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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


I want to restate that Semitic does not just mean those of the Jewish faith. The term is used to represent the West Asian people of the Biblical "Shem". This ancient race includes the Ahlamu, Akkadian (Assyrian-Babylonian), Amharic, Ammonite, Amorite, Arabic, Aramaic/Syriac, Canaanite (Phoenician/Carthaginian/Hebrew), Chaldean, Eblaite, Edomite, Ge'ez, Maltese, Mandaic, Moabite, Sutean, Tigre and Tigrinya, and Ugaritic, among others.

As I have demonstrated the Semitic race branched in all directions. The bible tells us that the entire human race are descended from Noah. The descendants of Shem's brothers turned their back on Hashem's covenant and choose to branch out and create their own beliefs by incorporating animal and elemental spirits. Then some of Shem's descendants choose to branch out and become false prophets, and others choose to proclaim themselves to gods and putting fear into the weak to follow vain fantasies. Apostasy branched from Abraham, Israel, and even Christianity.

In the spirit of Elijah, John the Baptist preached masterfully to common Jews, Pharisees and Sadducees that once again Israel was in serious apostasy. It was not just blood that made Hashem's people special, Israel was blessed to be an His living example to the entire people of the world. Israel made a pact to follow Hahem's every command. But, Israel did not listen and Hashem punished His chosen people hard for following worthless idols.. Now Hashem was once again fulfilling a prophecy he made of a coming Messiah. The leader of Hashem's new kingdom was in His promised land with a new covenant and a greater reward to the righteous that choose to follow it.

Hashem's plan for mankind is in both the old and new testament to understand.

Proverbs 17

17:3 The crucible is for refining silver and the furnace is for gold,

likewise the Lord tests hearts.

17:4 One who acts wickedly pays attention to evil counsel;

a liar listens to a malicious tongue.

17:5 The one who mocks the poor insults his Creator;

whoever rejoices over disaster will not go unpunished.


2 Kings 22

22:1 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned for thirty-one years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jedidah, daughter of Adaiah, from Bozkath.

22:2 He did what the Lord approved and followed in his ancestor David’s footsteps; he did not deviate to the right or the left.

22:3 In the eighteenth year of King Josiah’s reign, the king sent the scribe Shaphan son of Azaliah, son of Meshullam, to the Lord’s temple with these orders:

22:4 “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him melt down the silver that has been brought by the people to the Lord’s temple and has been collected by the guards at the door.

22:5 Have them hand it over to the construction foremen assigned to the Lord’s temple. They in turn should pay the temple workers to repair it,

22:6 including craftsmen, builders, and masons, and should buy wood and chiseled stone for the repair work.

22:7 Do not audit the foremen who disburse the silver, for they are honest.”

22:8 Hilkiah the high priest informed Shaphan the scribe, “I found the law scroll in the Lord’s temple.” Hilkiah gave the scroll to Shaphan and he read it.

22:9 Shaphan the scribe went to the king and reported, “Your servants melted down the silver in the temple and handed it over to the construction foremen assigned to the Lord’s temple.”

22:10 Then Shaphan the scribe told the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a scroll.” Shaphan read it out loud before the king.

22:11 When the king heard the words of the law scroll, he tore his clothes.

22:12 The king ordered Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Acbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the scribe, and Asaiah the king’s servant,

22:13 “Go, seek an oracle from the Lord for me and the people – for all Judah. Find out about the words of this scroll that has been discovered. For the Lord’s fury has been ignited against us, because our ancestors have not obeyed the words of this scroll by doing all that it instructs us to do.”

22:14 So Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Acbor, Shaphan, and Asaiah went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shullam son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, the supervisor of the wardrobe. (She lived in Jerusalem in the Mishneh district.) They stated their business,

22:15 and she said to them: “This is what the Lord God of Israel says:

‘Say this to the man who sent you to me:

22:16 “This is what the Lord says:

‘I am about to bring disaster on this place and its residents, the details of which are recorded in the scroll which the king of Judah has read.

22:17 This will happen because they have abandoned me and offered sacrifices to other gods, angering me with all the idols they have made. My anger will ignite against this place and will not be extinguished!’”

22:18 Say this to the king of Judah, who sent you to seek an oracle from the Lord:

“This is what the Lord God of Israel says concerning the words you have heard:

22:19 ‘You displayed a sensitive spirit and humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard how I intended to make this place and its residents into an appalling example of an accursed people. You tore your clothes and wept before me, and I have heard you,’ says the Lord.

22:20 ‘Therefore I will allow you to die and be buried in peace. You will not have to witness all the disaster I will bring on this place.’”’” Then they reported back to the king.


Matthew 3

3:1 In those days John the Baptist came into the wilderness of Judea proclaiming,

3:2 “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near.”

3:3 For he is the one about whom Isaiah the prophet had spoken:

“The voice of one shouting in the wilderness,

‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make his paths straight.’”

3:4 Now John wore clothing made from camel’s hair with a leather belt around his waist, and his diet consisted of locusts and wild honey.

3:5 Then people from Jerusalem, as well as all Judea and all the region around the Jordan, were going out to him,

3:6 and he was baptizing them in the Jordan River as they confessed their sins.

3:7 But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, “You offspring of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?

3:8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance,

3:9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones!

3:10 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.

3:11 “I baptize you with water, for repentance, but the one coming after me is more powerful than I am – I am not worthy to carry his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

3:12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clean out his threshing floor and will gather his wheat into the storehouse, but the chaff he will burn up with inextinguishable fire.”


Matthew 4

15 The land of Zebulon, and the land of Naphtali, toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles;

16 the people that sat in darkness saw great light; and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light arose.

17 From that time Jesus began to preach and to say: Repent, for the kingdom of the heavens is at hand.

18 And walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, throwing a net into the sea, for they were fishers.

4:19 And he said to them: Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.

20 And they immediately left their nets and followed him.

21 And going on thence, he saw other two brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in the ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them.

22 And immediately leaving the ship and their father, they followed him.

23 And he went about in the whole of Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and curing every disease and every malady among the people.

24 And his fame went abroad into the whole of Syria; and they brought to him all that were sick with various diseases, and that were afflicted with torments, and those possessed with demons, and lunatics, and paralytics; and he cured them.

25 And there followed him many multitudes from Galilee, and Decapolis, and Jerusalem, and Judea, and from beyond the Jordan.

5:1 But seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain; and when he had sat down, his disciples came to him;

2 and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying:

3 Blessed are the poor in spirit; for theirs in the kingdom of the heavens.

4 Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.

5 Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted.

6 Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousness; for they shall be filled.

7 Blessed are the merciful; for they shall receive mercy.

8 Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.

9 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called sons of God.

10 Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness' sake; for theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

11 Blessed are you when they shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say every evil thing against you falsely for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in the heavens; for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

13 You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt shall have become tasteless, by what means shall it be salted? It is then good for nothing but, after being cast out, to be trod upon by men.

14 You are the light of the world. A city that lies upon a mountain cannot be hid:

15 neither do men light a lamp and put it under the measure, but on the lamp stand, and it gives light to all that are in the house.

16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in the heavens.

17 Think not that I have come to destroy the law or the prophets: I have not come to destroy, but to fulfill.

18 For verily I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one yod or one point shall in no way pass from the law, till all be accomplished.

19 Whoever therefore shall make void one of the least of these commandments, and shall teach men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of the heavens; but whoever shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of the heavens,

20 For I say to you, that unless your righteousness shall be more abundant than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you can by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.

21 You have heard that it was said to the ancients:

Thou shalt not kill; and whoever shall kill shall be liable to the judgment.

22 But I say to you, that whoever is angry with his brother shall be liable to the judgment; and whoever shall say to his brother. Worthless fellow, shall be liable to the Sanhedrim; but whoever shall say:

Thou fool, shall be liable to be cast into hellfire.

23 If therefore thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there remember that thy brother has anything against thee,

24 leave there thy gift before the altar, and go, first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

25 Agree with thy opponent-at-law quickly, while thou art on the road with him, lest perhaps the opponent-at-law deliver thee to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.

26 Verily I say to thee, thou shalt not come out thence, till thou shalt have paid the last farthing.

27 You have heard that it was said:

Thou shalt not commit adultery.

28 But I say to you, That every one that looks on a woman to cherish desire, has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

29 But if thy right eye ensnares thee, pull it out, and throw it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members perish, and not that thy whole body be thrown into hell.

30 And if thy right hand ensnares thee, cut it off, and throw it from thee; for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members perish, and not that thy whole body go away into hell.

31 And it has been said:

Whoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.

32 But I say to you, that whoever shalt put away his wife, unless on account of lewdness, causes her to commit adultery; and whoever shall marry her that is put away commits adultery.

33 Again: you have heard that it was said to the ancients:

Thou shalt not swear falsely, but shalt pay to the Lord thy oaths.

34 But I say to you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God;

35 nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King:

36 neither shalt thou swear by thy head, for thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your word be yes, yes; no, no; and that which is more than these is of the evil one.

38 You have heard that it was said:

Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.

39 But I say to you, that you resist not the injurious; but whoever shall smite thee on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.

40 And to him that will go to law with thee, and take away thy coat, give up thy mantle also.

41 And whoever will impress thee to go one mile, go with him two.

42 Give to him that asks of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not away.

43 You have heard that it was said:

Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thy enemy.

44 But I say to you. Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you;

45 that you may become sons of your Father who is in the heavens; for he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends his rain on the just and the unjust.

46 For if you love them that love you, what reward have you? Do not even the publicans the same?

47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? Do not even the heathen the same?

48 Be you therefore perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.

6:1 But take heed that you do not your righteousness before men, to be seen by them:

otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in the heavens.

2 When therefore thou wouldst do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues, and in the streets, that they may be glorified by men. Verily I say to you: They have their reward in full.

3 But when thou doest a charitable deed, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand does;

4 that thy charitable deed may be in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret will reward thee.

5 And when you pray, you shall not be as the hypocrites; for they love to pray standing in the synagogues, and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Verily I say to you: They have their reward in full.

6 But thou, when thou pray, go into thy closet; and having closed thy door, pray to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret will reward thee.

7 But when you pray, use not vain repetitions as the heathens; for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

8 Be not therefore like them; for your Father knows what things you have need of before you ask him.

9 In this way therefore pray you:

Our Father who art in the heavens:

hallowed be thy name.

10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done as in heaven also on earth.

11 Give us this day our needful bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors;

13 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

14 For if you forgive men their offenses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you;

15 but if you for give not men, neither will your Father forgive your offenses.

16 And when you fast, be not as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance; for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear to men to fast. Verily I say to you, They have their reward in full.

17 But do thou, when fasting, anoint thy head, and wash thy face,

18 that thou appear not to men to fast, but to thy Father who is in secret; and thy Father who sees in secret will reward thee.

19 Lay not up for yourselves treasures on the earth, where moth and rust consume, and where thieves break through and steal;

20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

21 For where thy treasure is, there will thy heart be also.

22 The lamp of the body is the eye. If thy eye be simple thy whole body shall be full of light;

23 but if thy eye be evil thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If then the light that is in thee is darkness, how great that darkness.

24 No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other or he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and Mammon.

25 For this reason I say to you:

Be not anxious for your life what you shall eat, nor for your body what you shall put on. Is not the life more than the food, and the body than the clothing?

26 Look at the birds of heaven, that they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into granaries; and yet your heavenly Father feeds them:

are you not much better than they?

27 But which of you, by being anxious, can add one cubit to his age?

28 And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they toil not, nor do they spin.

29 But I say to you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed as one of these.

30 Now if God so clothes the herb of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 Then, be not anxious, saying:

What shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or with what shall we be clothed?

32 For after all these things do the Gentiles seek; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these.

33 But seek first his kingdom and righteousness, and all these shall be given you in addition.

34 Be not therefore anxious for the morrow; for the morrow shall be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own evil.

7:1 Judge not that you be not judged.

2 For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged, and with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you.

3 And why behold thou the splinter that is in thy brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in thy own eye?

4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother:

Let me pull the splinter out of thy eye, and behold, the beam is in thy own eye.

5 Hypocrite, pull first the beam out of thy own eye, and then thou shalt see clearly to pull the splinter out of thy brother's eye.

6 Give not that which is holy to dogs, neither throw your pearls before swine, less they trample them with their feet, and turn and tear you.

7 Ask, and it shall be given you:

seek, and you shall find:

knock, and it shall be opened to you.

8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, of whom should his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 or if he should also ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If then you being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in the heavens give good gifts to those who ask him?

12 All things therefore whatever you would that men should do to you, even so do you to them; for this is the law and the prophets.

13 Enter in through the strait gate; for wide the gate and broad the way that leads to destruction; and many are they that go in through it;

14 for strait is the gate, and narrow the way that leads to life, and few are they that find it.

15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but within are ravenous wolves.

16 By their fruits you shall know them. Do men gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?

17 So every good tree produces goodly fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.

18 A good tree cannot produce evil fruit; neither can a corrupt tree produce goodly fruit.

19 Every tree that does not produce goodly fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

20 Therefore, by their fruits you shall know them.

21 Not every one that says to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but he that does the will of my Father who is in the heavens.

22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy by thy name, and by thy name cast out demons, and by thy name do many mighty works?

23 And then will I confess to them, I never knew you:

depart from me, you that work iniquity.

24 Every one therefore that hears these words of mine and does them, shall be likened to a wise man, who built his house on the rock.

25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell not; for it was founded on the rock.

26 And every one that hears these words of mine, and does them not, shall be likened to a foolish man who built his house upon the sand.

27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and they beat upon that house, and it fell; and great was its fall.

28 And it came to pass when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were astonished at his teaching;

29 for he taught them as having authority and not as their scribes.

8:1 And when he had come down from the mountain, many multitudes followed him.


I am beginning to believe that Zoroastrian started as a faith of two gods, but evolved to a faith of one god and two opposing spirits. Or could it be the other way around? I posed the following question to practicing Zoroastrians:

Did Ahura Mazda create Angra Mainyu?

Ardavan Ashkan was kind to answer my question.

The answer depends on which zoroastrian text you are looking at. If you read the Gatha-Hymns which are believed to be composed by Zaratushtra he tells us about two opposing spirits named Spenta.Mainyu ("increasing, holy spirit") and Angra.Mainyu ("destructive spirit"). It is said that these two spirits according to their free will chose good (spenta mainyu) and evil (Angra Mainyu).They are also named twins and many scholars believe that the supreme god Ahura Mazda who reigns above them is their father. That would mean that Ahura Mazda has created Angra Mainyu. Other scholars claim that Spenta.Mainyu and Angra.Mainyu are the personification of good and evil moral choices and lifestyle. Between them is the free will so that every human - man and woman - has to choose between good and evil freely. The Gathas reveal that if you increase good and fight for Asha (the elemental, cosmic principle) you will be immortal after life and come to the paradise named "Garo.demana" (House of songs); those who worship evil and are of destructive nature will not be immortal but punished in Drujo.demana (House of lies) after their death. So everyone is responsible for his own thoughts, words and actions.

If you look at the other portions of the Avesta and/or the middle persian, religious texts the answer is:

Ahura Mazda did not create Angra Mainyu.

In later times Spenta.Mainyu became one with Ahura Mazda so that now Ahura Mazda was directly opposed to Angra Mainyu. The zoroastrian cosmology in the Avesta and in the middlepersian works tell us that at the beginning of all two spirits were in being; the one was Ohrmazd (middle persian form of Ahura Mazda) who reigned high above in the eternal light; the other was Ahriman (middle persian form of Angra.Mainyu) who resided in the lowest abyss in the eternal darkness. So these two spirits were always there; they were not created by each other nor they were created by some power.


The Gatha Hymns are believed to be composed by Zarathustra, between 6000 BC to 600 BC.
Recent We know that in 330 BC, Alexander the Great of Macedonia defeated Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela. We also know that inn 549 BCE, the Persians, led by Cyrus the Great of the Archaemenian family, overthrew the Median court of Western Iran.

Zoroaster's ideas led to a formal religion bearing his name by about the 6th century BC and have influenced other later religions including Judaism, Gnosticism, Christianity and Islam.

Ahura Mazda was the transcendent entity which actually existed above the opposed forces of Asha and Druj; in Zoroaster's formulation these antipodes were personified by two spirits who represented creative good (Spenta Mainyu) and destructive evil (Angra Mainyu).

Below the destructive spirit, Angra Mainyu convinces Jeh (Jahi - Lion) the primeval whore to kill the primordial bull (One of Ahura Mazda’s six primordial material creations and the mythological progenitor of all beneficent animal life) This depiction was seen at the ancient throne room of Darius in his palace at Persepolis, the seat of his vast Achaemenid Empire.

1280px-Pers%C3%A9polis._Lion_%26_taureau


In Mesopotamian mythology, Gugalanna (lit. "The Great Bull of Heaven" < Sumerian gu "bull", gal "great", an "heaven", -a "of") was a Sumerian deity as well as the constellation known today as Taurus, one of the twelve signs of the Zodiac.

Gugalanna was sent by the gods to take retribution upon Gilgamesh for rejecting the sexual advances of the goddess Inanna. Gugalanna, whose feet made the earth shake, was slain and dismembered by Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Inanna, from the heights of the city walls looked down, and Enkidu took the haunches of the bull shaking them at the goddess, threatening he would do the same to her if he could catch her too. For this impiety, Enkidu later dies.

Gugalanna was the first husband of the Goddess Ereshkigal, the Goddess of the Realm of the Dead, a gloomy place devoid of light. It was to share the sorrow with her sister that Inanna later descends to the Underworld.

lion-headed eagle (Anzud, Anzu) and human-headed bull (Gugalanna). Like Angra Mainyu, Anzud goes against the will the gods. The difference is mother of the gods. Angra Mainyu is a pure destroyer.

http://www.kornbluthphoto.com/StandardUr.html

Sumerian Early Dynastic III, c. 2600-2400 BCE. From the royal cemetery, Ur (Iraq).
Lapis lazuli, shell, and red limestone, with restored bitumen and red material on restored wood box
Width 49.5 cm, height 21.6 cm. Possibly soundbox of a musical instrument. British Museum ME 121201

StUr20.jpg

anzu.png

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

326897.jpg

The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Golden ox figurine found in the Maykop kurgan (mid-3rd millennium BC.), Hermitage Museum

Ox, middle of III milenium BC. Gold. Height 6 cm. Founded in Northern Caucasus, Maykop kurgan

R3_2_2d_eneolith_bull.jpg

The Indo-Europeans. This virile race, white in color and fair of complexion, called itself Aryan or
noble. It was the parent of the Indo-European peoples of recorded history, These members of the Aryan family lived long as a homogeneous people speaking the same language with dialectic differences and shared many beliefs and practices in common.

Pressure of growing population, thirst for adventure, sharp divisions caused by the fermentation going on in the minds of thinking persons over religious beliefs and practices continued to disintegrate them. During the early part of the second millennium B.C., nomad tribes left their home and turned westwards and reached the Aegean lands or turned southwards in successive waves from the steppes of the Caspian Sea. Scattered tribes passed by the chain of Caucasus,
entered Armenia and spread southwards. Some of the more virile tribes succeeded in founding small Aryan kingdoms. They have left traces of their Aryan beliefs and practices.

661px-Kassite_Babylonia_EN.svg.png

The Kassites were an ancient Near Eastern people who controlled Babylonia after the fall of the Old Babylonian Empire ca. 1531 BC and until ca. 1155 BC (short chronology). The horse, which the Kassites worshipped, first came into use in Babylonia at this time. The original homeland of the Kassites is not well known, but appears to have been located in the Zagros Mountains in Lorestan in what is now modern Iran. The transformation of southern Mesopotamia into a territorial state, rather than a network of allied or combative city states, made Babylonia an international power, although it was often overshadowed by its northern neighbor, Assyria and by Elam to the east. Kassite kings established trade and diplomacy with Assyria. (Puzur-Ashur III of Assyria and Burna-Buriash I signed a treaty agreeing the border between the two states in the mid 16th Century BC), Egypt, Elam, and the Hittites, and the Kassite royal house intermarried with their royal families. There were foreign merchants in Babylon and other cities, and Babylonian merchants were active from Egypt (a major source of Nubian gold) to Assyria and Anatolia. Kassite weights and seals, the packet-identifying and measuring tools of commerce, have been found in as far afield as Thebes in Greece, in southern Armenia, and even in the Uluburun shipwreck off the southern coast of today's Turkey.

The Kassite kings maintained control of their realm through a network of provinces administered by governors. Almost equal with the royal cities of Babylon and Dur-Kurigalzu, the revived city of Nippur was the most important provincial center. Nippur, the formerly great city, which had been virtually abandoned ca. 1730 BC, was rebuilt in the Kassite period, with temples meticulously re-built on their old foundations. In fact, under the Kassite government, the governor of Nippur, who took the Sumerian-derived title of Guennakku, ruled as a sort of secondary and lesser king. The prestige of Nippur was enough for a series of 13th century BC Kassite kings to reassume the title 'governor of Nippur' for themselves.


Jahi (Jaini) is the Avestan language name of Zoroastrianism's demoness of "lasciviousness." As a hypostatic entity, Jahi is variously interpreted as "hussy," "rake," "libertine," "courtesan" and "one who leads a licentious life." Her standard epithet is "the Whore."

Buriaš, Ubriaš, or Burariaš was the storm or weather god, the Slavic word buria (“storm”), Lord of Lands. Burias was the equivalent to Adad.

Ḫarbe was the Lord of the pantheon, also venerated in Hurrian areas. Harbe is similar to Anu, Enil, and Bel

Kamulla (Akmul) is simular to Ea.

Miriaš, Mirizir 8 pointed star The planet Venus, evening star, earth goddess Bêlet, Beltis, i.e. dIštar[


Yasna Chapter 10

13 Praise be to thee, O Haoma, (for he makes the poor man's thoughts as great as any of the richest whomsoever.) Praise be to Haoma, (for he makes the poor man's thoughts as great as when mind reacheth culmination.) With manifold retainers dost thou, O Haoma, endow the man who drinks thee mixed with milk; yea, more prosperous thou makest him, and more endowed with mind.

14 Do not vanish from me suddenly like milk-drops in the rain; let thine exhilarations go forth ever vigorous and fresh; and let them come to me with strong effect. Before thee, holy Haoma, thou bearer of the ritual truth, and around thee would I cast this body, a body which (as all) may see (is fit for gift and) grown.

15 I renounce with vehemence the murderous woman's emptiness, the Jaini's, hers, with intellect dethroned. She vainly thinks to foil us, and would beguile both Fire-priest and Haoma; but she herself, deceived therein, shall perish. And when she sits at home, and wrongly eats of Haoma's offering, priest's mother will that never make her, nor give her holy sons!

16 To five do I belong, to five others do I not; of the good thought am I, of the evil am I not; of the good word am I, of the evil am I not; of the good deed am I, and of the evil, not. To Obedience am I given, and to deaf disobedience, not; to the saint do I belong, and to the wicked, not; and so from this on till the ending shall be the spirits' parting. (The two shall here divide.)

17 Thereupon spake Zarathushtra: Praise to Haoma, Mazda-made. Good is Haoma, Mazda-made. All the plants of Haoma praise I, on the heights of lofty mountains, in the gorges of the valleys, in the clefts (of sundered hill-sides) cut for the bundles bound by women. From the silver cup I pour Thee to the golden chalice over. Let me not thy (sacred) liquor spill to earth, of precious cost.

18 These are thy Gathas, holy Haoma, these thy songs, and these thy teachings, and these thy truthful ritual words, health-imparting, victory-giving, from harmful hatred healing giving.

19 These and thou art mine, and forth let thine exhilarations flow; bright and sparkling let them hold on their (steadfast) way; for light are thine exhilaration(s), and flying lightly come they here. Victory-giving smiteth Haoma, victory-giving is it worshipped; with this Gathic word we praise it.


Zoroastrianism priests go by different names, depending upon the tasks they perform.

To the highest category of priests belonged matharans, who like Zoroaster, were endowed with poetic ability and composed the verses of the sacred scriptures

There were atharwans, who like the vedic atharvan priests, were associated with fire and haoma rituals.

A zaotar, like the hotr of the vedic religion, was an officiating or presiding priest of Yasna, who poured libations into the sacred fire to the accompaniment of ritual chants.

Magi or magu were a special class of priests endowed with occult knowledge, magical powers and power of divination. They also interpreted dreams and performed divinatory rituals to portend future.


Other classes of priests mentioned in the Zoroasrian texts were mowbeds, herbeds and kirdars

The only surviving major group following the Zoroastrian faith is the Indian Parsis. Except for two historical sects, the Shahanshahis, named after the last Shahanshahian King of Persia (Yazedegard), and the Kadmis, no other notable sects exist. Zoroastrians are urged to live an active, industrious, honest and charitable life and enjoy the good creation. They have an initiation ceremony for a newly born child (navjote) and wearing a sacred white shirt (sudreh) as symbol of purity, good thoughts, good words and good deeds; and sacred cord (kushti)) woven from 72 threads as symbol of 72 chapters of Yasna (Act of worship). In India, the Parsis dispose of their dead bodies in the Towers of Silence, where vultures are allowed to consume the bodies; this special practice is to avoid polluting the earth and water, according to Zoroastrian belief. Zoroastrians have a variety of festivals, among them are No-Ruz (New Year’s Day) observed as the Day of Yazedegard on 20th/21st March; Khordad Sal (6th day after No-Ruz); six seasonal festivals (Gahanbars) devoted to the Amesha Spentas and the creation of sky, water, earth, plants, animals and the people, and festivals in devotion to specific Yazatas.

Similarities between Jains and Parsis can be seen in their ethics of Right Thoughts, Right Words and Right Action; avoidance of animal sacrifices; and the use of sandalwood and its ash symbolically on the forehead (Jains use sandalwood paste). To avoid the pollution of fire, Parsis wear a mouthpiece in the fire temple; Jains use ‘mouthkerchief’ to avoid harm to micro-organisms in the air. Divine judgement of good or bad deeds after death indirectly supports the theory of karma, but there are also many differences.

http://www.jainnetwork.com/Zoroastrianism-Azoroastrianism/



The Achaemenid Empire (/əˈkiːmənɪd/; Old Persian: Pārsa; New Persian: شاهنشاهی هخامنشی c. 550–330 BC), or First Persian Empire, was an empire based in Western Asia, founded in the 6th century BC by Cyrus the Great. The dynasty draws its name from king Achaemenes, who ruled Persis between 705 BC and 675 BC. The empire expanded to eventually rule over significant portions of the ancient world, which at around 500 BC stretched from parts of the Balkans (Bulgaria-Pannonia) and Thrace-Macedonia in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen.

After the conquest of Egypt, the Achaemenid empire encompassed approximately 8 million square kilometers spanning three continents: Asia, Europe and Africa. At its greatest extent, the empire included the modern territories of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya, Turkey, Thrace and Macedonia, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, much of Central Asia, Afghanistan, northern Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and parts of Oman and the UAE. According to Guinness World Records, the empire at its peak ruled over 44% of the world's population, the highest such figure for any empire in history

In the Achaemenid period, there are no representations of Ahura Mazda other than the custom for every emperor to have an empty chariot drawn by white horses, to invite Ahura Mazda to accompany the Persian army on battles.

It was during the Achaemenid period that Zoroastrianism reached South-Western Iran, where it came to be accepted by the rulers and through them became a defining element of Persian culture. The religion was not only accompanied by a formalization of the concepts and divinities of the traditional Iranian pantheon but also introduced several novel ideas, including that of free will.

Under the patronage of the Achaemenid kings, and by the 5th century BC as the de facto religion of the state, Zoroastrianism reached all corners of the empire. The Bible claims that Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to their homeland after decades of captivity by the Assyrian and Babylonian empires.

During the reign of Artaxerxes I and Darius II, Herodotus wrote "[the Perses] have no images of the gods, no temples nor altars, and consider the use of them a sign of folly. This comes, I think, from their not believing the gods to have the same nature with men, as the Greeks imagine." He claims the Persians offer sacrifice to: "the sun and moon, to the earth, to fire, to water, and to the winds. These are the only gods whose worship has come down to them from ancient times. At a later period they began the worship of Urania, which they borrowed from the Arabians and Assyrians. Mylitta is the name by which the Assyrians know this goddess, to whom the Persians referred as Anahita." (The original name here is Mithra, which has since been explained to be a confusion of Anahita with Mithra, understandable since they were commonly worshipped together in one temple).

From the Babylonian scholar-priest Berosus, who—although writing over seventy years after the reign of Artaxerxes II Mnemonrecords that the emperor had been the first to make cult statues of divinities and have them placed in temples in many of the major cities of the empire (Berosus, III.65). Berosus also substantiates Herodotus when he says the Persians knew of no images of gods until Artaxerxes II erected those images. On the means of sacrifice, Herodotus adds "they raise no altar, light no fire, pour no libations." This sentence has been interpreted to identify a critical (but later) accretion to Zoroastrianism. An altar with a wood-burning fire and the Yasna service at which libations are poured are all clearly identifiable with modern Zoroastrianism, but apparently, were practices that had not yet developed in the mid-5th century. Boyce also assigns that development to the reign of Artaxerxes II (4th century BC), as an orthodox response to the innovation of the shrine cults.

Herodotus also observed that "no prayer or offering can be made without a magus present" but this should not be confused with what is today understood by the term magus, that is a magupat (modern Persian: mobed), a Zoroastrian priest. Nor does Herodotus' description of the term as one of the tribes or castes of the Medes necessarily imply that these magi were Medians. They simply were a hereditary priesthood to be found all over Western Iran and although (originally) not associated with any one specific religion, they were traditionally responsible for all ritual and religious services. Although the unequivocal identification of the magus with Zoroastrianism came later (Sassanid era, 3rd–7th century CE), it is from Herodotus' magus of the mid-5th century that Zoroastrianism was subject to doctrinal modifications that are today considered to be revocations of the original teachings of the prophet. Also, many of the ritual practices described in the Avesta's Vendidad (such as exposure of the dead) were already practiced by the magu of Herodotus ' time.

Mithridates or Mithradates I (Parthian: Mihrdat, Persian: مهرداديکم‎, Mehrdād), (ca. 195 BC – 138 BC) was king of the Parthian Empire from 171 BC to 138 BC, succeeding his brother Phraates I. His father was King Phriapatius of Parthia, who died ca. 176 BC). Mithridates I made Parthia into a major political power by expanding the empire to the east, south, and west. During his reign the Parthians took Herat (in 167 BC), Babylonia (in 144 BC), Media (in 141 BC) and Persia (in 139 BC). Because of his many conquests and religious tolerance, he has been compared to other Iranian kings such Cyrus the Great (d. 530 BC), founder of the Achaemenid Empire.

Magi (/ˈmeɪdʒaɪ/; Latin plural of magus; Ancient Greek: μάγος magos; Old Persian: maguš, Persian: مُغ‎ mogh; English singular magian, mage, magus, magusian, magusaean; Kurdish: manji) is a term, used since at least the 6th century BC, to denote followers of Zoroastrianism or Zoroaster. The earliest known usage of the word Magi is in the trilingual inscription written by Darius the Great, known as the Behistun Inscription, which can be dated to about 520 BC. In this trilingual text, certain rebels have 'magian' as an attribute; in the Old Persian portion as maγu- (generally assumed to be a loan word from Median). The meaning of the term in this context is uncertain.

The Avestan word 'magâunô', i.e. the religious caste of the Medes into which Zoroaster was born, (see Yasna 33.7:' ýâ sruyê parê magâunô ' = ' so I can be heard beyond Magi '), seems to be the origin of the term.

The Sasanian Empire (/səˈsɑːnɪən/ or /səˈseɪnɪən/; also known as Sassanian, Sasanid, Sassanid or Neo-Persian Empire), known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian,[a] was the last Iranian empire before the rise of Islam, ruled by the Sasanian dynasty from 224 CE to 651 CE. The Sassanid Empire, which succeeded the Parthian Empire, was recognized as one of the main powers in Western and Central Asia, alongside the Roman–Byzantine Empire, for a period of more than 400 years.

The relationship between priests and warriors was important, because the concept of Ērānshahr had been revived by the priests. Without this relationship, the Sassanid Empire would not have survived in its beginning stages. Because of this relationship between the warriors and the priests, religion and state were considered inseparable in the Zoroastrian religion. However, it is this same relationship that caused the weakening of the Empire, when each group tried to impose their power onto the other. Disagreements between the priests and the warriors led to fragmentation within the empire, which led to its downfall.


Mani (216–276 AD), the founding prophet of Manichaeism, did not proclaim his first religious revelation until 228/229 AD, Bivar asserts that his new faith contained "elements of Mandaean belief, Iranian cosmogony, and even echoes of Christianity ... [it] may be regarded as a typical reflection of the mixed religious doctrines of the late Arsacid period, which the Zoroastrian orthodoxy of the Sasanians was soon to sweep away.

Mani (in Middle Persian Māni and Syriac Mānī, Greek Μάνης, Latin Manes; also Μανιχαίος, Latin Manichaeus, from Syriac ܡܐܢܝ ܚܝܐ Mānī ḥayyā "Living Mani", c. 216–274 AD), of Iranian origin, was the prophet and the founder of Manichaeism, a gnostic religion of Late Antiquity which was once widespread but is now extinct. Mani was born in or near Seleucia-Ctesiphon in Parthian Babylonia (Iraq), at the time still part of the Parthian Empire. Six of his major works were written in Syriac Aramaic, and the seventh, dedicated to the king of the empire, Shapur I, was written in Middle Persian, his native language. He died in Gundeshapur, under the Sassanid Empire.

Mani was born near Seleucia-Ctesiphon, perhaps in the town Mardinu in the Babylonian district of Nahr Kutha, according to other accounts in the town Abrumya. Mani's father Pātik (Middle Persian Pattūg; Greek Παττικιος, Arabic Futtuq), a native of Ecbatana (modern Hamadan, Iran), was a member of the Jewish-Christian sect of the Elcesaites (a subgroup of the Gnostic Ebionites). His mother was of Parthian descent (from "the Armenian Arsacid family of Kamsarakan"); her name is reported variously, among others Mariam. At ages 12 and 24, Mani had visionary experiences of a heavenly twin of his, calling him to leave his father's sect and teach the true message of Christ. In 240–41, Mani travelled to "India" (i.e. to the Sakhas in modern-day Afghanistan), where he studied Hinduism and was probably influenced by Greco-Buddhism. Al-Biruni says Mani traveled to India after being banished from Persia.[15] Returning in 242, he joined the court of Shapur I, to whom he dedicated his only work written in Persian, known as the Shabuhragan. Shapur was not converted to Manichaeanism and remained Zoroastrian.

The Silk Road ran through what had been the Parthian empire and was now Ardashir's Sassanid empire. It was a road on which ideas spread. On it, Jews who had had fled from their homeland, and after the Jews came Christians. Buddhist ideas came on it from India and mixed with Zoroastrianism. And into the mix of religious ideas arose a blend the various religions into a universalist faith: Manichaeism (pronounced mani-KEY-ism).

The founder of Manichaeism, Mani, is believed to have been the son of Parthian royalty, born in the year 216 in a village near Ctesiphon, by the Tigris River. As a young boy, Mani might have been taken by his father into a cult called the "Practitioners of Ablutions" – a cult that believed in washing away sins in baptisms. Or the group may have been the Elkesaites, a Jewish-Christian sect that arose the year 100, a group believed to have celebrated the Sabbath, practiced vegetarianism and believed in circumcision, a group that condemned the apostle Paul and criticized what it called falsehoods in Christian scripture and Mosaic law – a sect that woudl die out around the year 400.

In the year 228, four years after Ardashir took power, when Mani was about thirteen years-old, a Parthian prince from the former Seleucid capital, Seleucia (a few miles from Ctesiphon), rose up against Ardashir but was cut down. It was said that just after this, Mani had a revelation from God, a command to leave the religious community to which he belonged. God, it was said, told him that he did not belong in that community and told him to keep aloof from impurity and because of his youth that he should avoid proclaiming his revelation publicly.

http://www.fsmitha.com/h1/ch22.htm

ManichaeismMap.jpg

The Shabuhragan (Persian: شاپورگان‎ Shāpuragān), which means "[the] book of Shapur", was a sacred book of the Manichaean religion, written by the founder Mani (c. 210–276 CE) himself, originally in Middle Persian, and dedicated to Shapur I (c. 215-272 CE), the contemporary king of the Sassanid Persian Empire. The book was designed to present to Shapur an outline of Mani's new religion, which united elements from Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Buddhism - the three dominant (and competing) religions in the newly expanded Persian Empire. Original Middle Persian fragments were discovered at Turpan, and quotations were brought in Arabic by Biruni.

In 341 AD, the Zoroastrian Shapur II ordered the massacre of all Christians in the Persian Empire, most of whom were Assyrians. During the persecution, about 1,150 Christians were martyred under Shapur II.

http://www.mindserpent.com/American_History/religion/zoroaster/dhalla/history4.htm

https://aratta.wordpress.com/2014/02/

Many of the world religions started in Babylon. It was once the population center of the world. During this period in history it assimilated cults and religions into its belief system of divinity schools and sent them back to their places of origin and other parts of the various empires that ruled over it altered with idols and new tales.

Zurvanism is a now-extinct branch of Zoroastrianism that had the divinity Zurvan[pronunciation?] as its First Principle (primordial creator deity). Zurvanism is also known as Zurvanite Zoroastrianism. The earliest evidence of the cult of Zurvan is found in the History of Theology, attributed to Eudemus of Rhodes (c. 370-300 BCE).

In Zurvanism, Zurvan is the god of infinite time (and space) and is aka (“one", "alone”) deity of matter. Zurvan is the parent of the two opposites representing the good god Ahura Mazda and the evil Angra Mainyu. Zurvan is regarded as a neutral god, being without gender (neuter), without passion, and one for whom there is no distinction between good or evil. Zurvan is also the god of destiny, light and darkness. Zurvan is a normalized rendition of the word, which in Middle Persian appears as either Zurvān, Zruvān or Zarvān. The Middle Persian name derives from Avestan zruvan-, "time" or "old age".

arfghyu78.jpg

Zurvanites considered Ahura Mazda and Spenta Mainyu one of two equal-but-separate divinities under the primacy of Zurvan (later known as Cronos, the Keeper of Time). The central Zurvanite belief made Ahura Mazda the middle god and Angra Mainyu the fallen twin brother. Mazdeans consider the divinity of Ahura Mazda the transcendental creator.

Ašōqar, Frašōqar and Zarōqar are Syriac deities coexistent and co-eternal with Zurvan.

Boyce postulated (1957:308-309) that Mazdaism and Zurvanism were divided regionally, that is, with Mazdaism being the predominant tendency in the regions to the north and east (Bactria, Margiana, and other satrapies closest to Zoroaster's homeland), while Zurvanism was prominent in regions to the south and west (closer to Babylonian and Greek influence). This is supported by Manichaean evidence that indicates that 3rd-century Mazdean Zoroastrianism had its stronghold in Parthia, to the northeast. Following the fall of the Persian Empire, the south and west were relatively quickly assimilated under the banner of Islam, while the north and east remained independent for some time before these regions too were absorbed. (Boyce, 1957:308-309). This could also explain why Armenian/Syriac observations reveal a distinctly Zurvanite Zoroastrianism, and inversely, could explain the strong Greek and Babylonian influence on Zurvanism

Christian martyrs of the Sasanian empire.

The Assyrians gave their god Assur the combined powers of the Sumerian Triad; Anu, Enlil, Enki/Ea

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


I have discovered that the Jewish people were intimate with the Zoroastrian courts of Xerxes I and Cyrus the Great. What influence did each religion have on the other during 600 BC to 465 BC? Both believed in one God.

Does Ashura mean spirit or truth or both? Also is Angra Mainyu considered a god?

Ardavan Ashkan was kind enough to reply. Here is a part of our dialogue:

The only god in Zoroastrianism is Ahura Mazda (Ohrmazd). Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) in the zoroastrian tradition is the dark lord of the demons (also called demon of the demons) so he is absolutely not considered god.

The avestian term "Ahura" means "Lord" and is etymologically related with the old Indian term. "Asura" which is used for a group of demonic entities in the old Indian pantheon.

The meaning of Ahura Mazda is therefore "Lord of the wisdom, the wise Lord".


It appears that Angra Mainyu is eternal and is able to create like Ahura Mazda in Zoroastrian faith. In addition, Angra Mainyu is able to manipulate. Not sure if Angra Mainyu can possess an individual. Hashem is considered in my faith as the Supreme Being that created Satan, an evil being that has no power to create, but only to advocate, manipulate, and possess individuals. Am I correct in my assumption of this difference?

You are quite right, Angra Mainyu (Ahriman) is considered eternal and also has the ability to create. But let me explain this further.

In the Zoroastrian mythology Ahriman is only able to "create" spiritual things. It is told that once when Ahriman was confronted with the spiritual, good creation of his Opponent Ohrmazd he decided to fashion his own spiritual creation from the essence of the eternal darkness. So he created many demons and death-bringing entities for the destruction of Ohrmazd and his creation. It is interesting that Ahriman although is considered a creator (of darkness and demons) is not really able to "create" cause he creates ONLY cause of envy and his desire for destruction and annihilation. Everything he creates is just a counter-creation of a existing creation of Ohrmazd, you could see the counter-creations of Ahriman as a perverse copy of the good creations of Ohrmazd. Ahriman first created the six arch-demons which are the dark and perverse opponents of the six Amesha.Spenta which serve under the good rule of Ohrmazd. The other demons he created are also direct opponents to other good entities; the whole creation of Ahriman is a big counter-creation to Ohrmazds creation just for the purpose to demolish Ohrmazd.

It is noteworthy that Ahriman in the Zoroastrian tradition has not the ability to create material creations unlike Ohrmazd! Just Ohrmazd is able to fashion matter; that is the reason why matter by the Zoroastrians is considered good! In the Zoroastrian mythology it is told that Ohrmazd fashioned the material world (Sky, Water, Earth, Plants, the primordial bull and the primordial human) in one year. For 3000 years this pure material world existed. At the end of this period Ahriman and his demons pierced the sky and attacked the whole material world of Ohrmazd! They brought with themselves pain, darkness, sickness, decay, pollution and mixed it in the material world; this is how the Zoroastrians explained the evil things in the once "pure" material world of Ohrmazd! So Ahriman can not create matter but he is able to contaminate it! Also he can break into human minds and make them as one of the followers of the path of lie (Druj).

The Quintessence is:

Ahriman can create spiritual things but he can not create matter. Ohrmazd in contrast is able to create in both worlds (spiritual and matter).


The earliest reference to Ahura Mazdā in western Iran appears to be in an Assyrian text, probably of the 8th century B. C., in which as-sa-ra ma-za-aš is named in a list of gods. This would presumably be the Old Iranian divinity, rather than Zoroaster’s God. There is now evidence to show that Cyrus the Great was a Zoroastrian (Achaemenid religion); and there are many references to “Ahuramazda” (his name and title being thus fused in Old Persian) in the Achaemenid royal inscriptions, and especially in those of Darius the Great, which duly celebrated him as Creator

The Behistun Inscription (also Bistun or Bisutun), (Persian: بیستون, Old Persian: Bagastana, meaning "the place of god") is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran.

Authored by Darius the Great sometime between his coronation as king of the Persian Empire in the summer of 522 BC and his death in autumn of 486 BC, the inscription begins with a brief autobiography of Darius, including his ancestry and lineage. Later in the inscription

The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian (a later form of Akkadian). In effect, then, the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.

1280px-Bisotun_Iran_Relief_Achamenid_Per

Column 1

(6) King Darius says: These are the countries which are subject unto me, and by the grace of Ahuramazda I became king of them:

Persia [Pârsa], Elam [Ûvja], Babylonia [bâbiruš], Assyria [Athurâ], Arabia [Arabâya], Egypt [Mudrâya], the countries by the Sea, Lydia [sparda], the Greeks [Yauna], Media [Mâda], Armenia [Armina], Cappadocia [Katpatuka], Parthia [Parthava], Drangiana [Zraka], Aria [Haraiva], Chorasmia [uvârazmîy], Bactria [bâxtriš], Sogdia [suguda], Gandhara [Gadâra], Scythia [saka] (Ghi-mi-ri or Cimmeria in Babylonian version), Sattagydia [Thataguš], Arachosia [Harauvatiš] and Maka [Maka]; twenty-three lands in all.


The order of as-sa-ra ma-za-aš corresponds to Ahúrá Mazdá of the Younger Avesta, but in the poetic gathas the order is reversed, that is Mazdá, Ahúrá instead of the later Avestan sequence as it appears in the Assyrian document. This only proves that Younger Avestan Zoroastrianism must have spread to Western Iran before 8th century BCE and its spread among Indo-European Medes was well known to the Semitic Assyrians at the time.

"Ahura" was originally an adjective meaning ahuric, characterizing a specific Indo-Iranian entity named Asura. Although traces of this figure are still evident in the oldest texts of both India and Iran, in both cultures the word eventually appears as the epithet of other divinities.

As-sa-ra ma-za-aš = Assyrian Assara

Zarathushtra (Zara = golden, thush = shining, stra = star = Golden Shining Star) presented his religion as rival to the religion of the daevas, that is Demon (Daeva) Worship (Yasna). Here is a video dedicated to Zarathushtra.

Balkh, the Birth place of world's first monastic religion Zoroastrianism, Religion of Persians



Balkh (Persian/Pashto: بلخ Balkh; Bactrian: βαχλο ẞaxlə) was an ancient city and centre of Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some 74 km (46 mi) south of the Amu Darya. It was one of the major cities of Khorasan (previously known as Parthia) since the latter's earliest history. Marco Polo described Balkh as a "noble and great city". Bactria. Situated between the Hindu Kush mountain range in the south and the river Oxus (Amudar'ya) in the north, it is essentially an east-west zone that consists of extremely fertile alluvial plains, a hot desert, and cold mountains.

Among the treasures of the Khalili Collections a special place is occupied by the collection of 48 Aramaic documents from Ancient Bactria. The group are for the main part are letters and accounts connected with the court of the satrap of Bactria, Akhvamazda, and with his governor, Bagavant. What makes them unique is the fact that this is the first time that parts of the internal correspondence of the administration of Bactria and Sogdiana have come to light.

The documents are written in Official Aramaic, a term that describes both the language and the script. They may be placed in or near Balkh, the capital city of Bactria in antiquity, and span a period of less than thirty years, from 353 to 324 BC. This was, however, a period of great turmoil with far reaching consequences for the history of the East, particularly of Central Asia. During this period, which begins with the reign of Artaxerxes III, the Achaemenian Empire came to an end when the kingdom was captured by Alexander the Great. One document is dated to year 7 of his reign.

http://www.khalili.org/collections/category/39


Susa (/ˈsuːsə/; Persian: شوش‎ Shush [ʃuʃ]; Greek: Σοῦσα [ˈsuːsa]; Syriac: ܫܘܫ Shush; Old Persian Çūšā-; Biblical Hebrew שׁוּשָׁן Shushān) was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. It is located in the lower Zagros Mountains about 250 km (160 mi) east of the Tigris River, between the Karkheh and Dez Rivers.

The modern Iranian town of Shush is located at the site of ancient Susa. Shush is the administrative capital of the Shush County of Iran's Khuzestan province. It had a population of 64,960 in 2005.

Susa is also mentioned in the Ketuvim of the Hebrew Bible by the name Shushan, mainly in Esther, who became queen became and saved the Jewish people from from genocide.

Esther 6

7:1 So the king and Haman came to dine with Queen Esther.

7:2 On the second day of the banquet of wine the king asked Esther, “What is your request, Queen Esther? It shall be granted to you. And what is your petition? Ask up to half the kingdom, and it shall be done!”

7:3 Queen Esther replied, “If I have met with your approval, O king, and if the king is so inclined, grant me my life as my request, and my people as my petition.

7:4 For we have been sold – both I and my people – to destruction and to slaughter and to annihilation! If we had simply been sold as male and female slaves, I would have remained silent, for such distress would not have been sufficient for troubling the king.”

7:5 Then King Ahasuerus responded to Queen Esther, “Who is this individual? Where is this person to be found who is presumptuous enough to act in this way?”

7:6 Esther replied, “The oppressor and enemy is this evil Haman!”

Then Haman became terrified in the presence of the king and queen.

7:7 In rage the king arose from the banquet of wine and withdrew to the palace garden. Meanwhile, Haman stood to beg Queen Esther for his life, for he realized that the king had now determined a catastrophic end for him.

7:8 When the king returned from the palace garden to the banquet of wine, Haman was throwing himself down on the couch where Esther was lying. The king exclaimed, “Will he also attempt to rape the queen while I am still in the building!”

As these words left the king’s mouth, they covered Haman’s face.

7:9 Harbona, one of the king’s eunuchs, said, “Indeed, there is the gallows that Haman made for Mordecai, who spoke out in the king’s behalf. It stands near Haman’s home and is seventy-five feet high.”

The king said, “Hang him on it!”

7:10 So they hanged Haman on the very gallows that he had prepared for Mordecai. The king’s rage then abated.

8:1 On that same day King Ahasuerus gave the estate of Haman, that adversary of the Jews, to Queen Esther. Now Mordecai had come before the king, for Esther had revealed how he was related to her.

8:2 The king then removed his signet ring (the very one he had taken back from Haman) and gave it to Mordecai. And Esther designated Mordecai to be in charge of Haman’s estate.

8:3 Then Esther again spoke with the king, falling at his feet. She wept and begged him for mercy, that he might nullify the evil of Haman the Agagite which he had intended against the Jews.

8:4 When the king extended to Esther the gold scepter, she arose and stood before the king.

8:5 She said, “If the king is so inclined and if I have met with his approval and if the matter is agreeable to the king and if I am attractive to him, let an edict be written rescinding those recorded intentions of Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, which he wrote in order to destroy the Jews who are throughout all the king’s provinces.

8:6 For how can I watch the calamity that will befall my people, and how can I watch the destruction of my relatives?"

8:7 King Ahasuerus replied to Queen Esther and to Mordecai the Jew, “Look, I have already given Haman’s estate to Esther, and he has been hanged on the gallows because he took hostile action against the Jews.

8:8 Now you write in the king’s name whatever in your opinion is appropriate concerning the Jews and seal it with the king’s signet ring. Any decree that is written in the king’s name and sealed with the king’s signet ring cannot be rescinded.

8:9 The king’s scribes were quickly summoned – in the third month (that is, the month of Sivan), on the twenty-third day. They wrote out everything that Mordecai instructed to the Jews and to the satraps and the governors and the officials of the provinces all the way from India to Ethiopia – a hundred and twenty-seven provinces in all – to each province in its own script and to each people in their own language, and to the Jews according to their own script and their own language.

8:10 Mordecai wrote in the name of King Ahasuerus and sealed it with the king’s signet ring. He then sent letters by couriers on horses, who rode royal horses that were very swift.

8:11 The king thereby allowed the Jews who were in every city to assemble and to stand up for themselves – to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate any army of whatever people or province that should become their adversaries, including their women and children, and to confiscate their property.

8:12 This was to take place on a certain day throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus – namely, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar).

8:13 A copy of the edict was to be presented as law throughout each and every province and made known to all peoples, so that the Jews might be prepared on that day to avenge themselves from their enemies.

8:14 The couriers who were riding the royal horses went forth with the king’s edict without delay. And the law was presented in Susa the citadel as well.

8:15 Now Mordecai went out from the king’s presence in purple and white royal attire, with a large golden crown and a purple linen mantle. The city of Susa shouted with joy.

8:16 For the Jews there was radiant happiness and joyous honor.

8:17 Throughout every province and throughout every city where the king’s edict and his law arrived, the Jews experienced happiness and joy, banquets and holidays. Many of the resident peoples pretended to be Jews, because the fear of the Jews had overcome them.

9:1 In the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar), on its thirteenth day, the edict of the king and his law were to be executed. It was on this day that the enemies of the Jews had supposed that they would gain power over them. But contrary to expectations, the Jews gained power over their enemies.

9:2 The Jews assembled themselves in their cities throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus to strike out against those who were seeking their harm. No one was able to stand before them, for dread of them fell on all the peoples.

9:3 All the officials of the provinces, the satraps, the governors and those who performed the king’s business were assisting the Jews, for the dread of Mordecai had fallen on them.

9:4 Mordecai was of high rank in the king’s palace, and word about him was spreading throughout all the provinces. His influence continued to become greater and greater.
9:5 The Jews struck all their enemies with the sword, bringing death and destruction, and they did as they pleased with their enemies.

9:6 In Susa the citadel the Jews killed and destroyed five hundred men.

9:7 In addition, they also killed Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha,

9:8 Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha,

9:9 Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vaizatha,

9:10 the ten sons of Haman son of Hammedatha, the enemy of the Jews. But they did not confiscate their property.

9:11 On that same day the number of those killed in Susa the citadel was brought to the king’s attention.

9:12 Then the king said to Queen Esther, “In Susa the citadel the Jews have killed and destroyed five hundred men and the ten sons of Haman! What then have they done in the rest of the king’s provinces? What is your request? It shall be given to you. What other petition do you have? It shall be done.”

9:13 Esther replied, “If the king is so inclined, let the Jews who are in Susa be permitted to act tomorrow also according to today’s law, and let them hang the ten sons of Haman on the gallows.”

9:14 So the king issued orders for this to be done. A law was passed in Susa, and the ten sons of Haman were hanged.

9:15 The Jews who were in Susa then assembled on the fourteenth day of the month of Adar, and they killed three hundred men in Susa. But they did not confiscate their property.

9:16 The rest of the Jews who were throughout the provinces of the king assembled in order to stand up for themselves and to have rest from their enemies. They killed seventy-five thousand of their adversaries, but they did not confiscate their property.

9:17 All of this happened on the thirteenth day of the month of Adar. They then rested on the fourteenth day and made it a day for banqueting and happiness.

9:18 But the Jews who were in Susa assembled on the thirteenth and fourteenth days, and rested on the fifteenth, making it a day for banqueting and happiness.

9:19 This is why the Jews who are in the rural country – those who live in rural cities – set aside the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a holiday for happiness, banqueting, holiday, and sending gifts to one another.

9:20 Mordecai wrote these matters down and sent letters to all the Jews who were throughout all the provinces of King Ahasuerus, both near and far,

9:21 to have them observe the fourteenth and the fifteenth day of the month of Adar each year

9:22 as the time when the Jews gave themselves rest from their enemies – the month when their trouble was turned to happiness and their mourning to a holiday. These were to be days of banqueting, happiness, sending gifts to one another, and providing for the poor.

9:23 So the Jews committed themselves to continue what they had begun to do and to what Mordecai had written to them.

9:24 For Haman the son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of all the Jews, had devised plans against the Jews to destroy them. He had cast pur (that is, the lot) in order to afflict and destroy them.

9:25 But when the matter came to the king’s attention, the king gave written orders that Haman’s evil intentions that he had devised against the Jews should fall on his own head. He and his sons were hanged on the gallows.

9:26 For this reason these days are known as Purim, after the name of pur.

9:27 Therefore, because of the account found in this letter and what they had faced in this regard and what had happened to them, the Jews established as binding on themselves, their descendants, and all who joined their company that they should observe these two days without fail, just as written and at the appropriate time on an annual basis.

9:28 These days were to be remembered and to be celebrated in every generation and in every family, every province, and every city. The Jews were not to fail to observe these days of Purim; the remembrance of them was not to cease among their descendants.

9:29 So Queen Esther, the daughter of Abihail, and Mordecai the Jew wrote with full authority to confirm this second letter about Purim.

9:30 Letters were sent to all the Jews in the hundred and twenty-seven provinces of the empire of Ahasuerus – words of true peace –

9:31 to establish these days of Purim in their proper times, just as Mordecai the Jew and Queen Esther had established, and just as they had established both for themselves and their descendants, matters pertaining to fasting and lamentation.

9:32 Esther’s command established these matters of Purim, and the matter was officially recorded.

10:1 King Ahasuerus then imposed forced labor on the land and on the coast lands of the sea.

10:2 Now all the actions carried out under his authority and his great achievements, along with an exact statement concerning the greatness of Mordecai, whom the king promoted, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Media and Persia?

10:3 Mordecai the Jew was second only to King Ahasuerus. He was the highest-ranking Jew, and he was admired by his numerous relatives. He worked enthusiastically for the good of his people and was an advocate for the welfare of 4 all his descendants.


The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is located in Hamadan, Iran. Widely believed to house the remains of the biblical Queen Esther, wife of Xerxes I, and her cousin Mordechai, it is the most important pilgrimage site for Persian Jews.

Hamadan_-_Mausoleum_of_Esther_and_Mordec

Susa is also once mentioned once in Nehemiah and Daniel.

 

BBC - In the footsteps of Alexander (Susa) 10

 

It is in Susa that Daniel had is Apocalyptic dream of the end of times. The large horn on the goat is the first king of Greece, namely, Alexander the Great.

 

http://youtu.be/CIoMWLybew0

 

Dan_8_ram_and_he-goat.jpg

 

The four kingdoms that arose to replace Alexander when he died were Macedonia and Greece, Thrace and Asia Minor, Egypt and Palestine, and Syria and Persia.

 

Antiochus IV Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC. He was a son of King Antiochus III the Great. His original name was Mithradates; he assumed the name Antiochus after he ascended the throne.

 

Antiochus Epiphanes was bold and deceptive. He was powerful because God allowed him to be so. He did much damage, especially to Jerusalem and the temple. He became prosperous and carried out his objectives. He destroyed powerful people, including the Jewish high priest, as well as many Jews. He fooled many people with his shrewdness, some of whom were unsuspecting. He exalted himself even to the extent of minting coins that bore his image and the inscription “God manifest” (Gr. theos epiphanes). He also opposed God, the “Prince of princes.”

 

antiochus_iv_epiphanes_morkholm_14.jpg

Daniel 8

8:1 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after the one that had appeared to me previously.

8:2 In this vision I saw myself in Susa the citadel, which is located in the province of Elam. In the vision I saw myself at the Ulai Canal.

8:3 I looked up and saw a ram with two horns standing at the canal. Its two horns were both long, but one was longer than the other. The longer one was coming up after the shorter one.

8:4 I saw that the ram was butting westward, northward, and southward. No animal was able to stand before it, and there was none who could deliver from its power. It did as it pleased and acted arrogantly.

8:5 While I was contemplating all this, a male goat was coming from the west over the surface of all the land without touching the ground. This goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes.

8:6 It came to the two-horned ram that I had seen standing beside the canal and rushed against it with raging strength.

8:7 I saw it approaching the ram. It went into a fit of rage against the ram and struck it and broke off its two horns. The ram had no ability to resist it. The goat hurled the ram to the ground and trampled it. No one could deliver the ram from its power.

8:8 The male goat acted even more arrogantly. But no sooner had the large horn become strong than it was broken, and there arose four conspicuous horns in its place, extending toward the four winds of the sky.

8:9 From one of them came a small horn. But it grew to be very big, toward the south and the east and toward the beautiful land.

8:10 It grew so big it reached the army of heaven, and it brought about the fall of some of the army and some of the stars to the ground, where it trampled them.

 

8:11 It also acted arrogantly against the Prince of the army, from whom the daily sacrifice was removed and whose sanctuary was thrown down.

8:12 The army was given over, along with the daily sacrifice, in the course of his sinful rebellion. It hurled truth to the ground and enjoyed success.

8:13 Then I heard a holy one speaking. Another holy one said to the one who was speaking, To what period of time does the vision pertain – this vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the destructive act of rebellion and the giving over of both the sanctuary and army to be trampled?

8:14 He said to me, “To 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be put right again.”

8:15 While I, Daniel, was watching the vision, I sought to understand it. Now one who appeared to be a man was standing before me.

8:16 Then I heard a human voice coming from between the banks of the Ulai. It called out, “Gabriel, enable this person to understand the vision.

8:17 So he approached the place where I was standing. As he came, I felt terrified and fell flat on the ground. Then he said to me, “Understand, son of man, that the vision pertains to the time of the end.

8:18 As he spoke with me, I fell into a trance with my face to the ground. But he touched me and stood me upright.

8:19 Then he said, “I am going to inform you about what will happen in the latter time of wrath, for the vision pertains to the appointed time of the end.

8:20 The ram that you saw with the two horns stands for the kings of Media and Persia.

8:21 The male goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king.

8:22 The horn that was broken and in whose place there arose four others stands for four kingdoms that will arise from his nation, though they will not have his strength.

8:23 Toward the end of their rule, when rebellious acts are complete, a rash and deceitful king will arise.

8:24 His power will be great, but it will not be by his strength alone. He will cause terrible destruction. He will be successful in what he undertakes. He will destroy powerful people and the people of the holy ones.

8:25 By his treachery he will succeed through deceit. He will have an arrogant attitude, and he will destroy many who are unaware of his schemes. He will rise up against the Prince of princes, yet he will be broken apart – but not by human agency.

8:26 The vision of the evenings and mornings that was told to you is correct. But you should seal up the vision, for it refers to a time many days from now.”

8:27 I, Daniel, was exhausted and sick for days. Then I got up and again carried out the king’s business. But I was astonished at the vision, and there was no one to explain it.


