Monthly Archives: January 2017

Aliearia’s home church, Columbia, South Carolina

Billie H. Gardner
(1932 – 2014)

Billie Hill Gardner WEST COLUMBIA – Billie H. Gardner, 82, wife of the late Leland Herbert Gardner, Jr. passed away on Monday March 3, 2014 at Twilight Manor in West Columbia. She was born January 6, 1932 in Greensea and was the daughter of the late A.B. Hill, Sr. and Essie Hill. She was a loving wife and mother and a member of Ebenezer Lutheran Church of Columbia. Billie is survived by her sons, Charles M. Gardner, Sr. (Margie) of Swansea and Melvyn D. Gardner (Linda) of Albemarle, NC; a brother, A.B. Hill, Jr. of Camden; her beloved sister-in-law, Doris Hill; five grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren. A funeral service will be held at Caughman-Harman Funeral Home, West Columbia Chapel at 3:00 p.m. Thursday March 6, 2014 with interment in Southland Memorial Gardens. Following the service, family and friends are invited to gather for a celebration of her life, love and deep faith during her time with us. Memorials may be given to Cancer and or Alzheimer’s Research. Caughman-Harman Funeral Home West Columbia Chapel is assisting the family with arrangements. 

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STONES, PYRAMIDS & CEDAR BOATS (1 KINGS 6 & 7)

1 KINGS 6:

And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the Lord.

And the house which king Solomon built for the Lord, the length thereof was threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits, and the height thereof thirty cubits.

And the porch before the temple of the house, twenty cubits was the length thereof, according to the breadth of the house; and ten cubits was the breadth thereof before the house.

And for the house he made windows of narrow lights.

And against the wall of the house he built chambers round about, against the walls of the house round about, both of the temple and of the oracle: and he made chambers round about:

The nethermost chamber was five cubits broad, and the middle was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad: for without in the wall of the house he made narrowed rests round about, that the beams should not be fastened in the walls of the house.

And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.

The door for the middle chamber was in the right side of the house: and they went up with winding stairs into the middle chamber, and out of the middle into the third.

So he built the house, and finished it; and covered the house with beams and boards of cedar.

10 And then he built chambers against all the house, five cubits high: and they rested on the house with timber of cedar.

11 And the word of the Lord came to Solomon, saying,

12 Concerning this house which thou art in building, if thou wilt walk in my statutes, and execute my judgments, and keep all my commandments to walk in them; then will I perform my word with thee, which I spake unto David thy father:

13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will not forsake my people Israel.

14 So Solomon built the house, and finished it.

15 And he built the walls of the house within with boards of cedar, both the floor of the house, and the walls of the ceiling: and he covered them on the inside with wood, and covered the floor of the house with planks of fir.

16 And he built twenty cubits on the sides of the house, both the floor and the walls with boards of cedar: he even built them for it within, even for the oracle, even for the most holy place.

17 And the house, that is, the temple before it, was forty cubits long.

18 And the cedar of the house within was carved with knops and open flowers: all was cedar; there was no stone seen.

19 And the oracle he prepared in the house within, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord.

20 And the oracle in the forepart was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in the height thereof: and he overlaid it with pure gold; and so covered the altar which was of cedar.

21 So Solomon overlaid the house within with pure gold: and he made a partition by the chains of gold before the oracle; and he overlaid it with gold.

22 And the whole house he overlaid with gold, until he had finished all the house: also the whole altar that was by the oracle he overlaid with gold.

23 And within the oracle he made two cherubims of olive tree, each ten cubits high.

24 And five cubits was the one wing of the cherub, and five cubits the other wing of the cherub: from the uttermost part of the one wing unto the uttermost part of the other were ten cubits.

25 And the other cherub was ten cubits: both the cherubims were of one measure and one size.

26 The height of the one cherub was ten cubits, and so was it of the other cherub.

27 And he set the cherubims within the inner house: and they stretched forth the wings of the cherubims, so that the wing of the one touched the one wall, and the wing of the other cherub touched the other wall; and their wings touched one another in the midst of the house.

28 And he overlaid the cherubims with gold.

29 And he carved all the walls of the house round about with carved figures of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, within and without.

30 And the floors of the house he overlaid with gold, within and without.

31 And for the entering of the oracle he made doors of olive tree: the lintel and side posts were a fifth part of the wall.

32 The two doors also were of olive tree; and he carved upon them carvings of cherubims and palm trees and open flowers, and overlaid them with gold, and spread gold upon the cherubims, and upon the palm trees.

33 So also made he for the door of the temple posts of olive tree, a fourth part of the wall.

34 And the two doors were of fir tree: the two leaves of the one door were folding, and the two leaves of the other door were folding.

35 And he carved thereon cherubims and palm trees and open flowers: and covered them with gold fitted upon the carved work.

36 And he built the inner court with three rows of hewed stone, and a row of cedar beams.

37 In the fourth year was the foundation of the house of the Lord laid, in the month Zif:

38 And in the eleventh year, in the month Bul, which is the eighth month, was the house finished throughout all the parts thereof, and according to all the fashion of it. So was he seven years in building it.

Great Pyramids boat

 Egypt’s Great Pyramids contain many mysteries, but also a surprising sign of cooperation and friendship between Egyptians and Phoenicians which lasted 3000 years. Buried beside the Great Pyramid of Khufu, who was also known as Cheops, were two cedar boats for the king’s use in the afterlife. Oddly enough, the two boats were stored as large piles of boards, each plank carefully marked with images showing how they were to be assembled. When archaeologists put the boards together according to those rustic instructions… voila!…they had a boat.

This desire by Egyptians to have and use Phoenician cedar was driven by a simple fact: Egypt was almost entirely devoid of wood suitable for construction. The palm trees which lined the Nile had soft, pithy interiors which were of no use in constructing boats or raising large buildings. The best they could do was to harvest small acacia trees, which produced boards only three feet (one meter) in length. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus described how the Egyptians were forced to deal with this difficult situation.

Their cargo boats are made out of the wood of the acacia, which is very similar in appearance to Cyrenean lotus and weeps gum. The way they make these boats is to cut planks of this acacia wood, each about two cubits (a cubit being roughly a half-meter) long, and put them together like bricks. They use long, thick pins to fix these two-cubit planks together….

Herodotus 2:96       

The favored alternative by the Egyptians was to acquire long boads and logs of cedar from the Phoenicians for use in large projects like the Pyramid boats. How large could these pieces of cedar be?  When the Egyptian temple at Hierakonpolis was unearthed by archaeologist Michael Hoffman, it was reliably dated to 3200 BC….and was shown to have used four massive Cedar of Lebanon pillars which were about three feet (one meter) in diameter and forty feet (thirteen meters) in length. From that time forward, cedar was used to line the burial chambers of kings and queens, and its oil was used in embalming their bodies. Cedar was also used — when it could be obtained in large enough quantities — for massive buildings and the making of boats, such as these pyramid boats built for Khufu’s burial in 2566 BC.

Great Pyramids

Great Pyramids

Great Pyramids

To give you some idea of how well-established this relationship was between Egyptians and Phoenicians, in 1075 BC a priest from Egypt came to Byblos to obtain another cedar boat for his temple. This man, Wenamun, cited all those who had come before him with the same request, and eventually paid a sufficient price to get his ceremonial boat. Just like the boat for Khufu which had been built 1500 years earlier, the Phoenicians cut and shaped the cedar wood for this boat, then shipped it in pieces to Egypt, to be assembled at Wenamun’s temple. 

These are only a few of the stories in this long and eventful relationship between Egypt and Phoenicia, which are fully explored in Phoenician Secrets: Exploring the Ancient Mediterranean. Even years later — in 360 BC — when King Tachos of Egypt rose in an ill-fated  revolt against Persian domination, he was given shelter by the Phoenician King of Sidon. We discover a whole new dimension to Egyptian history from the vantage point of their trade and relationship with the Phoenician people.

Egypt and the Phoenicians

GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

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Last Judgment

“Judgment Day” redirects here. For other uses, see Last Judgment (disambiguation) and Judgment Day (disambiguation).

Stefan LochnerLast Judgment, c. 1435. Wallraf-Richartz Museum, Cologne

The Last JudgmentFinal JudgmentDay of JudgmentJudgment DayDoomsday, or The Day of the Lord (Hebrew Yohm Ha Din) or in Arabic Yawm al-Qiyāmah (یوم القيامة) or Yawm ad-Din (یوم الدین) is part of the eschatological world view of the Abrahamic religions and in the Frashokereti of Zoroastrianism.

In Christian belief, it is the final and eternal judgment by God of the people in every nation[1] resulting in the glorification of some and the punishment of others. The concept is found in all the Canonical gospels, particularly the Gospel of MatthewChristian Futurists believe it will take place after the Resurrection of the Dead and the Second Coming of Christ while Full Preterists believe it has already occurred. The Last Judgment has inspired numerous artistic depictions.

ChristianityEdit

Biblical sourcesEdit

Hans Memling‘s Last Judgement, 1467–1471. National Museum, Gdańsk.

The doctrine and iconographic depiction of the “Last Judgment” are drawn from many passages from the apocalyptic sections of the Bible, but most notably from Jesus’ teaching of the strait gate in the Gospel of Matthew and also found in the Gospel of Luke:

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so, every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me: Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:13–23)

Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them, Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are: Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets. But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity. There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out. (Luke 13:23–28)

It also appears in the Sheep and the Goats section of Matthew where the judgment seems entirely based on help given or refused to “one of the least of these my brethren”[2] who are identified in Matthew 12 as “whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven”.[3]

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ (Matthew 25:31–36),

And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ (Matthew 25:40–43)

Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matthew 25:45–46)

The doctrine is further supported by passages in the Books of DanielIsaiah and the Revelation:

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. From his presence earth and sky fled away, and no place was found for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is the book of life. And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done. (Rev 20:11–12)

Even now the axe is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “I baptize you with water for repentance, but one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing-floor and will gather his wheat into the granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” (Matthew 3:10–12)

Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen! (Matthew 13:40–43)

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that can do nothing more. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! (Luke 12:4–5)

I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! (Luke 12:49)

AmillennialismEdit

Main article: Amillennialism

Amillennialism is the view held by Christian denominations such as the AnglicanCatholicEastern OrthodoxLutheranMethodist and Presbyterian/Reformed Churches.[4][5] It holds that “the kingdom of God is present in the church age”,[6] and that the millennium mentioned in the book of Book of Revelation is a “symbol of the saints reigning with Christ forever in victory.”[7]

Anglicanism and MethodismEdit

 

The Last Judgment by John Martin (1854)

Article IV – Of the Resurrection of Christ in Anglicanism’s Articles of Religion and Article III – Of the Resurrection of Christ of Methodism’s Articles of Religion state that:[8][9]

Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again his body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of Man’s nature; wherewith he ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until he return to judge all Men at the last day.[8][9]

As such, Anglican and Methodist theology holds that “there is an intermediate state between death and the resurrection of the dead, in which the soul does not sleep in unconsciousness, but exists in happiness or misery till the resurrection, when it shall be reunited to the body and receive its final reward.”[10][11] This space, termed Hades, is divided into Paradise (the Bosom of Abraham) and Gehenna “but with an impassable gulf between the two”.[12][13] Souls remain in Hades until the Last Judgment and “Christians may also improve in holiness after death during the middle state before the final judgment”.[14][15]Anglican and Methodist theology holds that at the time of the Last Day, “Jesus will return and that He will ‘judge both the quick and the dead’,”[16][17] and “all [will] be bodily resurrected and stand before Christ as our Judge. After the Judgment, the Righteous will go to their eternal reward in Heaven and the Accursed will depart to Hell (see Matthew 25).”[18] The “issue of this judgment shall be a permanent separation of the evil and the good, the righteous and the wicked” (see The Sheep and the Goats).[19][20] Moreover, in “the final judgment every one of our thoughts, words, and deeds will be known and judged” and individuals will be justified on the basis of their faith in Jesus, although “our works will not escape God’s examination.”[17][21]

CatholicismEdit

Belief in the Last Judgment (often linked with the General judgment) is held firmly in Catholicism. Immediately upon death each soul undergoes the particular judgment, and depending upon the state of the person’s soul, goes to HeavenPurgatory, or Hell. A soul in Purgatory will always reach Heaven, but those in Hell will be there eternally.

The Last Judgment will occur after the resurrection of the dead and the reuniting of a person’s soul with own physical body.[22] The Catholic Church teaches that at the time of the Last Judgment Christ will come in His glory, and all the angels with him, and in his presence the truth of each man’s relationship with God will be laid bare, and each person who has ever lived will be judged with perfect justice with those believing in Christ (and the unknown number of the righteous ignorant of Christ’s teaching, but who are mysteriously saved through by Christ’s atonement), going to everlasting bliss, and those who reject Christ going to everlasting condemnation. At that time, those already in Heaven will remain in Heaven; those already in Hell will remain in Hell; and those in purgatory will be released into Heaven. Following the Last Judgment, the bliss of Heaven and the pains of Hell will be perfected in that those present will also be capable of physical bliss/pain. After the Last Judgment the Universe itself will be renewed with a new Heaven and a new earth in the World to Come. The Eastern Orthodox and Catholic teachings on the Last Judgment differ only the exact nature of the in-between state of purgatory/Abraham’s Bosom. These differences may only be apparent and not actual due to differing theological terminology and tradition (see Eastern Orthodox).

