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The Didache (The Teaching) 2nd Revision

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The Didache - Introduction
 
"Son, if you look for the good you will find it. If you look for the bad you will find it too." This was the first moral teaching given to me by my father when I was just a boy.  Learning the truth of good and bad starts with life experiences with family (mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, guardians etc..) friends, classmates, teachers (pastors, priests, rabbis, professors, councilors, etc), and adversaries. Truth can be further shaped with the knowledge gained from media (internet, television, radio, movies, books, etc ). In this age of Science and Faith it can be difficult is discerning the Truth that comes from a Creative Force of Nature and what is from the teaching of man.
 
I have chosen to research the Didache of the 12 Apostles because it is honored as the 'first catechism' (articles of faith) of the Christian church.  The Didache (dee-da-ke, Greek word for teaching) of the 12 Apostles is a timeless moral compass that identifies selfless positive actions that lead to life and prosperity and negative selfish actions that lead to death and destruction. For nonChristians the Didache is a code of conduct without references to angels, prophecy and miracles.The principles of right living by the golden rule apply to everyone regardless of culture or creed. in life. For those in Behavior Sciences and religious naturalist the Didache is a good window to understanding the evolution of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic social morality. Congruent (in harmony) to the Laws give to the Israelites through Moses, the Didache is an instruction manual Jesus gave to the Apostles that further defines how to be righteous (law abiding) Christians. Over time the original Didache was replaced with revised teachings that brought about new catechisms, church schisms, reformations, and the birth of Arianism, Islam, Protestantism, Mormonism  and Unitarianism.
 
In humble admiration, I am using President Thomas Jefferson's syllabus method used in his book "The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth" (also known as the Jefferson Bible) to best present the truth in the Didache of the 12 Apostles. Jefferson's book was made made by cutting out gospel wisdom passages of the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and arranging them on the pages of a blank book, in a certain order of time or subject that he thought best to present the philosophical teachings of Jesus without the supernatural. President John Adams understood the magnitude of Jefferson's work.
 
John Adams to Thomas Jefferson, 14 November 1813
 

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I admire your Employment, in Selecting the Philosophy and Divinity of Jesus and Separating it from all intermixtures. If I had Eyes and Nerves, I would go through both Testaments and mark all that I understand. To examine the Mishna Gemara Cabbala Jezirah, Sohar Cosri and Talmud of the Hebrews would require the life of Methuselah, and after all, his 969 years would be wasted to very little purpose.

 
I will follow the same method by adapting the modern technology of copying, cutting, and pasting a reasoned comparison of the Didache's text line by line with my life experiences, media and the Holy Word (Scripture) given by a supernatural Creative Force of Nature that has been witnessed and testified by the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths. In addition, I will include other faiths, philosophy, and natural science in context to a particular Apostolic teaching. I propose the Didache to be a great mechanism to create positive neuroplasticity (physical change to the brain) and socioplasticity (cultural change to a society) that should be studied for its benefits to the happiness of our human condition.
 
I ask you the reader to temporarily suspend your preconception or disbelief on whether or not a Creative Force of Nature exists or how an Apostolic teaching can give us an understanding on how the choice of our actions can lead to Life and Happiness or Death and Misery until I am finished presenting testimony of definitions of to you. It is my hope that together you the reader and I the writer strip away the bias of belief and unbelief in our quest for truth to better understanding what it means to have good moral sense in life and share the happiness when we find it.
 
 In our pursuit for the truth of happiness I shall begin my essay with a quote from the United States Declaration of Independence.
 

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We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

 
As the primary author of the United States Declaration of Independence , Thomas Jefferson understood the liberty of choice our Creator has given us to pursuit the wisdom of life and prosperity or suffer the evils of death and destruction. The truth of choice that the followers of religion and/or nature, universally agree upon is defined as 'self evident.'
 
Jefferson acquired John Locke's notion how Nature has transcribed into man the understanding of happiness and misery. In the 1689 book, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Locke writes.
 
Chapter III
No Innate Practical Principles
 

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Nature, I confess, has put into man a desire of happiness and an aversion to misery: these indeed are innate practical principles which (as practical principles ought) do continue constantly to operate and influence all our actions without ceasing: these may be observed in all persons and all ages, steady and universal; but these are inclinations of the appetite to good, not impressions of truth on the understanding.

 
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, ( Chapters 2 -3) John Locke writes that the knowledge of the truths of Nature, Happiness and Misery comes through our senses from acquired experiences that are placed into memory. In infancy sensory development begins with our innate ability to differentiate pain from pleasure, hot from cold, bitter from sweet, stench from perfume, light from dark, loud from quiet, and rough from smooth. Locke notes that as our development continues, our minds begin to acquire general abstract ideas from familiar objects and prior experienced events. Some of the abstract ideas our minds formulate are right (successful) and some are wrong (failure). Our ability to recognize right and wrong ideas is what John Locke calls "the use of reason." Acquired ideas that become more accepted by reason are given names and basic language is formed. Ideas that are shared, understood and accepted by others become undoubted truths are what John Locke defines as "maxims." Many undoubted truths not known to others are reasoned by reflecting on their own unique development experiences. Undoubted truths that are reasoned and accepted before they are known are what John Locke terms "implicit maxims.' Ideas that are shared and not understood to be accepted as true or false, assent or dissent, are considered ignorant.
 
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding
John Locke
 

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Chapter 3
No Innate Practical Principles
 
I grant the existence of God is so many ways manifest, and the obedience we owe him so congruous to the light of reason, that a great part of mankind give testimony to the law of nature: but yet I think it must be allowed that several moral rules may receive from mankind a very general approbation, without either knowing or admitting the true ground of morality; which can only be the will and law of a God, who sees men in the dark, has in His hand rewards and punishments and power enough to call to account the proudest offender.
 
Chapter 28
Of Other Relations
 
8. Divine law the measure of sin and duty. First, the Divine Law, whereby that law which God has set to the actions of men — whether promulgated to them by the light of nature, or the voice of revelation. That God has given a rule whereby men should govern themselves, I think there is nobody so brutish as to deny. He has a right to do it; we are his creatures: he has goodness and wisdom to direct our actions to that which is best: and he has power to enforce it by rewards and punishments of infinite weight and duration in another life; for nobody can take us out of his hands. This is the only true touchstone of moral rectitude; and, by comparing them to this law, it is that men judge of the most considerable moral good or evil of their actions; that is, whether, as duties or sins, they are like to procure them happiness or misery from the hands of the ALMIGHTY.

 
To understand how  Thomas Jefferson acquired maxim of the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God we must first review Commentaries on the Laws of England  by English judge, Sir William Blackstone published in 1765.
 
The Will of the Creative force of Nature is called Natural Law. It is the explicit Will of Natural Law that binds us to this Universe and each other. It is the implicit Will of Natural Law to protect those who choose to accept and follow what we find to be good and self evident with our life.
 
Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England
Introduction
Of the Nature of Laws in General.
 

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This will of his Maker is called the Law of Nature. For as God, when He created matter, and endued it with a principle of mobility, established certain rules for the perpetual direction of that motion; so, when he created man, and endued him with free will to conduct himself in all parts of life, He laid down certain immutable laws of human nature, whereby that free will is in some degree regulated and restrained, and gave him also the faculty of reason to discover the purpose of those laws.
 
IF man were to live in a state of nature, unconnected with other individuals, there would be no occasion for any other laws, than the law of nature, and the law of God. Neither could any other law possibly exist; for a law always supposes some superior who is to make it; and in a state of nature we are all equal, without any other superior but him who is the author of our being. But man was formed for society; and, as is demonstrated by the writers on this subject, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to do it. However, as it is impossible for the whole race of mankind to be united in one great society, they must necessarily divide into many; and form separate states, commonwealths, and nations; entirely independent of each other, and yet liable to a mutual intercourse. Hence arises a third kind of law to regulate this mutual intercourse, called “the law of “nations;” which, as none of these states will acknowledge a superiority in the other, cannot be dictated by either; but depends entirely upon the rules of natural law, or upon mutual compacts, treaties, leagues, and agreements between these several communities: in the construction also of which compacts we have no other rule to resort to, but the law of nature; being the only one to which both communities are equally subject: and therefore the civil law very justly observes, that quod naturalis ratio inter omnes hominess conftituit, vocatur jus gentium.

 
In Jefferson's 1817 letter to John Tyler, our nation's third president acknowledged the use of Blackstone's common laws and the Will of the Creator in forming the the Republic of the United States.  But, America's use of English common law was fashioned into a system that was more relevant to a government without a king. It was the Republic's cause of ascension of the rights of citizens over being ruled by a king that made the Declaration of Independence a necessary document.
 
Locke, Blackstone and Jefferson believed that a Creative Force of Nature has given us power over our body and mind to pursue or avoid sensations and reflections of pleasure and pain. John Locke believed that the Creator willed us to follow moral laws of virtue and happiness that preserve our individual selves and society from pain. Locke wrote that mankind will be rewarded if we abide by the given laws and punished if we disobey them.
 
Locke, Blackstone, and Jefferson knew that 50 years before Jesus Christ walked the earth, Cicero, the Roman Philosopher theorized how the moral sense of law bestowed by the Creator enables man to discern by reason what is virtue (good) and what is vice (evil).
 
Thomas Jefferson to John Adams, 5 July 1814
 

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Cicero did not wield the dense logic of Demosthenes, yet he was able, learned, laborious, practiced in the business of the world, & honest. he could not be the dupe of mere style, of which he was himself the first master in the world.

 
In The Political Works of Marcus Tullius Cicero, vol. 2 (Treatise on the Laws). Cicero defined the Law of Nature as the governing power of the Creator as both an equitable distribution of goods and discrimination of good and evil.
 

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According to the Greeks, therefore, the name of law implies an equitable distribution of goods: according to the Romans, an equitable discrimination between good and evil. The true definition of law should, however, include both these characteristics. And this being granted as an almost self–evident proposition, the origin of justice is to be sought in the divine law of eternal and immutable morality. This indeed is the true energy of nature, the very soul and essence of wisdom, the test of virtue and vice.

 

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Marcus Cicero believed in a Actively Involved Creator (Divine Providence) over a Do Nothing Creator (Prime Mover) defined by the Greek Philosopher Epicurus that walked this earth 200 years before him. Epicurus taught that pain and death are not evil unto themselves. Cicero believed in the immortality of the soul, and the tranquility of the good after death, and the punishment of the wicked defined by Plato. Epicurus also believed in divine beings, but man cannot be divine and should not expect anything good or bad to come from the gods. Epicurus taught that if one understands that he or she is not immortal, then one can be free of the fear of death and the pain caused from its coming.
 
Epicurus
Letter to Menoeceus
 

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Accustom yourself to believing that death is nothing to us, for good and evil imply the capacity for sensation, and death is the privation of all sentience; therefore a correct understanding that death is nothing to us makes the mortality of life enjoyable, not by adding to life a limitless time, but by taking away the yearning after immortality. For life has no terrors for him who has thoroughly understood that there are no terrors for him in ceasing to live. Foolish, therefore, is the man who says that he fears death, not because it will pain when it comes, but because it pains in the prospect. Whatever causes no annoyance when it is present, causes only a groundless pain in the expectation. Death, therefore, the most awful of evils, is nothing to us, seeing that, when we are, death is not come, and, when death is come, we are not. It is nothing, then, either to the living or to the dead, for with the living it is not and the dead exist no longer.

 
Marcus Cicero agreed with Epicurus that death and pain are not evil unto themselves. But, he maintained that it was reason that links us to the Creator. It is this Provident Creator that generated man to transcend over the other creatures by reason and thought. And it is the right (successful) reason between the Creator and Man we find self evident, which we call Law.  Epicurus believed that circumstance was the Prime Mover and Natural Order of matter. While Cicero maintained that through right reasoning we can take notice of the natural link between our indestructible spirit and our Creator through natural and morally just laws that derive from loving our associates.  Epicurus taught that some outcomes happen out of necessity, others by chance, and our own through our own agency (course of action). Epicurus considered Law to be Truth as long as through Prudent Reasoning it is considered to be useful (Natural Justice and Honorable) and successful (pleasurable) to all parties (self evident). The chain of Epicurian reasoning has led us to now consider the infinite outcome reality of quantum self interest over one outcome reality of an outside Creative force of nature watching and interacting with us. It is in only the successful outcome of our decisions that those that believe in either a Provident Creator, a Prime Mover, or No God can agree.
 
50 years before Epicurus, a sage by the name of Aristotle tutor of Alexander the Great, argued that is through contrary outcomes that we can find Natural Justice.
 
Nicomachean Ethics
By Aristotle
 

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Now often one contrary state is recognized from its contrary, and often states are recognized from the subjects that exhibit them; for ( A ) if good condition is known, bad condition also becomes known, and ( B ) good condition is known from the things that are in good condition, and they from it. If good condition is firmness of flesh, it is necessary both that bad condition should be flabbiness of flesh and that the wholesome should be that which causes firmness in flesh. And it follows for the most part that if one contrary is ambiguous the other also will be ambiguous; e.g. if 'just' is so, that 'unjust' will be so too.

 
Another great orator that both born and died the same years as Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) by the name of Demosthenes led a failed revolt against Alexander the Great and took his life rather than being arrested. Demosthenes believed that unjust actions to be wicked and just actions to be good and honest. 
 
Demosthenes
Against Aristocrates Section 75
 

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The defendant, however, admitted no exception; he simply makes an outcast of any man who kills Charidemus, even though he kill him justly or as the laws permit. And yet to every act and to every word one of two epithets is applicable: it is either just or unjust. To no act and to no word can both these epithets be applied at the same time, for how can the same act at the same time be both just and not just? Every act is brought to the test as having the one or the other of these qualities; if it be found to have the quality of injustice, it is adjudged to be wicked, if of justice, to be good and honest.—But you, sir, used neither qualification when you wrote the words, “if any man kill.” You named the mere accusation, without any definition, and then immediately added, “let him be liable to seizure.” Thereby you have evidently ignored this tribunal and its usages as well as the other two.

 
Demosthenes argued that those who fail to see and act upon god given opportunities during their lifetime will be judged their denial of the divine good in them.
 
Demosthenes
Olynthiac 1 Section 11
 

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I suppose it is with national as with private wealth. If a man keeps what he gains, he is duly grateful to fortune; if he loses it by his own imprudence, he loses along with it the sense of gratitude. So in national affairs, those who fail to use their opportunities aright, fail also to acknowledge the good that the gods have given; for every advantage in the past is judged in the light of the final issue. It is therefore our duty, men of Athens, to keep a careful eye on the future, that by restoring our prosperity we may efface the discredit of the past.

 
Demosthenes and Aristotle would have known Socrates, the Great Greek philosopher that proceeded them. In Joeseph Priestly's work, Socrates and Jesus Compared, Socrates devout religious belief to help citizens and others to be good was greatly admired. He taught the one Law of Nature is to do good in return for good received; or face the penalty of being deserted by your friends in you time of need. Priestly also writes that taught of a decisive power superior to man. And Unlike Epicurus belief that the gods were unconcerned spectators of the plight of man, Socrates reasoned the gods were concerned and interceded in the affairs of man. At his trial Socrates said that he had often heard a Daemon (divine voice) who was frequently present within him. He trusted the judgement of his personal reason and the wisdom of the gods over people. During his trial,Socrates listened to his Daemon repeated commands not to make any defense to the accusations, which led to his demise against tyrants. During Socrates sentencing he pleaded a justifiable reason of vanity that he if was executed, Athens would find no other man like him. Ultimately Socrates execution made him even more famous as a martyr for morality.

To Priestly it appears that Socrates had little or no faith in the sanction of virtue in the doctrine of a future state. But, believed in the pleasure received during life and the chance of honored by the living after death. Priestly writes, "Socrates, according to Plato, generally speaks of a future state, and the condition of men in, as the popular belief, which might be true or false. Priestly does mention that Socrates taught that there was a privilege given by the gods to only a select group humans initiated in the right manner into a philosophy of meditation of a pure mind over their body to live with them. Socrates did not know whether or not he had succeeded in this endeavor or not.
 
SOCRATES AND JESUS
COMPARED
 
BY JOSEPH PRIESTLY
 
page 22
 

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"If" says he "what is said to be true, we shall in another "state die no more. In death "he says to his judges "we either lose all sense of things, or as it is said, go into some other place; and if it be so, it will be much better; as we shall be out " of the power of partial judges, and come before "those that are impartial."