A tomb presumed to be that of Daniel is located in the area, known as Shush-Daniel. The tomb is marked by an unusual white stone cone, which is neither regular nor symmetric. Many scholars believe it was at one point a Star of David. Susa is further mentioned in the Book of Jubilees (8:21 & 9:2) as one of the places within the inheritance of Shem and his eldest son Elam; and in 8:1, "Susan" is also named as the son (or daughter, in some translations) of Elam. Both Daniel and Nehemiah lived in Susa during the Babylonian captivity of the 6th century BCE.

The Parni (/ˈpɑrnaɪ/; Ancient Greek: Πάρνοι, Parnoi) or Aparni (/əˈpɑrnaɪ/; Ἄπαρνοι, Aparnoi) were an east Iranian people of the Ochus (Ancient Greek: Ὧχος Okhos) (Tejen) River valley, southeast of the Caspian Sea. The Parni were one of the three tribes of the Dahae confederacy.

In the middle of the 3rd century BCE, the Parni invaded Parthia, "drove away the Greek satraps, who had then only just acquired independence, and founded a new dynasty", i.e. that of the Arsacids.

The Peshawar branch of the Silk Road begins in Balkh

http://www.routeyou.com/en-us/route/view/198855/other-routes/balkh-peshawar-branch-of-the-silk-road.en

Being among the most ancient cities of the region between Central, South and West Asia, Peshawar has for centuries been a center of trade between Afghanistan, South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. As an ancient center of learning, the 2nd century BC. Bakhshali Manuscript used in the Bakhshali approximation was found nearby.

The Kushans spread from the Kabul River Valley to defeat other Central Asian tribes that had previously conquered parts of the northern central Iranian Plateau, and reached their peak under the Buddhist emperor Kanishka.

The Kabul River (Persian/Urdu: دریای کابل‎; Pashto: کابل سیند‎, Sanskrit: कुभा ), the classical Cophes /ˈkoʊfiːz/, is a 700-kilometre (430 mi) long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass. The Kabul River passes through the cities of Kabul and Jalalabad in Afghanistan before flowing into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan some 25 kilometres (16 mi) north of the Durand Line border crossing at Torkham. The major tributaries of the Kabul River are the Logar, Panjshir, Kunar, Alingar, Bara and Swat rivers.

Vedic mythology refers to an ancient settlement called Pushkalavati in the area, after Pushkala, the son of King Bharata in the epic Ramayana. In recorded history, the earliest major city established in the general area of Peshawar was called Purushapura (Sanskrit for City of Men), from which the current name "Peshawar" is likely derived; the city was invaded and made capital of the Kushans, a Central Asian tribe of Tocharian origin, during their brief rule of 2 decades in the 2nd century AD.

The Tocharians or Tokharians (/təˈkɛəriənz/ or /təˈkɑriənz/) were inhabitants of medieval oasis city-states on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China). Their Tocharian languages (a branch of the Indo-European family) are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD, after which they were supplanted by the Turkic languages of the Uyghur tribes.

These people were called "Tocharian" by late-19th century scholars who identified them with the Tókharoi described by ancient Greek sources as inhabiting Bactria. Although this identification is now generally considered mistaken, the name has become customary.

Some scholars have linked the Tocharians with the Afanasevo culture of eastern Siberia (c. 3500 – 2500 BC), the Tarim mummies (c. 1800 BC) and the Yuezhi of Chinese records, most of whom migrated from western Gansu to Bactria in the 2nd century BC and then later to northwestern Indian subcontinent where they founded the Kushan Empire.

Around the time of Jesus Christ on Earth, Kujula Kadphises (ca. 30 – ca. 80) of Guishuang, stablished himself as king, and his dynasty was called that of the Guishuang [Kushan] King. He invaded Anxi [indo-Parthia], and took the Gaofu [Kabul] region. He also defeated the whole of the kingdoms of Puda [Paktiya] and Jibin [Kapisha and Gandhara]. Qiujiuque [Kujula Kadphises] was more than eighty years old when he died."

Vedi is the term for "sacrificial altar" in the Hindu Vedic religion. Such altars were an elevated enclosure, generally strewed with Kusha grass, and having receptacles for the sacrificial fire; it was of various shapes, but usually narrow in the middle.

Although the term "fire-worshippers" is primarily associated with Zoroastrians, the idea that Zoroastrians worship fire is originally from anti-Zoroastrian polemic. Instead, fire — even in a Fire temple (the Zoroastrian terms are more prosaic and simply mean "house of fire") — is considered to be an agent of purity and as a symbol of righteousness and truth. In the present day this is explained to be because fire burns ever-upwards and cannot itself be polluted. Nonetheless, Sadeh and Chaharshanbe Suri are both fire-related festivals celebrated throughout Greater Iran and date back to when Zoroastrianism was still the predominant religion of the region.

In Vedic disciplines of Hinduism, fire is a central element in the Yajna ceremony, with Agni, "fire", playing the role as mediator between the worshiper and the other gods. Related concepts are the Agnihotra ritual, the invocation of the healing properties of fire; the Agnicayana ritual, which is the building of a fire altar to Agni; and Agnistoma, which is one of the seven Somayajnas. In the Vaishnav branch of Hinduism, Agni or Fire is considered the tongue of the Supreme Lord Narayana, hence all the sacrifices done even to any demigod ultimately is a sacrifice to the Supreme Lord Narayana.

There are three forms of Agni - God of fire, lightning and the Sun.

One of the unique features of the Soma Yaga is that the uttaravedi is constructed by piling up five layers of fired clay bricks in the form of a śyena (a bird of prey like a hawk). Built into this construction are the ‘heads’ of a man, a horse, a bull, a ram, and a he-goat, all of which can be made of gold or clay. After the cayana ceremony which is performed with various offerings, the elaborate rituals of the soma sacrifice begin. The Yajamāna who has performed agnicayana has to observe certain special vows for a year, with variations if he performs it more than once.

Camasa Soma juice is kept in these deep wooden bowls which have short handles.

It is important to note that in Vedic tradition, both the soma plant and the juice extracted thereof are considered as a single divine entity and with regar d to this conscious visualisation, both are synonymous. Further, the God is both the plant and the drink and vice-versa. Thus in all references, rituals, and thoughts, all three are the same.

http://www.vedicsociety.org/an_introduction_to_somayagnyas_and_vedic_yagnyas_in_general.pdf


Zoroastrian Yasna is an ancient ritual of offering and sublimating the parahaoma (haoma plant) in water.

Hindu Yajna is an ancient ritual of offering and sublimating the havana sámagri (a complex mixture of odoriferous and medicinal herbs) in the fire.

It is interesting to note that the word Hindu is derived (through Persian) from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, the historic local name for the Indus River in the northwestern part of the Indian subcontinent (modern day Pakistan and Northern India). According to Gavin Flood, "The actual term Hindu first occurs as a Persian geographical term for the people who lived beyond the river Indus (Sanskrit: Sindhu)". The term Hindu then was a geographical term and did not refer to a religion. By about 2nd - 1st century BCE, the term "Hein-tu" was used by Chinese, for referring to North Indian people. The Persian term was loaned into Arabic as al-Hind referring to the land of the people who live across river Indus, and into Greek as Indos, whence ultimately English India.

The Indus River Delta (Sindhi: سنڌو ٽِڪور), forms where the Indus River flows into the Arabian Sea in Pakistan. The delta covers an area of about 41,440 km² (16,000 square miles), and is approximately 210 km across where it meets the sea. The active part of the delta is 6,000 km² in area. The climate is arid, the region only receives between 25 and 50 cm of rainfall in a normal year. The delta is home to the largest arid mangrove forests in the world, as well as many birds, fish and the Indus Dolphin.

The Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) was a Bronze Age civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1900 BCE) extending from what today is northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India (see map). Along with Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia it was one of three early civilizations of the Old World, and of the three the most widespread. It flourished in the basins of the Indus River, one of the major rivers of Asia, and the Ghaggar-Hakra River, which once coursed through northwest India and eastern Pakistan.

At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of over five million. Inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in handicraft (carnelian products, seal carving) and metallurgy (copper, bronze, lead, and tin). The Indus cities are noted for their urban planning, baked brick houses, elaborate drainage systems, water supply systems, and clusters of large non-residential buildings.

The Indus Valley Civilization is also known as the Harappan Civilization, after Harappa, the first of its sites to be excavated in the 1920s, in what was then the Punjab province of British India, and is now in Pakistan. The discovery of Harappa, and soon afterwards, Mohenjo-Daro, was the culmination of work beginning in 1861 with the founding of the Archaeological Survey of India in the British Raj. Excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999. There were earlier and later cultures, often called Early Harappan and Late Harappan, in the same area of the Harappan Civilization. The Harappan civilization is sometimes called the Mature Harappan culture to distinguish it from these cultures. By 1999, over 1,056 cities and settlements had been found, of which 96 have been excavated, mainly in the general region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra Rivers and their tributaries. Among the settlements were the major urban centres of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Dholavira, Ganeriwala in Cholistan and Rakhigarhi.



The Harappan language is not directly attested and its affiliation is uncertain since the Indus script is still undeciphered.

Notice the deity Anzud (bird man) fighting off two tigers. This is similar to Anzud fighting two lions.

farmer.jpg

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/bce_500back/indusvalley/tablet/tablet.html

AThe so-called Pashupati (Lord of Animals, Sanskrit paśupati) seal seated "yogi" (National Museum, New Delhi). The Rigveda has the related pashupa "protector of animals" as a name of Pushan, a Vedic solar deity and one of the Adityas. Ten hymns in the Rigveda are dedicated to Pūṣan (including one jointly to Soma and Pūṣan and another to Indra and Pūṣan).[2] Some of these hymns appeal to him to guard livestock and find lost livestock.

800px-Shiva_Pashupati.jpg

http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/bce_500back/indusvalley/indusvalley.html

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Was Areimanios mentioned in the Book of Daniel?

mithraic_ahriman.png

Daniel 7

7:4 “The first one was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off and it was lifted up from the ground. It was made to stand on two feet like a human being, and a human mind was given to it.


According to Plutarch, Zoroaster named Areimanios as one of the two rivals who were the artificers of good and evil. In terms of sense perception, Oromazes was to be compared with light, and Areimanios to darkness and ignorance; between these was Mithras the Mediator. Areimanios received offerings that pertained to apotropaism and mourning.

Below is a Babylonian boundary-stone and memorial tablet photo taken by L. W. King. The tablet can be found in the British Museum

Kudurru of Adad-eṭir, mentioning a certain Marduk-balāssu-iqbi; a ninth century BC era monument. (Line 4--en:Marduk-balassu-iqbi's name:)...Inscribed ("Male"(Individual, 1.),God),...md, as:...mDINGIR-AMAR.UTU.TI-su-iq-bi meaning “Marduk has promised his life,”

205 ca. 819 – 813 BC, was the 8th king of the Dynasty of E of Babylon; he was the successor of his father Marduk-zākir-šumi I, and was the 4th and final generation of Nabû-šuma-ukin I's family to reign. He was contemporary with his father’s former ally, Šamši-Adad V of Assyria, who may have been his brother-in-law, married to who was possibly his sister Šammur-amat, the legendary Semiramis, and who was to become his nemesis.

Notice Faravahar on the top left of the tablet.

BM_90834.jpg

The Assyrians under, Šamši-Adad V (ca. 823-811 BC), led two successive campaigns against him, the first of which was his fourth since coming to power. The motivation for these assaults is uncertain, however, Šamši-Adad may have harbored some resentment to the inferior position he had been placed into, in a treaty with Marduk-balāssu-iqbi's immediate predecessor, Marduk-zâkir-šumi and a diplomatic marriage of Babylonian king's daughter, Shammuramat, the inspiration for the legend of Semiramis, to him. Šamši-Adad broke the treaty during the reign of Marduk-zâkir-šumi's son and heir, Marduk-balāssu-iqbi.

The Political History and Historical Geography of the Aramean, Chaldean, and Arab Tribes in Babylonia in the Neo-Assyrian Period*

Grant Frame – University of Pennsylvania

In 814, Marduk-balāssu-iqbi, king of Babylon, mustered the lands of Chaldea, Elam, Namri, and Aram (A-ru-mu) and did battle with the Assyrian king Šamšī-Adad V (823–811) at Dūr-Papsukkal. According to the Synchronistic History, after conquering much of eastern Babylonia and capturing its king in 812, Šamšī-Adad went to Chaldea and received tribute from “the kings of Chaldea (KUR Kal-di)

Adad-nārārī III (810–783) later claimed that: “All the kings of Chaldea became my vassals (and) I imposed upon them in perpetuity (the payment of) tax (and) tribute,” thus claiming like his father and grandfather that he had received tribute from Chaldeans. However, it was during the time of this Assyrian king and his three successors – a period of relative weakness in Assyria – that the first Chaldean rulers of Babylonia appeared. As already mentioned, at least six Chaldeans gained recognition as rulers of Babylonia, including individuals from each of the three major tribes. Their success in being acknowledged king of Babylon was undoubtedly facilitated by the lack of an established royal line in Babylonia; between 810 and 626 there is only one clear case of a Babylonian king being succeeded by his son.

The first Chaldean ruler of Babylonia was Marduk-apla-usur, who reigned at some point at the end of the ninth or early eighth century. Almost nothing is known about him or his reign; even his tribal affiliation is not known. The Dynastic Chronicle appears to say that he was from a Chaldean dynasty (KURKal-di BALA.BI), while the Babylonian Kinglist A may have assigned him to BALA E, where BALA E is normally assumed to refer to a dynasty from Babylon. He was the first of three successive rulers of Babylonia who were of Chaldean descent.

https://www.academia.edu/5736472/The_Political_History_and_Historical_Geography_of_the_Aramean_Chaldean_and_Arab_Tribes_in_Babylonia_in_the_Neo-Assyrian_Period


After two defeats Marduk-balāssu-iqbi fled to the Diyāla region where he sought refuge initially in Nimitti-šarri (Aḫišānu) but was cornered following the capture of Dēr and led away in chains to Assyria. Šamši-Adad boasted thirty thousand captives were deported from Dēr in his Gottesbrief (God's letter), a diviner's literary text recording an address to the king from the god Aššur, from the city of Aššur.

In Neo-Assyrian times some Assyrian kings wrote letters to the god Ashur , where they presented their deeds. The most famous is the God letter Sargon of 714 on his eighth campaign and the looting of Musaṣir.

This is the period of Jehu's reign as King of Israel. He drove out Baal worship, which pleased Hashem. But, he did not remove the Golden Calves in Bethel and Dan that King Jeroboam installed.

http://www.templeilluminatus.com/group/the-triple-goddess/forum/topics/tiamat

King Solomon is believed to have died around 930 BC. The Jewish historian Eupolemus, who wrote about 157 BC, included copies of apocryphal letters exchanged between Solomon and the kings of Egypt and Tyre. According to the most widely used chronology, based on that by Edwin R. Thiele, the death of Solomon and the division of his kingdom occurred in the spring of 931 BC.


Ardavan,
It appears from scholars that both Abraham and Zarathustra were around 1800 - 2000 BC. Of course no one knows that for sure. But, their stories are quite similar. Both reject the idea of a pantheon of Gods and the Lord speaks to them that he is the one and only. Do you think it is possible they are one in the same? What are your thoughts?

Luke
It could be that the story of Zarathustra and Abraham is quite similar but there is now way that they are one in the same. Zarathustra was a member of Iranian-aryan culture area and propagated a monotheism based on old Iranian customs and traditions. In contrast, Abraham was from Semitic origin and lived in a completely different culture area. There is also a difference in their concepts of the one, supreme god. Ahura Mazda, the wise Lord, was considered only good, but Jaweh combines also good and evil in his essence. There is no way, that Ahura Mazda would expect one of his followers like Zarathustra to sacrifice his own child for him like Jaweh did it.




Following a straight line it is approximately 1100 miles between Choresmia and Ur. 1200 miles between Bactra and Ur. 1300 miles between Sognia and Ur. We do know that there was trade between Babylon and Bactra using the Northern route of the Silk Road. There is no doubt in my mind that merchants shared legends, religious beliefs, and creation stories.

http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/religion2.htm

The Great Isaiah Scroll

Translation: Professor Peter Flint (Western Trinity University, Canada) and Professor Eugene Ulrich (University of Notre Dame)

Chapter 45 : Verse 5

I am the LORD, and there is none else besides me; and there are no gods. I will help you, though you did not know me,

Chapter 45 : Verse 6

so that they may know from east to west that there is none besides me. I am the LORD, and there is none else.

Chapter 45 : Verse 7

I form light and create darkness; I make goodness and create evil. I am the LORD, who does all these things.


From my understanding, Zoroastrian faith believes in opposites of light (good, creation, life) and darkness (evil, destruction, death). Hashem claims not to be those conditions, but to create everything, and thus to overcome the inherent dualism in his sovereign rule over them.” In accordance with his sovereign will, He can cause wars to cease and peace to predominate, or he can bring disaster and judgment on nations. Hashem allows bad things to happen to His creation as well as good things, but He does not cause people to make morally evil decisions. Like Zoroastrianism, the Lord has given us liberty to choose light ( from darkness. Hashem blesses the righteous that live their life following his laws and curses those that do not follow his commands. Like Angra Mainyu, Satan lives to seduce people to rebel against the Creator.

Hashem's holy Word became flesh and took up residence among as an example on how to be holy (righteous), because our Creator is holy (righteous). For the law and commands were given through the prophets, but grace and truth of how to be holy came about through the sinless life of Jesus Christ. At the the end of Jesus mortal life he was glorified through his holy words and actions witnessed by those that knew Him. Hashem gave Jesus the gift of everything for choosing to suffer mortal death for the love of his Father and mankind. If we truly love Hashem we will honor the life of Jesus and love our fellow neighbor, then we will become holy and receive his glory (Shekinah).

James 1

1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.

1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.

1:16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.

1:17 All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.

1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


Job 38

38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:

38:2 “Who is this who darkens counsel

with words without knowledge?

38:3 Get ready for a difficult task like a man;

I will question you

and you will inform me!

38:4 “Where were you
when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding!

38:5 Who set its measurements – if you know –
or who stretched a measuring line across it?

38:6 On what were its bases set,
or who laid its cornerstone –

38:7 when the morning stars sang in chorus,
and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

38:8 “Who shut up the sea with doors
when it burst forth, coming out of the womb,

38:9 when I made the storm clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,

38:10 when I prescribed its limits,
and set in place its bolts and doors,

38:11 when I said, ‘To here you may come
and no farther,
here your proud waves will be confined’?

38:12 Have you ever in your life commanded the morning,
or made the dawn know its place,

38:13 that it might seize the corners of the earth,
and shake the wicked out of it?

38:14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal;
its features are dyed like a garment.

38:15 Then from the wicked the light is withheld,
and the arm raised in violence is broken.

38:16 Have you gone to the springs that fill the sea,
or walked about in the recesses of the deep?

38:17 Have the gates of death been revealed to you?
Have you seen the gates of deepest darkness?

38:18 Have you considered the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know it all!

38:19 “In what direction does light reside,
and darkness, where is its place,

38:20 that you may take them to their borders
and perceive the pathways to their homes?

38:21 You know, for you were born before them;
and the number of your days is great!

38:22 Have you entered the storehouse of the snow,
or seen the armory of the hail,

38:23 which I reserve for the time of trouble,
for the day of war and battle?

38:24 In what direction is lightning dispersed,
or the east winds scattered over the earth?

38:25 Who carves out a channel for the heavy rains,
and a path for the rumble of thunder,

38:26 to cause it to rain on an uninhabited land,
a desert where there are no human beings,

38:27 to satisfy a devastated and desolate land,
and to cause it to sprout with vegetation?

38:28 Does the rain have a father,
or who has fathered the drops of the dew?

38:29 From whose womb does the ice emerge,
and the frost from the sky, who gives birth to it,

38:30 when the waters become hard like stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen solid?

38:31 Can you tie the bands of the Pleiades,
or release the cords of Orion?

38:32 Can you lead out
the constellations in their seasons,
or guide the Bear with its cubs?

38:33 Do you know the laws of the heavens,
or can you set up their rule over the earth?

38:34 Can you raise your voice to the clouds
so that a flood of water covers you?

38:35 Can you send out lightning bolts, and they go?
Will they say to you, ‘Here we are’?

38:36 Who has put wisdom in the heart,
or has imparted understanding to the mind?

38:37 Who by wisdom can count the clouds,
and who can tip over the water jars of heaven,

38:38 when the dust hardens into a mass,
and the clumps of earth stick together?

38:39 “Do you hunt prey for the lioness,
and satisfy the appetite of the lions,

38:40 when they crouch in their dens,
when they wait in ambush in the thicket?

38:41 Who prepares prey for the raven,
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?

39:1 “Are you acquainted with the way
the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch as the wild deer give birth to their young?

39:2 Do you count the months they must fulfill,
and do you know the time they give birth?

39:3 They crouch, they bear their young,
they bring forth the offspring they have carried.
39:4 Their young grow strong, and grow up in the open;
they go off, and do not return to them.

39:5 Who let the wild donkey go free?
Who released the bonds of the donkey,

39:6 to whom I appointed the steppe for its home,
the salt wastes as its dwelling place?

39:7 It scorns the tumult in the town;
it does not hear the shouts of a driver.

39:8 It ranges the hills as its pasture,
and searches after every green plant.

39:9 Is the wild ox willing to be your servant?
Will it spend the night at your feeding trough?

39:10 Can you bind the wild ox to a furrow with its rope,
will it till the valleys, following after you?

39:11 Will you rely on it because its strength is great?
Will you commit your labor to it?

39:12 Can you count on it to bring in your grain,
and gather the grain to your threshing floor?

39:13 “The wings of the ostrich flap with joy,

but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork?

39:14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground,

and lets them be warmed on the soil.

39:15 She forgets that a foot might crush them,

or that a wild animal might trample them.

39:16 She is harsh with her young,

as if they were not hers;

she is unconcerned

about the uselessness of her labor.

39:17 For God deprived her of wisdom,

and did not impart understanding to her.

39:18 But as soon as she springs up,

she laughs at the horse and its rider.

39:19 “Do you give the horse its strength?

Do you clothe its neck with a mane?

39:20 Do you make it leap like a locust?

Its proud neighing is terrifying!

39:21 It paws the ground in the valley,

exulting mightily,

it goes out to meet the weapons.

39:22 It laughs at fear and is not dismayed;

it does not shy away from the sword.

39:23 On it the quiver rattles;

the lance and javelin flash.

39:24 In excitement and impatience it consumes the ground;

it cannot stand still when the trumpet is blown.

39:25 At the sound of the trumpet, it says, ‘Aha!’

And from a distance it catches the scent of battle,

the thunderous shouting of commanders,

and the battle cries.

39:26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,

and spreads its wings toward the south?

39:27 Is it at your command that the eagle soars,

and builds its nest on high?

39:28 It lives on a rock and spends the night there,

on a rocky crag and a fortress.

39:29 From there it spots its prey,

its eyes gaze intently from a distance.

39:30 And its young ones devour the blood,

and where the dead carcasses are,

there it is.”

40:1 Then the Lord answered Job:

40:2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?

Let the person who accuses God give him an answer!”


 

40:6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:

40:7 “Get ready for a difficult task like a man.

I will question you and you will inform me!

40:8 Would you indeed annul my justice?

Would you declare me guilty so that you might be right?

40:9 Do you have an arm as powerful as God’s,

and can you thunder with a voice like his?

40:10 Adorn yourself, then, with majesty and excellency,

and clothe yourself with glory and honor!

40:11 Scatter abroad the abundance of your anger.

Look at every proud man and bring him low;

40:12 Look at every proud man and abase him;

crush the wicked on the spot!

40:13 Hide them in the dust together,

imprison them in the grave.

40:14 Then I myself will acknowledge to you
that your own right hand can save you.

40:15 “Look now at Behemoth, which I made as I made you;
it eats grass like the ox.

40:16 Look at its strength in its loins,
and its power in the muscles of its belly.

40:17 It makes its tail stiff like a cedar,
the sinews of its thighs are tightly wound.

40:18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like bars of iron.

40:19 It ranks first among the works of God,
the One who made it
has furnished it with a sword.

40:20 For the hills bring it food,
where all the wild animals play.

40:21 Under the lotus trees it lies,
in the secrecy of the reeds and the marsh.

40:22 The lotus trees conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream conceal it.

40:23 If the river rages, it is not disturbed,
it is secure, though the Jordan
should surge up to its mouth.

40:24 Can anyone catch it by its eyes,
or pierce its nose with a snare?

41:1 1 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a hook,
and tie down its tongue with a rope?


41:2 Can you put a cord through its nose,
or pierce its jaw with a hook?


41:3 Will it make numerous supplications to you,
will it speak to you with tender words?


41:4 Will it make a pact with you,
so you could take it as your slave for life?


41:5 Can you play with it, like a bird,
or tie it on a leash for your girls?


41:6 Will partners bargain for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?


41:7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?


41:8 If you lay your hand on it,
you will remember the fight,
and you will never do it again!


41:9 14 See, his expectation is wrong,
he is laid low even at the sight of it.


41:10 Is it not fierce when it is awakened?
Who is he, then, who can stand before it?


41:11 (Who has confronted me that I should repay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me!)


41:12 I will not keep silent about its limbs,
and the extent of its might,
and the grace of its arrangement.


41:13 Who can uncover its outer covering?
Who can penetrate to the inside of its armor?


41:14 Who can open the doors of its mouth?
Its teeth all around are fearsome.


41:15 Its back has rows of shields,
shut up closely together as with a seal;


41:16 each one is so close to the next
that no air can come between them.


41:17 They lock tightly together, one to the next;
they cling together and cannot be separated.


41:18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
its eyes are like the red glow of dawn.


41:19 Out of its mouth go flames,
sparks of fire shoot forth!


41:20 Smoke streams from its nostrils
as from a boiling pot over burning rushes.


41:21 Its breath sets coals ablaze
and a flame shoots from its mouth.


41:22 Strength lodges in its neck,
and despair runs before it.


41:23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
they are firm on it, immovable.


41:24 Its heart is hard as rock,
hard as a lower millstone.


41:25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified,
at its thrashing about they withdraw.


41:26 Whoever strikes it with a sword
will have no effect,

nor with the spear, arrow, or dart.

41:27 It regards iron as straw
and bronze as rotten wood.


41:28 Arrows do not make it flee;
sling-stones become like chaff to it.


41:29 A club is counted as a piece of straw;
it laughs at the rattling of the lance.


41:30 Its underparts are the sharp points of potsherds,
it leaves its mark in the mud
like a threshing sledge.


41:31 It makes the deep boil like a cauldron
and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment,


41:32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
one would think the deep had a head of white hair.


41:33 The likes of it is not on earth,
a creature without fear.


41:34 It looks on every haughty being;
it is king over all that are proud.”


Behemoth_and_Leviathan_Butts_set.jpg
1906 Jewish Encyclopedia


Names of gigantic beasts or monsters described in Job xl. The former is from a root denoting "coil," "twist"; the latter is the plural form of "behemah"="beast."
—Biblical Data:

Ever since Bochart ("Hierozoicon," iii. 705), "behemoth" has been taken to denote the hippopotamus; and Jablonski, to make it correspond exactly with that animal, compared an Egyptian form, "p-ehe-mu" (= "water-ox"), which, however, does not exist. The Biblical description contains mythical elements, and the conclusion is justified that these monsters were not real, though the hippopotamus may have furnished in the main the data for the description. Only of a unique being, and not of a common hippopotamus, could the words of Job xl. 19 have been used: "He is the first [A. V. "chief"] of the ways of God [comp. Prov. viii. 22]; he that made him maketh sport with him" (as the Septuagint reads, πεποιημένον ἐγκαταπαιζέσΘαι; A. V. "He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him"; comp. Ps. civ. 26); or "The mountains bring him forth food; where all the beasts of the field do play" (Job xl. 20). Obviously behemoth is represented as the primeval beast, the king of all the animals of the dry land, while leviathan is the king of all those of the water, both alike unconquerable by man (ib. xl. 14, xli. 17-26). Gunkel ("Schöpfung und Chaos," p. 62) suggests that behemoth and leviathan were the two primeval monsters corresponding to Tiamat (= "the abyss"; comp. Hebr. "tehom") and Kingu (= Aramaic "'akna" = serpent") of Babylonian mythology. Some commentators find also in Isa. xxx. 6 ("bahamot negeb" = "beasts of the south") a reference to the hippopotamus; others again, in Ps. lxxiii. 22 ("I am as behemoth [="beasts"; A. V. "a beast"] before thee"); but neither interpretation has a substantial foundation. It is likely that the leviathan and the behemoth were originally referred to in Hab. ii. 15: "the destruction of the behemoth [A. V. "beasts"] shall make them afraid" (comp. LXX., "thee" instead of "them").
—In Rabbinical Literature:

According to a midrash, the leviathan was created on the fifth day (Yalḳ., Gen. 12). Originally God produced a male and a female leviathan, but lest in multiplying the species should destroy the world, He slew the female, reserving her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous on the advent of the Messiah (B. B. 74a). The enormous size of the leviathan is thus illustrated by R. Johanan, from whom proceeded nearly all the haggadot concerning this monster: "Once we went in a ship and saw a fish which put his head out of the water. He had horns upon which was written: 'I am one of the meanest creatures that inhabit the sea. I am three hundred miles in length, and enter this day into the jaws of the leviathan'" (B. B. l.c.). When the leviathan is hungry, reports R. Dimi in the name of R. Johanan, he sends forth from his mouth a heat so great as to make all the waters of the deep boil, and if he would put his head into paradise no living creature could endure the odor of him (ib.). His abode is the Mediterranean Sea; and the waters of the Jordan fall into his mouth (Bek. 55b; B. B. l.c.).

The body of the leviathan, especially his eyes, possesses great illuminating power. This was the opinion of R. Eliezer, who, in the course of a voyage in company with R. Joshua, explained to the latter, when frightened by the sudden appearance of a brilliant light, that it probably proceeded from the eyes of the leviathan. He referred his companion to the words of Job xli. 18: "By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning" (B. B. l.c.). However, in spite of his supernatural strength, the leviathan is afraid of a small worm called "kilbit" (), which clings to the gills of large fishes and kills them (Shab. 77b).
In the Messianic Times.

The leviathan is prominent in the haggadic literature in connection with the advent of the Messiah. Referring to Job xl. 30 (Hebr.), "and the pious ones [] shall make a banquet of it," R. Johanan says that at the time of the resurrection a banquet will be given by God to the righteous, at which the flesh of the leviathan will be served (B. B. l.c.). Even the hunting of the leviathan will be a source of great enjoyment to the righteous. Those, says R. Judan bar Simon, who have not taken part in pagan sports will be allowed to participate in the hunting of the leviathan and of the behemoth (Lev. R. xiii. 3). Gabriel will be charged with the killing of the monster; but he will not be able to accomplish his task without the help of God, who will divide the monster with His sword. According to another haggadah, when Gabriel fails, God will order the leviathan to engage in a battle with the ox of the mountain ("shor habar"), which will result in death to both of them (B. B. 75a; Pesiḳ. p. 188b). Not only will the flesh of the leviathan furnish food for the table of the righteous, but there will be a great supply of it in the markets of Jerusalem (B. B. l.c.). From the hide of the leviathan God will make tents for the pious of the first rank, girdles for those of the second, chains for those of the third, and necklaces for those of the fourth. The remainder of the hide will be spread on the walls of Jerusalem; and the whole world will be illuminated by its brightness (ib.).
Symbolical Interpretation.

These haggadot concerning the leviathan are interpreted as allegories by all the commentators with the exception of some ultraconservatives like Baḥya ben Asher ("Shulḥan Arba'," ch. iv., p. 9, col. 3). According to Maimonides, the banquet is an allusion to the spiritual enjoyment of the intellect (commentary on Sanh. i.). The name, he says, is derived from (" to join," "to unite"), and designates an imaginary monster in which are combined the most various animals ("Moreh," iii., ch. xxiii.). In the cabalistic literature the "piercing leviathan" and the "crooked leviathan" (Isa. xxvii. 1), upon which the haggadah concerning the hunting of the animal is based, are interpreted as referring to Satan-Samael and his spouse Lilith ("'Emeḳ ha-Melek," p. 130a), while Ḳimḥi, Abravanel, and others consider the expressions to be allusions to the destruction of the powers which are hostile to the Jews (comp. Manasseh ben Israel, "Nishmat Ḥayyim," p. 48; see also Kohut, "Aruch Completum," s. v. "Leviathan," for other references, and his essay in "Z. D. M. G." vol. xxi., p. 590, for the parallels in Persian literature). The haggadic sayings obtained a hold on the imagination of thepoets, who introduced allusions to the banquet of the leviathan into the liturgy.
—In Apocryphal Literature:

Both leviathan and behemoth are prominent in Jewish eschatology. In the Book of Enoch (lx. 7-9), Enoch says:
(Charles, "Book of Enoch," p. 155; comp. "the secret chambers of leviathan" which Elihu b. Berakel the Buzite will disclose, Cant. R. i. 4).

"On that day [the day of judgment] two monsters will be produced: a female monster, named 'Leviathan,' to dwell in the depths of the ocean over the fountains of the waters; but the male is called 'Behemoth,' who occupies with his breast a waste wilderness named 'Dendain' [read "the land of Naid" after LXX., ἐν γη Ναίδ = , Gen. iv. 16], on the east of the garden, where the elect and the righteous dwell. And I besought that other angel that he should show me the might of these monsters; how they were produced on one day, the one being placed in the depth of the sea and the other in the main land of the wilderness. And he spake to me: 'Thou son of man, dost seek here to know what is hidden?'"

According to II Esdras vi. 49-53, God created on the fifth day the two great monsters, leviathan and behemoth, and He separated them because the seventh part of the world which was assigned to the water could not hold them together, and He gave to the behemoth that part which was dried up on the third day and had the thousand mountains which, according to Ps. i. 10, as understood by the haggadists ("the behemoth [A. V. "cattle"] upon a thousand hills"; comp. Lev. R. xxii.; Num. R. xxi.; and Job xl. 20), furnish behemoth with the necessary food. To the leviathan God gave the seventh part of the earth filled with water; and He reserved it for the future to reveal by whom and at what time the leviathan and the behemoth should be eaten.

In the Syriac Apocalypse of Baruch, xxix. 4, also, the time is predicted when the behemoth will come forth from his seclusion on land and the leviathan out of the sea, and the two gigantic monsters, created on the fifth day, will serve as food for the elect who will survive in the days of the Messiah.
Among the Gnostics.

Behemoth and leviathan form in the Gnostic system of the Ophites and others two of the seven circles or stations which the soul has to pass in order to be purged and to attain bliss (Hippolytus, "Adversus Omnes Hæreses," v. 21; Origen, "Contra Celsum," vi. 25). As if the meat of the "wild ox" behemoth and the fish leviathan were not deemed sufficient for the great banquet of the righteous in the future, a fowl was added, i.e., the "ziz" (A. V. "the wild beasts" of the field), mentioned in Ps. 1. 11 after the account of the behemoth in verse 10, and understood by the Rabbis to signify a gigantic bird (B. B. 73b). Thus the Apocalypse of Simeon b. Yoḥai (Jellinek, "B. H." iii. 76) has the three animals, the monster ox behemoth, the fish leviathan, and the gigantic bird ziz, prepared for the great banquet. This tradition, however, indicates Persian influence, for it is of the Parsee cosmology that the existence of such primeval representatives of the classes of animals is a part. There are four such species mentioned in "Bundahis," xviii.-xix.: (1) "the serpent-like Kar fish, the Arizh of the water, the greatest of the creatures of Ahuramazda," corresponding to the leviathan; (2) the three-legged ass Khara, standing in the midst of the ocean ("Yasna," xli. 28); it is mentioned in the Talmud as the "unicorn ḳeresh," "ṭigras" (i.e., "thrigaṭ" = "three-legged"), the gazel of the heights (Ḥul. 59b), and forms, under the name "Ḥarish," in Mohammedan eschatology a substitute for behemoth and leviathan (see Wolff, " Muhammedanische Eschatologie," 1872, pp. 174, 181); (3) the ox Hadhayosh, from which the food of immortality is prepared, and which forms the parallel of behemoth; and (4) the bird Chamrosh, the chief of the birds, which lives on the summit of Mount Alburz (comp. "Bundahis," xix. 15); compare also Simurgh (Avesta "Saena Meregha," eagle-bird, griffin, Hebraized "Bar Yokneh"), the fabulous giant-bird, which the Rabbis identified with ziz (see Windischman, "Zoroastrische Studien," pp. 91-93; West, "Pahlavi Texts," in Max Müller, "S. B. E." v. 65-71).


leviathan_by_aerin_kayne.jpg

 

Apep (/ˈæˌpɛp/ or /ˈɑːˌpɛp/) or Apophis (/ˈæpəfɨs/; Ancient Greek: Ἄποφις; also spelled Apepi or Aapep) was an evil god in ancient Egyptian religion depicted as a snake/serpent and a dragon, the deification of darkness and chaos (ı͗zft in Egyptian), and thus opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth), whose existence was believed from the 8th Dynasty (mentioned at Moalla) onwards. His name is reconstructed by Egyptologists as *ʻAʼpāpī, and survived in later Coptic as Aphōph.

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''Marduk destroying Tiâmat, who is here represented in the form of a huge serpent.
From a seal-cylinder in the British Museum.

ortiamat.jpg

http://www.pinterest.com/jensenrachel/cylinder-seals/

Job 42


42:1 Then Job answered the Lord:

42:2 “I know that you can do all things;

no purpose of yours can be thwarted;

42:3 you asked,

‘Who is this who darkens counsel

without knowledge?’

But I have declared without understanding

things too wonderful for me to know.

42:4 You said,

‘Pay attention, and I will speak;

I will question you, and you will answer me.’

42:5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,

but now my eye has seen you.

42:6 Therefore I despise myself,

and I repent in dust and ashes!


I find it interesting how some theists point to the book of Job as proof that Hashem does not exist. Theists look at the Behemoth or Leviathan as imaginary tales, yet believe it is possible for man to bring Dinosaurs back to life. And embrace the idea the idea of monsters terrorizing the planet. These same theists believe that Hashem could not possibly have the power to create the universe or creatures that are more powerful than the folly of men. Rather they believe that we exist thanks to matter created at the exit of a Black Hole. They want us to believe everything just exists without a god. There is no catalyst to life, but our imagination. Yet it is these same theist believe that our imagination allows us to shape the future and eventually travel to the past. They desire to be Lords of the Alpha and Omega and have the power over the forces of nature.

 

Listen to Godzilla by the Blue Oyster Cult. We know there is something greater than us and we fear it.

 

 

A creator allowing Himself to be created and destroyed by his creation is a far greater feat than a force of nature. Today, I heard on the radio a need for donor kidneys to save human lives. I thought to myself that I have two kidneys. I could spare one, but I was to afraid to commit to the action. The righteous can.

 

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We want to recreate the past when the here and now is going extinct. We think we can play as gods and adjust the gift of creation as a resource commodity. The physics of Hashem's love is constant and encompasses the dynamics of all creation. It is His creation that changes. Hashem knows all the variables to make something from nothing and is not bound by our laws of nature. He is the author of all natural and moral laws. Yet some of His creation refuse to recognize and/or acknowledge Him as their author. Hashem will always be unprovable and improbable proposition for theists to quantify unless He alone wills it. But, history shows that gives us liberty to find him or live in our own desires.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


The Book of Enoch - Chapter 60

60:1 In the five hundredth year, and in the seventh month, on the fourteenth day of the month, of the lifetime of Enoch, in that parable, I saw that the heaven of heavens shook; that it shook violently; and that the powers of the Most High, and the angels, thousands and thousands, and myriads of myriads, were

60:2 agitated with great agitation. And when I looked, the Ancient of days was sitting on the throne of his glory, while the angels and saints were standing around him.

60:3 A great trembling came upon me, and terror seized me. My loins were bowed down and loosened; my reins were dissolved; and I fell upon my face.

60:4 The holy Michael, another holy angel, one of the holy ones, was sent, who raised me up. And when he raised me, my spirit returned; for I was incapable of enduring this vision of violence, its

60:5 agitation, and the concussion of heaven. Then holy Michael said to me, Why are you disturbed at this vision? Hitherto has existed the day of mercy; and he has been merciful and

60:6 long suffering towards all who dwell upon the earth. But when the time shall come, then shall the power, the punishment, and the judgment take place, which the Lord of spirits has prepared for those who prostrate themselves to the judgment of righteousness, for those who abjure that judgment, and for those who take his name in vain. That day has been prepared for the elect as a day of covenant; and for sinners as a day of inquisition. Then shall children be slain with their mothers, and sons with their fathers. And when the punishment of the Lord of spirits shall continue, upon them shall it continue, that the punishment of the Lord of spirits may not take place in vain. After that, judgment shall exist with mercy and long suffering.

60:7 In that day shall be distributed for food two monsters; a female monster, whose name is Leviathan, dwelling in the
60:8 depths of the sea, above the springs of waters; And a male monster, whose name is Behemoth; which possesses, moving on his breast, the invisible wilderness. His name was Dendayen in the east of the garden, where the elect and the righteous will dwell; where he received it from my ancestor, who was man, from Adam the first

60:9 of men, whom the Lord of spirits made. Then I asked of another angel to show me the power of those monsters, how they became separated, how they became separated on the same day, one being in the depths

60:10 of the sea, and one in the dry desert. And he said, You, son of man, are here desirous of understanding secret things.

60:11 Then another angel, who proceeded with me, spoke to me; And showed me the first and last secrets in heaven above, and in the depths of the earth:

In the extremities of
60:12 heaven, and in the foundations of it, and in the receptacle of the winds. He showed me how their spirits were divided; how they were balanced; and how both the springs and the winds were numbered according to the force of their spirit. He showed me the power of the moon's light, that its power is a just one; as well as the divisions of the stars, according to their respective names; That every division

60:13 is divided; that the lightning flashes; That its troops immediately obey;

60:14 and that a cessation takes place during thunder in continuance of its sound. Nor are the thunder and the lightning separated; neither do both of them move with
60:15 one spirit; yet they are not separated. For when the lightning lightens, the thunder sounds, and the spirit at a proper period pauses, making an equal division between them; for the receptacle, upon which their periods depend, is loose as sand. Each of them at a proper season is restrained with a bridle; and turned by the power of the spirit, which thus propels them according to the spacious extent of the earth.

60:16 The spirit likewise of the sea is potent and strong; and as a strong power causes it to ebb, so is it driven forwards, and scattered against the mountains

60:17 of the earth. The spirit of the frost has its angel; in the spirit of hail there is a good

60:18 angel; the spirit of snow ceases in its strength, and a solitary spirit is in it, which ascends from it like vapor, and is called refrigeration. The spirit also of mist dwells with them in their receptacle; but it has a receptacle to itself; for its progress is in splendour. In light, and in darkness, in winter and in summer. Its receptacle is bright, and an angel is in it.

60:20 The spirit of dew has its abode in the extremities of heaven, in connection with the receptacle of rain; and its progress is in winter and in summer. The cloud produced by it, and the cloud of the

60:21 mist, become united; one gives to the other; and when the spirit of rain is in motion from its receptacle, angels come, and opening its receptacle, bring it forth. When likewise it is sprinkled over all the earth, it forms an union with every kind of water on the ground; for the waters remain on

60:22 the ground, because they afford nourishment to the earth from the Most High, who is in heaven. Upon this account therefore there is a regulation in the quantity of rain, which the angels receive. These things I saw; all of them, even paradise.

60:23 And the angel of peace, who was with me, said, These two monsters are by the power of God prepared to become food, that the punishment of God may not be in vain.


1 Samuel 16

16:14 Now the Spirit of the Lord had turned away from Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord tormented him.

16:15 Then Saul’s servants said to him, “Look, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you!”

16:16 Let our lord instruct his servants who are here before you to look for a man who knows how to play the lyre. Then whenever the evil spirit from God comes upon you, he can play the lyre and you will feel better.”

16:17 So Saul said to his servants, “Find me a man who plays well and bring him to me.”

16:18 One of his attendants replied, “I have seen a son of Jesse in Bethlehem who knows how to play the lyre. He is a brave warrior and is articulate and handsome, for the Lord is with him.”

16:19 So Saul sent messengers to Jesse and said, “Send me your son David, who is out with the sheep.

16:20 So Jesse took a donkey loaded with bread, a container of wine, and a young goat and sent them to Saul with 32 his son David.

16:21 David came to Saul and stood before him. Saul liked him a great deal, and he became his armor bearer.

16:22 Then Saul sent word to Jesse saying, “Let David be my servant, for I really like him.”

16:23 So whenever the spirit from God would come upon Saul, David would take his lyre and play it. This would bring relief to Saul and make him feel better. Then the evil spirit would leave him alone.


The Great Isaiah Scroll

Chapter 11 : Verse 1

A shoot will come forth from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit

Chapter 11 : Verse 2

The spirit of the LORD will rest upon him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD.

Chapter 11 : Verse 3

His delight will be in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by appearances, nor decide by what he hears,

Chapter 11 : Verse 4

but with righteousness he will obtain justice for the poor and decide with equity for the meek of the land. He will strike the land with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips the wicked will be killed.

Chapter 11 : Verse 5

Righteousness will be the belt around his waist and faithfulness the belt around his loins.

Chapter 11 : Verse 6

The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the kid, and the calf and the young lion will graze together, and a little child will herd them.

Chapter 11 : Verse 7

The cow and the bear will graze together, and their young will lie down, and the lion will eat straw like the ox.

Chapter 11 : Verse 8

A baby will play on the viper's hole, and the toddler will put his hand on the dens of adders.

Chapter 11 : Verse 9

They will not hurt or destroy on my holy mountain. For the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Chapter 11 : Verse 10

On that day, the root of Jesse, which stands as a signal for the peoples-the nations will seek him, and his dwelling will be honored.


2 Corinthians 3

3:7 But if the ministry that produced death – carved in letters on stone tablets – came with glory, so that the Israelites could not keep their eyes fixed on the face of Moses because of the glory of his face (a glory which was made ineffective),

3:8 how much more glorious will the ministry of the Spirit be?

3:9 For if there was glory in the ministry that produced condemnation, how much more does the ministry that produces righteousness excel in glory!

3:10 For indeed, what had been glorious now has no glory because of the tremendously greater glory of what replaced it.

3:11 For if what was made ineffective came with glory, how much more has what remains come in glory!

3:12 Therefore, since we have such a hope, we behave with great boldness,

3:13 and not like Moses who used to put a veil over his face to keep the Israelites from staring at the result of the glory that was made ineffective.

3:14 But their minds were closed. For to this very day, the same veil remains when they hear the old covenant read. It has not been removed because only in Christ is it taken away.

3:15 But until this very day whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their minds,

3:16 but when one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is present, there is freedom.

3:18 And we all, with unveiled faces reflecting the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another, which is from the Lord, who is the Spirit.


John 1

1:47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and exclaimed, “Look, a true Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”

1:48 Nathanael asked him, “How do you know me?” Jesus replied, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.”

1:49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel!”

1:50 Jesus said to him, “Because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree, do you believe? You will see greater things than these.”

1:51 He continued, “I tell all of you the solemn truth – you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”


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John 3

3:1 Now a certain man, a Pharisee named Nicodemus, who was a member of the Jewish ruling council,

3:2 came to Jesus at night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him.”

3:3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born from above, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

3:4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter his mother’s womb and be born a second time, can he?”

3:5 Jesus answered, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless a person is born of water and spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.

3:6 What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is spirit.

3:7 Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must all be born from above.’

3:8 The wind blows wherever it will, and you hear the sound it makes, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.

3:9 Nicodemus replied, “How can these things be?”

3:10 Jesus answered, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you don’t understand these things?

3:11 I tell you the solemn truth, we speak about what we know and testify about what we have seen, but you people do not accept our testimony.

3:12 If I have told you people about earthly things and you don’t believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?

3:13 No one has ascended into heaven except the one who descended from heaven – the Son of Man.

3:14 Just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

3:15 so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”

3:16 For this is the way God loved the world:

He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

3:17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him.

3:18 The one who believes in him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the one and only Son of God.

3:19 Now this is the basis for judging:

that the light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.

3:20 For everyone who does evil deeds hates the light and does not come to the light, so that their deeds will not be exposed.

3:21 But the one who practices the truth comes to the light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.


Take a break listen to Train, "Calling All Angels" and think about what is written above.



Acts 7

7:51 “You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts and ears! You are always resisting the Holy Spirit, like your ancestors did!

7:52 Which of the prophets did your ancestors not persecute? They killed those who foretold long ago the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become!

7:53 You received the law by decrees given by angels, but you did not obey it.”

7:54 When they heard these things, they became furious and ground their teeth at him.

7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked intently toward heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

7:56 “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

7:57 But they covered their ears, shouting out with a loud voice, and rushed at him with one intent.

7:58 When they had driven him out of the city, they began to stone him, and the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.

7:59 They continued to stone Stephen while he prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!”

7:60 Then he fell to his knees and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” When he had said this, he died.

8:1 And Saul agreed completely with killing him.

Now on that day a great persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were forced to scatter throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria.

8:2 Some devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him.

8:3 But Saul was trying to destroy the church; entering one house after another, he dragged off 11 both men and women and put them in prison.


Imagine if Stephen or any members the the early church rebelled that day. What if Saul had been killed? No one would know of the power of Jesus forgiveness for such a great transgression. But, Saul lived on to realize his actions and received the power Holy Spirit. He changed his name to Paul and became one of the most famous Christians who later wrote 13 books in the New Testament (Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, Titus, Philemon). I believe he wrote or had great influence in Hebrews as well.

Persecution of Christians is happening today in Syria, Iraq, Palestine, China, North Korea, and other parts of the world. It is possible that one or many of those oppressors will through the power of the Holy Spirit receive Jesus and become great Saints like Paul in the future. Sometimes it hard to hold back, especially if you or a loved one is on the receiving end of being persecuted for your faith. Keep the love of G-d and your fellow neighbor close to your heart and your reward will be great in Heaven.

Sophia Ariel wrote to me that the Shekinah is not separate from the Father.

Sophia Ariel
May 28, 2014
Shekina isn't separate from the Father. Shekina is the spirit of the Father Manifested. When Yeshua died the curtain in the Holy of Holies was torn in two.


I could not agree more. The Shekinah Glory is the Lord of Spirits. The Holy Spirit is Love. Praise Hashem! Praise Jesus! Praise the Holy Advocate!

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1 John 4

4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, because love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God.

4:8 The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

4:9 By this the love of God is revealed in us:

that God has sent his one and only Son into the world so that we may live through him.

4:10 In this is love:

not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.

4:11 Dear friends, if God so loved us, then we also ought to love one another.

4:12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God resides in us, and his love is perfected in us.

4:13 By this we know that we reside in God and he in us:

in that he has given us of his Spirit.

4:14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.

4:15 If anyone confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God resides in him and he in God.

4:16 And we have come to know and to believe the love that God has in us. God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him.

4:17 By this love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment, because just as Jesus is, so also are we in this world.

4:18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love.

4:19 We love because he loved us first.

4:20 If anyone says “I love God” and yet hates his fellow Christian, he is a liar, because the one who does not love his fellow Christian whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.

4:21 And the commandment we have from him is this:

that the one who loves God should love his fellow Christian too.
5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been fathered by God, and everyone who loves the father loves the child fathered by him.

5:2 By this we know that we love the children of God:

whenever we love God and obey his commandments.

5:3 For this is the love of God:

that we keep his commandments. And his commandments do not weigh us down,

5:4 because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world.


Hillsong Live - Our God Is Love



http://www.jesuslovers.net/id257.html

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

 

Garuda (गरूड eagle in Sanskrit) is a fabulous bird of Indian mythology, son of Kashyapa and vinata and brother of Aruna, the charioteer of Surya. It was Garuda that stole the nectar of Immortality from Indra, the king of the Gods. This story is similar to Anzu and the tablets of destiny.



The Garuda refers to a mythological bird, the Khading, or Khyung originally an ancient Manichean Bon khading (Tib. mkha'lding), the golden 'horned eagle', king of birds, and the Bon bird of fire.

The Brihad Tantra Sara lists twelve names of Garuda, which include Suparna (beautiful wings), Garutman (the solar bird), Naga-Bhishana (enemy of serpents), and Khageshvara or Pakshiraj (Lord of birds).

Garuda36.JPG

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Khyung is found at a site with much early rock art. It appears to date to Iron Age (700–100 CE). The two horns of the bird are clearly represented. Of special note is the treatment of the wings, which gracefully but powerfully fold inwards.

fig.-2.jpg

http://www.tibetarchaeology.com/january-2012/

Khading later represented the Bon spirit of fire and is found in the upper left hand corner of Buddhist prayer flags. The Khading bird represents the powers of light and darkness.

garuda11.jpg

Garuda can also be seen as a mythical giant eagle, natural air enemy of naga serpents water and earth. Garuda and the nagas began life as cousins. The sage Kasyapa had two wives (amongst his 13 wives, all prajapati Daksha's daughters), Kadru and Vinata, the former of whom desired many offspring, and the latter of whom desired few but powerful offspring. Each got her wish. Kadru laid 1000 eggs which hatched into snakes, and Vinata laid two, which hatched into the charioteer of Surya the sun god and Garuda. Through a foolish bet, Vinata became enslaved to her sister, and as a result Vinata's son Garuda was required to do the bidding of the snakes. Though compliant, he chafed and built up a grudge that he would never relinquish. When he asked the snakes what he would have to do in order to release his mother, Vinata, from her bondage, they told him he would have to bring them amrita, the elixir of immortality. Garuda stole the elixir from the gods and brought it to the serpents in fulfillment of their requirement, but through a ruse prevented them from partaking of it and achieving immortality. From that point onward, he regarded them as enemies and as food. (Book I: Adi Parva, Sections 16ff.)

Nāga (IAST: nāgá, Burmese pronunciation: [naːɡá]) is the Sanskrit and Pāli word for a deity or class of entity or being, taking the form of a very great snake—specifically the king cobra, found in Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. A female Nāga is a nāgī or nāgiṇī.

The Naga people were a serpent-worshiping group who were later described as serpents themselves in ancient Indian literature. Ayus people were Serpent cult people from the beginning.

Kuru (Sanskrit: कुरु) was the name of a Vedic Aryan tribal union in northern Iron Age India, which appeared in the Middle Vedic period (c. 1200 – c. 850 BC) and developed into the first recorded state-level society in South Asia around 1000 BC. The first Kuru capital was at Āsandīvat, identified with modern Assandh in Haryana. Later literature refers to Indraprastha (modern Delhi) and Hastinapura as the main Kuru cities.

The Atiratra Agnicayana (ati-rātrá agní-cayana "the building up of the fireplace performed overnight") or Athirathram is the piling of the altar of Agni. It is a Śrauta ritual of the Vedic religion and is considered to be the greatest ritual as per the Vedic ritual hierarchy. It is also the world's oldest surviving ritual. Its mantras are first attested in the Yajurveda Samhitas (Taittiriya, Kathaka; Vajasaneyi) of the Kuru Kingdom, c.1000 BCE.



The practice of Atiratra Agnicayana was generally discontinued among Brahmins by the late Vedic period, during the rise of Jainism and Buddhism in India. Nevertheless, a continuous, unbroken 3,000 year tradition has been found to exist among a few Nambudiri Brahmin families in Kerala, South India.

The entire ritual takes twelve days to perform, in the course of which a great bird-shaped altar of Garuda, the uttaravedi "northern altar" is built out of 10,800 bricks. The liturgical text is in chapters 11 to 18 of the Shukla Yajurveda; the corresponding exposition of the ritual is in Books 6 to 9 of the Shatapatha Brahmana. A total of 29 sastras and stutis from Rigveda and Samaveda are also recited in entire Agnicayana rite. The original essence and purpose of the ritual is not correctly known. But, the immediate practical purpose of the Agnicayana is to build up for the sacrificer an immortal body that is permanently beyond the reach of the transitoriness, suffering, and death that, according to this rite, characterize man's mortal existence.

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The Hindu
12-day 'Athirathram' comes to an end

Twelve days of ‘chanting of mantras’ and ‘performing homam’ at the panoramic village of Panjal, near Shoranur, came to an end on Friday night.

At the end of 'Athirathram', an ancient Vedic ritual that is considered to be the ultimate invocation of scriptures, the Yajamanan (Puthillathu Ramanujan Akkithiripad) and Yajamanapathni (Dhanyapathanaadi) of the ritual ceremonially left the Yagashala carrying the fire from the altar to their house, where they would keep it burning.

As thousands of people watched, the Yagashala in the vicinity of Panjal Lakshmi Narayana temple was ceremonially set on fire at 10 p.m. marking the conclusion of the 12-day ritual.

Those present at the venue claimed that a ‘garuda’ (eagle) was seen flying over the ‘Yagasala’ early in the day, which experts claimed a good omen.

Heavy rain that fell over the area delayed the final rituals for sometime. By letting members of various castes and communities to witness the Vedic rites, the Athiratram is said to have reflected the spirit of the changing times in Kerala.

Lakhs of people witnessed the Yagam, which was once considered the preserve of the Brahmins. The ritual is aimed at promoting universal brotherhood, peace, solidarity, prosperity, and spiritual enlightenment.

Panjal was the venue for many Athirathrams including the one that was held in 1975, under the leadership of Frits Staal, Indologist and Emeritus Professor of Philosophy and South/Southeast Asian Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Mr. Staal recalled the willingness of Namboodiri scholars in sharing their knowledge. The choice of the venue is in line with the geographic and Vaasthu principles. The Yagashala is uniquely positioned to imbibe the energy of the Sun, which has made Panjal the venue for key Yagas in Kerala in the past.

The presence of many Samavedi gurus also makes Panjal a preferred site. Two families of Sama Veda experts, Nellikattu Mana and Muttathukattil Mana, are based in Panjal.

Athirathram is believed to have originated in the 10th century BC and practiced until the 6th century BC.

The preparation for Athiratram takes many months and involves making a large number of mud vessels and wooden items. The eagle-shaped altar (chithi) of the Yagashala has been made of 1,110 specially designed bricks.

The Athirathram 2011 was hosted by the Ottappalam-based Varthathe Trust.

A research wing that was constituted as part of Athiratram has been conducting several experiments to study the affects of the Yaga on dynamics of Nature, biosphere, and troposphere. The key findings of the scientific studies were expected to be released by May 15.

http://www.thehindu.com/features/friday-review/religion/12day-athirathram-comes-to-an-end/article1701290.ece


Fire rituals are found in many ancient religions, including Hinduism, Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, ancient Greco-Roman religions, American Indian religions, and Incan traditions. Athirathram is considered the oldest by Hindu people.

The Mishnah (the earliest Jewish legal code, 200 CE) reports that two witnesses would report that they had sighted the new moon to a court of judges in Jerusalem. These judges would examine the witnesses carefully to make sure their testimonies were identical, and then confirm that the new moon had indeed appeared (Mishnah Rosh haShanah 2:6). In order to quickly transmit this knowledge to the far-flung Jewish community, bonfires were lit on hilltops around Jerusalem. Each community that saw the fires burning would light its own bonfire. Thus the news would pass from mountain to mountain and town to town, until all the Jews knew it was Rosh Chodesh, the new moon.

http://www.ritualwell.org/ritual/fire-rosh-chodesh-opening-ritual


Besides fire rituals, Vaisnava dharma priests (Vaikhanasas) create Mandalas out of sand, and other mediums, such as pain, chalk, stones, collage materials, etc. This hexagram mandala looks like the Jewish Star of David. As you will see there are some similarities between Judaism and Hinduism.

Bhoo%20varaha%20homam.jpg

Bhoo Varaha (Vishnu) is worshiped in a mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल Maṇḍala, 'circle') is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism, representing the Universe. Vishnu (/ˈvɪʃnuː/; Sanskrit: Viṣṇu)is the Supreme God of Vaishnavism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism.

https://bhaktianandascollectedworks.wordpress.com/tag/judaism-and-vaishnavism/

http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/connections/Judaism.php

Black marble statue of Lord Vishnu (All Pervader, Present Throughout) with vehicle Garuda. This depiction looks similar to Zoroastrian, Assyrian, and Sumerian depictions of deities I have researched. This statue is similar to, Christian, Jewish Kabbalist, and Gnostic depictions of angels as well. The dark color feels demonic in context to light color I have grown up with. This leads me to believe that religious media can promote stereotypes of white is light and good and dark skin is black and evil. The opposite can equally be stated. Both are wrong concepts of Hashem. G-d's image is in all races.

Black+Mable+Statue-Vehicle+of+Lord+Vishn

The Rabbi and I

Chapter Fifteen

THE FORM AND BEAUTY OF GOD

DEVOTEE: Lord Krsna is always described as being eternally youthful, with beautiful wavy black hair. Is there a similar description of God in the Jewish scriptures?

RABBI: The Jewish scriptures describe a similar vision of God. "His head is a treasure of fine gold. His locks are hanging, black like the raven." In both Talmudic and Kabbalistic traditions, one of the interpretations is that it relates to a vision of God; "when He is visualized in battle, He is seen as a young man with black hair." [sefer Yetzirah Ch 6.1]

DEVOTEE: The Vedas also refer to the form of the Lord. In the Srimad-Bhagavatam it is stated, "the Lord is super excellently beautiful on account of His open and merciful smile and His sidelong glance upon His devotees. His black hair is curly, and His garments, waving in the wind, appear like flying saffron pollen from lotus flowers. His glittering earrings, shining helmet, bangles, garland, ankle bells, waist belt and various other bodily ornaments combine with the conch shell, disc, club, and lotus flower to increase the natural beauty of the Kaustubha pearl on His chest." [bhag. 2.24.47-48] Do the Jewish scriptures make any more references to the form or appearance of God?