Eastern OrthodoxyEdit

 

The Last Judgment, 17th-century icon from Lipie. Historic Museum in SanokPoland.

 

The Last Judgment, mural from Voroneţ MonasteryRomania

The Eastern Orthodox Church teaches that there are two judgments: the first, or “Particular” Judgment, is that experienced by each individual at the time of his or her death, at which time God will decide where[23] the soul is to spend the time until the Second Coming of Christ (see Hades in Christianity). This judgment is generally believed to occur on the fortieth day after death. The second, “General” or “Final” Judgment will occur after the Second Coming. Although in modern times some have attempted to introduce the concept of soul sleep into Orthodox thought about life after death, it has never been a part of traditional Orthodox teaching, and it even contradicts the Orthodox understanding of the intercession of the Saints.

Eastern Orthodoxy teaches that salvation is bestowed by God as a free gift of Divine grace, which cannot be earned, and by which forgiveness of sins is available to all. However, the deeds done by each person are believed to affect how he will be judged, following the Parable of the Sheep and the Goats. How forgiveness is to be balanced against behavior is not well-defined in scripture, judgment in the matter being solely Christ’s. Similarly, although Orthodoxy teaches that salvation is obtained only through Christ and his Church, the fate of those outside the Church at the Last Judgment is left to the mercy of God and is not declared.

 

The Last Judgment, 1904

IconographyEdit

The theme of the Last Judgment is extremely important in Orthodoxy. Traditionally, an Orthodox church will have a fresco or mosaic of the Last Judgment on the back (western) wall (see the 12th-century mosaic pictured at the top of this page) so that the faithful, as they leave the services, are reminded that they will be judged by what they do during this earthly life.

The icon of the Last Judgment traditionally depicts Christ Pantokrator, enthroned in glory on a white throne, surrounded by the Theotokos (Virgin Mary), John the BaptistApostlessaints and angels. Beneath the throne the scene is divided in half with the “mansions of the righteous” (John 14:2), i.e., those who have been saved to Jesus’ right (the viewer’s left); and the torments of those who have been damned to his left. Separating the two is the River of fire which proceeds from Jesus’ left foot. For more detail, see below.

HymnographyEdit

The theme of the Last Judgment is found in the funeral and memorial hymnody of the Church, and is a major theme in the services during Great Lent. The second Sunday before the beginning of Great Lent is dedicated to the Last Judgment. It is also found in the hymns of the Octoechos used on Saturdays throughout the year.

LutheranismEdit

Lutherans do not believe in any sort of earthly millennial kingdom of Christ either before or after his second coming on the last day.[24] On the last day,[25] all the dead will be resurrected.[26] Their souls will then be reunited with the same bodies they had before dying.[27]The bodies will then be changed, those of the wicked to a state of everlasting shame and torment,[28] those of the righteous to an everlasting state of celestial glory.[29] After the resurrection of all the dead,[30] and the change of those still living,[31] all nations shall be gathered before Christ,[32] and he will separate the righteous from the wicked.[33] Christ will publicly judge[34]all people by the testimony of their faith— [35] the good works[36] of the righteous in evidence of their faith,[37] and the evil works of the wicked in evidence of their unbelief.[38] He will judge in righteousness[39] in the presence of all and men and angels,[40] and his final judgement will be just damnation to everlasting punishment for the wicked and a gracious gift of life everlasting to the righteous.[41]

MillennialismEdit

Main article: Millennialism

 

William Blake‘s The Day of Judgment printed in 1808 to illustrate the Robert Blair‘s poem “The Grave

Particularly among those Protestant groups who adhere to a millennialist eschatology, the Last Judgment is said to be carried out before the Great White Throne by Jesus Christ to either eternal life or eternal consciousness in the lake of fire at the end of time. Salvation is granted by grace based on the individual’s surrender and commitment to Jesus Christ. A second particular judgment they refer to as the Bema Seat judgement occurs after (or as) salvation is discerned when awards are granted based on works toward heavenly treasures.[42] What happens after death and before the final judgment is hotly contested; some believe all people sleep in Sheol until the resurrection, others believe Christians dwell in Heaven and pagans wander the earth, and others consider the time to pass instantaneously. Nevertheless, the body is not fully redeemed until after Death is destroyed after the Great Tribulation.

Protestant Millennialism falls into roughly two categories: Premillennialist (Christ’s second coming precedes the millennium) and Postmillennialist (which sees Christ’s second coming as occurring after the millennium).

Dispensational premillennialism generally holds that Israel and the Church are separate. It also widely holds to the pretribulational return of Christ, which believes that Jesus will return before a seven-year Tribulation followed by an additional return of Christ with his saints.

Esoteric Christian traditionEdit

See also: Second Coming § Esoteric Christian teachings, and Esoteric Christianity

 

The Last Judgment by Michelangelo

Although the Last Judgment is preached by a great part of Christian mainstream churches; the Esoteric Christian traditions like the Essenes and Rosicrucians, the Spiritualist movementChristian Science, and some liberal theologies reject the traditional conception of the Last Judgment, as inconsistent with an all-just and loving God, in favor of some form of universalsalvation.

Max Heindel taught that when the Day of Christ comes, marking the end of the current fifth or Aryan epoch, the human race will have to pass a final examination or last judgment, where, as in the Days of Noah,[43] the chosen ones or pioneers, the sheep, will be separated from the goats or stragglers,[44] by being carried forward into the next evolutionary period, inheriting the ethereal conditions of the New Galilee in the making. Nevertheless, it is emphasized that all beings of the human evolution will ultimately be saved in a distant future as they acquire a superior grade of consciousness and altruism. At the present period, the process of human evolution is conducted by means of successive rebirths in the physical world[45] and the salvation is seen as being mentioned in Revelation 3:12 (KJV), which states “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God and he shall go no more out“. However, this western esoteric tradition states—like those who have had a near-death experience—that after the death of the physical body, at the end of each physical lifetime and after the life review period (which occurs before the silver cord is broken), it occurs a judgment, more akin to a Final Review or End Report over one’s life, where the life of the subject is fully evaluated and scrutinized.[46] This judgment is seen as being mentioned in Hebrews 9:27, which states that “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment“.

Artistic representationsEdit

Main article: Doom (painting)

 

The Last Judgment mosaic (14th-century), Saint Vitus Cathedral, Prague, Czech Republic

 

St. Michael weighing souls (15th century), Pembroke College, Cambridge

In art, the Last Judgment is a common theme in medieval and renaissance religious iconography. Like most early iconographic innovations, its origins stem from Byzantine art, although it was a much less common subject than in the West during the Middle Ages.[47] In Western Christianity, it is often the subject depicted in medieval cathedrals and churches, either outside on the central tympanum of the entrance, or inside on the (rear) west wall, so that the congregation attending church saw the image on either entering of leaving. In the 15th century it also appeared as the central section of a triptych on altarpieces, with the side panels showing heaven and hell, as in the Beaune Altarpiece or a triptych by Hans Memling. The usual composition has Christ seated high in the centre, flanked by angels and the Virgin Mary and John the Evangelist who are supplicating on behalf of the souls being judged (in what is called a Deesis group in Orthodoxy). Saint Michael is often shown, either weighing souls on scales or directing matters, and there might be a large crowd of saints, angels, and the saved around the central group.

At the bottom of the composition a crowd of souls are shown, often with some rising from their graves. These are being sorted and directed by angels into the saved and the damned. Almost always the saved are on the viewer’s left (so on the right hand of Christ), and the damned on the right. The saved are led up to heaven, often shown as a fortified gateway, while the damned are handed over to devils who herd them down into hell on the right; the composition therefore has a circular pattern of movement. Often the damned disappear into a Hellmouth, the mouth of a huge monster, an image of Anglo-Saxon origin. The damned often include figures of high rank, wearing crowns, mitres and often the Papal tiara during the lengthy periods when there were antipopes, or in Protestant depictions. There may be detailed depictions of the torments of the damned.

The most famous Renaissance depiction is Michelangelo Buonarroti‘s The Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Included in this fresco is his self-portrait, as St. Bartholomew‘s flayed skin.[48]

The image in Eastern Orthodox icons has a similar composition, but usually less space is devoted to Hell, and there are often a larger number of scenes; the Orthodox readiness to label figures with inscriptions often allows more complex compositions. There is more often a large group of saints around Christ (which may include animals), and the hetoimasia or “empty throne”, containing a cross, is usually shown below Christ, often guarded by archangels; figures representing Adam and Eve may kneel below it or below Christ. A distinctive feature of the Orthodox composition, especially in Russian icons, is a large band leading like a chute from the feet of Christ down to Hell; this may resemble a striped snake or be a “river of Fire” coloured flame red. If it is shown as a snake, it attempts to bite Adam on the heel, but as he is protected by Christ is unsuccessful.

IslamEdit

Main article: Islamic view of the Last Judgment

According to Islamic mythologyYawm al-Qiyāmah (Arabicيوم القيامة‎‎ “the Day of Resurrection”) or Yawm ad-Din (Arabicيوم الدين‎‎ “the Day of Judgment”) is believed to be God’s (Allāh) final assessment of humanity. The sequence of events (according to the most commonly held belief) is the annihilation of all creatures, resurrection of the body, and the judgment of all sentient creatures. It is a time where everyone would be shown his or her deeds and actions with justice.

The exact time when these events will occur is unknown, however there are said to be major[49] and minor signs[50]which are to occur near the time of Qiyammah (End time). It is believed that prior to the time of Qiyammah, two dangerous, evil tribes called Yajooj and Majooj are released from a dam-resembling wall that Allah makes stronger everyday. Many verses of the Qu’ran, especially the earlier ones, are dominated by the idea of the nearing of the day of resurrection.[51][52]

Belief in Judgment Day is considered a fundamental tenet of faith by all Muslims. It is one of the six articles of faith. The trials and tribulations associated with it are detailed in both the Koran and the hadith, sayings of the Prophet Muhammad. Hence they were added in the commentaries of the Islamic expositors and scholarly authorities such as al-GhazaliIbn KathirIbn MajahMuhammad al-Bukhari, and Ibn Khuzaimah who explain them in detail. Every human, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, is believed to be held accountable for their deeds and are believed to be judged by God accordingly.

JudaismEdit

Main article: Jewish eschatology

In Judaism, beliefs vary about a last day of judgment for all mankind. Some rabbis hold that there will be such a day following the resurrection of the dead. Others hold that this accounting and judgment happens when one dies. Still others hold that the last judgment only applies to the gentiles (goyim) and not the Jewish people.[53]

Bahai FaithEdit

The Bab and Baha’u’llah taught that there is one unfolding religion of one God and that once in about every 1000 years a new Prophet, Messenger, or as Bahais call them, Manifestation of God, comes to mankind to renew the Kingdom of God on earth and establish a new Covenant between humanity and God. Each time a new Manifestation of God comes it is considered the Day of Judgement or Day of Resurrection for the believers and unbelievers of the previous Messenger. The Bab told of the judgment:

“There shall be no resurrection of the day, in the sense of the coming forth from the physical graves.

Rather, the resurrection of all shall occur (in the form of) those that are living in that age. If they belong to paradise, they shall be believers, if to hell, they shall be unbelievers. There is no denying that upon the Day of Resurrection, each and every thing shall be raised to life before God, may he be praised and glorified. For God shall originate that creation and then cause it to return. He has decreed the creation of all things, and he shall raise them to life again. God is powerful over all things.” [54]

Also, the coming of The Bab is the promised Mahdi and the coming of Baha’u’llah is the return of Christ in the glory of the Father, which signify the Day of Judgement foretold by Muhammad in the Quran.[55]

See also

References

External links

NOAH, EPIC OF GILGAMESH & THE STAR “SIRIUS”

 

 

 

 

 

The Sacred Fifty 

We must return to the treatise ‘The Virgin of the World’. This treatise is quite explicit in saying that Isis and Osiris were sent to help the Earth by giving primitive mankind the arts of civilization:

And Horus thereon said:

‘How was it, mother, then, that Earth received God’s Efflux?’

 

And Isis said:

‘I may not tell the story of (this) birth; for it is not permitted to describe the origin of thy descent, O Horus (son) of mighty power, lest afterwards the way-of-birth of the immortal gods should be known unto men – except so far that God the Monarch, the universal Orderer and Architect, sent for a little while thy mighty sire Osiris, and the mightiest goddess Isis, that they might help the world, for all things needed them. 
‘ ‘Tis they who filled life full of life. ‘Tis they who caused the savagery of mutual slaughtering of men to cease. ‘Tis they who hallowed precincts to the Gods their ancestors and spots for holy rites. ‘Tis they who gave to men laws, food and shelter.’ Etc.

They are also described as teaching men how to care for the dead in a specifically Egyptian way, which inclines one to wonder how a Greek could conceivably have written this unless during the Ptolemaic period:

“Tis they who taught men how to wrap up those who ceased to live, as they should be.’

Now anyone knows this is Egyptian and not Greek practice. What Neoplatonist would include such a statement unless it were actually taken from an early source which he used, and which had been written by someone actually living in Egypt? 