 
Priestly maintained Socrates theorized that the substance of man's power of thinking, or mental action may remain when the corporeal body ceases to exist. Priestly then added the Greek general belief of an afterlife during the time of Socrates could have been similar to the Jews idea of afterlife, but the record of this Future State revelation had been long lost.

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 600 years before Socrates, Aristotle and Demosthenes, the Israelite King Solomon wrote and shared words of wisdom to his people that a perfect weight on honest scales and balances are the Creator's will.

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 11
 

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1 Deceitful scales are an abomination of the Lord, but a perfect weight is His will.

Proverbs 16

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16:9 A person plans his course,
but the Lord directs his steps.
16:10 The divine verdict is in the words of the king,
his pronouncements must not act treacherously against justice.
16:11 Honest scales and balances are from the Lord;
all the weights in the bag are his handiwork.

The Egyptian scale and balance concept of 'Ma’at' predated the Torah by 2000 years, but had a similar meaning of an active Creative Force of Nature involved in the scales and balances of Justice. Ma’at originated as a concept and evolved into belief in a goddess that was a manifestation of the Creator and Sun god, Amun Ra (Amun Re, Yamānu, Hidden One) to maintain truth, justice and natural universal order by balancing the flow of Ka (vital energy, life force, magic) from opposing powers. Ma’at is also a blatant counter force to the Egyptian term isfet (disorder). As a goddess, through the activation of the Ka (Heka) Ma’at was created by Amun Ra and opponent of Apepi  (Aapep) the giant serpent and Lord of Chaos. Egyptians had no concept of Hell after death, Judgement came to those that followed Apepi and heart was not pure during life, their punishment was to devoured by the female demon Ammit into non-existence. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead, Maat represents the ethical and moral principle of truth and honor that every citizen was expected to follow throughout their daily lives.  The soul, ka (vital energy, and Chu (Shu, breath of life) originated on earth and were connected to immortality.

300 hundred years before Solomon, the Egyptian Royal scribe, Hunefer made a copy of the funerary Egyptian Book of the Dead for Pharaoh Seti I. 

Hunnifer.jpg
 
Like the Creator in Judaism, Thoth gives long life on earth and the promise of eternal life in the after world to those who are just.  

Book of the Dead of Hunefer
 
Chapter CLXXXIII
Papyrus of Un'neferu

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Life is with thee, abundance is attached to thee. I offer Maat before thee; grant that I may be in the train of thy majesty like one who is on the earth. May thy name be called upon, may it be found among the just ones.
 
I have come to this god, to the city of god, to the region of old time; my soul, my ka, my Chu are in this land. The god of it is the lord of justice, the lord of abundance, the great and the venerable one, who is towed through the whole earth; he journeys to the South in his boat, and to the North driven by the winds, and his oars, to be entertained with gifts according to the command of the god, the lord of peace therein, who left me free of care. The god therein rejoices in who practices justice; he grants an old age to him who has done so; he is beloved, and the of it is a good burial and a sepulture in Ta-Tsert.
 
I have come to thee; my hands bring Maat, my heart does not contain any falsehood, I offer thee Maat before thy face, I know her; I swear by her; I have done no evil thing on earth; I have never wronged a man of his property. I am Thoth, the perfect and pure writer; my hands are pure. I have put away all evil things; I write justice and I hate evil; for I am the writing-reed of the Inviolate god, who utters his words, and whose words are written in the two earths.
 
I am Thoth, the lord of justice, who gives victory to him who is injured and who takes the defense of the oppressed, of him who is wronged in his property. I have dispelled darkness; I have driven away the storm; I have given air to Unneferu, and the sweet breezes of the North when he comes out of the womb of his mother.

 

 

500 hundred years before Hunefer,  the Babylonian King ,Hammurabi (Khammurabi. Awil Kurda) inscribed his code of law on a stone stele. The relief portrait of Hammurabi can be found in the House Gallery in the United States Capitol Building.

6240603267_d72909fee1_b.jpg

Hammurabi Code of Laws Stele.

800px-P1050763_Louvre_code_Hammurabi_face_rwk.JPG

The Sky god Anu (An) is considered the Chief Justice of the seven gods ( Anunnaki) who reside in the underworld and judge the fate of mankind. Ea (Enki) the god of righteousness and Lord (Bel) of Heaven and Earth who assigned lesser gods to oversee and represent particular regions on earth in the council of gods. It was It was Ea who proposed to the council that a mortal man should be created to serve the gods. Anu and Ea assigned the Sky Lord Marduk (Ea's son) to oversee the decrees of Anu on the fate of mankind with his Imhullu (divine wind storm weapon). Anu and Ea who bestowed on King Hammurabi the power to rule over the mortals with righteousness judgement over the wicked. 

Code of Hammurabi

Prologue 1

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When Anu the Sublime, King of the Anunaki, and Bel, the lord of Heaven and earth, who decreed the fate of the land, assigned to Marduk, the over-ruling son of Ea, God of righteousness, dominion over earthly man, and made him great among the Igigi, they called Babylon by his illustrious name, made it great on earth, and founded an everlasting kingdom in it, whose foundations are laid so solidly as those of heaven and earth; then Anu and Bel called by name me, Hammurabi, the exalted prince, who feared God, to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak; so that I should rule over the black-headed people like Shamash, and enlighten the land, to further the well-being of mankind.

King Hammurabi prayed at the temple of Siggil (Marduk) and asked his Lord (Bel) Marduk to increase the riches of Babylonia and the main temple of Sin (god of the moon and the one who created Hammurabi) called Gish-shir-gal ; reestablish the sacred city of Eridu dedicated Lord (Bel) Ea; and purify Apsu (a god encompasses all fresh drinking water) that eternally sleeps due to a spell Ea placed upon him. 

Code of Hammurabi

Prologue 2

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Hammurabi, the prince, called of Bel am I, making riches and increase, enriching Nippur and Dur-ilu beyond compare, sublime patron of E-kur; who reestablished Eridu and purified the worship of E-apsu; who conquered the four quarters of the world, made great the name of Babylon, rejoiced the heart of Marduk, his lord who daily pays his devotions in Saggil; the royal scion whom Sin made; who enriched Ur; the humble, the reverent, who brings wealth to Gish-shir-gal;

Hammurabi referred to himself as a white king who knew of Shamash (Utu), son of the moon god Sin, and god of the Sun. Shamash was known for riding his sun chariot all day watching enforcing justice, and teaching morality and truth to mortals. Shamash established and guarded the cities of Sippara  and Larsa. He then made the temple dedicated to him like Heaven. Shamash clothed the gravestones of his Malkat (Queen and consort) with green representing the resurrection of nature. With the help of Shamash, Hammurabi was able to restore and bring water to the ancient city of Uruk; raise the temple of E-Anna (Inanna, Istar), Queen of Heaven (twin sister of Shamash), perfectly depicted the beauty of the sky god Anu and the warrior and reproduction goddess Nana (Nanaya), who guard the kingdom of Babylon and reunited the people of the city of Isin. 

Code of Hammurabi

Prologue 2

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the white king, heard of Shamash, the mighty, who again laid the foundations of Sippara; who clothed the gravestones of Malkat with green; who made E-babbar great, which is like the heavens, the warrior who guarded Larsa and renewed E-babbar, with Shamash as his helper; the lord who granted new life to Uruk, who brought plenteous water to its inhabitants, raised the head of E-anna, and perfected the beauty of Anu and Nana; shield of the land, who reunited the scattered inhabitants of Isin;

Like the god Shamash bringing green life over death to Babylon, the Creator brought green life over death to Israel. Most Jewish scholars believe this to be prophecy of when Israel will rise to power over those that control it.

Yechezkel - Ezekiel - Chapter 17

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24. And all the trees of the field will recognize that I, the Lord, have lowered the high tree, have raised aloft the low tree; that I have dried up the green tree, and have made the dry tree blossom. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will accomplish it."

Hammurabi donated to money to the temple of E-gal-mach and protected the cities he controlled. He considered himself to be brother of the war god Zamama (Zababa, Ashtabi) protector of the city of Kish . Hammurabi glorified Zamama's temple E-me-te-ursag and established farms around the city of Kish. He also increased the treasury of the temple of the warrior god Nana (Nanaya) and the Temple Harsagkalama dedicated to the love and war goddess, Inanna, (Inana, Ishtar), daughter of the sky god Anu, and mother of the warrior goddess Nanaya 

Code of Hammurabi

Prologue 3

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who richly endowed E-gal-mach; the protecting king of the city, brother of the god Zamama; who firmly founded the farms of Kish, crowned E-me-te-ursag with glory, redoubled the great holy treasures of Nana, managed the temple of Harsagkalama;

King Hammurabi used the a grave metaphor to define the destruction and subjection of his enemy. He increased the power of the city of Cuthah.

Code of Hammurabi

Prologue 3

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the grave of the enemy, whose help brought about the victory; who increased the power of Cuthah; made all glorious in E-shidlam, the black steer, who gored the enemy; beloved of the god Nebo, who rejoiced the inhabitants of Borsippa, the Sublime; who is indefatigable for E-zida; 

According to the Tanakh, Cuthah was one of the five Syrian and Mesopotamian cities from which Sargon II, King of Assyria, brought settlers to take the places of the exiled Israelites.  These settlers would later be known as "Cuthim" in Hebrew and as "Samaritans" to the Greeks. The Assyrian King advisers marginalized God of the Israelites from the Creator of all mankind to just a regional God with power to kill unrespectful settlers. The Samaritans incorporated the Creator into their former pantheon of gods.

2 KINGS 17

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17:24 The king of Assyria brought foreigners from Babylon, Cuthah, Avva, Hamath, and Sepharvaim and settled them in the cities of Samaria in place of the Israelites. They took possession of Samaria and lived in its cities. 17:25 When they first moved in, they did not worship the Lord. So the Lord sent lions among them and the lions were killing them. 17:26 The king of Assyria was told, “The nations whom you deported and settled in the cities of Samaria do not know the requirements of the God of the land, so he has sent lions among them. They are killing the people because they do not know the requirements of the God of the land.” 17:27 So the king of Assyria ordered, “Take back one of the priests whom you deported from there. He must settle there and teach them the requirements of the God of the land.”  17:28 So one of the priests whom they had deported from Samaria went back and settled in Bethel. He taught them how to worship the Lord.

17:29 But each of these nations made its own gods and put them in the shrines on the high places that the people of Samaria had made. Each nation did this in the cities where they lived. 17:30 The people from Babylon made Succoth Benoth, the people from Cuth made Nergal,  the people from Hamath made Ashima, 17:31 the Avvites made Nibhaz and Tartak, and the Sepharvites burned their sons in the fire as an offering to Adrammelech and Anammelech, 56  the gods of Sepharvaim. 17:32 At the same time they worshiped the Lord. They appointed some of their own people to serve as priests in the shrines on the high places.  17:33 They were worshiping the Lord and at the same time serving their own gods in accordance with the practices of the nations from which they had been deported.

In modern history, like the Cuthim,  the Yoruba African slaves were coerced to accept the Catholic faith in Cuba. The masked their ancestral belief by syncretizing (combing) their Orisha (Orichás, orixá) spirits with the human form of Catholic saints.

In the picture below King Hammurabi 'The Lawgiver' and 'Unifier of Babylonia' raises his right arm in worship. Detail of a votive monument. Limestone. Old Babylonian Period, reign of Hammurabi, 1792-1750 BCE. From Sippar, Iraq. The British Museum, London.  In the book, The Old Testament In the Light of The Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia, Theophilus G. Pinches writes that inscription is dedicated for the saving of his life. In this he bears the title (incomplete) of “King of Amoria” (the Amorites), lugal Mar[tu], Semitic Babylonian sar mât Amurrî 

Amraphel.png

 

It is interesting to note that it is is the same time period that King Hammurabi and Abraham, ‘father of the faithful Hebrews, Christians, and Muslims' is said to have migrated with his family from Ur of the Chaldees to Haran, the chief city and commercial capital of Mesopotamia, and then into Palestine. The Biblical World notes that some of the Mari tablets use words from the Amorite tribes that are also found in Abraham's story, such as his father's name, Terah, and his brothers' names, Nahor and Haran (also ironically the name for their destination). From these artifacts and others, some scholars have concluded that Abraham's family may have been Amorites, a Semitic tribe that began to migrate out of Mesopotamia around 2100 B.C. The Amorites' migration destabilized Ur, which scholars estimate collapsed around 1900 B.C.

Now, what was Abraham doing hanging out near the oaks of Mamre near Jerusalem when news arrived that Lot was taken captive (v. 13)?  He was in the area because he was likely a nomadic vassal to Melchizedek, king of Jerusalem. 

 

http://geekychristian.com/biblical-insights-from-archaeology/

It is now the prevailing view among both Assyriologists and Old Testament scholars that King Hammurabi and King Amraphel of Shinar are the same person. According to the Jewish Encyclopedia a partial clue to transformation of the name Hammurabi into the Hebrew form Amraphel is furnished by the explanation of the name in a cuneiform letter as equivalent to Kimta-rapashtu (great people or family). On this basis "'am" = "Kimta" and "raphel" = "rapaltu" = "rapashtu." Shinar  is a general synonym for the region of Babylonia (Mesopotamia).

The Expository Times identifies King Arioch of Ellasar of Genesis with King Eri-Aku (Eri-E-kua, servant of the moon god E-kua, Aku [Sin]) of Larsa. It is known that  Eri-aku, king of Larsa was conquered by King Hammurabi (Amraphel), and later became subject to him. The city of Ellasar (Sumerian name Ararwa, Arauruwa, now known as Senqara) was known as Larsa a city of ancient Babylonia (Chaldea). The city was at first governed by its own kings, but became a part of the Babylonian empire some time after the reign of Hammurabi. In the article, Light on Scriptural Texts From Recent Discoveries, author William Hayes Ward states that the translation from the Semitic Rim-Sin to Akkadian is Eri-Agu or Eri-Aku. The Mari letters throw light are the dealings of Hammurabi with with Rim-Sin of Larsa, in the early and middle periods of his reign. He was not always, as the letters reveal the two neighboring kingdoms co-existed for thirty years on excellent terms, and standing in alliance of mutual defense. 

https://www.scribd.com/document/248006684/Rama-of-Larsa-libre

THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY
THIRD EDITION
VOLUME II
PART 1
HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE AEGEAN REGION c. 1800-1380 B.C.
EDITED BY I. E. S. EDWARDS F.B.A.
Formerly Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities, The British Museum

EVENTS OF HAMMURABI'S REIGN page 179

Quote

Two agents of Hammurabi, he writes, who have long been residing in Mashkan-shapir have now arrived back in Babylon. ' Four men of Larsa, riding on asses, came with them; I learned their business, and this is the message they were sent with.' Rim-Sin had formerly written to Hammurabi proposing that each should go to the other's aid with his army and river-boats in case of attack upon either. But it was now revealed that Rim-Sin was a shifty associate—'as touching the soldiers you are always writing to me about, I have heard [a report] that the enemy has set his face towards a different land, and that is why I did not send my soldiers'—nevertheless, he went on, if the enemy turns again upon either of us let us give each other aid. 

In 1880 Book, The Chaldean Account of Genesis, George Smith speculates that the Semetic Chedorlaomer is translated to Kudar Lagamar, meaning 'servant of a god of Elam.

The Chaldean Account of Genesis

George Smith

Quote

We learn from Genesis xiv. that the cities of the plain were among the conquests of Chedor-laomer and his allies, and there is some reason for thinking that the history of Chedor-laomer's campaign may have been derived from the Babylonian state archives. At all events Amraphel or Amarpel, the king of Sumir, is mentioned first, although Chedor-laomer was the paramount sovereign and the leader of the expedition. The expedition must have taken place during the period when, as we learn from the inscriptions. Babylonia was subject to the monarchs of Elam, though subordinate princes were ruling over the states into which it was divided at the time. Though the name of Chedorlaomer has not been found, Laomer or Lagamar appears as an Elamite god, and several of the Elamite kings bore names compounded with Kudur " a servant," as Kudur-Nankhunte, " the servant of the god Nankhunte," Kudur-Mabug," the servant of Mabug," and the like. Arioch, king of Ellasar, which probably stands for al Larsa, " the city of Larsa," has the same name as Eri-Acu ("the servant of the moon-god"), the son of the Elamite monarch Kudur-Mabug, who reigned over Larsa during his father's lifetime, and was eventually overthrown by the Cossaean conqueror Ehammuragas.