RABBI: In the Torah, it is described that when Moses submitted his pleas to God, "Please let me have a vision of Your Glory". God replied, "I will make all My good pass before you, and reveal the Divine Name in your presence. [but still,] I will have mercy and kindness to whomever I desire. You cannot have a vision of My Presence. A man cannot have a vision of Me and still exist." [Torah, Exodus, Ki Thisa 33:18-20] In other words, God is saying that no living creature can see Him. [Torah, Note: 33:20]

DEVOTEE: Similarly, in the Vedas, the form of God is clearly described, but it is also stated that unless God reveals Himself to someone, they cannot see Him. The Brahma-samhita states that without ones eyes being anointed with pure love of God, he cannot see Lord Krsna everywhere. No one can force the Lord to reveal Himself, but simply by loving the Lord, He will reveal Himself to us as He is. According to the Vedas, even within this life, we can see the Lord if we qualify ourselves by loving God. We must simply change our consciousness from material to spiritual.

http://www.equalsouls.org/15.html


Chapter Twenty-six

THE UNIVERSAL FORM

DEVOTEE: In the Bhagavad-gita, Lord Krsna reveals His universal form to His devotee Arjuna. This is a very special form of the Lord that is not one of the Lord's eternal spiritual forms. After revealing this form, He says to Arjuna, "O Arjuna, whatever you wish to see, behold at once in this body of Mine! This universal form can show you whatever you now desire to see and whatever you may want to see in the future. Everything - moving and non-moving - is here completely, in one place." [bg. 11.7] In other words, Arjuna was able to see what even the greatest scientists cannot see - everything past, present, and future, everywhere in the universe, even while sitting in one place. Do the Jewish scriptures describe any visions of God similar to this universal form?

RABBI: There is a statement similar to this. It says, "When an individual looks into these permutations in a proper manner, he can see all of the creation. He is like a person looking into a glass mirror, who sees both his own face, and the faces of all who pass by." [Meditation and the Kabbalah, p 78] In other words, when a person properly chants the names of God, he can become qualified to see this form.

DEVOTEE: Because of Ajuna's purity, Lord Krsna agreed to give him divine eyes to see His universal form. The statement you just quoted from Meditation and the Kabbalah clearly says, it was by properly chanting the names of God (looking into the permutations in a proper manner) that a person could qualify himself to see this form. According to Vedic understanding also, if one chants the holy names of the Lord properly, without offense, the Lord will reveal everything to us according to His pleasure. Pure chanting ultimately means to chant the Lord's holy names while not maintaining even a tinge of desire separate from the desire of the Lord. That is pure devotion. Arjuna was not known for always chanting the Lord' s names like a religious monk, priest or rabbi might, but he was certainly a soul fully surrendered to Lord Krsna and thus became qualified to see the universal form.

http://www.equalsouls.org/26.html


The Rabbi and I

Chapter Twenty-nine

IDOL WORSHIP VS. DEITY WORSHIP

RABBI: Here are two verses from the Holy Torah that mention idol worship: "Cursed is the man who carves an image or casts an idol-a thing detestable to the Lord, the work of the craftsman's hands--and sets it up in secret." [Torah, Duet, Ki Thavo, 27:15] "When I found Israel, it was like finding grapes in the desert; when I saw our fathers, it was like seeing the early fruit on the fig tree. But when they came to Baal Peor, they consecrated themselves to that shameful idol and became as vile as the thing they loved." [Hosea IX: 10] Although God so thoroughly condemned the worship of man-made Gods (idols), I have seen that in Hindu temples such images are worshiped. Our conversations have revealed many similarities between Judaism and Hinduism, yet it appears that on this point we strongly differ.

DEVOTEE: The Vedas also are thoroughly opposed to idol worship, but what you have seen in Hindu temples is not idol worship but rather Deity worship. It is very easy to understand how Deity worship may at first appear as idol worship to a person who is unfamiliar with the principle behind this important devotional process. After all, the form of the Deity is crafted by a man out of some kind of material elements, and that form is later worshiped in the temple with devotion.

In the Vedas, Deity worship is an extremely important devotional process to help us develop love of God. In fact, it is one of the nine general classifications of devotional service mentioned in Sanskrit in the Vedas. It is said:

çravaëaà kértanaà viñëoù
smaraëaà päda-sevanam
arcanaà vandanaà däsyaà
sakhyam ätma-nivedanam
[bhäg. 7.5.23]

"Devotional service consists of (1) hearing about the Lord, (2) chanting His glories, (3) remembering Him, (4) serving and meditating upon His lotus feet, (5) worshiping Him, (6) praying to Him, (7) thinking oneself His eternal servant, (8) becoming His friend, and (9) surrendering everything to Him." The fifth process mentioned here, arcanaà, worshipping the Lord, refers to Deity worship.

RABBI: I still do not see the difference. The Torah also says that one should worship the Lord, but the act of worshipping idols as God is condemned. What makes the Hindu's Deity worship any different from the worship of idols so condemned in the Jewish tradition? How can man worship a form that he himself has crafted?

DEVOTEE: The difference is that God authorizes the worship of Deities. For example, if you put mail into an authorized mailbox it will be delivered to the address written on the envelope. But if you drop that mail into some box other than an authorized mailbox, it will not be delivered. Similarly, if you create some form, call it God, and worship it, all according to your own mental concoction, there will be no benefit and your act will be condemned by God. If however, you create a form according to the actual description of God's form given in the revealed scriptures, and if you worship that form according to the rules and regulations given by God in the scriptures, you will achieve excellent results. The result of that worship is love for God.

RABBI: In principle I understand that if God actually authorizes some activity, it must be correct. Still, I have difficulty understanding how a person can learn to love God by worshiping a form that He himself has created. Perhaps my difficulty is that in the Jewish scriptures, I know of no description of God's form that is detailed enough to allow someone to craft a form like it. Also, I am not familiar with any descriptions in the Jewish scriptures about how to worship such a form like a Deity. Such worship is repeatedly condemned as idolatry.

DEVOTEE: The Torah may not give a clear and detailed description of the form of God, but the Vedas do. The Vedas also give a very detailed description of the method of Deity worship. The principle is that if you want to love God, you must be able to develop some personal relationship with Him. As we have discussed several times, the purpose of religion is to develop love of God. Service to God is the symptom and means to that love. In our impure state, we are not qualified to see the original spiritual form of God and to worship Him. By His mercy He has agreed to appear in the form of His Deity. Therefore, the whole process of Deity worship gives us an opportunity to practice serving God. As the devotee renders continuous and regulated service to the Deity according to the methods authorized in the scriptures, the impurities of our heart gradually become cleansed and our natural loving relationship with the Lord is manifest. Without being able to relate to God in some personal way there is no question of learning to love Him, even though He is all pervading and can accept our offering any time or place.

RABBI: Your explanation helps me have a clearer understanding of Hindu Deity worship. As I was listening to your explanation, I remembered one verse I read, along with the commentary of Rabbi Jose. The verse said, "If they be peaceful and likewise many, and they likewise be shorn, then he shall pass away; and though I have affected thee, I will affect thee no more." [Nahum1, 12] [Zohar II, 200b] Rabbi Jose explains this verse thus, "When a people live in peace, and harbor no quarrelsome persons in there midst, God has compassion on them, and rigorous justice is not invoked against them, even though they worship idols. This is in harmony with the verse, "Ephraim is serving idols, let him alone" [Hosea. IV, 17] [Zohar II, 200b] It appears from this verse that the term idol can be used in different ways. Persons who had no faith in God and who were envious of Him preformed the idol worship that was condemned by the Lord. They were people who gave up the authorized worship of God for the worship of an unauthorized, man made idol. It is said, "They consult a wooden idol and are answered by a stick of wood. A spirit of prostitution leads them astray; they are unfaithful to their God." [Hosea IV, 12][Zohar II, 200b] That kind of worship would never lead to love of God. In fact, it could only lead one away from Him, and thus it was condemned.

DEVOTEE: Yes, Rabbi, I agree with you. The Lord is ultimately interested in the spiritual welfare of everyone. He instructs us to do that which is for our ultimate spiritual benefit and He condemns those activities that are unfavorable for us to develop our love for Him. If we serve the Deity according to the authorized process, then we will be spiritually benefited. Otherwise, we will not.

http://www.equalsouls.org/29.html


As a Catholic, I have been hypersensitive to seeing icons, paintings, statues, movies, animations of saints, angels, demons, and Hashem. This type media has projected a theater in my mind of what the Bible represents. Depictions of saints, angels, demons and Hashem get twisted into apostasy and are often used against the Living Word. A clear example is "Dominion" television series on the SyFy channel where Hashem has left and angels are at war with humans. The "Chosen One" is a supposed savior that has sexual interludes with different woman and has magical changing words on his body. The Arch Angel Michael sleeps with multiple women at a time. Then there is Micheal's brother, Gabriel, who plans the destruction for mankind. In my opinion, "Dominion" is the highest form of idolatry there is. The righteous are purposely depicted as sinners. And Hashem is depicted as Father who left his children.

dominion_2560x1450_1280x725_277380163764

The Dominion concept is not new. It continues from the 2010 film, Legion The Archangel Michael falls to Earth in Los Angeles and cuts off his wings.

Legion-quad.jpg

Even Legion is not new. The concept stems from the 1995 film Prophecy, where Archangel Gabriel comes down to earth looking for a soul to end the stalemated war in Heaven. The war is caused by God's rejection of his celestial subjects in favor of what they consider "talking monkeys" called the human race.

Prophecyposter.jpg

Hosea 4

4:4 Do not let anyone accuse or contend against anyone else:

for my case is against you priests!

4:5 You stumble day and night,

and the false prophets stumble with you;

You have destroyed your own people!

4:6 You have destroyed my people

by failing to acknowledge me!

Because you refuse to acknowledge me,

I will reject you as my priests.

Because you reject the law of your God,

I will reject your descendants.

4:7 The more the priests increased in numbers,

the more they rebelled against me.

They have turned their glorious calling

into a shameful disgrace!

4:8 They feed on the sin offerings of my people;

their appetites long for their iniquity!

4:9 I will deal with the people and priests together:

I will punish them both for their ways,

and I will repay them for their deeds.

4:10 They will eat, but not be satisfied;

they will engage in prostitution, but not increase in numbers;

because they have abandoned the Lord

by pursuing other gods.

4:11 Old and new wine

take away the understanding of my people.

4:12 They consult their wooden idols,

and their diviner’s staff answers with an oracle.

The wind of prostitution blows them astray;

they commit spiritual adultery against their God.

4:13 They sacrifice on the mountaintops,

and burn offerings on the hills;

they sacrifice under oak, poplar, and terebinth,

because their shade is so pleasant.

As a result, your daughters have become cult prostitutes,

and your daughters-in-law commit adultery!

4:14 I will not punish your daughters when they commit prostitution,

nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery.

For the men consort with harlots,

they sacrifice with temple prostitutes.

It is true:

“A people that lacks understanding will come to ruin!”

4:15 Although you, O Israel, commit adultery,

do not let Judah become guilty!

Do not journey to Gilgal!

Do not go up to Beth Aven!

Do not swear, “As surely as the Lord lives!”

4:16 Israel has rebelled like a stubborn heifer!

Soon the Lord will put them out to pasture

like a lamb in a broad field!

4:17 Ephraim has attached himself to idols;

Do not go near him!

4:18 They consume their alcohol,

then engage in cult prostitution;

they dearly love their shameful behavior.

4:19 A whirlwind has wrapped them in its wings;

they will be brought to shame because of their idolatrous worship.

5:1 Hear this, you priests!

Pay attention, you Israelites!

Listen closely, O king!

For judgment is about to overtake you!

For you were like a trap to Mizpah,

like a net spread out to catch Tabor.

5:2 Those who revolt are knee-deep in slaughter,

but I will discipline them all.

5:3 I know Ephraim all too well;

the evil of Israel is not hidden from me.

For you have engaged in prostitution, O Ephraim;

Israel has defiled itself.

5:4 Their wicked deeds do not allow them to return to their God;

because a spirit of idolatry controls their heart,

and they do not acknowledge the Lord.

5:5 The arrogance of Israel testifies against it;

Israel and Ephraim will be overthrown because of their iniquity.

Even Judah will be brought down with them.

5:6 Although they bring their flocks and herds

to seek the favor of the Lord,

They will not find him –

he has withdrawn himself from them!

5:7 They have committed treason against the Lord,

because they bore illegitimate children.

Soon the new moon festival will devour them and their fields.


The territory of Ephraim contained the early centers of Israelite religion - Shechem and Shiloh. These factors contributed to making Ephraim the most dominant of the tribes in the Kingdom of Israel, and led to Ephraim becoming a synonym for the entire kingdom.

The Rabbi and I

Chapter Nineteen

COMPARITIVE ANALYSIS OF GOD'S NAMES

DEVOTEE: Rabbi, in the Vedas, Krsna is one name of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. In the Jewish tradition, is there a similar name?

RABBI: Yes. The name of God, which is most similar to Krsna, is El KNA. In Judaism, an example would be the name of Rabbi Nehuniah ben HaKana. The name HaKana is one of the combinations of the forty-two names of God. Its formation is almost identical with the name YHVA (Jehovah). YHVA is made up of four Hebrew letters- Yod He VA He. Yod and Va are considered to be names of God. The He represents the primal female principle who is referred to as the Shekinah, My beloved. Kana is the male principle and its root is in the name of God EL KANA.

DEVOTEE: In the Hare Krsna mantra, Hare is the vocative form of the word Hara that represents the energy of God, which is feminine. So it seems very significant that in both the Jewish and the Vedic traditions, God is not alone but is always with His female pleasure energy. The word Harä is a form of addressing the energy of the Lord, and the words Krsna and Rama are personal forms of addressing God Himself. In this connection, Rama can refer to either Lord Balaräma or to Lord Rämacandra. The incarnation of God, Väsudeva expands from Lord Balaräma and Lord Rämacandra is an incarnation of Väsudeva.

In a conversation with a Benedictine monk in Germany in 1974, our spiritual master, His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada, discussed the similarity between the names Krsna and Christ. He pointed out that the Greek word Kristos means Christ or "the anointed one".

RABBI: Kana (KNA) is also the name one should meditate on during morning meditation, Mondays. The significance being that on Monday, the heavens and Earth were created. God as the Supreme Creator is the King of His creation and the name KNA refers to the Supreme King, God.

DEVOTEE: This is very interesting, because the name Kana is an intimate name for Lord Krishna in the Vedic literature.

RABBI: This is considered to be the most intimate name for God in the Old Testament. Where it is translated, "I am a jealous God, have no other gods before you", the literal Hebrew translation is, "My name is EL KNA, have no other gods before you."

The Greek word Krista is a derivation of KNA, and in English the word Christ, is the best-known example of the inner meanings of the name. The Son of God, taking His Father's name, as His last name.

On Monday, you must intertwine the associated name "KRE ShTN" as explained by Rabbi Aryeh Kapln, in Meditation and the Kabbalah.

DEVOTEE: Jesus said to glorify the holy name of God and that name is Christ or, by a different pronunciation, Krsna. The essential principle is to glorify and chant the holy names of God.

http://www.equalsouls.org/19.html


 

There is little difference between the words Hodim,Hindus, and Yehodim, Jews. The words are nearly identical, separated just by the letter yod, the y. This is significant in itself because the yod is the tiniest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. These two letters, yod and he, spell God in the Hebrew language

http://defence.pk/threads/hinduism-and-judaism-similarities.21842/#ixzz3AcGXcAnL


Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit

The world's first Jewish-Hindu interfaith leadership summit, spearheaded by Hindu organizations in India and Jewish organizations in Israel, as well as the American Jewish Committee, was held in New Delhi on February 2007. The chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger, was actively involved in the dialogue, together with Swami Dayanand Saraswati. They stated that "The Jewish and Hindu communities are committed to the ancient traditions of Judaism and Hindu dharma respectively, and have both, in their own ways, gone through the painful experiences of persecution, oppression and destruction."Mertzger quoted:

We have close behaviors, and belief in the same G-d. You will see from the speeches of the Rabbis, that there are so many similar customs, even though we live on different sides of the world. The word for India in Hebrew is “Hodu”. “Hodu” means to appreciate and thank. I have to thank you for your behavior to my brothers for the 2,000 years that they were here, in India, safely and without any problems. We are a nation that has suffered in history; a lot of nations hated us because we chose to keep our tradition. We only wanted to live our own life, and believe in the God that we believe in, and worship him in the way that we always did. Millions of our fathers and mothers were killed because they believed in God and behaved like Jews. That is why we need to appreciate the fact that our brothers lived here in your country safely. You gave them all the honor and respect they deserved. Most importantly, they are still alive. They are small in number but they love you and appreciate you. It is an honor you have done to us. India is a temple to all religions, and the word anti-Semitic is unknown to you.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9885047/1st-Hindu-Jewish-Summit-Report


A second Hindu-Jewish summit took place in Jerusalem in February 2008. There, the Jewish delegation accepted that true Hindus accept One Supreme Being and do not think that the representations used in worship are idols. Despite snowy weather in Jerusalem, the Hindu delegation visited and said their prayers at the Kotel, also known as the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites for Jews.

In June 2009, another Hindu-Jewish interfaith meet was held in New York and Washington. The International Hindu-Jewish Leadership Dialogue was hosted by the American Jewish Committee, the Hindu American Foundation, and the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha and was sponsored by the World Council of Religious Leaders. It began with a lunch and presentations amid saffron-robed swamis, dark-suited rabbis, and Hindu lay leaders wearing lapel pins combining the Israeli, Indian, and American flags.

In August 2007, a delegation of the All India Organization of Imams and Mosques led by Maulana Jamil Ilyas visited Israel. The Israel visit followed a trip by Jewish rabbis to Delhi for an inter-faith meeting.

Maulana Jamil Ilyasi, president of the All India Organization of Imams and Mosques, stated "I was pleasantly surprised to know that the Sharia (Islamic law) is being supported by the Israeli government; whereas, in India, only local Muslims implement it. That is unique." Ilyasi was apparently referring to the existence of government-sanctioned Islamic courts in the Israeli justice system, which handle marriage, divorce and conversion issues for Muslim Israelis. Similar religious courts exist for Jews and Christians. The visit was organized by the American Jewish Council. The visit was touted as a dialogue of democracies.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


1 Peter 3

3:8 Finally, all of you be harmonious, sympathetic, affectionate, compassionate, and humble.

3:9 Do not return evil for evil or insult for insult, but instead bless others because you were called to inherit a blessing.

3:10 For the one who wants to love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from uttering deceit.

3:11 And he must turn away from evil and do good;

he must seek peace and pursue it.

3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer.

But the Lord’s face is against those who do evil.


0.jpg

In Purola a a great bird-shaped altar of Garuda was found dating approximately 100 BC to 200 years after Jesus. This dates the Agnicayana rite as being at least 1800 years old.

The ancient site at Purola is located on the left bank of river Kamal. The excavation yielded the remains of Painted Grey Ware (PGW) from the earliest level alongwith other associated materials include terracotta figurines, beads, potter-stamp, the dental and femur portions of domesticated horse (Equas Cabalus Linn). The most important finding from the site is a brick alter identified as Syenachiti by the excavator. The structure is in the shape of a flying eagle Garuda, head facing east with outstretched wings. In the center of the structure is the chiti is a square chamber yielded remains of pottery assignable to circa first century B.C. to second century AD. In addition copper coin of Kuninda and other material i.e. ash, bone pieces etc and a thin gold leaf impressed with a human figure tentatively identified as Agni have also been recovered from the central chamber.

http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot.com/2011/11/syena-orthography.html


The name "bonfire" is derived from the fact that bonfires (bone fire) were originally fires in which bones were burned. In India, particularly in Punjab, people gather around a bonfire and eat peanuts and sweets during the festival of Lohri to celebrate the winter solstice which occurred during the Indian month of Magh. People have bonfires on communal land. If there has been a recent wedding or a new born in the family, people will have a bonfire outside their house to celebrate this event. The festival falls in the second week of January every year.

In Israel, on the eve of Lag BaOmer, bonfires are lit on to commemorate the Mishnaic sage Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai who according to tradition died on Lag BaOmer. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai is accredited with having composed the Kabalistic work The Zohar (literally "The Shining" - hence the custom of lighting fire to commemorate him). The main celebration takes place at Rabbi Shimon's tomb on Mt. Meron in northern Israel, but all over the country bonfires are lit in open spaces. Linked by Modern Jewish tradition to the Bar Kokhba Revolt against the Roman Empire (132-135 CE), Lag BaOmer is very popularly observed and celebrated as a symbol for the fighting Jewish spirit. As Lag Ba'Omer draws near, children begin collecting material for the bonfire: wood boards and planks, old doors, and anything else made of wood. On the night itself, families and friends gather round the fires and youths will burn their bonfires till daybreak.

Rabbi Maimonides knew that Jews had come to conceptualize the world as an enchanted universe, governed by occult affinities. Maimonides book, "The Guide for the Perplexed" begins with his thesis against anthropomorphism (the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to Hashem). In the Bible, one can find many expressions that refer to God in human terms, for instance the "hand of G-d." Maimonides was strongly against what he believed to be a heresy present in unlearned Jews who then assume Hashem to be corporeal (or even possessing positive characteristics).

Guide for the Perplexed

Chapter II

I must premise that every Hebrew knows that the term Elohim is a homonym, and denotes God, angels, judges, and the rulers of countries, and that Onkelos the proselyte explained it in the true and correct manner by taking Elohim in the sentence, "and ye shall be like Elohim" (Gen. iii. 5) in the last-mentioned meaning, and rendering the sentence "and ye shall be like princes."


Guide for the Perplexed

Chapter V

WHEN the chief of philosophers (Aristotle) was about to inquire into some very profound subjects, and to establish his theory by proofs, he commenced his treatise with an apology, and requested the reader to attribute the author's inquiries not to presumption, vanity, egotism, or arrogance, as though he were interfering with things of which he had no knowledge, but rather to his zeal and his desire to discover and establish true doctrines, as far as lay in human power. We take the same position, and think that a man, when he commences to speculate, ought not to embark at once on a subject so vast and important; he should previously adapt himself to the study of the several branches of science and knowledge, should most thoroughly refine his moral character and subdue his passions and desires, the offspring of his imagination; when, in addition, he has obtained a knowledge of the true fundamental propositions, a comprehension of the several methods of inference and proof, and the capacity of guarding against fallacies, then he may approach the investigation of this subject. He must, however, not decide any question by the first idea that suggests itself to his mind, or at once direct his thoughts and force them to obtain a knowledge of the Creator, but he must wait modestly and patiently, and advance step by step.

In this sense we must understand the words "And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God" (Exod. iii. 6), though retaining also the literal meaning of the passage, that Moses was afraid to gaze at the light which appeared to his eye; but it must on no account be assumed that the Being which is exalted far above every imperfection can be perceived by the eye. This act of Moses was highly commended by God, who bestowed on him a well deserved portion of His goodness, as it is said: "And the similitude of the Lord shall he behold" (Num. xii. 8). This, say our Sages, was the reward for having previously hidden his face, lest he should gaze at the Eternal. (Talm. B. Berakot Fa.)

But "the nobles of the Children of Israel" were impetuous, and allowed their thoughts to go unrestrained: what they perceived was but imperfect. Therefore it is said of them, "And they saw the God of Israel, and there was under his feet," etc. (Exod. xxiv. 10); and not merely, "and they saw the God of Israel"; the purpose of the whole passage is to criticize their act of seeing and not to describe it. They are blamed for the nature of their perception, which was to a certain extent corporeal--a result which necessarily followed, from the fact that they ventured too far before being perfectly prepared. They deserved to perish, but at the intercession of Moses this fate was averted by God for the time. They were afterwards burnt at Taberah, except Nadab and Abihu, who were burnt in the Tabernacle of the congregation, according to what is stated by authentic tradition. (Midr. Rabba ad locum.)

If such was the case with them, how much more is it incumbent on us who are inferior, and on those who are below us, to persevere in perfecting our knowledge of the elements, and in rightly understanding the preliminaries which purify the mind from the defilement of error: then we may enter the holy and divine camp in order to gaze: as the Bible says, "And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord, sanctify themselves, lest the Lord break forth upon them" (Exod. xix. 22). Solomon, also, has cautioned all who endeavour to attain this high degree of knowledge in the following figurative terms, "Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God" (Eccles. iv. 17).

I will now return to complete what I commenced to explain. The nobles of the Children of Israel, besides erring in their perception, were, through this cause, also misled in their actions: for in consequence of their confused perception, they gave way to bodily cravings. This is meant by the words, "Also they saw God and did eat and drink" (Exod. xxiv. 11). The principal part of that passage, viz., "And there was under his feet as it were a paved work of a sapphire stone" (Exod. xxiv. 10), will be further explained in the course of the present treatise (ch. xxviii.). All we here intend to say is, that wherever in a similar connection any one of the three verbs mentioned above occurs, it has reference to intellectual perception, not to the sensation of sight by the eye: for God is not a being to be perceived by the eye.

It will do no harm, however, if those who are unable to comprehend what we here endeavour to explain should refer all the words in question to sensuous perception, to seeing lights created [for the purpose], angels, or similar beings.


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Maimonides attempted reformation failed because he did not accept Jesus as his savior and provoked a kabbalistic counter-reformation which has spread throughout the world's great religions, mystery schools, and secret societies.

John 5

5:31 “If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true.

5:32 There is another who testifies about me, and I know the testimony he testifies about me is true.

5:33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth.

5:34 (I do not accept human testimony, but I say this so that you may be saved.)

5:35 He was a lamp that was burning and shining, and you wanted to rejoice greatly for a short time in his light.

5:36 “But I have a testimony greater than that from John. For the deeds that the Father has assigned me to complete – the deeds I am now doing – testify about me that the Father has sent me.

5:37 And the Father who sent me has himself testified about me. You people have never heard his voice nor seen his form at any time,

5:38 nor do you have his word residing in you, because you do not believe the one whom he sent.

5:39 You study the scriptures thoroughly because you think in them you possess eternal life, and it is these same scriptures that testify about me,

5:40 but you are not willing to come to me so that you may have life.

5:41 “I do not accept praise from people,

5:42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God within you.

5:43 I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me. If someone else comes in his own name, you will accept him.

5:44 How can you believe, if you accept praise from one another and don’t seek the praise that comes from the only God?

5:45 “Do not suppose that I will accuse you before the Father. The one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have placed your hope.

5:46 If you believed Moses, you would believe me, because he wrote about me.

5:47 But if you do not believe what Moses wrote, how will you believe my words?”


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Deuteronomy 18

18:15 The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you – from your fellow Israelites; you must listen to him.

18:16 This accords with what happened at Horeb in the day of the assembly. You asked the Lord your God: “Please do not make us hear the voice of the Lord our God any more or see this great fire any more lest we die.”

18:17 The Lord then said to me, “What they have said is good.

18:18 I will raise up a prophet like you for them from among their fellow Israelites. I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them whatever I command.

18:19 I will personally hold responsible anyone who then pays no attention to the words that prophet speaks in my name.


This Kabbalist secular model allows one to navigate through tarot, sephiroth, Buddhic realms, Hindu realms, alchemy, astrology, and philosophy.
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2007 Hindu-Jewish Leadership Summit

I offer my Pranams to the respected delegation of the Jewish community, the learned Rabbis, and the esteemed Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha Swamijis. Both our civilizations have been the targets of terrorism. Both have been persecuted for many centuries.Our two communities have many common concerns. We are both victims of proselytization and mass conversion programs of our people, and yet both our communities do not convert people from other faiths. Unlike the Hindus,the Jewish community is more organized, and has made its presence felt, and its voice heard worldwide. Hindus can learn from this proactive behavior.

Time and again, the Hindus have demonstrated the power of non-violence as a force of social change.This is perhaps something to consider in-depth. Another concern is press representation. Sometimes Hindus and Hinduism are represented in the mediain very bad taste, raking up sensitive issues, with intent to malign the reputation of the Hindus, and attempting to divide the community by derogatory remarks. Our Jewish friends can help in countering the distortions of Hinduism by vested interests in other parts of the world. We hear that even some of the books of the sixth and seventh grades in the west have derogatory references to our culture. There is a tendency to label all Hindus as “right wing”. These are some concerns that we can work together to explore.

http://www.scribd.com/doc/9885047/1st-Hindu-Jewish-Summit-Report


Agni (Sanskrit: अग्नि), (Tamil அக்கினி) is a Hindu deity, one of the most important of the Vedic gods. He is the god of fire and the acceptor of sacrifices. The sacrifices made to Agni go to the deities because Agni is a messenger from and to the other gods. He is ever-young, because the fire is re-lit every day, and also immortal.

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India and Israel have increased co-operation in military and intelligence ventures since the establishment of diplomatic relations. The rise of Islamic extremist terrorism in both nations has generated a strong strategic alliance between the two. India recently launched a military satellite for Israel through its Indian Space Research Organization.

http://www.iai.co.il/2013/22031-en/IAI.aspx

In 1997, Israel's President Ezer Weizman became the first head of the Jewish state to visit India. He met with Indian President Shankar Dayal Sharma, Vice President K.R. Narayanan and Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda. Weizman negotiated the first weapons deal between the two nations, involving the purchase of Barak 1 vertically-launched surface-to-air (SAM) missiles from Israel. The Barak-1 has the ability to intercept anti-ship missiles such as the Harpoon. The purchase of the Barak-1 missiles from Israel by India was a tactical necessity since Pakistan had purchased Lockheed P-3 Orion maritime surveillance aircraft and 27 Harpoon sea-skimming anti-ship missiles from the United States. Israel was one of the selected few nations, a group that also included France and Russia, that did not condemn India's 1998 Pokhran-II nuclear tests.

Israel Aerospace Industries Ltd signed a US $2.5 billion deal with India in 2007 to develop an anti-aircraft system and missiles for the country, in the biggest defence contract in the history of Israel at the time. IAI CEO Yitzhak Nissan visited India to finalise the agreement with heads of the defence establishment and the country's president. IAI is developing the Barak 8 missile for the Indian Navy and Indian Air Force which is capable of protecting sea vessels and ground facilities from aircraft and cruise missiles. The missile has a range of over 70 kilometres. The missile will replace the current obsolete Russian system used by India.

In 2008, Israel surpassed Russia as the largest arms supplier to India.

Having vehemently opposed the testing of Agni or the deployment of Prithvi, United States is unlikely to be indifferent over Israeli willingness to transfer its Jericho expertise. American criticisms of Israeli export of Lavi technology to China become hollow if it is indifferent toward similar ventures with India. The American ability to override sensitive Israeli commitments to India would be much larger than those exhibited over Russia’s attempts to sell cryogenic engines in 1993. Political proximity has not immunized Israel from American displeasure and threats of sanctions.

Hence, Indo-Israeli security relations would have to be coordinated with the United States. Prior understanding and transparency with Washington becomes essential. Direct or indirect involvement of American companies in Indo-Israeli joint ventures might partially ease the situation.

http://www.gloria-center.org/1998/05/kumaraswamy-1998-05-06/


Jericho is a general designation given to the Israeli ballistic missiles. The name is taken from the first development contract for the Jericho I signed between Israel and Dassault in 1963, with the codename as a reference to the Biblical city of Jericho. As is true for most Israeli unconventional weapons systems, exact details are highly classified though there is observed test data, public statements by government officials, and details in open literature especially about the Shavit satellite launch vehicle. The later Jericho family development is related to the Shavit and Shavit II space launch vehicles believed to be derivatives of the Jericho II IRBM and which preceded the development of the Jericho III ICBM. Additional insight into the Jericho program is given by the South African series of missiles which the RSA-3 are believed to be licensed copies of the Jericho II/Shavit and the RSA-4 used part of these systems in their stack with a heavy first stage, after the declaration and disarming of the South African nuclear program the RSA series missiles were offered commercially as satellite launch vehicles where the advertised specifications became part of the public knowledge. The civilian space launch version of the Jericho, the Shavit has been studied in an air launched version piggybacked on a Boeing 747 similar to a US experimental launch of the Minuteman ICBM from a C-5 Galaxy.

Joshua 6





6:15 On the seventh day they were up at the crack of dawn and marched around the city as before – only this time they marched around it seven times.

6:16 The seventh time around, the priests blew the rams’ horns and Joshua told the army, “Give the battle cry, for the Lord is handing the city over to you!

6:17 The city and all that is in it must be set apart for the Lord, except for Rahab the prostitute and all who are with her in her house, because she hid the spies we sent.

6:18 But be careful when you are setting apart the riches for the Lord. If you take any of it, you will make the Israelite camp subject to annihilation and cause a disaster.

6:19 All the silver and gold, as well as bronze and iron items, belong to the Lord. They must go into the Lord’s treasury.”

6:20 The rams’ horns sounded and when the army heard the signal, they gave a loud battle cry. The wall collapsed and the warriors charged straight ahead into the city and captured it.

6:21 They annihilated with the sword everything that breathed in the city, including men and women, young and old, as well as cattle, sheep, and donkeys.

6:22 Joshua told the two men who had spied on the land, “Enter the prostitute’s house 39 and bring out the woman and all who belong to her as you promised her.”

6:23 So the young spies went and brought out Rahab, her father, mother, brothers, and all who belonged to her. They brought out her whole family and took them to a place outside the Israelite camp.

6:24 But they burned the city and all that was in it, except for the silver, gold, and bronze and iron items they put in the treasury of the Lord’s house.

6:25 Yet Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, her father’s family, and all who belonged to her. She lives in Israel to this very day because she hid the messengers Joshua sent to spy on Jericho.

6:26 At that time Joshua made this solemn declaration:

“The man who attempts to rebuild this city of Jericho will stand condemned before the Lord. He will lose his firstborn son when he lays its foundations and his youngest son when he erects its gates!”

6:27 The Lord was with Joshua and he became famous throughout the land.


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The Man burns during the Burning Man 2013 arts and music festival in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, on August 31, 2013.

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http://www.burningman.com/

Burning Man Image Gallery

G - d

evil

adultery

fornification

idolatry

magical arts

witchcraft

pride

boastfulness

exaltation

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Burning Man has spread to Israel. The 2014 theme was Genesis.

http://midburn.com

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This ancient symbol, most commonly known as the Hamsa (Chamsa) or Hamesh hand, is used as a protective amulet by both Jews and Muslims.

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Early use of the hamsa has been traced to ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq).

A universal sign of protection, the image of the open right hand is seen in Mesopotamian artifacts in the amulets of the Qāt Ištar and the Qāt Inana and in the Buddha's gesture (mudrā) of teaching and protection.

The first known use of the hamsa can be traced to the civilization of Phoenicia that spread across the Mediterranean between 1550 – 330 BCE. The Phoenicians used an image of the hand to represent Tanit (Tinnit and Tannou), chief patron goddess of their capital Carthage alongside her consort Ba`al Hammon. Tanit was controller of the lunar cycle. With time, her hand became a protective amulet in its own right and was used to ward off the evil eye, one of the oldest manifestations of human fear.

In today's Tunisia it is customary to invoke "Oumek Tannou" (Mother Tannou) the years of drought to bring rain; just as we speak of "Baali" farming, for non-irrigated farming, to say that it only depends on god Ba`al Hammon

Tanit was also a Punic goddess and adopted by the Berber people.

Tanit e was equivalent to the moon-goddess Astarte, and later worshipped in Roman Carthage in her Romanized form as Dea Caelestis, Juno Caelestis or simply Caelestis.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


The Hamsa can on two mosaics found in the Catholic Basilica of San Vitale in Ravenna, Italy. The first, Hamsa over Moses (Top left mosaic). The second, Hamsa over Abel and Melchisedec (middle mosaic)

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http://www.shanemcauliffe.com/category/italy/

Ask the Rabbi

14 January 1995; Issue #51

What is an "Ayin Hara"?

The belief in Ayin Hara is not a superstition but is well founded on references from the earliest Jewish texts. Sarah "gives" Hagar an Ayin Hara, causing her to miscarry her first pregnancy. Yaakov warns his sons not to be seen together so as not to incur Ayin Hara. Another example is King Saul's jealousy of the future King David who is credited with greater military prowess and "gives" him an Ayin Hara.

The Talmud quotes Rabbi Yochanan as saying "I am a descendant of Yosef over whom Ayin Hara had no control." The Talmud also says that fish represent a form of life that is free of the influence of Ayin Hara. According to one opinion of the Talmud, a first-born daughter prevents Ayin Hara from affecting the family.

Ayin Hara also has Halachic ramifications. The Talmud states that it is forbidden to stand in a neighbor's field when the crops are fully grown. Rashi explains that this is forbidden because of Ayin Hara.

Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler in a letter to his father asked "Where is the justice in a system that causes people to suffer for the jealousies of others?" Rabbi Dessler answered that what happens is the following:

One person who has what another person lacks is "careless" and lets the other person see what he has. This causes pain to the other person, and his cry goes up to the Heavenly court.

The lesson in all of this is that we must learn to be sensitive to others, and not flaunt what we have. Many people yearn to have what others have, and suffer real pain when they see others casually flaunt those things. True, they shouldn't be jealous, but we cannot expect everyone to be a Tzaddik. Divine justice demands retribution for causing this pain to another person.

You mention that you say "Bli Ayin Hara" (literally "Without the Evil Eye"). In Yiddish it is rendered as "Ken Ayin Hara." We say this as a prayer to Hashem, so that if there are any silent cries going up to the Heavenly court, He will not listen to them, and He will protect us from any harm. There are other Ayin Hara "antidotes" such as tying red strings around one's wrist, and the "Hamsa" ("Five-Fingers"). Be careful not to use any remedy or prevention unless it is commonly used by Jews, since some practices are forms of witchcraft. The best protection is to behave modestly and with a genuine concern for the feelings of others.

Sources:

Bereshit 16:5, Rashi.
Bereshit 42:5, Rashi.
Shmuel 1,18:9.
Tractate Berachot - 20a.
Tractate Bava Batra - 141a.
Tractate Bava Batra - 2b.
Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler - Michtav M'Eliyahu, vol. 3, pp.313-314; vol. 4, pp.5-6.

http://ohr.edu/ask/ask051.htm


hamsa-evil-eye-jewelry-RED-string-bracel



According to tradition, a red string is wound around the stone marker over Rachel's grave seven times, while reciting various Hebrew prayers. Including Psalm 33, the mystical prayer Ana B'Koach and Asher Yatzar. The string is then cut into bracelet size lengths and is worn on the left hand as a symbolic request for spiritual and physical protection and blessings.

Psalm 33

33:1 You godly ones, shout for joy because of the Lord!

It is appropriate for the morally upright to offer him praise.

33:2 Give thanks to the Lord with the harp!

Sing to him to the accompaniment of a ten-stringed instrument!

33:3 Sing to him a new song!

Play skillfully as you shout out your praises to him!

33:4 For the Lord’s decrees are just,

and everything he does is fair.

33:5 The Lord promotes equity and justice;

the Lord’s faithfulness extends throughout the earth.

33:6 By the Lord’s decree the heavens were made;

by a mere word from his mouth all the stars in the sky were created.

33:7 He piles up the water of the sea;

he puts the oceans in storehouses.

33:8 Let the whole earth fear the Lord!

Let all who live in the world stand in awe of him!

33:9 For he spoke, and it came into existence,

he issued the decree, and it stood firm.

33:10 The Lord frustrates the decisions of the nations;

he nullifies the plans of the peoples.

33:11 The Lord’s decisions stand forever;

his plans abide throughout the ages.

33:12 How blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people whom he has chosen to be his special possession.

33:13 The Lord watches from heaven;

he sees all people.

33:14 From the place where he lives he looks carefully

at all the earth’s inhabitants.

33:15 He is the one who forms every human heart,

and takes note of all their actions.

33:16 No king is delivered by his vast army;

a warrior is not saved by his great might.

33:17 A horse disappoints those who trust in it for victory;

despite its great strength, it cannot deliver.

33:18 Look, the Lord takes notice of his loyal followers,

those who wait for him to demonstrate his faithfulness

33:19 by saving their lives from death

and sustaining them during times of famine.

33:20 We wait for the Lord;

he is our deliverer and shield.

33:21 For our hearts rejoice in him,

for we trust in his holy name.

33:22 May we experience your faithfulness, O Lord,

for 34 we wait for you.


No amulet or charm can protect the evil doer.

Isaiah 47

47:8 So now, listen to this,

O one who lives so lavishly,

who lives securely,

who says to herself,

‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!

I will never have to live as a widow;

I will never lose my children.’

47:9 Both of these will come upon you

suddenly, in one day!

You will lose your children and be widowed.

You will be overwhelmed by these tragedies,

despite your many incantations

and your numerous amulets.

47:10 You were complacent in your evil deeds;

you thought, ‘No one sees me.’

Your self-professed wisdom and knowledge lead you astray,

when you say, ‘I am unique! No one can compare to me!’

47:11 Disaster will overtake you;

you will not know how to charm it away.

Destruction will fall on you;

you will not be able to appease it.

Calamity will strike you suddenly,

before you recognize it.

47:12 Persist in trusting your amulets

and your many incantations,

which you have faithfully recited since your youth!

Maybe you will be successful –

maybe you will scare away disaster.

47:13 You are tired out from listening to so much advice.

Let them take their stand –

the ones who see omens in the sky,

who gaze at the stars,

who make monthly predictions –

let them rescue you from the disaster that is about to overtake you!

47:14 Look, they are like straw,

which the fire burns up;

they cannot rescue themselves

from the heat of the flames.

There are no coals to warm them,

no firelight to enjoy.

47:15 They will disappoint you,

those you have so faithfully dealt with since your youth.

Each strays off in his own direction,

leaving no one to rescue you


The Prophet King David stated that it is Hashem's angels who protect the godly from evil.

Psalms 34

I will praise the Lord at all times;

my mouth will continually praise him.

34:2 I will boast in the Lord;

let the oppressed hear and rejoice!

34:3 Magnify the Lord with me!

Let’s praise his name together!

34:4 I sought the Lord’s help and he answered me;

he delivered me from all my fears.

34:5 Those who look to him for help are happy;

their faces are not ashamed.

34:6 This oppressed man cried out and the Lord heard;

he saved him from all his troubles.

34:7 The Lord’s angel camps around

the Lord’s loyal followers and delivers them.

34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good!

How blessed is the one who takes shelter in him!

34:9 Remain loyal to the Lord, you chosen people of his,

for his loyal followers lack nothing!

34:10 Even young lions sometimes lack food and are hungry,

but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

34:11 Come children! Listen to me!

I will teach you what it means to fear the Lord.

34:12 Do you want to really live?

Would you love to live a long, happy life?

34:13 Then make sure you don’t speak evil words

or use deceptive speech!

34:14 Turn away from evil and do what is right!

Strive for peace and promote it!

34:15 The Lord pays attention to the godly

and hears their cry for help.

34:16 But the Lord opposes evildoers

and wipes out all memory of them from the earth.

34:17 The godly cry out and the Lord hears;

he saves them from all their troubles.

34:18 The Lord is near the brokenhearted;

he delivers those who are discouraged.

34:19 The godly face many dangers,

but the Lord saves them from each one of them.

34:20 He protects all his bones;

not one of them is broken.

34:21 Evil people self-destruct;

those who hate the godly are punished.

34:22 The Lord rescues his servants;

all who take shelter in him escape punishment.


The evil eye turns the fictional hero Anakin Skywalker to villain Darth Vader.

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Luke 11

11:33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a hidden place or under a basket, but on a lamp stand, so that those who come in can see the light.

11:34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is diseased, your body is full of darkness.

11:35 Therefore see to it that the light in you is not darkness.

11:36 If then your whole body is full of light, with no part in the dark, it will be as full of light as when the light of a lamp shines on you.”


What you choose, is what you will become. This Hashem given liberty constantly crosses our path throughout life.

The hero becomes the villain becomes the hero.

The fictional Darth Vader reverts back to being Anakin Skywalker.

Force+Ghosts.jpg

The conversion of Saint Paul by Luca Giordano (1690), Museum of Fine Arts of Nancy, France.

1280px-La_conversion_de_Saint_Paul_Giord

http://mban.nancy.fr/

The Conversion of Paul, in spite of his attempts to completely eradicate Christianity, is seen as evidence of the power of Divine Grace, with "no fall so deep that grace cannot descend to it" and "no height so lofty that grace cannot lift the sinner to it." It also demonstrates "God's power to use everything, even the hostile persecutor, to achieve the divine purpose.

Galatians 1

1:11 Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin.

1:12 For I did not receive it or learn it from any human source; instead I received it by a revelation of Jesus Christ.

1:13 For you have heard of my former way of life in Judaism, how I was savagely persecuting the church of God and trying to destroy it.

1:14 I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my nation, and was extremely zealous for the traditions of my ancestors.

1:15 But when the one who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace was pleased

1:16 to reveal his Son in me so that I could preach him among the Gentiles, I did not go to ask advice from any human being,

1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before me, but right away I departed to Arabia, and then returned to Damascus.

1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and get information from him, and I stayed with him fifteen days.

1:19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother.

1:20 I assure you that, before G - d, I am not lying about what I am writing to you!

1:21 Afterward I went to the regions of Syria and Cilicia.

1:22 But I was personally unknown to the churches of Judea that are in Christ.

1:23 They were only hearing, “The one who once persecuted us is now proclaiming the good news of the faith he once tried to destroy.”

1:24 So they glorified God because of me.


1 John 2

2:15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him,

2:16 because all that is in the world (the desire of the flesh and the desire of the eyes and the arrogance produced by material possessions) is not from the Father, but is from the world.

2:17 And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.


Eyes Find Evil and Death

Genesis 3

3:2 The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit from the trees of the orchard;

3:3 but concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it, and you must not touch it, or else you will die.’

3:4 The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die,

3:5 for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.”

3:6 When the woman saw that the tree produced fruit that was good for food, was attractive to the eye, and was desirable for making one wise, she took some of its fruit and ate it. She also gave some of it to her husband who was with her, and he ate it.

3:7 Then the eyes of both of them opened, and they knew they were unclothed; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.


Psalm 50

50:16 God says this to the evildoer:

“How can you declare my commands,

and talk about my covenant?

50:17 For you hate instruction

and reject my words.

50:18 When you see a thief, you join him;

you associate with men who are unfaithful to their wives.

50:19 You do damage with words,

and use your tongue to deceive.

50:20 You plot against your brother;

you slander your own brother.

50:21 When you did these things, I was silent,

so you thought I was exactly like you.

But now I will condemn you

and state my case against you!

50:22 Carefully consider this, you who reject God!

Otherwise I will rip you to shreds

and no one will be able to rescue you.

50:23 Whoever presents a thank-offering honors me.

To whoever obeys my commands, I will reveal my power to deliver.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


I want to go further into the origins of the evil eye. It appears the left eye is evil and the right eye is good according to the Sefer Yetzirah, was writen around 200 AD.

Oldest reference to the "Sefer Yetzirah" is mentioned in the Talmud. Haggigah 12a



primordial-snake.png

According to Sefer Yetzirah, each month of the Jewish year has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that correspond to it.

Introduction

Tevet is the tenth of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar.

Tevet begins with the last days of Chanukah (which climax with its culminating, eighth dayZot Chanukah). Its tenth daythe tenth day of the tenth month (the tenth shall be holy to G-d)is a fast day, in commemoration of the siege of Jerusalem, the beginning of the destruction of the Temple.

Letter: Ayin (ע)

The letter ayin means eye. The month of Tevet is the month of the rectification and nullification of the evil eye. The word Tevet itself comes from tov, good, referring to tov ayin, the goodly eye (the source of the power of blessing, as it is said: the goodly eye shall bless). This rectification begins with the gazing at the Chanukah candles (especially when they are complete on the eighth day).

All destructive process begins with the evil eye of hatred, the hatred of the profane to the holy (the secret of ten, the holy number, as mentioned above). From hatred comes anger, the fire of destruction. The middle letter of kaas, anger, is the letter ayin. The negative kaas must first be rectified to its positive correspondent, as will be explained presently.

Mazal: Capricorn (Gedi, the kid)

Our sages teach us that at the age of ten (an allusion to the tenth month, the level of ten in general) a child jumps like a goat. (Midrash Kohelet) The playful nature of jumping up and down like a goat reflects an important stage in the growing-up process. The month of Tevet, the month of the tribe of Dan, relates to the growing-up process, from a state of immaturity to a state of maturity.

Immaturity is characterized by the evil eye, while maturity is characterized by the good eye. Gedi = 17 = tov, good (the good eye). One must play (and jump up and down like a goat) in order to rectify and sweeten the anger latent in ones animal soul.

Tribe: Dan

The tribe of Dan represents the initial state of immaturity in the soul that grows-up during the month of Tevet. Dan means to judge. Initially, he judges reality and others critically, with severe judgment (the evil eye). This is the nature of one who is spiritually immature. Dan is likened to a snake, who bites with the venom of anger. The evil eye is the eye of the snake.

The rectification of Dan is his engaging in the battle of holy anger against evil anger. Our sages teach us that only one from the soul-root of Dan can spontaneously jump up and kill the evil snakeone like him, killed him.

Nachash (snake) = 358 = Mashiach. The holy power of Dan reflects a spark of Mashiach. In the Zohar we are taught that the commander-in-chief of the army of Mashiach will come from the tribe of Dan.

Sense: Anger

The sense of holy anger, or righteous indignation (the rectification of the month of Tevet) is the ability of the soul to arouse ones good inclination to become angry at ones evil inclination. This our sages teach us in their commentary on the verse in Psalms: Be angry and dont sin.

Positive anger expresses the deepest care and concern of the soul that reality become good. Though even to this anger there is a certain element of immaturity (for absolute maturity, that of the Creator of reality, sees [with the ayin of Tevet] all as good), nonetheless, of it is said:

for Israel is [behaves as] a lad, and [therefore] I [G-d] love him.

In Chassidut we are taught that one must direct his left (evil) eye towards himself (with the holy anger of his innate good against his innate evil), to lower and subdue his ego, while simultaneously directing his right (good) eye towards outer reality (by which power he helps reality perfect itself).

Controller: Liver

The sages teach us that the liver is angry. The function of the liver [kaved, in Hebrew] is to purify the blood with which it is saturated. In Kabbalah, the liver corresponds to the primordial snake, whose rectification is personified by Dan. (The three rulers of the body and soul are the brain, the heart, and the liver, which correspond to Adam, Eve, and the snake, respectively).

The snake, in Kabbalah, represents the initial state of immaturity of the soul, as characterized by the unrectified attribute of anger. The venom of the snake is hot (see above, the month of Cheshvan), like the fire of anger. When converted to the good, the fire (and blood of the liver) serve to warm the cold month of Tevet.

Kaved = 26 = Havayah. This reflects the secret mentioned above, that the sum of the four months which fast over the destruction of the Temple (by the venom of the primordial snake), which culminate in Tevet, together equal 26. By fasting over the destruction one rectifies ones livermellows ones angerand thereby sweetens the anger of G-d (with Israel, the cause of the destruction) and arouses the mercy of Havayah to rebuild the Temple.

http://www.inner.org/times/tevet/tevet.htm


Mashiach means messiah is a term used in the Hebrew Bible to describe priests and kings, who were traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil as described in Exodus 30:22-25. For example, Cyrus the Great, the king of Persia, although not a Hebrew, is referred to as "God's mashiach" in the Bible.

Kabbalah's Best Kept Secret?

In 1696, one mystical rabbi (Aharon ben Moshe Ha-Kohen of Krakow) became a believer in Y'shua (Jesus) based on his study of kabbalah. He wrote three Hebrew manuscript volumes detailing the numerous parallels he found between the New Testament and the Zohar (the classic core text of Jewish mysticism). Yochannan Rittangel (d. 1652), the first translator of the Jewish mystical work Sefer Yetzirah, was one of several Jewish believers in Y'shua to disseminate Jewish mystical wisdom to a wider audience.

In the early twentieth century, Feivel Levertoff (d. 1954) was one of the translators of what is still the premier English version of the Zohar (published by the highly-respected Jewish press, Soncino). A yeshiva-trained Hassidic Jew and a third-generation descendent of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liada (the founder of Chabad Lubavitch), Levertoff came to believe in Y'shua as the Messiah through parallels he found between the New Testament and his Jewish mystical faith.

The Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre, one of the best-known popularizers of kabbalah today, frequently makes admiring mention of a non-Jewish scholar of kabbalistic wisdom, Pico della Mirandola (1463-1494). However, the Centre's spokespersons, books and presentations never mention his ultimate conclusion based on years of exploring the mysterious secrets of kabbalistic wisdom: "There is no knowledge that proves the Divinity of the Messiah better than . . . kabbalah."

http://www.jewsforjesus.org/publications/issues/v18-n02/01


In the religion of Ancient Rome, a haruspex (plural haruspices) was a person trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy (haruspicina) the inspection of the entrails (exta), hence also extispicy (extispicium) of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The reading of omens specifically from the liver is also known by the Greek term hepatoscopy (also hepatomancy).

Etruscan inscriptions on the bronze sheep's liver of Piacenza

1280px-Piacenza_Bronzeleber.jpg
Old Assyrian clay liver models recovered from the palace at Mari, dated to the 19th or 18th century BC.

Divinatory livers, clay models for the training of soothsayers. The one in the middle is interpreted as fortelling the destruction of small cities. Baken clay, 19th18th centuries BC, found in the royal palace at Mari (now in Syria).

320px-Divinatory_livers_Louvre_AO19837.j

One Babylonian clay model of a sheep's liver, dated between 1900 and 1600 BC, is conserved in the British Museum. The model was used for divination, which was important to Mesopotamian medicine. This practice was conducted by priests and seers who looked for signs in the stars, or in the organs of sacrificed animals, to tell them things about a patients illness. Wooden pegs were placed in the holes of the clay tablet to record features found in a sacrificed animal's liver. The seer then used these features to predict the course of a patient's illness.

The Nineveh library texts name more than a dozen liver-related terms. The liver was considered the source of the blood and hence the basis of life itself. From this belief, the Babylonians thought they could discover the will of the gods by examining the livers of carefully selected sheep. A priest known as a bārû was specially trained to interpret the "signs" of the liver, and Babylonian scholars assembled a monumental compendium of omens called the Bārûtu. The liver was divided into sections, with each section representing a particular deity.

The Babylonian and Assyrian exorcist (āipu) performed purification rituals for houses, stables and fields, he participated in temple rituals and was competent in the ceremonies associated with the induction of people into office, the initiation of divine statues and the foundation of temples. A large proportion of the corpus of texts associated with this profession focuses on protective and therapeutic measures against various human illnesses. The exorcist, who usually held his office at the royal court or within the temple hierarchy, is one of the most important healing professionals in ancient Mesopotamia, treating complex and serious illnesses by dispelling the evil force at their root, purifying the patient and protecting him against similar future threats.

Neo-Assyrian bronze amulet against the demon Lamatu. The third register shows a sick man being treated by fish-garbed protective spirits associated with the god Ea (apkallus), with apotropaic demons guarding the entrance to his bedroom. The fourth register depicts Lamatu crossing the Ulaya river; she is chased away by the demon Pazuzu, and her ritual paraphernalia and provisions are detailed on the right side of the amulet.

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http://www.cmawro.altorientalistik.uni-wuerzburg.de/magic_witchcraft/experts/

800px-Lamashtu_plaque_9165.jpg

In Mesopotamian mythology, Lamashtu (Akkadian dLa-ma-tu; Sumerian Dimme dDim3-me) was a female demon, monster, malevolent goddess or demigoddess who menaced women during childbirth and, if possible, kidnapped children while they were breastfeeding. She would gnaw on their bones and suck their blood, as well as being charged with a number of other evil deeds. She was a daughter of the Sky God Anu.

Lamashtu bore seven names and was described as seven witches in incantations.

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Her evil deeds included (but were not limited to), slaying children, unborns, and neonates, causing harm to mothers and expectant mothers, eating men and drinking their blood, disturbing sleep, bringing nightmares, killing foliage, infesting rivers and lakes, and being a bringer of disease, sickness, and death.

lamashtu-lion.jpg

Pazuzu, a god or demon, was invoked to protect birthing mothers and infants against Lamashtu's malevolence, usually on amulets and statues. Although Pazuzu was said to be bringer of famine and drought, he was also invoked against evil for protection, and against plague, but he was primarily and popularly invoked against his fierce, malicious, rival Lamashtu.

exorcist-01-500x283.jpg

Demon fighting demon. Reminds me of Ghost Rider

ghostrider.jpg

Who came up with the idea of choosing the lesser of two evils.

voter.jpg

Uumgallu, inscribed: ú-um-gal-lu, from Sumerian: uum.gal, dragon and meaning "Great Dragon" or prime venomous snake according to Wiggermann, somewhat speculatively identified with the four-legged, winged dragon (Uum) of the late 3rd millennium, was a lion-dragon demon whose name Winter translates as predator. It was one of three horned snakes in Akkadian mythology, with Bamu and Mumaḫḫū.

Ningishzida (sum: dnin-g̃i-zid-da) is a Mesopotamian deity of the underworld. His name in Sumerian is translated as "lord of the good tree" by Thorkild Jacobsen.

In Sumerian mythology, he appears in Adapa's myth as one of the two guardians of Anu's celestial palace, alongside Dumuzi. He was sometimes depicted as a serpent with a human head.

Terracotta plaque of a dragon Ushumgal.
Babylonian, about 800-550 BC
From Mesopotamia
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This clay plaque closely corresponds to the general image of the ushumgal, the 'snake-dragon' of Sumerian poetry. The ushumgal can be a metaphor for a god or king; and is not necessarily evil or unpleasant.

The snake-dragon has horns, the body and neck of a snake, the forelegs of a lion, and the hind legs of a bird. It is represented in art from 2300 BC to the last centuries BC as a symbol of various gods or as a magically protective hybrid. It has been identified as the Akkadian mushhushshu or 'furious snake'. It is best known as the creature of Marduk, the god of Babylon. When Babylon was conquered by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (reigned 704-681 BC) the motif was brought to Assyria as a symbolic beast of the state god Ashur.

Plaques such as these were mass produced in molds. Many show scenes of private life as well as images of gods and their worship. They may have been intended for private veneration or entertainment.

http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/me/t/terracotta_plaque_of_a_dragon.aspx


1280px-Sirrush.jpg

Sirrush (or Mushhushshu) on the Ishtar Gate, Babylon, 6th century B.C..
bas-relief in the Pergamon Museum, Germany

The mušḫuššu (formerly also read as sirrušu, sirrush) is a creature depicted on the reconstructed Ishtar Gate of the city of Babylon, dating to the 6th century B.C. As depicted, it is a mythological hybrid, a scaly dragon with hind legs like an eagle's talons, feline forelegs, a long neck and tail, a horned head, a snakelike tongue, and a crest.

The form mušḫuššu is the Akkadian nominative of the Sumerian MUŠ.ḪUS, lit. "reddish snake" sometimes also translated as "fierce snake". One author, possibly following others, translates it as "splendor serpent" (MUŠ is the Sumerian term for "serpent". The reading sir-ruššu is due to a mistranslation in early Assyriology.)

The mušḫuššu is the sacred animal of Marduk and his son Nabi during the Neo-Babylonian Empire. It was taken over by Marduk from Tishpak, the local god of Eshnunna.

The Jerusalem Post

The covenant code and the Gate of Tishpak

Many of the commandments handed down at Sinai have parallels in Mesopotamian law, and this applies particularly to those in the Order of Mishpatim, whose regulations are referred to by scholars as the Covenant Code.

This Covenant Code in Exodus 21-23 contains three references to “haelohim” in relation to property laws. Elohim is the sacred name of God, as used elsewhere, and “haelohim” could be translated as “the gods” though here it seems to mean something else.

Firstly, the Code tells us that a slave who wants to remain with his master is to be taken to haelohim before piercing his ear with an awl (21:6). In the second case, where a householder gives an article to another for safekeeping, and it is stolen from the latter, the safekeeper has to swear in front of haelohim that he did not appropriate it but that it was stolen from him (22:7). In another case, where two people dispute ownership of an article, they have to come before haelohim, and Elohim will decide the rights and wrongs of the matter (22:8).

The traditional view, as shown by Rashi, the 11th-century Jewish commentator, basing himself on earlier rabbinic opinion, is that in these cases we assume that the slave, the safekeeper and the disputing owners are brought before “the judges,” and not before God Himself. The King James Bible also translates the word as “judges” whereas the New English Bible uses the word “God.” Of course that is the literal translation, but what would it mean? It might mean to come before one of the priests in the Tabernacle, or before the high priest himself, but that would hardly be practical. And the question must then be posed, if it really means judges, why does the Code not use the word “Pelilim,” seeing that is the word for judges and is clearly used in that sense in the case of injury to a pregnant woman, when her foetus is lost but no further injury ensues (21:22)? It is well documented that many of the cases in the Covenant Code are similar to laws in the Code of Hammurabi, dating to about 1750 BCE. That also speaks about ownership of slaves, borrowing and lending rights, injuries by goring oxen and cases of stealing and personal injury or worse. However local slaves only serve for three years, not seven, and if a male slave wrongly denies his master, then his ear is cut off (law 282), while our Hebrew slave who wants to remain with his master has his ear pierced before haelohim. Slaves and ears seem to go together.