The treatise ends this long section with:

‘ ‘Tis they alone who, taught by Hermes in God’s hidden codes, became the authors of the arts, and sciences, and all pursuits which men do practice, and givers of their laws. 

‘ ‘Tis they who, taught by Hermes that the things below have been disposed by God to be in sympathy with things above, established on the earth the sacred rites over which the mysteries in Heaven preside. [The absence here of a blatant propaganda for astrology argues a pre-Ptolemaic date for this treatise; after the Greek and Babylonian influx a mild statement like this would have been almost impossible to make without the author dragging in all the paraphernalia of the astrology-craze of late Egypt.] 

‘ ‘Tis they who, knowing the destructibility of (mortal) frames, devised the grade of prophets, in all things perfected, in order that no prophet who stretched forth his hands unto the Gods, should be in ignorance of anything, that magic and philosophy should feed the soul, and medicine preserve the body when it suffered pain. 

‘And having done all this, my son, Osiris and myself perceiving that the world was (now) quite full, were thereupon demanded back by those who dwell in Heaven . . .’

And in the treatise Isis claims that the ‘Black Rite’ honors her and ‘gives perfection’.

 

It is also concerned with the mysterious thing called ‘Night’ Who weaves her web with rapid light though it be less than Sun’s’. It is made plain that ‘Night’ is not the night sky because it moves in the Heaven along with ‘the other mysteries in turn that move in Heaven, with ordered motions and with periods of times, with certain hidden influences bestowing order on the things below and co-increasing them’. 

We must scrutinize the description of what is labeled ‘Night’ in this treatise. This description makes it perfectly clear that ‘Night’ is not ‘night’, but a code word. For it is said to have ‘light though it be less than Sun’s’. The dark companion of Sirius is a star and has light, though less than the sun. Also ‘Night’ said ‘to weave her web with rapid light’ which specifically describes the object as being in motion.

 

Since Sirius B orbits Sirius A in fifty years, it moves more rapidly even than three of our sun’s planets in our own solar system – Pluto, Neptune, and Uranus. Of these three, Uranus is the most rapid, and its orbit about the sun takes eighty-four years. So here is a star orbiting more rapidly than a planet! That may indeed be said to constitute ‘weaving a web with rapid light’! 

Now to turn to the Sumerian culture, or, more properly, the Sumero-Ukadian culture. It was roughly contemporaneous with ancient Egypt and I had already suspected its basic religious concepts to be so similar to those of Egypt that I imagined them to have a common origin. Then I discovered that Wallis Budge thought the same thing from his point of view as a distinguished Egyptologist.

 

I am not aware of any Sumerologists having dealt with this particular problem. Far more attention has been given to the known trading links which existed between Sumer and the Indus valley civilization, and also to the problem of deciding where Dilmun was located. Kramer thinks Dilmun was the Indus valley; Bibby follows Peter B. Cornwall and thinks it was the island of Bahrein in the Persian Gulf.

 

But to the Sumerians this land, which lay in a direction seemingly other than that of Egypt, had immense importance. consequently, it has tended to monopolize the attention of modern scholars investigating Sumerian geographical references. Kramer thinks that the land Magan’ was probably Egypt and that Sargon even sent his armies there. 

The basic Egyptian astronomy and the basic Sumero-Akkadian astronomy (this assumes a continuity of some sort, as there is no overtly astronomical treatise from the early period of Sumer) are identical. For the multitude of variations at a less basic level, one may consult Professor Otto Neugebauer‘s the Exact Sciences in Antiquity. But Neugebauer’s interests lie with late material, as he admits, and he does less than justice to the earlier material, skimming over it quickly and making little of some things which are important.

 

Here is an example of his attitude expressed in his own words near the beginning of Chapter V:

‘Our description of Babylonian astronomy will be rather incomplete. The historical development will be given in bare outline. As in the case of Egypt, a detailed discussion of the few preserved early texts would require not only too much room but would also unduly exaggerate their historical importance. For the late period, however, the opposite situation prevails.’

Well, at least Professor Neugebauer is honest about his preferences. 

Having nodded in the direction of an authority who has voluntarily abdicated, we proceed. For our evidence we turn to E. A. Speiser‘s translation1 of the Akkadian creation epic know as the Enuma elishfrom the first two words of the text which mean ‘When on high . . . ‘

 

At the very beginning of this text we read:

He constructed stations for the great gods, 
Fixing their astral likenesses as constellations. 
He determined the year by designating the zones: 
He set up three constellations for each of the twelve months. 
After defining the days of the year [by means] of (heavenly) figures, 
He founded . . ., etc.

In other words, the text gives a system identical with that recorded in the Egyptian star clocks. Twelve months composed of three ten-day weeks each, resulting in thirty-six constellations or ‘decans’ designating astral likenesses of gods.

 

The text specifically states that there are twelve months consisting of three periods each (unless one strains the point enormously and maintains on no grounds whatsoever that these three periods are unequal, they must be of ten days each – hence ‘ten-day weeks’ as in Egypt), and that a constellation or ‘zone’ of the sky applies to each of these ‘weeks’.

 

Since three times twelve equals thirty-six, we have thirty-six decans, each of which is ‘designated’ by a constellation. And also as in Egypt, each decan is an ‘astral likeness’ of a great god. It is surprising that no scholar has seen that this passage in the Enuma elish describes the Egyptian star-clock system down to the last detail. 

No doubt also the five ‘epagomenal’ days left over in order to fill out this resulting 360-day year to a 365-day year are referred to in the line: ‘After defining the days of the year of (heavenly) figures,’ which is again identical with the Egyptian tradition where the five left-over days are each assigned to five different gods or heavenly figures and thus defined. In Egypt these five left-over days are called ‘the days upon the year’. These five days are also extremely important in Maya astronomy. But if we get into a discussion of Maya astronomy, we shall be stirring up a hornets’ nest. It is not relevant to the purposes of this book. 

We can see that the astronomical systems in Egypt and Sumer were absolutely identical in their fundamentals. Now these similarities between Egypt and Sumer are a far different matter from similarities of names of gods and religious concepts. One can always maintain that people in different parts of the globe spontaneously produce identical sounds when awe-struck by divine concepts. ‘Everybody around the world says “Ma!” to Mother,’ as we have all heard many times.

 

But an astronomical system of this kind is a complex set of specific data.

 

The fact that this Akkadian text tentatively dated by Speiser at the Old Babylonian period (i.e. the early part of the second millennium B.C.) records an astronomical system of this complexity which is identical with that of the Egyptian star clocks can be said to prove either contact between these two civilizations or a common derivation for the system. And it suggests a date which could serve as an upper limit. Culture contact during which this information was shared could not have been any later.

 

Let any latest date accepted for the writing of the Enuma elish serve as an upper limit. If this be done, we find the first millennium Bug. as the upper limit, even for those who require incontrovertible physical proof. The contact between Egypt and Sumer must have been considerably earlier if direct, or it may not have been a contact, but rather a common derivation (which was Wallis Budge’s favored idea). 

The Egyptian star clocks date from at least the reigns of Seti I (1303 1290 Bug.) and Ramses IV (1158 – 1152 Bug.) of the XlXth and XXth Dynasties respectively, on the walls of whose tombs they are found. Therefore these star clocks are at least as old as 1300 Bug. and seem to go back to the very origins of Egyptian culture. By the first millennium b.c. they had been changed and a fifteen-day week substituted for the ten-day week.

 

Other innovations took place as well at later dates, and the system fell into a considerable decay and became, it seems, a relic. I should imagine that a rise in the popularity of the sun god Ra made stars and especially Sirius seem less important. In any case, the innate integrity of the Sirius system in Egypt began to rot away and be ignored by the first millennium b.c, as it was superseded by ideas more obvious and less esoteric to impatient priests.

 

Perhaps when this began to happen some purists may have gone off to other places where they hoped to retain the traditions without interference from decadent Pharaohs. We shall return much later to this idea, with some surprising information. 

But let us return to Sumer and continue in hot pursuit. In Tablet VI of the Enuma elish we find an interesting passage. In it are mentioned the Anunnaki, who were the sons of An (An means ‘heaven’), also known as Anu the great god. These Anunnaki were fifty in number and were called ‘the fifty great gods’. Nearly always these Anunnaki were anonymous, the emphasis being on their number and their greatness and their control over fate.

 

No certain identification of any important Sumerian god with any one of the Anunnaki exists except peripherally (as I shall describe later). In fact, all Sumerologists have been puzzled by the Anunnaki. They have not been ‘identified’ and no one knows exactly what is meant by them. They recur often throughout the texts, which makes it all the more annoying that nowhere are they explicitly explained. 

But their apparent importance to the Sumerians cannot be questioned. 

In an early Sumerian fragment (from a time long before the civilization of the Babylonians) of the material concerning the epic hero Gilgamesh, entitled ‘Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living‘, we find an antecedent to the tradition of the Argonauts of the Greeks. This fragment appears in a translation by Kramer.2

 

In fact, I feel it is safe to say that this Sumerian fragment is the earliest known form of the story of that hero who was later to be named Jason. In the story from this fragment, the hero, Gilgamesh, wishes to go to the ‘land of the living’, which is described as being in the charge of the sun god Utu. In the story of Jason and the Argonauts, the hero, Jason, wishes to search for the golden fleece, which is known to be a solar symbol.

 

In the Sumerian fragment we also find the surprising line:

‘The hero, his teeth are the teeth of a dragon.’

In the Jason story, the hero, Jason, sows the dragon’s teeth! (So does Cadmus in another Greek tale which we shall examine later.) In the Jason story, Jason is accompanied on his quest by the fifty Argonauts. 

In the Sumerian fragment, Gilgamesh is accompanied by fifty companions also! Here is the relevant passage (in which Gilgamesh is speaking):

‘Who has a house, to his house! Who has a mother, to his mother! ‘Let single males who would do as I (do), fifty, stand by my side.’ Who had a house, to his house; who had a mother, to his mother, Single males who would do as he (did), fifty, stood at his side. To the house of the smiths he directed his step, The . . . , the . . . -axe, his ‘Might of Heroism’ he caused to be cast there. To the … garden of the plain he [directed] his step, The . . . -tree, the willow, the apple tree, the box tree, the . . . [-tree] he [felled] there. The ‘sons’ of his city who accompanied him [placed them] in their hands.

The fifty companions are mentioned several times. The fragmentary text is extremely broken and confused. Further light on the motif of sowing the dragon’s teeth seems to come from a passage where Gilgamesh, who has for some unknown reason been asleep, was awakened, girded himself, stood like a bull on the ‘great earth’ and:

‘He put (his) mouth to the ground, (his) teeth shook.’

Note that it is at least open to question that the mouth and the teeth are actually his, and the word ‘his’ is both times in parentheses, put thus by the translator.

 

But here is the entire passage:

He put (his) mouth to the ground, (his) teeth shook. 
‘By the life of Ninsun, my mother who gave birth to me, of pure Lugulbanda, 
my father, ‘May I become as one who sits to be wondered at on the knee of Ninsun, 
my mother who gave birth to me.’

Apart from the fact that Gilgamesh’s desire to sit on the knee of his mother, the goddess Ninsun, is similar to Horus sitting on the knee of his mother, the goddess Isis as a constant motif in Egyptian art, there seems to be here an obscure but significant reference to the fact that if the hero puts his mouth to the ground and his teeth shake, he can invoke a kind of rebirth in strength.

 

I suspect that the translation needs to be worked on further, but it is difficult, as there are so many words in Sumerian whose meanings are not precisely understood. Whether or not it is Gilgamesh’s own mouth and teeth that are being discussed here, the fact is that Gilgamesh seeks strength by putting some teeth to the ground – either his or someone else’s.

 

As previously in the same tale, there has been the clear statement:

‘The hero, his teeth are the teeth of a dragon’, we may assume that Gilgamesh’s own teeth are probably being referred to – his own teeth which have previously been described as being dragon’s teeth!

Now in the lines following the putting of the teeth to the ground, we learn that Gilgamesh needs to summon strength by putting his teeth to the ground because he needs to fight. In the story of the Argo, Jason sows the dragon’s teeth in the ground, and from them spring up armed soldiers who begin to fight – as is also the case in the story of Cadmus. So we see that in the two Greek myths, as also in this Sumerian fragment, the dragon’s teeth go to the ground and a fight ensues where the hero has acquired superhuman strength.

 

Later in this book we shall see the precise explanation of where this curious jumble originated, that it is specifically derived from an Egyptian sacred pun, and what it all means. 

Meanwhile we must stay at our present level of enquiry. This book is an anabasis, or journey upward. 

Let us look a little closer at the story of Jason and the golden fleece. The golden fleece was given to Phrixus and Helle by the god Hermes. The Egyptian god Anubis became known to the Greeks as their own Hermes.

 

Furthermore, Diodorus Siculus (IV, 47) and Tacitus (Ann. VI, 34) explain the golden fleece’s origin by saying that Phrixus and Helle (who flew away on the golden ram’s back to Colchis, Helle falling in the Hellespont on the way and giving that body of water its name) really sailed in a ship with a ram’s head on the prow, rather than having ridden the magical ram of the story.