In the 1902 book, The Old Testament In the Light of The Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia,  Theophilus G. Pinches, writes that the Akkadian King Kudur-laḫmal (Kutir-Lagamar, Kudur-laḫ(gu)mal), is a translation variant of the Bible's King Chedorlaomer of Elam. The Kingdom of Elam was located in present day Iran, Northeast of Babylon and Southwest of Ur. In the 2015 book Moses and the Exodus Chronological, Historical and Archaeological Evidence, author Gerard Gertoux states that Lagamar is an Elamite deity.  The 1995 article, Theology and Worship in Elam and Achaemenid Iran, Heidemarie Koch concurs with Gertoux that the name Lagamar is found in middle Elamite texts is Akkadian in meaning the god that shows "No Mercy" that accompanies the god Ishme-karab meaning "He who grants the prayer." In the 1971 book, The Cambridge Ancient History by Geredigeerd Door, two goddesses Isme-karab and Lakamar (Lakamal) supported the god of oaths In-Shushinak (Insusiank, Nin-Suvina(k), Su'inak) in his position as 'judge of the dead.' Lakamar appeared in the later Elam middle period. In a legal context Lagamal would be the prosecutor and Ishmekarub would the Defense.

We can implicitly conclude that Chedorlaomer the king of Elam was a Servant of the god Lagamar.

Encyclopedia Iranica

ELAM vi. Elamite religion

Quote

Lagamal is indeed an infernal deity, and, on the relief from Kūrāngūn, Napiriša is identifiable by his throne, formed from a human-headed serpent; he also holds as attributes of power the disk and the rod (forerunners of the orb and scepter of Western monarchies), from which gush forth the living waters. He thus seems the equivalent of Ea, Mesopotamian god of the waters...

Although many gods were associated with the cult of the dead, three played a particularly important role: Inšušinak, the weigher of souls, and his two assistants, Išnikarab and Lagamal. A few small funerary tablets (Bottéro, pp. 393-401), though very badly preserved, give some idea of the passage into the other world: The dead person, preceded by Išnikarab or Lagamal or both presents himself in the haštu (in the Akkadian texts šuttu, a synonym for haštu) before Inšušinak, who decides his fate. This scene seems to be illustrated on a number of cylinder seals, where it is commonly identified as a “presentation scene,” even though it is more probably a depiction of the last judgment (Vallat, 1989).

A few small funerary tablets (Bottéro, pp. 393-401), though very badly preserved, give some idea of the passage into the other world: The dead person, preceded by Išnikarab or Lagamal or both presents himself in the haštu (in the Akkadian texts šuttu, a synonym for haštu) before Inšušinak, the weigher of souls, who decides his fate. This scene seems to be illustrated on a number of cylinder seals, where it is commonly identified as a “presentation scene,” even though it is more probably a depiction of the last judgment (Vallat, 1989

The image below shows the god Lagamal holding the Disc and Rod

Image source: Plate 6.5, p.185. The Archaeology of Elam: Formation and Transformation of an Ancient Iranian State (Cambridge World Archaeology)

elam-snake-throne.jpg

 

Abraham and Chedorlaomer: Chronological, Historical and Archaeological Evidence
GŽrard GERTOUX

last Elamite king of
the Awan I dynasty was Kudur-Lagamar (1990-1954). Ashurbanipal, after his conquest of Elam and
Susa ransacking, exposed (in 646 BCE) the capture of the goddess Nanaya (in Uruk) by Kudur-Lagamar
which occurred around 1300 years earlier (in 1968 BCE). The Spartoli tablets (c. 650 BCE) describe this
famous attack of Babylonia by a coalition of evil kings named Kudur-KUKUmal, king of Elam, Tudḫula,
king of Gutium, and Eri-Aku [king of Larsa]. This coalition of kings (Sumer, Larsa, Gutium) united
under Kutur-Lagamar is quite likely, because all these kings were vassals or allies of the king of Elam (and
Akkad) at that time, moreover, they came from neighbouring regions.

33.  Pinches, T. G., ref.24, pp.45-65 for transcription and translation of Spartoli III, 2: Spartol; II, 987: Spartoli I, 58; and Spartoli II, 962. Spartoli III, 2 appears to contain the names of Rudbula (Tidal), of Eri-aku's son, Durmah-ilani, and Kudur-lahmil (Chedorlaomer)

Spartoli Tablets. These tablets were first translated and reported upon by Pinches. (33) They were found in a very mutilated form, two of them being entirely unbaked and one baked possibly in recent times by the Arabs who found them. In spite of their incompleteness, considerable portions of the text of each could be translated. When this was done, to the surprise and delight of Pinches, there appeared the names (in their original form) of Chedorlaomer, Arioch, and Tidal. Besides these names were details which seemed to refer to the events which transpired in Babylonia when the Elamites established their sovereignty over the country. Included in this information is the observation that Chedorlaomer had hired mercenaries under Tidal who were neither Elamites nor Babylonians but were referred to as the Umman-Mandu. The Mandu appear not infrequently in cuneiform texts, and they have been identified variously as the Medes or, by Sayce as the Scythians, (34) but virtually always as Indo-Aryans. This would seem to bear out the suggestion which was made earlier that the Goiim were indeed Indo-Europeans. It is also most remarkable to find a tablet with the names of three of the kings.

During the period 1892-8 T. G. Pinches was partly engaged
in cataloging and copying the tablets of the second Spartoli
collection, which are believed mostly to have derived from
Babylon. His copies of the astronomical tablets of this
collection were published by A. J. Sachs in Late Babylonian
Astronomical and Related Texts (Providence, 1955), and some
of the economic and literary tablets have been recopied and
published by other scholars, in the present series and elsewhere.
Apart from a small number of tablets which are being prepared
for publication by Professors A. K. Grayson and W. G.
Lambert, all the remaining Pinches copies of unpublished
tablets in this collection are published here on pls. 15-43.

Pinches.jpg

Chedoloamer. most likely resided in the Elamite Ziggurat complex Chogha Zanbil (Dur Untash) approximately 30 km (19 mi) south-east of Susa. Chogha Zanbil is one of the few existent Ziggurats outside Mesopotamia. A Ziggurat is the largest building in the center of town and part of a multi temple complex. The Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat originally measured 105.2 m on each side and about 53 m in height, in five levels, and was crowned with a temple

Elamite states were among the leading political forces of the Ancient near East around 2000 BC. The "Elamites" spread their empire to west under King Chedorlaomer. The Elamites had struggled with the Assyrians for domination of Babylon. The great Babylonian dynasty of UR was brought to an end about 1950 BC by the Elamites, who destroyed the city and took its king prisoner. Many scholars believe that the Elamites empire boundaries included present day Taxila and the areas of Baluchistan and Sindh.
Chedorlaomer’s vassal cities—Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboyim and Zoar—had become rebellious against him and it was time to exact vengeance.

Another temple in Chogha Zanbil complex would be a "temple of the grove" (Husa. siyan husame) dedicated to either In-Shushinak, Lagamal, or other underworld deities. The temple of the dead would face east as the sun rises with a sculpture of In-Shushinak in the front of the gate adorned with with a copper-covered cedar bar (Potts, Archaeology of Elam). The temple of the grove would act as a transition passage of the dead spirit to separate from the body to the underworld through sacred grove of fragrant trees with edible fruits, flowering plants, sculptures, and tombs that would surround the Ziggurat. The gateway may have symbolized the entrance of the dead person into the next world.

The one represented on the Nineveh relief is surmounted by three figures in the posture of prayer, which recalls an epithet of Kiririša: “lady of life, who has authority over the grove, the gateway, and he who prays” 

Brick with an inscription by Šilḫak-Inšušinak dedicated to the goddess Kiririša “lady of life." (published in Grillot & Vallat 1984) 

Collection    National Museums Scotland, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
Museum no.    NSM A.1960.228

Catalogue:    20140524 wagensonner

CDLI no.    P464356

elamite-brick.jpg

Quote

I, Šilḫak-Inšušinak, son of Šutruk-Naḫḫunte, beloved servant of Kiririša and Inšušinak, king of Anzan and Susa: Ḫumban-Numena has built the temple of Kiririša-of-Liyan with fired bricks, and when it was about to collapse, I restored it. With fired brick(s) I rebuilt. And for the sake of my life and those of Naḫḫunte-Utu, Ḫuteluduš-Inšušinak, Šilḫina-ḫamru-Lakamar, Kutir-ḫuban, Išnikarab-ḫuḫun, Urutuk-el-ḫalaḫume and Utu-eḫiḫi-Pinigir, for this purpose and for our continuity I bestowed it upon my deity Kiririša.

https://cdli.ucla.edu/pubs/cdln/php/single.php?id=45

Kiten (Akkadian kidinnu) denotes a protective shielding power that radiates from all dieties. With legal matters the kiten of the god In-shushinak united with the ruler judge violations of the law were committed. Any Elamite breaking an agreement would forfeit the protection of In-Shushinak will be outlawed and 'he shall pass by the graven image of the god and of the king' to be executed.

https://books.google.com/books?id=FF5-7JVj4jYC&lpg=PA276&ots=Gem9XdejaO&dq="kiten" (protection)&pg=PA275#v=onepage&q="kiten" (protection)&f=false

The deceased are burried in ribbed, clay coffins, covered with bitumen. The head of the deceased is covered with a cloth with gold, silver and bronze sewn onto it. Burial gifts are usualy clay idols, needles, weights and for the rich also gold and silver jewelry.


 

The Old Testament In the Light of The Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia

by Theophilus Goldridge Pinches

pg 224

Quote

when two tablets were referred to at the Congress of Orientalists held at Geneva in 1894 as containing the names Tudḫula, Êri-Eaku (Êri-Ekua), and another name read doubtfully as Kudur-laḫ(gu)mal, no publicly-expressed objection to their possible identification with Tidal, Arioch, and Chedorlaomer was made. The names were placed before the Semitic section of the Congress of Orientalists referred to, as recent discoveries, which were certain as far as they went, their identification being a matter of opinion.

The first document is Sp. III. 2, and contains all three names—or, rather, the names Tudḫula (Tidal), Êri-Eaku's son Durmaḫ-îlāni, and Kudur-laḫmal. The first portion of this text refers to the gods: 

The reverse begins with a reference to Elam, and some one (perhaps the king of that country) who “spoiled from the city Aḫḫê (?) to the land of Rabbātum.” Something was made, apparently by the same personage, into heaps of ruins, and the fortress of the land of Akkad, and “the whole of Borsippa(?)” are referred to. At this point comes the line mentioning Kudur-laḫmal, supposed to be Chedorlaomer. It reads as follows—

Kudur-laḫmal, his son, pierced his heart with the steel sword of his girdle.”

The Old Testament In the Light of The Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia

by Theophilus Goldridge Pinches

pg 227

Quote

How far the record which they contain may be true is with our present knowledge impossible to find out. The style of the writing with which they are inscribed is certainly very late—later, in all probability, than the Persian period, and the possibility that it is a compilation of that period has been already suggested. That it is altogether a fiction, however, is in the highest degree improbable. If we have in the three names which these two tablets contain the Babylonian prototypes of Tidal, Arioch, and Chedorlaomer, they must refer to the events which passed between the first and thirty-first years of the reign of Amraphel or Ḫammurabi, in which it would seem that both Durmaḫ-îlāni and Tudḫula attacked and spoiled Babylon, cutting the canals so that the town and the temple were both flooded. Both of these royal personages, who, be it noted, are not called kings, were apparently killed by their sons, and Kudur-laḫmal seems to have been a criminal of the same kind, if we may judge from the words “Kudur-laḫmal, his son, pier(ced?) his heart with the steel sword of his girdle.” That three royal personages, contemporaries, should all dispose of their fathers in the same way seems, however, in the highest degree improbable. It also seems to be in an equal degree impossible that (as has been suggested) the tablets in question should refer to Tidal, Arioch, and Chedorlaomer

 

Understanding of the Elamite religion requires isolation in the Susian documentation of elements that can be compared with what is otherwise known from the Persian plateau and adjacent areas. Although many gods were associated with the cult of the dead, three played a particularly important role: Inšušinak, the weigher of souls, and his two assistants, Išnikarab and Lagamal.

death seems to have been the principal preoccupation of the Elamites. Most religious buildings were connected with the cult of the dead, and the principal gods were closely associated with the passage of the dead into the next world. The association of the grove with the funerary cult is certain from Aššurbanipal’s narration of the sack of Susa: “Their secret groves, where no foreigner had penetrated, where no foreigner had trampled the underbrush, my soldiers entered and saw their secrets; they destroyed them by fire. The tombs of their kings, ancient and recent … I have devastated, I destroyed them, I exposed them to the sun, and I carried off their bones to the country of Aššur” (Aynard, 1957, pp. 56-57). 

 

.  Tidal is a Hittite name.   The original name Tudhaliya also appears in the Ugarit archives, and in Kimron’s opinion Tidal was the same as Tudhaliya II who conquered Syria.   Onkelos translated Goyim not as a specific city but as meaning various nations; Ibn Ezra wrote likewise in his second commentary.  In other words, Tidal ruled over several peoples.  Rabbi Hertz claims that Tidal is the same as Tadgula, king of the Kurdish tribes, and Goyim is Gutium in Kurdistan.  

The gateway may have symbolized the entrance of the dead person into the next world. The one represented on the Nineveh relief is surmounted by three figures in the posture of prayer, which recalls an epithet of Kiririša: “lady of life, who has authority over the grove, the gateway, and he who prays” (Grillot and Vallat, 1984, p. 22). The gods to whom these gateways were dedicated were those most closely associated with the netherworld: Inšušinak (König, nos. 35, 36, 40), Išnikarab (König, no. 37), Lagamal (König, no. 30), and Napiriša and Inšušinak together (König, no. 79). It was also at the gateway of Inšušinak that Puzur-Inšušinak ordered the sacrifice of a sheep accompanied by chants, morning and evening (Scheil, 1902, p. 5).

Some gods, particularly Inšušinak (whose name in Sumerian means “lord of Susa”), seem to have been specifically attached to Susa or Susiana; they include Išnikarab (Išmekarab, a god, not a goddess; W. G. Lambert, 1976-80), Lagamal (Lagamar; for variant signs, see Hinz and Koch), and Manzat (W. G. Lambert, 1989).

http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/elam-vi

 

 

Around 1767 B.C.E, Siwe-Palar-Khuppak formed a coalition with Zimri-Lim of Mari and Hammurabi of Babylon. He led this coalition against Eshnunna, conquering it and imposed direct rule from his sukkal Kudu-zulush in Susa.[2] This coalition turned against him as he attempted to expand his power into Babylon. Hammurabi, allied with Zimri-Lim, expelled the Elamite's forces from Eshnunna[2]

In a clay tablet, Siwe-Palar-Khuppak refers to himself as "Governor of Elam" and "Enlarger of the Empire". It is speculated that the tablet was made after Siwe-Palar-Khuppak's defeat by Hammurabi's coalition, and that the title "Enlarger of the Empire" refers to conquests made to west in modern Iran to offset his defeat.[

Siwe-Palar-Khuppak - universally respected father of Elam

Traces have been found on the inscribed bricks in Chaldea of a king Kudur mapula, who bears also the title of “ravager of the West.” Even nearer to the name is that of Kedar-el-Ahmar, or the red, a great hero in Arabian tradition. He was king of Elam. He appears as a settled king of great power, able to make war 2000 miles from his country, and holding other kings, among whom is the king of Babylon, under his supremacy. 

Tidal king of Goiim Tidal has been considered to be a transliteration of Tudhaliya 

In the Book of Genesis it is recorded that King Hammurabi (Amraphel) joined coalition of kings from Mesopotamia invaded Canaan and, in the process, took Lot captive. Amraphel is aligned with King Arioch (Eri-Aku),  King Chedorlaomer (Kudur-laḫmal) and King Tidal (Tudhaliya ). Like allied coalitions (ie. Desert Storm) today, it was common practice for allied tribes and city states to accompany a powerful king during their conquests.  Below is an excerpt from King Zimri-Lim of Mari.