Hammurabi uses a similar terminology in connection with a borrower who disputes the money that he owes (law 106). In that case the lender has to appear “in the presence of god and witnesses” and prove that he lent the money, before he can recover it. Similarly with the owner and safekeeper of disputed articles (law 107).

What does Hammurabi mean by appearing “in the presence of god”? And the broader question is then, why do the Covenant Code and Hammurabi both use a divine name for what appears to mean ordinary everyday judges? In my view the answer is to be found in the earlier code of Eshnunna, dating to about 2000 BCE. Eshnunna was a city near to present-day Baghdad, and the code of laws that we have contains 59 readable ones. Some of its laws are close to the Covenant Code. For instance, No. 53 states that if one ox gores another to death, the owners shall divide between themselves the value of the live and the dead oxen. This is exactly the same as Exodus 21:35.

In another case (No. 37), similar to Exodus 22:7, if a householder has accepted someone else’s property for safekeeping into his house and it is then stolen, together with his own property, in order not to be liable for the loss to the original owner, he has to go to swear an oath “in the gate of Tishpak” that he himself did not misappropriate the object.

Tishpak was the name of the chief god of Eshnunna and so it is that the householder has to go to the gate of the city, named after its god, where obviously the judges sit in public to dispense the law (cf. Ruth 4:1ff) and swear his oath in front of them, at “the gate of [the god] Tishpak.”

I think one can say that in Hammurabi law, in civil cases like the above, to appear “in the presence of god” would mean going in front of the judges at the gate of the city, exactly what Rashi and the rabbis say that “haelohim” means in the Covenant Code. And the reason why the Bible uses the more explicit Pelilim in the case of injury to the pregnant woman, is because it is different from the similar Hammurabi laws (Nos. 209 and 211) which lay down a fixed penalty for the injury, and there is no need to seek an adjudication by going before “the presence of god.”

Law no. 37 reads: “If the depositary’s house either collapses or is burglarized and together with the property of the depositor which he gave him, loss on the part of the owner of the house is incurred, the owner of the house shall swear him an oath in the gate of Tishpak saying, ‘Together with your property my property was lost; I have done nothing improper or fraudulent.’ If he swears him such an oath, he shall have no claim against him.”

The author is a Senior Fellow at the W.F.Albright Institute of Archaeological Research.

http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/The-covenant-code-and-the-Gate-of-Tishpak-355355

 

There is no doubt that other kingdoms, empires, and city states had laws. I also believe that there could have been lower judges found at the entrance gates.

 

Ruth 4

1 Now Boaz went up to the gate, and sat him down there; and, behold, the near kinsman of whom Boaz spoke came by; unto whom he said:

 

'Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here.' And he turned aside, and sat down

 

2 And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said:

 

'Sit ye down here.' And they sat down.

 

3 And he said unto the near kinsman:

 

'Naomi, that is come back out of the field of Moab, selleth the parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech's;

 

4 and I thought to disclose it unto thee, saying:

 

Buy it before them that sit here, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it; but if it will not be redeemed, then tell me, that I may know; for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee.' And he said: 'I will redeem it.'

 

Then said Boaz:

 

5 'What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi--hast thou also bought of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance?'

 

6 And the near kinsman said: 'I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance; take thou my right of redemption on thee; for I cannot redeem it.'

 

7 Now this was the custom in former time in Israel concerning redeeming and concerning exchanging, to confirm all things: a man drew off his shoe, and gave it to his neighbor; and this was the attestation in Israel.

 

9 And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people:

 

'Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech's, and all that was Chilion's and Mahlon's, of the hand of Naomi.

 

10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I acquired to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place; ye are witnesses this day.'

 

11 And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said:

 

'We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thy house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel; and do thou worthily in Ephrath, and be famous in Beth-lehem;

 

12 12 and let thy house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman.'

 

We have border judges in the United States. But the laws the Israelites received were purely from Hashem. Not man.

 

The main Hebrew words used for "usury" are nashak or neshek, meaning "to STRIKE with a sting like a snake, bite, lend with usury, exact interest on a debt."

 

 

I never knew Jewish prophets saw that the serpent as a banker and the snakebite as the loan. This is similar to Jesus view that money as an idol and having possessions detestable to Hashem.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Babylonian Talmud:

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 60b

CHAPTER V

MISHNAH. WHAT IS NESHEK AND WHAT IS TARBITH? WHAT IS NESHEK? ONE WHO LENDS A SELA' [FOUR DENARII] FOR FIVE DENARII, OR TWO SE'AHS OF WHEAT FOR THREE; THAT IS FORBIDDEN, BECAUSE HE [THEREBY] 'BITES' [THE DEBTOR]. AND WHAT IS TARBITH? THE TAKING OF INTEREST ON PRODUCE, E. G., IF A MAN PURCHASED WHEAT AT A GOLD DENAR [TWENTY-FIVE SILVER DENARII] PER KOR, WHICH WAS THE CURRENT PRICE, AND [sUBSEQUENTLY] WHEAT APPRECIATED TO THIRTY DENARII PER KOR. THEN [THE PURCHASER] SAID TO HIM, 'GIVE ME MY WHEAT, AS I WISH TO SELL IT AND BUY WINE WITH THE PROCEEDS;' TO WHICH [THE VENDOR] REPLIED, 'LET THE WHEAT BE CHARGED TO ME AS A DEBT OF THIRTY DENARII [PER KOR]. AND YOU HAVE A CLAIM OF WINE UPON ME FOR ITS VALUE;' BUT HE ACTUALLY HAS NO WINE [AT THE TIME].

GEMARA. Now, since he [the Tanna] disregards the Biblical [meaning of] interest and defines its Rabbinical [connotation] it follows that Biblically speaking neshek and tarbith are Synonymous:

whereas [in fact] there are Scriptural expressions, neshek of money, and ribbith of food! Do you think then that there can be neshek [loss to the debtor] without tarbith [profits to the creditor], or tarbith without neshek? How might there be neshek without tarbith? If he lent him a hundred [perutahs] for one hundred and twenty [perutahs], at first [when the loan is made] a danka being valued at a hundred [perutahs], and subsequently [when the loan was repaid] at a hundred and twenty, there is neshek, for he 'bites' him [the debtor] by taking from him something which he [the creditor] did not give; yet there is no tarbith [to the creditor], for there is no profit, since he lent him a danka and received back a danka! But, after all, if the original rate is the determining factor, there is both neshek and tarbith; if the subsequent rate, there is neither neshek nor tarbith? Furthermore, how is tarbith [profit to the creditor] conceivable without neshek [loss to the debtor]? If he lent him a hundred [perutahs] for a hundred, the hundred being worth a danka at first, and now a fifth:

if you regard the first rate, there is neither neshek nor tarbith; if the final rate, there is both neshek and tarbith! — But, said Raba, you can find neither neshek without tarbith nor tarbith without neshek, and the only purpose of Scripture in stating them separately is [to teach] that one transgresses two prohibitions [by taking interest].

Our Rabbis taught:

[Thou shalt not give him thy money upon neshek [usury], nor lend him thy victuals for marbith [interest]; [from this] I only know that the prohibition of neshek applies to money, and that of ribbith to provisions:

whence do we know that [the prohibition] neshek applies to provisions [too]? From the verse, [Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother neshek of money], neshek of victuals. Whence do we know that the prohibition of ribbith applies to money? From the verse, neshek of money:


Neshek, from 'to bite', denotes usury, 'bitten out', as it were, from the debtor, something received for nothing given. Tarbith, marbith, and ribbith from [H], 'to increase', denotes increase, profits. The question of the Mishnah is posited on Lev. XXV, 36: Take thou no neshek from him, nor tarbith.

Babylonian Talmud

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 61a

now, since this is redundant in respect of money neshek, as it is already written, Thou shalt not lend upon usury to thy brother,utilise the subject [to teach that the prohibition of] ribbith [applies to] money. [From this] I know it only of the borrower:

whence do we know it of the lender? Neshek is stated in reference to the borrower; also in reference to the lender:

just as with respect of the neshek written in reference to the borrower, no distinction is drawn between money and provisions, neshek and ribbith, so also, in respect to neshek written in reference to the lender, you must draw no distinction between money and provisions, neshek and ribbith. Whence do we know to extend [the law] to everything? From the verse, neshek of anything that is lent upon usury.

Rabina said:

There is no need of any verse [to teach] either that the prohibition neshek in respect of victuals, or of ribbith in respect of money, [applies to the lender]. For were it written, 'Thy money thou shalt not give him upon neshek, and thy food upon marbith,' [it would be] even as you say.Since, however, it is written, Thy money thou shalt not give him upon neshek and upon marbith thou shalt not lend thy victuals, read it thus:

'Thy money thou shalt not give him upon neshek and upon marbith, and upon neshek and upon marbith thou shalt not give thy victuals.' But does not the Tanna state, 'it is said…it is said'? — He means this:

if the verse were not written [in such a way], I should have adduced a gezerah shawah:

now, however, that the verse is couched [thus], the gezerah shawah is unnecessary. Then for what purpose do I need the gezerah shawah? — In respect of neshek of anything for which usury may be given, which is not written in connection with the lender.

Raba said:

Why did the Divine Law write an injunction against ribbith, an injunction against robbery, and an injunction against overreaching? — They are necessary. For had the Divine Law stated an injunction against ribbith [only], [no other prohibition could be deduced therefrom] because it is anomalous, the prohibition lying even upon the debtor. Again, had the Divine Law written an interdict against robbery [i might argue that] that is because it is against his [the victim's] wish, but as for overreaching, I might maintain [that it is] not [forbidden]. And were there a prohibition in the Divine Law against overreaching only, [i might reason,] that is because he [the defrauded] does not know [of his loss], to be able to pardon.

Now one could not be deduced from another: but cannot one be derived from the other two? — Which could be [thus] deduced? Should the Divine Law omit the prohibition of usury, that it might follow from these [robbery and fraud]? [but I would argue,] The reason why these are [forbidden] is because they lack [the victim's] consent:

will you say [the same] of usury, which is [taken] with his [the debtor's] consent? And if the Divine Law omitted the injunction against overreaching, that it might be deduced from the others, [i would argue:]

The reason why the others are [forbidden] is because commerce is not carried on thus! — But the Divine Law should not have stated the prohibition of robbery, and it would have followed from the others. For what objections will you raise:

as for interest, that it is an anomaly? Then let overreaching prove it. [should you argue,] As for fraud, [the reason of the prohibition] is that he [the victim] is in ignorance thereof, and cannot pardon:

then let interest prove it. And thus the argument revolves:

the distinguishing feature of one is not the distinguishing feature of the other, and vice versa. The characteristic common to both is that he robs him. So also may I adduce [actual] robbery [as prohibited]! — I will tell you:

That indeed is so. Then what is the need of an injunction against robbery? In respect of withholding the payment of a hired worker. But [the prohibition against the] withholding of such payment is explicitly stated:

Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy! … at his day thou shalt give him his hire! — To teach that he [who withholds payment] transgresses two negative precepts. Then let it be referred to interest or fraud, that [in their case] two negative commands are transgressed? — It is a matter deduced from its context,


Raba may refer to any one of the following Talmudic sages:

Rava, (Hebrew: רבא‎) (ca. 270—350)
Rabbah, (Hebrew: רבה‎) (ca. 270—ca. 330)

Babylonian Talmud

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 61b

and it [the injunction against robbery] is written in connection with a hired worker.1

What is the need of the injunction, Ye shall not steal, which the Divine Law wrote? — For that which was taught:

'Ye shall not steal,' [even] in order to grieve; 'ye shall not steal,' [even] in order to repay double.

R. Yemar said to R. Ashi:

For what purpose did the Divine Law state [separately] the prohibition against [false] weights? — He replied:

[To forbid] the steeping of weights in salt. But that is pure robbery! — [To teach] that one transgresses at the very moment that this is done.

Our Rabbis taught:

Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, and in weight, or in measure:

'meteyard' means land measurement, [and] it forbids measuring for one in summer and for another in winter.

'In weight', prohibits the steeping of weights in salt; and 'in measure' [teaches] that one must not cause [the liquid] to foam. Now surely, you can reason a minori:

if the Torah objected to a [false] mesurah, which is but a thirty-sixth of a log, how much more so a hin, half a hin, a third of a hin, and a quarter of a hin; a log, half a log or quarter log.

Raba said:

Why did the Divine Law mention the exodus from Egypt in connection with interest, fringes and weights? The Holy One, blessed be He, declared, 'It is I who distinguished in Egypt between the first-born and one who was not a first-born; even so, it is I who will exact vengeance from him who ascribes his money to a Gentile and lends it to an Israelite on interest, or who steeps his weights in salt, or who [attaches to his garment threads dyed with] vegetable blue and maintains that it is [real] blue.'

Rabina happened to be in Sura on the Euphrates. Said R. Hanina of Sura on the Euphrates:

Why did Scripture mention the exodus from Egypt in connection with [forbidden] reptiles? — He replied:

The Holy One, blessed be He, said, I who distinguished between the first-born and one who was not a first-born, [even] I will mete out punishment to him who mingles the entrails of unclean fish with those of clean fish and sells them to an Israelite. Said he:

My difficulty is 'that bringeth you up'! Why did the Divine Law write 'that bringeth you up' here? — [To intimate] the teaching of the School of R. Ishmael, he replied. Viz., The Holy One, blessed be He, declared, 'Had I brought up Israel from Egypt for no other purpose but this, that they should not defile themselves with reptiles, it would be sufficient for me.' But, he objected, is their reward [for abstaining from them] greater than [the reward for obeying the precepts on] interest, fringes and weights? — Though their reward is no greater, he rejoined, it is more loathsome to eat them [than to engage in the other malpractices].

AND WHAT IS TARBITH? THE TAKING OF INTEREST ON PRODUCE. E.G., IF ONE PURCHASES WHEAT AT A GOLD DENAR, etc. Is then the preceding example not interest? — R. Abbahu said:

Hitherto it [i.e., the first instance] is interest in the Biblical sense, but from here onward by Rabbinical law. And Raba said likewise:

Hitherto it is interest in the Biblical sense, but from here onward in the Rabbinical sense. So far, He [sc. the wicked] shall prepare it, and the just shall put it on. 'So far' and no further? — But, [say] even thus far, 'He shall prepare it, and the just put it on.' Thus far it is direct interest, from here onward it is indirect interest.

R. Eleazar said:

Direct interest can be reclaimed in court, but not indirect interest. R. Johanan ruled:

Even direct interest cannot be reclaimed in court. R. Isaac said:

What is R. Johanan's reason? The Writ saith, He hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase:

shall he then live? he shall not live:

he hath done all these abominations:

For it [this transgression] death is prescribed, but not return [of the money]. R. Adda b. Ahaba said:

Scripture saith, Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God:

fear is prescribed, but not return. Raba said:

It follows from the essential meaning of the verse, He shall surely die:

his blood shall be upon him; thus those who lend upon usury are compared to shedders of blood:

just as those who shed blood can make no restitution, so those who lend upon interest can make no restitution.

R. Nahman b. Isaac said:

What is R. Eleazar's reason? Scripture saith,


Indirect Interest is when a person having a direct or indirect financial interest in a management contract.

Baba Mezi'a 62a

[Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God;] that thy brother may live with thee; [implying] return it to him, that he may be able to live with thee.

Now how does R. Johanan interpret, 'that thy brother may live with thee?' — He utilizes it for that which was taught:

If two are traveling on a journey [far from civilization], and one has a pitcher of water, if both drink, they will [both] die, but if one only drinks, he can reach civilization, — The Son of Patura taught:

It is better that both should drink and die, rather than that one should behold his companion's death. Until R. Akiba came and taught:

'that thy brother may live with thee:'

thy life takes precedence over his life.

An objection was raised:

If their father left them usury money, though they know it to be usury, they are not bound to return it. [This implies,] But their father is bound to return it! — In truth, their father too is not bound to return it:

but because the second clause desires to state, 'If their father left them a cow, or a garment, or any distinguishable object [received as interest], they must return it for the sake of their father's honour,' the first clause too is taught with reference to them. But are they then bound to make restitution for the sake of their father's honour? [Why not] apply here, Thou shalt not curse a ruler of thy people,4 [which means], only if he acts as is fitting for 'thy people'? — It is as R. Phinehas [in another connection] said in Raba's name:

If he repented;

so here too, [we deal with a case] where he repented. But if he repented, how came it [the money] to be still in his possession? — He died before he had time to return it.

An objection was raised:

Robbers, and those who lend on usury, even when they have exacted it, must make restitution. Now, how can 'even when they have exacted it' apply to robbers? If it is robbed, it is robbed; and if not, can you call them robbers? But say thus:

Robbers; and those meant thereby are those who lend upon usury, even when they have exacted it, must make restitution! — It is a dispute of Tannaim. For it was taught:

R. Nehemiah and R. Eliezer b. Jacob exempt the lender and the surety [from punishment], because they have a positive duty. Now, what is meant by a 'positive duty'? Surely that we bid them, 'Arise and return [the usury];' from which it follows that the first Tanna maintains that they are not bound to make a return. No! By 'positive duty' is meant [that they are bid] to tear up the bond [of indebtedness]. But what is his opinion? If he maintains:

A bond, which is destined to be exacted, is as though it were already exacted, they have [already] committed their transgression! Whilst if it is not as already collected, they have committed no wrong! — In truth, in his view a bond, destined to be exacted, is not as though already exacted, and what he teaches us is that the [mere] 'putting on' [of usury] is a transgression. This also stands to reason. For we learnt:

The following transgress the negative injunction:

the lender, the borrower, the surety and the witnesses. Now, with respect to all, it is well, [since] they commit an action. But what have the witnesses done? Hence it surely must be that the [mere] 'putting on' [of usury] is a substantial act [and in this case, a transgression]. This proves it.

R. Safra said:

Wherever by their law [i.e., non-Jewish law] exaction is made from the debtor for the creditor, restoration is made by our law from the creditor to the debtor; wherever by their law there is no exaction from the debtor to the creditor, there is no restoration by our law from the creditor to the debtor. Said Abaye to R. Joseph:

Now, is this a general rule? Behold, there is the case of a se'ah [lent] for a se'ah which, by their law, the debtor is forced to repay the creditor, yet by ours it is not returnable from the creditor to the debtor! He replied, They [regard it] as having come into his possession merely as a trust.19 Rabina said to R. Ashi:

But mortgages without deduction, which by their law is exacted from the debtor for the creditor,

Babylonian Talmud

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 62b

yet by our law is not restored from the creditor to the debtor? — He replied:

They [regard it] as having come into his hand by the law of purchase. Then, when R. Safra said, 'Wherever by their law, etc.', what did he mean to tell us? — [This]:

'Wherever by their law exaction is made from the debtor for the creditor, restoration is made by our law from the creditor to the debtor;' this refers to direct interest, and in accordance with R. Eleazar. 'Wherever by their law there is no exaction from the debtor to the creditor, there is by our law no restoration from the creditor to the debtor;' this refers to prepaid and postpaid interest.

E. G., IF ONE PURCHASED WHEAT AT A GOLD DENAR PER KOR, WHICH WAS THE CURRENT PRICE etc. But what does it matter if he has no wine? Did we not learn:

One must not fix a price [for produce] until the market price is known; once the market price is established, a fixed price may be agreed upon, for even if this [vendor] has no stock, another has? — Rabbah replied:

Our Mishnah refers to the creating of a debt for the value thereof. And as it has been taught:

If one was his neighbour's creditor for a maneh, and he went and stood at his [the debtor's] granary and demanded, 'Give me my money, as I wish to purchase wheat therewith;' to which he answered, 'I have wheat with which to supply you;

go and calculate [the amount] at the current price, and I will furnish you with it, [spreading it over] the whole year,' that is forbidden, because it is not as though the issar had come to his hand. Abaye said to him:

If the reason [in the Mishnah is that] it is not 'as though the issar had come to his hand,' why particularly [state the case] where he has no wine? Even if he has, it is also [forbidden]! But, said Abaye, our Mishnah is as R. Safra learnt in the collection of Baraithas on interest of the college of R. Hiyya. For R. Safra learnt in the collection of Baraithas on interest of the college of R. Hiyya:

Some things are [essentially] permitted, yet forbidden as [constituting] an evasion of usury. How so? If A requested B, 'Lend me a maneh;' to which he replied, 'I have no maneh, but wheat to the value thereof, which I will give you;' and thereupon he gave him a maneh's worth of wheat, [calculated on the current price] and repurchased it for twenty-four sela's; now, this is [essentially] permitted, yet may not be done on account of evasion of usury. So here [in the Mishnah] too:

e.g., A said to B, 'Lend me thirty denarii,' to which he replied, 'I have not thirty denarii, but wheat for the same, which I can give you.' He then gave him thirty denarii's worth of wheat [calculated at the current price] and repurchased it for a gold denar. Now, if the debtor has wine, which he gives him against the thirty denarii, he [the creditor] merely receives provisions from him, and there is no objection; but, if not, since he has no wine, to receive money certainly smacks of usury. Raba said to him:

If so [instead of], GIVE ME MY WHEAT, the Tanna should state, 'Give me the money for my wheat'! — Read:

'the money for my wheat.' [instead of,] AS I WISH TO SELL IT, he should state, 'Which I sold you.' Read:

'which I sold you.' THE WHEAT SHALL BE ACCOUNTED AS A DEBT TO ME OF THIRTY DENARII — but from the very beginning, had it not been fixed thus against him? — He said thus to him, 'For the value of your wheat which you have accounted against me at thirty denarii, you have a claim of wine upon me', whereas he [the debtor] has no wine. But it is stated, [iF A MAN PURCHASED WHEAT] AT A GOLD DENAR PER KOR, WHICH WAS THE MARKET PRICE! But, said Raba, when I die, R. Oshaia will come to meet me,


Babylonian Talmud:

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 63a

for I interpret the Mishnayoth in accordance with his views. For R. Oshaia taught:

If a man was his neighbor's creditor for a maneh, and he went and stood at his granary and said, 'Repay me my money, as I wish to purchase wheat therewith,' and he [the debtor] replied, 'I have wheat which I will supply you; go and charge me therewith against my debt at the current price.'

The time came for selling, and he said to him, 'Give me the wheat, which I wish to sell and purchase wine with the proceeds;' to which he replied, 'I have wine; go and assess it for me at the current price.'

Then the time came for selling wine, and he said to him, 'Give me my wine, for I wish to sell it and purchase oil for it;' to which he replied, 'I have oil to supply you; go and assess it for me at the current price:'

in all these cases, if he possesses [these commodities] it is permitted;

if not, it is forbidden.

[so in the Mishnah.] And what is meant by 'IF A MAN PURCHASED'? He purchased against his debt. Raba said:

Three deductions follow from R. Oshaia:

the debt may be offset against provisions, and we do not say, it is not as if the issar had come to his hand;5 [ii] but only if he [the debtor] possesses [these commodities]; and [iii] R. Jannai's view is correct, viz., what is the difference between them themselves [sc. the provisions] and the value thereof? For it was stated:

Rab said: One may buy on trust against [future delivery of] crops, but not against [repayment of] money at [future prices]. But R. Jannai said:

What is the difference between them themselves [sc. the crops] and the value thereof?

An objection was raised:

In all these cases, if he possesses [these commodities], it is permitted. — R. Huna answered in Rab's name:

This means that he drew [the produce into his possession]. If he drew it into his possession, need it be taught? — But, e.g., he assigned a corner [of the granary] to him. Samuel said:

This is taught in accordance with R. Judah, who ruled: One-sided usury is permitted.For it has been taught:

If a man was his neighbor's creditor for a maneh, for which he [conditionally] sold him his field; if the vendor enjoys the usufruct, it is permitted; if the purchaser, it is forbidden. R. Judah ruled:

Even if the purchaser has the usufruct, it is permitted. R. Judah said to them:

It once happened that Boethus b. Zunin [conditionally] sold his field, with the approval of R. Eleazar b. Azariah, and the purchaser took the usufruct. Said they to him:

[Would you adduce] proof from thence? The vendor enjoyed its usufruct, not the purchaser. Wherein do they differ? — Abaye said:

They differ with respect to one-sided interest. Raba said:

They differ with respect to interest [received] on condition that it shall be returned.

Raba said: Now that R. Jannai ruled:

 

Usufruct is a property right, deriving from Roman law, that unites the two rights of usus and fructus:

 

Usus (usage) is the right to use or enjoy a thing possessed, directly and without altering it.

 

Fructus (fruit, in a figurative sense) is the right to derive profit from a thing possessed: for instance, by selling harvest, renting real estate or devices, taxing for entry..

 

Usufruct is either titled to another person or held in common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed. Usufruct comes from civil law, under which it is a subordinate real right (or in rem right) (ius in re aliena) of limited duration, usually for a person's lifetime. The holder of a usufruct, known as a usufructuary, has the right to use (usus) the property and enjoy its fruits (fructus). In modern term, fructus more or less corresponds to profit one may make, as when selling the "fruits" (in both literal and figurative senses) of ground or renting a house.

 

Babylonian Talmud:

Tractate Baba Mezi'a 63b

We reason, 'What is the difference between them themselves [sc. the crops] and their value?' we argue [conversely] too, 'What is the difference between their value and them themselves?' and [consequently] one may contract to supply [provisions] at the current market price even if he has none. R. papa and R. Huna the son of R. Joshua objected to Raba's [statement]:

In all these cases, if he possesses [these commodities], it is permitted; if not, it is forbidden! — He answered them:

There [the reference is to] a loan, here to a sale.

Rabbah and R. Joseph both said:

Why did the Rabbis rule, A man may contract to supply [provisions] at the current market price, even if he has none? Because he [the purchaser] can say to him [the vendor], 'Take your favours and throw them in the bush! How do you benefit me? Had I money, I could have bought cheaply in Hini and Shili.' Abaye said to R. Joseph:

If so, should it not be permitted to lend a se'ah for a se'ah, since he [the borrower] could say, Take your favours and throw them in the bush! For,' he could argue, 'would my wheat have gone to ruin in my granary?' — He replied:

There it is a loan, here a purchase. R. Adda b. Abba said to Raba:

But he would have to pay money to a broker! — He replied:

He [the purchaser] must give that too to him. R. Ashi said:

people's money is their broker.

Rabbah and R. Joseph both said:

He who advances money at the early market price must [personally] appear at the granary. For what purpose? If to acquire it — but he does not thereby acquire it! If that he [the vendor] may have to submit to [the curse], 'He who punished, etc.,' — even without his appearing there, he must submit thereto!In truth, it is that he may submit to the curse; but he who advances money on an early market generally gives it to two or three people:

hence, if he appears before him, [he shews] that he relies upon him [for supplies]; but if not, he [the vendor] can plead, 'I thought that you found better produce than mine, and bought it [intending that I should return your money].' R. Ashi said:

Now that you say it is because of his relying upon him, then even if he met him in the market and said to him, ['I rely upon you',] he relies upon him.

R. Nahman said:

The general principle of usury is:

All payment for waiting [for one's money] is forbidden. R. Nahman also said:

If one gives money to a wax merchant, when it is priced at four [standard measures per zuz], and he [the vendor] proposes,'I will supply you five [per zuz];' if he possesses it, it is permitted; if not, it is forbidden. But this is obvious! — It is necessary [to teach this] only when he has [wax] credits in town:

I might think that in such a case it is as though [he had said, 'Lend me] until my son comes, or until I find the key:'

therefore he teaches, since it must yet be collected, it is as non-existent.

R. Nahman also said:

If one borrows money from his neighbor and found a surplus therein, if it is an amount about which there could be an error, he must return it; otherwise, it is simply a gift. When is it 'an amount about which there could be an error'? — R. Abba, the son of R. Joseph said:


We can thank the Babylonians for legal terms, forms, and interest. Babylonian contracts exist in the thousands, including a great variety of deeds, conveyances, bonds, receipts, accounts, and most important of all, actual legal decisions given by the judges in the law courts. Historical inscriptions, royal charters and rescripts, dispatches, private letters and the general literature afford welcome supplementary information. Even grammatical and lexicographical texts contain many extracts or short sentences bearing on law and custom. The so-called "Sumerian Family Laws" are preserved in this way.

Much Babylonian legal precedent remained in force, even through the Persian, Greek and Parthian conquests, which had little effect on private life in Babylonia; and it survived to influence Romans. The laws and customs that preceded the Code may be called "early"; that of the Neo-Babylonian empire (as well as the Persian, Greek, etc.), "late". The law of Assyria was derived from the Babylonian, but it conserved early features long after they had disappeared elsewhere.
The god of a city was originally considered the owner of its land, which encircled it with an inner ring of irrigable arable land and an outer fringe of pasture; the citizens were his tenants. The god and his vice regent, the king, had long ceased to disturb tenancy and were content with fixed dues in naturalia, stock, money or service.

Loss on a Debt.

The sages of the Mishnah knew full well that the forbearance of a debt causes a measurable loss. Thus the following case is put: A holds a demand on B for 1,000 zuzim payable by agreement in ten years; but two witnesses testify that B had agreed to pay in thirty days. An alibi is proved against the witnesses; and they are condemned as "plotting witnesses" to pay the difference between 1,000 zuzim payable in ten years and the same sum payable in thirty days (Mak. i. 1). It often happens that money is paid to a husband in right of his wife, in which right he has an estate for life or during coverture. In modern times the money might be invested, and the husband would draw the interest or dividends; but in all such cases the Mishnah says: "Let ground be bought and the husband receive the income!" The Babylonians, from whom the post-exilic Jews learned much in the way of legal terms and forms, were accustomed to charge interest at the rate of 20 per cent per annum. Nearly, if not quite, all of their contract tablets show this rate of increase. (The first allusion in the Babylonian Talmud to a rate of interest [b. B. 60a] is to one of 20 per cent.) Yet with this knowledge, that the use of capital has a measurable value, and with the example of the Babylonians before them, the sages of the Mishnah not only do not mitigate the Scriptural injunction against interest, but carefully close many avenues of evasion, and forbid even all kinds of "moral usury."

Usury and Increase.

The chapter on usury and increase (B. M. v.) commences thus: "What is usury ["neshek"] and what is increase ["tarbit"]?"; but by the latter word it seems to refer only to the rabbinical enlargement of the antiusury law. The former mode of dealing is easily illustrated; e.g., "where one lends 4 denarii on a promise of the return of 5; or 2 bushels of wheat when 3 are to be returned"; but the latter, an increase in "fruits" (i.e., provisions which pass by quantity), is more complex and is put thus: "A has bought from B a kor of wheat for 25 denarii (= zuzim), which is the market price; afterward, when wheat has gone up to 30 denarii, A says: 'Deliver to me the wheat which I bought from you, as I wish to sell it and buy wine with the proceeds.' B answers: 'Very well, your wheat is sold to me for 30 zuzim, and you have wine [as much as 30 zuzim will buy at the ruling market price] in my hands'; when in fact B has no wine in his possession." Now the first deal, i.e., B's buying the wheat back at a higher price than he had sold it for, is not objectionable as usury but his agreeing to deliver a named quantity of wine which is then worth 30 zuzim, but which he does not own, at some future time, when he might have to buy it in the open market at a higher price, is not indeed Scriptural but is rabbinical usury. The reason is given: B, who owes A 30 zuzim, takes the risk of having to pay it later on in wine, which may cost him more than 30 zuzim, in order to gain forbearance for his debt. This rule forbids, on the ground of usury, the sale of futures, made when the market price has not yet been fixed.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14615-usury


Here is a good his history outline of usury by the Americans for Fairness in Lending, a former nonprofit organization dedicated to reforming the nation’s lending industry to protect Americans’ financial assets. It was launched in 2007 and dissolved in 2010.

1570 During the Reign of Queen Elizabeth, interest rates in England are limited to under 10%. This law lasts until 1854.

1713 Adoption in England of the “Statue of Anne,” an Act to reduce interest rates.

Early 18th Century American colonies adopt usury laws, setting the interest cap at 8%.

After 1776 All of the States in the Union adopt a general usury. Most states set the interest limit at 6%.

Early 1900s A move to deregulation causes 11 states to eliminate their usury laws. Nine more states raise the usury cap to 10% or 12%. Banks are not making personal loans. “Salary Lenders” fill the need by “purchasing” a worker’s future wages in exchange for a high fee – equal to a lending rate of 10% – 33%.

1916 A Uniform Small Loan Law allows specially-licensed lenders to charge higher interest rates—up to 36%—in return for adhering to strict standards of lending.

1945-1979 All states adopt special loan laws that cap interest at higher than the general usury rate—at 36%—but cap it nevertheless.

1977 The federal government passes the “Community Reinvestment Act” (CRA) which requires banks to invest in their communities.

1978 The US Supreme Court decides that national banks may export the state interest rate law of their home state into any state where they do business. In response, South Dakota eliminates its interest rate caps. Several credit card issuing banks move to South Dakota and operate nationally with no interest rate cap.

1980 Congress preempts state interest rate controls on all first lien mortgages. This enables predatory mortgage lenders to make seemingly affordable loans, like adjustable rate and interest-only loans, that lead to foreclosure for many.

1994 Congress adopts the Home Ownership and Equity Protection Act of 1994, which provides some substantive protections to home mortgage borrowers with interest rates or points that are extraordinarily expensive, but sets no limits on what can be charged for these loans.

1994-2005 Many states and cities try to protect their citizens by adopting state statutes and local ordinances to curb predatory lending, but preemption claims by the federal government impede their efforts. Numerous bills are introduced in Congress to protect consumers in a wide range of transactions, including rent-to-own, credit cards, payday lending, and predatory mortgage lending, but none of these bills makes it to a hearing.

2001 – 2007 Predatory and mainly subprime lenders make home loans to people who cannot afford them, boosting their own profits in the short term. Many of these loans are packaged and sold to Wall Street.

2005 After extensive pressure from the industry, the federal government changes bankruptcy laws, making it harder for consumers to discharge debts and get a clean start in bankruptcy.

2006 Congress passes the “Talent Amendment” which caps interest on loans made to active military personnel and their families at 36%, reacting to findings that high-cost payday lenders had been targeting the military.

2007 Foreclosure rates begin to increase dramatically as a result of predatory mortgage lending.

2008 Unpaid mortgages cause mortgage-backed securities on Wall Street to continue to “go bad,” triggering widespread economic downturn in both the United States and around the world. Some commercial and investment banks go bankrupt, and some are the object of government “bailouts.”

2009 The passage of the Credit CARD Act, which greatly curtails abusive credit card lending.

2010 The passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, which creates a Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to rein in predatory lending (though it cannot pass usury caps). The bill also reforms some of Wall Street’s greedy and excessive practices.

http://americansforfairnessinlending.wordpress.com/the-history-of-usury/


Watch the video "Godsmack - Greed" and ponder what is the meaning of idolatry in context with interest and possessions. Sully Erna is a practicing Wiccan. "We respect every other religion because we think all gods and goddesses are the same. People just worship them in a different way. Wicca is often mistakenly associated with evil, but we believe in Karma and if we do something bad it comes back to haunt us, as a godsmack!" The video for "Greed" is rather unusual for Godsmack in that it follows an actual story rather than loosely connected elements and aesthetics



The world runs and involves on Greed. Milton Freedman believes that Greed rewards our labors. But, that argument fails with a growing population that has a lesser chance of gaining real property or tangible wealth from the few that inherit it. According to a 2007 article in Commentary magazine, Freedman's "parents were moderately observant [Jews], but Milton, after an intense burst of childhood piety, rejected religion altogether." He described himself as an agnostic.

 

A survey of economists ranked Friedman as the second most popular economist of the twentieth century after John Maynard Keynes, and The Economist described him as "the most influential economist of the second half of the 20th century ... possibly of all of it." Friedman was an economic adviser to Republican U.S. President Ronald Reagan. His political philosophy extolled the virtues of a free market economic system with minimal intervention. He once stated that his role in eliminating U.S. conscription was his proudest accomplishment, and his support for school choice led him to found the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice.



The effects of consumerism.

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The aftermath

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How much of our world's debt trash? Is it 80%? Only Hashem knows.

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The made-made idol of Mammon is hidden in plain sight.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Colossians 3

3:1 Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

3:2 Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth,

3:3 for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

3:4 When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him.

3:5 So put to death whatever in your nature belongs to the earth:

sexual immorality, impurity, shameful passion, evil desire, and greed which is idolatry.

3:6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming on the sons of disobedience.


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Luke 14



14:25 Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said,

14:26 If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.

14:27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

14:28 For which of you, wanting to build a tower, doesnt sit down first and compute the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?

14:29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish the tower, all who see it will begin to make fun of him.

14:30 They will say, This man began to build and was not able to finish!

14:31 Or what king, going out to confront another king in battle, will not sit down first and determine whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?

14:32 If he cannot succeed, he will send a representative while the other is still a long way off and ask for terms of peace.

14:33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.


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Luke 12

12:13 ... “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

12:14 But Jesus said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator between you two?”

12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out and guard yourself from all types of greed, because one’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.”

12:16 He then told them a parable:

“The land of a certain rich man produced an abundant crop,

12:17 so he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’

12:18 Then he said, ‘I will do this:

I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.

12:19 And I will say to myself, “You have plenty of goods stored up for many years; relax, eat, drink, celebrate!”’

12:20 But G-d said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded back from you, but who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

12:21 So it is with the one who stores up riches for himself, but is not rich toward G-d.”


There is no luggage rack on a funeral Hurst.

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Watch "You'll be there", by George Strait.



Acts 2

2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

2:39 For the promise is for you and your children, and for all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call to himself.”

2:40 With many other words he testified and exhorted them saying, “Save yourselves from this perverse generation!”

2:41 So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added.

2:42 They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.

2:43 Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles.

2:44 All who believed were together and held everything in common,

2:45 and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need.

2:46 Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts,

2:47 praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.


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I had an theological discussion with a Jewish lawyer about our faiths. He stated that Christians have it easy. All we have to do is believe in Jesus Christ and be saved. Jews on the other hand, have 613 laws and commands to follow or be cursed. Then there is the Talmud, Zohar, and Kabbalah to name a few Midrash commentaries that Jewish people have to discern whether or not their sages are stating the truth about understanding the Torah.

Galatians 3

3:6 Just as Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,

3:7 so then, understand that those who believe are the sons of Abraham.

3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, proclaimed the gospel to Abraham ahead of time, saying, “All the nations will be blessed in you.”

3:9 So then those who believe are blessed along with Abraham the believer.

3:10 For all who rely on doing the works of the law are under a curse, because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not keep on doing everything written in the book of the law.”

3:11 Now it is clear no one is justified before God by the law, because the righteous one will live by faith.

3:12 But the law is not based on faith, but the one who does the works of the law will live by them.

3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”)

3:14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.


Dennis Kreiss is Pastor of Pine Grove Community Church and author of several books including "The Resurrection Files," wrote such a good article on understanding the meaning of the curse and redemption of Christ.

Blasphemy!

There is no mourning for an Apostate Jew. It is legally forbidden. In centuries gone by when a Jew left the fold, the family would formally mourn for him for seven days, declaring him “dead!” This often happened in early Christianity once a believer was converted and baptized. Since Jesus was convicted of “blasphemy” it went against every standing regulation for him to receive an honorable burial. He should have been cast into a common criminal’s grave and been forgotten.

Deuteronomy 13:6-11 commands that when an apostate entices the people to serve other gods, “you must certainly put him to death… because he tried to turn you away from the LordThen all Israel will hear and be afraid, and no one among you will do such an evil thing again!” The Sanhedrin made that case against Him. That’s why the High priest rent his Garments when Jesus claimed to be the Son of God! The Priest shouted “Blasphemy! Do we need any other witnesses other than this?”

The custom of rending the garments is based on II Kings 18. 37, where Eliakim rent his garments and covered himself with sackcloth and ashes when he heard the blasphemy of Rab-shakeh the Syrian. In a trial of blasphemy, due to the sacred nature of God’s holy name, the witnesses were not permitted to repeat the very words they heard! Instead they had to substitute other words for God’s unpronounceable name! Once sentence had been passed, the judges stood up and rent their garments. The rents were never to be sowed up again, indicating the profound degree of shock and mourning at the crime.

But Jesus followers gave him an honorable burial and planned to mourn for him anyway! They washed the body, when it should have remained unwashed! They wrapped him in a linen burial cloth honoring the dead when he should have been buried in the despised and bloody garments he died in. He should have been buried alongside his cross, the infamous and well deserved instrument of His death, to rot forever for his crimes; but instead of a criminal’s death, he was honorably buried in a rich man’s tomb. They likely lit a candle in his honor while they did the ritual washing. They chanted the songs of mourning demonstrating respect when the authorities judged he deserved none!

His followers followed every Jewish tradition intended only for the faithful. Only the faithful could expect to leave this life with such honors to rise again someday! Bear with me as I list some of the traditions they followed that should not have been followed: (aninut) preparing the body for burial which includes: (Taharah) Purification. The body is washed and dressed in a linen shroud. Typically the corner fringes of the prayer shawl are cut signifying that the dead are no longer under the law! (Shemirah) the watching over of the body. Mourners must never leave the body until placed in the earth. (Shiva) A period of mourning which lasts for seven days. During this time Mourners sit on the cold earth, do not shave, bathe or cut their hair and must wear their funeral clothes every day. They are to recite the Kaddesh, a mourning prayer, three times a day.

The women intended to “sit Shiva” for seven days! They intended to mourn for the 30 days of shloshim! They would have observed an entire year of mourning known as Avelut; But when they got to the tomb, Jesus was not there! He was risen and their mourning was soon turned into 40 days of dancing! Jesus always seems to ruin a good funeral! Especially His own! Every time He shows up, someone rises from the dead! I plan to invite Him to show up at my funeral!

http://timewgod.tumblr.com/page/21


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The Tachrichim
Shrouds and Dressing

Unlike in other religions and practices, a Jewish person is not buried in his or her usual clothing. Similarly, jewelry or other adornments are not worn.

As discussed earlier, one's soul and its spiritual rectification is far more important following death than any honor he could possibly get from his association with earthly possessions. Thus, the Jewish funeral emphasizes the spiritual and sublime over the physical and material.

According to Jewish tradition, a deceased's body is dressed in plain white Tachrichim (traditional shrouds). These garments are hand-made from linen or muslin and are considered fitting for someone who is about to stand before G-d in judgment.

Another reason given is that using simple shrouds ensures that those who cannot afford fancy clothing are not "embarrassed" that they do not have any.

In addition to Tachrichim, a man is also buried in his Tallit (prayer shawl). The Tallit should be given to the Chevra Kaddisha before they prepare the body for burial. In the case that a man did not have his Tallit, the funeral home will usually provide one.

Dressing the deceased in traditional Tachrichim is so important, and the meaning so profound, that Jewish law insists that the funeral be postponed until proper Tachrichim are obtained or made - even though the same Code of Jewish Law normally prohibits any unnecessary delays before burial.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/367843/jewish/The-Taharah.htm


Rectification of the soul is something new for me.

Tikkun HaKlali (Hebrew: תיקון הכללי‎, lit., "The General (or Comprehensive) Rectification"), also known as The General Remedy, is a set of ten Psalms whose recital serves as teshuvah (repentance) for all sins — in particular the sin of wasted seed through involuntary nocturnal emission or masturbation.

God indicated the tremendous power of the sexual organ. When it is used in the context of marriage, the sexual organ is elevated and man becomes a partner with God in creation. But when it is used for personal gratification, it distances a person from God and leaves him unfulfilled, frustrated and depressed.

Tikun Klali - English

Psalms Chapter 16

1. A Miktam of David. Preserve me, O God; for in you I put my trust.
2. I have said to the Lord, You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you;
3. As for the holy ones who are in the earth, they are the excellent, in whom is all my delight.
4. And for those who choose another god, their sorrows shall be multiplied; their drink offerings of blood I will not offer, nor take up their names upon my lips.
5. The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup; you maintain my lot.
6. The lines are fallen for me in pleasant places; I have a goodly heritage.
7. I will bless the Lord, who has given me counsel; my insides also instruct me in the night seasons.
8. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.
10. (K) For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will you suffer your pious one to see the pit.
11. You will show me the path of life; in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Psalms Chapter 32

1. A Psalm of David, A Maskil. Happy is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
2. Happy is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.
3. When I kept silence, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
4. For day and night your hand was heavy on me; my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. Selah.
5. I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not hide my iniquity. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord; and you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.
6. For this shall every one who is pious pray to you in a time when you may be found; then surely the floods of great waters shall not come near him.
7. You are my hiding place; you shall preserve me from trouble; you shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.
8. I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
9. Do not be like the horse, or like the mule, which have no understanding; whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle, lest they do not come near you.
10. Many are the sorrows of the wicked; but loving kindness shall surround him who trusts in the Lord.
11. Be glad in the Lord, and rejoice, you righteous; and shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart.
Psalms Chapter 41
1. To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David.
2. Happy is he who considers the poor; the Lord will save in the day of evil.
3. (K) The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; he is called happy on earth; and you will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.
4. The Lord will strengthen him on his sick bed; whenever he is prostrate you will heal all his illnesses.
5. I said, Lord, be merciful to me; heal my soul; for I have sinned against you.
6. My enemies speak evil of me, When shall he die, and his name perish?
7. And if one comes to see me, he speaks vanity; his heart gathers iniquity to itself; when he goes out, he tells it.
8. All who hate me whisper together against me; against me they plot my harm.
9. They say, An evil disease cleaves fast to him, and from where he lies he shall rise up no more.
10. Even my own close friend, in whom I trusted, who ate of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.
11. But you, O Lord, be gracious to me, and raise me up, that I may pay them back.
12. By this I know that you favor me, because my enemy does not triumph over me.
13. And as for me, you uphold me in my integrity, and you set me before your face for ever.
14. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen.

Psalms Chapter 42

1. To the chief Musician, A Maskil, for the sons of Korah.
2. As the hart longs for water streams, so does my soul long for you, O God.
3. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; when shall I come and appear before God?
4. My tears have been my bread day and night, while they continually say to me, Where is your God?
5. When I remember these things, I pour out my soul; how I went with the multitude, leading them in procession to the house of God, with the voice of joy and praise, a crowd keeping the festival.
6. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him for the help of his countenance.
7. O my God, my soul is cast down within me, because I remember you from the land of the Jordan, and the Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
8. Deep calls to deep at the noise of your cataracts; all your waves and your billows have gone over me.
9. By day the Lord will command his loving kindness, and in the night his song shall be with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
10. I will say to God my rock, Why have you forgotten me? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
11. Like a deadly wound in my bones, my enemies taunt me; while they say daily to me, Where is your God?
12. Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.
Psalms Chapter 59
1. To the chief Musician, Altaschith, A Miktam of David; when Saul sent,
2. and they watched the house to kill him. Save me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me.
3. Save me from the evil doers, and save me from bloody men.
4. For, behold, they lie in wait for my soul; fierce men are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O Lord.
5. They run and prepare themselves for no fault of mine; awake to help me, and behold.
6. You therefore, O Lord God of hosts, the God of Israel, awake to punish all the nations; do not be merciful to any wicked traitors. Selah.
7. They return at evening; they howl like dogs, and go prowling around the city.
8. Behold, they belch out with their mouth; swords are in their lips; for Who hears?, say they.
9. But you, O Lord, shall laugh at them; you shall have all the nations in derision.
10. O my strength, upon you I will wait! For God is my fortress.
11. (K) God who loves me shall come to meet me; God shall let me gaze upon my enemies.
12. Do not slay them, lest my people forget; scatter them by your power; and bring them down, O Lord our shield.
13. For the sin of their mouth and the words of their lips let them be taken in their arrogance; and for cursing and lying which they speak.
14. Consume them in wrath, consume them, till they are no more; and let them know that God rules in Jacob to the ends of the earth. Selah.
15. And at evening let them return; and let them howl like a dog, and go prowling around the city.
16. (K) Let them wander up and down for food, and growl if they do not get their fill.
17. But I will sing of your power; indeed, I will sing aloud of your loving kindness in the morning; for you have been my fortress and my refuge in the day of my trouble.
18. To you, O my strength, I will sing; for God is my fortress, and the God who loves me.

Psalms Chapter 77

1. (K) To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of Asaph.
2. I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, that he may hear me.
3. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; my hand is stretched out in the night, and does not rest; my soul refuses to be comforted.
4. I remember God, and I moan; I meditate and my spirit faints. Selah.
5. You hold my eyelids from closing; I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
6. I consider the days of old, the years of ancient times.
7. I remember my melody in the night; I talk with my heart; and my spirit searches.
8. Will the Lord cast off for ever? And will he be favorable no more?
9. Has his loving kindness ceased for ever? Does his promise fail for evermore?
10. Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
11. And I said, It is my sickness that the right hand of the Most High has changed.
12. (K) I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember your wonders of old.
13. And I will meditate on all your work, and muse on your deeds.
14. Your way, O God, is holy. Who is so great a God as our God?
15. You are the God that does wonders; you have declared your strength among the people.
16. With your arm you have redeemed your people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
17. The waters saw you, O God, the waters saw you; they were afraid; the depths also trembled.
18. The clouds poured out water; the skies sent out a sound; your arrows flashed on every side.
19. The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind; the lightnings lightened the world; the earth trembled and shook.
20. (K) Your way was through the sea, and your path through the great waters; and your footsteps were not known.
21. You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Psalms Chapter 90

1. A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations.
2. Before the mountains were brought forth, before you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
3. You turn man back to dust; and say, Turn back, O children of men!
4. For a thousand years in your sight are but like yesterday when it is past, and like a watch in the night.
5. You sweep them away; they are like sleepers; they are like short lived grass in the morning.
6. In the morning it flourishes, and fades; by evening it is withered and dry.
7. For we are consumed by your anger, and by your wrath are we terrified.
8. You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
9. For all our days pass away in your wrath; we spend our years like a tale that is told.
10. The days of our years are seventy; or if, because of strength, they are eighty years, yet their pride is but trouble and wretchedness; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
11. Who knows the power of your anger? According to your fear, so is your wrath.
12. So teach us to number our days, that we may get a heart of wisdom.
13. Return, O Lord! How long? And relent concerning your servants.
14. O satisfy us in the morning with your loving kindness; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
15. Make us glad as many days as you have afflicted us, and as many years as we have seen evil.
16. Let your work be visible to your servants, and your glory to their children.
17. And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us; and establish the work of our hands upon us; O prosper it, the work of our hands.

Psalms Chapter 105

1. O give thanks to the Lord; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the people.
2. Sing to him, sing psalms to him; talk you of all his wondrous works.
3. Glory in his holy name; let the heart of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
4. Seek the Lord, and his strength; seek his face continually.
5. Remember his marvelous works that he has done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
6. O seed of Abraham, his servant! O children of Jacob, his chosen!
7. He is the Lord our God; his judgments are over all the earth.
8. He has remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9. The covenant which he made with Abraham, and his oath to Isaac;
10. And confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant;
11. Saying, To you I will give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;
12. When they were but a few men in number; of little account and sojourners there.
13. When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14. He did not allow any man to do them wrong; he reproved kings for their sakes;
15. Saying, Do not touch my anointed, and do not do any harm to my prophets.
16. Moreover he called for a famine upon the land; he broke every staff of bread.
17. He sent a man before them, Joseph, who was sold as a slave;
18. (K) Whose foot they hurt with fetters; he was laid in iron;
19. Until the time that his word came to pass; the word of the Lord had tested him.
20. The king sent and released him; the ruler of the people let him go free.
21. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his possessions;
22. To bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his elders wisdom.
23. And Israel came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
24. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies.
25. He turned their heart to hate his people, to deal craftily with his servants.
26. He sent Moses his servant; and Aaron whom he had chosen.
27. They performed his signs among them, and wonders in the land of Ham.
28. (K) He sent darkness, and made it dark; and they did not rebel against his word.
29. He turned their waters into blood, and caused their fish to die.
30. Their land swarmed with frogs, in the chambers of their kings.
31. He spoke, and there came swarms of flies and gnats in all their borders.
32. He gave them hail for rain, and flaming fire in their land.
33. He struck their vines also and their fig trees; and broke the trees of their country.
34. He spoke, and the swarming locusts came, and the hopping locusts without number.
35. And they ate up all the plants in their land, and devoured the fruit of their ground.
36. And he struck all the firstborn in their land, the first issue of all their strength.
37. And he brought them out with silver and gold; and among their tribes there was no one who stumbled.
38. Egypt was glad when they departed; for the fear of them had fallen upon them.
39. He spread a cloud for a covering; and fire to give light in the night.
40. They asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with bread from heaven.
41. He opened the rock, and the waters gushed out; it ran in the dry places like a river.
42. For he remembered his holy promise, and Abraham his servant.
43. And he brought out his people with joy, and his chosen with gladness;
44. And he gave them the lands of the nations; and they seized the labor of the people,
45. That they might observe his statutes, and keep his Torot. Hallelujah! Lord.

Psalms Chapter 137

1. By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, we also wept, when we remembered Zion.
2. We hung our lyres on the willows in its midst.
3. For there those who carried us away captive required of us a song; and those who tormented us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4. How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?
5. If I forget you, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6. If I do not remember you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.
7. Remember, O Lord, against the Edomites, the day of Jerusalem; who said, Raze it, raze it, to its foundation.
8. O daughter of Babylon, you are to be destroyed! Happy shall he be, who repays you for what you have done to us!
9. Happy shall he be, who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!

Psalms Chapter 150

1. Hallelujah! Praise God in his sanctuary! Praise him in the firmament of his power!
2. Praise him for his mighty acts! Praise him according to his exceeding greatness!
3. Praise him with the sound of the shofar! Praise him with the harp and the lyre!
4. Praise him with the tambourine and dance! Praise him with stringed instruments and the pipe!
5. Praise him with sounding cymbals! Praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6. Let every thing that breathes praise the Lord! Hallelujah!

http://www.truekabbalah.org/pages/EXDoc/TKenglish.htm


Note. The term "Selah" above has no grammatical connection with the psalm text. It is either a liturigico-musical mark or a sign of another character with a bearing on the intonation of the reading or the verbal form of the psalm.

It is quite difficult for an atheist or agnostic to understand how a person of faith views human created laws. Atheist can only see that civil and common law has roots in faith based morality. Where ethics constantly change to the winds of opinion polls, moral law is constant for each faith. But, interpretation of moral commands of our Creator do lead to new branches of religious faith. The same can be said of the soft social and psychological sciences that derived for faith based discussions. They revise their beliefs based on the politics of their governing body and how the public perceives them.

1 Corinthians 10

10:23 “Everything is lawful,” but not everything is beneficial.Everything is lawful,” but not everything builds others up.

10:24 Do not seek your own good, but the good of the other person.

10:25 Eat anything that is sold in the marketplace without questions of conscience,

10:26 for the earth and its abundance are the Lord’s.

10:27 If an unbeliever invites you to dinner and you want to go, eat whatever is served without asking questions of conscience.

10:28 But if someone says to you, “This is from a sacrifice,” do not eat, because of the one who told you and because of conscience –

10:29 I do not mean yours but the other person’s. For why is my freedom being judged by another’s conscience?

10:30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I blamed for the food that I give thanks for?

10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God.

10:32 Do not give offense to Jews or Greeks or to the church of God,

10:33 just as I also try to please everyone in all things. I do not seek my own benefit, but the benefit of many, so that they may be saved.


I pray that atheist, agnostic, naturalist, humanist, materialist to stop worshiping our Lord's creation. The path path to rectifying our existence by humbling our pride knowing that we can become more than just grains of dust in Cosmic time. If one accepts she or here are nothing more than but dust nurturing the Tree of Life, then she or he get their wish and will revert to dust when they die.



You are more than just dust in the wind. Read the true Wisdom of Solomon. The Philospher King explains the steps he took looking for grace. At the very least you will understand where the musical group Kansas got their inspiration from.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


The True Wisdom of Solomon

Ecclesiastes 1

1:1 The words of the Teacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem: 4

1:2 “Futile! Futile!” laments the Teacher,

“Absolutely futile! Everything is futile!”

1:3 What benefit do people get from all the effort

which they expend on earth?


1:4 A generation comes and a generation goes,

but the earth remains the same through the ages.


1:5 The sun rises and the sun sets;

it hurries away to a place from which it rises again.

1:6 The wind goes to the south and circles around to the north;

round and round the wind goes and on its rounds it returns.

1:7 All the streams flow into the sea, but the sea is not full,

and to the place where the streams flow, there they will flow again.

1:8 All this monotony is tiresome; no one can bear to describe it:

The eye is never satisfied with seeing, nor is the ear ever content with hearing.

1:9 What exists now is what will be,

and what has been done is what will be done;

there is nothing truly new on earth.

1:10 Is there anything about which someone can say, “Look at this! It is new!”?

It was already done long ago, before our time.

1:11 No one remembers the former events,

nor will anyone remember the events that are yet to happen;

they will not be remembered by the future generations.

1:12 I, the Teacher, have been king over Israel in Jerusalem.

1:13 I decided to carefully and thoroughly examine

all that has been accomplished on earth.

I concluded:

G-d has given people a burdensome task

that keeps them occupied.

1:14 I reflected on everything that is accomplished by man on earth,

and I concluded:

Everything he has accomplished is futile – like chasing the wind!

1:15 What is bent cannot be straightened,

and what is missing cannot be supplied.

1:16 I thought to myself,

“I have become much wiser than any of my predecessors who ruled over Jerusalem;

I have acquired much wisdom and knowledge.”

1:17 So I decided to discern the benefit of wisdom and knowledge over foolish behavior and ideas;

however, I concluded that even this endeavor is like trying to chase the wind!

1:18 For with great wisdom comes great frustration;

whoever increases his knowledge merely increases his heartache.

4:1 So I again considered all the oppression that continually occurs on earth.

This is what I saw:

The oppressed were in tears, but no one was comforting them;

no one delivers them from the power of their oppressors.

4:2 So I considered those who are dead and gone

more fortunate than those who are still alive.

4:3 But better than both is the one who has not been born

and has not seen the evil things that are done on earth.

4:4 Then I considered all the skillful work that is done:

Surely it is nothing more than competition between one person and another.

This also is profitless – like chasing the wind.

4:5 The fool folds his hands and does no work,
so he has nothing to eat but his own flesh.

4:6 Better is one handful with some rest
than two hands full of toil and chasing the wind.

4:7 So I again considered another futile thing on earth:

4:8 A man who is all alone with no companion,

he has no children nor siblings;

yet there is no end to all his toil,

and he is never satisfied with riches.

He laments, “For whom am I toiling and depriving myself of pleasure?”

This also is futile and a burdensome task!
Labor is Beneficial When Its Rewards Are Shared

4:9 Two people are better than one,

because they can reap more benefit from their labor.

4:10 For if they fall, one will help his companion up,
but pity the person who falls down and has no one to help him up.

4:11 Furthermore, if two lie down together, they can keep each other warm,
but how can one person keep warm by himself?

4:12 Although an assailant may overpower one person,
two can withstand him.

Moreover, a three-stranded cord is not quickly broken.

4:13 A poor but wise youth is better than an old and foolish king

who no longer knows how to receive advice.

4:14 For he came out of prison to become king,

even though he had been born poor in what would become his kingdom.

4:15 I considered all the living who walk on earth,

as well as the successor who would arise in his place.

4:16 There is no end to all the people nor to the past generations,

yet future generations will not rejoice in him.

This also is profitless and like chasing the wind.

5:1 Be careful what you do when you go to the temple of God;
draw near to listen rather than to offer a sacrifice like fools,
for they do not realize that they are doing wrong.

5:2 Do not be rash with your mouth or hasty in your heart to bring up a matter before God,
for God is in heaven and you are on earth!
Therefore, let your words be few.

5:3 Just as dreams come when there are many cares,
so the rash vow of a fool occurs when there are many words.

5:4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in paying it.
For God takes no pleasure in fools:
Pay what you vow!

5:5 It is better for you not to vow
than to vow and not pay it.

5:6 Do not let your mouth cause you to sin,
and do not tell the priest, “It was a mistake!”
Why make God angry at you
so that he would destroy the work of your hands?”

5:7 Just as there is futility in many dreams,
so also in many words.
Therefore, fear God!

5:8 If you see the extortion of the poor,

or the perversion of justice and fairness in the government,

do not be astonished by the matter.

For the high official is watched by a higher official,

and there are higher ones over them!

5:9 The produce of the land is seized by all of them,

even the king is served by the fields.

5:10 The one who loves money will never be satisfied with money,
he who loves wealth will never be satisfied with his income.
This also is futile.

5:11 When someone’s prosperity increases, those who consume it also increase;

so what does its owner gain, except that he gets to see it with his eyes?

5:12 The sleep of the laborer is pleasant – whether he eats little or much –
but the wealth of the rich will not allow him to sleep.

5:13 Here is a misfortune on earth that I have seen:

Wealth hoarded by its owner to his own misery.

5:14 Then that wealth was lost through bad luck;

although he fathered a son, he has nothing left to give him.

5:15 Just as he came forth from his mother's womb, unclothed will he return as he came,

and he will take nothing in his hand that he may carry away from his toil.

5:16 This is another misfortune:

Just as he came, so will he go.

What did he gain from toiling for the wind?