 

The fact that the more widespread myth which had an actual ram in the story maintained specifically that they flew on the golden ram, could refer to the idea of a celestial boat. Thus everyone is correct. 

In any case, this boat would definitely have been a boat of Egypt, which to the Sumerians would have been called a ‘Magan-boat’, if we accept what Kramer and others believe, namely, that Magan is Egypt. And the boat was a ‘gift from Hermes’ – in other words from Anubis. No wonder, then, that the Sirius-related fifty is connected with the golden fleece as well as Anubis.

 

It is worth mentioning also that the fifty Argonauts were also called the Minyae, its they were all related to each other and of the same family, descended all of them from Minyas, who had been the king of the Minyan city of Orchomenus in Boeotia, in Greece. So Jason and the Argonauts, fifty in number, all shared a kind of shadowy anonymity somewhat reminiscent of the fifty Anunnaki of Sinner, as they were often referred to simply as ‘the Minyae’ – a group of fifty related oarsmen in a celestial boat. 

Later on we shall look extremely closely at the Argo story and also at the connections between the land Colchis, the object of its quest, and ancient Egypt? as attested for us by the historian Herodotus. But we must complete our look at the story of Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living. For even a boat is mentioned in that fragment, corresponding to the Argo.

 

My equating a moment ago of the Argo with an Egyptian celestial barque must now be seen in conjunction with the following passage in which Gilgamesh’s boat is specifically referred to as the ‘Magan-boat’! I might add that the trees which Gilgamesh cut down and which his fifty companions ‘placed in their hands’ according to the text were probably their oars! (The text is too broken for anything at all to be certain, even punctuation, among the fourteen lines which follow that particular passage.)

 

Here, then, is the passage about the boat:

lor me another will not die, the loaded boat will not sink, The three-ply cloth will not be cut, The ……. will not be overwhelmed, 
House (and) hut, fire will not destroy. 
Do thou help me (and) I will help thee, what can happen to us? 
After it had sunk, after it had sunk, 
After the Magan-boat had sunk, 
After the boat, “the might of Magilum”, had sunk, 
In the . . . , the boat of the living creatures, are seated those who come out 
of the womb; 
Come, let us go forward, we will cast eyes upon him, If we go forward, 
(And) there be fear, there be fear, turn it back, There be terror, there be terror, turn it back, In thy . . . , come, let us go forward.’

I must emphasize that there is confusion here, In a footnote Kramer emphasizes that from the line ‘After it had sunk’ it is no longer certain that Gilgamesh is still speaking. It is not clear whether the Magan-boat has really sunk or whether this is a statement injected by Gilgamesh’s ‘faithful servant5 who immediately before the passage just quoted had told Gilgamesh:

‘O my master, journey thou to the “land”, I will journey to the city, 
I will tell thy mother of thy glory, let her shout, 
I will tell her of thy ensuing death, [let her] shed bitter tears,5

What seems to happen is that Gilgamesh here tells his frightened servant (who just previously in the text is described as ‘terror-stricken’) that no other will die for him and that ‘the loaded boat will not sink’. Then the servant would seem to break in again in his terror with his hypothetical tale to Gilgamesh’s mother with ‘After it had sunk . . ,’ Then Gilgamesh again speaks, beginning with, ‘Come, let us go forward . ..’ 

The phrase ‘those who come out of the womb’ to describe those who are seated in the Magan-boat may be meant to refer to those who are children of the goddess Nintu (also known as Ninmah, Ninhursag, and Ki – ‘earth’).

 

This, combined with the strange reference to teeth, seems to refer to the children of the earth-goddess springing from the womb of the earth – for Ki, the earth- goddess (ki means ‘earth’ in Sumerian) is also Nintu or ‘the goddess who gives birth’. (Ninmah means ‘the great goddess’ and Ninhursag means ‘the goddess of the hill, a hursag or hill having been erected by her son – and she was named after it by him in commemoration of a significant mythical event; in Egypt Anubis is also called ‘Anubis of the Hill’, about which I shall have much to say later on, but suffice it here to note that if the Sumerians were to speak of’Anubis of the Hill they would call him Anpu-hursag.) 

Basically in the goddess who gives birth, and also in the earth-goddess, we thus find antecedents to the soldiers springing up from the dragon’s teeth sown in the earth, and also the throwing over his shoulder of the ‘earth’s bones’ (stones) by Deukalion, the Greek Noah, with the stones becoming men much as the teeth did in the other stories. (And teeth are bones!) 

In fact there are several points of contact other than this one between the Deukalion and Jason stories. For the ark of Noah is a concept which is identical with that of the ark of Deukalion, and both are magical ships in which sit ‘those who come out of the womb’, in the sense that they repopulate the world after the deluge. And both arks, but particularly that of Deukalion, are concepts related to the Argo.

 

(As anyone who has read the full Epic of Gilgamesh will know, the ark of Noah in the Middle East before either the Hebrews or the name Noah even existed, was the ark of Ziusudra or the ark of Utnapishtim, and it occurs as an established element of the mythical background brought into the Epic.)

 

For the ark of Deukalion rested on the mountain by the sacred oracle grove of Dodona, from which the Argo received its cybernetic guiding timber. Also, of course, the origin of the story of the flood and the ark (containing as it does ‘archetypes’ of all living creatures in pairs, and the word arche in Greek being definitely related to ark, as we shall see all too well much later in this book) is Sumerian at least, if not even before that something else (which we shall see in due course).

 

But it was from this early source that the Greeks obtained their Deukalion and the Hebrews their Noah – both of which are extremely late forms of an exceedingly ancient story, which existed thousands of years before there were such things as either Greeks or Hebrews in existence. (Anyone really interested in the origins of Greek and Hebrew civilizations should read Professor Cyrus Gordon’s brilliant book The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilizations3) 

Now the point of going into all this is really to show that the Argonaut motif of fifty heroes in a boat on a heroic quest exists in Sumer and forms a complement to the ‘fifty great gods’. For if the Magan-boat’s fifty heroes are seated, as the Anunnaki usually are, and are ‘those who come forth out of the womb’, and thus children, so to speak, of Nintu, ‘the goddess who gives birth’, then they may be directly equated with the Anunnaki.

 

For the Anunnaki, as the children of An, would also be the children of An’s ancient consort Ki or Nintu. In other words, the fifty heroes are heroic counterparts of the celestial Anunnaki. The corollary of this is, that the fact that there are fifty Anunnaki is not so likely to be a coincidence as might have been thought. This brings out all the more the immense significance of the number fifty. 

The number occurs also in ‘Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Nether World’. There Gilgamesh dons armor which weighs ‘fifty minas’. And in this tale also Gilgamesh has fifty companions. In the later Babylonian version the fifty companions are omitted from the story. At that date the true nature of the symbolism of fifty must have been forgotten. 

In his book The SumeriansKramer points out4 that cultic and symbolic weapons, maces with fifty heads, were fashioned by the ruler Gudea. 

If we return for a moment to the intriguing hursag of the Sumerians, the strange ‘hill’, we must recall that Ninhursag the goddess of the hill is identical with Nintu the goddess who gives birth. Those are two separate names for the same deity. Now it is interesting to note that in Egyptian the word tu means ‘hill’, so that if we take the word nin which means ‘goddess’ and add the Egyptian tu we have ‘the goddess of the hill’, which in fact is a synonym. 

This is by no means the end of this interesting investigation. For if we note that the Egyptian form of Horus (the son of Isis and Osiris) is Heru (which is a bit like Hero, isn’t it?) and the traditional usage in Egyptian is to speak continually of Heru-sa-something which means Horus-the-son-of-something, then we shall note that the strange and puzzling word hursag might really be the Egyptian Heru-sa-Agga, which means ‘Horus the son of Agga9.

 

It so happens that Agga is an Egyptian synonym for Anubis. And ‘Anubis of the Hill’ has already been mentioned. What is more, the word hursag in its older Sumerian form is indeed hursagga, as may be seen in The Babylonian Genesis, Chapter 2, by Alexander Heidel, ‘A Sumerian Creation Account from Nippur’, where we read of the goddess Ninhursagga. 

It also happens that Agga is in fact a reputable Sumerian name. There is in translation a short 115-line text entitled ‘Gilgamesh and Agga’ from the Sumerian period.5 In line eighty of this text is the mention of a ‘magurru-boat’, which is referred to in much the same way as the Magan-boat in ‘Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living’.

 

Just as in that previous text the Magan-boat was being discussed as to whether or not it would sink, so in this latter text the ‘magurruboat’ is being discussed as to whether or not it would have its prow cut down.

 

Curiously, as in the other tale, in this one also the boat is described as having had the worst fate actually occur, for in line ninety-eight we learn that ‘the prow of the magurru-boat was cut down’, just as in the previous text we read:

‘After the Magan-boat had sunk, /After the boat, “the might of Magilum”, had sunk.’

The connections between Egyptian and Sumerian words in sacred contexts become so multifold that it is impossible to ignore the continuities between the two cultures. Let us look, for instance, at the curious phenomenon of the cedar which Gilgamesh is always being claimed to have cut down. In ‘Gilgamesh and the Land of the Living’ Gilgamesh says: ‘I would enter the land of the cutdown cedar’ and later he is described as he ‘who felled the cedar’, etc. That is 

an early Sumerian text. In the actual Epic proper, as we have it, Gilgamesh goes to the Cedar Mountain and slays the monster Humbaba (or Huwawa) in ‘the cedar mountain, the abode of the gods’. In Tablet V we read:

[Gilgamesh] seized [the axe in (his) hand] 
[. . . and] felled [the cedar]. 
[But when Huwawa] heard the noise, 
[He] became angry: ‘Who has [come], 
[Has slighted the trees, which] had been grown in my mountains, 
And has felled the cedar?’

In Chapter XXII of Hamlet’s MillSantillana and von Dechend identify Huwawa with the planet Mercury. Now, remembering that Huwawa is also the god of the cedar forest, it is interesting to note that in Egyptian the word seb means ‘cedar’ and also means ‘the planet Mercury’!

 

The subject is far more complicated than that, but I wanted to note the further source of an Egyptian pun for yet another crucial Sumerian motif. In other words, Huwawa is connected with both Mercury (the planet) and the cedar, because the planet Mercury and the cedar are both called by the same name in Egyptian – namely, seb

Let us now put aside the enigmatic monster-god Huwawa and turn to the Epic of Gilgamesh for another purpose. But in doing so let us note Kramer’s opinion in his essay ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh and Its Sumerian Sources‘,6 that ‘the poem was current in substantially the form in which we know it, as early as the first half of the second millennium B.C.’

Let us recall that, in an early Sumerian fragment, Gilgamesh’s mother was the goddess Ninsun ‘who is versed in all knowledge’, and upon whose knee he wanted to sit (like Horus on the knee of Isis).

 

In the First Tablet we read: Indeed, Gilgamesh arose to reveal dreams, saying to his mother:

‘My mother, last night I saw a dream. There were stars in the heavens; 
As if it were the host of heaven [one] fell down to me.

I tried to lift it, but it was too heavy for me;

I tried to move it away, but I could not remove [it].

The land of Uruk was standing around [it],

[The land was gathered around it];

[The peop]le pressed to [ward it],

[The men th]ronged around it,

[. . .] while my fellows kissed its feet;

I bent over it [as] [over] a woman [And] put it at [thy] feet,

[And thou thyself didst put] it on a par with me.’

There is another version of this (both as translated by Heidel)7 at the beginning of Tablet II in the Old Babylonian version which is older than the above Assyrian version and preserves more of the original significance: Gilgamesh arose to reveal the dream, Saying to his mother:

‘My mother, last night I felt happy and walked about Among the heroes.

There appeared stars in the heavens.

[The h]ost of heaven fell down toward me.

I tried to lift it but it was too heavy for me;

I tried to move it, but I could not move it.

The land of Uruk was gathered around it, 
While the heroes kissed its feet. 
I put my forehead [firmly] against [it], 
And they assisted me. 
I lifted it up and carried it to thee.’

Kramer translates the two versions somewhat differently.8 One of the most important changes occurs in his translation of what Heidel before him had rendered as ‘the host of heaven’. Kramer renders ‘An’ not as ‘heaven’ but as An (or Anu), the god who was the father of the Anunnaki. And the word which Heidel renders as ‘host’ he comments on in a footnote at considerable length: 

As regards ki-sir, there are too many possible meanings. Furthermore, the one adopted for this passage (‘the ki-sir of Ninurta’ earlier than our passage) should also apply to … the war-god Ninurta, and the sky-god Anu, Enkidu, and something that fell down from heaven. The common assumption that the author may have used in these passages the same term in more than one sense is unsatisfactory. 

In the earlier edition I tried to justify for kisru the rendering ‘liegeman’ for the several passages in question. I now withdraw that suggestion. The correct sense, I believe, is indicated by the use of the term in medical contexts as ‘concentration, essence’, cf. E. Ebeling, JCS, IV (1950), 219. ‘Essence’, or some nuance of this term, could well be applied to deities as well as to missiles from heaven. Our poet had in mind, no doubt, some specific allusion, but the general meaning appears clear enough, Kramer, then, renders ‘the host of heaven’ as ‘the essence of An’, He says:

‘Like the essence of Anu it descends upon me.’

He adds another footnote to comment on the word ‘it’ in this sentence:

‘One of the stars?’