THE CAMBRIDGE ANCIENT HISTORY
THIRD EDITION
VOLUME II
PART 1
HISTORY OF THE MIDDLE EAST AND THE AEGEAN REGION c. 1800-1380 B.C.
EDITED BY I. E. S. EDWARDS F.B.A.
Formerly Keeper of Egyptian Antiquities, The British Museum

NORTHERN MESOPOTAMIA AND SYRIA page 10

Quote

But Zimrilim's policy was to impose his tutelage on the petty monarchs of the 'High Country', or even simply to draw them into alliance with him, rather than to annex their countries—no doubt because he had not the resources to do so. This line of conduct was fairly general.We have only to listen to the report of one of Zimrilim's correspondents:


No king is powerful by himself: ten or fifteen kings follow Hammurabi, king of Babylon, as many follow Rim-Sin, king of Larsa, as many follow Ibalpiel, king of Eshnunna, as many follow Amutpiel, king of Qatna, twenty kings follow Iarimlim, king of Iamkhad. . .. Grouping their vassals about them, the' great powers' of the time entered in their turn into wider coalitions, aiming at supremacy, but these formed and broke up as circumstances and the interests of the moment dictated.

Zimri-Lim was allied with Hammurabi in his wars against Elam, Eshnunna, and Larsa. Zimri-Lim lent troops to Hammurabi's campaigns, and although the two kept extensive diplomatic contacts, there are no records that ever met in person.

After the defeat of Elam, there was no outside force to keep the precarious balance of power between the Kings of Mesopotamia. The alliance between Zimri-Lim and Hammurabi deteriorated after Babylon's conquest of Larsa.  In 1762 BC, Hammurabi unified Babylonia, he conquered and sacked Mari (though it may be that the city had surrendered without a fight), despite the previous alliance. 

 

http://arabianprophets.com/?page_id=2158

The alliance of four states would have ruled over kingdoms that were spread over a wide area: from Elam at the extreme eastern end of the Fertile Crescent to Anatolia at the western edge of this region. Because of this, there is a limited range of time periods that match the Geopolitical context of Genesis 14. In this account, Chedorlaomer is described as the king to whom the cities of the plain pay tribute. Thus, Elam must be a dominant force in the region and the other three kings would therefore be vassals of Elam and/or trading partners.

some scholars have concluded that Abraham's family may have been Amorites, a Semitic tribe that began to migrate out of Mesopotamiaaround 2100 B.C. The Amorites' migration destabilized Ur, which scholars estimate collapsed around 1900 B.C.

 

 

 Zimri-Lim's court were the communications from the
gods. During his time. the variety of paths by which th e opinion of the gods was coaxed
multiplied dramalically, and some exceptionally creative methods were launched in

Zimri-Lim's own household. As a result of Charpin's insight, it became possible to imagine
that when kings were predisposed for it, gods readily dispensed advice in channels other
t han exti!\flicy. (Something similar occurred, for example, in the court of Esarhaddon and
Assurbanipal of Assyria and probably also in the court of Zakkur of Hamatll.) If so, then
prophecy need not origina le in a single area or period and need not follow a linear
development. hut it could burst spontaneously and periodically. whenever rulers had
doubts about the stability of their rule and whenever courtiers and administrators felt
encouraged to comment on them. Not linearity, but opportunity.
In a paper for the Birot memorial volume [FM 2], I explored the interplay between
a divine message and those who were asked to communicate it to Zimri-Lim: in the palace,
in the province, and beyond Mari's border. When they are transmitted from the palace,
mostly through his wife, his sister, and his aunt (perhaps his mother), there is a tendency
to also comment on them, frequently betraying a heightened sense of imminent danger
that must be deflected by the king. This sort of fervor seems to dissipate as we move to the
provinces, where bureaucrats dutifully (and mostly lackadaisically for that matter) transmitted
divine messages to t he king. 

Yet we have no reason to believe that Zimri-Lim, despite his drive to know the will
of god from as many sources as possible. ever felt obligated to follow the god's directives
as channeled by prophets, visionary and dreamers. In fact, there is no evidence t hat he
received their messages directly, but seemed content to ask people in diverse regional
centers to keep their ears open (A RM 26 196), or to dispatch a trusted llpilum to investigate
for him (via extispicy) oracles by Dagan of Terqa (ARM 26 199:8-9). But when
Zimri-Lim really needed to learn what god wanted of h im at any particular moment, he
turned to his resident-scholars, the b~rll-divin ers.76 And here is where I need to take a
detour.
Durand's pages in 26/1 on Mari divin ation are rich in documents as in comments.1l
When diviners inspected the innards of a sheep for signs, what they saw was no longer a
cluster of bloodied orgllns, but a tapestry of divine signs. Their perspective, therefore,
was closest to that of astrologers of later times who drew insights from the shifting
correspondences of heavenly orbs. 

https://my.vanderbilt.edu/jacksasson/files/2014/06/Sasson-About-Mari-the-Bible-RA92-1998.pdf

There were periods when Elam was allied with Mari through trade.[16] Mari also had connections to Syria and Anatolia, who, in turn, had political, cultural, linguistic and military connections to Canaan.[17] The earliest recorded empire was that of Sargon, which lasted until his grandson, Naram Sin.[

we must keep in mind the possibility, that if the Babylonian king considered that disaster had in any way overtaken his arms, he may not have recorded it at all. Then there is the fact, that the expedition was undertaken in conjunction with allies—Chedorlaomer, Tidal, and Arioch—for none of whom, in all probability, Ḫammurabi had any sympathy. The Elamite was a conqueror from a land over which the Babylonians of earlier ages had held sway, and Arioch had dominion over a neighbouring tract, to which Ḫammurabi himself laid claim, and over which, as the texts above translated show, he afterwards ruled. Ḫammurabi, moreover, claimed also the West-land—mât Amurrī, the land of Amurrū—as his hereditary possession, and he found himself obliged to aid Chedorlaomer, Tidal, and Arioch to subjugate it—indeed, it was Chedorlaomer whom the five kings had acknowledged for twelve years as their overlord, and against whom, in the thirteenth, they rebelled. It is, therefore, likely that Ḫammurabi regarded himself as having been forced by circumstances to aid Chedorlaomer to reconquer what really belonged to Babylonia, and the probability that he would cause it to be used as one of the events to date by, is on that account still less, even if the news of any success which he might have considered himself entitled to reached his own domain in time to be utilized for such a purpose.

when two tablets were referred to at the Congress of Orientalists held at Geneva in 1894 as containing the names Tudḫula, Êri-Eaku (Êri-Ekua), and another name read doubtfully as Kudur-laḫ(gu)mal, no publicly-expressed objection to their possible identification with Tidal, Arioch, and Chedorlaomer [pg 223] was made. The names were placed before the Semitic section of the Congress of Orientalists referred to, as recent discoveries, which were certain as far as they went, their identification being a matter of opinion.

spelled Eri-e-a-ku in the Babylonian cuneiform script, stood for the original Sumerian ERI.AKU, meaning "Servant of the god Aku," Aku being a variant of the name of Nannar/Sin. It is known from a number of inscriptions that Elamite rulers of Larsa bore the name "Servant of Sin

 

Abram with 318 soldiers retaliated with a surprise night attack and recovered Lot and the possessions the victorious kings had taken. 

National Gallery of Art

Antonio Tempesta
Florentine, 1555 - 1630
Abraham makes the enemies flee who hold his nephew
161

1280px-Tempesta_Abraham_Makes_the_Enemies_Flee_Who_Hold_His_Nephew.jpg

Bereishit - Genesis - Chapter 14
 

Quote

1 Now it came to pass in the days of Amraphel the king of Shinar, Arioch the king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer the king of Elam, and Tidal the king of Goyim.

2 That they waged war with Bera the king of Sodom and with Birsha the king of Gomorrah, Shineab the king of Admah, and Shemeber the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

3 All these joined in the valley of Siddim, which is the Dead Sea.

4 For twelve years they served Chedorlaomer, and for thirteen years they rebelled.

5 And in the fourteenth year, Chedorlaomer came, and the kings who were with him, and they smote the Rephaim in Ashteroth Karnaim and the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh Kiriathaim.

6 And the Horites in their mountain Seir, until the plain of Paran, which is alongside the desert.

7 And they returned and came to Ein Mishpat, which is Kadesh, and they smote the entire field of the Amalekites, and also the Amorites who dwelt in Hazezon Tamar.

8 And the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela, which is Zoar, came forth, and they engaged them in battle in the valley of Siddim.

9 With Chedorlaomer the king of Elam and Tidal the king of Goyim and Amraphel the king of Shinar and Arioch the king of Ellasar, four kings against the five.

10 Now the valley of Siddim was [composed of] many clay pits, and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled and they fell there, and the survivors fled to a mountain.

11 And they took all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and they departed.

12 And they took Lot and his possessions, the son of Abram's brother, and they departed, and he was living in Sodom.

13 And the fugitive came and he told Abram the Hebrew, and he was living in the plain of Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eshkol and the brother of Aner, who were Abram's confederates.

14 And Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, and he armed his trained men, those born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and he pursued [them] until Dan.

15 And he divided himself against them at night, he and his servants, and smote them, and pursued them until Hobah, which is to the left of Damascus.

16 And he restored all the possessions, and also Lot his brother and his possessions he restored, and also the women and the people.

17 And the king of Sodom came out toward him, after his return from smiting Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, to the valley of Shaveh, which is the valley of the king.

18 And Malchizedek the king of Salem brought out bread and wine, and he was a priest to the Most High God.

19 And he blessed him, and he said, "Blessed be Abram to the Most High God, Who possesses heaven and earth.

20 And blessed be the Most High God, Who has delivered your adversaries into your hand," and he gave him a tithe from all.

21 And the king of Sodom said to Abram, "Give me the souls, and the possessions take for yourself."

22 And Abram said to the king of Sodom, "I raise my hand to the Lord, the Most High God, Who possesses heaven and earth.

23 Neither from a thread to a shoe strap, nor will I take from whatever is yours, that you should not say, 'I have made Abram wealthy.'

24 Exclusive of what the lads ate, and the share of the men who went with me; Aner, Eshkol, and Mamre they shall take their share."

 

There's only one Hamor mentioned in the Bible and he was a Hivite ruler (נשיא, nasi') and father of Shechem (in Acts 7:16 Stephen equates Hamor with Ephron). When Jacob returned from Paddan-aram and wanted to settle in Canaan, he bought land from Hamor and built the altar named El-Elohe-Israel (Genesis 33:19).

At some point, Jacob's only daughter Dinah, the sister of the twelve tribal patriarchs of Israel, went to the nearby town of Shechem to visit the Hivite women. She was noticed by prince Shechem, who fell in love with her and decided to express his feelings by raping her (34:2). Still, Hamor went to Jacob to ask for Dinah as a wife for Shechem, but Jacob's sons told Hamor that he and his people would have to be circumcised for their two families to intermarry.

I was curious about this expression, especially in light of the fact that it is in this city that we find the remains of the temple of Baal Berith (“Lord of Covenant”), the chief deity of Shechem during most of the Bronze Age. 

The name Hamor is the same as the noun חמור (hamor), meaning ass or donkey, or more literal: red-one, from the root חמר (hamar III), meaning to be red:

It appears to us here at Abarim Publications that to the Hebrews the color red denoted the rudiments or principal beginnings of civilization (and see our article on the Red Sea for a discussion on how the ancients saw the color red), whereas muddy substances metaphorized the transitional phase between ignorance (water) and understanding (dry land).

or a meaning of the name Hamor, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones' Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names read Ass and BDB Theological Dictionary has He-Ass. Most literally, however, the name Hamor means Red One.

Note that the color red signified the first stage of human civilization, and is connected to both Israel's Hivite nemesis as to Israel's national brother Edom (from Esau, Jacob's brother).

Shechem /ˈʃɛkəm/, also spelled Sichem (/ˈsɪkəm/; Hebrew: שְׁכָם‬ / שְׁכֶם‬ Standard Šəḵem Tiberian Šeḵem, "shoulder"), was a Canaanite city mentioned in the Amarna letters, and is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible as an Israelite city of the tribe of Manasseh and the first capital of the Kingdom of Israel.[1] Traditionally associated with Nablus,[2] it is now identified with the nearby site of Tell Balata in Balata al-Balad in the West Bank.

Shechem first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 12:6-8, which says that Abraham reached the "great tree of Moreh" at Shechem and offered sacrifice nearby. Genesis, Deuteronomy, Joshua and Judges hallow Shechem over all other cities of the land of Israel.[6] According to Genesis (12:6-7) Abram "built an altar to the Lord who had appeared to him ... and had given that land to his descendants" at Shechem. The Bible states that on this occasion, God confirmed the covenant he had first made with Abraham in Harran, regarding the possession of the land of Canaan. In Jewish tradition, the old name was understood in terms of the Hebrew word shékém — "shoulder, saddle", corresponding to the mountainous configuration of the place.

On a later sojourn, two sons of Jacob, Simeon (Hebrew Bible) and Levi, avenged their sister Dinah's rape by "Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land" of Shechem. Shimon and Levi said to the Shechemites that, if “every male among you is circumcised, then we will give our daughters to you and take your daughters to ourselves.”[7] Once the Shechemites agree to the mass circumcision, however, Jacob's sons repay them by killing all of the city's male inhabitants.[8]

Following the settlement of the Israelites in Canaan after their Exodus from Egypt, according to the biblical narrative, Joshua assembled the Israelites at Shechem and asked them to choose between serving the god who had delivered them from Egypt, the gods which their ancestors had served on the other side of the Euphrates River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land they now lived. The people chose to serve the god of the Bible, a decision which Joshua recorded in the Book of the Law of God, and he then erected a memorial stone "under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord" in Shechem.[9] The oak is associated with the Oak of Moreh where Abram had set up camp during his travels in this area.[10]

Shechem and its surrounding lands were given as a Levitical city to the Kohathites.[11]

Owing to its central position, no less than to the presence in the neighborhood of places hallowed by the memory of Abraham (Genesis 12:6, 7; 34:5), Jacob's Well (Genesis 33:18-19; 34:2, etc.), and Joseph's tomb (Joshua 24:32), the city was destined to play an important part in the history of Israel.[citation needed] Jerubbaal (Gideon), whose home was at Ophrah, visited Shechem, and his concubine who lived there was mother of his son Abimelech (Judges 8:31). She came from one of the leading Shechemite families who were influential with the "Lords of Shechem" (Judges 9:1-3, wording of the New Revised Standard Version and New American Bible Revised Edition).[12]

A form of Ba'al-worship prevailing in Israel (Judges viii. 33), and particularly in Shechem (Judges ix. 4). The term "Ba'al" is shown by the equivalent "El-berith" (Judges ix. 46, R. V.) to mean "the God of the Covenant." In considering what the covenant (or covenants) was over which this Ba'al presided, it must not necessarily be concluded that certain definite treaties of the time were alone referred to, such as the Canaanitic league of which Shechem was the head, or the covenant between Israel and the people of Shechem (Gen. xxxiv.). The term is too abstract to have been occasioned by a single set of conditions. Moreover, the temple of the god (Judges ix. 4, 46) in Shechem implies a permanent establishment. Probably the name and the cult were wide-spread and ancient (see Baalim), though it happens to have been mentioned only in connection with the affairs of Shechem.

—In Rabbinical Literature:
The idol Baalberith, which the Jews worshiped after the death of Gideon, was identical, according to the Rabbis, with Baal-zebub, "the ba'al of flies," the god of Ekron (II Kings i. 2). He was worshiped in the shape of a fly; and so addicted were the Jews to his cult (thus runs the tradition) that they would carry an image of him in their pockets, producing it, and kissing it from time to time. Baal-zebub is called Baal-berith because such Jews might be said to make a covenant (Hebr. "Berit") of devotion with the idol, being unwilling to part with it for a single moment (Shab. 83b; comp. also Sanh. 63b). According to another conception, Baal-berith was an obscene article of idolatrous worship, possibly a simulacrum priapi (Yer. Shab. ix. 11d; 'Ab. Zarah iii. 43a). This is evidently based on the later significance of the word "berit," meaning circumcision.