5:17 Surely, he ate in darkness every day of his life,

and he suffered greatly with sickness and anger.

5:18 I have seen personally what is the only beneficial and appropriate course of action for people:

to eat and drink, and find enjoyment in all their hard work on earth
during the few days of their life which G-d has given them,
for this is their reward.

5:19 To every man whom G-d has given wealth, and possessions,
he has also given him the ability
to eat from them, to receive his reward and to find enjoyment in his toil;
these things are the gift of G-d.

5:20 For he does not think much about the fleeting days of his life because G-d keeps him preoccupied with the joy he derives from his activity.

6:1 Here is another misfortune that I have seen on earth,

and it weighs heavily on people:

6:2 God gives a man riches, property, and wealth

so that he lacks nothing that his heart desires,

yet God does not enable him to enjoy the fruit of his labor –

instead, someone else enjoys it!

This is fruitless and a grave misfortune.

6:3 Even if a man fathers a hundred children and lives many years –

even if he lives a long, long time, but cannot enjoy his prosperity –

even if he were to live forever –

I would say, “A stillborn child is better off than he is!”

6:4 Though the stillborn child came into the world for no reason and departed into darkness,

though its name is shrouded in darkness,

6:5 though it never saw the light of day nor knew anything,

yet it has more rest than that man –

6:6 if he should live a thousand years twice, yet does not enjoy his prosperity.

For both of them die!

6:7 All of man’s labor is for nothing more than to fill his stomach –

yet his appetite is never satisfied!

6:8 So what advantage does a wise man have over a fool?

And what advantage does a pauper gain by knowing how to survive?

6:9 It is better to be content with what the eyes can see

than for one’s heart always to crave more.

This continual longing is futile – like chasing the wind.

6:10 Whatever has happened was foreordained,
and what happens to a person was also foreknown.
It is useless for him to argue with God about his fate
because God is more powerful than he is.

6:11 The more one argues with words, the less he accomplishes.
How does that benefit him?

6:12 For no one knows what is best for a person during his life –
during the few days of his fleeting life –
for they pass away like a shadow.
Nor can anyone tell him what the future will hold for him on earth.

7:1 A good reputation is better than precious perfume;

likewise, the day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth.

7:2 It is better to go to a funeral

than a feast.

For death is the destiny of every person,

and the living should take this to heart.

7:3 Sorrow is better than laughter,

because sober reflection is good for the heart.

7:4 The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,

but the heart of fools is in the house of merrymaking.

7:5 It is better for a person to receive a rebuke from those who are wise
than to listen to the song of fools.

7:6 For like the crackling of quick-burning thorns under a cooking pot,
so is the laughter of the fool.
This kind of folly also is useless.

7:7 Surely oppression can turn a wise person into a fool;

likewise, a bribe corrupts the heart.

7:8 The end of a matter is better than its beginning;

likewise, patience is better than pride.

7:9 Do not let yourself be quickly provoked,

for anger resides in the lap of fools.

7:10 Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these days?”

for it is not wise to ask that.

7:11 Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing;
it benefits those who see the light of day.

7:12 For wisdom provides protection,
just as money provides protection.
But the advantage of knowledge is this:

Wisdom preserves the life of its owner.

7:13 Consider the work of God:

For who can make straight what he has bent?

7:14 In times of prosperity be joyful,

but in times of adversity consider this:

God has made one as well as the other,

so that no one can discover what the future holds.

7:15 During the days of my fleeting life I have seen both of these things:

Sometimes a righteous person dies prematurely in spite of his righteousness,
and sometimes a wicked person lives long in spite of his evil deeds.

7:16 So do not be excessively righteous or excessively wise;
otherwise you might be disappointed.

7:17 Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool;
otherwise you might die before your time.

7:18 It is best to take hold of one warning without letting go of the other warning;
for the one who fears God will follow both warnings.

7:19 Wisdom gives a wise person more protection

than ten rulers in a city.

7:20 For there is not one truly righteous person on the earth

who continually does good and never sins.

7:21 Also, do not pay attention to everything that people say;

otherwise, you might even hear your servant cursing you.

7:22 For you know in your own heart

that you also have cursed others many times.

7:23 I have examined all this by wisdom;
I said, “I am determined to comprehend this” – but it was beyond my grasp.

7:24 Whatever has happened is beyond human understanding;
it is far deeper than anyone can fathom.

7:25 I tried to understand, examine, and comprehend

the role of wisdom in the scheme of things,

and to understand the stupidity of wickedness and the insanity of folly.

7:26 I discovered this:

More bitter than death is the kind of woman who is like a hunter’s snare;

her heart is like a hunter’s net and her hands are like prison chains.

The man who pleases God escapes her,

but the sinner is captured by her.

7:27 The Teacher says:

I discovered this while trying to discover the scheme of things, item by item.

7:28 What I have continually sought, I have not found;

I have found only one upright man among a thousand,

but I have not found one upright woman among all of them.

7:29 This alone have I discovered:

G - d made humankind upright,

but they have sought many evil schemes.


It can be construed that King Solomon teachings reveal that it is better to focus on life of the living rather than our destiny with death. The righteous are 1 in a 1000. Not a very good ratio to for the common man to obtain. And according to Solomon women have a more difficult journey. He teaches about a Creator that all humankind has rebelled against, but his words show no belief in afterlife. Long life and peaceful death is reward enough. Not much has changed for those that do not accept the words of Jesus Christ.

The above passage gives me sense that Professor Marvel of the Wizard of Oz is based on a wise King Solomon that markets legends his magic ring and carpet to get people to follow him. When in reality Solomon was a gifted man that lost his way encouraging pagan idolatry.

3546c7030e259a9937dca1a299d8bc22.jpg



SOLOMON TURNING TO IDOLATRY, Pierre Reymond, c. 1553-84, enamel on copper, 30 x 24 cm, acc. num. 44-197, Walters Art Museum, Baltimore (by permission)

Solomon-Idolatry-Walters-e1311984106811.

Ancient Jewish Seal of Solomon Ring 13th-14th Cent AD.

672da4b985a9ba5d241d3b310881d28a.jpg

http://www.pinterest.com/djinnknight0065/magic-rings/

Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

The Seal of Solomon or the Shield of David, for under both names the same thing was denoted, is a hexagonal figure consisting of two interlaced triangles, thus forming the outlines of six-pointed star. Upon it was inscribed one of the sacred names of God, from which inscription it was opposed principally to derive its talismanic powers.

These powers were very extensive, for it was believed that it would extinguish fire, prevent Wounds in conflict, and perform many other wonders. The Jews called it the Shield of David in reference to the protection which it gave to its Possessors. But to the other Orientalists it was more familiarly known as the Seal of Solomon. Among these imaginative people, there was a very prevalent belief in the magical character of the King of Israel. He was esteemed rather as a great magician than as a great monarch, and by the signet which he wore, on which this talismanic seal was engraved, he is supposed to have accomplished the most extraordinary actions, and by it to have enlisted in his service the labors of the genii for the construction of his celebrated Temple.

Robinson Crusoe and the Thousand and One Nights are two books which every child has read, and which no man or woman ever forgets. In the latter are many allusions to Solomon's Seal. Especially is there a story of an unlucky fisherman who fished up in his net a bottle secured by a leaden stopper, on which this seal was impressed. On opening it, a fierce Afrite, or evil genii, came forth, who gave this account of the cause of his imprisonment. Solomon," said he, "the son of David, exhorted me to embrace the faith and submit to his authority; but I refused; upon which he called for this bottle, and confined me in it, and closed it upon me with the leaden stopper and stamped upon it his seal, with the great name of God engraved upon it. Then he gave the vessel to one of the genii, who submitted to him, with orders to cast me into the sea."

Of all talismans, there is none, except, perhaps, the cross, which was so generally prevalent among the ancients as this Seal of Solomon or Shield of David. It has been found in the cave of Elephanta, in India, accompanying the image of the Deity, and many other places celebrated in the Brahmanical and the Buddhist religions. Hay, in an exploration into Western Barbary, found it in the harem of a Moor, and in a Jewish synagogue, where it was suspended in front of the recess in which the sacred rolls were deposited. In fact, the interlaced triangles or Seal of Solomon may be considered as par excellence, by merit, the Great Oriental talisman.

In time, with the progress of the new religion, it ceased to be invested with a magical reputation, although the Hermetic philosophers of the Middle Ages did employ it as one of their mystical symbols; but true to the theory that superstitions may be repudiated but never will be forgotten, it was adopted by the Christians as one of the emblems of their faith, but with varying interpretations. The two triangles were said sometimes to be symbols of fire and water, sometimes of prayer and remission, sometimes of creation and redemption, or of life and death, or of resurrection and judgment. But at length the ecclesiologists seem to have settled on the idea that the figure should be considered as representing the two natures of our Lord-His Divine and His human nature.


Riding a Flying Carpet, an 1880 painting by Viktor Vasnetsov

Vasnetsov_samolet.jpg

Solomon's Carpet.

With reference to Solomon's dominion over all the creatures of the world, including spirits, several stories are current, the best known of which is that of Solomon and the ant (Jellinek, l.c. v. 22 et seq.). It is narrated as follows: "When God appointed Solomon king over every created thing, He gave him a large carpet sixty miles long and sixty miles wide, made of green silk interwoven with pure gold, and ornamented with figured decorations. Surrounded by his four princes, Asaph b. Berechiah, prince of men, Ramirat, prince of the demons, a lion, prince of beasts, and an eagle, prince of birds, when Solomon sat upon the carpet he was caught up by the wind, and sailed through the air so quickly that he breakfasted at Damascus and supped in Media. One day Solomon was filled with pride at his own greatness and wisdom; and as a punishment therefor the wind shook the carpet, throwing down 40,000 men. Solomon chided the wind for the mischief it had done; but the latter rejoined that the king would do well to turn toward God and cease to be proud; whereupon Solomon felt greatly ashamed.

"On another day while sailing over a valley where there were many swarms of ants, Solomon heard one ant say to the others, 'Enter your houses; otherwise Solomon's legions will destroy you.' The king asked why she spoke thus, and she answered that she was afraid if the ants looked at Solomon's legions they might be turned from their duty of praising God, which would be disastrous to them. She added that, being the queen of the ants, she had in that capacity given them the order to retire. Solomon desired to ask her a question; but she told him that it was not becoming for the interrogator to be above and the interrogated below. Solomon thereupon brought her up out of the valley; but she then said it was not fitting that he should sit on a throne while she remained on the ground. Solomon now placed her upon his hand, and asked her whether there was any one in the world greater than he. The ant replied that she was much greater; otherwise God would not have sent him there to place her upon his hand. The king, greatly angered, threw her down, saying, 'Dost thou know who I am? I am Solomon, the son of David!' She answered: 'I know that thou art created of a corrupted drop [comp. Ab. iii. 1]; therefore thou oughtest not to be proud.' Solomon was filled with shame, and fell on his face.

"Flying further, Solomon noticed a magnificent palace to which there appeared to be no entrance. He ordered the demons to climb to the roof and see if they could discover any living being within the building. The demons found there only an eagle, which they took before Solomon. Being asked whether it knew of an entrance to the palace, the eagle said that it was 700 years old, but that it had never seen such an entrance. An elder brother of the eagle, 900 years old, was then found, but it also did not know the entrance. The eldest brother of these two birds, which was 1,300 years old, then declared it had been informed by its father that the door was on the west side, but that it had become hidden by sand drifted by the wind. Having discovered the entrance, Solomon found many inscriptions on the doors. In the interior of the palace was an idol having in its mouth a silver tablet which bore the following inscription in Greek: 'I, Shaddad, the son of 'Ad, reigned over a million cities, rode on a million horses, had under me a million vassals, and slew a million warriors, yet I could not resist the angel of death.'"

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13842-solomon#anchor14


Here Jesus clearly states that his Wisdom is greater than Solomon. Jesus is fully Hashem and fully man. Solomon is fully man and nothing more. Jesus was sinless throughout his life. Solomon was corrupted by sin and rebelled against Hashem. Therefore, Jesus is greater and Solomon is lesser.

11:29 As the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.

11:30 For just as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so the Son of Man will be a sign to this generation.

11:31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the people of this generation and condemn them, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon – and now, something greater than Solomon is here!

11:32 The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here!


Solomon built the first temple. Jesus built the last temple within himself.

John 2

2:12 After this he went down to Capernaum with his mother and brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there a few days.

2:13 Now the Jewish feast of Passover was near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

2:14 He found in the temple courts those who were selling oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting at tables.

2:15 So he made a whip of cords and drove them all out of the temple courts, with the sheep and the oxen. He scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

2:16 To those who sold the doves he said, “Take these things away from here! Do not make my Father’s house a marketplace!”

2:17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will devour me.”

2:18 So then the Jewish leaders responded, “What sign can you show us, since you are doing these things?”

2:19 Jesus replied, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up again.”

2:20 Then the Jewish leaders said to him, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and are you going to raise it up in three days?”

2:21 But Jesus was speaking about the temple of his body.

2:22 So after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the scripture and the saying that Jesus had spoken.


Revelation 21

21:22 Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God – the All-Powerful – and the Lamb are its temple.

21:23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb.

21:24 The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it.

21:25 Its gates will never be closed during the day (and there will be no night there).

21:26 They will bring the grandeur and the wealth of the nations into it,

21:27 but nothing ritually unclean will ever enter into it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.




John 6

6:28 ...“What must we do to accomplish the deeds God requires?”

6:29 Jesus replied, “This is the deed God requires – to believe in the one whom he sent.”

6:30 So they said to him, “Then what miraculous sign will you perform, so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?

6:31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

6:32 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the solemn truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but my Father is giving you the true bread from heaven.

6:33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

6:34 So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread all the time!”

6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.

6:36 But I told you that you have seen me and still do not believe.

6:37 Everyone whom the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never send away.

6:38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me.

6:39 Now this is the will of the one who sent me – that I should not lose one person of every one he has given me, but raise them all up at the last day.

6:40 For this is the will of my Father – for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him to have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”

6:41 Then the Jews who were hostile to Jesus began complaining about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven,”

6:42 and they said, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

6:43 Jesus replied, “Do not complain about me to one another.

6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day.

6:45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to me.

6:46 (Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God – he has seen the Father.)

6:47 I tell you the solemn truth, the one who believes has eternal life.

6:48 I am the bread of life.

6:49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died.

6:50 This is the bread that has come down from heaven, so that a person may eat from it and not die.

6:51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

6:52 Then the Jews who were hostile to Jesus began to argue with one another, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

6:53 Jesus said to them, “I tell you the solemn truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves.

6:54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

6:55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.

6:56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him.

6:57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me.

6:58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread your ancestors ate, but then later died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.”


Tabernacle in front of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel at Saint Peter's Basilica in Rome, Italy.

Final+Bernini+Angels.jpg

A virtual tour of St. Peter's Basilica may be found here.

LECTURE BY H.E. CARDINAL RATZINGER
AT THE BISHOPS' CONFERENCE OF THE REGION OF CAMPANIA
IN BENEVENTO (ITALY) ON THE TOPIC:
"EUCHARIST, COMMUNION AND SOLIDARITY"
Sunday 2 June 2002

"Agape, Pax', Orthodoxy, Orthopraxis

Often, in the primitive Church, the Eucharist was called simply "agape", that is, "love", or even simply "pax", that is "peace". The Christians of that time thus expressed in a dramatic way the unbreakable link between the mystery of the hidden presence of God and the praxis of serving the cause of peace, of Christians being peace. For the early Christians, there was no difference between what today is often distinguished as orthodoxy and orthopraxis, as right doctrine and right action. Indeed, when this distinction is made, there generally is a suggestion that the word orthodoxy is to be disdained:

those who hold fast to right doctrine are seen as people of narrow sympathy, rigid, potentially intolerant. In the final analysis, for those holding this rather critical view of orthodoxy everything depends on "right action", with doctrine regarded as something always open to further discussion. For those holding this view, the chief thing is the fruit doctrine produces, while the way that leads to our just action is a matter of indifference. Such a comparison would have been incomprehensible and unacceptable for those in the ancient Church, for they rightly understood the word "orthodoxy" not to mean "right doctrine" but to mean the authentic adoration and glorification of God.

They were convinced that everything depended on being in the right relationship with God, on knowing what pleases him and what one can do to respond to him in the right way. For this reason, Israel loved the law: from it, they knew God's will, they knew how to live justly and how to honour God in the right way: by acting in accord with his will, bringing order into the world, opening it to the transcendent.

Christ teaches how God is glorified, the world is made just

This was the new joy Christians discovered: that now, beginning with Christ, they understood how God ought to be glorified and how precisely through this the world would become just. That these two things should go together - how God is glorified and how justice comes - the angels had proclaimed on the holy night: "Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men", they had said (Lk 2,14). God's glory and peace on earth are inseparable. Where God is excluded, there is a breakdown of peace in the world; without God, no orthopraxis can save us. In fact, there does not exist an orthopraxis which is simply just, detached from a knowledge of what is good. The will without knowledge is blind and so action, orthopraxis, without knowledge is blind and leads to the abyss. Marxism's great deception was to tell us that we had reflected on the world long enough, that now it was at last time to change it. But if we do not know in what direction to change it, if we do not understand its meaning and its inner purpose, then change alone becomes destruction - as we have seen and continue to see. But the inverse is also true:

doctrine alone, which does not become life and action, becomes idle chatter and so is equally empty. The truth is concrete. Knowledge and action are closely united, as are faith and life. This awareness is precisely what your theme seeks to state, "Eucharist, Communion and Solidarity". I should like to dwell on the three key words you have chosen for your Eucharistic Congress to clarify them.

1. Eucharist

"Eucharist" is today - and it is entirely right that it be so - the most common name for the Sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ, which the Lord instituted on the night before his passion. In the early Church there were other names for this sacrament - agape and pax we have already mentioned. Along with these there were, for example, also synaxis - assembly, reunion of the many. Among Protestants this Sacrament is called "Supper", with the intent - following the lead of Luther for whom Scripture alone was valid - to return totally to the biblical origins. And, in fact, in St Paul, this sacrament is called "the Lord's Supper". But it is significant that this title very soon disappeared, and from the second century it was used no longer. Why? Was it perhaps a moving away from the New Testament, as Luther thought, or something else?

Certainly the Lord instituted his Sacrament in the context of a meal, more precisely that of the Jewish Passover supper, and so at the beginning it was also linked with a gathering for a meal. But the Lord had not ordered a repetition of the Passover supper, which constituted the framework. That was not his sacrament, his new gift. In any event, the Passover supper could only be celebrated once a year. The celebration of the Eucharist was therefore detached from the gathering for the supper to the degree that the detachment from the Law was beginning to take place, along with the passage to a Church of Jews and Gentiles, but above all, of Gentiles. The link with the supper was thus revealed as extrinsic, indeed, as the occasion for ambiguities and abuses, as Paul amply described in his First Letter to the Corinthians.

Liturgy of Word, Prayer of Thanksgiving, Words of Institution

Thus the Church, assuming her own specific configuration, progressively freed the specific gift of the Lord, which was new and permanent, from the old context and gave it its own form. This took place thanks to the connection with the liturgy of the word, which has its model in the synagogue; and thanks to the fact that the Lord's words of institution formed the culminating point of the great prayer of thanksgiving - that thanksgiving, also derived from the synagogue traditions and so ultimately from the Lord, who clearly had rendered thanks and praise to God in the Jewish tradition. But he had emphatically enriched that prayer of thanksgiving with a unique profundity by means of the gift of his body and his blood.

Through this action, the early Christians had come to understand that the essence of the event of the Last Supper was not the eating of the lamb and the other traditional dishes, but the great prayer of praise that now contained as its centre the very words of Jesus. With these words he had transformed his death into the gift of himself, in such a way that we can now render thanks for this death. Yes, only now is it possible to render thanks to God without reserve, because the most dreadful thing - the death of the Redeemer and the death of all of us - was transformed through an act of love into the gift of life.

Eucharist, Eucharistic Prayer

Accordingly, the Eucharist was recognized as the essential reality of the Last Supper, what we call today the Eucharistic Prayer, which derives directly from the prayer of Jesus on the eve of his passion and is the heart of the new spiritual sacrifice, the motive for which many Fathers designated the Eucharist simply as oratio (prayer), as the "sacrifice of the word", as a spiritual sacrifice, but which becomes also material and matter transformed:

bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ, the new food, which nourishes us for the resurrection, for eternal life. Thus, the whole structure of words and material elements becomes an anticipation of the eternal wedding feast. At the end, we shall return once more to this connection. Here it is important only to understand better why we as Catholic Christians do not call this sacrament "Supper" but "Eucharist". The infant Church slowly gave to this sacrament its specific form, and precisely in this way, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, she clearly identified and correctly represented in signs the true essence of the sacrament, which the Lord really "instituted" on that night.

Precisely by examining the process by which the Eucharistic sacrament progressively took on its form, one understands in a beautiful way the profound connection between Scripture and tradition. The Bible considered solely in the historical context does not communicate sufficiently to us the vision of what is essential. That insight only comes through the living practice of the Church who lived Scripture, grasped its deepest intention and made it accessible to us.

2. "Communio'

The second word in the title of your Eucharistic congress - Communion - has become fashionable these days. It is, in fact, one of the most profound and characteristic words of the Christian tradition. Precisely for this reason it is very important to understand it in the whole depth and breadth of its meaning. Perhaps I may make an entirely personal observation here. When with a few friends - in particular Henri de Lubac, Hans Urs von Balthasar, Louis Bouyer, Jorge Medina - I had the idea of founding a magazine in which we intended to deepen and develop the inheritance of the Council, we looked for an appropriate name, a single word, which could fully convey the purpose of this publication. Already, in the last year of the Second Vatican Council, 1965, a review was begun, to serve as the permanent voice of the Council and its spirit, called Concilium. Hans Küng thought he had discovered an equivalence between the words ekklesia (Church) and concilium. The root of both terms was the Greek word kalein (to call) the first word, ekklesia, meaning to convoke, the second word, concilium, to summon together. Therefore both words essentially signify the same thing. From such an etymological relationship one could say the terms Church and Council were something synonymous and see the Church by her very nature as the continuing Council of God in the world. Therefore, the Church was to be conceived of in this "conciliar" sense and "actualized" in the form of a Council; and, vice versa, the Council was seen as the most intense possible realization of "Church", namely, the Church in her highest form.

In the years following the Council, for a time, I followed this concept - the Church as the permanent council of God in the world - which seemed at first glance rather enlightening. The practical consequences of this conception should not be overlooked and its attractiveness is immediate. Still, though I came to the conclusion that the vision of Hans Küng certainly contained something true and serious; I also saw that it needed considerable correction. I would very briefly like to try to summarize the result of my studies at that time. My philological and theological research into the understanding of the words "church" and "council" in ancient times showed that a council can certainly be an important, vital manifestation of the Church, but that in reality the Church is something more, that her essence goes deeper.

"Koinonia' lives the Word of life

The council is something that the Church holds, but the Church is not a council. The Church does not exist primarily to deliberate, but to live the Word that has been given to us. I decided that the word that best expressed this fundamental concept, which conveyed the very essence of the Church itself, was koinonia - communion. Her structure, therefore, is not to be described by the term "concilial", but rather with the word "communional". When I proposed these ideas publicly in 1969 in my book, The New People of God, the concept of communion was not yet very widespread in public theological and ecclesial discussions. As a result my ideas on this matter were also given little consideration. These ideas, however, were decisive for me in the search for a title for the new journal, and led to our later calling the journal Communio (communion).

The concept itself received wide public recognition only with the Synod of Bishops in 1985. Until then the phrase "People of God" had prevailed as the chief new concept of the Church, and was widely believed to synthesize the intentions of Vatican II itself. This belief might well have been true, if the words had been used in the full profundity of their biblical meaning and in the broad, accurate context in which the Council had used them. When, however the main word becomes a slogan, its meaning is inevitably diminished; indeed, it is trivialized.

Synod of 1985

As a consequence, the Synod of 1985 sought a new beginning by focusing on the word "communion", which refers first of all to the Eucharistic centre of the Church, and so again returns to the understanding of the Church as the most intimate place of the encounter between Jesus and mankind, in his act of giving himself to us.

It was unavoidable that this great fundamental word of the New Testament, isolated and employed as a slogan, would also suffer diminishment, indeed, might even be trivialized. Those who speak today of an "ecclesiology of communion" generally tend to mean two things:

(1) they support a "pluralist" ecclesiology, almost a "federative" sense of union, opposing what they see as a centralist conception of the Church;

(2) they want to stress, in the exchanges of giving and receiving among local Churches, their culturally pluralistic forms of worship in the liturgy, in discipline and in doctrine.

Even where these tendencies are not developed in detail, "communion" is nonetheless generally understood in a horizontal sense - communion is seen as emerging from a network of multiple communities. This conception of the communal structure of Church is barely distinguishable from the conciliar vision mentioned above. The horizontal dominates. The emphasis is on the idea of self-determination within a vast community of churches.

Naturally, there is here much that is true. However, fundamentally the approach is not correct, and in this way the true depth of what the New Testament and Vatican II and also the Synod of 1985 wanted to say would be lost. To clarify the central meaning of the concept of "communio", I would like briefly to turn to two great texts on communio from the New Testament. The first is found in I Corinthians 10,16 ff, where Paul tells us: "The chalice of blessing, which we bless, is it not a participation ["communion" in the Italian text] in the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ? Because there is but one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of the one bread".

Vertical dimension in Eucharist

The concept of communion is above all anchored in the holy Sacrament of the Eucharist, the reason why we still today in the language of the Church rightly designate the reception of this sacrament simply as "to communicate". In this way, the very practical social significance of this sacramental event also immediately becomes evident, and this in a radical way that cannot be achieved in exclusively horizontal perspectives. Here we are told that by means of the sacrament we enter in a certain way into a communion with the blood of Jesus Christ, where blood according to the Hebrew perspective stands for "life". Thus, what is being affirmed is a commingling of Christ's life with our own.

"Blood" in the context of the Eucharist clearly stands also for "gift", for an existence that pours itself out, gives itself for us and to us. Thus the communion of blood is also insertion into the dynamic of this life, into this "blood poured out". Our existence is "dynamized" in such a way that each of us can become a being for others, as we see obviously happening in the open Heart of Christ.

From a certain point of view, the words over the bread are even more stunning. They tell of a "communion" with the body of Christ which Paul compares to the union of a man and a woman (cf. I Cor 6,17ff; Eph 5,26-32). Paul also expresses this from another perspective when he says:

it is one and the same bread, which all of us now receive. This is true in a startling way: the "bread" - the new manna, which God gives to us - is for all the one and the same Christ.

The Lord unites us with himself

It is truly the one, identical Lord, whom we receive in the Eucharist, or better, the Lord who receives us and assumes us into himself. St Augustine expressed this in a short passage which he perceived as a sort of vision:

eat the bread of the strong; you will not transform me into yourself, but I will transform you into me. In other words, when we consume bodily nourishment, it is assimilated by the body, becoming itself a part of ourselves. But this bread is of another type. It is greater and higher than we are. It is not we who assimilate it, but it assimilates us to itself, so that we become in a certain way "conformed to Christ", as Paul says, members of his body, one in him.

We all "eat" the same person, not only the same thing; we all are in this way taken out of our closed individual persons and placed inside another, greater one. We all are assimilated into Christ and so by means of communion with Christ, united among ourselves, rendered the same, one sole thing in him, members of one another.

To communicate with Christ is essentially also to communicate with one another. We are no longer each alone, each separate from the other; we are now each part of the other; each of those who receive communion is "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" (Gn 2,23).

Social universal union

A true spirituality of communion seen in its Christological profundity, therefore, necessarily has a social character, as Henri de Lubac brilliantly described more than a half century ago in his book, Catholicism.

For this reason, in my prayer at communion, I must look totally toward Christ, allowing myself to be transformed by him, even to be burned by his enveloping fire. But, precisely for this reason, I must always keep clearly in mind that in this way he unites me organically with every other person receiving him - with the one next to me, whom I may not like very much; but also with those who are far away, in Asia, Africa, America or in any other place.

Becoming one with them, I must learn to open myself toward them and to involve myself in their situations. This is the proof of the authenticity of my love for Christ. If I am united with Christ, I am together with my neighbour, and this unity is not limited to the moment of communion, but only begins here. It becomes life, becomes flesh and blood, in the everyday experience of sharing life with my neighbor. Thus, the individual realities of my communicating and being part of the life of the Church are inseparably linked to one another.

The Church is not born as a simple federation of communities. Her birth begins with the one bread, with the one Lord and from him from the beginning and everywhere, the one body which derives from the one bread. She becomes one not through a centralized government but through a common centre open to all, because it constantly draws its origin from a single Lord, who forms her by means of the one bread into one body. Because of this, her unity has a greater depth than that which any other human union could ever achieve. Precisely when the Eucharist is understood in the intimacy of the union of each person with the Lord, it becomes also a social sacrament to the highest degree.

 

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Through the glory of the Holy Spirit and the body of Jesus Christ, each one of us has the opportunity to be Hashem's living temple.

1 Corinthians 3

3:1 So, brothers and sisters, I could not speak to you as spiritual people, but instead as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ.

3:2 I fed you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready. In fact, you are still not ready,

3:3 for you are still influenced by the flesh. For since there is still jealousy and dissension among you, are you not influenced by the flesh and behaving like unregenerate people?

3:4 For whenever someone says, I am with Paul, or I am with Apollos, are you not merely human?

3:5 What is Apollos, really? Or what is Paul? Servants through whom you came to believe, and each of us in the ministry the Lord gave us.

3:6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow.

3:7 So neither the one who plants counts for anything, nor the one who waters, but God who causes the growth.

3:8 The one who plants and the one who waters work as one, but each will receive his reward according to his work.

3:9 We are coworkers belonging to God. You are Gods field, Gods building.

3:10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master-builder I laid a foundation, but someone else builds on it. And each one must be careful how he builds.

3:11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ.

3:12 If anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or straw,

3:13 each builders work will be plainly seen, for the Day will make it clear, because it will be revealed by fire. And the fire will test what kind of work each has done.

3:14 If what someone has built survives, he will receive a reward.

3:15 If someones work is burned up, he will suffer loss. He himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

3:16 Do you not know that you are Gods temple and that Gods Spirit lives in you?

3:17 If someone destroys Gods temple, God will destroy him. For Gods temple is holy, which is what you are.


For Christians the next temple will not dedicated to Hashem. For it has already been built on Faith and Love.

2 Thessalonians 2

2:1 Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,

2:2 not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.

2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.

2:4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, and as a result he takes his seat in Gods temple, displaying himself as God.

2:5 Surely you recall that I used to tell you these things while I was still with you.

2:6 And so you know what holds him back, so that he will be revealed in his own time.

2:7 For the hidden power of lawlessness is already at work. However, the one who holds him back will do so until he is taken out of the way,

2:8 and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the breath of his mouth and wipe out by the manifestation of his arrival.

2:9 The arrival of the lawless one will be by Satans working with all kinds of miracles and signs and false wonders,

2:10 and with every kind of evil deception directed against those who are perishing, because they found no place in their hearts for the truth so as to be saved.

2:11 Consequently God sends on them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false.

2:12 And so all of them who have not believed the truth but have delighted in evil will be condemned.


Is the next temple the Temple where the "Lawless One" will sit on? Or will it be the Jew's Messiah?



The Temple Institute Youtube Channel

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/build-the-third-temple--3

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/12498

According to Revelation the Jewish antagonists who attacked early Followers of The Way since the Resurrection will eventually have to acknowledge that Christians are the true followers of Hashem. In Revelation, Jesus personally addresses 7 churches in the Middle East, commending most and condemning all but the Church of Philadelphia, a city of ancient Lydia in Asia Minor on the Cogamus River, 105 miles from Smyrna.

Revelation 3

3:7 To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write the following:

This is the solemn pronouncement of the Holy One, the True One, who holds the key of David, who opens doors no one can shut, and shuts doors no one can open:

3:8 I know your deeds. (Look! I have put in front of you an open door that no one can shut.) I know that you have little strength, but you have obeyed my word and have not denied my name.

3:9 Listen! I am going to make those people from the synagogue of Satan who say they are Jews yet are not, but are lying Look, I will make them come and bow down at your feet and acknowledge that I have loved you.

3:10 Because you have kept my admonition to endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the earth.

3:11 I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have so that no one can take away your crown.

3:12 The one who conquers I will make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he will never depart from it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from my God), and my new name as well.

3:13 The one who has an ear had better hear what the Spirit says to the churches.


Here is a map of Turkey. Alasehir is on the bottom right hand corner.
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Twice, in 1306 and 1324, Alasehir was besieged by the Seljuk Turks, but it retained its independence until after 1390, when it was captured by the combined forces of the Turks and Byzantines.


turkey_byzantine-seljuks_800px_01.jpg

Double Headed Eagle lagash emblem of the House of Seljuq. Seljuqs adopted the Persian culture and used the Persian language as the official language of the government. Nizam-al-Mulk, became one of the greatest statesmen of medieval Islam. For twenty years he administered the Seljuk.

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In 1403 Tamerlane captured Alasehir, and, it is said, built about it a wall of the corpses of his victims. Tamerlane (Persian: تيمور لنگ‎ Timūr(-e) Lang, "Timur the Lame"), was a Turko-Mongol ruler of Barlas lineage. He conquered West, South and Central Asia and founded the Timurid dynasty. Although the Timurids hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Turkicized Mongol origin, they had embraced Persian culture, converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan.

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Emblem of Timur

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Ala-shehir is still a Christian town; one-fourth of its modern population is Greek, and a Greek bishop still makes his home there.

Ruins of the Byzantine cathedral dedicated to St. John the Theologian located in Ala-shehir.

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I need to do research on the golden eagle correlation with Solomon and Cyrus the Great. Solomon built the first temple. Cyrus built the second temple.

It was the eagle that executed Solomon's orders. When David died Solomon ordered the eagles to protect with their wings his father's body until its burial (Ruth R. i. 17). Solomon was accustomed to ride through the air on a large eagle which brought him in a single day to Tadmor in the wilderness (Eccl. R. ii. 25; comp. II Chron. viii. 4). This legend has been greatly developed by the cabalists as follows: "Solomon used to sail through the air on a throne of light placed on an eagle, which brought him near the heavenly yeshibah as well as to the dark mountains behind which the fallen angels 'Uzza and 'Azzael were chained. The eagle would rest on the chains; and Solomon, by means of a ring on which God's name was engraved, would compel the two angels to reveal every mystery he desired to know."

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13842-solomon#anchor13


Golden Eagles are very powerful birds that can take down 50 pound mammals. It is hard to imagine an eagle big enough to carry Solomon.

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Imagine an eagle carrying King Solomon

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The Seal of Solomon on top of an American eagle.

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Isaiah 46

46:9 Remember what I accomplished in antiquity!

Truly I am God, I have no peer;

I am God, and there is none like me,

46:10 who announces the end from the beginning

and reveals beforehand what has not yet occurred,

who says, My plan will be realized,

I will accomplish what I desire,

46:11 who summons an eagle from the east,

from a distant land, one who carries out my plan.

Yes, I have decreed,

yes, I will bring it to pass;

I have formulated a plan,

yes, I will carry it out.

46:12 Listen to me, you stubborn people,

you who distance yourself from doing what is right.

46:13 I am bringing my deliverance near, it is not far away;

I am bringing my salvation near, it does not wait.

I will save Zion;

I will adorn Israel with my splendor.


Achaemenian Persian Golden Eagle Standard of Cyrus the Great. Xenophon of Athens (430 - 354 BC) reports in his work, Cyropaedia (The Education of Cyrus) that Cyrus the Great's standard was a golden eagle with spread wings, mounted on a long lance.

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CYROPAEDIA

The Education of Cyrus

Book II

Thus they talked together, and thus they journeyed on until they reached the frontier, and there a good omen met them: an eagle swept into view on the right, and went before them as though to lead the way, and they prayed the gods and heroes of the land to show them favor and grant them safe entry, and then they crossed the boundary. And when they were across, they prayed once more that the gods of Media might receive them graciously, and when they had done this they embraced each other, as father and son will, and Cambyses turned back to his own city, but Cyrus went forward again, to his uncle Cyaxares in the land of Media.

.... Soon afterwards he started for the outposts himself with all his horse and foot, and then Cyrus found the omens favorable for his enterprise, and led his soldiers out as though he meant to hunt.He was scarcely on his way when a hare started up at their feet, and an eagle, flying on the right, saw the creature as it fled, swooped down and struck it, bore it aloft in its talons to a cliff hard by, and did its will upon it there. The omen pleased Cyrus well, and he bowed in worship to Zeus the King, and said to his company, "This shall be a right noble hunt, my friends, if God so will."

...
Then he supplicated Zeus, the god of his fathers, to be his leader and helper in the fight, and so he mounted his horse and bade those about him follow. All his squires were equipped as he was, with scarlet tunics, breastplates of bronze, and brazen helmets plumed with white, short swords, and a lance of cornel-wood apiece. Their horses had frontlets, chest-plates, and armour for their shoulders, all of bronze, and the shoulder-pieces served as leg-guards for the riders. In one thing only the arms of Cyrus differed from the rest: theirs was covered with a golden varnish and his flashed like a mirror. As he sat on his steed, gazing into the distance, where he meant to go, a peal of thunder rang out on the right, and he cried, "We will follow thee, O Zeus most high!"
So he set forth with Chrysantas on his right at the head of cavalry and Arsamas on his left with infantry. And the word went down the lines, "Eyes on the standard and steady marching."

The standard was a golden eagle, with outspread wings, borne aloft on a long spear-shaft, and to this day such is the standard of the Persian king.

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/2085/2085-h/2085-h.htm


1 Kings 10

9:26 King Solomon also built ships in Ezion Geber, which is located near Elat in the land of Edom, on the shore of the Red Sea.

9:27 Hiram sent his fleet and some of his sailors, who were well acquainted with the sea, to serve with Solomons men.

9:28 They sailed to Ophir, took from there four hundred twenty talents of gold, and then brought them to King Solomon.

10:1 When the queen of Sheba heard about Solomon, she came to challenge him with difficult questions.

10:2 She arrived in Jerusalem with a great display of pomp, bringing with her camels carrying spices, a very large quantity of gold, and precious gems. She visited Solomon and discussed with him everything that was on her mind.

10:3 Solomon answered all her questions; there was no question too complex for the king.

10:4 When the queen of Sheba saw for herself Solomons extensive wisdom, the palace he had built,

10:5 the food in his banquet hall, his servants and attendants, their robes, his cup bearers, and his burnt offerings which he presented in the Lords temple, she was amazed.

10:6 She said to the king, The report I heard in my own country about your wise sayings and insight was true!

10:7 I did not believe these things until I came and saw them with my own eyes. Indeed, I didnt hear even half the story! Your wisdom and wealth surpass what was reported to me.

10:8 Your attendants, who stand before you at all times and hear your wise sayings, are truly happy!

10:9 May the Lord your God be praised because he favored you by placing you on the throne of Israel! Because of the Lords eternal love for Israel, he made you king so you could make just and right decisions.

10:10 She gave the king 120 talents of gold, a very large quantity of spices, and precious gems. The quantity of spices the queen of Sheba gave King Solomon has never been matched.

10:11 (Hirams fleet, which carried gold from Ophir, also brought from Ophir a very large quantity of fine timber and precious gems.

10:12 With the timber the king made supports for the Lords temple and for the royal palace and stringed instruments for the musicians. No one has seen so much of this fine timber to this very day.)

10:13 King Solomon gave the queen of Sheba everything she requested, besides what he had freely offered her. 24 Then she left and returned to her homeland with her attendants.

10:14 Solomon received 666 talents of gold per year,

10:15 besides what he collected from the merchants, traders, Arabian kings, and governors of the land.

10:16 King Solomon made two hundred large shields of hammered gold; 600 measures of gold were used for each shield.

10:17 He also made three hundred small shields of hammered gold; three minas of gold were used for each of these shields. The king placed them in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest.

10:18 The king made a large throne decorated with ivory and overlaid it with pure gold.

10:19 There were six steps leading up to the throne, and the back of it was rounded on top. The throne had two armrests with a statue of a lion standing on each side.

10:20 There were twelve statues of lions on the six steps, one lion at each end of each step. There was nothing like it in any other kingdom.

10:21 All of King Solomons cups were made of gold, and all the household items in the Palace of the Lebanon Forest were made of pure gold. There were no silver items, for silver was not considered very valuable in Solomons time.

10:22 Along with Hirams fleet, the king had a fleet of large merchant ships that sailed the sea. Once every three years the fleet came into port with cargoes of gold, silver, ivory, apes, and peacocks.

10:23 King Solomon was wealthier and wiser than any of the kings of the earth.

10:24 Everyone in the world wanted to visit Solomon to see him display his God-given wisdom.

10:25 Year after year visitors brought their gifts, which included items of silver, items of gold, clothes, perfume, spices, horses, and mules.

10:26 Solomon accumulated chariots and horses. He had 1,400 chariots and 12,000 horses. He kept them in assigned cities and in Jerusalem.

10:27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stones; cedar was as plentiful as sycamore fig trees are in the lowlands.

10:28 Solomon acquired his horses from Egypt and from Que; the kings traders purchased them from Que.

10:29 They paid 600 silver pieces for each chariot from Egypt and 150 silver pieces for each horse. They also sold chariots and horses to all the kings of the Hittites and to the kings of Syria.


Solomon and Hiram Abiff were very good business partners. The locatio of Ophir was likely Southern India or Northern Sri Lanka, where the Dravidians were well known for their sandalwood, gold, ivory and peacocks. Sandalwood grows naturally in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Australia, Indonesia, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands. The most well-known, highest oil content (6 to 7%) and economically important species is Santalum album, or Indian sandalwood. Most likely Solomon's and Hirams fleets stopped in Southwest Arabia in the region of modern Yemen. In the ancient period, it would seem that South Arabia and the Horn of Africa were the major suppliers of incense. The port authorities must have relayed to Queen Sheba the goods the Phoenician and Israeli trade ships were carrying and the wealth of Solomon and Hiram.

The key to Solomons success was the port city of Ezion-Geber. This was an extremely valuable port and Solomon built a fortress to protect it. Israel's naval alliance with Phoenicia kept the port well protected by land and sea. Numbers 33:36 says Ezion-Geber was located on the shore of the Red Sea, in the land of Edom, very near Elat. Both Elat and Ezion Geber are located at the north end of the Gulf of Aqaba.

After Solomon's death the kingdom split into two parts and according to Book of II Chronicles, Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah, joined with Ahaziah, the King of Israel, to make ships in Ezion-geber; but God disapproved the alliance, and the ships were broken in the port.

It appears that Solomon time and money spent on building forts, ships, chariots, and militia's payed big dividends for Hashem's kingdom.

Ezjon-Geber.jpg

Possessions corrupted Solomon's priorities and he lost favor with Hashem. Israel would never be the same. In essence Solomon became the very thing that his father, David defeated. Solomon became Saul.

1 Kings 11

11:1 King Solomon fell in love with many foreign women (besides Pharaohs daughter), including Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites.

11:2 They came from nations about which the Lord had warned the Israelites, You must not establish friendly relations with them! If you do, they will surely shift your allegiance to their gods. But Solomon was irresistibly attracted to them.

11:3 He had 700 royal wives and 300 concubines; his wives had a powerful influence over him.

11:4 When Solomon became old, his wives shifted his allegiance to other gods; he was not wholeheartedly devoted to the Lord his God, as his father David had been.

11:5 Solomon worshiped the Sidonian goddess Astarte and the detestable Ammonite god Milcom.

11:6 Solomon did evil in the Lords sight; he did not remain loyal to the Lord, like his father David had.

11:7 Furthermore, on the hill east of Jerusalem Solomon built a high place for the detestable Moabite god Chemosh and for the detestable Ammonite god Milcom.

11:8 He built high places for all his foreign wives so they could burn incense and make sacrifices to their gods.

11:9 The Lord was angry with Solomon because he had shifted his allegiance away from the Lord, the God of Israel, who had appeared to him on two occasions

11:10 and had warned him about this very thing, so that he would not follow other gods. But he did not obey the Lords command.

11:11 So the Lord said to Solomon, Because you insist on doing these things and have not kept the covenantal rules I gave you, I will surely tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.

11:12 However, for your father Davids sake I will not do this while you are alive. I will tear it away from your sons hand instead.

11:13 But I will not tear away the entire kingdom; I will leave your son one tribe for my servant Davids sake and for the sake of my chosen city Jerusalem.


http://youtu.be/2V-fRcKbR2M

 

I pray that atheist and agnostics have less trouble understanding religious conflict. They promote understanding of the "Golden Rule" taken from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Their ethical genesis is based on the beliefs and traditions of the faithful. But, they are blind to righteous truth that we are more than the forces of communal nurture. Many atheist believe that there is no Creator except themselves and random luck. Evolution comes from observing our common molecular and social past. Their harvesting of moral knowledge from faith belief of Creator commands is similar to an inorganic molecule next to an organic spark of life.

The soft sciences of Atheist and agnostics cannot see their unintended agitating effects with faithful beliefs. Few truly understand conflict stems from the material possessions of greed. There is a vale to spiritual warfare they are not permitted to see. Only the outputs of good and evil are known to those without grace. The construct of Hashem does not interfere with the liberty of the rebellious and ignorant. We are all given free will to believe the testimony of the Righteous. But, we are not given discernment unless we first accept in a higher power, then and only then, can we begin a path of obtaining wisdom. And as quickly as we receive grace, it can be lost again, never to be found.

The first tenet is humbling our minds to know that our Creator is also our Destroyer. It wise for a believer to fear a being that can turn something into nothing. As above, so below. It is wise for an unbeliever to fear those that can do harm to us.

 

The second tenet is realizing that our Creator and Destroyer freely gives mercy and love to those that do the same during our physical existence. As above, so below. It is considered wise to forgive those that trespass against us.

Many atheist and agnostic rebel against faithful understanding and categorize it into a psychosomatic mental disorder. Anyone that converses with G-d should medically treated to stop his voice in our head. At the same time many atheist and agnostic embrace the esoteric works of artists that help give purpose to living.

 

Nonsense talking sense. Sense talking nonsense. It is all semantic babble. The only value comes from understanding wisdom.

http://www.esotericarchives.com/oracle/oraclez.htm

http://iranpoliticsclub.net/culture-language/mythology2/

 

http://omegafoundation.siriuscomputing.net/Poetry/I.htm

http://theheavensdeclare.net/

MerKaBa is the sphere where the trinity is united. In ancient Egypt this trinity was called the Ka-Akh-Ba

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


It appears that a parallel belief of Solomon's failure in righteousness is understood in freemasonry.

THE LOST KEYS OF FREEMASONRY or The Secret of Hiram Abiff
by Manly P. Hall

King Solomon is the power of mind which, perverted, becomes a destroyer who tears down with the very powers which nourish and build. The right application of thought, when seeking the answer to the cosmic problem of destiny, liberates man's spirit which soars above the concrete through that wonderful power of mind, with its dreams and its ideals


Masonry elevates Hiram of Tyre to symbolize the true master of Hashem's temple and seal.

DSC09834.jpg

THE LOST KEYS OF FREEMASONRY or The Secret of Hiram Abiff
by Manly P. Hall

In the gleaming flame of cosmic light bordered by the dark clouds of not-being two great forms appeared and a mighty Voice thrilled eternity, each sparkling atom pulsating with the power of the Creator's Word while the great blue-robed figure bowed in awe before the foot-stool of His Maker as a hand reached down from heaven, its fingers extended the benediction.

"Of all creation I have chosen you and upon you my seal is placed. You are the chosen instrument of my hand and I appoint you to be the Builder of my Temple. You shall raise its pillars and tile its floor; you shall ornament it with metals and with jewels and you shall be the master of my workmen. In your hands I place the plans and here on the tracing board of living substance I have impressed the plan you are to follow, tracing its every letter and angle in the fiery lines of my moving finger. Hiram Abiff, chosen builder of your Father's house, up and to your work. Yonder are the fleecy clouds, the gray mists of dawn, the gleams of heavenly light, and the darkness of the sleep of creation. From these shall you build, without the sound of hammer or the voice of workmen, the temple of your God, eternal in the heavens. The swirling, ceaseless motion of negation you shall chain to grind your stones. Among these spirits of not-being shall you slack your lime and lay your footings; for I have watched you through the years of your youth; I have guided you through the days of your manhood. I have weighed y ou in the balance and you have not been found wanting. Therefore, to you give I the glory of work, and here ordain you as the Builder of my House. Unto you I give the word of the Master Builder; unto you I give the tools of the craft; unto you I give the power that has been vested in me. Be faithful unto these things. Bring them back when you have finished, and I will give you the name known to God alone. So mote it be."

The great light died out of the heavens, the streaming fingers of living light vanished in the misty, lonely twilight, and again covered not-being with its sable mantle. Hiram Abiff again stood alone, gazing out into the endless ocean of oblivion - nothing but swirling, seething matter as far as eye could see. Then he
straightened his shoulders and, taking the trestle board in his hands and clasping to his heart the glowing Word of the Master, walked slowly away and was swallowed up in the mists of primordial dawn.

How may man measure timeless eternity? Ages passed, and the lonely Builder labored with his plan with only love and humility in his heart, his hand molding the darkness which he blessed while his eyes were raised above where the Great Light had shone down from heaven. In the divine solitude he labored, with no voice to cheer, no spirit to condemn - alone in the boundless all with the great chill of the morning mist upon his brow, but his heart still warm with the light of the Master's Word. It seemed a hopeless task. No single pair of hands could mold that darkness; no single heart, no matter how true, could be great enough to project pulsing cosmic love into the cold mist of oblivion. Though the darkness settled ever closer about him and the misty fingers of negation twined round his being, still with divine trust the Builder labored; with divine hope he laid his footings, and from the boundless clay he made the molds to cast his sacred ornaments. Slowly the building grew and dim forms molded by the Master's hand took shape about him. Three huge, soulless creatures had the Master fashioned, great beings which loomed like grim spectres in the semi-darkness. They were three builders he had blessed and now in stately file they passed before him, and Hiram held out his arms to his creation, saying, "Brothers, I have built you for your works. I have formed you to labor with me in the building of the Master's house. You are the children of my being; I have labored with you, now labor with me for the glory of our God."

But the spectres laughed. Turning upon their maker and striking him with his own tools given him by God out of heaven, they left their Grand Master dying in the midst of his labors, broken and crushed by the threefold powers of cosmic night. As he lay bleeding at the feet of his handiwork the martyred Builder raised his eyes to the seething clouds, and his face was sweet with divine love and cosmic understanding as he prayed unto the Master who had sent him forth:

"0 Master of Workmen, Great Architect of the universe, my labors are not finished. Why must they always remain undone? I have not completed the thing for which Thou hast sent me unto being, for my very creations have turned against me and the tools Thou gave me have destroyed me. The children that I formed in love, in their ignorance have murdered me. Here, Father, is the Word Thou gave me now red with my own blood. Master, I return it to Thee for I have kept it sacred in my heart. Here are the too Is, the tracing board, and the vessels I have wrought. Around me stand the ruins of my temple which I must leave. Unto Thee, God, the divine Knower of all things, I return them all, realizing that in Thy good time lies the fulfillment of all things. Thou, God, knows our down-sitting and our uprising and Thou understands our thoughts afar off. In Thy name. Father, I have labored and in Thy cause I die, a faithful builder."

The Master fell back, his upturned face sweet in the last repose of death, and the light rays no longer pouring from him. The gray clouds gathered closer as though to form a winding sheet around the body of their murdered Master.

Suddenly the heavens opened again and a shaft of light bathed the form of Hiram in a glory celestial. Again the Voice spoke from the heavens where the Great King sat upon the clouds of creation: "He is not dead; he is asleep. Who will awaken him? His labors are not done, and in death he guards the sacred relics more closely than ever, for the Word and the tracing board are his - I have given them to him. But he must remain asleep until these three who have slain him shall bring him back to life, for every wrong must be righted, and the slayers of my house, the destroyers of my temple, must labor in the place of their Builder until they raise their Master from the dead."

The three murderers fell on their knees and raised their hands to heaven as though to ward off the light which had disclosed their crime: "0 God, great is our sin, for we have slain our Grand Master, Hiram Abiff ! Just is Thy punishment and as we have slain him we now dedicate our lives to his resurrection. The first was our human weakness, the second our sacred duty."

Around Life - that wondrous germ in the heart of every living thing, that sacred Prisoner in His gloomy cell, that Master Builder laid away in the grave of matter - has been built the wondrous legend of the Holy Sepulchre. Under allegories unnumbered, the mystic philosophers of the ages, have perpetuated this wonderful story, and among the Craft Masons it forms the mystic ritual of Hiram, the Master Builder, murdered in his temple by the very builders who should have served him as he labored to perfect the dwelling place of his God.

In Freemasonry this crystallized substance of matter is called the grave and represents the Holy Sepulchre. This is the grave within which the lost Builder lies and with Him are the plans of the Temple and the Master's Word, and it is this builder, our Grand Master, whom we must seek and raise from the dead. This noble Son of Light cries out to us in every expression of matter. Every stick and stone marks His resting place, and the sprig of acacia promises that through the long winter of spiritual darkness when the sun does not shine for man, this Light still awaits the day of liberation when each one of us shall raise Him by the grip of the Grand Master, the true grip of a Master Mason. We cannot hear this Voice that calls eternally, but we feel its inner urge. A great unknown something pulls at our heartstrings. As the ages roll by, the deep desire to be greater, to live better, and to think God's thoughts, builds within ourselves the qualifications of a candidate who, when asked why he takes the path , would truly answer if he knew mentally the things he feels: "I hear a voice that cries out to me from flora and fauna, from the stones, from the clouds, from the very heaven itself. Each fiery atom spinning and twisting in Cosmos cries out to me with the voice of my Master. I can hear Hiram Abiff, my Grand Master, crying out in his agony, the agony of life hidden within the darkness of its prison walls, seeking for the expression which I have denied it, laboring, to bring closer the day of its liberation , and I have learned to know that I am responsible for those walls. My daily actions are the things which as ruffians and traitors are murdering my God."

We may first consider the murderers of Hiram. These three ruffians, who, when the Builder seeks to leave his temple, strike him with the tools of his own Craft until finally they slay him and bring the temple down in destruction upon their own heads, symbolize the three expressions of our own lower natures which are in truth the murderers of the good within ourselves. These three may be called thought, desire, and action. When purified and transmuted they are three glorious avenues through which may manifest the great life power of the three kings, the glowing builders of the Cosmic Lodge manifesting in this world as spiritual thought, constructive emotion, and useful daily labor in the various places and positions where we find ourselves while carrying on the Master's work. These three form the Flaming Triangle which glorifies every living Mason, but when crystallized and perverted they form a triangular prison through which the light cannot shine and the Life is forced to languish in the dim darkness of despair, until man himself through his higher understanding liberates the energies and powers which are indeed the builders and glorifiers of his Father's House.

...How long will it take King Hiram of Tyre, the warrior on the second step, symbolic of the Fellow Craft of the Cosmic Lodge, to teach mankind the lessons of self mastery? The teacher can do it only as he daily depicts the miseries which are the result of uncurbed appetites. The strength of man was not given to be used destructively but that he might build a temple worthy to be the dwelling place of the Great Architect of the universe. God is glorifying himself through the individualized portions of himself, and is slowly teaching these individualized portions to understand and glorify the whole.

The name Hiram is taken from the Chaldean Chiram.

The Canaanites were called the Phoenicians by the Greeks, who have told us that they had Hermes for one of their kings. There is a definite relation between Chiram and Hermes.

Chiram is a word composed of three words, denoting the Universal Spirit, the essence whereof the whole creation does consist, and the object of Chaldean, Egyptian, and genuine natural philosophy, according to its inner principles or properties. The three Hebrew words Chamah, Rusch, and Majim, mean respectively Fire, Air, and Water, while their initial consonants, Ch, R, M, give us Chiram, that invisible essence which is the father of earth, fire, air and water; because, although immaterial in its own invisible nature as the unmoved and electrical fire, when moved it becomes light and visible; and when collected and agitated, becomes heat and visible and tangible fire; and when associated with humidity it becomes material. The word Chiram has been metamorphosed into Hermes and also into Herman, and the translators of the Bible have made Chiram by changing Chet into He; both of these Hebrew word signs being very similar.

In the word Hermaphrodite, (a word invented by the old philosophers), we find Hermes changed to Herm, signifying Chiram, or the Universal Agent, and Aphrodite, the passive principle of humidity, who is also called Venus, and is said to have been produced and generated by the sea.

We also read that Hiram (Chiram), or the Universal Agent, assisted King Solomon to build the temple. No doubt as Solomon possessed wisdom, he understood what to do with the corporealized Universal Agent. The Talmud of the Jews says that King Solomon built the temple by the assistance of Shamir. Now this word signifies the sun, which is perpetually collecting the omnipresent, surrounding, electrical fire, or Spiritus Mundi, and sending it to us in the planets, in a visible manner called light.

These paragraphs from an ancient philosopher may assist the Masonic student of today to realize the tremendous and undreamed-of shire of knowledge that lies behind the allegory which he often hears but seldom analyzes. Hiram, the Universal Agent, might be translated Vita the power eternally building and unfolding the bodies of man. The use and abuse of energy is the keynote to the Masonic legend; in fact, it is the key to all things in Nature. Hiram, as the triple energy, one in source but three in aspect, can almost be called ether, that unknown hypothetical element which carries the impulses of the gods through the macrocosmic nervous system of the Infinite; for like Hermes, or Mercury, who was the messenger of the gods, ether carries impulses upon its wings. The solving of the mystery of ether - or, if you prefer to call it vibrant space - is the great problem of Masonry. This ether, as a hypothetical medium, brings energy to the three bodies of thought, emotion, and action, in this manner Chiram, the one in essence, becoming three in aspect - mental, emotional, and vital. The work which follows is an effort to bring to light other forgotten and neglected elements of the Masonic rites, and to emphasize the spirit of Hiram as the Universal Agent.


http://archive.org/stream/TheLostKeysOfFreemasonryOrTheSecretOfHiramAbiff/MicrosoftWord-Document1_djvu.txt


While the story of Hiram Abiff getting murdered by his 3 specters (maybe golems) is an interesting allegory that lacks continuity with the Bible. Hiram "finished all the work on the Lord’s temple." Anything built on a bad foundation eventually collapses into ruins.

Photo of Tower of Babel

babel2.jpg

Manly P. Hall wrote that the word Shamir signifies the electrical light of the Sun, which is derived from the Chaldean word Chiram. The name Hiram is derived from Chiram, which Hall associates with Hermes.

THE SHAMIR AND THE STONE WORM

According to Jewish tradition contained within these and other sources, the shamir was one of ten miraculous items created by God at twilight upon the Sixth Day of the Hexameron (the six days of Creation). Although it was only the size of a single grain of barley corn, the shamir was so incredibly powerful that merely its gaze was sufficient to cut through any material with ease, even through diamond itself, the hardest substance on Earth. Such a wondrous creature needed to be safeguarded, so God entrusted the shamir to the hoopoe (or woodcock or moorhen, depending upon which version of the legend is consulted), commanding this bird to protect the shamir from all harm.

In order to contain this mighty if minuscule worm, the hoopoe placed it among a quantity of barley corns, then wrapped them all up together in a woollen cloth, which in turn was placed inside a box fashioned from lead – the only material strong enough to contain the shamir effectively but without disintegrating from the intensity of its laser-like gaze. So here, safely and comfortably ensconced within its leaden domicile, which was retained by the hoopoe in the Garden of Eden, it passed through all the ages that followed.

Only once did the shamir emerge – during the time of Aaron and Moses, when God commanded the hoopoe to lend this worm to Him for the etching of the names of the 12 tribes of Israel upon the precious stones on 12 special priestly breastplates (the Hoshen), one breastplate for each of the tribes and each breastplate composed of a different stone. The task was a very difficult one, but when these stones were shown in turn to the shamir this astonishing creature accomplished it so expertly that not a single atom of precious stone was lost or destroyed.

After this, the shamir was placed back inside its lead casket, entrusted once more to the hoopoe's care, and there it remained, in undisturbed obscurity – until the time of King Solomon the Wise. Solomon wished to erect a glorious temple, but he was very mindful of God's instructions, laid down long ago to Moses, that no place of worship, not even an altar (let alone a temple), should be constructed using any tool made from iron - because iron was a substance of war, and that if anything related to war should ever touch a place of worship, it would be instantly and irrevocably defiled. But if Solomon could not use iron tools, how could the stones needed for constructing his temple be hewn?