Kramer also changes the last lines in the first version:

‘[I] was drawn to it as though to a woman. 
And I placed it at [thy] feet, 
For thou didst make it vie with me.’ 
The emphasis here on being ‘drawn to it’ may be important. He continues: 
[The wise mother of Gilgamesh, who] is versed in all knowledge,

Says to her lord;

[Wise Ninsun], who is versed in all knowledge,

Says to Gilgamesh: ‘Thy rival, – the star of heaven.

Which descended upon thee like [the essence of Anu];

[Thou didst seek to lift it], it was too stout for thee;

[Thou wouldst drive it off], but couldst not remove it;

[Thou didst place] it at my feet,

[For it was I who made] it vie with thee;

Thou wert drawn to it as though to a woman -‘

Let us look once again at part of the second version, this time as Kramer gives it:9

‘My mother, in the time of night I felt joyful and I walked about In the midst of the nobles. The stars appeared in the heavens. The essence of Anu descended towards me. I sought to lift it; it was too heavy for me! I sought to move it; move it I could not!’

All this, which we have examined here in two translations each of two versions, was worth seeing from these several angles. It helps us cover all the possibilities of meaning. It should be obvious that the reference is clearly to a star connected with ‘the essence of Anu’ which ‘draws him towards it’ and is in the area of the (fifty) heroes – and is super-heavy. 

Thus we see that in Sumer both the concepts of the heavy star (later al Wazn) and of the figure ‘fifty’ associated somehow with that star are present. 

In Tablet V of the Enuma elish we read10 about the Anunnaki and something called ‘the Bow Star’ which is their brother and is in the midst of them as they are seated in the celestial regions. This Bow Star is also the daughter of Anu, who raises it up in their midst. (Remember ‘the essence of Anu’.) What is being referred to seems to be Sirius.

 

Remember the Egyptian goddess Sati (or Satis) with her bow, who was one of the three goddesses (one was Sothis and the third was Anukis) riding in the celestial barque of Sothis (Sirius). Also recall the other connections of the bow with Sirius, even in China. (And here one must refer to the book Hamlet’s Mill for many examples.11)

 

Now with particular reference to the three goddesses which Neugebauer claims are versions of Sothis (‘The goddess Satis, who like her companion Anukis is hardly to be taken as a separate constellation but rather as an associate of Sothis’), note the following emphasis on three names for the star, only one of which is ‘Bow Star’:

The fifty great gods took their seats. 
The seven gods of destiny set up the three hundred [in heaven]. 
Enlil raised the bo[w, his weapon, and laid (it) before them. 
The gods, his fathers, saw the net he had made. 
When they beheld the bow, how skilful its shape, 
His fathers praised the work he had wrought. 
Raising [it], Anu spoke up in the Assembly of the gods, 
As he kissed the bow: ‘This is my daughter!’ 
He mentioned the names of the bow as follows: 
‘Longwood is the first, the second is [. . .]; 
Its third name is Bow-Star, in heaven I have made it shine.’ 
He fixed a place which the gods, its brothers, [. . .].

A footnote says of the word ‘its’ in the last line: ‘Referring to the Bow, as indicated by the feminine possessive prefix in line 94.’ (In Egyptian the word Sept, which is the name of the star Sirius, also has the meaning ‘a kind of wood’, though whether this could be ‘longwood’ or not is anyone’s guess.)

 

We continue:

After Anu had decreed the fate of the Bow, 
And had placed the exalted royal throne before the gods, 
Anu seated it in the Assembly of the gods.

The phrase ‘the Assembly of the gods’ invariably refers to the seated assembly of the fifty Anunnaki. So it is clearly stated, we see, that this ‘Bow Star’ -the daughter of An – was placed by An on the exalted royal throne in the midst of the fifty Anunnaki. In Egypt, Isis as Sothis was also pictured as seated on a white royal throne in the heavens. She too was the daughter of the sky god. Recall also that the hieroglyph for Ast (or Isis) is a throne. And the hieroglyph for her husband Asar (or Osiris) is a throne above an eye. 

Before proceeding, we had better see who ‘the seven gods of destiny’ are. They are often referred to as the seven Anunnaki of the underworld. This, we shall see, also relates to the Sirius question. But the use of Anunnaki in this way underscores the total anonymity of the term ‘Anunnaki’. Needless to say, none of these seven Anunnaki is ever identified as an individual god. They are always ‘the seven’ underworld gods who determine destiny.

 

The strictly celestial Anunnaki are also known as the Igigi. No Sumerologist has satisfactorily explained all this. It is terribly imprecise and confusing – unless one had a structure to supply which fits under the cloth and matches the contours and can thereby be accepted as a tentative basis of explanation. 

Now let us try to think of what we know is connected with the celestial Anunnaki and Sirius which also fits into this idea of there being seven Anunnaki-gods in the underworld. Remember that in both Sumer and Egypt each god of significance in astronomical terms has his own ten-day period or ‘week’. If we multiply seven (gods) times ten days we get seventy days. Is there any basis for this length of time being of significance for the underworld in either Sumer or Egypt? Yes! In Egypt the underworld is called the Duat (or Tuat) and the seventy-day period is very significant there and relates intimately to Sirius, as we have seen in our fairytale. 

Parker and Neugebauer say12:

‘It is here made clear that Sirius (Sothis) gives the pattern for all the other decanal stars.’

Sirius was, astronomically, the foundation of the entire Egyptian religious system. Its celestial movements determined the Egyptian calendar, which is even known as the Sothic Calendar. Its heliacal rising marked the beginning of the Egyptian year and roughly coincided with the flooding of the Nile. (Plutarch says the Nile itself was sometimes called Sirius.)

 

This heliacal rising was the occasion of an important feast. One can imagine a kind of New Year-cum-Easter. The heliacal rising was the occasion when Sirius again rose into visibility in the sky after a period of seventy days of being out of sight, during which time it was conceived of as being in the Duat, or underworld. A further connection with Anubis comes in here, as Anubis was conceived of as embalming Sothis for these seventy days in the Duat. But as we all know, an embalmed mummy is supposed to come alive again.

 

And this is what happens to the mummy of Sothis. Sothis is reborn on the occasion of her heliacal rising. Parker and Neugebauer also say:13

‘During the entire time of its purification it (Sothis, the star) was considered dead and it was only with its rising again out of the Duat that it could once more be considered as living.’

The Egyptians stubbornly clung to the traditional seventy days as the prototype of an underworld experience, despite its inconvenience, and, as we have already seen, ‘Sirius gives the pattern for all the other decanal stars’. In fact, it was the practice through all of Egyptian history for there to be a period of precisely seventy days for the embalming of a human mummy – in imitation of Sirius. Even during the late Ptolemaic period, the embalming process invariably lasted the precise period of seventy days. 

Thus we find the explanation of the seven Anunnaki of the underworld! It is also interesting to note that in ancient Mexico the underworld was thought to have seven caves. 

It is worth noting that in the story Etana,14 about the legendary King Etana not long after the Great Flood, who had to ascend to heaven in order to have something done about his inability to have children (and thereby managed to have a son and heir), mentions ‘the divine Seven’ and describes them as Igigi, emphasizing the apparent interchangeability of the terms Igigi and Anunnaki.

 

Also ‘the great Anunnaki’ are described as ‘They who created the regions, who set up the establishments’. 

In the ‘Descent of Ishtar to the Nether World‘ 15 the Anunnaki are described as being brought forth (they are referred to as if they were stuffed animals being brought out of a closet, dusted off, and displayed in a taxidermists’ contest) and seated on thrones of gold. Once more the throne concept appears. It seems all the Anunnaki ever do is sit and be symbolic. 

Good little Anunnaki, like poodles, sit and smile at Anu. They are never given personalities, poor fellows. I might mention that in this story the nether world is described as having seven gates leading to seven successive rooms (or caves). It is obvious that the period of seventy days during which Sirius was ‘in the underworld’ to the Egyptians led to a breaking down of the seventy days into ten-day weeks, each with a god, giving seven gods.

 

But these seven gods of the underworld must not have personalities lest there be the distraction of personal qualities to detract from the purely numerical significance of the concept. And of course the seven rooms of the seven gods are successive, leading from ‘week’ to ‘week’ until Sirius again rises. So we see yet another essential link between the early Sumerian concepts and the Egyptian concepts.

 

When will Professor Neugebauer take notice of this and cease ruminating among the late Babylonians and Persians? 

In later times the god Marduk usurped the central position of the pantheon from all the other gods in Babylon. The Enuma elish is largely a description of this process and is basically written to Marduk, telling of his honors. This was quite an innovation, a real centralization of power.

 

‘The black-headed people’, which is how the Sumerians usually referred to themselves in their writings (when the context is sufficiently pious they meekly call themselves ‘the beclouded’; it is also interesting to note that the Egyptians were known as ‘the melampodes’ or ‘the black-footed people’ to the Greeks!) obviously didn’t take to the rise of Marduk with unanimous acclaim. In many ways the Enuma elish is a blatant propaganda tract for Marduk, alternately trying to convert and to denounce the people.

 

Here we see the author trying to woo them:16

Let his sovereignty be surpassing having no rival. 
May he shepherd the black-headed ones, his creatures. 
To the end of days, without forgetting, let them acclaim his ways. 
Here, however, we see a more authoritarian approach, where the sugary smile dissolves: 
May he order the black-headed to re[vere him], 
But the next moment, compromise comes again in the form of a mock- tolerance : 
Without fail let them support their gods! 
Their lands let them improve, build their shrines, 
Let the black-headed people wait on their gods. 
In other words, the author despairs and goes into a sulk. For his next words indicate the sentiment, ‘We don’t need them, we’ll go it alone’: 
As for us, by however many names we pronounce it, he is our god! 
Let us then proclaim his fifty names!

In other words, the supporters of Marduk thought the best way to glorify their god was to give him fifty names. Then, with any luck, he would be omnipotent. 

As Marukka, Marduk ‘gladdens the heart of the Anunnaki, appeases their [spirits]’. All the fifty names are given, along with short comments following each. In a footnote Speiser says, revealingly, that:

‘The text etymologizes the names in a manner made familiar by the Bible; the etymologies, which accompany virtually every name on the long list are meant to be cabalistic and symbolic rather than strictly linguistic, although some of them happen to be linguistically sound.’

The list ends and we read in the text:

With the title ‘Fifty’ the great gods 
Proclaimed him whose names are fifty and made his way supreme.

This final note adds a last flourish of emphasis to the importance to the supreme god of the title ‘Fifty’ as well as the designation by fifty names. 

There is one cluster of names among the fifty given which is of particular interest. They are Asaru, Asarualim, Asarualimnunna, and the group of three centered round the similar name Asaruludu (the other two being Namtillaku and Namru).

 

I suspect these names of being related to the Egyptian Asar (Osiris). We have already seen how the An of Egypt was known in Sumer not only as An but as Anu, picking up a ‘u’ ending. It is therefore not so senseless to see in Asaru a Sumerian form of Asar, with the same ‘u’ ending added. But the Egyptians themselves also had an Asaru, or more precisely, an Asar-uu, whom Wallis Budge describes as ‘a form of Osiris worshipped in lower Egypt’. 

Since Asaru in Sumer corresponds to Asar-uu in Egypt, what about the Sumerian Asaruludu? In Egyptian a vegetative Osiris would be known as Asar-rutu but as is well known, the liquid V and ‘1’ are in Egyptian entirely interchangeable and represented by the same hieroglyph.

 

So Asar-rutu could just as well be Asar-lutu, and the lingual ‘t’ as opposed to a dental ‘t’ is pronounced rather like a ‘d’, being a softer sound. If we merely transliterate it thus, we have Asar-ludu. It would mean, ‘Osiris of the growing plants’.

 

And in fact, in the Sumerian text, we find Asaru described as,

‘bestower of cultivation . . . creator of grain and herbs, who causes vegetation to sprout’.

Immediately after one of the Asaru-names of Marduk in the Enuma elish we find that his thirteenth name is Tutu. It so happens that Tutu is the name of an Egyptian god. Wallis Budge describes him as ‘a lion-god, son of Neith’. (Wallis Budge says that Neith was: ‘One of the oldest goddesses of Egypt. She was the goddess of hunting and weaving, but was identified with many other goddesses such as Isis, Meh-urt, and their attributes were assigned to her.’17)

 

There is even an Egyptian precedent for the use of Tutu as one name of a god who has many names. The Egyptian monster of darkness, Apep,

‘possessed many names; to destroy him it was necessary to curse him by each and every name by which he was known.’

To make quite sure that this should be done effectively, the Papyrus of Nesi-Amsu adds a list of such names, and as they are the foundation of many of the magical names met with in later papyri they are here enumerated . . .18 And one of these is Tutu. Surely this almost identical preoccupation with the need to enumerate every one of the magical names of a god in both countries must have common origins – especially as the name Tutu is in the lists of both countries. 

It is important to look even closer at the Egyptian god Tutu. In Heidel’s translation of the Enuma elish he gives for Asaruludu the early Sumerian epithet namshub as opposed to the late Babylonian form namru – both meaning ‘bright’, and in the text further explained as, ‘The bright god who brightens our way’.’