“Those who were bound under the covenant having participated in this ritual became ‘sons of Hamor’ (‘sons of the ass’). The covenant of Hamor ‘was almost certainly related to Baal-Berith, who was the chief god of the city’…

 Toorn, K. Van Der, Bob Becking and Pieter Willem Van Der Horst. 1999. Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible. Leiden; Boston; Grand Rapids: Brill ; Eerdmans. p.143

 

And given Shechem (שכם) means “shoulder”, the expression “Hamor, father of Shechem”(חמור אבי שכם), can also be read “Hammurabi’s shoulder” (חמוראבי שכם). This expression therefore suggests that Shechem was the ally of Babylon when it formed a covenant with king Hammurabi. In fact, standing “shoulder to shoulder” is something one does in times of a deadly threat and against an enemy. And I do explain in the book how Hammurabi was motivated to make a covenant with Abraham in order to secure control over the remote Valley of Siddim. Finally, the name Dinah (דינה) is the feminine of “din” (דין), which means “law” in reference to the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible, which includes the Torah (i.e. the original five books of the Old Testament).

Clearly, the Shechemites wanted to continue serving the family of “Hamor, Shechem’s father” or “Hammurabi’s shoulder” (חמוראבי שכם), which presumably could be referring to the legitimate descendants of Abraham, Hammurabi’s ally, and still referred to as the “father” of the faith to this day.

http://www.pseudepigrapha.com/jubilees/30.htm

 

 Jacob's acquisition of land at Shechem (Gen. 33:19; cf. 48:22) and the connubium between the sons of Jacob and the sons of Hamor (as the Shechemites were then called) imply certain covenant agreements. Moreover, the strange name, "sons of Hamor" ( benei hamor, "sons of the ass"), who is said to be the "father of Shechem" (Gen. 34:6), seems to have something to do with covenant making. From the *Tell-el-Amarna Letters (c. 1400 B.C.E.) it is known that there was a strong Hurrian element in Shechem. The Septuagint is therefore probably correct in reading hhry ("the Horite," i.e., the Hurrian) instead of hhwy ("the Hivite") of the Masoretic Text in describing the ethnic origin of "Shechem" (Gen. 34:2); moreover, the uncircumcised Shechemites (Gen. 34:14, 24) were most likely not Semitic Canaanites (see E. A. Speiser, op. cit., 267). It is also known that the slaughtering of an ass played a role among the Hurrians in the making of a covenant. Thus, Baal-Berith or El-Berith may have been regarded by the Shechemites as the divine protector of covenants.

Did the early Israelites perhaps regard El-Berith as the God of the covenant made between YHWH and Israel? It is a noteworthy fact that Joshua, who had apparently been able to occupy the region of Shechem without force because Israelites who - many scholars believe - had never been in Egypt were already iiving there, renewed the Covenant of Sinai with all Israel precisely at Shcchem, the city sacred to El-Berith, " the God of the Covenant" (Josh. 8:30-35; 24:1-28). Therefore, even though the late Deuteronomist editor of the Book of Judges (it is conjectured by the adherents of the documentary hypothesis) considered Baal-Berith one of the pagan Canaanite Ba'alim, this term may well have been regarded in early Israel as one of the titles of YHWH.

 Other terms such as "killing an ass" sheds light on customs which prevailed in patriarchal times and later. The idiom "to kill an ass," khayaram qatalum, is not Akkadian at all, but both words occur in Hebrew and indicated the sacrifice which accompanied the oath of alliance. The connection between sacrificing as ass and concluding a covenant seems to have been preserved by the Shechemites, with whom Jacob and his sons had such unpleasant dealings (Gen. 33:19; 34:1-31). Called the Bene Hamor, "sons of the ass" (Josh. 24:32), their tribal deity was Baal-Berith, "Lord of the covenant" (Judg. 9:4). Later, at the time of Conquest the Bene Hamor of Shechem were, it seems, like the four towns of the Gibeonite confederacy (Josh 9:1ff.), added to Israel by treaty, to judge from various early references to them and their god Baal-Berith."

 

Joseph Vicek Kozar, who reads the narrative as supporting the brothers’ actions,
485
suggests that the significance of interethnic relations is substantiated by symbolic imagery
within the story. He points out that the homonym of Hamor’s name (rwmx) is donkey, an
animal that “lives among the herd but is not one of them, lacking cloven hooves and not
chewing the cud.”
486 This, coupled with the fact that “[a]t the time of Dinah’s rape, her
brothers are out with the cattle (34:5),”
487 illumines the resultant confrontation:
“The…clash of cultures (and slaughter) shows that the sons of herds and flocks cannot
conduct social intercourse with the sons of the ass. This symbolism underlies the group or
tribal nature of the events behind the story.”
488 Like Sternberg, Kozar also retrojects later
narrative concerns of Israelite interethnic relations onto the clash between the ancestral
family and the Hivites. He concludes that Dinah symbolizes Israel and Shechem
represents the larger Canaanite culture, and that the story illustrates the danger of Israel’s 

“being absorbed by the larger Canaanite culture.”
489 Douglas Earl echoes this symbolic
thinking in his own analysis, according to which “Dinah symbolizes Israel and Shechem
the nations.”
490 The narrative, Earl suggests, “serves to evoke affectually the disastrous
consequences of exogamy and mingling, and the zeal with which exogamy is to be
avoided.

Shechem’s act is evaluated as disgraceful and
unacceptable. This transfer is presented as a pretext for the text to come.”
492 The
narrator’s repeated use of )m+, furthermore, invokes a “cultic and ritual cognitive
domain”
493 (again an Israelite domain) that suggests that Shechem and the Hivites threaten
the ancestral family with their outsiders’ impurity. Finally, the continuation of the
narrative in Gen 35, in which Jacob commands his household to rid itself of its foreign
gods, strengthens the negative socioreligious associations of Shechem. Where Jacob goes
next, Bethel, stands in stark contrast: “Bethel, the place where Jacob met his God,
represents the ideal of one place, one people and one God. It is opposed to the other place,

Shechem, with alien people and alien gods, who have to be buried.”
494 Thus the Dinah
interlude is the “hinge” of the ideological reversal from the preceding narrative’s “context
of peace and mutual understanding with the Canaanites” to “a mono-ethnic position
embedded in a mono-religious position.”
495 Indeed, as van Wolde notes, in Gen 35 the
ancestral blessing undergoes a notable revision, as “the blessing of other people is not
mentioned any more,” implying that the ancestral family is now the exclusive inheritor of
the land

BAAL-BERITH

(Baʹal-beʹrith) [Owner of a Covenant; once, at Jg 9:46, El-berith, God of a Covenant].

The Baal of Shechem, whom the Israelites began worshiping after the death of Judge Gideon. (Jg 8:33) The designation “Baal-berith” may denote that this particular Baal was believed to watch the keeping of covenants.

A kind of treasury was evidently attached to the house or temple of Baal-berith at Shechem. (Jg 9:4) In connection with the grape harvest, the Shechemites apparently held a festival in honor of Baal-berith, climaxed by a kind of sacrificial meal in the temple of their god. It was in the temple of Baal-berith on the occasion of their eating and drinking and cursing Abimelech, likely under the influence of wine, that Gaal incited the Shechemites to revolt against King Abimelech. (Jg 9:27-29) Later, when threatened by Abimelech, the landowners of the tower of Shechem (Migdal-Shechem, AT) sought refuge in the vault of the house of El-berith (Baal-berith), only to perish in the conflagration when Abimelech and his men set the vault on fire.—Jg 9:46-49.

 

 

Solomon understood that being submissive to the Creator and generous to other will be blessed with long life. 

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 22
 

Quote

 

1 A name is chosen above great wealth; good favor over silver and gold.

2 A rich man and a poor man were visited upon; the Lord is the Maker of them all.

3 A cunning man saw harm and hid, but fools transgressed and were punished.

4 In the wake of humility comes fear of the Lord, riches, honor, and life.

5 Troops [and] snares are in the way of the perverse; he who preserves his soul will distance himself from them.

6 Train a child according to his way; even when he grows old, he will not turn away from it.

7 A rich man will rule over the poor, and a borrower is a slave to a lender.

8 He who sows injustice will reap violence, and the rod of his wrath will fail.

9 He who has a generous eye will be blessed, for he gave of his bread to the poor.

10 Banish a scorner, and quarrel will depart, and litigation and disgrace will cease.

11 He who loves one pure of heart with charm on his lips-the King is his friend.

12 The eyes of the Lord preserve knowledge and He will frustrate the words of a treacherous man.

13 The lazy man says, "There is a lion outside; I will be murdered in the middle of the streets."

14 The mouth of strange women is [like] a deep pit; the one abhorred by the Lord will fall therein.

15 Foolishness is bound in a child's heart; the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

16 He who exploits a poor man to increase for himself will give to a rich man only to want.

17 Incline your ear and hearken to the words of the wise, and put your heart to my knowledge,

18 for it is pleasant that you guard them in your innards; they will be established together on your lips.

19 That your trust shall be in the Lord, I have made known to you this day, even you.

20 Have I not written to you thirds with counsels and knowledge,

21 to make known to you the certainty of the true words, to respond with words of truth to those who send you?

22 Do not rob a poor man because he is poor, and do not crush the poor man in the gate.

23 For the Lord will plead their cause and rob those who rob them, of life.

24 Do not befriend a quick-tempered person, neither shall you go with a wrathful man;

25 lest you learn his ways and take a snare for your soul.

26 Do not be one of those who give their hands, who stand surety for debts.

27 If you do not have what to pay, why should he take your bed from under you?

28 Do not remove an ancient boundary that your forefathers set.

29 Have you seen a man quick in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before poor men.

Hammurabi ruled as king of Babylonia

Marduk's original character is obscure but he was later associated with water, vegetation, judgment, and magic   - Religions of The Ancient Near East

Sīn /ˈsiːn/ or Suen (Akkadian: 𒂗𒍪 Su'en, Sîn) or Nanna (Sumerian: 𒀭𒋀𒆠 DŠEŠ.KI, DNANNA) was the god of the moon in the Mesopotamian religions of Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia.  - He is commonly designated as En-zu, which means "lord of wisdom". Sīn was also called "He whose heart can not be read" and was told that "he could see farther than all the gods". It is said that every new moon, the gods gather together from him to make predictions about the future. - Nana - Babylonian Moon God.

http://etcsl.orinst.ox.ac.uk/section1/tr121.htm

Utu[a] later worshipped by East Semitic peoples as Shamash, was the ancient Mesopotamian god of the sun, 

. Anu was believed to be the supreme source of all authority, for the other gods and for all mortal rulers,

The local god was Zamama, the Tammuz-like deity, who, like Nin-Girsu of Lagash, was subsequently identified with Merodach of Babylon.

Ninazu in Sumerian mythology was a god of the underworld, and of healing.

 

the divine king of the city; the
White, Wise; who broadened the fields of Dilbat, who heaped
up the harvests for Urash; the Mighty, the lord to whom come
scepter and crown, with which he clothes himself; the Elect of
Ma-ma; who fixed the temple bounds of Kesh, who made rich
the holy feasts of Nin-tu; the provident, solicitous, who provided
food and drink for Lagash and Girsu, who provided large sacrificial
offerings for the temple of Ningirsu; who captured the enemy,
the Elect of the oracle who fulfilled the prediction of Hallab, who
rejoiced the heart of Anunit; the pure prince, whose prayer is accepted
by Adad; who satisfied the heart of Adad, the warrior, in
Karkar, who restored the vessels for worship in E-ud-gal-gal; the
king who granted life to the city of Adab; the guide of E-mach;
the princely king of the city, the irresistible warrior, who granted
life to the inhabitants of Mashkanshabri, and brought abundance
to the temple of Shidlam; the White, Potent, who penetrated the
secret cave of the bandits, saved the inhabitants of Malka from
misfortune, and fixed their home fast in wealth; who established
pure sacrificial gifts for Ea and Dam-gal-nun-na, who made his
kingdom everlastingly great; the princely king of the city, who
subjected the districts on the Ud-kib-nun-na Canal to the sway
of Dagon, his Creator; who spared the inhabitants of Mera and
Tutul; the sublime prince, who makes the face of Ninni shine; who
presents holy meals to the divinity of Nin-a-zu, who cared for its
inhabitants in their need, provided a portion for them in Babylon
in peace; the shepherd of the oppressed and of the slaves; whose
deeds find favor before Anunit

 

By making
a persuasive art-historical case for beginning their study with our earliest
civilizations, they demonstrate the cross-cultural, cross-temporal
universality of some persistently compelling themes, such as the image of
the scales, a judicial motif attested in both ancient Mesopotamia and
ancient Egypt.2 Picked up as well in ancient Greece, the scales are hefted
aloft in the hands of embodied goddesses, who in the seventeenth century
C.E. acquired a blindfold, s

 Law Stele of Hammurabi, 

Literally thousands of clay tablets documenting legal transactions have
survived from ancient Mesopotamia. 

from around 1792 to around
1750 B.C.E. His reign is distinguished for political consolidation of
territories neighboring his city-state of Babylon, which he brought under
control through a combination of successful military engagements and the
calculated making and breaking of diplomatic treaties."


The "laws" that are probably the best known are those that seem to
offer strong parallels to the Biblical precepts of justice, and are held up as
exemplifying the principle of retributive justice, for example:
§ 196 If a freeman has blinded the eye of another freeman,
his eye shall be blinded.
§ 197 If he has broken the bone of another freeman, his bone
shall be broken.
§ 198 If he has blinded the eye of a dependent or broken the
bone of a dependent, he shall pay sixty shekels of silver.
§ 199 If he has blinded the eye of a slave of a freeman, or
broken the bone of a slave of freeman, he shall pay one-half his
value in silver.22
It is this section that generally receives the most attention from legal
and Biblical scholarship interested in ancient legal codes and covenants.23
Compare the Book of Exodus, 21:22: "If any harm follows, then you shall
give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe." 

C. The Relief Sculpture
The sculpted relief depicts Shamash, the Mesopotamian sun god, seated

facing left, and king Hammurabi, who, standing, faces right.26 Shamash is
identified as a divinity by the stylized horned crown he wears and as the
sun god by the wavy-line "rays" emanating from his shoulders and the
surface detail of his footstool evoking mountainous terrain-the eastern
and western locales of his rising and setting. As sun god, Shamash is the
Mesopotamian deity of light and illumination, and by logical extension,
the god of justice who illuminates the true situation. In addition to "rays,"
his frequent attribute is a saw, with which he opens the mountains at
daybreak and sunset and with which he separates truth from falsehood.
Here, instead, he extends or displays to Hammurabi the so-called "Rod
and Ring," which occupies the center of the visual field.
Opposite the god, Hammurabi is marked by his hea


In the voice of Hammurabi, the Epilogue summarizes Hammurabi's
purpose in erecting the monument:
In order that the mighty not wrong the weak, to provide just ways
for the orphan and the widow, I have inscribed my precious
pronouncements upon my stele and set [them] before my image,
the just king, in the city of Babylon . . .. By the order of [the god]
Marduk, my lord, may my engraved design not be confronted by
someone who would remove it. May my name always be
remembered faithfully in the Esagil temple which I love. 32

Let any man who has a lawsuit come before my image, the just
king, and have my words read out loud; let him hear my precious
words, let my monument reveal to him the case. Let him see his
judgment, let his heart become soothed [reciting the following
short prayer]:
"Hammurabi, lord, who is like a father and begetter to his people,
submitted himself to the command of (the god) Marduk, his lord,
and achieved victory everywhere. He gladdened the heart of
Marduk, his lord, and he secured the eternal well-being of the
people and provided just ways for the land. "3

In one Akkadian period cylinder seal, Shamash sits enthroned before a set of scales, tipping the balance of justice (presumably) in accordance with the petitions of his worshippers, who bring an animal offering before the god (Black 1992: 182-4)

 

 throne. Shamash and his wife, Aya, had two important children. Kittu represented justice, and Misharu was law. Every morning, the gates in the East open up, and Shamash appears. He travels across the sky, and enters the gate in the West. He travels through the Underworld at night in order to begin in the East the next day

 the god Misharu, whose name means "Justice".

Holland 2009, p. 115.