In an attempt to solve this riddle, Solomon enquired far and wide, and eventually he learned about the incredible stone-searing shamir. Determined to utilise its extraordinary power, Solomon dispatched a servant to seek out this wonderful creature and bring it back to him. After a long search, the servant succeeded, and Solomon duly employed the shamir to cut the rocks required for building his celebrated temple – the First Temple in Jerusalem. But that is where the story ends abruptly – because after this magnificent edifice was completed, the shamir allegedly lost its power, then vanished, and has never been heard of again…or has it?

http://karlshuker.blogspot.com/2014/02/the-shamir-and-stone-worm.html


Stone+worm,+pic+1.JPG

Superman had laser vision just like the Shamir.

superman-eyes.jpg

1906 Jewish Encyclopedia

Solomon

The most important of Solomon's acts was his building of the Temple, in which he was assisted by angels and demons. Indeed, the edifice was throughout miraculously constructed, the large, heavy stones rising to and settling in their respective places of themselves (Ex. R. lii. 3; Cant. R. l.c.). The general opinion of the Rabbis is that Solomon hewed the stones by means of the Shamir, a worm whose mere touch cleft rocks. According to Midrash Tehillim (in Yalḳ., I Kings, 182), the shamir was brought from paradise by the eagle; but most of the rabbis state that Solomon was informed of the worm's haunts through the chief of the demons, who was captured by Benaiah, Solomon's chief minister (see Asmodeus). The chief of the demons, Ashmedai or Asmodeus, told Solomon that thes hamir had been entrusted by the prince of the sea to the mountain rooster alone (the Hebrew equivalent in Lev. xi. 19 and Deut. xiv. 18 is rendered by A. V. "lapwing" and by R.V. "hoopoe"), and that the rooster had sworn to guard it well. Solomon's men searched for the nest of the bird and, having found it, covered it with glass. The bird returned, and, seeing the entrance to its nest closed by what it supposed to be a glass door, brought the shamir for the purpose of breaking the glass. Just then a shout was raised; and the bird, being frightened, dropped the shamir, which the men carried off to the king (Giṭ. 68b).

Solomon, in his prophetic capacity, realized that the Temple would be destroyed by the Babylonians, and therefore he caused an underground receptacle to be built in which the Ark was afterward hidden (Abravanel on I Kings vi. 19). For each of the ten candlesticks made by Solomon (I Kings vii. 49; II Chron. iv. 7) he used 1,000 talents of gold, which, being passed 1,000 times through the furnace, became reduced to one talent. There is a difference of opinion among the Rabbis as to whether Solomon's candlesticks were lit or only the one made by Moses. A similar difference exists with regard to Solomon's ten tables, five of which were on one side and five on the other side of the table made by Moses (Men. 29a, 99b). Solomon planted in the Temple different kinds of golden trees which bore fruit in their proper seasons. When the wind blew over them the fruit fell to the ground. Later, when the heathen entered the Temple to destroy it, these trees withered; but they will flourish again on the advent of the Messiah (Yoma 21b).

Even with regard to his noble act in building the Temple, however, Solomon did not escape the severe criticisms of the Tannaim. The construction of such a magnificent edifice, they said, filled Solomon with pride; consequently when he wished to introduce the Ark of the Covenant into the Sanctuary, the gates shrank to such an extent that it could not be brought in. Solomon then recited twenty-four hymns, but without avail. He then sang: "Lift up your heads, O ye gates; . . . and the King of glory shall come in" (Ps. xxiv. 7). The gates, thinking that Solomon applied to himself the term "King of glory," were about to fall on his head, when they asked him, "Who is this King of glory?" Solomon answered:

"The Lord strong and mighty," etc. (ib. verse 8). He then prayed:

"O Lord God, turn not away the face of thine anointed, remember the mercies of David thy servant" (II Chron. vi. 42); and the Ark was admitted (Shab. 30a; Num. R. xiv. 10; comp. Ex. R. viii. 1 and Tan., Wa'era, 6, where this haggadah is differently stated in the spirit of the Amoraim).


"The Secret of Hiram Abiff," Manly P. Hall states that King Hiram of Tyre was the Master Builder. But in the Hiramic Legend Hall changes his story and states the Master Builder was not King Hiram, but rather the Grand Master of the Dionysiac Architects, CHiram Abiff, a Widow's Son, who had no equal among the craftsmen of the earth. The giant souless spectres that Hiram created in the first story are transform into three fellow craftsmen Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum in the second. Both stories have him killed.

The Hiramic Legend

Manly Palmer Hall

When Solomon--the beloved of God, builder of the Everlasting House, and Grand Master of the Lodge of Jerusalem ascended the throne of his father David he consecrated his life to the erection of a temple to God and a palace for the kings of Israel. David's faithful friend, Hiram, King of Tyre, hearing that a son of David sat upon the throne of Israel, sent messages of congratulation and offers of assistance to the new ruler. In his History of the Jews, Josephus mentions that copies of the letters passing between the two kings were then to be seen both at Jerusalem and at Tyre. Despite Hiram's lack of appreciation for the twenty cities of Galilee which Solomon presented to him upon the completion of the temple, the two monarchs remained the best of friends. Both were famous for their wit and wisdom, and when they exchanged letters each devised puzzling questions to test the mental ingenuity of the other. Solomon made an agreement with Hiram of Tyre promising vast amounts of barley, wheat,corn, wine, and oil as wages for the masons and carpenters from Tyre who were to assist the Jews in the erection of the temple. Hiram also supplied cedars and other fine trees, which were made into rafts and floated down the sea to Joppa, whence they were taken inland by Solomon's workmen to the temple site.

Because of his great love for Solomon, Hiram of Tyre sent also the Grand Master of the Dionysiac Architects, CHiram Abiff, a Widow's Son, who had no equal among the craftsmen of the earth. CHiram is described as being "a Tyrian by birth, but of Israelite by descent," and "a second Bezaleel, honored by his king with the title of Father." The Freemason's Pocket Companion (published in 1771) describes CHiram as "the most cunning, skilful and curious workman that ever lived, whose abilities were not confined to building alone, but extended to all kinds of work, whether in gold, silver, brass or iron; whether in linen, tapestry, or embroidery; whether considered as an architect, statuary [sic]; founder or designer, separately or together, he equally excelled. From his designs, and under his direction, all the rich and splendid furniture of the Temple and its several appendages were begun, carried on, and finished. Solomon appointed him, in his absence, to fill the chair, as Deputy Grand-Master; and in his presence, Senior Grand-Warden, Master of work, and general overseer of all artists, as well those whom David had formerly procured from Tyre and Sidon, as those Hiram should now send." (Modem Masonic writers differ as to the accuracy of the last sentence.)

The Masonic legend of the building of Solomon's Temple does not in every particular parallel the Scriptural version, especially in those portions relating to CHiram Abiff. According to the Biblical account, this Master workman returned to his own country; in the Masonic allegory he is foully murdered. On this point A. E. Waite, in his New Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry, makes the following explanatory comment:

"The legend of the Master-Builder is the great allegory of Masonry. It happens that his figurative story is grounded on the fact of a personality mentioned in Holy Scripture, but this historical background is of the accidents and not the essence; the significance is in the allegory and not in any point of history which may lie behind it."

Chiram, as Master of the Builders, divided his workmen into three groups, which were termed Entered Apprentices, Fellow-Craftsmen, and Master Masons. To each division he gave certain passwords and signs by which their respective excellence could be quickly determined. While all were classified according to their merits some were dissatisfied, for they desired a more exalted position than they were capable of filling. At last three Fellow-Craftsmen, more daring than their companions, determined to force CHiram to reveal to them the password of the Master's degree. Knowing that CHiram always went into the unfinished sanctum sanctorum at high noon to pray, these ruffians--whose names were Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum--lay in wait for him, one at each of the main gates of the temple. CHiram, about to leave the temple by the south gate, was suddenly confronted by Jubela armed with a twenty-four-inch gauge. Upon CHiram's refusal to reveal the Master's Word, the ruffian struck him on the throat with the rule, and the wounded Master then hastened to the west gate, where Jubelo, armed with a square, awaited him and made a similar demand. Again CHiram was silent, and the second assassin struck him on the breast with the square. CHiram thereupon staggered to the east gate, only to be met there by Jubelum armed with a maul. When CHiram, refused him the Master's Word, Jubelum struck the Master between the eyes with the mallet and CHiram fell dead.

The body of CHiram was buried by the murderers over the brow of Mount Moriah and a sprig of acacia placed upon the grave. The murderers then sought to escape punishment for their crime by embarking for Ethiopia, but the port was closed. All three were finally captured, and after admitting their guilt were duly executed. Parties of three were then sent out by King Solomon, and one of these groups discovered the newly made grave marked by the evergreen sprig. After the Entered Apprentices and the Fellow-Craftsmen had failed to resurrect their Master from the dead he was finally raised by the Master Mason with the "strong grip of a Lion's Paw."

To the initiated Builder the name CHiram Abiff signifies "My Father, the Universal Spirit, one in essence, three in aspect." Thus the murdered Master is a type of the Cosmic Martyr--the crucified Spirit of Good, the dying god--whose Mystery is celebrated throughout the world. Among the manuscripts of Dr. Sigismund Bastrom, the initiated Rosicrucian, appears the following extract from von Welling concerning the true philosophic nature of the Masonic CHiram:

"The original word rj-i'n, CHiram, is a radical word consisting of three consonants n n and □ i. e. Cheth, Resh and Mem. (1) n, Cheth, signifies Chamah, the Sun's light, i. e. the Universal, invisible, cold fire of Nature attracted by the Sun, manifested into light and sent down to us and to every planetary body belonging to the solar system. (2) -i, Resh, signifies nn Ruach, i. e. Spirit, air, wind, as being the Vehicle which conveys and collects the light into numberless Foci, wherein the solar rays of light are agitated by a circular motion and manifested in Heat and burning Fire. (3) □, or n Mem, signifies majim, water, humidity, but rather the mother of water, i. e. Radical Humidity or a particular kind of condensed air. These three constitute the Universal Agent or fire of Nature in one word, cn'n, CHiram, not Hiram."

Albert Pike mentions several forms of the name CHiram: Khirm, Khurm, and Khur-Om, the latter ending in the sacred Hindu monosyllable OM, which may also be extracted from the names of the three murderers. Pike further relates the three ruffians to a triad of stars in the constellation of Libra and also calls attention to the fact that the Chaldean god Bal-- metamorphosed into a demon by the Jews-- appears in the name of each of the murderers, Jubela, Jubelo, and Jubelum. To interpret the Hiramic legend requires familiarity with both the Pythagorean and Qabbalistic systems of numbers and letters, and also the philosophic and astronomic cycles of the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and Brahmins. For example, consider the number 33. The first temple of Solomon stood for thirty-three years in its pristine splendor. At the end of that time it was pillaged by the Egyptian King Shishak, and finally (588 B.C.) it was completely destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the people of Jerusalem were led into captivity to Babylon. (See General History of Freemasonry, by Robert Macoy.) Also King David ruled for thirty-three years in Jerusalem; the Masonic Order is divided into thirty-three symbolic degrees; there are thirty-three segments in the human spinal column; and Jesus was crucified in the thirty-third year of His life.

The efforts made to discover the origin of the Hiramic legend show that, while the legend in its present form is comparatively modem, its underlying principles run back to remotest antiquity. It is generally admitted by modem Masonic scholars that the story of the martyred CHiram is based upon the Egyptian rites of Osiris, whose death and resurrection figuratively portrayed the spiritual death of man and his regeneration through initiation into the Mysteries. CHiram is also identified with Hermes through the inscription on the Emerald Table. From these associations it is evident that CHiram is to be considered as a prototype of humanity; in fact he is Plato's Idea (archetype) of man. As Adam after the Fall symbolizes the Idea of human degeneration, so CHiram through his resurrection symbolizes the Idea of human regeneration.

On the 19th day of March, 1314, Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Knights Templars, was burned on a pyre erected upon that point of the islet of the Seine, at Paris, where afterwards was erected the statue of King Henry IV. (See The Indian Religions, by Hargrave Jennings.) "It is mentioned as a tradition in some of the accounts of the burning," writes Jennings, "that Molay, ere he expired, summoned Clement, the Pope who had pronounced the bull of abolition against the Order and had condemned the Grand Master to the flames, to appear, within forty days, before the Supreme Eternal judge, and Philip [the king] to the same awful tribunal within the space of a year. Both predictions were fulfilled." The close relationship between Freemasonry and the original Knights Templars has caused the story of CHiram to be linked with the martyrdom of Jacques de Molay. According to this interpretation,
the three ruffians who cruelly slew their Master at the gates of the temple because he refused to reveal the secrets of his Order represent the Pope, the king, and the executioners. De Molay died maintaining his innocence and refusing to disclose the philosophical and magical arcana of the Templars.

Those who have sought to identify CHiram with the murdered King Charles the First conceive the Hiramic legend to have been invented for that purpose by Elias Ashmole, a mystical philosopher, who was probably a member of the Rosicrucian Fraternity. Charles was dethroned in 1647 and died on the block in 1649, leaving the Royalist party leaderless. An attempt has been made to relate the term "the Sons of the Widow" (an appellation frequently applied to members of the Masonic Order) to this incident in English history, for by the murder of her king England became a Widow and all Englishmen Widow's Sons.

To the mystic Christian Mason, CHiram. represents the Christ who in three days (degrees) raised the temple of His body from its earthly sepulcher. His three murderers were Caesar's agent (the state), the Sanhedrin (the church), and the incited populace (the mob). Thus considered, CHiram becomes the higher nature of man and the murderers are ignorance, superstition, and fear. The indwelling Christ can give expression to Himself in this world only through man's thoughts, feelings, and actions. Right thinking, right feeling, and right action--these are three gates through which the Christ power passes into the material world, there to labor in the erection of the Temple of Universal Brotherhood. Ignorance, superstition, and fear are three ruffians through whose agencies the Spirit of Good is murdered and a false kingdom, controlled by wrong thinking, wrong feeling, and wrong action, established in its stead. In the material universe evil appears ever victorious.

"In this sense," writes Daniel Sickels, "the myth of the Tyrian is perpetually repeated in the history of human affairs. Orpheus was murdered, and his body thrown into the Hebrus; Socrates was made to drink the hemlock; and, in all ages, we have seen Evil temporarily triumphant, and Virtue and Truth calumniated, persecuted, crucified, and slain. But Eternal justice marches surely and swiftly through the world: the Typhons, the children of darkness, the plotters of crime, all the infinitely varied forms of evil, are swept into oblivion; and Truth and Virtue--for a time laid low--come forth, clothed with diviner majesty, and crowned with everlasting glory!" (See General Ahiman Rezon.)

If, as there is ample reason to suspect, the modern Freemasonic Order was profoundly influenced by, if it is not an actual outgrowth of, Francis Bacon's secret society, its symbolism is undoubtedly permeated with Bacon's two great ideals: universal education and universal democracy. The deadly enemies of universal education are ignorance, superstition, and fear, by which the human soul is held in bondage to the lowest part of its own constitution. Thearrant enemies of universal democracy have ever been the crown, the tiara, and the torch.Thus CHiram symbolizes that ideal state of spiritual, intellectual, and physical emancipation which has ever been sacrificed upon the altar of human selfishness. CHiram is the Beautifier of the Eternal House. Modern utilitarianism, however, sacrifices the beautiful for the practical, in the same breath declaring the obvious lie that selfishness, hatred, and discord are practical.

Dr. Orville Ward Owen found a considerable part of the first thirty-two degrees of Freemasonic ritualism hidden in the text of the First Shakespeare Folio. Masonic emblems are to be observed also upon the title pages of nearly every book published by Bacon. Sir Francis Bacon considered himself as a living sacrifice upon the altar of human need; he was obviously cut down in the midst of his labors, and no student of his New Atlantis can fail to recognize the Masonic symbolism contained therein. According to the observations of Joseph Fort Newton, the Temple of Solomon described by Bacon in that Utopian romance was not a house at all but the name of an ideal state. Is it not true that the Temple of Freemasonry is also emblematic of a condition of society? While, as before stated, the principles of the Hiramic legend are of the greatest antiquity, it is not impossible that its present form may be based upon incidents in the life of Lord Bacon, who passed through the philosophic death and was raised in Germany.

In an old manuscript appears the statement that the Freemasonic Order was formed by alchemists and Hermetic philosophers who had banded themselves together to protect their secrets against the infamous methods used by avaricious persons to wring from them the secret of gold-making. The fact that the Hiramic legend contains an alchemical formula gives credence to this story. Thus the building of Solomon's Temple represents the consummation of the magnum opus, which cannot be realized without the assistance of CHiram, the Universal Agent. The Masonic Mysteries teach the initiate how to prepare within his own soul a miraculous powder of projection by which it is possible for him to transmute the base lump of human ignorance, perversion, and discord into an ingot of spiritual and philosophic gold.

Sufficient similarity exists between the Masonic CHiram and the Kundalini of Hindu mysticism to warrant the assumption that CHiram may be considered a symbol also of the Spirit Fire moving through the sixth ventricle of the spinal column. The exact science of human regeneration is the Lost Key of Masonry, for when the Spirit Fire is lifted up through the thirty-three degrees, or segments of the spinal column, and enters into the domed chamber of the human skull, it finally passes into the pituitary body (I sis), where it invokes Ra (the pineal gland) and demands the Sacred Name. Operative Masonry, in the fullest meaning of that term, signifies the process by which the Eye of Horus is opened. E. A. Wallis Budge has noted that in some of the papyri illustrating the entrance of the souls of the dead into the judgment hall of Osiris the deceased person has a pine cone attached to the crown of his head. The Greek mystics also carried a symbolic staff, the upper end being in the form of a pine cone, which was called the thyrsus of Bacchus. In the human brain there is a tiny gland called the pineal body, which is the sacred eye of the ancients, and corresponds to the third eye of the Cyclops. Little is known concerning the function of the pineal body, which Descartes suggested (more wisely than he knew) might be the abode of the spirit of man. As its name signifies, the pineal gland is the sacred pine cone in man--the eye single, which cannot be opened until CHiram (the Spirit Fire) is raised through the sacred seals which are called the Seven Churches in Asia.

There is an Oriental painting which shows three sun bursts. One sunburst covers the head, in the midst of which sits Brahma with four heads, his body a mysterious dark color. The second sunburst--which covers the heart, solar plexus, and upper abdominal region--shows Vishnu sitting in the blossom of the lotus on a couch formed of the coils of the serpent of cosmic motion, its seven-hooded head forming a canopy over the god. The third sunburst is over the generative system, in the midst of which sits Shiva, his body a grayish white and the Ganges River flowing out of the crown of his head. This painting was the work of a Hindu mystic who spent many years subtly concealing great philosophical principles within these figures. The Christian legends could be related also to the human body by the same method as the Oriental, for the arcane meanings hidden in the teachings of both schools are identical.

As applied to Masonry, the three sunbursts represent the gates of the temple at which CHiram was struck, there being no gate in the north because the sun never shines from the northern angle of the heavens. The north is the symbol of the physical because of its relation to ice (crystallized water) and to the body (crystallized spirit). In man the light shines toward the north but never from it, because the body has no light of its own but shines with the reflected glory of the divine life- particles concealed within physical substance. For this reason the moon is accepted as the symbol of man's physical nature. CHiram is the mysterious fiery, airy water which must be raised through the three grand centers symbolized by the ladder with three rungs and the sunburst flowers mentioned in the description of the Hindu painting. It must also pass upward by means of the ladder of seven rungs-the seven plexuses proximate to the spine. The nine segments of the sacrum and coccyx are pierced by ten foramina, through which pass the roots of the Tree of Life. Nine is the sacred number of man, and in the symbolism of the sacrum and coccyx a great mystery is concealed. That part of the body from the kidneys downward was termed by the early Qabbalists the Land of Egypt into which the children of Israel were taken during the captivity. Out of Egypt, Moses (the illuminated mind, as his name implies) led the tribes of Israel (the twelve faculties) by raising the brazen serpent in the wilderness upon the symbol of the Tau cross. Not only CHiram but the god-men of nearly every pagan Mystery ritual are personifications of the Spirit Fire in the human spinal cord.

The astronomical aspect of the Hiramic legend must not be overlooked. The tragedy of CHiram is enacted annually by the sun during its passage through the signs of the zodiac.

"From the journey of the Sun through the twelve signs," writes Albert Pike, "come the legend of the twelve labors of Hercules, and the incarnations of Vishnu and Buddha. Hence came the legend of the murder of Khurum, representative of the Sun, by the three Fellow-Crafts, symbols of the Winter signs, Capricornus, Aquarius, and Pisces, who assailed him at the three gates of Heaven and slew him at the Winter Solstice. Hence the search for him by the nine Fellow- Crafts, the other nine signs, hisfinding, burial, and resurrection." (See Morals and Dogma.)

Other authors consider Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius as the three murderers of the sun, inasmuch as Osiris was murdered by Typhon, to whom were assigned the thirty degrees of the constellation of Scorpio. In the Christian Mysteries also Judas signifies the Scorpion, and the thirty pieces of silver for which he betrayed His Lord represent the number of degrees in that sign. Having been struck by Libra (the state), Scorpio (the church), and Sagittarius (the mob), the sun (CHiram) is secretly home through the darkness by the signs of Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces and buried over the brow of a hill (the vernal equinox). Capricorn has for its symbol an old man with a scythe in his hand. This is Father Time--a wayfarer--who is symbolized in Masonry as straightening out the ringlets of a young girl's hair. If the Weeping Virgin be considered a symbol of Virgo, and Father Time with his scythe a symbol of Capricorn, then the interval of ninety degrees between these two signs will be found to correspond to that occupied by the three murderers. Esoterically, the urn containing the ashes of CHiram represents the human heart. Saturn, the old man who lives at the north pole, and brings with him to the children of men a sprig of evergreen (the Christmas tree), is familiar to the little folks under the name of Santa Claus, for he brings each winter the gift of a new year.

The martyred sun is discovered by Aries, a Fellow-Craftsman, and at the vernal equinox the process of raising him begins. This is finally accomplished by the Lion of Judah, who in ancient times occupied the position of the keystone of the Royal Arch of Heaven. The precession of the equinoxes causes various signs to play the role of the murderers of the sun during the different ages of the world, but the principle involved remains unchanged. Such is the cosmic story of CHiram, the Universal Benefactor, the Fiery Architect: of the Divine House, who carries withhim to the grave that Lost Word which, when spoken, raises all life to power and glory. According to Christian mysticism, when the Lost Word is found it is discovered in a stable, surrounded by beasts and marked by a star. "After the sun leaves Leo," writes Robert Hewitt Brown, "the days begin to grow unequivocally shorter as the sun declines toward the autumnal equinox, to be again slain by the three autumnal months, lie dead through the three winter ones, and be raised again by the three vernal ones. Each year the great tragedy is repeated, and the glorious resurrection takes place." (See Stellar Theology and Masonic Astronomy.)

CHiram is termed dead because in the average individual the cosmic creative forces are limited in their manifestation to purely physical--and correspondingly materialistic--expression. Obsessed by his belief in the reality and permanence of physical existence, man does not correlate the material universe with the blank north wall of the temple. As the solar light symbolically is said to die as it approaches the winter solstice, so the physical world may be termed the winter solstice of the spirit. Reaching the winter solstice, the sun apparently stands still for three days and then, rolling away the stone of winter, begins its triumphal march north towards the summer solstice. The condition of ignorance may be likened to the winter solstice of philosophy; spiritual understanding to the summer solstice. From this point of view, initiation into the Mysteries becomes the vernal equinox of the spirit, at which time the CHiram in man crosses from the realm of mortality into that of eternal life. The autumnal equinox is analogous to the mythological fall of man, at which time the human spirit descended into the realms of Hades by being immersed in the illusion of terrestrial existence.

In An Essay on the Beautiful, Plotinus describes the refining effect of beauty upon the unfolding consciousness of man. Commissioned to decorate the Everlasting House, CHiram Abiff is the embodiment of the beautifying principle. Beauty is essential to the natural unfoldment of the human soul. The Mysteries held that man, in part at least, was the product of his environment. Therefore they considered it imperative that every person be surrounded by objects which would evoke the highest and noblest sentiments. They proved that it was possible to produce beauty in life by surrounding life with beauty. They discovered that symmetrical bodies were built by souls continuously in the presence of symmetrical bodies; that noble thoughts were produced by minds surrounded by examples of mental nobility. Conversely, if a man were forced to look upon an ignoble or asymmetrical structure it would arouse within him a sense of ignobility which would provoke him to commit ignoble deeds. If an ill-proportioned building were erected in the midst of a city there would be ill- proportioned children born in that community; and men and women, gazing upon the asymmetrical structure, would live inharmonious lives. Thoughtful men of antiquity realized that their great philosophers were the natural products of the aesthetic ideals of architecture, music, and art established as the standards of the cultural systems of the time.

Moreover, the Hiramic legend may be considered to embody the vicissitudes of philosophy itself. As institutions for the dissemination of ethical culture, the pagan Mysteries were the architects of civilization. Their power and dignity were personified in CHiram Abiff--the Master Builder-- but they eventually fell a victim to the onslaughts of that recurrent trio of state, church, and mob. They were desecrated by the state, jealous of their wealth and power; by the early church, fearful of their wisdom; and by the rabble or soldiery incited by both state and church. As CHiram when raised from his grave whispers the Master Mason's Word which was lost through his untimely death, so according to the tenets of philosophy the reestablishment or resurrection of the ancient Mysteries will result in the rediscovery of that
secret teaching without which civilization must continue in a state of spiritual confusion and uncertainty. When the mob governs, man is ruled by ignorance; when the church governs, he is ruled by superstition; and when the state governs, he is ruled by fear. Before men can live together in harmony and understanding, ignorance must be transmuted into wisdom, superstition into an illumined faith, and fear into love. Despite statements to the contrary, Masonry is a religion seeking to unite God and man by elevating its initiates to that level of consciousness whereon they can behold with clarified vision the workings of the Great Architect of the Universe. From age to age the vision of a perfect civilization is preserved as the ideal for mankind. In the midst of that civilization shall stand a mighty university wherein both the sacred and secular sciences concerning the mysteries of life will be freely taught to all who will assume the philosophic life. Here creed and dogma will have no place; the superficial will be removed and only the essential be preserved. The world will be ruled by its most illumined minds, and each will occupy the position for which he is most admirably fitted.


https://archive.org/stream/The_Hiramic_Legend_-_Manly_P_Hall/The_Hiramic_Legend_-_Manly_P_Hall_djvu.txt


The Lion's Paw

The picture shows how the grip of the Lion's Paw was given in the Pyramid Mysteries.

Image1.gif

The allegory of the fictional CHiram is am imaginative Messianic prototype of humanity. But, the of our Lord Jesus Christ is the original source begotten from Hashem. CHiram (Hiram) was not the son of Hashem. CHiram (Hiram) was the master builder of material things. Jesus was the master builder of living saints. It is Jesus who states the new temple lives within our hearts. And it is through Jesus Christ, not CHiram (Hiram) that Wisdom far greater than Solomon can be obtained. If you can close your eyes and take the leap of faith God will grant the Wisdom you need.

I can see where Lego got its idea of an ordinary man going through trials to fulfill the prophecies and become the "Special Master Builder."

 

From a Mason's point of view I can see promoting media the helps express complex ideas in simple ways makes sense. If everyone understands the concept, then everyone can move onto a more complex theorem on how we can be illuminated.

Watch the video "Mystery of the Widow's Son - The Legend of the Craft" to learn more about Hiram Abiff



James 1

1:2 My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials,

1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

1:4 And let endurance have its perfect effect, so that you will be perfect and complete, not deficient in anything.

1:5 But if anyone is deficient in wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without reprimand, and it will be given to him.

1:6 But he must ask in faith without doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed around by the wind.

1:7 For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord,

1:8 since he is a double-minded individual, unstable in all his ways.

1:9 Now the believer of humble means should take pride in his high position.

1:10 But the rich person’s pride should be in his humiliation, because he will pass away like a wildflower in the meadow.

1:11 For the sun rises with its heat and dries up the meadow; the petal of the flower falls off and its beauty is lost forever. So also the rich person in the midst of his pursuits will wither away.

1:12 Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.

 

1:13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one.

 

1:14 But each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires.

 

1:15 Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.

 

1:16 Do not be led astray, my dear brothers and sisters.

 

1:17 All generous giving and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or the slightest hint of change.

 

1:18 By his sovereign plan he gave us birth through the message of truth, that we would be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.


1 Kings 7

7:13 King Solomon sent for Hiram of Tyre.

7:14 He was the son of a widow from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a craftsman in bronze from Tyre. He had the skill and knowledge to make all kinds of works of bronze. He reported to King Solomon and did all the work he was assigned.

7:15 He fashioned two bronze pillars; each pillar was 27 feet high and 18 feet in circumference.

7:16 He made two bronze tops for the pillars; each was seven-and-a-half feet high.

7:17 The latticework on the tops of the pillars was adorned with ornamental wreaths and chains; the top of each pillar had seven groupings of ornaments.

7:18 When he made the pillars, there were two rows of pomegranate-shaped ornaments around the latticework covering the top of each pillar.

7:19 The tops of the two pillars in the porch were shaped like lilies and were six feet high.

7:20 On the top of each pillar, right above the bulge beside the latticework, there were two hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments arranged in rows all the way around.

7:21 He set up the pillars on the porch in front of the main hall. He erected one pillar on the right side and called it Jakin; he erected the other pillar on the left side and called it Boaz.

7:22 The tops of the pillars were shaped like lilies. So the construction of the pillars was completed.

7:23 He also made the large bronze basin called “The Sea.” It measured 15 feet from rim to rim, was circular in shape, and stood seven-and-a-half feet high. Its circumference was 45 feet.

7:24 Under the rim all the way around it were round ornaments 48 arranged in settings 15 feet long. The ornaments were in two rows and had been cast with “The Sea.”

7:25 “The Sea” stood on top of twelve bulls. Three faced northward, three westward, three southward, and three eastward. “The Sea” was placed on top of them, and they all faced outward.

7:26 It was four fingers thick and its rim was like that of a cup shaped like a lily blossom. It could hold about 12,000 gallons.

7:27 He also made ten bronze movable stands. Each stand was six feet long, six feet wide, and four-and-a-half feet high.

7:28 The stands were constructed with frames between the joints.

7:29 On these frames and joints were ornamental lions, bulls, and cherubs. Under the lions and bulls were decorative wreaths.

7:30 Each stand had four bronze wheels with bronze axles and four supports. Under the basin the supports were fashioned on each side with wreaths.

7:31 Inside the stand was a round opening that was a foot-and-a-half deep; it had a support that was two and one-quarter feet long. On the edge of the opening were carvings in square frames.

7:32 The four wheels were under the frames and the crossbars of the axles were connected to the stand. Each wheel was two and one-quarter feet high.

7:33 The wheels were constructed like chariot wheels; their crossbars, rims, spokes, and hubs were made of cast metal.

7:34 Each stand had four supports, one per side projecting out from the stand.

7:35 On top of each stand was a round opening three-quarters of a foot deep; there were also supports and frames on top of the stands.

7:36 He engraved ornamental cherubs, lions, and palm trees on the plates of the supports and frames wherever there was room, with wreaths all around.

7:37 He made the ten stands in this way. All of them were cast in one mold and were identical in measurements and shape.

7:38 He also made ten bronze basins, each of which could hold about 240 gallons. Each basin was six feet in diameter; there was one basin for each stand.

7:39 He put five basins on the south side of the temple and five on the north side. He put “The Sea” on the south side, in the southeast corner.

7:40 Hiram also made basins, shovels, and bowls. He finished all the work on the Lord’s temple he had been assigned by King Solomon.

7:41 He made the two pillars, the two bowl-shaped tops of the pillars, the latticework for the bowl-shaped tops of the two pillars,

7:42 the four hundred pomegranate-shaped ornaments for the latticework of the two pillars (each latticework had two rows of these ornaments at the bowl-shaped top of the pillar),

7:43 the ten movable stands with their ten basins,

7:44 the big bronze basin called “The Sea” with its twelve bulls underneath,

7:45 and the pots, shovels, and bowls. All these items King Solomon assigned Hiram to make for the Lord’s temple were made from polished bronze.

7:46 The king had them cast in earth foundries in the region of the Jordan between Succoth and Zarethan.

7:47 Solomon left all these items unweighed; there were so many of them they did not weigh the bronze.


1 Corinthians 3

3:16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?

3:17 If someone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, which is what you are.

3:18 Guard against self-deception, each of you. If someone among you thinks he is wise in this age, let him become foolish so that he can become wise.

3:19 For the wisdom of this age is foolishness with God. As it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness.”

3:20 And again, “The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are futile."

3:21 So then, no more boasting about mere mortals! For everything belongs to you,

3:22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future. Everything belongs to you,

3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.


According to Masonic historian Arturo de Hoyos, the word JahBalOn was first used in the 18th century in early French versions of the Royal Arch degree. It relates a Masonic allegory in which Jabulon was the name of an explorer living during the time of Solomon who discovered the ruins of an ancient temple. Within the ruins he found a gold plate upon which the name of God (Jehovah) was engraved. This story is similar to Joseph Smith finding golden plates with the word of God.

1. Jah. the Chaldean name of God, and signifies, 'His essence in Majesty - incomprehensible.' It is also a Hebrew word, signifying, 'I am and shall be' thereby expressing the actual future and eternal existence of the Most High.
2. Bal. is a Syriac word which signifies 'Lord or Powerful' also 'Lord in heaven or on high.'
3. On. is an Egyptian word signifying 'Father of all' as is expressed in the Lord's prayer."

 

http://www.light-lodge-alpha.org/raset22%206%206/mason%20ea.htm

http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/dart/dart00.htm

 

I pray to Hashem that Masons and Kabbalist see that their esoteric constructs mean little compared to the actual Word of our Creator. Jesus and the Communion of Saints are examples on how to live one's life. Looking for patterns in chaos is truly chasing the wind. I do not believe Hashem has given revelation to any Freemason that I have read, except Joesph Smith. From his readings I currently discern him to be a false prophet moralist that took constructs from these mystery schools and monastic faiths and created a religion. From what I have read I believe Masonry to is a false religion based on gnostic knowledge and secular faith. Masonry believes that both dead and new religions hold pieces of the grand puzzle. I do admit that I have met very nice Kabbalist, Masons, and Mormons. But, I do not believe that Hashem has spoken to any of them.

While I believe Hiram Abiff, the Angel Maroni, and the Sepherot are idolatry, I do believe the congregations of these belief systems follow the three tenets I use to discern whether they follow the wisdom of Hashem.

Love our Creator, Not our Creator's possessions.

Love your Neighbor, not your neighbor's possessions.

Love yourself, not your possessions.

The true power of 3

I AM JESUS

I-am-sermon-series-header.jpg

It is wise to respect what is not known, then to provoke the light which governs all life.

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Luke_Wilbur    5

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


I believe that many Christians overlook the pagan corruption that took place in both the First and Second temples dedicated to our Creator.

The conquests of Alexander the Great in the late 4th century BCE spread Greek culture and colonization—a process of cultural change called Hellenization—over non-Greek lands, including the Levant, also known as the Eastern Mediterranean between Anatolia and Egypt".

alexanderempire.gif
The period after Alexander's death in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31 BC and the subsequent conquest of Ptolemaic Egypt in 30 BC. is known as the Hellenistic Age. At this time, Greek cultural influence and power was at its peak in Europe, Africa and Asia, experiencing prosperity and progress in the arts, exploration, literature, theatre, architecture, music, mathematics, philosophy, and science. It is often considered a period of transition, sometimes even of decadence or degeneration, compared to the brilliance of the Greek Classical era.


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The period is characterized by a new wave of Greek colonization which established Greek cities and Kingdoms in Asia and Africa, the most famous being Alexandria in Egypt. New cities were established composed of colonists who came from different parts of the Greek world.

Ptolemy, a somatophylax, one of the seven bodyguards who served as Alexander the Great's generals and deputies, was appointed satrap of Egypt after Alexander's death on June 10, 323 BC. In 305 BC, Ptolemy declared himself King Ptolemy I, later known as "Soter" (saviour). The Egyptians soon accepted the Ptolemies as the successors to the pharaohs of independent Egypt. Ptolemy's family ruled Egypt until the Roman conquest of 30 BC.

All the male rulers of the dynasty took the name Ptolemy. Ptolemaic queens, some of whom were the sisters of their husbands, were usually called Cleopatra, Arsinoe or Berenice. The most famous member of the line was the last queen, Cleopatra VII, known for her role in the Roman political battles between Julius Caesar and Pompey, and later between Octavian and Mark Antony. Her suicide at the conquest by Rome marked the end of Ptolemaic rule in Egypt.

Judea was under Ptolemaic rule until 200 BC. Upper class Jews, notably the Tobiad family, wished to dispense with Jewish law and to adopt a Greek lifestyle. According to the historian Victor Tcherikover, the main motive for the Tobiads' Hellenism was economic and political. The Hellenizing Jews built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, competed in international Greek games, "removed their marks of circumcision and repudiated the holy covenant".

Jason (Hebrew: Yason, יאסון) of the Oniad family, brother to Onias III, was a High Priest in the Temple in Jerusalem. Josephus records that his name, before he Hellenized it, was originally Jesus (Hebrew יֵשׁוּעַ Yēshua`). Jason became high priest in 175 BCE after the accession of Antiochus Epiphanes IV to the throne of the Seleucid Empire.

In an ongoing dispute between the current High Priest, Onias III, and Simon the Benjamite, Jason offered to pay Antiochus in order to be confirmed as the new High Priest in Jerusalem. Antiochus accepted the offer and further allowed Jason to build a gymnasium in Jerusalem and create a Greek-style Polis named after the king, Antioch. With the creation of Antioch, Jason abandoned the ordinances given under Antiochus III, which defined the polity of the Judeans according to the Torah.

Jason's time as High Priest was brought to an abrupt end in 172 BCE when he sent Menelaus, the brother of Simon the Benjamite, to deliver money to Antiochus. Menelaus took this opportunity to "outbid" Jason for the priesthood, resulting in Antiochus confirming Menelaus as the High Priest from 171 BC to about 161 BC. According to II Maccabees, Menelaus belonged to the tribe of Benjamin and was the brother of the Simeon who had denounced Onias III to Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

Jason fled Jerusalem and found refuge in the land of the Ammonites. In 168 BCE Jason made a failed attempt to regain control of Jerusalem. Fleeing again to Ammon, he then continued to Egypt, then finally to Sparta, where he died and was buried.

Antiochus IV decided to side with Menalaus and the Hellenized Jews by outlawing Jewish religious rites and traditions kept by observant Jews and by ordering the worship of Zeus as the supreme god. Antiochus IV ruled the Jews from 175 to 164 BC. He is remembered as a major villain and persecutor in the Jewish traditions associated with Hanukkah, including the books of Maccabees and the "Scroll of Antiochus". Rabbinical sources refer to him as הרשע harasha ("the wicked"). He has been identified as the "eleventh horn of the beast" in the Book of Daniel (chapters 7 to 12).

The Maccabean Revolt began at 167 to 160 BC, between a Judean rebel group known as the Maccabees and the Seleucid Empire. In the narrative of I Maccabees, after Antiochus issued his decrees forbidding Jewish religious practice, a rural Jewish priest from Modiin, Mattathias the Hasmonean Mattathias ben Johanan (Hebrew: מַתִּתְיָהוּ בֶּן יוֹחָנָן הַכֹּהֵן, Matityahu ben Yoḥanan HaKohen) (died 165 BC) sparked the revolt against the Seleucid Empire by refusing to worship the Greek gods. Mattathias killed a Hellenistic Jew who stepped forward to offer a sacrifice to an idol in Mattathias' place. He and his five sons fled to the wilderness of Judah. After Mattathias' death about one year later in 166 BC, his son Judah Maccabee led an army of Jewish dissidents to victory over the Seleucid dynasty in guerrilla warfare, which at first was directed against Hellenized Jews, of whom there were many. Judah Maccabee is acclaimed as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history alongside Joshua, Gideon, and David.

The Maccabees destroyed pagan altars in the villages, circumcised boys and forced Jews into outlawry. The term Maccabees as used to describe the Jewish army is taken from the Hebrew word for "hammer".

In the early days of the rebellion, Judah received a surname Maccabee. Several explanations have been put forward for this surname. One suggestion is that the name derives from the Aramaic maqqaba ("makebet" in modern Hebrew), "hammer" or "sledgehammer" (cf. the cognomen of Charles Martel, the 8th century Frankish leader), in recognition of his ferocity in battle. It is also possible that the name Maccabee is an acronym for the Torah verse Mi kamokha ba'elim Adonai, "Who among the gods is like you, O Adonai?", his battle-cry to motivate troops. (Exodus 15:11). Rabbi Moshe Schreiber writes that it is an acronym for his father's name Mattityahu Kohen Ben Yochanan. Some scholars maintain that the name is a shortened form of the Hebrew maqqab-ya ¯hû (from na ¯qab, ‘‘to mark, to designate’’), meaning ‘‘the one designated by Yahweh.’

Mindful of the superiority of Seleucid forces during the first two years of the revolt, Judah's strategy was to avoid any engagement with their regular army, and to resort to guerrilla warfare, in order to give them a feeling of insecurity. The strategy enabled Judah to win a string of victories. At the battle of Nahal el-Haramiah (wadi haramia), he defeated a small Assyrian force under the command of Apollonius, governor of Samaria, who was killed. Judah took possession of Apollonius's sword and used it until his death as a symbol of vengeance. After Nahal el-Haramiah, recruits flocked to the Jewish cause.

Shortly thereafter, Judah routed a larger Seleucid army under the command of Seron near Beth-Horon, largely thanks to a good choice of battlefield. Then in the Battle of Emmaus, Judah proceeded to defeat the Seleucid forces led by generals Nicanor and Gorgias. This force was dispatched by Lysias, whom Antiochus left as viceroy after departing on a campaign against the Parthians. By a forced night march, Judah succeeded in eluding Gorgias, who had intended to attack and destroy the Jewish forces in their camp with his cavalry. While Gorgias was searching for him in the mountains, Judah made a surprise attack upon the Seleucid camp and defeated the Seleucid at the Battle of Emmaus. The Seleucid commander had no alternative but to withdraw to the coast.

The defeat at Emmaus convinced Lysias that he must prepare for a serious and prolonged war. He accordingly assembled a new and larger army and marched with it on Judea from the south via Idumea. After several years of conflict Judah drove out his foes from Jerusalem, except for the garrison in the citadel of Acra. He purified the defiled Temple of Jerusalem and on the 25th of Kislev (December 14, 164 BCE) restored the service in the Temple. The reconsecration of the Temple became a permanent Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, which continued even after the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE. Hanukkah is still celebrated annually. The liberation of Jerusalem was the first step on the road to ultimate independence.

Upon hearing the news that the Jewish communities in Gilead, Transjordan, and Galilee were under attack by neighboring Greek cities, Judah immediately went to their aid. Judah sent his brother, Simeon, to Galilee at the head of 3,000 men; Simeon proceeded to successfully fulfill his task, achieving numerous victories and transplanted a substantial portion of the Jewish settlements, including women and children, to Judea. He personally led the campaign in Transjordan, taking with him his brother Jonathan. After fierce fighting, he defeated the Transjordanian tribes and rescued the Jews concentrated in fortified towns in Gilead. The Jewish population of the areas taken by the Maccabees was evacuated to Judea. At the conclusion of the fighting in Transjordan, Judah turned against the Edomites in the south, captured and destroyed Hebron and Maresha. He then marched on the coast of the Mediterranean, destroyed the altars and statues of the pagan gods in Ashdod, and returned to Judea with much spoils.

Judah then laid siege to the Assyrian garrison at the Acra, the Seleucid citadel of Jerusalem. The besieged, who included not only Assyrians but also Hellenistic Jews, appealed for help to Lysias, who effectively became the regent of the young king Antiochus V Eupator after the death of Antiochus Epiphanes at the end of 164 BCE during the Parthian campaign. Lysias together with Eupator set out for a new campaign in Judea. Lysias skirted Judea as he had done in his first campaign, entering it from the south, and besieged Beth-Zur. Judah raised the siege of the Acra and went to meet Lysias. In the Battle of Beth-zechariah, south of Bethlehem, the Seleucids achieved their first major victory over the Maccabees, and Judah was forced to withdraw to Jerusalem. Beth-Zur was compelled to surrender and Lysias reached Jerusalem, laying siege to the city. The defenders found themselves in a precarious situation because their provisions were exhausted, it being a sabbatical year during which the fields were left uncultivated. However, just as capitulation seemed imminent, Lysias and Eupator had to withdraw when Antiochus Epiphanes's commander-in-chief Philip, whom the late ruler appointed regent before his death, rebelled against Lysias and was about to enter Antioch and seize power.

Lysias decided to propose a peaceful settlement, which was concluded at the end of 163 BCE. The terms of peace were based on the restoration of religious freedom, the permission for the Jews to live in accordance with their own laws, and the official return of the Temple to the Jews. The Jews accepted; however, in order to ensure they would not rise against them soon again, the Syrian king and regent broke their promise and tore down the walls of Jerusalem before leaving. Lysias defeated Philip, only to be overthrown by Demetrius, the true heir to the Assyrian throne.

During the first years of the restoration of the Jewish worship Menelaus still remained (though only nominally) high priest. He is said to have been put to death by Antiochus V Eupator and his regent, general Lysias. The young 9 year old Seleucid King charged Menelaus responsible for the Jewish rebellion.

Demetrius appointed Alcimus (from Greek Alkimos (Ἄλκιμος), "valiant" or Hebrew אליקום Elyaqum, "God will rise"), also called Jacimus, or Joachim (Ἰάκειμος), was, a Hellenist Jew, who served as High Priest of Israel for three years, 162 BCE-159 BCE. , a choice the Hasidim (Pietists) might have accepted since he was a descendant of the Biblical Aaron, brother of Moses. But, Alcimus was not in the high-priestly line;and being ambitious for the office of high priest, it he traveled to Antioch to petition the assistance of the Seleucid king Demetrius I Soter, who had just overthrown Antiochus Eupator. Alcimus was of the Hellenizing party, and therefore bitterly opposed by the Maccabees.

Demetrius sent an army under Bacchides to establish Alcimus in the high priesthood at Jerusalem. The favor with which Alcimus was received by the Jews at Jerusalem on account of his Aaronic descent was soon turned to hate by his cruelties. When Bacchides and his army returned to Antioch, the Hasmonean Judah Maccabee attacked and overcame Alcimus, and drove him also to Syria. There he secured from Demetrius another army, led by Nicanor, who, failing to overcome Judah by treachery, attacked him directly, but was defeated and killed. A third and greater army, under Bacchides again, was dispatched to reinstall Alcimus. Judah was defeated and killed, Alcimus established as high priest and a strong garrison left in Jerusalem to maintain him. But he did not long enjoy his triumph, since he died soon after, while he was pulling down the wall of the temple that divided the court of the Gentiles from that of the Israelites.

To further understand the time of period of Jesus Christ I plan on focusing more on the world around Israel during the period after Alcimus 159 BC through the destruction of the temple 70 AD. The first document I plan on studying is the "Damascus Document".

Evidence from the 'Damascus scroll' indicates that this group of Essene, also known as 'The Way,' first organized outside of Israel in Damascus, Syria. The origin of a fraternity is not known with precision. It speculated Essenes were formed during Babylonian captivity (6th century BC), as a reaction to the religious relaxation had occurred. Other researchers put their creation much earlier, during the building of the Temple of Solomon in the 10th BC century and identify themselves as the first Masons. The name Essene comes from 'Es' which means 'fire' and 'sene' meaning 'worshiper.' Initiates had to go through a ritual purification by fire. Hence, in the future Khirbet-Qumran would be known as 'Damascus,' among members of the sect. This was during the early to mid second century BC. Texts from the scroll indicate that at that time the group consisted of rather typical Torah observant Jews with little Zorastrian eschatology and no Pythagorean influence. It is in this document that we find a reference to the Testament of Judah, "A Star shall come forth out of Jacob" which the community interpreted as the coming of an interpreter of the law who would be known as the 'Unique Teacher.' It is this individual, c 170 BCE, who prophesied the coming of the Messiah and the annihilation of the wicked c 130 BCE. This 40 year period was to be known as the 'the whole period of wickedness.' Often in these documents we have references to the wicked or 'wicked priest.' To the Jews and in this case the Essene, wicked simply meant not Torah observant, and it is clear that they considered the non-Davidian, non-Zadokite Hasmonean rulers who usurped the throne of Israel and the office of high priest to be just that.

While the Pharisee awaited the arrival of a Davidian Messiah who would enable the Jews to rule over a vast empire, the Essene that correctly envisioned a supernatural Messiah of Moral Judgment that we know as Jesus Christ.

Christ-the-Judge-Fra-Angelico.jpg

It was the Pharisee who developed Temple worship and the ritual of blood sacrifice both of which were rejected by the Essene. Around 100 BCE there is evidence that a leader arose among the Essene, who having travelled the known world absorbed influences from other religions in the region and introduced the doctrines of Pythagoras to the Judaeo/Zorastrian community.

Evidence from the 'Damascus scroll' indicates that this group of Essene, also known as 'The Way,' first organized outside of Israel in Damascus, Syria. The name Essene comes from 'Es' which means 'fire' and 'sene' meaning 'worshipper.' Initiates had to go through a ritual purification by fire. Hence, in the future Khirbet-Qumran would be known as 'Damascus,' among members of the sect. This was during the early to mid second century BCE. Texts from the scroll indicate that at that time the group consisted of rather typical Torah observant Jews with little Zorastrian eschatology and no Pythagorean influence. It is in this document that we find a reference to the Testament of Judah, "A Star shall come forth out of Jacob" which the community interpreted as the coming of an interpreter of the law who would be known as the 'Unique Teacher.' It is this individual, c 170 BCE, who prophesied the coming of the Messiah and the annihilation of the wicked c 130 BCE. This period was to be known as the 'the whole period of wickedness.' Often in these documents we have references to the wicked or 'wicked priest.' To the Jews and in this case the Essene, wicked simply meant not Torah observant, and it is clear that they considered the non-Davidian, non-Zadokite Hasmonean rulers who usurped the throne of Israel and the office of high priest to be just that.

Qumrân Cave 4

22 T 4Q266 Damascus Documenta 1954 +/- 38 44 BCE-129 CE

The Damascus Document was Carbon dated in Tuscon, Arizona, to anywhere from 44 years before the birth of Jesus Christ to 96 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. An average mean would put it 53 years after the death and resurrection Jesus Christ.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA)
Leon Levy Dead Sea Scrolls Digital Library

Damascus Document
4Q266 – 4Q Da

Following the discovery of two manuscripts of this text in 1896 in the Cairo Genizah, a few scholars hypothesized that the composition originated in the Second Temple period. This hypothesis was confirmed fifty years later, when fragments of ten manuscripts of the work were discovered in the Qumran caves. How this text ended up in the Cairo Genizah remains a mystery. The Damascus Document appears to be one of the foundational documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls community. It begins with an overview of the history of the group, according to which its members are the truly chosen “Sons of Light”. All other Jews are sinners and have been duly punished repeatedly throughout history. The community members have been elected by God, as they alone followed the instructions of the “Teacher of Righteousness”, who was sent by God to warn the people of Israel of the imminent Day of Judgment. The text mentions a covenant between the community and God, which was established in “Damascus”. This is probably not a literal reference to the Syrian city, but rather an allegorical reference to biblical verses, indicating that the covenant took place in exile. This exposition is followed by a detailed legal code stipulating the proper behavior expected of community members. It covers many aspects of daily life, family law, and the community’s internal organization and leadership. Many of these regulations are similar, and at times identical, to those in the Community Rule, the most famous legal code found among the Dead Sea Scrolls. Both texts are meant to regulate the life of a close-knit group. However, each of these texts describes a very different community: the community described in the Damascus Document included women, and its members married and had children; the one portrayed in the Community Rule is an ascetic group, and there is no mention of women or families. There is a heated debate among scholars over how to explain the connection between these two communities. One school of thought identifies these groups with the two classes of Essenes mentioned by the first-century CE Jewish historian, Josephus in book 2 of The Jewish War. According to his account, one group of Essenes was celibate whereas the other group included families. Other scholars point out that while the Community Rule does not mention women, it does not advocate celibacy either.

http://www.deadseascrolls.org.il/explore-the-archive/manuscript/4Q266-1?locale=en_US


 



If John the Baptist was an Essene preacher, as many scholars believe, the Damascus Document may give an insight into the reported differences between John's disciples and Jesus' disciples over such issues as fasting. It also may hint at the reason that the ascetic John never himself joined Jesus and apparently harbored doubts about his Messiahship (Matthew 11:2). Issues such as hand-washing, Sabbath observance, and keeping oneself away from the corrupting company of sinners and Gentiles were essential to the Qumran group. If John the Baptist shared their view, it would be difficult for him to give up his tradition of purity for the broader way that Jesus taught and practiced.

It appears Humankind is like a grape vine to Hashem. He snips away the bad shoots and grafts on good ones from time to time.
Exhortation
from the Damascus Document
(Geniza A + B, 4Q266 – 272)

Jackson Snyder

Introduction to the Exhortation

Listen, all you who recognize righteousness, and consider the deeds of Elohim. When he has a dispute with any mortal, he passes judgment on those who spurn him. For when Israel abandoned him by being faithless, he turned away from them and from His sanctuary and gave them up to the sword. But when He called to mind the covenant He made with their forefathers, He left a remnant for Israel and did not allow them to be exterminated. In the era of wrath – three hundred and ninety years at the time He handed them over to the power of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon – He took care of them and caused to grow from Israel and from Aaron a root of planting to inherit his land and to grow fat on the good produce of His soil. They considered their iniquity and they knew that they were guilty men, and had been like the blind and like those groping for the way twenty years. But Elohim considered their deeds, that they had sought Him with a whole heart. So He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart. He taught to later generations what Elohim did to the generation deserving wrath, a company of traitors. They are the ones who depart from the proper way. That is the time of which it was written, “ Like a rebellious cow,” so rebelled Israel.

The Man of Mockery

When the Man of Mockery appeared, who spit lying waters up on Israel, he led them to wander in the trackless wasteland. He brought down the lofty heights of old, turned aside from paths of righteousness,and shifted the boundary marks that the forefathers had set up to mark their inheritance, so that the curses of His covenant took hold on them. Because of this they were handed over to the sword that avenges the breach of His Covenant. For they had sought flattery, choosing travesties of true religion; they looked for ways to break the rules; they favored the fine neck. They called the guilty innocent and the innocent guilty. They overstepped covenant, violated Torah; and they conspired together to kill the innocent, for all those who lived pure lives they loathed from the bottom of their heart. So they persecuted them violently, and were happy to see the people quarrel. Because of all this Elohim became very angry with their company. He annihilated the lot of them, because all their deeds were uncleanness to Him.

The Immensity of Elohim’s Resources

So now listen to me, all members of the covenant, so I can make plain to you the ways of the despicable so you can leave the paths of sin. Elohim, who loves true knowledge, has positioned Wisdom and Intelligence in front of Him; Ingenuity and True Knowledge wait on him. He is very patient and forgiving, covering the sin of those who repent of wrongdoing. But Strength, Might, and great Wrath in the flames of fire with all the malachim of destruction will come against all who rebel against the proper way and who despise the rules, until they are without remnant of survivor, for Elohim had not chosen them from ancient eternity. Before they were created, He knew what they would do. So He rejected the generations of old and turned away from the land until they were gone.

He knows the times of appearance and the number and exact times of everything that has ever existed and ever will exist before it happens in the proper time, for all eternity. And in all of these times, He has arranged that there should be for Himself people called by name, so that there would always be survivors on the earth, replenishing the surface of the earth with their descendants. He taught them through those anointed by set - apart spirit, the seers of truth. He explicitly called them by name. But whoever He had rejected He caused to stray.

The Fall of the Malachim

So now my children, listen to me that I may uncover your eyes to see and to understand the conduct of Elohim, choosing what pleases Him and hating what He rejects, living perfectly in all His ways, not turning away through thoughts brought on by the sinful urge and lecherous eyes. For many have gone astray by such thoughts, even strong and fearless men of old faltered through them, and still do. When they went about in their willful heart, the Guardian Sky - Malachim fell and were ensnared by it, for they did not observe the commandments of Elohim. Their sons, who were as tall as cedars, and whose bodies were as big as mountains, fell by it. Everything mortal on dry land expired and became as if they had never existed, because they did their own will, and did not keep the commandments of their Maker, until finally His anger was aroused against them.

The Historical Results of Straying

By it the sons of Noah and their families went astray, and by it they were exterminated. {Though} Abraham did not live by it, he was {still} considered Elohim’s friend, because he observed the commandments of Elohim and he did not choose to follow the will of his own spirit; and he passed them on to Isaac and to Jacob and they too observed them. They too were recorded as friends of Elohim and eternal partners in the covenant. But the sons of Jacob went astray by them and were punished for their errors. In Egypt their descendants lived by their willful heart, too obstinate to consult the commandments of Elohim, each one doing what was right in his own eyes. They even ate blood; and the men were exterminated in the wilderness. <Elohim commanded> them at Kadesh, “Go up and possess <the land”; but they chose to follow the will of> their spirit; and they did not listen to their Maker’s voice or the commandments of their teacher; instead they grumbled in their tents. So Elohim became angry with their company.

Their sons perished because of it. Their kings were exterminated because of it. Their heroes perished because of it. Their land was devastated because of it, and because of it the members of the forefathers’ covenant committed sin, and so were handed over to the sword because they abandoned the covenant of Elohim, and chose their own will, and followed their own willful heart, each man doing his own will.

{As for} “the priests” – they are the captives of Israel, who go out of the land of Judah and the Levites are those accompanying them; {and as for} ”the sons of Zadok” – they are the chosen of Israel, the ones called by name, who are to appear in the Last Days.

The House of Judah Vanquished in the Time to Come.

< . . . > holiness < . . . > whom Elohim atoned for, acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty as well as all who came after them who act according to the interpretation of the Torah by which the forefathers were taught, until the age is over, that is, the present time. Like the covenant Elohim made with the forefathers to atone for their sin, so will Elohim atone for them. When the total years of this present age are complete, there will be no further need to be connected to the house of Judah, but instead each will his own tower; “the wall is built, the boundary removed” (Mic.7:11). But in the present age Belial is unrestrained in Israel, just as Elohim said by Isaiah the prophet, the son of Amoz, saying,“Fear and pit and snare are upon you, resident in the land.”

Those Caught Up in the Three Nets of Belial

The true meaning of this verse concerns the three nets of Belial about which Levi son of Jacob said that Belial would catch Israel in, so he directed {those nets} toward three kinds of righteousness:

The first is fornication; the second is wealth; the third is defiling the sanctuary. Who escapes from one is caught in the next; and whoever escapes from that is caught in the other.

{Regarding} the Shoddy -Wall - Builders who went after “Precept” - Precept is a Raver of whom it says, “they will surely rave” – they are caught in two traps:

fornication, by taking two wives in their lifetimes although the principle of creation is “male and female He created them” and those who went into the ark “went into the ark two by two.” Concerning the Leader it is written,“he will not multiply wives to himself”; but David had not read the sealed book of the Torah in the Ark; for it was not opened in Israel from the day of the death of Eleazar and Joshua and the elders who served the goddess Ashtoret. It lay buried <and was not> revealed until the appearance of Zadok. Nevertheless the deeds of David were all excellent, except the murder of Uriah, and Elohim forgave him for that.

They also defile the sanctuary, for they do not separate clean from unclean according to the Torah, and lie with a woman during her menstrual period. Furthermore they marry each man the daughter of his brothers and the daughter of his sister, although Moses said, “Unto the sister of your mother you will not draw near; she is the flesh of your mother.” But the rule of consanguinity is written for males and females alike, so if the brother’s daughter uncovers the nakedness of the brother of her father, she is the flesh <of her father>.

Also they have corrupted their set - apart spirit, and with blasphemous language they have reviled the statutes of Elohim’s covenant, saying, “They are not well -founded.” They continually speak abhorrent things against them. “All of them are kindlers and lighters of brands”; “the webs of a spider are their webs and the eggs of vipers are their eggs. ” Whoever touches them will not be clean. The more he does so, the more he is guilty, unless he is forced.

Against the Boundary-Shifters and For the Teacher in the Last Days

For in times past, Elohim punished their deeds and His wrath burned against their misdeeds, for “they are a people without insight”; “they are a people wandering in counsel, for there is no insight in them.” For in times past Moses and Aaron stood in the power of the Prince of Lights and Belial raised up Yannes and his brother in his cunning when seeking to do evil to Israel the first time. In the time of destruction of the land the Boundary-Shifters appeared and led Israel astray and the land was devastated, for they had spoken rebellion against the commandments of Elohim through Moses and also through the anointed of the spirit; and they prophesied falsehood to turn Israel from following Elohim. But Elohim called to mind the covenant of the forefathers; and He raised up from Aaron insightful men and from Israel wise men and He taught them and they dug the well of knowledge: “the well the princes dug, the nobility of the people dug it with a rod.”

{Regarding these verses,} the Well is the Torah, and its “diggers” are the captives of Israel who went out of the land of Judah and dwelt in the land of Damascus; because Elohim had called them all princes, for they sought Him and their honor was not denied by a single mouth. And the “rod” is the Interpreter of the Torah of whom Isaiah said, “he brings out a tool for his work.” The nobility of the people are those who come to “dig the well” by following rules that the Rod made to live by during the whole era of despicableness, and without these rules they will obtain nothing until the appearance of One who teaches righteousness in the Last Days.