 

In a footnote Heidel explains:

‘The poets are here apparently playing on the Sumerian term shuba, which is equated with the Babylonian words ebbu, ellu, and namru, all of which mean “bright”.5

Now, what is so interesting is that in Egyptian the word shu means ‘bright’ and also describes the sun god – who is indeed a ‘bright god who brightens our way’. So we see that shu in Egyptian means the same as shuba in Sumerian. Furthermore, both are made to apply to a description of the sun. Also the Sumerian shuba is made to refer to Asarluhi, and we may now take note of the further surprising fact that the Egyptian god’ Tutu is, according to Wallis Budge:

‘a form of the god Shu, whose symbol was a lion walking’.19

So as we examine the material we find an increasingly complex weave of common patterns in Egypt and early Sumer both linguistically and in religion- astronomy. Later in the book we shall see this all reach a meaningful climax. 
 

 

 

SUMMARY 

‘The Black Rite’ concerned something called ‘Night’ which was apparently an object that moves in heaven along with ‘the other mysteries in turn that move in heaven, with ordered motions and periods of times’. It has less light than the sun and it ‘weaves a web with rapid light’. 

Sirius B moves in heaven with ordered motion and period, has less light than our sun, and distinctly weaves a web with its rapid motion, since it revolves round Sirius A in much less time than the planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto revolve around our own sun. 

‘Night’ may thus refer to Sirius B, just as may ‘black Osiris‘ and ‘invisible Nephthys‘. 

In really early times the basic concepts of Egyptian astronomy and Sumerian astronomy were identical. Later many differences appeared. Authorities on ancient astronomy tend to give short shrift to the earlier times, hence the similarities between the two cultures in this particular field have tended to go unremarked. 

In Egypt and Sumer (Babylonia) there were identical systems of dividing the calendar year into twelve months each composed of three weeks which lasted ten days apiece. Each week had a constellation of the night sky associated with it (which in modern parlance we might describe as ‘being a kind of zodiac’). Thirty-six of these weeks added up only to 360 days, which was less than a year, so the 365-day year was obtained by adding on five extra days at the end. 

Identical systems of such complexity in these two cultures mean that the relationship between Egypt and Sumer must be explored further. 

In Sumer the ‘fifty great gods’ called the Anunnaki were anonymous as individuals and only ever spoken of as ‘the fifty great gods’ with the emphasis on their number. They were literally restricted to the level of being a numerological cipher. They are continually invoked and are of importance – but they never did anything but sit on their thrones and ‘be fifty’. 

In an early Sumerian tale of their epic hero Gilgamesh, we find him accompanied in his adventures by fifty heroes, reminiscent of the fifty Argonauts who accompanied Jason. ‘His teeth are the teeth of a dragon’, we are told – reminiscent of Jason sowing the dragon’s teeth. And Gilgamesh also puts his teeth to the ground (that much we can gather, but the passage is obscure and he may really be sowing teeth).

 

Each of his fifty heroic companions carries a specially felled tree for the journey – and the only reasonable purpose to go around carrying a tree seems to be that these trees were used as oars, especially as there is an association with a boat. This again is like the Argonauts. We thus seem to have found a Near Eastern tale from which the tale of the Argonauts was derived two thousand years or so later by the Greeks. 

Gilgamesh somehow derives strength from putting his teeth to the ground. In the Greek tale, Jason sows the teeth and they spring up as strong soldiers – another parallel. 

Anubis, who is now familiar to us from Egypt, was identified by the Greeks with their own god Hermes (known in Latin as Mercury). Hermes turned the Golden Fleece to gold originally, in the Greek myth. It was this same Golden Fleece that Jason and the Argonauts sought in their quest, and which they succeeded in seizing and taking away with them. 

In the early Gilgamesh tale of the Sumerians, Gilgamesh and his fifty proto-Argonauts have some connection with a ship (the text is tantalizingly fragmented) called ‘the Magan-boat’. It should be remembered that Magan is the Sumerian name for Egypt. 

Hence the boat is connected with Egypt. 

All the Greek Argonauts were related to one another and more or less anonymous as individuals – reminiscent of the earlier Sumerian ‘fifty heroes’ accompanying Gilgamesh and also the ‘fifty great gods’ known as Anunnaki. 

The Greek ark of Deukalion came to rest after the Flood at Dodona, from where the Argo received its guiding timber. The ark and the Argo apparently were related in other ways too. 

Professor Cyrus Gordon has written an important book on common origins of Greek and Hebrew cultures from the Egyptian-Sumerian milieu of the cosmopolitan world of the ancient Mediterranean (see bibliography). 

The ‘fifty great gods’ of Sumer, the Anunnaki, are invariably seated. Sacred oarsmen or Argonauts are all, of course, invariably seated while they are rowing. ‘The fifty who sit’ and ‘the fifty who sit and row’ seem to be a motif. 

The other element besides the eye in the Osiris-name hieroglyph is the throne, which is the hieroglyph for Isis as well. The throne is a divine seat. The Sumerians frequently intoned of the Anunnaki that they were ‘they who are seated on their thrones’; or sometimes for a bit more drama, ‘the fifty great gods took their seats’. (Of course they did nothing even then.) 

The Egyptian Anubis (Anpu) was a god ‘of the hill’. The Sumerian god Anu’s wife was a goddess ‘of the hill’. 

The older form of the Sumerian word for hill, hursagga, may be derived from the Egyptian Heru-sa-agga, where ‘agga’ refers to Anubis (who was ‘of the hill’). There are many other word and name similarities between Egypt and Sumer. 

In the Epic of Gilgamesh a dream of Gilgamesh is described where he encounters a heavy star that cannot be lifted despite immense effort. This star descends from heaven to him and is described as connected with Anu (who is the god of heaven). Thus we find ‘the heavy star’ concept in Babylonia long before the Arabs even existed and were to have their star in the Great Dog (and the other in Argo) called ‘Weight’ and described as ‘the heavy star’. 

Gilgamesh is drawn to this heavy star irresistibly, in a manner described in a way that seems to hint at a kind of gravitational attraction (to those, that is, who are conscious of a ‘heavy star’ like Sirius B being gravitationally powerful as well as ‘heavy’). 

The Epic of Gilgamesh refers to ‘the essence of Anu’ possessed by the star. The word rendered as ‘essence’ is used elsewhere in medical contexts referring to ‘concentration, essence’ – an intimation of super-dense matter? This ‘concentrated star essence of Anu’ was too heavy for Gilgamesh to lift in his dream. 

It must be recalled that Gilgamesh had his fifty companions in the early versions of the Epic (they were discarded later, by Babylonian times). Hence connected with Gilgamesh we find:

  1. Fifty anonymous companions seemingly important only as a numerological element in the story and in later times discarded as useless,

  2. A super-heavy star connected with An (also an Egyptian name of Osiris, husband of Isis who was identified with Sirius),

  3. A description of the star as being composed of a ‘concentrated essence’ and of having extreme powers of attraction described in a manner reminiscent of gravitational attraction.

These elements comprise almost a complete description of Sirius B: a super-heavy gravitationally powerful star made of concentrated super-dense matter (‘essence’) with the number fifty associated with it (describing its period?) – and connected with An (Anu), which we know to be linked in Egypt (and Gilgamesh’s ‘Magan-boat’ seems Egyptian) with Sirius.

 

Back to Contents

 

 

 

 


Notes

  1. In Pritchard, Ancient Near Eastern Texts.

  2. Also in Pritchard, ibid.

  3. Pub. by W. W. Norton & Co., New York, 1965. An earlier edition of this book had a different title: Before the Bible.

  4. The Sumerians, University of Chicago Press, 1963, p. 67.

  5. Also in Pritchard, op. cit.

  6. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 64 (1944), p. 11.

  7. Heidel, Alexander, The Gilgamesh Epic and Old Testament Parallels, University of Chicago Press, 1970.

  8. Pritchard, op. cit.

  9. Ibid.

  10. Ibid. Also see p. 514, Addenda: New Text Fragments, in same vol.

  11. de Santillana, Giorgio, and von Dechend, Hertha, Hamlet’s Mill, Macmillan & Company Ltd; London, 1969.

  12. Egyptian Astronomical Texts, Vol. I, p. 74.

  13. Ibid., p. 73.

  14. Pritchard, op. cit., p. 114.

  15. Ibid. p. 106.

  16. In Pritchard, ibid.

  17. Book of the Dead, trans, by Wallis Budge, p. 176, n.

  18. Wallis Budge, The Gods of the Egyptians, Vol. I, p. 326.

  19. Wallis Budge, op. cit., Vol. I, pp. 463-4.


 

 

EBENEZER STONE & DAVINCI’S SACRED FEMININE/MASCULINE=BALANCE

    How a San Francisco Church is Changing The Sex Of Christianity

    111

        

    By Rachel Tennenbaum
    Gender/Sexuality Editor

    It’s 10:30 on a beautiful Sunday morning in San Francisco, and the herchurch parking lot is near empty. The church is glowing in the morning light, a pale purple building, square and solid with purple flowers lining its perimeter. A banner hangs on the side of the building: “Welcome to herchurch!” Located on the west side of San Francisco, the building affords beautiful views of trees and houses, of towers and of the city below. But still, the spots are empty, the white lines many and lonely.

    Inside, the light has leaked in through the windows and a group of about 30 worshippers are seated in a circle, basking in the honey glow of the sanctuary. Above them, a large silver cross hangs serenely on the wall. Below it, a portrait of a woman and a ruby red heart. A lone woman in a white alb, a long white robe and a woven stole is preparing to lead her weekly Sunday sermon. Just as she is about to begin, a little girl in pink comes squealing in, followed by a second girl, and a fast-moving Chihuahua.

    Welcome to herchurch – a Lutheran church that is taking the meaning of God and stretching it to its linguistic limits. God becomes God/dess. Jesus Christ becomes Christ-Sophia.

    It may not have many congregants, but the small church is full of distinctiveness. A brief look at the liturgy booklet reveals that this is a bit different than a typical Sunday service. First it reads, “all who seek God/dess are welcome at the Holy Communion meal.” A little further down the page, “When the Tibetan Bowl rings a third time please stand.”

    It may have been Dan Brown’s “The Da Vinci Code” that brought the ideas of the sacred feminine to mainstream light, but for many, that philosophy stays contained within pages of pseudo-religious thrillers and documentaries on the History Channel.

    But for Pastor Stacy Boorn, and the congregants of herchurch, the feminization of “the holy other” is a linguistic endeavor that is enriching the spiritual lives of many. This primarily centers around referring to God as “God/dess” or “She” and Jesus Christ as “Christ-Sophia,” and bringing gender equality to the forefront of Christian ideology.

    “I began to think about our language and our metaphors and our teaching of the holy others,” Boorn said. “Can language create who we are? And if it creates who we are, can it also hinder who we mean to be?”

    The morning’s service has been over for about an hour, and Boorn and a handful of members are sitting around a table in the back of the church, discussing various projects. The topic turns to personal belief and the theological gender switch that members have made.

    “In my mind, the question arises, Does God have a penis? Does God have to have a penis?” said Jim Smithson, a herchurch member for two years. His questions prompts giggles in the group, but Smithson is quite serious. “The answer is no. And I don’t think anybody that has thought about it would ever say that absolutely, God has to have a penis, or else.”

    He pauses thoughtfully for a moment, and then continues. “And if God doesn’t have to have a penis, God can easily be Goddess as well.”

    For Boorn, God/dess is a partnership between the male and feminine. She explains that she does not wish to replace one gender with another, but that for her and other herchurch members, the word “God” has come to signify a male deity image, and has led to a patriarchal structure that many herchurch members found alienating in the religions of their youth.

    “The lifting up of the female imagery is not to do away with one and become another domination structure,” Boorn said. “It’s not the opposite of patriarchy, but rather a partnership model of egalitarian nature.”

    Members feel that in addition to breaking down a patriarchal structure, the feminization of a deity creates a more nurturing atmosphere.

    “I think this path supports justice towards all and a peaceful setting,” says Kathryn Wagner, a six-year herchurch veteran. “Everything we do is more about a loving atmosphere, empowerment, inclusiveness. Everyone is welcome here.”

    The creation and theology of herchurch is constantly under construction. Boorn and congregants are always reading voraciously, discovering different feminists texts and teachings. It is works of feminist theologians such as Reverend Doctor Jann Aldredge-Clanton that spurn herchurch forward. It was Aldredge-Clanton’s writings that prompted herchurch to employ the term “Christ-Sophia” in their services.

    “I might claim to be the first to put those two together,” Aldredge-Clanton said. She had been studying the connection between Jesus and his alternative name “Hokmah,” a feminine Hebrew word for Wisdom. Aldredge-Clanton then replaced “Hokmah” with Sophia, the Greek word for wisdom.

    “So that the feminine is explicit, I chose to use Sophia instead of just Christ-wisdom,” she said. With the two titles combined, the spiritual embodiment of this figure becomes both male and female.

    Aldredge-Clanton is a Baptist feminine theologian, born in Louisiana and now residing in Texas. Her voice is unmistakably Southern, with a thick twang that highlights the passion she has for her research.

    In her opinion, herchurch’s work has wide-reaching societal implications, and is part of a worldwide movement of feminization in major religions. It also comes at a crucial time.