The Phoenician Sydyk was equated with Roman Jupiter, and hence it has been suggested that Sydyk was connected to the worship of the planet Jupiter as the manifestation of justice or righteousness.

the Babylonian Shamash has two sons called respectively Kettu (which, like Sedeq, means "righteousness") and Misharu ("rectitude"). These two deities are mentioned also in the Sanchoniatho fragments of Philo Byblios under the names of Sydyk and Misor, as culture-heroes who have discovered the use of salt. Phoenician inscriptions have Sedeqyathan, "Sedeq gave," as a personal name, as well as combinations of Sedeq with Ramman and Melek. Fr. Jeremias thinks that Sydyk and Misor were respectively the spring and autumn sun in sun-worship and the waxing and waning moon in moon worship.

 translated as truth, equity, justice

kittu as truth

Shamas often had a special saw

Shamash the judge of heaven and earth had 
a special saw, call the shasharu.

Mesopotamian Scales circa 2350

O Sun, when though goes to rest in mid-heaven
May the bars of bright heaven speak peace to thee,
May the gateway of of heaven approach thee
May Misharu, they loving herald, direct thy pathway

Of course Babylonian and Assyrian words may not always have the same content as our words "righteousness" and "truth," but the words kittu and misharu, which we render by "righteousness" and "truth", are derived from kanu, "to be firm," and eshem, "to be straight," respectively; and judging from what was considered "right" and "true," or kittu and misharu, there is no reason for that the standard was very hight

misharu, represented the law

May Misharu, thy well-beloved servant, guide aright thy progress, so that ebarra

The West Semitic name Ammi-Saduqa is translated into Akkadian as Kitum-kittum showing an equivalence of meaning between the West Semitic ṣ-d-q  and the Akkadian kittu. Kittu was similarly paired with the god Misharu whose name is a cognate of Misor, meaning "justice".

Shamash and the mother of Misharu (god of law and order) and Kittu (god of justice). 
Aa (A, Anunit, Aya) In Near Eastern mythology (Babylonian-Assyrian), consort of the sun god Shamash, sometimes called Makkatu (mistress; queen). Originally Aa may have been a local male sun god whose gender was changed when the worship of the major sun god, Shamash, took precedence, the minor god becoming the female consort of Shamash. Her attendants were Kittu (truth) and Misharu (righteousness).

Misharu, ---, God of law. Son of Aa.

instead he became the spokesman for the nation (kemit), heavily indebtedto fairness and truth (maat in Egypt, kittu and misharu in Mesopotamia)

Truth or Right was personified and deified as the god Kittu (‘Truth’, ‘Right’; from the Akkadian root kanu. Kittu was often invoked together with the god Misharu (‘Justice’). One or both of these deities was described as ‘seated before Shamash’, i.e. Shamash’s attendant, or as ‘the minister of (Shamash’s) right hand.’ Depictions of Shamash show him holding a ring of coiled rope and a rod, objects ascribed to surveyors and therefore, when linked to rulership, denoting the act of setting things right. The Akkadian words kittu and misharu, translated into English as “truth,” “equity,” or “justice,” describe the “straightening out” of a situation whose equilibrium, put out of balance, had become “crooked.” 2

Shamash is associated with two divinities personifying justice and equity, Kittu and Misharu, which are in fact two deified conceptions of "justice", the exact meaning of which is debated.

According to D. Charpin, Hammu-Rabi of Babylon , Paris, 2003, p. 206-207, kittum would be "justice as guardian of public order", and mišarum "justice as restoration of equity"

mi-ish-ri-c(!) ish-ru-16%-6-shd. Mi-ish-ri-e I take as a plural of misharu = mishru
(ef. cpiru, epru; gimiru, gimru; Delitesch, Gram., p. 105, $45), “righteousness" (hence not of meshril, "riches," H. B. W.,
p. F88a), and dumqi, on nceount of the pardlclism, in the sense 0

The Egyptian goddess of truth and justice was Maat, who represented “the order which rules
the world through balance.” PATRICIA TURNER & CHARLES RUSSELL COULTER, DICTIONARY OF
ANCIENT DEITIES 298 (Oxford Univ. Press 2001) (2000). The Sumerian god of truth was Kittu, but,
interestingly, his job title did not include justice; that job was his brother’s, Misharu. See James W.
Bell, Sumerian Gods, Demons & Immortals Whose Names Start with “K”,
http://www.jameswbell.com/geog0050knames.html (last visited March 29, 2007). Addanari is the
Hindu goddess of truth, nature, and religion. TURNER & COULTER, supra, at 14. Shiva, among her many
other jobs, is also associated with truth. Id. at 427.

They were believed to have two offspring: the goddess Kittu, whose name means “Truth”, and the god Misharu, whose name means “Justice”. Utu’s charioteer Bunene is sometimes described as his son. Bunene was worshipped independently from Utu as a god of justice in Sippar and Uruk during the Old Babylonian Period.

n the Hebrew Bible, and Kittu in the Babylonian pantheon, who is often invoked with
Misharu.
 768 Both of these Babylonian deities are described as being seated before Shamash or the minister of
Shamash’s right hand.769 M

Shamash and his wife Sherida (Aya for Akkadians and Babylonians) had two important sons. Kittu represented justice, and Misharu was the law. Its main sanctuary was in the city of Sippar. Every morning, the eastern doors opened, and Shamash appeared. He traveled around the sky, and entered the west gate

Shamu / Kittu, Truth revealed (Shamu), Truth understood (Kittu) 
Misharu, Justice at work in view of truth, 
Dayyanu, Judgment that discerns truth 

Truth or Right was personified and deified as the god
Kittu (‘Truth’, ‘Right’; from Akk root kânu, cf. Heb root KWN). Kittu was often
invoked together with the god Misharu (‘Justice’)… One or both of these deities

were described as ‘seated before Shamash’, i.e. Shamash’s attendant, or as ‘the
minister of (Shamash’s) right hand’. . . it appears that the deity known as Kittu in
Babylonia was known further to the West under the names Išar and Ṣidqu/
Zedek—all three names having essentially the same meaning but operative in
different linguistic communities… West Semitic personal names containing the
root SDQ are attested at m

Fortress Press, 1998] 66-67). Also, the Babylonian gods Kittu “Righteousness” and Misharu “Justice”
parallel to the West Semitic gods Sedheq and Misor

In this function Shamash is associated with gods personifying justice and equality, and Kittu Misharu, who actually deifies two notions of "justice", the exact meaning of which is discussed and Dayyanu god. The Great Hymn to Shamash already explicitly mentioned the role of the god of justice, the guardian of good decisions and honest behavior and punishments of unjust and dishonest behavior:

Great Hymn to Shamash, translation MJ Seux.

 

 

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 Rulers established their legacy not only by building great structures, they also passed on Wisdom Sebayt  (Teaching, Didache) to their offspring and future leaders on the concepts divinity and virtue.  The Maxims of Ptahhotep or Instruction of Ptahhotep (2500 - 2400 BC) is considered the oldest collection of wisdom literature in the world written by composed by the Vizier Ptahhotep, during the rule of King Izezi of the Fifth Dynasty.  James Henry Breasted credited Amenemope with having a profound influence on Western ethical and religious development due to his Instruction being read by the Hebrews and portions of it being included, sometimes verbatim, in various books of the Bible
 
Ptahhotep considered the heart (ka) the way to measure life, prosperity and health.  Those with the strongest heart are those that listen, understand and follow the laws given to keep order (Ma'at) in ones life.  The one who listens to to those that do not follow law and order other, but looks for only pleasures to the body will grow a weak heart and only know death, punishment and appear foolish to others. 
 
Sabayt Ptahhotep

Quote

8 (column 6, lines 3-6)
 
The one who overlooks laws is punished;
that is what is overlooked in the sight of the greedy.
It is the small-minded that seize riches,
but crime never managed to land its rewards.
Whoever says 'I snare for myself'
does not say 'I snare for my needs'.
The final part of what is right is its endurance;
of which a man says 'that is my father'
 
14 (column 7, lines 9-10)
 
Follow your heart as long as you live.
Do not make a loss on what is said,
do not subtract time from following the heart.
Harming its time is an offence to the ka.
Do not deflect the moment of every day
beyond establishing your heart.
As things happen, follow (your) heart.
There is no profit in things if it is stifled.
 
17 (column 8, lines 6-11)
 
The great of heart is the gift of god,
the one who obeys his body belongs to the enemy.
 
22 (column 9, line 13 to column 10, line 5)
 
If you wish your conduct to be good
and to save yourself from all evil,
resist the opportunity of greed.
It is a sore disease of the worm,
no advance can come of it.
It embroils fathers and mothers,
with mother's brothers.
It entangles the wife and the man,
it is a levy of all evils,
a bundle of all hatefulness.
The man endures whose guideline is Right,
who proceeds according to his paces.
He can draw up a will by it.
There is no tomb for the greedy hearted.
 
25 (column 11, lines 1-4)
 
The spirit of the correct man is the spirit that brings happiness.
 
28 (column 11, line 12 to column 12, line 6)
 
Do not have your heart too high, or it will be brought down.
 
42 (column 16, lines 3-13)

The hearer is one whom God loves.
The one whom God hates does not hear.
The heart is the creator of its master.
Do not hear from the one who does not hear.

A man's heart is his life, prosperity and health.
 
2 (column 5, lines 4-6)
 
Then the Power of this god said:
Teach him then the speech from the past
that he may provide the example for the children of the great.
May hearing enter into him, the measure of every heart.
Speak to him. For none can be born wise
 
44 (column 17, lines 4-9)

As for the fool unable to hear,
nothing can ever be done for him.
He sees wisdom as ignorance,
and what is good as what is painful.
He commits every error,
to be accused of it each day.
He lives on what one dies of,
corrupt speech is his food.
His character in this is well-known to the officials,
saying 'living death' each day.
His faults are passed over
from the sheer number of faults on him each day.

 
The Sebayt of Amenemope (Didache of Amenomope or Teaching of Amenemope) is pharonic wisdom literature thought to have been written by the Egyptian Pharoah Usermaatre Amenemope of the 21st Dynasty. This coincided during the time when the tribes of Israel first became a unified nation.  In the prologue that Amenomope considered it extremely important for a ruler to know how to properly respond to his subjects and foreigners and follow the path of prosperity in life. 

Sabayt Amenemope

Prologue

Quote

Beginning of the teaching for life,

The instructions for well-being,

Every rule for relations with elders,

For conduct toward magistrates;

Knowing how to answer one who speaks,

To reply to one who sends a message,

So as to direct him on the paths of life,

To make him prosper upon the earth;

To let his heart enter its shrine,

Steering clear of evil;

To save him from the mouth of strangers,

To let (him) be praised in the mouth of people.

It important that one seeking Sabayt pay strict attention to what is stated and learn how to control your tongue.

Teaching of Amenemope

Chapter I - The Sabayt

Quote

He says
... Give your ears, hear the sayings,

Give your heart to understand them; 

It profits to put them in your heart,

Woe to him who neglects them!

Let them rest in the casket of your belly,

May they be bolted in your heart;

When there rises a whirlwind of words,

They be a mooring post for your tongue.

If you make your life with these in your heart,

You will find it a success;

You will find my words a storehouse for life,

Your being will prosper upon earth 

Give your ears and hear what is said,

 Give your mind over to their interpretation:

The Chokhmah  (Chinukh, Didache, Teaching) Meshlei (Proverbs)  is Israelite wisdom literature thought to been written by King Solomon during his reign from 970 to 931 BCE. Solomon stressed wisdom begins with fearing our Creator. And understanding the teachings of the holy people brings insight on how to discern and respond to events around you. The knowledge you recieve it.

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 9

Quote

10 The beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord, and the knowledge of the holy ones is understanding.

11 For with me shall your days increase, and they will add to you years of life.

12 If you have become wise, you have become wise for yourself, and if you scorn, you will bear it alone.

Similar to Amenemope,  Solomon taught that a ruler should be on guard against seductive words of flattery that can influence unwanted actions.

Mishlei - Proverbs - Chapter 5

Quote

1 My son, hearken to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding,

2 to watch [your] thoughts, and your lips shall guard knowledge.

3 For the lips of a strange woman drip honey, and her palate is smoother than oil.

4 But her end is as bitter as wormwood, as sharp as a two-edged sword.

.5 Her feet descend to death; her steps come near the grave.

6 Lest you weigh the path of life, her paths have wandered off and you shall not know.

Solomon's father David taught that our Creator is the Shepherd of Creation like he was as a boy. It is our Creator's wisdom, not human that lead to a path of righteousness during our lives. If we stay on the Creator's path no evil shall fall upon us. 

Tehillim - Psalms - Chapter 23
 

Quote

 

1 A song of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He causes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters.

3 He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.

4 Even when I walk in the valley of darkness, I will fear no evil for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff-they comfort me.

5 You set a table before me in the presence of my adversaries; You anointed my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6 May only goodness and kindness pursue me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for length of days.

 

egyptian-cobra.jpg

In ancient Egyptian beliefs, serpents were considered both protectors and enemies of the people. The cobra is most often represented as the Uraeus, the fiercely protective serpent seen guarding the foreheads of Deities, kings, and queens. East of Alexandria,  in the city of Dep the Uraeus was known as Wadjet, the serpent goddess often depicted as a cobra. The Ancient Egyptian word Wadj signifies blue and green. Wadjet is also the name for the well-known Eye of the Moon.  Indeed, in later times, she was often depicted simply as a woman with a cobra's head, or as a woman wearing the Uraeus. The Uraeus originally had been her body alone, which wrapped around or was coiled upon the head of the pharaoh or another deity. She became the patroness of the Nile Delta and the protector of all of Lower Egypt. The Uraeus was the protector of the pharaoh and was believed to spit fire at enemies from its place on the forehead.

Wadjet had a twin sister known as Nekhbet, who was the patron of the city of Nekheb (her name meaning of Nekheb) and later became the patron of Upper Egypt. She takes the form of woman with the head of a vulture, a woman with a vulture headdress or simply just white vulture symbolizing purity.

 

Together, they represented the Uraeus – the two ladies (nebty) protecting the pharaoh and all of Egypt. When Egypt became one, these goddesses were believed to be present during the crowning of a pharaoh and their symbols were found the front of the crown itself. In this light, her role as a protector extended to common people as well.

and one of the two patron deities for all of Ancient Egypt when it was unified.

Apophis (Apep) was the ancient Egyptian deity who embodied chaos (ı͗zft in Egyptian) and was thus the opponent of light and Ma'at (order/truth). He appears in art as a giant serpent. 

Teaching of Amenemope

Chapter 8 : speak no evil

Quote

Set your deeds throughout the world

That everyone may greet you;

They make rejoicing for the Uraeus,

And spit against the Apophis.

Keep your tongue safe from words of detraction,

And you will be the loved one of the people,

Then you will find your (proper) place within the temple

And your offerings among the bread deliveries of your lord;

You will be revered, when you are concealed in your grave,

And be safe from the might of God.

Do not accuse a man,

When the circumstance of (his) escape is unknown.

Whether you hear something good or bad,

Put it outside, until he has been heard;

Set a good report on your tongue,

While the bad thing is concealed inside you.

The Literature Of Ancient Egypt

The Story of Sinuhe

Quote

The crown of Upper Egypt will go northward, and the crown of Lower Egypt will go southward that they may unite and come together at the word of Your Majesty, and the cobra goddess Wadjet will be placed on your forehead. As you have kept your subjects from evil, so may Re, Lord of the Two Lands, be compassionate toward you. Hail to you. And also to the Lady of All. Lay to rest your javelin, set aside your arrow. Give breath to the breathless. Give us this happy reward, this bedouin chief Simehyet, the bowman born in Egypt.

Khnum was originally a water god who was thought to rule over all water, including the rivers and lakes of the underworld. He was associated with the source of the Nile, and ensured that the inundation deposited enough precious black silt onto the river banks to make them fertile. Khnum was similar to the the Creator's Holy Spirit as the Lord of Life of the body and the "ka" (spirit) of each newborn child.

(52) his emotions & passions are constantly in a state of arousal ;

Chapter 9 : avoid the heated 

Quote

08  and take care not to {vex}. 

09  Swift is speech when the heart is hurt,

10  more than wind {over} water.

23  If only Khnum came to him !

25  so as to knead his {states of mind}. 50

28  he causes brothers to quarrel,  

32  {he gathers himself together, crouched.}

34  A fire burns in his belly.

CHAPTER 9

Quote

 

Do not fraternize with the hot-tempered man,

Nor approach him to converse.