The Plan of Return and Teshuvah Unto Long Life

None who have been brought into the covenant will enter into the sanctuary to light up His altar in vain; they will lock the door, for Elohim said, “Would that one of you would lock My door so that you should not light up My altar in vain.” They must be careful to act according to the specifications of the Torah for the era of despicableness, separating from corrupt people, avoiding filthy despicable lucre taken from what is vowed or consecrated to Elohim or found in the Temple funds. They must not rob “the poor of Elohim's people, making widows’ wealth their booty and killing orphans.” They must distinguish between defiled and pure, teaching the difference between sacred and profane. They must keep the Sabbath day according to specification, and the sacred days and the fast day according to the commandments of the members of the new covenant in the land of Damascus, offering the sacred things according to their specifications. Each one must love his brother as himself, and support the poor, needy, and alien. They must seek each the welfare of his fellow, never betraying a family member according to the ordinance. Each must reprove his fellow according to the command, but must not bear a grudge day after day. They must separate from all kinds of ritual impurity according to their ordinance, not befouling each his holy spirit, just as Elohim has told them so to do.

In short, for all who conduct their lives by these ordinances, in perfect holiness, according to all the instructions, Elohim’s covenant stands firm “to give them life for thousands of generations as it is written, ”He keeps the covenant and loyalty to those who love Him and keep my commandments for a thousand generations.”

As For Those Who Reject

But those who reject the commandments and the rules <will perish>. When Elohim judged the land, bringing the just deserts of the despicable to them, that is when the oracle of the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz came true, which says, “Days are coming upon you and upon your people and upon your father’s house that have never come before, since the departure of Ephraim from ]udah,” that is, when the two houses of Israel separated, Ephraim departing from Judah. All who backslid were handed over to the sword, but all who held fast escaped to the land of the north, as it says,“I will exile the tents of your king and the foundation of your images beyond the tents of Damascus.”

The books of Torah are the tents of the king, as it says, “I will re-erect the fallen tent of David.” The king is <Leader of> the nation and the “foundation of your images” is the books of the prophets whose words Israel despised. The star is the Interpreter of the Torah who comes to Damascus, as it is written,“A star has left Jacob, a staff has risen from Israel.” The latter is the Leader of the whole nation; when he appears, “he will shatter all the sons of Sheth. They escaped in the first period of Elohim’s judgment, but those who held back were handed over to the sword.

Alternate Explanation from Manuscript

When the oracle of the prophet Zechariah comes true,“O sword, be lively and smite my shepherd and the man loyal to Me – so says Elohim. If you strike down the shepherd, the flock will scatter. Then I will turn my power against the little ones. ”But those who give heed to Elohim are “the poor of the flock”:

“they will escape in the time of punishment, but all the rest will be handed over to the sword when the Messiah of Aaron and of Israel comes, just as it happened during the time of the first punishment, as Ezekiel said, “Make a mark on the foreheads of those who moan and lament,”but the rest were given to the sword that makes retaliation for covenant violations.

Pesherim on Various Prophetic Texts

And such is the verdict on all members of the covenant who do not hold firm to these ordinances:

they are condemned to destruction by Belial. That is the day on which Elohim will judge as He has said, “The princes of Judah were those like Boundary - Shifters on whom I will pour out wrath like water. ”Truly they were too sick to be healed; every kind of galling wound adhered to them because they did not turn away from traitorous practices; they relished the customs of fornication and filthy lucre. Each of them vengefully bore a grudge against his brother, each hating h is fellow; each of them kept away from nearest kin but grew close to indecency; they vaunted themselves in riches and in ill - gotten gains; each of them did just what he pleased; each chose to follow his own willful heart. They did not separate from the people and their sin, but arrogantly threw off all restraint, living by despicable customs, of which Elohim
had said, “Their wine is the venom of snakes, the cruel poison of vipers.”


“The snakes” are the kings of the Gentiles, and “their wine” is their customs and “the poison of vipers” is the chief of the kings of Greece, who comes to wreak vengeance on them. But the “Shoddy - Wall - Builders” and “Whitewashers” understood none of these things, for one who deals in mere wind, a spitter of lies, had spit on them, on whose entire company Elohim’s anger had burned hot. But as Moses said to Israel, “It is not for your righteousness or the integrity of your heart that you are going to dispossess these nations, but because He loved your ancestors and because He has kept his promise.

Such is the verdict on the captivity of Israel, those who turn away from the usages of the common people. Because Elohim loved the ancients who bore witness to the people following Him, so too He loves those who follow them, for to such truly belongs the covenant of the fathers. But against His enemies, the Shoddy - Wall - Builders, His anger burns.

The Return of the Teacher at the Eschaton

So it is with all the men who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus, but then turned back and traitorously turned away from the fountain of living water. They will not be reckoned among the council of the people, and their names will not be written in their book from the day the Beloved Teacher dies until the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel appears. Such is the fate for all who join the company of the men of sacred perfection and then become sick of obeying virtuous rules. This is the type of person who “melts in the crucible.” When his actions become evident he will be sent away from the company as if his lot had never fallen among the disciples of Elohim. In keeping with his wrongdoing the most knowledgeable men will punish him until he returns to take his place among the men of sacred perfection. When his actions become evident, according to the interpretation of the Torah that the men of sacred perfection live by, no one is allowed to share either wealth or work with such a one, for all the qadoshim of the Almighty have cursed him.

Such is the fate for all who reject the commandments, whether old or new, who have turned their thoughts to false gods and who have lived by their willful hearts: they have no part in the household of Torah. They will be condemned along with their companions who have gone back to the Men of Mockery, because they have uttered lies against the correct laws and rejected the sure covenant that they made in the land of Damascus, that is, the New Covenant. Neither they nor their families will have any part in the Household of Torah.

When the Judgment

Now from the day the Beloved Teacher passed away to the destruction of all the warriors who went back to the Man of the Lie will be about forty years. Now at that time Elohim’s anger will burn against Israel, as He said, “Neither king nor prince” nor judge nor one who exhorts to do what is right will be left. But those who repent of the sin of Jacob have kept Elohim’s covenant. Then each will speak to his fellow, vindicating his brother, helping him walk in Elohim’s way, and Elohim will listen to what they say and “write a record - book of those who fear Elohim and honor His name” until salvation and righteousness are revealed for those who fear Elohim. “And you will again know the innocent from the guilty, those who serve Elohim and those who do not.” “He keeps faith to those who love Him "and to those who keep Him for a thousand generations."

As for those separatists who left the city of the sanctuary and relied on Elohim in the time of Israel’s unfaithfulness, when the nation defiled the Temple, but returned once more to the way of the people in a few matters – each of them will be judged in the set - apart council according to his spirit. But all of the members of the covenant who breached the restrictions of the Torah, when the Shekinah of Elohim appears to Israel they will be excluded from the midst of the camp, and with them all who did evil in Judah when it was undergoing trial.

The Prayer of Teshuvah

But all who hold fast to these rules, going out and coming in according to the Torah, always obeying the Teacher and confessing to Elohim as follows:

“We have cruelly sinned, we and our ancestors by living contrary to the covenant rules; just and true are Your judgments against us.”

And do not act arrogantly against His sacred rules and His righteous ordinances and His reliable declarations and who discipline themselves by the old rules by which the members of the Yahad were governed and listen attentively to the Teacher of Righteousness, not abandoning the correct ordinances when they hear them – they will rejoice and be happy and exultant. They will rule over all the inhabitants of the earth. Then Elohim will make atonement for them and they will experience His deliverance because they have trusted in His sacred name.

{Amein}

http://jacksonsnyder.com/arc/2009/dss/Damascus-Document-01.pdf


The Hebrew word malakh comes from a root meaning "to send" and is used both in the ordinary sense of a messenger and in the sense of an angel "sent" by God. (The English word "angel" is derived from the Greek angelos with the same meaning of messenger.)

1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
FALL OF ANGELS

In Apocalyptic Writings. The conception of fallen angels—angels who, for wilful, rebellious conduct against God, or through weakness under temptation.thereby forfeiting their angelic dignity, were degraded and condemned to a life of mischief or shame on earth or in a place of punishment—is wide-spread. Indications of this belief, behind which probably lies the symbolizing of an astronomical phenomenon, the shooting stars, are met with in Isa. xiv. 12 (comp. Job xxxviii. 31, 32; see Constellations). But it is in apocalyptic writings that this notion assumes crystallized definiteness and is brought into relations with the theological problem of the origin and nature of evil and sin. That Satan fell from heaven with the velocity of lightning is a New Testament conception (Luke x. 18; Rev. xii. 7-10). Originally Satan was one of God's angels, Lucifer, who, lusting for worldly power, was degraded. Samael (Yalk., Gen. 25), originally the chief of the angels around God's throne, becomes the angel of death and the "chieftain of all the Satans" (Deut. R. xi. ; comp. Matt. xxv. 41).

But it is especially Samḥazai and Azael of whom the fall is narrated. In Targ. Pseudo-Jonathan to Gen. vi. 4 they appear as the "nefilim" (A. V. "giants"), undoubtedly in consequence of an incorrect interpretation of this word as "those that fell from heaven." The story of these two angels is found in brief form in Yalḳ., Gen. 44; it has been published by Jellinek ("B. H." iv. 127; originally in Midrash Abkir; comp. Rashi, Yoma 67b; Geiger, "Was Hat Mohammed aus dem Judenthume Aufgenommen?" p. 107).

Woman the Cause of Fall.

As in the case of man, so in that of the angels woman was the cause of the lapse. Naamah, the wife of Noah (Gen. R. xxiii. 3), was one of the women whose great beauty tempted the angels to sin (Naḥmanides to Gen. iv. 22). As regards Azazel and Samḥazai, mentioned above, it was a young woman named ("Isṭar," "Esther") that proved fatal to their virtue. These angels, seeing God's grief over the corruption of the sons of men (Gen. vi. 2-7), volunteered to descend to earth for the purpose of proving their contention that, as they had foretold at the creation of Adam, the weakness of man (Ps. viii. 5) was alone responsible for his immorality. In their new surroundings they themselves yielded to the blandishments of women. Samḥazai especially became passionately enamored of Isṭar. She, however, would yield to his importunities only on the condition that he tell her the name of Yhwh (see God, Names of), by virtue of which he was éo return to heaven. As soon as she was possessed of the secret, she rose to heaven herself, and God rewarded her constancy by assigning her a place in the constellation of Kimah. Samḥazai and his companion thereupon took to themselves wives and begat children (comp. the bene Elohim, Gen. vi. 4). Meṭaṭron soon after sends word to Samḥazai concerning the approaching flood. This announcement of the world's and his own children's impending doom brings Samḥazai to repentance, and he suspends himself midway between heaven and earth, in which penitent position he has remained ever since. Azazel, who deals in rich adornments and fine garments for women, continues in his evil ways, seducing men by his fanciful wares (hence the goat sent to Azazel on the Day of Atonement).

Variants of this story are not rare. According to Pirḳe R. El. xxii., "the angels that fell from heaven," seeing the shameless attire of the men and women in Cain's family, had intercourse with the women, and in consequence were deprived of their garment of flaming fire and were clothed in ordinary material of dust. They also lost their angelic strength and stature. Samael was the leader of a whole band of rebellious angels (ib. xiii.).

In the Book of Enoch eighteen angels are named (Enoch, vi. 7) as chief participators in the conspiracy to mate with women. Samiaza is the leader, and Azael is one of the number (but see Charles, "Book of Enoch," p. 61, note to vi.-xi.). Azael, however, imparts to men all sorts of useful as well as secret knowledge and the art of beautifying eyes (Enoch, viii. 1; comp. Targ. Pseudo-Jon. to Gen. vi. 4). For other versions of the story or reminiscences thereof, see Book of Jubilees, v. 1, 6-11; vii. 21, 25; Test. Patr., Reuben, 5, and Naphtali, 31; Josephus, "Ant." i. 3, § 1; Philo, "De Gigantibus."

Later Jewish Tradition.

The later Jewish tradition, shocked at the notion of the angels' fall, insisted upon interpreting the bene Elohim of Gen. vi. 1-4 as referring to men (Gen. R. xxvi.: "sons of judges"; comp. Tryphon in Justin, "Dial. fluid Tryph." p.79). The Samaritan version reads ; Onḳelos, . The "Sefer ha-Yashar" ("Bereshit," end) ascribes the shameful conduct to magistrates and judges (see Charles, "Book of Jubilees," p. 33, note).

The cabalists give the older view. In the Zohar (iii. 208, ed. Mantua) Aza and Azael fall and are punished by being chained to the mountains of darkness. According to another passage (i. 37), these two rebelled against God and were hurled from heaven, and they now teach men all kinds of sorcery (for other quotations from cabalistic commentaries on the Pentateuch see Grünbaum, "Gesammelte Aufsäze zur Sprach- und Sagenkunde," p. 71).

Allusions to these fallen angels occur also in the Koran (sura ii. 96); but their names are there given as "Harut" and "Marut." Their fate in Arabic tradition is identical with that of Samḥazai and Azael (Geiger, l.c. p. 109). The refusal to worship Adam (suras ii. 32, vii. 11, xv. 29, xxxviii. 73) brings on the Fall, just as it does in the Midrash Bereshit Rabbati of R. Moses ha-Darshan (see Grünbaum, l.c. p. 70).

Bibliography:

Grünbaum, Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Sprach- und Sagenkunde, Berlin, 1901.

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5998-fall-of-angels


Belial and Mammon are examples of terms that initially represented aspects of the human condition occurring in the the old and new testaments which later became personified as demons in Jewish and Christian texts.

Judges 19

1 Now in the eighteenth year of king Jeroboam began Abijah to reign over Judah.

2 He reigned three years in Jerusalem. His mother's name also was Michaiah the daughter of Uriel of Gibeah. And there was war between Abijah and Jeroboam.

3 And Abijah set the battle in array with an army of valiant men of war, even four hundred thousand chosen men: Jeroboam also set the battle in array against him with eight hundred thousand chosen men, being mighty men of valour.

4 And Abijah stood up upon mount Zemaraim, which is in mount Ephraim, and said, Hear me, thou Jeroboam, and all Israel;

5 Ought ye not to know that the LORD God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David for ever, even to him and to his sons by a covenant of salt?

6 Yet Jeroboam the son of Nebat, the servant of Solomon the son of David, is risen up, and hath rebelled against his lord.

7 And there are gathered unto him vain men, the children of Belial, and have strengthened themselves against Rehoboam the son of Solomon, when Rehoboam was young and tenderhearted, and could not withstand them.

8 And now ye think to withstand the kingdom of the LORD in the hand of the sons of David; and ye be a great multitude, and there are with you golden calves, which Jeroboam made you for gods.

9 Have ye not cast out the priests of the LORD, the sons of Aaron, and the Levites, and have made you priests after the manner of the nations of other lands? so that whosoever cometh to consecrate himself with a young bullock and seven rams, the same may be a priest of them that are no gods.

10 But as for us, the LORD is our God, and we have not forsaken him; and the priests, which minister unto the LORD, are the sons of Aaron, and the Levites wait upon their business:

11 And they burn unto the LORD every morning and every evening burnt sacrifices and sweet incense: the shewbread also set they in order upon the pure table; and the candlestick of gold with the lamps thereof, to burn every evening: for we keep the charge of the LORD our God; but ye have forsaken him.

12 And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, and his priests with sounding trumpets to cry alarm against you. O children of Israel, fight ye not against the LORD God of your fathers; for ye shall not prosper.

13 But Jeroboam caused an ambushment to come about behind them: so they were before Judah, and the ambushment was behind them.

14 And when Judah looked back, behold, the battle was before and behind: and they cried unto the LORD, and the priests sounded with the trumpets.

15 Then the men of Judah gave a shout: and as the men of Judah shouted, it came to pass, that God smote Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah.

16 And the children of Israel fled before Judah: and God delivered them into their hand.

17 And Abijah and his people slew them with a great slaughter: so there fell down slain of Israel five hundred thousand chosen men.

18 Thus the children of Israel were brought under at that time, and the children of Judah prevailed, because they relied upon the LORD God of their fathers.

19 And Abijah pursued after Jeroboam, and took cities from him, Bethel with the towns thereof, and Jeshanah with the towns thereof, and Ephrain with the towns thereof.

20 Neither did Jeroboam recover strength again in the days of Abijah: and the LORD struck him, and he died.

21 But Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat twenty and two sons, and sixteen daughters.

22 And the rest of the acts of Abijah, and his ways, and his sayings, are written in the story of the prophet Iddo.


Belial is a word that originated in the early 13th century, from Hebrew bel'yya'al "destruction," literally "worthless," from b'li "without" + ya'al "use." Wickedness as an evil force (Deut. xiii:13). Belial was later treated as a common proper name for Satan (2 Cor. vi:15), or the personification of evil. Founder of the Church of Satan, Anton LaVey choose to portray Belial as meaning "Without Master."

2 Corinthians 6

6:14 Do not become partners with those who do not believe, for what partnership is there between righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship does light have with darkness?

6:15 And what agreement does Christ have with Beliar? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever?

6:16 And what mutual agreement does the temple of God have with idols? For we are the temple of the living God, just as God said, “I will live in them and will walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”

6:17 Therefore “come out from their midst, and be separate,” says the Lord, “and touch no unclean thing, and I will welcome you,

6:18 and I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,” says the All-Powerful Lord.


Belial was a fallen angel in John Milton's (9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674) epic poem "Paradise Lost" (1667).

Paradise Lost
Book One

John Milton

Belial came last, then whom a Spirit more lewd
Fell not from Heaven, or more gross to love
Vice for it self: To him no Temple stood
Or Altar smoak'd; yet who more oft then he
In Temples and at Altars, when the Priest
Turns Atheist, as did Ely's Sons, who fill'd
With lust and violence the house of God.
In Courts and Palaces he also Reigns
And in luxurious Cities, where the noyse
Of riot ascends above thir loftiest Towrs,
And injury and outrage: And when Night
Darkens the Streets, then wander forth the Sons
Of Belial, flown with insolence and wine.
Witness the Streets of Sodom, and that night
In Gibeah, when the hospitable door
Expos'd a Matron to avoid worse rape. [ 505 ]
These were the prime in order and in might;
The rest were long to tell, though far renown'd...

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_1/text.shtml


Paradise Lost
Book Two

John Milton

He ended frowning, and his look denounc'd
Desperate revenge, and Battel dangerous
To less then Gods. On th' other side up rose
Belial, in act more graceful and humane;
A fairer person lost not Heav'n; he seemd
For dignity compos'd and high exploit:
But all was false and hollow; though his Tongue
Dropt Manna, and could make the worse appear
The better reason, to perplex and dash
Maturest Counsels: for his thoughts were low;
To vice industrious, but to Nobler deeds
Timorous and slothful: yet he pleas'd the ear,
And with perswasive accent thus began....

Thus Belial with words cloath'd in reasons garb
Counsell'd ignoble ease, and peaceful sloath,
Not peace: and after him thus Mammon spake.

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/reading_room/pl/book_2/text.shtml


The characterization of Belial is Milton's, but the tradition may have been taken from Reginald Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft (1665).

Page 499

As the power and capacity of the good, proceeds from the strength of God, in the quality of heaven ; so is the force of the evil Genii, in the hellish quality correspondent : for it is to be noted, that these evil Angels did before their fall, enjoy the same places and degrees that now the good or holy Angels do : so that as their power is to instruct men in Government, Abstinence, Philosophy, Magick, and Mechanick Arts, for a good intent, and for the glory of God : The power of the evilont-s, is the very same to inform and instigate unto the same attainments, as far as they may be instrumental for the Devil, or the Kingdom of Darkness therein.

Page 522

16. So that every distinct Nation hath conformed its Conjuration unto the Ceremonies of that Religion which it professes : And it is to be observed, That from a natural cause every Nation hath its Conjurations and Names of Devils, from the Constellation under which the Country lyeth, and from the Air or Wind to which such particular Dominations do belong ; so that no effect would follow, if one Country should traditionally inure themselves to the Forms and Exorcisms that are used by another Nation. And therefore is it that so many attempts are offered in vain amongst professed Christians to raise Spirits, because they have little or nothing from their own Constellation, but make use of what they have borrowed from the Greeks and Romans, or the ancient Imbecility of the Egyptians Priests ; I mean, their simple forms of Invocation.

17. But because we are rather upon the discovery of the Infernal Kingdom, as it hath no dependence upon the doings of mortal Men; therefore we will proceed to discover what the Ancients have said concerning it: So the next which we fa upon after the discription of their Habitations, and the manner of their Appearances, is their Names and Appellations diversly considered. First, from the Creation of the World to the coming of Christ, they retained the Hebrew names, as Belial, Baal, Beelzebub, Lelah, Ador, Abaddon, and according to the seculum under which they were Invocated; assuming names according to the present occasion which they were employed.

18. Under the Constellation of China, they are Invocated by the Names Kan, Sinoam, Nantam, Bal, Baltal, Sheall, the six Governors or Presidents: Chancangian, the chief of the Devils: Po, Paym, Nalktin, Nebo, the Devils of the four Winds : Lean, Lan, Pan, Adal, the Devils of the four Elements. And according to the nature of their language or words which do all consist of no more than one syllable, so are the devils named. Yes, as it is conjectured by many learned Magicians, this language of the Chinese is more Magical and adapted to Conjurations, then all the Oriental Tongues, because of the consonancy and copioness thereof together with the numerous and various Characters used by them.

19. In the East-Indies, and in Tartary, the Names are the same with those of China, although the Ceremonies differ. In Persia, Arabia, Natolia, Egypt, Ethiopia, the Names are the same with the Jewish Rabbins. But, the Greeks and Romans are different from the rest, according to their Language and Superstitions. The Turks, Muscovites, Russians, Lapponians, and Norwegians, make use of the Sclavonian tongue in all their Conjurations. The West-Indians have very strange and antick Names and Ceremonies of their own, nothing depending on the Traditions and Practices of the old World; for, as is related before, the Devil is sufficiently capable of introducing himself through Religious Superstitions of any Nation whomsoever, according to the Constellations, although strangers to the Rites and Ceremonies of others.

20. But though their Names be conformable to the Language and Climate of that Nation where they are raised or called; yet have diverse Names, suppose twenty or thirty to one Devil, according to several ministrations they have had from Creation to this day, leaving several names behind them at each of their appearances upon the earth; for, according to the testimony of the Devil himself, if credit be given to Devils, they, as they are abstractedly considered in their own Kingdom, have no imposed Names of distinction, but are forced to assume them when they rise up in this external principle of this world : although in some measure it must be granted, that there are some principle Kings and Dukes in the Infernal Hierarchy, that have Names established upon them which cannot be transferred or altered.

https://archive.org/stream/discoverieofwitc00scot#page/498/mode/2up


Here we see that imagination of man creates the demons that represent the worst of the world around us. They believe that the powers they receive from these abominations comes with a price. They do not realize that the power of the Holy Spirit is free gift to all those that seek it.


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Luke_Wilbur    5

The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;


Below is a digest of quotes from my previous post concerning Essene prophecies of the coming Messiah.

While the Pharisee awaited the arrival of a Davidian Messiah who would enable the Jews to rule over a vast empire, the Essene that correctly envisioned a supernatural Messiah of Moral Judgment that we know as Jesus Christ.

[The Essenes] considered their iniquity and they knew that they were guilty men, and had been like the blind and like those groping for the way twenty years. But Elohim considered their deeds, that they had sought Him with a whole heart. So He raised up for them a teacher of righteousness to guide them in the way of His heart. He taught to later generations what Elohim did to the generation deserving wrath.

During the whole era of despicableness, and without these rules they will obtain nothing until the appearance of One who teaches righteousness in the Last Days.

in the present age Belial is unrestrained in Israel

Now from the day the Beloved Teacher passed away to the destruction of all the warriors who went back to the Man of the Lie will be about forty years.

“The snakes” are the kings of the Gentiles, and “their wine” is their customs and “the poison of vipers” is the chief of the kings of Greece,

from the day the Beloved Teacher dies until the Messiah from Aaron and from Israel appears.


https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL95031EFB8234EC88

The truth of the prophecy Qumran texts needs to be investigated to see if there is any outside influence. I have written extensively on Judea during the heirs of David, but I know little of Babylonian Judea, Persian Judea, Alexandrian Judea, Egyptian Judea, Hasmonean Judea, Herod Judea, and Roman Judea. Were the Essenes similar to the Sadducee people that were not exiled out of the lands of their ancestors. These Jews knew and followed the torah, but were subjected to different apostasy and cultural influences than their Babylonian counterparts.

The Essene pesher states that among the Teacher of Righteousness opponents were the Wicked Priest and the Man of the Lie. The Wicked Priest is portrayed as a false religious leader who was at one point trusted by the Teacher. Towards the end of the pesher, the Wicked Priest is reported to have been captured and tortured by his enemies. His true identity is also unlikely to be named with certainty, though just about every contemporary Hasmonean priest has at some point been suggested by scholars as the Wicked Priest. It is even argued that this was a title attributed to multiple individuals.The Man of the Lie is accused by the author of attempting to discredit the Teacher, as well as the Torah. His true name is likewise indiscernible.

It is apparent to understand the context of the above quotes and paragraph, the reader will need to be familiarized with what the Essenes describe as "the era of despicableness" which is most likely after the after the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. To achieve the best understanding we will journey back further in time to see what was happening to Hashem's chosen people during the Maccabees wars with Syria, Egypt, and Arabia, then move forward to Roman conquests of Judah. Hopefully we will take notice of the Hellenization and Roman apostasy occurring to the Jewish nation. Somewhere in this time period we may get an understanding why Essene separated with the Pharisee and Sadducee and their migration to the North.

The story of the Maccabees is told in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, are considered deuterocanonical books in most Christian biblical canons, and in 3 Maccabees and 4 Maccabees, which are in a few Eastern Christian canons. 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees are part of the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox canons, but not part of the Protestant Old Testament. 1 Maccabees is included in the Jewish Bible. Most modern scholars argue that the king was reacting to a civil war between traditionalist Jews in the countryside and Hellenized Jews in Jerusalem, though the king's response of persecuting the religious traditionalists was unusual in antiquity, and was the immediate provocation for the revolt.

Here is a map of Judea during the rule of Judas Maccabaeus.

Judea_Judas_Makk.PNG



Below are 9 chapters of Maccabees. The story starts out during the last years of Alexander the Great and how his divided empire affected the Jewish nation.

1 Maccabees

Chapter 1

1 Alexander of Macedon son of Philip had come from the land of Kittim and defeated Darius king of the Persians and Medes, whom he succeeded as ruler, at first of Hellas.

2 He undertook many campaigns, gained possession of many fortresses, and put the local kings to death.

3 So he advanced to the ends of the earth, plundering nation after nation; the earth grew silent before him, and his ambitious heart swelled with pride.

4 He assembled very powerful forces and subdued provinces, nations and princes, and they became his tributaries.

5 But the time came when Alexander took to his bed, in the knowledge that he was dying.

6 He summoned his officers, noblemen who had been brought up with him from his youth, and divided his kingdom among them while he was still alive.

7 Alexander had reigned twelve years when he died.

8 Each of his officers established himself in his own region.

9 All assumed crowns after his death, they and their heirs after them for many years, bringing increasing evils on the world.

10 From these there grew a wicked offshoot, Antiochus Epiphanes son of King Antiochus; once a hostage in Rome, he became king in the 107th year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

11 It was then that there emerged from Israel a set of renegades who led many people astray. 'Come,' they said, 'let us ally ourselves with the gentiles surrounding us, for since we separated ourselves from them many misfortunes have overtaken us.'

12 This proposal proved acceptable,

13 and a number of the people eagerly approached the king, who authorized them to practice the gentiles' observances.

14 So they built a gymnasium in Jerusalem, such as the gentiles have,

15 disguised their circumcision, and abandoned the holy covenant, submitting to gentile rule as willing slaves of impiety.

16 Once Antiochus had seen his authority established, he determined to make himself king of Egypt and the ruler of both kingdoms.

17 He invaded Egypt in massive strength, with chariots and elephants (and cavalry) and a large fleet.

18 He engaged Ptolemy king of Egypt in battle, and Ptolemy turned back and fled before his advance, leaving many casualties.

19 The fortified cities of Egypt were captured, and Antiochus plundered the country.

20 After his conquest of Egypt, in the year 143, Antiochus turned about and advanced on Israel and Jerusalem in massive strength.

21 Insolently breaking into the sanctuary, he removed the golden altar and the lamp-stand for the light with all its fittings,

22 together with the table for the loaves of permanent offering, the libation vessels, the cups, the golden censers, the veil, the crowns, and the golden decoration on the front of the Temple, which he stripped of everything.

23 He made off with the silver and gold and precious vessels; he discovered the secret treasures and seized them

24 and, removing all these, he went back to his own country, having shed much blood and uttered words of extreme arrogance.

25 There was deep mourning for Israel throughout the country:

26 Rulers and elders groaned; girls and young men wasted away; the women's beauty suffered a change;

27 every bridegroom took up a dirge, the bride sat grief-stricken on her marriage-bed.

28 The earth quaked because of its inhabitants and the whole House of Jacob was clothed with shame.

29 Two years later the king sent the Mysarch through the cities of Judah. He came to Jerusalem with an impressive force,

30 and addressing them with what appeared to be peaceful words, he gained their confidence; then suddenly he fell on the city, dealing it a terrible blow, and destroying many of the people of Israel.

31 He pillaged the city and set it on fire, tore down its houses and encircling wall,

32 took the women and children captive and commandeered the cattle.

33 They then rebuilt the City of David with a great strong wall and strong towers and made this their Citadel.

34 There they installed a brood of sinners, of renegades, who fortified themselves inside it,

35 storing arms and provisions, and depositing there the loot they had collected from Jerusalem; they were to prove a great trouble.

36 It became an ambush for the sanctuary, an evil adversary for Israel at all times.

37 They shed innocent blood all round the sanctuary and defiled the sanctuary itself.

38 The citizens of Jerusalem fled because of them, she became a dwelling-place of strangers; estranged from her own offspring, her children forsook her.

39 Her sanctuary became as forsaken as a desert, her feasts were turned into mourning, her Sabbaths into a mockery, her honour into reproach.

40 Her dishonor now fully matched her former glory, her greatness was turned into grief.

41 The king then issued a proclamation to his whole kingdom that all were to become a single people, each nation renouncing its particular customs.

42 All the gentiles conformed to the king's decree,

43 and many Israelites chose to accept his religion, sacrificing to idols and profaning the Sabbath.

44 The king also sent edicts by messenger to Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, directing them to adopt customs foreign to the country,

45 banning burnt offerings, sacrifices and libations from the sanctuary, profaning Sabbaths and feasts,

46 defiling the sanctuary and everything holy,

47 building altars, shrines and temples for idols, sacrificing pigs and unclean beasts,

48 leaving their sons uncircumcised, and prostituting themselves to all kinds of impurity and abomination,

49 so that they should forget the Law and revoke all observance of it.

50 Anyone not obeying the king's command was to be put to death.

51 Writing in such terms to every part of his kingdom, the king appointed inspectors for the whole people and directed all the towns of Judah to offer sacrifice city by city.

52 Many of the people -- that is, every apostate from the Law -- rallied to them and so committed evil in the country,

53 forcing Israel into hiding in any possible place of refuge.

54 On the fifteenth day of Chislev in the year 145 the king built the appalling abomination on top of the altar of burnt offering; and altars were built in the surrounding towns of Judah

55 and incense offered at the doors of houses and in the streets.

56 Any books of the Law that came to light were torn up and burned.

57 Whenever anyone was discovered possessing a copy of the covenant or practicing the Law, the king's decree sentenced him to death.

58 Month after month they took harsh action against any offenders they discovered in the towns of Israel.

59 On the twenty-fifth day of each month, sacrifice was offered on the altar erected on top of the altar of burnt offering.

60 Women who had had their children circumcised were put to death according to the edict

61 with their babies hung round their necks, and the members of their household and those who had performed the circumcision were executed with them.

62 Yet there were many in Israel who stood firm and found the courage to refuse unclean food.

63 They chose death rather than contamination by such fare or profanation of the holy covenant, and they were executed.

64 It was a truly dreadful retribution that visited Israel.

Chapter 2

1 About then, Mattathias son of John, son of Simeon, a priest of the line of Joarib, left Jerusalem and settled in Modein.

2 He had five sons, John known as Gaddi,

3 Simon called Thassi,

4 Judas called Maccabaeus,

5 Eleazar, called Avaran, and Jonathan called Apphus.

6 When he saw the blasphemies being committed in Judah and Jerusalem,

7 he said, 'Alas that I should have been born to witness the ruin of my people and the ruin of the Holy City, and to sit by while she is delivered over to her enemies, and the sanctuary into the hand of foreigners.

8 'Her Temple has become like someone of no repute,

9 the vessels that were her glory have been carried off as booty, her babies have been slaughtered in her streets, her young men by the enemy's sword.

10 Is there a nation that has not claimed a share of her royal prerogatives, that has not taken some of her spoils?

11 All her ornaments have been snatched from her, her former freedom has become slavery.

12 See how the Holy Place, our beauty, our glory, is now laid waste, see how the gentiles have profaned it!

13 What have we left to live for?'

14 Mattathias and his sons tore their garments, put on sackcloth, and observed deep mourning.

15 The king's commissioners who were enforcing the apostasy came to the town of Modein for the sacrifices.

16 Many Israelites gathered round them, but Mattathias and his sons drew apart.

17 The king's commissioners then addressed Mattathias as follows, 'You are a respected leader, a great man in this town; you have sons and brothers to support you.

18 Be the first to step forward and conform to the king's decree, as all the nations have done, and the leaders of Judah and the survivors in Jerusalem; you and your sons shall be reckoned among the Friends of the King, you and your sons will be honoured with gold and silver and many presents.'

19 Raising his voice, Mattathias retorted, 'Even if every nation living in the king's dominions obeys him, each forsaking its ancestral religion to conform to his decrees,

20 I, my sons and my brothers will still follow the covenant of our ancestors.

21 May Heaven preserve us from forsaking the Law and its observances.

22 As for the king's orders, we will not follow them: we shall not swerve from our own religion either to right or to left.'

23 As he finished speaking, a Jew came forward in the sight of all to offer sacrifice on the altar in Modein as the royal edict required.

24 When Mattathias saw this, he was fired with zeal; stirred to the depth of his being, he gave vent to his legitimate anger, threw himself on the man and slaughtered him on the altar.

25 At the same time he killed the king's commissioner who was there to enforce the sacrifice, and tore down the altar.

26 In his zeal for the Law he acted as Phinehas had against Zimri son of Salu.

27 Then Mattathias went through the town, shouting at the top of his voice, 'Let everyone who has any zeal for the Law and takes his stand on the covenant come out and follow me.'

28 Then he fled with his sons into the hills, leaving all their possessions behind in the town.

29 Many people who were concerned for virtue and justice went down to the desert and stayed there,

30 taking with them their sons, their wives and their cattle, so oppressive had their sufferings become.

31 Word was brought to the royal officials and forces stationed in Jerusalem, in the City of David, that those who had repudiated the king's edict had gone down to the hiding places in the desert.

32 A strong detachment went after them, and when it came up with them ranged itself against them in battle formation, preparing to attack them on the Sabbath day,

33 and said, 'Enough of this! Come out and do as the king orders and you will be spared.'

34 The others, however, replied, 'We refuse to come out, and we will not obey the king's orders and profane the Sabbath day.'

35 The royal forces at once went into action,

36 but the others offered no opposition; not a stone was thrown, there was no barricading of the hiding places.

37 They only said, 'Let us all die innocent; let heaven and earth bear witness that you are massacring us with no pretence of justice.'

38 The attack was pressed home on the Sabbath itself, and they were slaughtered, with their wives and children and cattle, to the number of one thousand persons.

39 When the news reached Mattathias and his friends, they mourned them bitterly

40 and said to one another, 'If we all do as our brothers have done, and refuse to fight the gentiles for our lives and institutions, they will only destroy us the sooner from the earth.'

41 So then and there they came to this decision, 'If anyone attacks us on the Sabbath day, whoever he may be, we shall resist him; we must not all be killed, as our brothers were in the hiding places.'

42 Soon they were joined by the Hasidean party, stout fighting men of Israel, each one a volunteer on the side of the Law.

43 All the refugees from the persecution rallied to them, giving them added support.

44 They organized themselves into an armed force, striking down the sinners in their anger, and the renegades in their fury, and those who escaped them fled to the gentiles for safety.

45 Mattathias and his friends made a tour, overthrowing the altars

46 and forcibly circumcising all the boys they found uncircumcised in the territories of Israel.

47 They hunted down the upstarts and managed their campaign to good effect.

48 They wrested the Law out of the control of the gentiles and the kings and reduced the sinners to impotence.

49 As the days of Mattathias were drawing to a close, he said to his sons, 'Arrogance and outrage are now in the ascendant; it is a period of turmoil and bitter hatred.

50 This is the time, my children, for you to have a burning zeal for the Law and to give your lives for the covenant of our ancestors.

51 Remember the deeds performed by our ancestors, each in his generation, and you will win great honor and everlasting renown.

52 Was not Abraham tested and found faithful, was that not considered as justifying him?

53 Joseph in the time of his distress maintained the Law, and so became lord of Egypt.

54 Phinehas, our father, in return for his burning zeal, received the covenant of everlasting priesthood.

55 Joshua, for carrying out his task, became judge of Israel.

56 Caleb, for his testimony before the assembled people, received an inheritance in the land.

57 David for his generous heart inherited the throne of an everlasting kingdom.

58 Elijah for his consuming fervor for the Law was caught up to heaven itself.

59 Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael, for their fidelity, were saved from the flame.

60 Daniel for his singleness of heart was rescued from the lion's jaws.

61 Know then that, generation after generation, no one who hopes in him will be overcome.

62 Do not fear the threats of the sinner, all his brave show must come to the dunghill and the worms.

63 Exalted today, tomorrow he is nowhere to be found, for he has returned to the dust he came from and his scheming is brought to nothing.

64 My children, be resolute and courageous for the Law, for it will bring you glory.

65 'Here is your brother Simeon, I know he is a man of sound judgement. Listen to him all your lives; let him take your father's place.

66 Judas Maccabaeus, strong and brave from his youth, let him be your general and conduct the war against the gentiles.

67 The rest of you are to enroll in your ranks all those who keep the Law, and to assure the vengeance of your people.

68 Pay back the gentiles to the full, and hold fast to the ordinance of the Law.'

69 Then he blessed them and was joined to his ancestors.

70 He died in the year 146 and was buried in his ancestral tomb at Modein, and all Israel mourned him deeply.

Chapter 3

1 His son, Judas, known as Maccabaeus, then took his place.

2 All his brothers, and all who had attached themselves to his father, supported him, and they fought for Israel with a will.

3 He extended the fame of his people. Like a giant, he put on the breastplate and buckled on his war harness; he engaged in battle after battle, protecting the ranks with his sword.

4 He was like a lion in his exploits, like a young lion roaring over its prey.

5 He pursued and tracked down the renegades, he consigned those who troubled his people to the flames.

6 The renegades quailed with the terror he inspired, all evil-doers were utterly confounded, and deliverance went forward under his leadership.

7 He brought bitterness to many a king and rejoicing to Jacob by his deeds, his memory is blessed for ever and ever.

8 He went through the towns of Judah eliminating the irreligious from them, and diverted the Retribution from Israel.

9 His name resounded to the ends of the earth, he rallied those who were on the point of perishing.

10 Next, Apollonius mustered the gentiles and a large force from Samaria to make war on Israel.

11 When Judas learned of it, he went out to meet him and routed and killed him. Many fell wounded, and the survivors took to flight.

12 Their spoils were seized and the sword of Apollonius was taken by Judas, who used it to fight with throughout his life.

13 On hearing that Judas had raised a mixed force of believers and seasoned fighters,

14 Seron, commander of the Syrian troops, said, 'I shall make a name for myself and gain honour in the kingdom if I fight Judas and those supporters of his who are so contemptuous of the king's orders.'

15 He therefore launched another expedition, with a strong army of unbelievers to support him in taking revenge on the Israelites.

16 He had nearly reached the descent of Beth-Horon when Judas went out to confront him with a handful of men.

17 But as soon as these saw the force advancing to meet them, they said to Judas, 'How can we, few as we are, engage such overwhelming numbers? We are exhausted as it is, not having had anything to eat today.'

18 'It is easy', Judas answered, 'for a great number to be defeated by a few; indeed, in the sight of Heaven, deliverance, whether by many or by few, is all one;

19 for victory in war does not depend on the size of the fighting force: Heaven accords the strength.

20 They are coming against us in full-blown insolence and lawlessness to destroy us, our wives and our children, and to plunder us;

21 but we are fighting for our lives and our laws,

22 and he will crush them before our eyes; do not be afraid of them.'

23 When he had finished speaking, he made a sudden sally against Seron and his force and overwhelmed them.

24 Judas pursued them down from Beth-Horon as far as the plain. About eight hundred of their men fell, and the rest took refuge in the country of the Philistines.

25 Judas and his brothers began to be feared, and alarm seized the surrounding peoples.

26 His name even reached the king's ears, and among the nations there was talk of Judas and his battles.

27 The news of these events infuriated Antiochus, and he ordered mobilization of all the forces in his kingdom, a very powerful army.

28 Opening his treasury, he distributed a year's pay to his troops, telling them to be prepared for any eventuality.

29 He then found that the money in his coffers had run short and that the tribute of the province had decreased, as a result of the dissension and disaster brought on the country by his own abrogation of laws that had been in force from antiquity.

30 He began to fear that, as had happened more than once, he would not have enough to cover the expenses and the lavish bounties he had previously been accustomed to make on a larger scale than his predecessors on the throne.

31 In this grave quandary he resolved to invade Persia, there to levy tribute on the provinces and so accumulate substantial funds.

32 He therefore left Lysias, a nobleman and member of the royal family, to manage the royal affairs between the River Euphrates and the Egyptian frontier,

33 making him responsible for the education of his son Antiochus, until he should come back.

34 To him Antiochus made over half his forces, with the elephants, giving him instructions about what he wanted done, particularly with regard to the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem,

35 against whom he was to send a force, to crush and destroy the power of Israel and the remnant of Jerusalem, to wipe out their very memory from the place,

36 to settle foreigners in all parts of their territory and to distribute their land into lots.

37 The king took the remaining half of his troops with him and set out from Antioch, the capital of his kingdom, in the year 147; he crossed the River Euphrates and made his way through the Upper Provinces.

38 Lysias chose Ptolemy son of Dorymenes, with Nicanor and Gorgias, influential men from among the Friends of the King,

39 and, under their command, dispatched forty thousand foot and seven thousand horse to invade the land of Judah and devastate it, as the king had ordered.

40 The entire force set out and reached the neighbourhood of Emmaus in the lowlands, where they pitched camp.

41 The local merchants, hearing the news of this, arrived at the camp, bringing with them a large amount of gold and silver, and fetters as well, proposing to buy the Israelites as slaves; they were accompanied by a company from Idumaea and the Philistine country.

42 Judas and his brothers saw that the situation was going from bad to worse and that armies were camping in their territory; they were also well aware that the king had ordered the people's total destruction.

43 So they said to each other, 'Let us restore the ruins of our people and fight for our people and our sanctuary.'

44 The Assembly was summoned, to prepare for war, to offer prayer and to implore compassion and mercy.

45 Jerusalem was as empty as a desert, none of her children to go in and out. The sanctuary was trodden underfoot, men of an alien race held the Citadel, which had become a lodging for gentiles. There was no more rejoicing for Jacob, the flute and lyre were mute.

46 After mustering, they made their way to Mizpah, opposite Jerusalem, since Mizpah was traditionally a place of prayer for Israel.

47 That day they fasted and put on sackcloth, covering their heads with ashes and tearing their garments.

48 For the guidance that the gentiles would have sought from the images of their false gods, they opened the Book of the Law.

49 They also brought out the priestly vestments, with first-fruits and tithes, and marshaled the Nazirites who had completed the period of their vow.

50 Then, raising their voices to Heaven, they cried, 'What shall we do with these people, and where are we to take them?

51 Your holy place has been trampled underfoot and defiled, your priests mourn in their humiliation,

52 and now the gentiles are in alliance to destroy us: you know what they have in mind for us.

53 How can we stand up and face them if you do not come to our aid?'

54 Then they sounded the trumpets and raised a great shout.

55 Next, Judas appointed leaders for the people, to command a thousand, a hundred, fifty or ten men.

56 Those who were in the middle of building a house, or were about to be married, or were planting a vineyard, or were afraid, he told to go home again, as the Law allowed.

57 The column then marched off and took up a position south of Emmaus.

58 'Stand to your arms,' Judas told them, 'acquit yourselves bravely, in the morning be ready to fight these gentiles massed against us to destroy us and our sanctuary.

59 Better for us to die in battle than to watch the ruin of our nation and our Holy Place.

60 Whatever be the will of Heaven, he will perform it.'

Chapter 4

1 Gorgias took with him five thousand foot and a thousand picked cavalry, and the force moved off by night

2 with the object of attacking the Jewish position and dealing them an unexpected blow; the men from the Citadel were there to guide him.

3 Judas got wind of it and himself moved off with his fighters to strike at the royal army at Emmaus,

4 while its fighting troops were still dispersed outside the camp.

5 Hence, when Gorgias reached Judas' camp, he found no one and began looking for the Jews in the mountains. 'For', he said, 'we have got them on the run.'

6 First light found Judas in the plain with three thousand men, although these lacked the armor and swords they would have wished.

7 They could now see the gentile encampment with its strong fortifications and cavalry surrounding it, clearly people who understood warfare.

8 Judas said to his men, 'Do not be afraid of their numbers, and do not flinch at their attack.

9 Remember how our ancestors were delivered at the Red Sea when Pharaoh was pursuing them in force.

10 And now let us call on Heaven: if he cares for us, he will remember his covenant with our ancestors and will destroy this army confronting us today;

11 then all the nations will know for certain that there is One who ransoms and saves Israel.'

12 The foreigners looked up and, seeing the Jews advancing against them,

13 came out of the camp to join battle. Judas' men sounded the trumpet

14 and engaged them. The gentiles were defeated and fled towards the plain

15 and all the stragglers fell by the sword. The pursuit continued as far as Gezer and the plains of Idumaea, Azotus and Jamnia, and the enemy lost about three thousand men.

16 Breaking off the pursuit, Judas returned with his men

17 and said to the people, 'Never mind the booty, for we have another battle ahead of us.

18 Gorgias and his troops are still near us in the mountains. First stand up to our enemies and fight them, and then you can safely collect the booty.'

19 The words were hardly out of Judas' mouth, when a detachment came into view, peering down from the mountain.

20 Observing that their own troops had been routed and that the camp had been fired -- since the smoke, which they could see, attested the fact-

21 they were panic-stricken at the sight; and when, furthermore, they saw Judas' troops drawn up for battle on the plain,

22 they all fled into Philistine territory.

23 Judas then turned back to plunder the camp, and a large sum in gold and silver, with violet and sea-purple stuffs, and many other valuables were carried off.

24 On their return, the Jews chanted praises to Heaven, singing, 'He is kind and his love is everlasting!'

25 That day had seen a remarkable deliverance in Israel.

26 Those of the foreigners who had escaped came and gave Lysias an account of all that had happened.

27 The news shocked and dismayed him, for affairs in Israel had not gone as he intended, and the result was quite the opposite to what the king had ordered.

28 The next year he mobilized sixty thousand picked troops and five thousand cavalry with the intention of finishing off the Jews.

29 They advanced into Idumaea and made their base at Beth-Zur, where Judas met them with ten thousand men.

30 When he saw their military strength he offered this prayer, 'Blessed are you, Savior of Israel, who shattered the mighty warrior's attack at the hand of your servant David, and delivered the Philistine camp into the hands of Jonathan son of Saul, and his armor bearer.

31 Crush this expedition in the same way at the hands of your people Israel; let their troops and cavalry bring them nothing but shame.

32 Sow panic in their ranks, confound the confidence they put in their numbers and send them reeling in defeat.

33 Overthrow them by the sword of those who love you, and all who acknowledge your name will sing your praises.'

34 The two forces engaged, and five thousand men of Lysias' troops fell in hand-to-hand fighting.

35 Seeing the rout of his army and the courage of Judas' troops and their readiness to live or die nobly, Lysias withdrew to Antioch, where he recruited mercenaries for a further invasion of Judaea in even greater strength.

36 Judas and his brothers then said, 'Now that our enemies have been defeated, let us go up to purify the sanctuary and dedicate it.'

37 So they marshaled the whole army, and went up to Mount Zion.

38 There they found the sanctuary deserted, the altar desecrated, the gates burnt down, and vegetation growing in the courts as it might in a wood or on some mountain, while the storerooms were in ruins.

39 They tore their garments and mourned bitterly, putting dust on their heads.

40 They prostrated themselves on the ground, and when the trumpets gave the signal they cried aloud to Heaven.

41 Judas then ordered his men to keep the Citadel garrison engaged until he had purified the sanctuary.

42 Next, he selected priests who were blameless and zealous for the Law

43 to purify the sanctuary and remove the stones of the 'Pollution' to some unclean place.

44 They discussed what should be done about the altar of burnt offering which had been profaned,

45 and very properly decided to pull it down, rather than later be embarrassed about it since it had been defiled by the gentiles. They therefore demolished it

46 and deposited the stones in a suitable place on the hill of the Dwelling to await the appearance of a prophet who should give a ruling about them.

47 They took unhewn stones, as the Law prescribed, and built a new altar on the lines of the old one.

48 They restored the Holy Place and the interior of the Dwelling, and purified the courts.

49 They made new sacred vessels, and brought the lamp-stand, the altar of incense, and the table into the Temple.

50 They burned incense on the altar and lit the lamps on the lamp-stand, and these shone inside the Temple.

51 They placed the loaves on the table and hung the curtains and completed all the tasks they had undertaken.

52 On the twenty-fifth of the ninth month, Chislev, in the year 148 they rose at dawn

53 and offered a lawful sacrifice on the new altar of burnt offering which they had made.

54 The altar was dedicated, to the sound of hymns, zithers, lyres and cymbals, at the same time of year and on the same day on which the gentiles had originally profaned it.

55 The whole people fell prostrate in adoration and then praised Heaven who had granted them success.

56 For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar, joyfully offering burnt offerings, communion and thanksgiving sacrifices.

57 They ornamented the front of the Temple with crowns and bosses of gold, renovated the gates and storerooms, providing the latter with doors.

58 There was no end to the rejoicing among the people, since the disgrace inflicted by the gentiles had been effaced.

59 Judas, with his brothers and the whole assembly of Israel, made it a law that the days of the dedication of the altar should be celebrated yearly at the proper season, for eight days beginning on the twenty-fifth of the month of Chislev, with rejoicing and gladness.

60 They then proceeded to build high walls with strong towers round Mount Zion, to prevent the gentiles from coming and riding roughshod over it as in the past.

61 Judas stationed a garrison there to guard it; he also fortified Beth-Zur, so that the people would have a fortress confronting Idumaea.

Chapter 5

1 When the surrounding nations heard that the altar had been rebuilt and the sanctuary restored to what it had been before, they became very angry

2 and decided to destroy the descendants of Jacob living among them; they began to murder and evict our people.

3 Judas made war on the sons of Esau in Idumaea, in the region of Acrabattene where they were besieging the Israelites. He dealt them a serious blow, drove them off and despoiled them.

4 He also remembered the wickedness of the sons of Baean, who were a menace and a trap for the people with their ambushes on the roads.

5 Having blockaded them in their town and besieged them, he put them under the curse of destruction; he then set fire to their towers and burned them down with everyone inside.

6 Next, he crossed over to the Ammonites where he found a strong fighting force and a numerous people, commanded by Timotheus.

7 He fought many battles with them, defeated them and cut them to pieces.

8 Having captured Jazer and its dependent villages, he retired to Judaea.

9 Next, the gentiles of Gilead banded together to destroy the Israelites living in their territory. The latter, however, took refuge in the fortress of Dathema,

10 and sent the following letter to Judas and his brothers: 'The gentiles round us have banded themselves together against us to destroy us,

11 and they are preparing to storm the fortress in which we have taken refuge; Timotheus is in command of their forces.

12 Come at once and rescue us from their clutches, for we have already suffered great losses.

13 All our countrymen living in Tobias' country have been killed, their women and children have been taken into captivity, their property has been seized, and about a thousand men have been destroyed there.'

14 While the letter was being read, other messengers arrived from Galilee with their garments torn, bearing similar news,

15 'The people of Ptolemais, Tyre and Sidon have joined forces with the whole of gentile Galilee to destroy us!'

16 When Judas and the people heard this, they held a great assembly to decide what should be done for their oppressed countrymen who were under attack from their enemies.

17 Judas said to his brother Simon, 'Pick your men and go and relieve your countrymen in Galilee, while my brother Jonathan and I make our way into Gilead.'

18 He left Joseph son of Zechariah and the people's leader Azariah with the remainder of the army in Judaea to keep guard, and gave them these orders,

19 'You are to be responsible for our people. Do not engage the gentiles until we return.'

20 Simon was allotted three thousand men for the expedition into Galilee, Judas eight thousand for Gilead.

21 Simon advanced into Galilee, engaged the gentiles in several battles and swept all before him;

22 he pursued them to the gate of Ptolemais, and they lost about three thousand men, whose spoils he collected.

23 With him, he took away the Jews of Galilee and Arbatta, with their wives and children and all their possessions, and brought them into Judaea with great rejoicing.

24 Meanwhile Judas Maccabaeus and his brother Jonathan crossed the Jordan and made a three-days' march through the desert,

25 where they encountered the Nabataeans, who gave them a friendly reception and told them everything that had been happening to their brothers in Gilead,

26 many of whom, they said, were shut up in Bozrah and Bosor, Alema, Chaspho, Maked and Carnaim, all large fortified towns.

27 Others were blockaded in the other towns of Gilead, and the enemy planned to attack and capture these strongholds the very next day, and destroy all the people inside them on one day.

28 Judas and his army at once turned off by the desert road to Bozrah. He took the town and, having put all the males to the sword and collected the booty, burned it down.

29 When night came, he left the place, and they continued their march until they reached the fortress.

30 In the light of dawn they looked, and there was an innumerable horde, setting up ladders and engines to capture the fortress; the assault was just beginning.

31 When Judas saw that the attack had begun and that the war cry was rising to heaven from the city, mingled with trumpet calls and a great clamour,

32 he said to the men of his army, 'Into battle today for your brothers!'

33 Dividing them into three commands, he advanced on the enemy's rear, with trumpets sounding and prayers shouted aloud.

34 The troops of Timotheus, recognizing that this was Maccabaeus, fled before his advance; Maccabaeus dealt them a crushing defeat; about eight thousand of their men fell that day.

35 Then, wheeling on Alema, he attacked and captured it and, having killed all the males and collected the booty, burned the place down.

36 From there he moved on and took Chaspho, Maked, Bosor and the remaining towns of Gilead.

37 After these events, Timotheus mustered another force and pitched camp opposite Raphon, on the far side of the stream-bed.

38 Judas sent men to reconnoitre the camp, and these reported back as follows, 'With him are massed all the gentiles surrounding us, making a very numerous army,

39 with Arab mercenaries as auxiliaries; they are encamped on the far side of the stream-bed, and ready to launch an attack on you.' Judas then advanced to engage them,

40 and was approaching the watercourse with his troops when Timotheus told the commanders of his army, 'If he crosses first we shall not be able to resist him, because he will have a great advantage over us;

41 but if he is afraid and camps on the other side of the stream, we shall cross over to him and the advantage will then be ours.'

42 As soon as Judas reached the watercourse, he posted people's scribes along it, giving them this order: 'Do not let anyone pitch his tent; all are to go into battle!'

43 He was himself the first across to the enemy side, with all the people following. He defeated all the opposing gentiles, who threw down their arms and ran for refuge in the sanctuary of Carnaim.

44 The Jews first captured the town and then burned down the temple with everyone inside. And so Carnaim was overthrown, and the enemy could offer no further resistance to Judas.

45 Next, Judas assembled all the Israelites living in Gilead, from the least to the greatest, with their wives, children and belongings, an enormous muster, to take them to Judaea.

46 They reached Ephron, a large town straddling the road and strongly fortified. As it was impossible to by-pass it either to right or to left, there was nothing for it but to march straight through.

47 But the people of the town denied them passage and barricaded the gates with stones.

48 Judas sent them a conciliatory message in these terms, 'We want to pass through your territory to reach our own; no one will do you any harm, we only want to go through on foot.' But they would not open up for him.

49 So Judas sent an order down the column for everyone to halt where he stood.

50 The fighting men took up their positions; Judas attacked the town all day and night, and the town fell to him.

51 He put all the males to the sword, rased the town to the ground, plundered it and marched through the town square over the bodies of the dead.

52 They then crossed the Jordan into the Great Plain, opposite Beth-Shean,

53 Judas all the time rallying the stragglers and encouraging the people the whole way until they reached Judaea.

54 They climbed Mount Zion in joy and gladness and presented burnt offerings because they had returned safe and sound without having lost a single man.

55 While Judas and Jonathan were in Gilead and Simon his brother in Galilee outside Ptolemais,

56 Joseph son of Zechariah, and Azariah, who were in command of the army, heard of their valiant deeds and of the battles they had been fighting,

57 and said, 'Let us make a name for ourselves too and go and fight the nations around us.'

58 So they issued orders to the men under their command and marched on Jamnia.

59 Gorgias and his men came out of the town and gave battle.

60 Joseph and Azariah were routed and pursued as far as the frontiers of Judaea. That day about two thousand Israelites lost their lives.

61 Our people thus met with a great reverse, because they had not listened to Judas and his brothers, thinking that they would do something equally valiant.

62 They were not, however, of the same breed of men as those to whom the deliverance of Israel was entrusted.

63 The noble Judas and his brothers, however, were held in high honor throughout Israel and among all the nations wherever their name was heard,

64 and people thronged round to acclaim them.

65 Judas marched out with his brothers to fight the Edomites in the country towards the south; he stormed Hebron and its dependent villages, threw down its fortifications and burned down its encircling towers.

66 Leaving there, he made for the country of the Philistines and passed through Marisa.

67 Among the fallen in that day's fighting were some priests who sought to prove their courage there by joining in the battle, a foolhardy venture.

68 Judas next turned on Azotus, which belonged to the Philistines; he overthrew their altars, burned the statues of their gods and, having pillaged their towns, withdrew to Judaea.

Chapter 6

1 King Antiochus, meanwhile, was making his way through the Upper Provinces; he had heard that in Persia there was a city called Elymais, renowned for its riches, its silver and gold,

2 and its very wealthy temple containing golden armour, breastplates and weapons, left there by Alexander son of Philip, the king of Macedon, the first to reign over the Greeks.

3 He therefore went and attempted to take the city and pillage it, but without success, the citizens having been forewarned.

4 They resisted him by force of arms. He was routed, and began retreating, very gloomily, towards Babylon.

5 But, while he was still in Persia, news reached him that the armies which had invaded Judaea had been routed,

6 and that Lysias in particular had advanced in massive strength, only to be forced to turn and flee before the Jews; that the latter were now stronger than ever, thanks to the arms, supplies and abundant spoils acquired from the armies they had cut to pieces,

7 and that they had pulled down the abomination which he had erected on the altar in Jerusalem, had encircled the sanctuary with high walls as in the past, and had fortified Beth-Zur, one of his cities.

8 When the king heard this news he was amazed and profoundly shaken; he threw himself on his bed and fell sick with grief, since things had not turned out for him as he had planned.

9 And there he remained for many days, subject to deep and recurrent fits of melancholy, until he realized that he was dying.

10 Then, summoning all his Friends, he said to them, 'Sleep evades my eyes, and my heart is cowed by anxiety.

11 I have been wondering how I could have come to such a pitch of distress, so great a flood as that which now engulfs me -- I who was so generous and well-loved in my heyday.

12 But now I recall how wrongly I acted in Jerusalem when I seized all the vessels of silver and gold there and ordered the extermination of the inhabitants of Judah for no reason at all.

13 This, I am convinced, is why these misfortunes have overtaken me, and why I am dying of melancholy in a foreign land.'

14 He summoned Philip, one of his Friends, and made him regent of the whole kingdom.

15 He entrusted him with his diadem, his robe and his signet, on the understanding that he was to educate his son Antiochus and train him for the throne.

16 King Antiochus then died, in the year 149.

17 Lysias, learning that the king was dead, established on the throne in succession to him his son Antiochus, whom he had brought up from childhood -- and styled him Eupator.

18 The people in the Citadel at the time were blockading Israel round the sanctuary and were taking every opportunity to harm them and to support the gentiles.

19 Judas decided that they must be destroyed, and he mobilized the whole people to besiege them.

20 They assembled and laid siege to the Citadel in the year 150, building batteries and siege-engines.

21 But some of the besieged broke through the blockade, and to these a number of renegades from Israel attached themselves.

22 They made their way to the king and said, 'How much longer are you going to wait before you see justice done and avenge our fellows?

23 We were content to serve your father, to comply with his orders, and to obey his edicts.

24 As a result our own people will have nothing to do with us; what is more, they have killed all those of us they could catch, and looted our family property.

25 Nor is it on us alone that their blows have fallen, but on all your territories.

26 At this moment, they are laying siege to the Citadel of Jerusalem, to capture it, and they have fortified the sanctuary and Beth-Zur.

27 Unless you forestall them at once, they will go on to even bigger things, and then you will never be able to control them.'

28 The king was furious when he heard this and summoned all his Friends, the generals of his forces and the marshals of horse.

29 He recruited mercenaries from other kingdoms and the Mediterranean islands.

30 His forces numbered a hundred thousand foot soldiers, twenty thousand cavalry and thirty-two elephants with experience of battle conditions.