    “When you have an exclusively masculine theology, you have a foundation for demeaning, devaluing and abusing women,” Aldredge-Clanton said. “If our sacred symbols are not equal, what about our values?”

    Aldredge-Clanton, citing a list of distressing statistics, said that a woman is battered every seven seconds, one in three women in the U.S. alone will experience some kind abuse in her lifetime and that one in four girls are sexually assaulted by the age of 18.

    She said that “divine feminine images can contribute to bringing down patriarchal structures.”

    But, she added, the effects of these movements do not stop at women’s rights.

    “I think that there is a deep hunger for the healing of the world, for bringing back this balance,” Aldredge-Clanton said. “Now I think it’s crucial to have the divine feminine in the forefront for saving of the world. To nurture instead of blowing it up.”

    For the time being, Boorn and Aldredge-Clanton reject a complete de-gendering of “the holy other,” explaining that Christianity is as of now too unbalanced to accept a totally gender-neutral spirit.

    “Calling God ‘she’ questions us from an automatic ‘he,’” Aldredge-Clanton said. “Because the divine continues to be associated so much with the masculine, until you bring the feminine, women will still be seen in some secondary kind of way.”

    Pastor Boorn agrees. For those who argue that God is gender-neutral, she counters, “if you cannot also say God/dess then you can’t believe that God is both or neither [gender].”

    Boorn was born and raised in upstate New York, and her no-nonsense attitude reflects her East Coast roots. She landed in Berkeley as a young adult to finish seminary, and showed up at Ebenezer Lutheran, as the church was then called, as an interim minister, later becoming its permanent minister. During this time, Boorn also began to discover texts discussing the sacred feminine within Christianity, and worked quickly to incorporate her knowledge into her belief system.

    By the time Boorn became Ebenezer Church’s full-time pastor, she and some congregants had begun to lay the foundation for herchurch. Equipped with fresh beliefs and strong convictions, the pastor did not hesitate to shake things up. She replaced the chapel with an art gallery, where a series of photographs, paintings and other objects sit quietly, crafted by both church and non-church members. Icons in the church are now gone, replaced with only a simple “Alleluia” sign decorated with fake flowers. Her latest project is removing all of the pews and replacing them with a circle of chairs.

    Of course, not all of Ebenezer’s congregants took to the idea of herchurch. And although a handful of members remain, most of the members of herchurch are new.

    Retired Police Officer Randy Randall is one of the crossover members from Ebenezer Lutheran Church. He has been part of the church since 1982, when he joined as a groundskeeper. He still takes care of the grounds and runs various side projects. His office, also located in the back of the church, is filled with relics, photographs, and memories ­­– in a way it is an active museum of the church’s history. His dog Benji sits resting in the corner.

    “This church was all Danish and Swedish when I joined,” Randall says. He motions to a picture hanging on the wall, where seven Caucasian men in white albs and red stoles are lined up, smiling from ear to ear. He points to the wall again, this time to a series of plaques.

    “You see this ‘my city my world?’” he asks. “We used to have 80-some kids here, and each one of those [plaques] you see with my name on them is from a year that we did [the ‘my city my world’ camp].” The camp has not run for a few years.

    When Randall brings out some photo albums, it is clear he’s proud of his memorabilia. The albums, pages yellow and brittle with age, show picture upon picture of a crowded church; of Sunday school; of senior trips. The scene is quite different from the service earlier that morning. Randall is quiet on the matter, but from the pictures in his album and on the wall, it’s clear that there was a large change in the demographic of the congregation.

    Boorn argues that Ebenezer Church’s congregation was already in decline when she joined as interim pastor. It was her job, before she was made permanent, to see how the church could essentially save itself. And the congregation liked her, eventually hiring her. At the same time, Boorn was discovering feminist theology, and found her own way to save the church. For as many people who left, there are people who arrived and seem quite pleased with what they have in front of them.

    For the most part, the Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America (ELCA), the Lutheran division of which Ebenezer/herchurch is a part, supports the church’s feminist agenda. But, while members of the LGTB community are allowed to be ministers within Lutheran churches, they must remain celibate, unlike other ministers.

    Jim Lapp is the pastor of Santa Cruz’s St. Stephen Lutheran church, which is also part of the ELCA. He is familiar with Boorn’s work.

    “I understand what she is trying to do,” he said. “I find references to God as neutral. But the fact is people don’t; people anthropomorphize God into a male image, and that’s of course very limiting of what God is, and what we understand God to be.”

    While Pastor Lapp supports Boorn’s work, he says that he is not about to employ similar tactics. In a congregation that is white, upper-middle class, he says that the divine feminine is not top on the congregation’s priority list. He has, however, worked to include a more balanced perspective in the deity figure, directing language towards focusing on God as a parent, rather than a father.

    “At the church we have to constantly be looking at the language we’re using so that it speaks to people and doesn’t stay anchored in medieval times,” he said. “This is one of the reasons the church is dying – we are not responding to the changes that are happening so quickly.”

    He also noted that Martin Luther was the first reformer of the church, and that such vigilance and commitment to reform follows in a 500-year-old tradition.

    “Martin Luther was the first reformer of the Christian church and ever since then we’ve being trying to look at things in light of the context that we live in,” Lapp said. “He did that back in the 1500s and we’ve been doing the same thing ever since.”

    Herchurch’s Smithson feels that this reform is exactly what herchurch is accomplishing with its feminization efforts.

    “It just really felt like everything, the ritual, the hierarchy, was being deconstructed,” Smithson said. “That’s really where I’ve come to realize that having God as a Masculine image isn’t a fundamental.”

    Of course, some accept this more than others. The church is shared with two other churches, a Chinese church and a Korean church. The Korean service takes place at 12:30, right after the herchurch service. And on her way out, Pastor Boorn points out that the minister has set up a screen for his service. Although there is no projector in sight, the screen covers the female icon below the cross. Boorn looks quizzical for a moment, a look that contains both a half smile and half sigh, and then moves on.

    MUSCOGEE pt 1


    AMOS 5:7-8 (wormwood=Artemis/Ashteroth=Judgment, meteor, bitter medicine, fertility goddess, moon goddess)1 SAMUEL 7 (Ashteroth/Arc of the & Ebenezer (stone of =meteor?)REVELATION 2:17 (secret white stone, secret name, saving those who find it..)WHAT STONE COULD THIS “SECRET STONE” BE? WHAT IS THE “SECRET NAME” WITHIN THE STONE?The Bible says…


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  • Sophia (wisdom)




    “Sapientia” redirects here. For the asteroid, see 275 Sapientia.



    Personification of wisdom (in Greek, “Σοφία” or “Sophia“) at the Celsus Library in EphesusTurkey.

    Sophia (σοφίαGreek for “wisdom“) is a central idea in Hellenistic philosophy and religionPlatonismGnosticism, orthodox ChristianityEsoteric Christianity, and Christian mysticismSophiology is a philosophical concept regarding wisdom, as well as a theological concept regarding the wisdom of the biblical God.

    Sophia is honored as a goddess of wisdom by Gnostics, as well as by some NeopaganNew Age, and Goddess spirituality groups. In Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christianity, Sophia, or rather Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom), is an expression of understanding for the second person of the Holy Trinity (as in the dedication of the church of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople), as well as in the Old Testament, as seen in the Book of Proverbs 9:1, but not an angel or goddess.


    PlatonismEdit



    Plato, following his teacher, Socrates (and, it is likely, the older tradition of Pythagoras), understands philosophy as φιλοσοφία (philo-sophia, or, literally, a friend of Wisdom). This understanding of philosophia permeates Plato’s dialogues, especially the Republic. In that work, the leaders of the proposed utopia are to be philosopher kings: rulers who are friends of sophia or Wisdom.

    Sophia is one of the four cardinal virtues in Plato‘s Protagoras.

    The Pythian Oracle (Oracle of Delphi) reportedly answered the question of “who is the wisest man of Greece?” with “Socrates!” Socrates defends this verdict in his Apology to the effect that he, at least, knows that he knows nothing. As is evident in Plato’s portrayals of Socrates, this does not mean Socrates’ wisdom was the same as knowing nothing; but rather that his skepticism towards his own self-made constructions of knowledge left him free to receive true Wisdom as a spontaneous insight or inspiration. This contrasted with the attitude of contemporaneous Greek Sophists, who claimed to be wise and offered to teach wisdom for pay.

    Old Testament and Jewish textsEdit


    SeptuagintEdit

    Further information: Chokhmah

    The Greek noun sophia is the translation of “wisdom” in the Greek Septuagint for Hebrew חכמות Ḥokmot. Wisdom is a central topic in the “sapiential” books, i.e. ProverbsPsalmsSong of SongsEcclesiastesBook of WisdomWisdom of Sirach, and to some extent Baruch (the last three are Deuterocanonical books of the Old Testament.)

    Philo and the LogosEdit

    Further information: Logos

    Philo, a Hellenised Jew writing in Alexandria, attempted to harmonise Platonic philosophy and Jewish scripture. Also influenced by Stoic philosophical concepts, he used the Greek term logos, “word,” for the role and function of Wisdom, a concept later adapted by the author of the Gospel of John in the opening verses and applied to Jesus Christ as the eternal Word (Logos) of God the Father.[1]

    ChristianityEdit


    Further information: Sophiology



    Ukrainian (Kyiv) Icon, Sophia, the Holy Wisdom, 1812. Cf. Proverbs 9:1.

    In Christian theology, “wisdom” (HebrewChokhmahGreekSophiaLatinSapientia) describes an aspect of God, or the theological concept regarding the wisdom of God.[citation needed]

    New TestamentEdit

    Jesus directly mentions Wisdom in the Gospel of Matthew:

    The Son of man came eating and drinking, and they say, Behold a man gluttonous, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners. But wisdom is justified of her children.

    — Matthew 11:19

    His wisdom is recognized by the people of Nazareth, his hometown, during his ‘return’ visit, there which in Matthew’s gospel separates his major Galilean ministry and his final Galilean ministry

    They were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?”

    — Matthew 13:54

    St. Paul refers to the concept, notably in 1 Corinthians, but obscurely, deconstructing worldly wisdom:

    Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?

    — 1 Corinthians 1:20

    Paul sets worldly wisdom against a higher wisdom of God:

    But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.

    — 1 Corinthians 2:7

    The Epistle of James (James 3:13-18; cf. James 1:5) distinguishes between two kinds of wisdom. One is a false wisdom, which is characterized as “earthly, sensual, devilish” and is associated with strife and contention. The other is the ‘wisdom that comes from above’:

    But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

    — James 3:17

    Eastern OrthodoxyEdit

    In the mystical theology of the Eastern Orthodox Church, Holy Wisdom is understood as the Divine Logos who became incarnate as Jesus Christ;[2] this belief being sometimes also expressed in some Eastern Orthodox icons.[3][4][5][6][7] In Eastern Orthodoxy humility is the highest wisdom and is to be sought more than any other virtue. Not only does humility cultivate the Holy Wisdom, but it (in contrast to knowledge) is the defining quality that grants people salvation and entrance into Heaven.[8] The Hagia Sophia or Holy Wisdom church in Constantinople was the religious center of the Eastern Orthodox Church for nearly a thousand years.


     

    Exterior view of the Hagia Sophia or the Holy Wisdom in Istanbul, Turkey

    In the Divine Liturgy of the Orthodox Church, the exclamation Sophia! or in English Wisdom! will be proclaimed by the deacon or priest at certain moments, especially before the reading of scripture, to draw the congregation’s attention to sacred teaching.

    The concept of Sophia has been championed as a key part of the Godhead by some Eastern Orthodox religious thinkers. These included Vladimir SolovyovPavel FlorenskyNikolai Berdyaev, and Sergei Bulgakov whose book Sophia: The Wisdom of God is in many ways the apotheosis of Sophiology. For Bulgakov, the Sophia is co-existent with the Trinity, operating as the feminine aspect of God in concert with the three masculine principles of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Vladimir Lossky rejects Solovyev and Bulgakov’s teachings as error. Lossky states that Wisdom as an energy of God (just as love, faith and grace are also energies of God) is not to be ascribed to be the true essence of God, as to do so is to deny the apophatic and incomprehensible nature of the Divine essence.[9] Bulgakov’s work was denounced by the Russian Orthodox as heretical.[2][10]

    Roman Catholic mysticismEdit


     

    Artwork from a medieval codex depicting Hildegard of Bingen‘s vision of Ecclesia and Sophia.

    In Roman Catholic mysticismthe Doctor of the Church St. Hildegard of Bingen celebrated Sophia as a cosmic figure in both her writing and her art.[11]Sophia, in Catholic theology, is the Wisdom of God, and is thus eternal.

    Protestant mysticismEdit

    Within the Protestant tradition in EnglandJane Leade, 17th-century Christian mysticUniversalist, and founder of the Philadelphian Society, wrote copious descriptions of her visions and dialogues with the “Virgin Sophia” who, she said, revealed to her the spiritual workings of the Universe.[12]


     

    Virgin Sophia design on a Harmony Society doorway in Harmony, Pennsylvania, carved by Frederick Reichert Rapp in 1809.

