the angel of the Lord. This latter expression is Persian, and the implication seems to be here that the Persian colonists had decided to abandon the old bamahs and build a temple, though both were intended for the worship of sun gods. No mention is made of Gibeon in the Historian’s account (2 Sam 24:18-24).
Note how the owner of the threshing floor has his name spelled quite differently by the two authors. Yet Hebrew experts will quibble about spellings and meanings as if the Hebrews had an academy to define the language precisely. Their expertise matches their god—invisible. Plainly, “Or” equals “Arau” although it ought to have been “Aura”, and the ending seems likely to be “nnh” pertaining to “shining”. It is curiously reminiscent of Ahuramazda, the name of the Zoroastrian god, meaning “Shining Lord”.
The account of Solomon’s orders in his prayer dedicating the temple (1 Kgs 8:22-53) shows the nature of the new cult.
And Solomon stood before the altar of Yehouah, across from the assembly of Israel, and spread his hands toward the heavens; and said, Yehouah, God of Israel, there is no God like You in the heavens above or on the earth beneath…
Your eyes are open toward this house night and day, toward the place of which You have said, My name shall be there; to listen to the prayer which Your servant prays toward this place. And You shall listen to the supplication of Your servant, and of Your people Israel when they shall pray toward this place; yea, You shall listen in Your dwelling-place, in Heaven; and You shall hear and shall forgive.
Dus took it that scholars unequivocally accepted that the temple of Solomon was a sun temple. The scriptures themselves are clear that it only ceased to be in the reign of Josiah who removed the horses and chariots dedicated to the sun. Whenever this happened, it was not in the reign of Josiah (639-609 BC) but was much later. Josiah has been mythologised to push back in time the transcendence of Yehouah. The more fitting time for it to have happened is in the time of the Maccabees, 500 years later than Josiah!
In 1 Kings 8:22-53, Yehouah was originally equated with Shemesh. Solomon looks towards the sky to see his god whom no other god is like. “My name” in the second excerpt is simply an abbreviation of the name of the sun god, Shemesh. It is a crude alteration of the promise of the sun god to be there in the temple and listen to prayers from His “dwelling-place, in Heaven”. A similar trick has been played with “Your name” in later verses. Thus we find this absurd construction in the literal translation:
…the house which I have built for Your name…
Originally it read “Shemesh” not “Your name”. In the translations of the scriptures that everyone uses as their bible, “Shemesh” is dishonestly translated as “sun” when it is the name of the sun god. The proper name is contrived by the editors to look like a common noun simply by adding the definite article, though they missed it in a few places. The physical sun and its heat is “chammah”, and is always translated properly except in one place where it is translated as light! It is probably the villain, Haman—of the Purim legend called Esther—who ended up crucified.
Having completed the temple, Solomon was visited a second time by a grateful Yehouah “as He had appeared to him at Gibeon”. So there is no doubting the association of Yehouah with the solar cultists.
Possibly the line of Zadokite priests were the solar priesthood, the founder of the line Zadok being born at Gibeon, according to the Chronicler. Again the Deuteronomistic Historian seems to have suppressed the connexions. In the myth, Zadok is a descendent of the original Israelite priest Aaron, the brother of Moses. The Persians set up the Jewish temple state. The Persian high god was Ahura Mazda. The two brothers who founded Judaism were Aaron (Ahrwn) and Moses (Mesha). Just a silly coincidence?
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