31 They advanced through Idumaea and besieged Beth-Zur, pressing the attack for days on end; they also constructed siege-engines, but the defenders made a sortie and set these on fire, putting up a brave resistance.

32 At this, Judas left the Citadel and pitched camp at Beth-Zechariah opposite the royal encampment.

33 The king rose at daybreak and marched his army at top speed down the road to Beth-Zechariah, where his forces took up their battle formations and sounded the trumpets.

34 The elephants were given a syrup of grapes and mulberries to prepare them for the battle.

35 These animals were distributed among the phalanxes, to each elephant being allocated a thousand men dressed in coats of mail with bronze helmets on their heads; five hundred picked horsemen were also assigned to each beast.

36 The horsemen anticipated every move their elephant made; wherever it went they went with it, never quitting it.

37 On each elephant, to protect it, was a stout wooden tower, kept in position by girths, each with its three combatants, as well as its mahout.

38 The remainder of the cavalry was stationed on one or other of the two flanks of the army, to harass the enemy and cover the phalanxes.

39 When the sun glinted on the bronze and golden shields, the mountains caught the glint and gleamed like fiery torches.

40 One part of the royal army was deployed on the upper slopes of the mountain and the other in the valley below; they advanced in solid, well-disciplined formation.

41 Everyone trembled at the noise made by this vast multitude, the thunder of the troops on the march and the clanking of their armor, for it was an immense and mighty army.

42 Judas and his army advanced to give battle, and six hundred of the king's army were killed.

43 Eleazar, called Avaran, noticing that one of the elephants was royally caparisoned and was also taller than all the others, and supposing that the king was mounted on it,

44 sacrificed himself to save his people and win an imperishable name.

45 Boldly charging towards the creature through the thick of the phalanx, dealing death to right and left, so that the enemy scattered on either side at his onslaught,

46 he darted in under the elephant, thrust at it from underneath, and killed it. The beast collapsed on top of him, and he died on the spot.

47 The Jews however realizing how strong the king was and how ferocious his army, retreated ahead of them.

48 The royal army moved up to encounter them outside Jerusalem, and the king began to blockade Judea and Mount Zion.

49 He granted peace terms to the people of Beth-Zur, who evacuated the town; it lacked store of provisions to withstand a siege, since the land was enjoying a sabbatical year.

50 Having occupied Beth-Zur, the king stationed a garrison there to hold it.

51 He besieged the sanctuary for a long time, erecting batteries and siege-engines, flame-throwers and ballistas, scorpions to discharge arrows, and catapults.

52 The defenders countered these by constructing their own engines and were thus able to prolong their resistance.

53 But they had no food in their stores since it was the seventh year, and because those who had taken refuge in Judaea from the gentiles had eaten up the last of their reserves.

54 Only a few men were left in the Holy Place, owing to the severity of the famine; the rest had dispersed and gone home.

55 Meanwhile Philip, whom King Antiochus before his death had appointed to train his son Antiochus for the throne,

56 had returned from Persia and Media with the forces that had accompanied the king, and was planning to seize control of affairs.

57 On hearing this, Lysias at once decided to leave, and said to the king, the generals of the army and the men, 'We are growing weaker every day, we are short of food, and the place we are besieging is well fortified; moreover the affairs of the kingdom demand our attention.

58 Let us offer the hand of friendship to these men and make peace with them and with their whole nation.

59 Let us grant them permission to follow their own customs as before, since it is our abolition of these customs that has provoked them into acting like this.'


60 The king and his commanders approved this argument, and he offered the Jews peace terms, which they accepted.

61 The king and the generals ratified the treaty by oath, and the besieged accordingly left the fortress.

62 The king then entered Mount Zion, but on seeing how impregnable the place was, he broke the oath he had sworn and gave orders for the encircling wall to be demolished.

63 He then hurriedly withdrew, making off for Antioch, where he found Philip already master of the city. Antiochus gave battle and captured the city by force of arms.

Chapter 7

1 In the year 151, Demetrius son of Seleucus left Rome and arrived with a few men at a town on the coast, where he inaugurated his reign.

2 It so happened that, as he was entering the royal residence of his ancestors, the army captured Antiochus and Lysias, and intended to bring them to him.

3 On hearing this, he said, 'Keep them out of my sight.'

4 The army put them to death, and Demetrius ascended his throne.


5 Next, all those Israelites without law or piety, led by Alcimus, whose ambition was to become high priest,

6 approached the king and denounced our people to him. 'Judas and his brothers', they said, 'have killed all your friends, and he has driven us out of our country.

7 Send someone now whom you can trust; let him go and see the wholesale ruin Judas has brought on us and on the king's dominions, and let him punish the wretches and all who assist them.'

8 The king chose Bacchides, one of the Friends of the King, governor of Transeuphrates, an important personage in the kingdom and loyal to the king.

9 He sent him with the godless Alcimus, whom he confirmed in the high priesthood, with orders to exact retribution from the Israelites.

10 So they set out with a large force and, on reaching Judaea, sent emissaries to Judas and his brothers with proposals peaceable yet treacherous.

11 The latter, however, did not put any faith in their words, aware that they had come with a large force.

12 Nevertheless, a commission of scribes presented themselves before Alcimus and Bacchides, to sue for just terms.

13 The first among the Israelites to ask them for peace terms were the Hasidaeans,

14 who reasoned thus, 'This is a priest of Aaron's line who has come with the armed forces; he will not wrong us.'

15 He did in fact discuss peace terms with them and gave them his oath, 'We shall not attempt to injure you or your friends.'

16 They believed him, but he arrested sixty of them and put them to death on one day, fulfilling the words of scripture:

17 They have scattered the bodies of your faithful, and shed their blood all round Jerusalem, leaving no one to bury them!

18 At this, fear and dread gripped the whole people. 'There is no truth or virtue in them,' they said, 'they have broken their agreement and their sworn oath.'

19 Bacchides then left Jerusalem and encamped at Beth-Zeth, and from there sent and arrested many of the men who had deserted him and a few of our people too; he had them killed and thrown down the great well.

20 He then put Alcimus in charge of the province, leaving an army with him to support him; Bacchides himself returned to the king.

21 Alcimus continued his struggle to become high priest,

22 and all who were disturbing the peace of their own people rallied to him, and, having won control of Judaea, did much harm in Israel.

23 Seeing that all the wrongs done to the Israelites by Alcimus and his supporters exceeded what the gentiles had done,

24 Judas went right round the whole territory of Judea to take vengeance on those who had deserted him and to prevent their free movement about the country.

25 When Alcimus saw how strong Judas and his supporters had grown and realized that he was powerless to resist them, he went back to the king, to whom he made malicious accusations against them.

26 The king sent Nicanor, one of his generals ranking as Illustrious and a bitter enemy of Israel, with orders to exterminate the people.

27 Reaching Jerusalem with a large force, Nicanor sent a friendly, yet treacherous, message to Judas and his brothers, as follows:

28 'Let us have no fighting between you and me; I shall come with a small escort for a peaceful meeting with you.'

29 He met Judas and they exchanged friendly greetings; the enemy, however, had made preparations to abduct Judas.

30 When Judas became aware of Nicanor's treacherous purpose in coming to see him, he took fright and refused any further meeting.

31 Nicanor then realized that his plan had been discovered, and took the field against Judas, to give battle near Caphar-Salama.

32 About five hundred of Nicanor's men fell; the rest took refuge in the City of David.

33 After these events Nicanor went up to Mount Zion. Some of the priests came out of the Holy Place with some elders, to give him a friendly welcome and show him the burnt offering being presented for the king.

34 But he ridiculed them, laughed at them, defiled them and used insolent language, swearing in his rage,

35 'Unless Judas is handed over to me this time with his army, as soon as I am safely back, I promise you, I shall burn this building down!'

36 Then he went off in a fury. At this, the priests went in again, and stood weeping in front of the altar and the Temple, saying,

37 'You have chosen this house to be called by your name, to be a house of prayer and petition for your people.

38 Take vengeance on this man and on his army, and let them fall by the sword; remember their blasphemies and give them no respite.'

39 Nicanor left Jerusalem and encamped at Beth-Horon, where he was joined by an army from Syria.

40 Judas, meanwhile, camped at Adasa with three thousand men, and offered this prayer,

41 'When the king's envoys blasphemed, your angel went out and struck down one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his men.

42 In the same way let us see you crush this army today, so that everyone else may know that this man has spoken blasphemously against your sanctuary: pass judgement on him as his wickedness deserves!'

43 The armies met in battle on the thirteenth of the month Adar, and Nicanor's army was crushed, he himself being the first to fall in the battle.

44 When Nicanor's soldiers saw him fall, they threw down their arms and fled.

45 The Jews pursued them a day's journey, from Adasa to the approaches of Gezer; they sounded their trumpets in warning as they followed them,

46 and people came out of all the surrounding Judean villages to encircle the fugitives, who then turned back on their own men. All fell by the sword, not one being left alive.

47 Having collected the spoils and booty, they cut off Nicanor's head and the right hand he had stretched out in a display of insolence; these were taken and displayed within sight of Jerusalem.

48 The people were overjoyed and kept that day as a great holiday:

49 indeed they decided to celebrate it annually on the thirteenth of Adar.

50 For a short while Judea enjoyed peace.

Chapter 8

1 Now Judas had heard of the reputation of the Romans:

how strong they were, and how well disposed towards any who made common cause with them, making a treaty of friendship with anyone who approached them.

2 (And, indeed, they were extremely powerful.) He had been told of their wars and of their prowess among the Gauls, whom they had conquered and put under tribute;

3 and of all they had done in the province of Spain to gain possession of the silver and gold mines there,

4 making themselves masters of the whole country by their determination and perseverance, despite its great distance from their own; of the kings who came from the ends of the earth to attack them, only to be crushed by them and overwhelmed with disaster, and of others who paid them annual tribute;


5 Philip, Perseus king of the Kittim, and others who had dared to make war on them, had been defeated and reduced to subjection,

6 while Antiochus the Great, king of Asia, who had advanced to attack them with a hundred and twenty elephants, cavalry, chariots and a very large army, had also suffered defeat at their hands;

7 they had taken him alive and imposed on him and his successors, on agreed terms, the payment of an enormous tribute, the surrender of hostages, and the cession

8 of the Indian territory, with Media, Lydia, and some of their best provinces, which they took from him and gave to King Eumenes.

9 Judas had also heard how, when the Greeks planned an expedition to destroy the Romans,

10 the latter had got wind of it and, sending a single general against them, had fought a campaign in which they inflicted heavy casualties, carried their women and children away into captivity, pillaged their goods, subdued their country, tore down their fortresses and reduced them to a slavery lasting to the present day;

11 and how they had destroyed and subjugated all the other kingdoms and islands that resisted them.

12 But where their friends and those who relied on them were concerned, they had always stood by their friendship. They had subdued kings far and near, and all who heard their name went in terror of them.

13 One man, if they determined to help him and advance him to a throne, would certainly occupy it, while another, if they so determined, would find himself deposed; their influence was paramount.

14 In spite of all this, no single one of them had assumed a crown or put on the purple for his own aggrandizement.

15 They had set up a senate, where three hundred and twenty Councillors deliberated daily, constantly debating how best to regulate public affairs.

16 They entrusted their government to one man for a year at a time, with absolute power over their whole empire, and this man was obeyed by all without envy or jealousy.

17 Having chosen Eupolemus son of John, of the family of Accos, and Jason son of Eleazar, Judas sent them to Rome to make a treaty of friendship and alliance with these people,

18 in the hope of being rid of the yoke, for they could see that Greek rule was reducing Israel to slavery.

19 The envoys made the lengthy journey to Rome and presented themselves before the Senate with their formal proposal:

20 'Judas Maccabaeus and his brothers, with the Jewish people, have sent us to you to conclude a treaty of alliance and peace with you, and to enrol ourselves as your allies and friends.'

21 The proposal met with the approval of the senators.

22 Here is a copy of the rescript which they engraved on bronze tablets and sent to Jerusalem to be kept there by the Jews as a record of peace and alliance:

23 'Good fortune attend the Romans and the Jewish nation by sea and land for ever; may sword or enemy be far from them!

24 'If war comes first to Rome or any of her allies throughout her dominions,

25 the Jewish nation will take action as her ally, as occasion may require, and do it wholeheartedly.

26 They will not give or supply to the enemy any grain, arms, money or ships: thus has Rome decided, and they are to honour their obligations without guarantees.

27 In the same way, if war comes first to the Jewish nation, the Romans will support them energetically as occasion may offer,

28 and the aggressor will not be furnished with grain, arms, money or ships: such is the Roman decision, and they will honor these obligations without treachery.

29 Such are the articles under which the Romans have concluded their treaty with the Jewish people.

30 If, later, either party should decide to make any addition or deletion, they will be free to do so, and any such addition or deletion will be binding.

31 'As regards the wrongs done to them by King Demetrius, we have written to him in these terms: Why have you made your yoke lie heavy on our friends and allies the Jews?

32 If they appeal against you again, we shall uphold their rights and make war on you by sea and land.'

Chapter 9

1 Demetrius, hearing that Nicanor and his army had fallen in battle, sent Bacchides and Alcimus a second time into Judaea, and with them the right wing of his army.

2 They took the road to Galilee and besieged Mesaloth in Arbela, and captured it, putting many people to death.

3 In the first month of the year 152, they encamped outside Jerusalem;

4 they then moved on, making their way to Beer-Zaith with twenty thousand foot and two thousand horse.

5 Judas lay in camp at Elasa, with three thousand picked men.

6 When they saw the huge size of the enemy forces they were terrified, and many slipped out of the camp, until no more than eight hundred of the force were left.

7 With battle now inevitable, Judas realized that his army had melted away; he was aghast, for he had no time to rally them.

8 Yet, dismayed as he was, he said to those who were left, 'Up! Let us face the enemy; we may yet have the strength to fight them.'

9 His men tried to dissuade him, declaring, 'We have no strength for anything but to escape with our lives this time; then we can come back with our brothers to fight them; by ourselves we are too few.'

10 Judas retorted, 'That I should do such a thing as run away from them! If our time has come, at least let us die like men for our countrymen, and leave nothing to tarnish our reputation.'

11 The army marched out of camp and drew up, facing the enemy. The cavalry was drawn up in two squadrons; the slingers and archers marched in the van of the army, and all the best fighters were put in the front rank;

12 Bacchides was on the right wing. The phalanx advanced from between the two squadrons, sounding the trumpets; the men on Judas' side also blew their trumpets,

13 and the earth shook with the noise of the armies. The engagement lasted from morning until evening.

14 Judas saw that Bacchides and the main strength of his army lay on the right; all the stout-hearted rallied to him,

15 and they crushed the right wing, pursuing them as far as the Azara Hills.

16 But when the Syrians on the left wing saw that the right had been broken, they turned and followed hot on the heels of Judas and his men to take them in the rear.

17 The fight became desperate, and there were many casualties on both sides.

18 Judas himself fell, and the remnant fled.

19 Jonathan and Simon took up their brother Judas and buried him in his ancestral tomb at Modein.

20 All Israel wept and mourned him deeply and for many days they repeated this dirge.

21 'What a downfall for the strong man, the man who kept Israel safe!'


22 The other deeds of Judas, the battles he fought, the exploits he performed, and all his titles to greatness have not been recorded; but they were very many.

23 After the death of Judas, the renegades came out of hiding throughout Israel and all the evil-doers reappeared.

24 At that time there was a severe famine, and the country went over to their side.

25 Bacchides deliberately chose the enemies of religion to administer the country.

26 These traced and searched out the friends of Judas and brought them before Bacchides, who ill-treated and mocked them.

27 A terrible oppression began in Israel; there had been nothing like it since the disappearance of prophecy among them.

28 The friends of Judas then all united in saying to Jonathan,

29 'Since your brother Judas died, there has been no one like him to head the resistance against our enemies, people like Bacchides and others who hate our nation.

30 Accordingly, we have today chosen you to take his place as our ruler and leader and to fight our campaigns.'

31 Whereupon, Jonathan took command, in succession to his brother Judas.

32 Bacchides, when he heard the news, made plans to kill Jonathan.

33 But this became known to Jonathan, his brother Simon and all his supporters, and they took refuge in the desert of Tekoa, camping by the water-supply at Asphar storage-well.

34 (Bacchides came to know of this on the Sabbath day, and he too crossed the Jordan with his entire army.)

35 Jonathan sent his brother, who was one of his commanders, to ask his friends the Nabataeans to store their considerable baggage for them.

36 The sons of Amrai, however, those of Medeba, intercepted them, captured John and everything he had and made off with their prize.

37 Later, Jonathan and his brother Simon were told that the sons of Amrai were celebrating an important wedding, and were escorting the bride, a daughter of one of the great notables of Canaan, from Nabata with a large retinue.

38 Remembering the bloody end of their brother John, they went up and hid under cover of the mountain.

39 As they were keeping watch, a noisy procession came into sight with a great deal of baggage, and the bridegroom, with his groomsmen and his family, came out to meet it with tambourines and a band, and rich, warlike display.

40 The Jews rushed down on them from their ambush and killed them, inflicting heavy casualties; the survivors escaped to the mountain, leaving their entire baggage train to be captured.

41 Thus, the wedding was turned into mourning and the music of their band into lamentation.

42 Having in this way avenged in full the blood of their brother, they returned to the marshes of the Jordan.

43 As soon as Bacchides heard this, he came on the Sabbath day with a considerable force to the steep banks of the Jordan.

44 Jonathan said to his men, 'Up! Let us fight for our lives, for today it is not as in the old days.

45 You can see, we shall have to fight on our front and to our rear; we have the waters of the Jordan on one side, the marsh and scrub on the other, and we have no line of withdrawal.

46 This is the moment to call on Heaven, to deliver you from the clutches of your enemies.'

47 The engagement was begun by Jonathan, who aimed a blow at Bacchides, but the Syrian disengaged himself and withdrew,

48 whereupon Jonathan and his men leapt into the Jordan and swam to the other bank; the enemy did not, however, cross the Jordan in pursuit.

49 That day, Bacchides lost about a thousand men.

50 Bacchides went back to Jerusalem and began fortifying some of the Judaean towns: the fortresses of Jericho, Emmaus, Beth-Horon, Bethel, Timnath, Pharathon and Tephon, with high walls and barred gates,

51 and stationed a garrison in each of them to harass Israel.

52 He also fortified the town of Beth-Zur, Gezer and the Citadel, and placed troops in them with supplies of provisions.

53 He took the sons of the leading men of the country as hostages, and had them placed under guard in the Citadel of Jerusalem.

54 In the year 153, in the second month, Alcimus ordered the demolition of the wall of the inner court of the sanctuary, destroying the work of the prophets. Alcimus had just begun the demolition

55 when he suffered a stroke, and his work was interrupted. His mouth became obstructed, and his paralysis made him incapable of speaking at all or giving directions to his household;

56 it was not long before he died in great agony.

57 On the death of Alcimus, Bacchides went back to the king, and Judaea was left in peace for two years.

58 The renegades then all agreed on a plan. 'Now is the time,' they said, 'while Jonathan and his supporters are living in peace and are full of confidence, for us to bring back Bacchides, and he will arrest the lot of them in one night.'

59 So they went to him and reached an understanding.

60 Bacchides at once set out with a large force, and sent secret instructions to all his allies in Judaea to seize Jonathan and his supporters. But they were unable to do this because their plan became known,

61 and Jonathan and his men arrested some fifty of the men of the country who were ringleaders in the plot, and put them to death.

62 Jonathan and Simon then retired with their partisans to Beth-Bassi in the desert; they rebuilt the ruinous parts of the place and fortified it.

63 When Bacchides heard this, he mustered his whole force and notified his adherents in Judaea.

64 He then proceeded to lay siege to Beth-Bassi, the fighting was protracted, and he constructed siege-engines.

65 Jonathan, however, leaving his brother Simon in the town, broke out into the countryside with a handful of men.

66 He launched a blow at Odomera and his brothers, and at the sons of Phasiron in their encampment; whereupon, these too came into the struggle, joining forces with him.

67 Simon and his people, meanwhile, made a sortie from the town and set fire to the siege-engines.

68 Taking the offensive against Bacchides, they defeated him. He was greatly disconcerted to find that his plan and his assault had come to nothing,

69 and vented his anger on those renegades who had induced him to enter the country, putting many of them to death; he then decided to take his own troops home.

70 Discovering this, Jonathan sent envoys to negotiate peace terms and the release of prisoners with him.

71 Bacchides agreed to this, accepting his proposals and swearing never to seek occasion to harm him for the rest of his life.

72 Having surrendered to Jonathan those prisoners he had earlier taken in Judaea, he turned about and withdrew to his own country, and never again came near their frontiers.

73 The sword no longer hung over Israel, and Jonathan settled in Michmash, where he began to judge the people and to rid Israel of the godless.


From the reading above, Alcimus (Jacimus, or Joachim) would be a candidate for the Wicked Priest. His 3 years as High Priest was a catalyst to start distrust of the Jewish Pontificate. But, his time was before the Damascus Scroll was written. So Alcimus is ruled out.

Simon Maccabeus (Simon the Hasmonean) also referred to as Simon Thassi ("the Director", "the Guide", "the Man of Counsel", and "the Zealous" are all possible meanings of the term) and Simon Tarsus. Simon Maccabeus was the second son of the priest Matthias and was in turn elected as high priest and president of Jews beginning in 143 BC .

Antiochus VII Sidetes could not defeat Simon in battle, so he opted to murder him. In 134 BC King Antiochus ordered Simon's son-in-law to, Ptolemy son of Abubus and Seleucid Governor of the Jericho region of Israel to commit the evil deed. Ptolemy was also able to murder his father-in-law, Simon and his two sons, but failed to find and kill his third son, Yehohanan ben Simon (John Hyracanus I, John Hyreanus).

Ptolemy fled to Fort Dagon with John Yehohanan ben Simon's mother as a hostage. When John Hyracanus attempted to seige Fort Dagon Ptolomy would subject Hyracanus's mother to cruel tortures on the walls of the fort whenever her son attempted to attack it. Ptolemy eventually killed Yehohanan ben Simon's mother and managed to flee eastward to the partly Hellenized city of Philadelphia, the former Ammonite capital (Rabbath Ammon), controlled by Governor Zenon (Zeno) Cotylas and Arab mercenaries.

Once Antiochus VII Sidetes got word of what transpired between Ptolemy and Hyrcanus he sent his troops to invade Judea and lay siege to Jerusalem. After a protracted conflict John Hyrcanus made peace with the Seleucids. The treaty left Hyrcanus a vassal to the Syrian King Antiocus VII.

When it came time to choose the next high priest Pharisee leader, Eleazar, reminded the Sandharin that Hyrcanus might not be be qualified. This was not the first time the President's mother been held hostage. The wife of Simon Maccabeus was previously captured and prisoner by the Seleucids just prior to Hyrcanus birth. There was speculation that she might have been raped, thus raising some doubt about Hyrcanus true father. (Ant. 13:292) If Hyrcanus might not be the son of Simon Maccabeaus, the Pharisees reasoned he should not be given the office of High Priest and just be happy being President of Judah. Hyrcanus became enraged and wanted Eleazar put to death. When this did not happen President Hyrcanus joined the Sadducees and their aristocratic Hellenistic supporters who previously belonged to the pro-Greek party and with their support became the 50th High Priest of the Temple. The Pharisees were expelled from membership in the Sanhedrin and branded with the name Perushim, 'the expelled ones.' This was meant as a taunt, but its alternate Hebrew significance is 'exponents' which made the name acceptable to them." It would not be until the reign of Queen Salome Alexandra that the Pharisees would regain control of the interpretation and administration of Mosaic law.

 

Talmud - Mas. Kiddushin 66a

 

 

Abaye also said:

 

Whence do I know it? Because it was taught. It once happened that King Jannai went to Kohalith in the wilderness

and conquered sixty towns there. On his return he rejoiced exceedingly and invited all the Sages of Israel. Said he to them, ‘Our forefathers ate mallows when they were engaged on the building of the [second] Temple; let us too eat mallows in memory of our forefathers.’ So mallows were served on golden tables, and they ate. Now, there was a man there, frivolous, evilhearted and worthless, named Eleazar son of Po'irah, who said to King Jannai. ‘O King Jannai, the hearts of the Pharisees are against thee.’ ‘Then what shall I do?’ ‘Test them by the plate between thine eyes.’ So he tested them by the plate between his eyes. Now, an elder, named Judah son of Gedidiah, was present there. Said he to King Jannai.O King Jannai! let the royal crown suffice thee, and leave the priestly crown to the seed of Aaron.’ (For it was rumoured that his mother had been taken captive in Modi'im.) Accordingly, the charge was investigated, but not sustained, and the Sages of Israel departed in anger.

 

Then said Eleazar b. Po'irah to King Jannai: ‘O King Jannai! That is the law even for the most humble man in Israel, and thou, a King and a High Priest, shall that be thy law [too]!’ ‘Then what shall I do?’ ‘If thou wilt take my advice, trample then, down.’‘But what shall happen with the Torah?’ ‘Behold, it is rolled up and lying in the corner: whoever wishes to study. Let him go and study!’ Said R. Nahman b. Isaac:

 

Immediately a spirit of heresy was instilled into him, for he should have replied. ‘That is well for the Written Law; but what of the Oral Law?’ Straightway, the evil burst forth through Eleazar son of Po'irah, all the Sages of Israel were massacred, and the world was desolate until Simeon b. Shetah came and restored the Torah to its pristine [glory].


http://halakhah.com/pdf/nashim/Kiddushin.pdf

 

Antiochus VII spent the final years of his life attempting to reclaim the lost eastern territories, overrun by the Parthians under their "Great King", Mithridates I. Marching east, with what would prove to be the last great Seleucid royal army (including a force of Judean mercenaries under John Hyrcanus), he defeated Mithridates in two battles, killing the aged Parthian king in the last of these. He restored Mesopotamia, Babylonia and Media to the Seleucid empire, before dispersing his army into winter quarters. After this Antiochus offered a peace, by which he would regain Mesopotamia and large parts of Iran. The Parthian realm would be restricted to its core territories and would pay a heavy tribute. Phraates II could not accept these high demands, so he refused the offer.

In the following winter (129 BC), Antiochus VII quartered himself and his army in Ecbatana, where he completely alienated the local people from himself because he forced the local people to pay for the upkeep of his soldiers and because, it seems, the soldiers assaulted the locals. Thus when Phraates II attacked the Seleucid army in its winter quarters, the local people supported him. Antiochus VII was defeated and killed or committed suicide, ending Seleucid rule east of the Euphrates.

Just before Antiochus defeat, Phraates II made what he thought was a powerful move: he released the former King Demetrius, hoping that the two brothers would start a civil war. In 139 BC King Demetrius against Mithradates I, king of Parthia and was initially successful, but was defeated in the Iranian mountains and taken prisoner the following year. Phraates II set people to pursue Demetrius, but he managed to safely return home to Syria and regained his throne and his queen as well.

Antiochus's heirs did not have the power to go to war against the state of Judea and this period is characterized by constant struggles between the heirs to the Seleucid throne. The Syrian supremacy of Judah came to an end. President Hyrcanus conquered the Edomite kingdom and gave the Edomites the choice of either death or conversion to the religion, language, and culture of Judah. During the time of Moses, the King of Edom refused to let the Israelites have safe passage through their land. The Israelites later conquered and subjected Edom. But, this was the first time they were forced into conversion. This is similar to the Catholic inquisition of Jews later in the Dark Age period in Europe.

The Antiquities of the Jews
Joseph Flavius

13.230–13.253

2301. So Ptolemy retired to one of the fortresses that was above Jericho, which was called Dagon. But Hyrcanus having taken the high priesthood that had been his father’s before, and in the first place propitiated God by sacrifices, he then made an expedition against Ptolemy; and when he made his attacks upon the place, in other points he was too hard for him, but was rendered weaker than he, by the commiseration he had for his mother and brethren, and by that only; for Ptolemy brought them upon the wall, and tormented them in the sight of all, and threatened that he would throw them down headlong, unless Hyrcanus would leave off the siege. And as he thought that so far as he relaxed as to the siege and taking of the place, so much favor did he show to those that were dearest to him by preventing their misery, his zeal about it was cooled. However, his mother spread out her hands, and begged of him that he would not grow remiss on her account, but indulge his indignation so much the more, and that he would do his utmost to take the place quickly, in order to get their enemy under his power, and then to avenge upon him what he had done to those that were dearest to himself; for that death would be to her sweet, though with torment, if that enemy of theirs might but be brought to punishment for his wicked dealings to them. Now when his mother said so, he resolved to take the fortress immediately; but when he saw her beaten, and torn to pieces, his courage failed him, and he could not but sympathize with what his mother suffered, and was thereby overcome. And as the siege was drawn out into length by this means, that year on which the Jews used to rest came on; for the Jews observe this rest every seventh year, as they do every seventh day; so that Ptolemy being for this cause released from the war, he slew the brethren of Hyrcanus, and his mother; and when he had so done, he fled to Zeno, who was called Cotylas, who was then the tyrant of the city Philadelphia.

2362. But Antiochus, being very uneasy at the miseries that Simon had brought upon him, he invaded Judea in the fourth years’ of his reign, and the first year of the principality of Hyrcanus, in the hundred and sixty-second olympiad. And when he had burnt the country, he shut up Hyrcanus in the city, which he encompassed round with seven encampments; but did just nothing at the first, because of the strength of the walls, and because of the valor of the besieged, although they were once in want of water, which yet they were delivered from by a large shower of rain, which fell at the setting of the Pleiades. However, about the north part of the wall, where it happened the city was upon a level with the outward ground, the king raised a hundred towers of three stories high, and placed bodies of soldiers upon them; and as he made his attacks every day, he cut a double ditch, deep and broad, and confined the inhabitants within it as within a wall; but the besieged contrived to make frequent sallies out; and if the enemy were not any where upon their guard, they fell upon them, and did them a great deal of mischief; and if they perceived them, they then retired into the city with ease. But because Hyrcanus discerned the inconvenience of so great a number of men in the city, while the provisions were the sooner spent by them, and yet, as is natural to suppose, those great numbers did nothing, he separated the useless part, and excluded them out of the city, and retained that part only which were in the flower of their age, and fit for war. However, Antiochus would not let those that were excluded go away, who therefore wandering about between the walls, and consuming away by famine, died miserably; but when the feast of tabernacles was at hand, those that were within commiserated their condition, and received them in again. And when Hyrcanus sent to Antiochus, and desired there might be a truce for seven days, because of the festival, he gave way to this piety towards God, and made that truce accordingly. And besides that, he sent in a magnificent sacrifice, bulls with their horns gilded, with all sorts of sweet spices, and with cups of gold and silver. So those that were at the gates received the sacrifices from those that brought them, and led them to the temple, Antiochus the mean while feasting his army, which was a quite different conduct from Antiochus Epiphanes, who, when he had taken the city, offered swine upon the altar, and sprinkled the temple with the broth of their flesh, in order to violate the laws of the Jews, and the religion they derived from their forefathers; for which reason our nation made war with him, and would never be reconciled to him; but for this Antiochus, all men called him Antiochus the Pious, for the great zeal he had about religion.

2453. Accordingly, Hyrcanus took this moderation of his kindly; and when he understood how religious he was towards the Deity, he sent an embassage to him, and desired that he would restore the settlements they received from their forefathers. So he rejected the counsel of those that would have him utterly destroy the nation, by reason of their way of living, which was to others unsociable, and did not regard what they said. But being persuaded that all they did was out of a religious mind, he answered the ambassadors, that if the besieged would deliver up their arms, and pay tribute for Joppa, and the other cities which bordered upon Judea, and admit a garrison of his, on these terms he would make war against them no longer. But the Jews, although they were content with the other conditions, did not agree to admit the garrison, because they could not associate with other people, nor converse with them; yet were they willing, instead of the admission of the garrison, to give him hostages, and five hundred talents of silver; of which they paid down three hundred, and sent the hostages immediately, which king Antiochus accepted. One of those hostages was Hyrcanus’s brother. But still he broke down the fortifications that encompassed the city. And upon these conditions Antiochus broke up the siege, and departed.

2494. But Hyrcanus opened the sepulcher of David, who excelled all other kings in riches, and took out of it three thousand talents. He was also the first of the Jews that, relying on this wealth, maintained foreign troops. There was also a league of friendship and mutual assistance made between them; upon which Hyrcanus admitted him into the city, and furnished him with whatsoever his army wanted in great plenty, and with great generosity, and marched along with him when he made an expedition against the Parthians; of which Nicolaus of Damascus is a witness for us; who in his history writes thus: “When Antiochus had erected a trophy at the river Lycus, upon his conquest of Indates, the general of the Parthians, he staid there two days. It was at the desire of Lyrcanus the Jew, because it was such a festival derived to them from their forefathers, whereon the law of the Jews did not allow them to travel.” And truly he did not speak falsely in saying so; for that festival, which we call Pentecost, did then fall out to be the next day to the Sabbath. Nor is it lawful for us to journey, either on the Sabbath day, or on a festival day. But when Antiochus joined battle with Arsaces, the king of Parthin, he lost a great part of his army, and was himself slain; and his brother Demetrius succeeded in the kingdom of Syria, by the permission of Arsaces, who freed him from his captivity at the same time that Antiochus attacked Parthin, as we have formerly related elsewhere.

http://lexundria.com/j_aj/13.230-13.253/wst

13.254–13.269

2541. But when Hyrcanus heard of the death of Antiochus, he presently made an expedition against the cities of Syria, hoping to find them destitute of fighting men, and of such as were able to defend them. However, it was not till the sixth month that he took Medaba, and that not without the greatest distress of his army. After this he took Samega, and the neighboring places; and besides these, Shechem and Gerizzim, and the nation of the Cutheans, who dwelt at the temple which resembled that temple which was at Jerusalem, and which Alexander permitted Sanballat, the general of his army, to build for the sake of Manasseh, who was son-in-law to Jaddua the high priest, as we have formerly related; which temple was now deserted two hundred years after it was built. Hyrcanus took also Dora and Marissa, cities of Idumea, and subdued all the Idumeans; and permitted them to stay in that country, if they would circumcise their genitals, and make use of the laws of the Jews; and they were so desirous of living in the country of their forefathers, that they submitted to the use of circumcision, and of the rest of the Jewish ways of living; at which time therefore this befell them, that they were hereafter no other than Jews.

2592. But Hyrcanus the high priest was desirous to renew that league of friendship they had with the Romans. Accordingly, he sent an embassage to them; and when the senate had received their epistle, they made a league of friendship with them, after the manner following:

Fanius, the son of Marcus, the praetor, gathered the senate together on the eighth day before the Ides of February, in the senate-house, when Lucius Manlius, the son of Lucius, of the Mentine tribe, and Caius Sempronius, the son of Caius, of the Falernian tribe, were present. The occasion was, that the ambassadors sent by the people of the Jews Simon, the son of Dositheus, and Apollonius, the son of Alexander, and Diodorus, the son of Jason, who were good and virtuous men, had somewhat to propose about that league of friendship and mutual assistance which subsisted between them and the Romans, and about other public affairs, who desired that Joppa, and the havens, and Gazara, and the springs [of Jordan], and the several other cities and countries of theirs, which Antiochus had taken from them in the war, contrary to the decree of the senate, might be restored to them; and that it might not be lawful for the king’s troops to pass through their country, and the countries of those that are subject to them; and that what attempts Antiochus had made during that war, without the decree of the senate, might be made void; and that they would send ambassadors, who should take care that restitution be made them of what Antiochus had taken from them, and that they should make an estimate of the country that had been laid waste in the war; and that they would grant them letters of protection to the kings and free people, in order to their quiet return home. It was therefore decreed, as to these points, to renew their league of friendship and mutual assistance with these good men, and who were sent by a good and a friendly people.” But as to the letters desired, their answer was, that the senate would consult about that matter when their own affairs would give them leave; and that they would endeavor, for the time to come, that no like injury should be done to them; and that their praetor Fanius should give them money out of the public treasury to bear their expenses home. And thus did Fanius dismiss the Jewish ambassadors, and gave them money out of the public treasury; and gave the decree of the senate to those that were to conduct them, and to take care that they should return home in safety.

2673. And thus stood the affairs of Hyrcanus the high priest. But as for king Demetrius, who had a mind to make war against Hyrcanus, there was no opportunity nor room for it, while both the Syrians and the soldiers bare ill-will to him, because he was an ill man. But when they had sent ambassadors to Ptolemy, who was called Physcon, that he would send them one of the family of Seleucus, in order to take the kingdom, and he had sent them Alexander, who was called Zebina, with an army, and there had been a battle between them, Demetrius was beaten in the fight, and fled to Cleopatra his wife, to Ptolemais; but his wife would not receive him. He went thence to Tyre, and was there caught; and when he had suffered much from his enemies before his death, he was slain by them. So Alexander took the kingdom, and made a league with Hyrcanus, who yet, when he afterward fought with Antiochus the son of Demetrius, who was called Grypus, was also beaten in the fight, and slain.

http://lexundria.com/j_aj/13.254-13.269/wst


Bronze Coin Of The Maccabean King Yehohanan Hyrcanus I

John_Hyrcanus.jpg

1 Maccabees

Chapter 16

11 Ptolemy, son of Abubus, had been appointed governor of the plain of Jericho, and he had much silver and gold,

12 being the son-in-law of the high priest.

13 But his heart became proud and he was determined to get control of the country. So he made treacherous plans to do away with Simon and his sons.

14 As Simon was inspecting the cities of the country and providing for their needs, he and his sons Mattathias and Judas went down to Jericho in the one hundred and seventy-seventh year, in the eleventh month* (that is, the month Shebat).

15 The son of Abubus gave them a deceitful welcome in the little stronghold called Dok* which he had built. He served them a sumptuous banquet, but he had his men hidden there.

16 Then, when Simon and his sons were drunk, Ptolemy and his men sprang up, weapons in hand, rushed upon Simon in the banquet hall, and killed him, his two sons, and some of his servants.

17 By this vicious act of treachery he repaid good with evil.

18 Then Ptolemy wrote a report and sent it to the king, asking him to send troops to help him and to turn over to him their country and its cities.

19 He sent other men to Gazara to do away with John. To the army officers he sent letters inviting them to come to him so that he might present them with silver, gold, and gifts.

20 He also sent others to seize Jerusalem and the temple mount.

21 But someone ran ahead and brought word to John at Gazara that his father and his brothers had perished, and “Ptolemy has sent men to kill you also.”

22 On hearing this, John was utterly astounded. When the men came to kill him, he seized them and put them to death, for he knew that they sought to kill him.

23* Now the rest of the acts of John, his wars and the brave deeds he performed, his rebuilding of the walls, and all his achievements

24 these are recorded in the chronicle of his high priesthood, from the time that he succeeded his father as high priest.


President Hyrcanus and his wife, Marium had five sons: Judah Aristobulus I, first Antigonus , Alexander Yanai , Absalom, another son whose name is not known. Before Hyrcanus death he appointed his wife to the office of Governor, and his son Aristobulus to become the next high priest. In 104 BC, after thirty-one years of presidency, and is about sixty John Hyracanus died.

 

 




200px-Aristobulus-I.jpg

Zion's high priest, Judas Aristobulus I went against his father wishes and seized rule with support of his brother Antigonus, who he appointed minister of the army. Aristobulus immediately threw his mother the Governor into prison, where she starved to death. Judas immediately crowned himself the first king since the return to Zion. Judas Aristobulus married Salome (Shelomit, Shelamziyyon meaning peace of Zion, or wholeness of Zion) Alexandra as the new Queen of Zion.

As time progressed, Aristobulus began to worry about his brother Antigonus growing fame from victories in battle. He feared his brother's army would compel him take takeover rule of the kingdom, so he ordered his killed if came to visit him armed. Queen Salome sent out a message of deceit to Antigonus that the King wanted to see his brother wanted to see him in his glorious armor. So Antigonus came armed as expected and the kings guards killed him. Guilt over his brother's death increased the disease first Aristobulus king until his death in 103 BC.

Alexander_Jannaeus.jpg

Alexander Jannaeus (also known as Jonathan Alexander and Alexander Jannai/Yannai; Hebrew: אלכסנדר ינאי) declared himself the second king of Judea from 103 BC to 76 BC. The son of John Hyrcanus, he inherited the throne from his brother Aristobulus I, and married his brother's widow, Queen Salome Alexandra to secure the throne. Alexander Jannaeus ordered 800 Pharisees he despised to be crucified during a party he held with his mistresses. During the end of Alexander's life he made amends with Queen Salome's Pharisee brother Simeon ben Shetach and invited him back into the Sanhedrin (Assembly somewhat similar to Rome's ritualistic judicial body that met to decide important cases and rule on disputed points of religious law).

 

King Alexander actions against his own people makes him the best candidate for the title "Wicked Priest" in the Qumran texts.

The execution of the Pharisees by Alexander Jannaeus, showing the King and his Court feasting during the executions. Engraving by Willem Swidde, 17th century.

swidde_willem_de_joode_koning.jpg

 

Map of Israel during the time of Alexander Jannaeus

Judea_Alexander_Janne%C3%BCs.PNG

Babylonian Talmud: Tractate Sotah

Folio 47a

What was the incident with R. Joshua b. Perahiah? — When King Jannaeus (Alexander Jannaeus) put the Rabbis to death, Simeon b. Shetah was hid by his sister, whilst R. Joshua b. perahiah fled to Alexandria in Egypt. When there was peace, Simeon b. Shetah sent [this message to him]:

'From me, Jerusalem, the Holy city, to thee Alexandria in Egypt. O my sister, my husband dwells in thy midst and I abide desolate'. [R. Joshua] arose and came back and found himself in a certain inn where they paid him great respect. He said: 'How beautiful is this 'aksania' ('female innkeeper)! One of his disciples said to him, 'My master, her eyes are narrow!' He replied to him, 'Wicked person! Is it with such thoughts that thou occupies thyself!' He sent forth four hundred horns and excommunicated him. [The disciple] came before him on many occasions, saying 'Receive me'; but he refused to notice him. One day while [R. Joshua] was reciting the Shema', he came before him. His intention was to receive him and he made a sign to him with his hand, but the disciple thought he was repelling him. So he went and set up a brick and worshiped it. [R. Joshua] said to him, 'Repent'; but he answered him, 'Thus have I received from thee that whoever sinned and caused others to sin is deprived of the power of doing penitence'. A Master has said:

The disciple practiced magic and led Israel astray.


The Wars of the Jews
Flavius Joseph

1.70–1.84

701. For after the death of their father, the elder of them, Aristobulus, changed the government into a kingdom, and was the first that put a diadem upon his head, four hundred seventy and one years and three months after our people came down into this country, when they were set free from the Babylonian slavery. Now, of his brethren, he appeared to have an affection for Antigonus, who was next to him, and made him his equal; but for the rest, he bound them, and put them in prison. He also put his mother in bonds, for her contesting the government with him; for John had left her to be the governess of public affairs. He also proceeded to that degree of barbarity as to cause her to be pined to death in prison.

722. But vengeance circumvented him in the affair of his brother Antigonus, whom he loved, and whom he made his partner in the kingdom; for he slew him by the means of the calumnies which ill men about the palace contrived against him. At first, indeed, Aristobulus would not believe their reports, partly out of the affection he had for his brother, and partly because he thought that a great part of these tales were owing to the envy of their relaters: however, as Antigonus came once in a splendid manner from the army to that festival, wherein our ancient custom is to make tabernacles for God, it happened, in those days, that Aristobulus was sick, and that, at the conclusion of the feast, Antigonus came up to it, with his armed men about him; and this when he was adorned in the finest manner possible; and that, in a great measure, to pray to God on the behalf of his brother. Now, at this very time it was that these ill men came to the king, and told him in what a pompous manner the armed men came, and with what insolence Antigonus marched, and that such his insolence was too great for a private person, and that accordingly he was come with a great band of men to kill him; for that he could not endure this bare enjoyment of royal honor, when it was in his power to take the kingdom himself.

753. Now Aristobulus, by degrees, and unwillingly, gave credit to these accusations; and accordingly he took care not to discover his suspicion openly, though he provided to be secure against any accidents; so he placed the guards of his body in a certain dark subterranean passage; for he lay sick in a place called formerly the Citadel, though afterwards its name was changed to Antonia; and he gave orders that if Antigonus came unarmed, they should let him alone; but if he came to him in his armor, they should kill him. He also sent some to let him know beforehand that he should come unarmed. But, upon this occasion, the queen very cunningly contrived the matter with those that plotted his ruin, for she persuaded those that were sent to conceal the king’s message; but to tell Antigonus how his brother had heard he had got a very suit of armor made with fine martial ornaments, in Galilee; and because his present sickness hindered him from coming and seeing all that finery, he very much desired to see him now in his armor; because, said he, in a little time thou art going away from me.

774. As soon as Antigonus heard this, the good temper of his brother not allowing him to suspect any harm from him, he came along with his armor on, to show it to his brother; but when he was going along that dark passage which was called Strato’s Tower, he was slain by the body guards, and became an eminent instance how calumny destroys all goodwill and natural affection, and how none of our good affections are strong enough to resist envy perpetually.

785. And truly anyone would be surprised at Judas upon this occasion. He was of the sect of the Essenes, and had never failed or deceived men in his predictions before. Now, this man saw Antigonus as he was passing along by the temple, and cried out to his acquaintance (they were not a few who attended upon him as his scholars), “O strange!” said he, “it is good for me to die now, since truth is dead before me, and somewhat that I have foretold hath proved false; for this Antigonus is this day alive, who ought to have died this day; and the place where he ought to be slain, according to that fatal decree, was Strato’s Tower, which is at the distance of six hundred furlongs from this place; and yet four hours of this day are over already; which point of time renders the prediction impossible to be fulfilled.” And when the old man had said this, he was dejected in his mind, and so continued. But, in a little time, news came that Antigonus was slain in a subterraneous place, which was itself also called Strato’s Tower, by the same name with that Caesarea which lay by the seaside; and this ambiguity it was which caused the prophet’s disorder.

816. Hereupon Aristobulus repented of the great crime he had been guilty of, and this gave occasion to the increase of his distemper. He also grew worse and worse, and his soul was constantly disturbed at the thoughts of what he had done, till his very bowels being torn to pieces by the intolerable grief he was under, he threw up a great quantity of blood. And as one of those servants that attended him carried out that blood, he, by some supernatural providence, slipped and fell down in the very place where Antigonus had been slain; and so he spilt some of the murderer’s blood upon the spots of the blood of him that had been murdered, which still appeared. Hereupon a lamentable cry arose among the spectators, as if the servant had spilled the blood on purpose in that place; and as the king heard that cry, he inquired what was the cause of it; and while nobody durst tell him, he pressed them so much the more to let him know what was the matter; so at length, when he had threatened them, and forced them to speak out, they told; whereupon he burst into tears, and groaned, and said,“So I perceive I am not like to escape the all-seeing eye of God, as to the great crimes I have committed; but the vengeance of the blood of my kinsman pursues me hastily. O thou most impudent body! how long wilt thou retain a soul that ought to die, on account of that punishment it ought to suffer for a mother and a brother slain! How long shall I myself spend my blood drop by drop? let them take it all at once; and let their ghosts no longer be disappointed by a few parcels of my bowels offered to them.” As soon as he had said these words, he presently died, when he had reigned no longer than a year

851. And now the king’s wife loosed the king’s brethren, and made Alexander king, who appeared both elder in age, and more moderate in his temper than the rest; who, when he came to the government, slew one of his brethren, as affecting to govern himself; but had the other of them in great esteem, as loving a quiet life, without meddling with public affairs.

862. Now it happened that there was a battle between him and Ptolemy, who was called Lathyrus, who had taken the city Asochis. He indeed slew a great many of his enemies, but the victory rather inclined to Ptolemy. But when this Ptolemy was pursued by his mother Cleopatra, and retired into Egypt, Alexander besieged Gadara, and took it; as also he did Amathus, which was the strongest of all the fortresses that were about Jordan, and therein were the most precious of all the possessions of Theodorus, the son of Zeno. Whereupon Theodorus marched against him, and took what belonged to himself as well as the king’s baggage, and slew ten thousand of the Jews. However, Alexander recovered this blow, and turned his force towards the maritime parts, and took Raphia and Gaza, with Anthedon also, which was afterwards called Agrippias by king Herod.

883. But when he had made slaves of the citizens of all these cities, the nation of the Jews made an insurrection against him at a festival; for at those feasts seditions are generally begun; and it looked as if he should not be able to escape the plot they had laid for him, had not his foreign auxiliaries, the Pisidians and Cilicians, assisted him; for as to the Syrians, he never admitted them among his mercenary troops, on account of their innate enmity against the Jewish nation. And when he had slain more than six thousand of the rebels, he made an incursion into Arabia; and when he had taken that country, together with the Gileadites and Moabites, he enjoined them to pay him tribute, and returned to Amathus; and as Theodorus was surprised at his great success, he took the fortress, and demolished it.

904. However, when he fought with Obodas, king of the Arabians, who had laid an ambush for him near Golan, and a plot against him, he lost his entire army, which was crowded together in a deep valley, and broken to pieces by the multitude of camels. And when he had made his escape to Jerusalem, he provoked the multitude, which hated him before, to make an insurrection against him, and this on account of the greatness of the calamity that he was under. However, he was then too hard for them; and, in the several battles that were fought on both sides, he slew not fewer than fifty thousand of the Jews in the interval of six years. Yet had he no reason to rejoice in these victories, since he did but consume his own kingdom; till at length he left off fighting, and endeavored to come to a composition with them, by talking with his subjects. But this mutability and irregularity of his conduct made them hate him still more. And when he asked them why they so hated him, and what he should do in order to appease them, they said, by killing himself; for that it would be then all they could do to be reconciled to him, who had done such tragical things to them, even when he was dead. At the same time they invited Demetrius, who was called Eucerus, to assist them; and as he readily complied with their request, in hopes of great advantages, and came with his army, the Jews joined with those their auxiliaries about Shechem.

935. Yet did Alexander meet both these forces with one thousand horsemen, and eight thousand mercenaries that were on foot. He had also with him that part of the Jews which favored him, to the number of ten thousand; while the adverse party had three thousand horsemen, and fourteen thousand footmen. Now, before they joined battle, the kings made proclamation, and endeavored to draw off each other’s soldiers, and make them revolt; while Demetrius hoped to induce Alexander’s mercenaries to leave him,—and Alexander hoped to induce the Jews that were with Demetrius to leave him. But since neither the Jews would leave off their rage, nor the Greeks prove unfaithful, they came to an engagement, and to a close fight with their weapons. In which battle Demetrius was the conqueror, although Alexander’s mercenaries showed the greatest exploits, both in soul and body. Yet did the upshot of this battle prove different from what was expected, as to both of them; for neither did those that invited Demetrius to come to them continue firm to him, though he was conqueror; and six thousand Jews, out of pity to the change of Alexander’s condition, when he was fled to the mountains, came over to him. Yet could not Demetrius bear this turn of affairs; but supposing that Alexander was already become a match for him again, and that all the nation would [at length] run to him, he left the country, and went his way.

966. However, the rest of the [Jewish] multitude did not lay aside their quarrels with him, when the [foreign] auxiliaries were gone; but they had a perpetual war with Alexander, until he had slain the greatest part of them, and driven the rest into the city Bemeselis; and when he had demolished that city, he carried the captives to Jerusalem. Nay, his rage was grown so extravagant, that his barbarity proceeded to the degree of impiety; for when he had ordered eight hundred to be hung upon crosses in the midst of the city, he had the throats of their wives and children cut before their eyes; and these executions he saw as he was drinking and lying down with his concubines. Upon which so deep a surprise seized on the people, that eight thousand of his opposers fled away the very next night, out of all Judea, whose flight was only terminated by Alexander’s death; so at last, though not till late, and with great difficulty, he, by such actions, procured quiet to his kingdom, and left off fighting any more.

997. Yet did that Antiochus, who was also called Dionysius, become an origin of troubles again. This man was the brother of Demetrius, and the last of the race of the Seleucidae. Alexander was afraid of him, when he was marching against the Arabians; so he cut a deep trench between Antipatris, which was near the mountains, and the shores of Joppa; he also erected a high wall before the trench, and built wooden towers, in order to hinder any sudden approaches. But still he was not able to exclude Antiochus, for he burnt the towers, and filled up the trenches, and marched on with his army. And as he looked upon taking his revenge on Alexander, for endeavoring to stop him, as a thing of less consequence, he marched directly against the Arabians, whose king retired into such parts of the country as were fittest for engaging the enemy, and then on the sudden made his horse turn back, which were in number ten thousand, and fell upon Antiochus’s army while they were in disorder, and a terrible battle ensued. Antiochus’s troops, so long as he was alive, fought it out, although a mighty slaughter was made among them by the Arabians; but when he fell, for he was in the forefront, in the utmost danger, in rallying his troops, they all gave ground, and the greatest part of his army were destroyed, either in the action or the flight; and for the rest, who fled to the village of Cana, it happened that they were all consumed by want of necessaries, a few only excepted.

1038. About this time it was that the people of Damascus, out of their hatred to Ptolemy, the son of Menneus, invited Aretas [to take the government], and made him king of Celesyria. This man also made an expedition against Judea, and beat Alexander in battle; but afterwards retired by mutual agreement. But Alexander, when he had taken Pella, marched to Gerasa again, out of the covetous desire he had of Theodorus’s possessions; and when he had built a triple wall about the garrison, he took the place by force. He also demolished Golan, and Seleucia, and what was called the Valley of Antiochus; besides which, he took the strong fortress of Gamala, and stripped Demetrius, who was governor therein, of what he had, on account of the many crimes laid to his charge, and then returned into Judea, after he had been three whole years in this expedition. And now he was kindly received of the nation, because of the good success he had. So when he was at rest from war, he fell into a distemper; for he was afflicted with a quartan ague, and supposed that, by exercising himself again in martial affairs, he should get rid of this distemper; but by making such expeditions at unseasonable times, and forcing his body to undergo greater hardships than it was able to bear, he brought himself to his end. He died, therefore, in the midst of his troubles, after he had reigned seven and twenty years.
http://lexundria.com/j_bj/1.85-1.106/wst


Jewish Antiquities
Book 13

Joseph Flavius

372. As to Alexander, his own people were seditious against him; for at a festival which was then celebrated, when he stood upon the altar, and was going to sacrifice, the nation rose upon him, and pelted him with citrons [which they then had in their hands, because] the law of the Jews required that at the feast of tabernacles every one should have branches of the palm tree and citron tree; which thing we have elsewhere related. They also reviled him, as derived from a captive, and so unworthy of his dignity and of sacrificing.

373. At this he was in a rage, and slew of them about six thousand. He also built a partition-wall of wood round the altar and the temple, as far as that partition within which it was only lawful for the priests to enter; and by this means he obstructed the multitude from coming at him.

374. He also maintained foreigners of Pisidia and Cilicia; for as to the Syrians, he was at war with them, and so made no use of them. He also overcame the Arabians, such as the Moabites and Gileadites, and made them bring tribute. Moreover, he demolished Amathus, while Theodorus durst not fight with him;

375. but as he had joined battle with Obedas, king of the Arabians, and fell into an ambush in the places that were rugged and difficult to be travelled over, he was thrown down into a deep valley, by the multitude of the camels at Gadurn, a village of Gilead, and hardly escaped with his life. From thence he fled to Jerusalem,

376. where, besides his other ill success, the nation insulted him, and he fought against them for six years, and slew no fewer than fifty thousand of them. And when he desired that they would desist from their ill-will to him, they hated him so much the more, on account of what had already happened; and when he had asked them what he ought to do, they all cried out, that he ought to kill himself. They also sent to Demetrius Eucaerus, and desired him to make a league of mutual defence with them.

http://www.attalus.org/old/aj_13c.html


After the death of Alexander, Queen Salome took the crown royal, Her eldest son, Hyrcanus II, became High Priest. Her youngest son, Judah Aristobulus II took command of the royal army.

Salome_Alexandra.jpg

 

Because she was a woman, Queen Salome could not hold a dual role of ruler and high priest . She appointed to her son Hyrcanus II as High Priest of the kingdom.Hyrcanus II shared his mother's religious views and was sympathetic to the Pharisees. Queen Salome changed the administration policy of her deceased husband Alexander, who was the harshest opponent of the Pharisees. She sought to heal the rift between the royal family. Queen Salome decided to transfer the power into the hands of her Pharisee brother Simeon ben Shetach, who became Nasi (Prince of the Sanhedrin). The Pharisees gained formal authority in all areas of life in the kingdom, Laws were enacted by the Pharisees and the power to ban or imprison citizens, release prisoners and allow allied exiles to return back to Judea.

 

 

 

The earliest record of a Sanhedrin is by Josephus who wrote of a political Sanhedrin convened by the Romans in 57 B.C.E. Hellenistic sources generally depict the Sanhedrin as a political and judicial council headed by the country’s ruler.

The Gerusia

This body was undoubtedly much older than the term "sanhedrin." Accounts referring to the history of the pre-Maccabean time represent a magistracy at the head of the people, which body was designated Gerusia. In 203 Antiochus the Great wrote a letter to the Jews in which he expressed his satisfaction that they had given him a friendly reception at Jerusalem, and had even come to meet him with the senate (γερουσία; "Ant." xii. 3, § 3). Antiochus V. also greeted the gerusia in a letter to the Jewish people. This gerusia, which stood at the head of the people, was the body that was subsequently called "sanhedrin." The date and the manner of its origin can not now be determined. Josephus calls it either συνέδριον or βουλή, and its members πρεσβΎτεροι (="elders," i.e., ) or βουλευταί (="councilors"), whose number was probably the same as that of the members of the Sanhedrin in the hall of hewn stone, namely, seventy or seventy-one. There are no references to indicate whence the Sanhedrin derived its authority or by whom it was elected, unless it be assumed that the convocation of that body by the high priest and at times by the Jewish king, as mentioned in the sources, refers to the manner of its election. This Sanhedrin, which was entirely aristocratic in character, probably assumed its own authority, since it was composed of members of the most influential families of the nobility and priesthood (comp. Sanh. iv. 2, where there is an allusion to the composition of this body). The Pharisees had no great influence in this assembly, although some of its members may have been friendly to them at various times. Though there are no definite references to gradations in rank among the several members, there seems to have been a committee of ten members, οὶ δέκα πρῶτοι, who ranked above their colleagues (comp. Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., ii. 201-202).

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13178-sanhedrin

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swidde_willem_de_joode_koning.jpg

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Luke_Wilbur    5

The Didache

Chapter 5

5:1 But the way of death is this.
5:2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

 

http://www.biblesearchers.com/yahshua/beithillel/SederOlamRabbahVezuta.shtml

One could reasonably consider the candidates for the Essene prophecy to be King Alexander as the Wicked Priest, Simeon ben Shetach the Righteous Teacher, and Eleazar b. Po'irah the Man of the Lie.The seduction of position and power corrupted quite a few priest, sages, and kings. Alvar Ellegård follows argues that the Teacher of Righteousness was not only the leader of the Essenes at Qumran, but was also identical to the original Jesus about 150 years before the time of the Gospels. H. Stegemann suggests that the reason that nothing is said in 1 Maccabees about a High Priest between Alcimus and Jonathan was apologetic:to conceal the fact that the Hasmoneans obtained the High Priesthood by usurping it from its rightful holder, the Teacher of Righteousness.

 

My heart tells me it was Caiaphas as the wicked priest, Jesus as the Righteous Teacher, and Judas Iscariot as the Man of the Lie.

 

The Pesher Habakkuk mentions the House of Absalom, which is accused of standing idle while the Man of the Lie worked against the Teacher. King David's rebellious third son Absalom who failed in his attempt to take his father's throne. The name Absalom was considered synonymous of a traitor.
From what I have researched not too much is said about Abasalom's descendants. He did have three boys and a daughter. But, what is known is that none of David's descendants did not regain the throne until the birth of Jesus. And many Jews did accept him as the Messiah. The temple establishment did not.

 

As an aside, I find it quite interesting that there is good amount archeological and historical evidence during the Maccabean dynasty to the time of Jesus Christ. But, little biblical reference to the period when Israel's name is changed to Judea by the Romans. That is why the Dead Sea Scrolls are so interesting. Teacher of Righteousness is as mysterious to me as the priesthood of Melchizedek. My heart tells me Jesus fills both roles.

Watch this short and powerful video from Jerusalem, for illuminating insights and fascinating perspectives into how the holiday of Hanukkah is relevant today.

Hanukkah - In Those Days, at This Time



Now you know what the miracle of Hanukkah really about?
One days' worth of olive oil lasting for 8 days, was indeed, miraculous....
but there is so much more to this holiday than meets the eye.
Hanukkah is the miraculous story of the Jewish People, and as you will see -the story never ended.
It lives today in our times, through the miracle of the State of Israel,
and the modern day Maccabees who answer to the call"Mi LeHashem Elai" - "Who is with Hashem is with me!"

Website: https://TheLandofIsrael.com

National Hanukkah Menorah, Washington DC

Menorah.jpg

Many Christians do not realize Jesus observed Hanukkah. He was in His Father's Temple during this special religious holiday. It was during Hanukkah that Jesus was confronted by Jewish leaders and proclaimed that he was the Son of Hashem.

 

I pray this post helps all Christians understand the transition between the old an new testament.