    Leade was hugely influenced by the theosophical writings of 16th century German Christian mystic Jakob Böhme, who also speaks of the Sophia in works such as The Way to Christ.[13] Jakob Böhme was very influential to a number of Christian mystics and religious leaders, including George Rapp and the Harmony Society.[14]

    Sophia can be described as the wisdom of God, and, at times, as a pure virginspirit which emanates from God. The Sophia is seen as being expressed in all creation and the natural world as well as, for some of the Christian mystics mentioned above, integral to the spiritual well-being of humankind, the church, and the cosmos. The Virgin is seen as outside creation but compassionately interceding on behalf of humanity to alleviate its suffering by illuminating true spiritual seekers with wisdom and the love of God.

    The main difference between the concept of Sophia found in most traditional forms of Christian mysticism and the one more aligned with the Gnostic view of Sophia is that to many Christian mystics she is not seen as fallen or in need of redemption. Conversely, she is not as central in most forms of established Christianity as she is in Gnosticism, but to some Christian mystics the Sophia is a very important concept.

    In the Heavenly Faith school of thought, the Holy Spirit is synonymous with Sophia, being the feminine counterpart to the masculine Logos. Whereas the latter is incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, the former is effectively incarnate in the Church in so far as She is the spirit which circulates through and binds together all Christians.[15]

    In ChristologyEdit

    Further information: Names and titles of Jesus in the New Testament


     

    Icon of Sophia from St George Church in Vologda: Christ is represented above her head (16th century)

    The Old Testament theme of wisdom also proved its worth for the first Christians when reflecting on their experience of Jesus.[16] The conceptuality offered various possibilities.[17]

    Proverbs vividly personifies the divine attribute or function of wisdom, which existed before the world was made, revealed God, and acted as God’s agent in creation (Prov 8:22–31 cf. 3:19; Wisdom 8:4-6Sir 1:4,9). Wisdom dwelt with God (Prov 8:22–31; cf. Sir 24:4Wisdom 9:9-10) and being the exclusive property of God was as such inaccessible to human beings (Job 28:12–13, 20–1, 23–27). It was God who “found” wisdom (Bar 3:29-37) and gave her to Israel: “He found the whole way to knowledge, and gave her to Jacob his servant and to Israel whom he loved. Afterward she appeared upon earth and lived among human beings” (Bar 3:36-37Sir 24:1-12). As a female figure (Sir. 1:15; Wis. 7:12), wisdom addressed human beings (Prov. 1:20–33; 8:1–9:6) inviting to her feast those who are not yet wise (Prov. 9:1-6). The finest passage celebrating the divine wisdom (Wis. 7:22b-8:1) includes the following description: “She is a breath of the power of God, and the radiance of the glory of the Almighty… She is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness” (Wisdom 7:25-26). No wonder then that Solomon, the archetypal wise person, fell in love with wisdom: “I loved her and sought her from my youth; I desired to take her for my bride, and became enamored of her beauty” (Wisdom 8:2). Such was the radiant beauty of the wisdom exercised by God both in creation and in relations with the chosen people.[18]

    In understanding and interpreting Christ, the New Testament uses various strands from these accounts of wisdom. First, like wisdom, Christ pre-existed all things and dwelt with God John 1:1–2); second, the lyric language about wisdom being the breath of the divine power, reflecting divine glory, mirroring light, and being an image of God, appears to be echoed by 1 Corinthians 1:17–18, 24–5 (verses which associate divine wisdom with power), by Hebrews 1:3 (“he is the radiance of God’s glory”), John 1:9 (“the true light that gives light to everyone”), and Colossians 1:15 (“the image of the invisible God”). Third, the New Testament applies to Christ the language about wisdom’s cosmic significance as God’s agent in the creation of the world: “all things were made through him, and without him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3; see Col 1:16 Heb 1:2). Fourth, faced with Christ’s crucifixion, Paul vividly transforms the notion of divine wisdom’s inaccessibility (1 Cor. 1:17-2:13). “The wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:21) is not only “secret and hidden” (1 Cor. 2:7) but also, defined by the cross and its proclamation, downright folly to the wise of this world (1 Cor. 1:18-25; see also Matt 11:25-7). Fifth, through his parables and other ways, Christ teaches wisdom (Matt 25:1-12 Luke 16:1-18, cf. also Matt 11:25–30). He is ‘greater’ than Solomon, the Old Testament wise person and teacher par excellence (Matt 12:42). Sixth, the New Testament does not, however, seem to have applied to Christ the themes of Lady Wisdom and her radiant beauty. Pope Leo the Great (d. 461), however, recalled Proverbs 9:1 by picturing the unborn Jesus in Mary’s womb as “Wisdom building a house for herself” (Epistolae, 31. 2-3).[16] Strands from the Old testament ideas about wisdom are more or less clearly taken up (and changed) in New Testament interpretations of Christ. Here and there the New Testament eventually not only ascribes wisdom roles to Christ, but also makes the equation “divine wisdom=Christ” quite explicit. Luke reports how the boy Jesus grew up “filled with wisdom” (Luke 2:40; see Luke 2:52). Later, Christ’s fellow-countrymen were astonished “at the wisdom given to him” (Mark 6:2). Matthew 11:19 thinks of him as divine wisdom being “proved right by his deeds” (see, however, the different and probably original version of Luke 7:35).[19] Possibly Luke 11:49 wishes to present Christ as “the wisdom of God”. Paul names Christ as “the wisdom of God” (1 Cor. 1:24) whom God “made our wisdom” (1 Cor. 1:30; cf. 1:21). A later letter softens the claim a little: in Christ “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge lie hidden” (Col 2:3). Beyond question, the clearest form of the equation “the divine wisdom=Christ” comes in 1 Corinthians 1:17-2:13. Yet, even there Paul’s impulse is to explain “God’s hidden wisdom” not so much as the person of Christ himself, but rather as God’s “wise and hidden purpose from the very beginning to bring us to our destined glory” (1 Cor. 2:7). In other words, when Paul calls Christ “the wisdom of God”, even more than in the case of other titles, God’s eternal plan of salvation overshadows everything.[16]

    In PatristicsEdit

    See also: Patristics and Logos (Christianity)

    At times the Church Fathers named Christ as “Wisdom”. Therefore, when rebutting claims about Christ’s ignorance, Gregory of Nazianzus insisted that, inasmuch as he was divine, Christ knew everything: “How can he be ignorant of anything that is, when he is Wisdom, the maker of the worlds, who brings all things to fulfilment and recreates all things, who is the end of all that has come into being?” (Orationes, 30.15). Irenaeus represents another, minor patristic tradition which identified the Spirit of God, and not Christ himself, as “Wisdom” (Adversus haereses, 4.20.1–3; cf. 3.24.2; 4.7.3; 4.20.3). He could appeal to Paul’s teaching about wisdom being one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:8). However, the majority applied to Christ the title/name of “Wisdom”. Eventually the Emperor Constantine set a pattern for Eastern Christians by dedicating a church to Christ as the personification of divine wisdom.[16] In Constantinople, under Emperor JustinianSanta Sophia (“Holy Wisdom”) was rebuilt, consecrated in 538, and became a model for many other Byzantine churches. Nevertheless, in the New testament and subsequent Christian thought (at least Western thought) “the Word” or Logos came through more clearly than “the Wisdom” of God as a central, high title of Christ. The portrayal of the Word in the prologue of John’s Gospel shows a marked resemblance to what is said about wisdom in Proverbs 8:22-31 and Sirach 24:1-2. Yet, that Prologue speaks of the Word, not the Wisdom, becoming flesh and does not follow Baruch in saying that “Wisdom appeared upon earth and lived among human beings” (Bar 3:37. When focusing in a classic passage on what “God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1 Cor. 2:10), Paul had written of the hidden and revealed wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:17–2:13). Despite the availability of this wisdom language and conceptuality, John prefers to speak of “the Word” (John 1:1, 14; cf. 1 John 1:1; Rev 19:13), a term that offers a rich array of meanings.[16]

    GnosticismEdit


    Main article: Sophia (Gnosticism)

    Contemporary pagan Goddess worshipEdit


    Sophia is worshiped as a goddess of wisdom by gnostics and pagans today, including Wiccan spirituality.[20][21]Books relating to the contemporary pagan worship of the goddess Sophia include: Sophia, Goddess of Wisdom, by Caitlin Matthews, The Cosmic Shekinah by Sorita d’Este and David Rankine (which includes Sophia as one of the major aspects of the goddess of wisdom), and Inner Gold: Understanding Psychological Projection by Robert A. Johnson.

    New Age spiritualityEdit


    The goddess Sophia was introduced into Anthroposophy by its founder, Rudolf Steiner, in his book The Goddess: From Natura to Divine Sophia[22] and a later compilation of his writings titled Isis Mary Sophia. Sophia also figures prominently in Theosophy, a spiritual movement which Anthroposophy was closely related to. Helena Blavatsky, the founder of Theosophy, described it in her essay What is Theosophy? as an esoteric wisdom doctrine, and said that the “Wisdom” referred to was “an emanation of the Divine principle” typified by “…some goddesses — Metis, Neitha, Athena, the Gnostic Sophia…”[23]

    Sancta Sophia Seminary, located in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, was an educational institution associated with the Light of Christ Community Church from 1992 until its closure in 2012.[24]

    ArtEdit



    statue of Sophia in Sofia, Bulgaria

    The artwork The Dinner Party features a place setting for Sophia.[25]

    There is a monumental sculpture of her in the capital of Bulgaria. (The city itself is named after its Saint Sofia Church.) [26] The sculpture was erected in 2000 to replace a statue of Lenin. She is also depicted on the city’s seal.

    See alsoEdit


    References

    Bibliography

    External links

    275 Sapientia is a very large Main beltasteroid that was discovered by Johann Palisa on April 15, 1888 in Vienna. It is classified as a C-type asteroid and is probably composed of carbonaceous material.


    Observations performed at the Palmer Divide Observatory in Colorado Springs, Colorado during 2007 produced a light curve with an estimated period of 14.766 ± 0.006 hours with a brightness range of 0.11 ± 0.02 in magnitude.

    MUSCOGEE GEORGIA (Aliearia’s birthplace 8/6/1970)

    NUMBERS & SYMBOLS HAVE GREAT MEANING.

    11 SAMUEL 7:

    And the men of Kirjathjearim came, and fetched up the ark of the LORD, and brought it into the house of Abinadab in the hill, and sanctified Eleazar his son to keep the ark of the LORD.

    2And it came to pass, while the ark abode in Kirjathjearim, that the time was long; for it was twenty years: and all the house of Israel lamented after the LORD.

    3And Samuel spake unto all the house of Israel, saying, If ye do return unto the LORD with all your hearts, then put away the strange gods and Ashtaroth from among you, and prepare your hearts unto the LORD, and serve him only: and he will deliver you out of the hand of the Philistines.

    4Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth, and served the LORD only.

    5And Samuel said, Gather all Israel to Mizpeh, and I will pray for you unto the LORD.

    6And they gathered together to Mizpeh, and drew water, and poured it out before the LORD, and fasted on that day, and said there, We have sinned against the LORD. And Samuel judged the children of Israel in Mizpeh.

    7And when the Philistines heard that the children of Israel were gathered together to Mizpeh, the lords of the Philistines went up against Israel. And when the children of Israel heard it, they were afraid of the Philistines.

    8And the children of Israel said to Samuel, Cease not to cry unto the LORD our God for us, that he will save us out of the hand of the Philistines.

    9And Samuel took a sucking lamb, and offered it for a burnt offering wholly unto the LORD: and Samuel cried unto the LORD for Israel; and the LORD heard him.

    10And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.

    11And the men of Israel went out of Mizpeh, and pursued the Philistines, and smote them, until they came under Bethcar.

    12Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us.

    13So the Philistines were subdued, and they came no more into the coast of Israel: and the hand of the LORD was against the Philistines all the days of Samuel.

    14And the cities which the Philistines had taken from Israel were restored to Israel, from Ekron even unto Gath; and the coasts thereof did Israel deliver out of the hands of the Philistines. And there was peace between Israel and the Amorites.

    15And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.

    16And he went from year to year in circuit to Bethel, and Gilgal, and Mizpeh, and judged Israel in all those places.

    17And his return was to Ramah; for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and there he built an altar unto the LORD.

    Remember, the language of Genesis 11 is symbols, NOT ENGLISH! PERIOD!!!

    The #7 is the number symbolizing: completion, ascension of spiritual consciousness, righteousness, peace, harmony, heaven (above)  to Earth (below)

    EBENEZER LUTHERAN (Jer-“USA”-lem/Jeru-“SALEM” Georgia’s 4th oldest site, and oldest clan/tribe introduced to GEORGE WASHINGTON …get it? George & Georgia..mus-go-G..Muscogee..
    I, Aliearia aka Tanya “G” was born here in Muscogee Georgia, then grew up in South Carolina (West Columbia) George Washington was introduced to this tribe first, along with the fact he attended Saint Michael’s church in Charleston, South Carolina (Battery, get it yet?) The most ancient masonic “MOTHER” lodge, freemasons, is also found here. George Washington was a high ranking freemason and a part of this most ancient of secret societies

    In the pics below, look for the symbols of: orb, pyramid shapes, #7 =stars, etc; beams of light, laser, alignments, ascending ladders (patterns of ALL kinds)