Safeguard your tongue from talking back to your superior,

And take care not to offend him.

Do not allow him to cast words only to entrap you,

And be not too free in your replies;

With a man of your own station discuss the reply;

And take care of speaking thoughtlessly;

When a man’s heart is upset, words travel faster

Than wind over water.

He is ruined and created by his tongue,

When he speaks slander;

He makes an answer deserving of a beating,

For his freight is damaged.

He sails among all the world,

But his cargo is false words;

He acts the ferryman in twisting words:

He goes forth and comes back arguing.

But whether he eats or whether he drinks inside,

His accusation (waits for him) outside.

The day when his evil deed is brought to court

Is a disaster for his children.

Even Khnum will straightway come against him, even Khnum will

straightway come against him,

The potter of the ill-tempered man,

For he sets families to argue.

He goes before all the winds like clouds,

He changes his hue in the sun;

He crocks his tail like a baby crocodile,

He curls himself up to inflict harm,

His lips are sweet, but his tongue is bitter,

And fire burns inside him.

Do not fly up to join that man

Not fearing you will be brought to account.

 

Chapter 10 : say what You think without injuring

CHAPTER 10

Quote

 

Do not address an intemperate man in your (unrighteousness)
Nor destroy your own mind;
Do not say to him, ‘‘May you be praised,’’ not meaning it
When there is fear within you

Do not converse falsely with a man,
For it is the abomination of God.
Do not separate your mind from your tongue,
All your plans will succeed.
You will be important before others,
While you will be secure in the hand of God.
God hates one who falsifies words,
His great abomination is duplicity

 

Chapter 11 : abuse no poor

Quote

06  his heart is misled by his belly.60

16  when the stick attains him.

Chapter 17 : do not corrupt the measure

Quote

04  nor let its belly be empty.76

09  The bushel is the Eye of Re,77

10  it abhors him who trims. 

Chapter 21 : be reticent

Quote

01  Do not say : 'Find me a strong superior, 

05  Indeed You do not know the plans of god,92

07  Settle in the arms of the god,93

11  Do not empty your belly 94 to everyone,

14  nor join with one who bares his heart.95

15  Better is one whose speech is in his belly,96

18  one does not create (it) to harm it.

Like the Egyptian concept of Ma'at (Order) and Apepi (Disorder),  In the Talmud (Tractate Berakoth Folio 5a) Jews believe that the soul of person has both a good spirit (Yezter hatov, impulse, inclination, instinct, genii) and a evil spirit (Yezter hara, impulse, inclination instinct, genii) battling for control.The problem, however, arises when one makes a willful choice to "cross over the line," and seeks to gratify the evil spirits.  Rabbi Levi explains the meaning to King David's wisdom on how to maintain Selah (balance, Ma'at) in one's life by praying to the Creator for help to transform our Yezter hara into a good force in our life.

Tractate Berakoth Folio 5a

Quote

R. Levi b. Hama says in the name of R. Simeon b. Lakish:
 
A man should always incite the good impulse in his soul to fight against the evil impulse. For it is written: Tremble and sin not.  If he subdues it, well and good. If not, let him study the Torah. For it is written: 'Commune with your own heart'.  If he subdues it, well and good. If not, let him recite the Shema'. For it is written:
 
'Upon your bed'. If he subdues it, well and good. If not, let him remind himself of the day of death. For it is written:
 
[ Tehillim - Psalms 5: 1 To the conductor with melodies, a song of David. 2 When I call, answer me, O God of my righteousness; in my distress You have relieved me, be gracious to me and hearken to my prayer. 3 Sons of man, how long will my honor be disgraced? [How long] will you love futility? [How long] will you constantly seek lies? 4 You shall know that the Lord has set apart the pious man for Himself; the Lord shall hear when I call out to Him. 5 Quake and do not sin; say [this] in your heart on your bed and be forever silent. 6 Offer up sacrifices of righteousness and trust in the Lord. 7 Many say, "Who will show us goodness?" Raise up over us the light of Your countenance, O Lord. 8. You gave joy into my heart from the time that their corn and their wine increased. 9 In peace together, I would lie down and sleep, for You, O Lord, would make me dwell alone in safety.]
 
'And be still, Selah'.

 

 

Proverbs
(especially the sentence literature of chs. 10ff. ) shows "a general parallelism of
thought" with Egyptian and Babylonian Instruction. 

Sebayt (Manuel de Codage transcription: sbA.yt)[1] is the ancient Egyptian term for a genre of pharaonic literature. The word literally means 'teachings' or 'instructions'[2] and refers to formally written ethical teachings focused on the "way of living truly".

he book of Proverbs was principally written by King Solomon, David’s son, around 900 BC. 

 Wisdom literature is
one of the most important classes of texts from the ancient
civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia and sufficient
examples survive to illustrate both the different national or
cultural preferences and, at the same time, the underlying
similarity of thought and expression

Helck
says, "that Proverbs 22:17-23:11 is largely dependent on the
Teaching of Amenemope is now generally accepted".27

 Erman demonstrated that the Teaching of
Amenemope was closely parallel with the portion of Proverb
sometimes subtitled "Words of the Wise" (22:17-24:22)

the belly is the home of our passions, emotions, feelings and states of arousal & rest - our sage promotes tranquility ;

He has mastered the "inner" conflict between his passions and his mind, namely between the icons of emotions and the symbols of proto-rational cognition, between "belly" and "heart".
 
 Egyptian Instructions (both pre-Demotic
and Demotic) present collections of maxims and teachings on moral living, these
max

 

 

 
 
Amun is first mentioned in the Pyramid Texts (c. 2400-2300) as a local god of Thebes along with his consort Amaunet.
 
Amun as "The Obscure One" left room for people to define him according to their own understanding of what they needed him to be. A god who represented darkness could not also represent light, nor a god of water stand for dryness, etc. A god who personified the mysterious hidden nature of existence, however, could lend himself to any aspect of that existence; and this is precisely what happened with Amun.  
 
During the Twelfth dynasty, the New Kingdom the god Amun rose to prominence. In the city of Thebes. Atum was fused with Ra into Amun-Ra. 
 
. In his role as Amun-Ra, the god combines his invisible aspect (symbolized by the wind which one cannot see but is aware of) and his visible aspect as the life-giving sun. In Amun, the most important aspects of both Ra and Atum were combined to establish an all-encompassing deity whose aspects were literally every facet of creation.
 
Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford
 
This life-sized statue of a ram, the sacred animal of the god Amun, was one of a pair that flanked a threshold in Taharqa’s temple at Kawa c. 680 BC. The base is carved with a hieroglyphic inscription proclaiming the king to be the son of the god Amun. A small figure of Taharqa stands protected under the ram’s chin. 
 
453785.jpg
 
Wonderful Ethiopians
of the Ancient Cushite Empire
Drusilla Dunjee Houston
 
 
Quote

 

Let us seek to trace who Amen-Ra was. He was originally the god of Ethiopia. Amen-Ra was Cush, the son of Ham from whom the Cushites sprang. He was not one of the oldest deities of Egypt because he was preceeded by the gods of the ages of Noah (Saturn) and Ham. About the time of the rise of Thebes his name from his worldwide conquests must have been entered into the cycle of gods; for Africans deified their dead kings. Undoubtedly descendants of the great Cush sat upon the throne of Egypt This is why his name and form appear in the 11th Dynasty and its line of kings assumed his name.

His became the predominent shrine of Egypt and its enrichment became the chief object of the Pharaohs. Amen or Cush was recognized by Egypt as its chief god. All the mummery of the world which tries to resolve the gods of old into anything else presents the height of folly. The ancients looked upon Zeus, Apollo and Osiris as persons. Amen-Ra was the Zeus of Greece, that was why they said the gods banqueted with the Ethiopians. He was the Jupiter of Rome. Zeus was king of kings because he was chief ruler in Ethiopia and over the lesser kings in his wide domains stretching from India to farther Norway. Horus, Apollo, Belus and Nimrod his son, were recognized and worshipped by all Cushite colonies. In the sculptures the Negro types of Africa are the assistants at the festivals in Amen's honor. He, himself, was of the same ancestry. In the later chapters of the Egyptian ritual his name is in the language of the Negroes of Punt.

 

Relief depicting the ram-headed Amun-ra on a shrine erected by Kushite King Taharqa in the court of the Temple of Amun built by him at Kawa in Nubia. Late Period, 25th Dynasty, 690-64 BC.

tumblr_osmbddHj9R1wna6v8o1_1280.jpg

 
NUBIAN PHARAOHS AND MEROITIC KINGS
THE KINGDOM OF KUSH
NECIA DESIREE HARKLESS
 
p.16
 
Diodorus is an invaluable source on
the history of Egypt and Ethiopia. What does he say about the Ethiopians?
“Now the Ethiopians, as historians relate, were the fi rst of all men and proofs
of the statement are manifest. For they did not come into their country as
immigrants from abroad but were the natives of it and so justly bear the name
of Autochone...Th ey that dwell beneath the noonday sun were in all likelihood
the fi rst to be generated by the earth... it is reasonable to suppose that the region
which was nearest was the fi rst to bring forth living creatures. And they say that
they were taught to honor the gods and to hold sacrifi ces and processions and
festivals and other rites by which man honors the deity: and that in consequences
their piety was published abroad among all men... they state by reason of their
piety towards the deity they manifestly enjoy the favor of the gods, inasmuch as
they have never experienced rule of an invader from; for from all time they have
enjoyed a state of freedom abroad and peace with the other and though many
powerful rulers have made war upon them, not one of them succeeded in this
undertaking.”
 
Th e fi rst Ethiopians who were mentioned in the bible
were from the land of Kush (Cush), which according to the biblical tradition was a territory on
the Upper Nile, south of Egypt; it was also later known as Nubia. Kush is the name of the eldest
son of Noah and the territory inhabited by his descendants. Th e Kushites are the descendants
of Noah who produced the sons: Shem, Ham, and Japhet, each with their own language, clan,
and nation. According to Gen. 9:18, the three sons peopled the rest of the earth, which was
indicative of the unity of humanity in the ancient mind. Ham’s son, Cush, went to Ethiopia;
his son, Mizraim, went to Egypt; Canaan went to Canaan; Phut (Pwnt) went to Punt, which in
Egyptian records, the fabulous land on the East coast of Africa, source of myrrh (which included
present-day Somaliland, perhaps also Arabia. 
 
 e Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of religious texts written by early Christians, known
as Gnostics, who were excluded from the church as heretics. It is an invaluable source of Coptic
lore, buried since 400AD in Nag Hammadi near Luxor in Egypt and discovered in 1945. Th e 
NUBIAN PHARAOHS AND MEROITIC KINGS
17
Apocalypse of Adam (v.5), one of the Nag Hammadi tracts cast a new light in the treatment of
the fl ood biblical genealogy.
“And God will say to Noah- whom all generations will call DeucalonBehold
I have protected you in the ark. Th erefore I will give the earth to you
and your son.”
“Th en Noah will divide the whole earth among his sons Ham and Japhet and
Shem. He will then say to them, “My sons listen to my words. I have divided
the earth among you. But serve Him with all the days of your life. Let not your
seed depart from the face of the Almighty.”
“Th en others from the seed of Ham and Japhet will come
Four thousand men, and enter another land and sojourn with those who come
from the eternal knowledge. Th en the seed of Ham and Japhet will form twelve
kingdoms of another people.”3

 
 
 
 
 
Th e strength of the Ethiopians or Kushites was detested to such a great degree, the prophet
Isaiah, an agent of Yahweh (God), issued a proclamation to all:
Disaster! Land of the whirring locust
beyond the rivers of Cush,
who send ambassadors by sea,
in little reed- boats across the waters!
NECIA DESIREE HARKLESS
18
to a nation tall and bronzed,
a mighty and masterful nation.33
 
We are told in the Old Testament when the Queen of Sheba heard of the fame of
Solomon concerning the name of the lord; she came to him with questions. Kings 10:11
Th e queen, who was a virgin and pure, learning about the history of the world, heard of
Solomon’s wisdom and was curious to see what she had heard about, set on a long journey
from Axum to Jerusalem, in those days when land and sea were not controlled by easy
transportation. She proved his wisdom both material and spiritual.
4. And God gave her what she desired... and this gift was a conception of Menelik I, the
son of Solomon who is from the tribe of Judah, the descendant of Abraham, and this
Menelik was to rule after her, hence the motto “Th e conquering Lion of the Tribes of
Judah” which motto is the basis of the country’s faith and key to their ancestry. I Kings
10:1-13
5. We are told in the New Testament that our Lord ...has praised her journey she made to
hear the Wisdom of Solomon. Luke 11: 13.
 
The Temple of Wadi es-Sebua
“Es Sebua (“Th e Lions”) was the third temple built by Rameses II ninety- three moles from
Aswan. Part of the temple is cut from rock. Rameses II dedicated the temple to Re- Harakhte
and to Amun as he considered he was a god, by this time. He also worshiped in the temple. Th e
entrance to the temple was formed by an avenue of Sphinxes (from which es-Sebua derives its
name) that led up to the south pylon before which stood two colossal statues of Rameses II. At
the far end of the sanctuary and above the solar bark on which the beetle-headed Re-Harakhte,
the solar god is seated under a canopy while he is seated under a canopy while he is being adored
on the left by the king and on the right by three baboons. Below is a niche that still shows traces
of the three chiseled statues of the temples. Th ree principal gods are painted over the picture of
St. Peter.92
 
Queen Hatshepsut (1479-1457) also campaigned in Nubia. Th utmose III, her youthful coregent
and stepson supplanted her. Th e Queen ruled as a king with ceremonial beard and a fi rm
hand for twenty years. Th e temple built at Deir el Bahri was the outstanding monument of her
reign. Th e walls display her important trading expedition to Punt. However, it was Th utmose
III who extended the Egyptian frontier to the foot of the Holy Mountain at Gebel Barkal at the
Fourth Cataract in his 47th regal year. His victory stele at Napata marked his triumph and the
extent of the Egyptian frontier and in his temple of Amun-Re, he could boast of his satisfaction
in both Egypt and Asia.
 
Amenhotep IV (Akhnaten) (1352-1336) was a coregent with his father, Amenhotep the III,
during his later reign. Amenhotep changed his name during his reign to Akhnaten, signifying
his new devotion to the Sun god Aten, which was in confl ict with the Th eban god Amun, and
the priesthood. Th e center of government remained at Th ebes while Akhnaten moved to Amarna
with his beautiful wife Nefertari, and the adherents to the new religion that was a forerunner of
Monotheism. Akhnaten built a temple at Karnak in honor of Aten. Th e gains made abroad were
gradually diminished by lack of attention on the home front. Th e agreement of the factions of
Aten and Amun seem to have begun under Semenekhara (1335-1332), who was coregent with
Akhnaten for a short period. He was succeeded by Tutankhamon (1332-23) who was successful
in returning the splintered worship of Amun to Th ebes. Th e death of Tutankhamon while still
a youth made a place for an elderly noble named Ay (1323-1319) who legitimized his claim by
marrying the widow of the deceased
 
Alara’s prayer preserved in the Kawa VI relief refl ects his piety and his
belief in the providence of the God Amun:
O benefi cent god, swift, who calls upon him, look
Upon my sister for me, a women born with me in one womb.
Act for her (even) as you have acted for him [Alara] that acted
For you , as a wonder, unpremeditated, and not disregarded by refl ective people. For
you put a stop to him that plotted evil against me after you set me up as king
 
A stela from Kawa, now located in the Ny Carlsberg Glypotek in Copenhagen, shows Alara
making off erings to the god. Th e temple B at Kawa depicts the earliest post new Kingdom
temple and affi rms that Alara was the fi rst signifi cant restorer of the Nubian Amun cult. Th e
fi rst surviving sculptures of the dynasty are a series of ram sphinxes of heavy cut stone placed
by Kashta by its pylon when he enlarged the mud-brick temple of Alara (B800) at Jebel Barkal. 
 
Kashta’s legitimacy as king was established through the installation of Alara’s sister as princess
of Amun, which created the justifi cation for royal succession and facilitated the shared concepts
of traditional Kushite practice with Egyptian concepts of kingship. 
 
Kashta was married to his sister Pebtatma indicated by her Abydos stela. Her roles are also
given as Sistrum-player of Amen Re, King of the Gods, King’s sister, king’s daughter, mother of
the Divine Adoratrice (Amenerdis I). Kashta was affi rmed king by the priests of Amun when he
arrived in Th ebes. Adams posits that there was no suggestion of military activity connected with
this visit.
 
Pianhki (Piye) : conqueror and deliverer
It was Pianhki, the son of Kashta, who completed the submission of Egypt. Th e Sandstone
Stela of Piye (747 B.C.) records that Pianhki was appointed by Amun as lord of the Th rones of
the Two Lands. Pianhki’s mother was Pebatma; sister was “Sistrum-player of Amun Re, King
of the Gods and Mother of the Divine Adoratrice (Amenerdis I). Pianhki married Tabiry, sister
of Kashta. Pianhki’s daughter was Shepenwepet II whom he installed when he became king, as
God’ Wife of Amun Elect. His other daughters were Tabekenamun, Naparaye and Arty. His
brother, Prince Pakartror, was buried at Abydos with the Kushite Royal wives of Kashta and
Pianhki. Pianhki also had three sons: Khaluit, Taharqa and Piye-Har.
Pianhki’s genius as titular King of Egypt, liturgical wizard in the synthesis of Egyptian
and Kushite concepts of order as priest, and military might as general is captured in his Great
Triumphal Stela from the Gebel Barkal Temple of Amun in the year 727 B.C. which is now in
Cairo. 
 
Pianhki (Piye) : conqueror and deliverer
It was Pianhki, the son of Kashta, who completed the submission of Egypt. Th e Sandstone
Stela of Piye (747 B.C.) records that Pianhki was appointed by Amun as lord of the Th rones of
the Two Lands. Pianhki’s mother was Pebatma; sister was “Sistrum-player of Amun Re, King
of the Gods and Mother of the Divine Adoratrice (Amenerdis I). Pianhki married Tabiry, sister
of Kashta. Pianhki’s daughter was Shepenwepet II whom he installed when he became king, as
God’ Wife of Amun Elect. His other daughters were Tabekenamun, Naparaye and Arty. His
brother, Prince Pakartror, was buried at Abydos with the Kushite Royal wives of Kashta and
Pianhki. Pianhki also had three sons: Khaluit, Taharqa and Piye-Har.
 
It has been noted in recent studies of horse skeletons from el Kurru by Bokonyi (1993) and
the textual evidence of use of horses in Kushite warfare indicates that the fi nest horses used in
contemporary Egypt and Assyria were bred and exported from Nubia.
Th is splendid large stela of pink granite with a rounded top has a lunette relief which gives
a pictorial summary of the event in the text that describes his wars fought under the protection
of Amun bringing him the victory he envisioned. At the left of the lunette is Amun sitting on
the throne with Mut the goddess standing behind Amun and Pianhki standing before him.
King Namlot, of Hermopolis, is leading a horse in front of Pianhki shaking a sistrum in order
to pacify him. 
 
Pianhki in the tradition of the pharaohs donated his tribute of war to the god
NECIA DESIREE HARKLESS
130
Amun which was vast:
“a mass of copper or turquoise as large as yourself, fi nest horses, gold, silver, lapislazuli,
property of all kinds, suits of apparel made of byssus of every quality, and
couches and coverlets of linen, and anti perfume, vases of unguent, metal vessels
or gold ornaments for the neck, crowns for your head, gold vases for ceremonies
of purifi cation, precious inlaid stones...”
 
At Kawa, Pianhki added a colonnaded forecourt where his stelae could be erected and pylons
to the temple of Amun and built a paved processional road. On the walls of the temple, the
ancient thirty-year Sed festival is depicted showing the king restoring his powers. At Kurru, he
is entombed in a pyramid with subterranean chamber accessed by a stairway, and his wife Tabiry
is buried nearby. Th e horses that he loved were buried as well at Kurru with elaborate trappings
of silver and gold. Th e reign of the conqueror lasted 30 years.
Pianhki is also remembered from the Sandstone Stela by his speech:
‘Th e Son of Re, lord of Diadems, “beloved of Amun,
Pi(anh)ki says:
Amun of Napata has granted me to be ruler of every foreign country.
He to whom I say, you are chief, he is to be chief.
He to whom I say ‘You are not king !’ he is not King .
Amun in Dominion (Th ebes) has granted me to be ruler of Black-land.
...Gods make a king, men make a king,
But it is Amun who has made me
Th e earliest throne name of Pianhki, as Lord of Two Lands was indicative of his godship
and kingship.
 
Shabataka assumed the reign of the Kingdom of Kush and Egypt, following the death of his
father. His attested wife was Arty, a daughter of Pianhki. Shabataka was enthroned at Th ebes
in the great temple of Amun. His titulary included “Whose appearances -endure, Beloved of
Ptah and Beloved of Amun.
Th is ‘shadowy king’ falls through the cracks of history as so little has been found to affi rm his
reign. Th e Karnak Nile level record, year three of Shabataka, records that he arrived at Th ebes,
the compound of Amun on the fi fth day of the fi rst month of summer in his third regal year. 
 
============================

 

Hedjkheperre Setepenre Shoshenq I  (reigned c. 943–922 BC)—also known as Sheshonk or Sheshonq I is presumed to be the Shishak (Shishak, Shishaq or Susac) mentioned in the Hebrew Bible. Sheshonq I was the son of Nimlot A, Great Chief of the Ma, and his wife Tentshepeh A, a daughter of a Great Chief of the Ma herself. The Meshwesh (often abbreviated in ancient Egyptian as Ma) were an ancient Libyan tribe of Berber origin from beyond Cyrenaica. According to Egyptian hieroglyphs, this area is where the Libu and Tehenu inhabited. 

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 3

 
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1 And Solomon became allied by marriage to Pharaoh king of Egypt, and took Pharaoh's daughter, and brought her into the city of David, until he had completed building his own house, and the house of the Lord, and the wall of Jerusalem round about.

2Only the people sacrificed in the high places, because there was no house built unto the name of the Lord, until those days.

3And Solomon loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father; only he sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places.

4And the king went to Gibeon to sacrifice there; for that (was) the great high place; a thousand burnt offerings did Solomon offer upon that altar.

5In Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, "Ask what I shall give you."

6And Solomon said, "You have done Your servant David my father great kindness, as he walked before you in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with You; and You have kept for him this great kindness, that You have given him a son to sit on his throne, as (it is) this day.

7And now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of David my father; and I (am but) a little child; I do not know (how) to go out or come in.

8And your servant (is) in the midst of Your people which you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for multitude.

9Give (therefore) Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and bad; for who is able to judge this Your great people?"

10And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.

11And God said to him, "Because you have asked this thing, and have not asked for yourself long life; neither have you asked riches for yourself, nor have you asked the life of your enemies; but have asked for yourself understanding to discern judgment.

12Behold, I have done according to your word; behold, I have given you a wise and understanding heart; so that there was none like you before you, nor after you shall any arise like you.

13And I have also given you that which you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there shall not be any among the kings like you all your days.

14And if you walk in My ways, to keep My statutes and My commandments, as your father David did walk, then I will lengthen your days."

All humans have been given the knowledge of good and evil. Our Creator bestowed Solomon the gift discerning whether the actions of others are good or evil. In return, the Creator had only the request that Solomon keep His statutes and My commandments.

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 5

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9 And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding exceedingly much, and largeness of heart, as the sand that (is) on the seashore.

10 And Solomon's wisdom was greater than the wisdom of all the children of the east, and all the wisdom of Egypt.

11 And he was wiser than all men, than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the nations round about.

12 And he spoke three thousand proverbs, and his songs were a thousand and five.

13 And he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree that (is) in Lebanon and to the hyssop that springs out of the wall, and he spoke of the beasts, and of the fowl, and of the creeping things, and of the fishes.

14 And they came of all peoples to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth, who had heard his wisdom. 

 Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 9

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3 And the Lord spoke to him: "I have heard your prayer and your petition, which you have petitioned before Me. I have consecrated this Temple which you have built to place My name there forever, and My eyes and My heart shall be there at all times.

4 As for You, if you go before Me, as David your father went wholeheartedly and with uprightness to do in accordance with all that I have commanded you [and] you will keep My statutes and laws.

5 I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever as I have spoken to David your father, saying: A man will not fail you upon the throne of Israel.

6 But if you and your children turn away from following Me, and you will not adhere to My commandments and My statutes, which I have placed before you, but go and worship other gods and bow before them.

7 Then I will cut Israel off, from the land which I have given to them, and this house which I have made sacrosanct for My Name will I dismiss from My presence, and Israel shall be for a proverb and a byword among all nations.

8 And this Temple [which] is exalted, [shall become forlorn] and every passerby shall be astounded and will hiss, and they will say: "Why has the Lord done this to this country and to this Temple?"

9 They will be told, "Because they abandoned the Lord, their God, Who delivered their forefathers out of the Land of Egypt; and took hold of other gods and bowed to them and served them. Therefore, has the Lord brought all this retribution upon them. "

Ecclesiastes is presented as an autobiography of "Kohelet" (or "Qoheleth", meaning "Gatherer", but traditionally translated as "Teacher" or "Preacher"). Kohelet's story is framed by voice of the narrator, who refers to Kohelet in the third person, praises Solomon's wisdom, but reminds the reader that wisdom has its limitations and is not man's main concern. 

One reason the Kohelet is identified as Solomon is that at one time Solomon was the king of Israel, and Ecclesiastes 1:1 identifies the Preacher as “king in Jerusalem.” Also in agreement with Ecclesiastes 1:1, Solomon was a “son of David.”


Kohelet - Ecclesiastes - Chapter 1

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1 The words of Koheleth son of David, king in Jerusalem.

2 Vanity of vanities, said Koheleth; vanity of vanities, all is vanity.

3 What profit has man in all his toil that he toils under the sun?

4 A generation goes and a generation comes, but the earth endures forever.

 Abraham Lincoln quoted Ecclesiastes 1:4 in his address to the reconvening Congress on December 1, 1862, during the darkest hours of the American Civil War

President Abraham Lincoln

Second Annual Message
December 1, 1862

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On the 22d day of September last a proclamation was issued by the Executive, a copy of which is herewith submitted. In accordance with the purpose expressed in the second paragraph of that paper, I now respectfully recall your attention to what may be called "compensated emancipation."

A nation may be said to consist of its territory, its people, and its laws. The territory is the only part which is of certain durability. "One generation passeth away and another generation cometh, but the earth abideth forever." It is of the first importance to duly consider and estimate this ever-enduring part.

 
Egyptian influence on Israel was particularly strong in the reign of Solomon who became the son-in-law to an Egyptian Pharaoh. 

It has been suggested that Neterkheperre or Netjerkheperre-setepenamun Siamun was the unnamed pharaoh of the Bible who gave in marriage his daughter to king Solomon in order to seal an alliance between Israel and Egypt. Neterkheperre was the sixth pharaoh of Egypt during the Twenty-first dynasty. He built extensively in Lower Egypt for a king of the Third Intermediate Period and is regarded as one of the most powerful rulers of the 21st Dynasty after Psusennes I. Netjerkheperre-Setepenamun, means "Divine is The Manifestation of Ra, Chosen of Amun" while his name means 'son of Amun (also Amon, Ammon, Amen).'

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 9

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16 Pharaoh, king of Egypt, had gone up and conquered Gezer and burnt it with fire, and slayed the Canaanites who inhabited the city; and he gave it as a gift to his daughter, Solomon's wife.

King  Solomon incorporated the teachings of Israel  Egypt's Vizier Ptahhotep on how to keep good moral sense when making decisions.

Ecclesiastes 10

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10:2 A wise person’s good sense protects him, 
but a fool’s lack of sense leaves him vulnerable.
 
10:3 Even when a fool walks along the road he lacks sense,
and shows everyone what a fool he is.
 
10:4 If the anger of the ruler flares up against you, do not resign from your position, 
for a calm response can undo great offenses.
 
10:5 I have seen another misfortune on the earth: 
It is an error a ruler makes.
10:6 Fools are placed in many positions of authority, 
while wealthy men sit in lowly positions.

Scripture presents Solomon had access to Egyptian and Babylonian literature.

King Solomon's actions caused Israel to fall from the Creator's grace.

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 11

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1 King Solomon loved many foreign women and the daughter of Pharaoh; Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Zidonians, and Hittites.

2 Of the nations about which the Lord had said to the Children of Israel, "You shall not go (mingle) among them and they shall not come among you, for certainly they will sway your heart after their dieties." To these did Solomon cleave to love [them]

3 And he had seven hundred royal wives and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned away his heart.

4 And it was at the time of Solomon's old age, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods, and his heart was not whole with the Lord, His God, like the heart of David his father.

5 And Solomon went after Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammonites.

6 And Solomon did what was displeasing to the Lord, and he was not completely devoted to the Lord as was David his father. 

7 Then did Solomon build a high place for Chemosh, the abomination of Moab on the mountain that is before Jerusalem and for Molech, the abomination of the children of Ammon.   

8 And so he did for all of his alien wives who offered incense and slaughtered sacrifices to their deities.

9 And the Lord became angry with Solomon because his heart had digressed from the Lord, God of Israel, Who had appeared to him twice.

10 And had commanded him pertaining this matter, not to follow other gods; however, he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.

11 And the Lord said to Solomon, "For as this has been with you, and you have not observed My covenant and My statutes which I have commanded you, I will surely tear the kingdom from you, and I shall give it to your servant.

12 However, in your days I will not do this, for the sake of David your father; from the hands of your son I shall tear it.

13 But I shall not tear the entire kingdom away from you; one tribe I shall grant to your son for the sake of David My servant, and for the sake of Jerusalem, the city which I have chosen.

14And the Lord raised up an adversary against Solomon, Hadad, the Edomite; he was of the royal lineage in Edom.

15And it was when David was in Edom that Joab, the commander of the army had gone up to bury the slain, since he had slain every male in Edom.

16For Joab and all of Israel remained [stationed] there for six months until he had killed every male in Edom.

17Adad fled, he and some Edomite men, of his father's servants with him, to go to Egypt; Hadad being yet a small child.    

18And they set out from Midian and came to Paran, and they took men with them from Paran and they arrived in Egypt and came before Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, He granted him a home and assigned him sustenance and gave him land.

19And Hadad pleased Pharaoh very much so that he gave him in marriage the sister of his wife, the sister of Tachpenes, the queen.

20And the sister of Tachpenes bore him Genubath his son, whom Tachpenes weaned in Pharaoh's house, and Genubath was in Pharaoh's house among Pharaoh's children.

21Hadad heard in Egypt that David slept with his fathers and that Joab, the commander of the army had died. And Hadad said to Pharaoh, "Give me leave, and I shall go to my country."

22And Pharaoh said to him, "What do you lack with me that you desire to go to your country?" And he said, "Nevertheless, give me leave."

23And God raised up against him an adversary, Rezon, the son of Eliada, who had fled from Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, his master.

24And he assembled men around him, and he became commander over a battalion when David slew them, and they went to Damascus and settled there and ruled in Damascus.

25 And he was an adversary to Israel all of Solomon's days with the evil that was caused by Hadad, and he detested Israel and ruled over Aram.

26 And Jeroboam the son of Nabat an Ephraimite of Zeradah, whose mother's name was Zeruah, a widow; he was Solomon's servant, he raised his hand against the king.

27And this was the matter [concerning] which he raised his hand against the king; Solomon built up the Millo and closed up the breach of the city of David, his father.

28 And the man Jeroboam was a mighty man of valor; and Solomon saw this young man, that he was a diligent worker, and he appointed him in charge of all the burdens of the House of Joseph.

29And it came to be at that time when Jeroboam had left Jerusalem, that Ahijah, the Shilonite, the prophet, found him on the way, and he was wearing a new garment, and the two of them were alone in the field.

30And Ahijah grasped the new garment that was upon him and tore it into twelve pieces.

31And he said to Jeroboam, "Take for yourself ten pieces, for so has the Lord, the God of Israel, said, "I shall tear the kingdom out of Solomon's hands and I shall give you the ten tribes.

32But he will have one tribe, for My servant David's sake and for Jerusalem's sake, the city which I have chosen of all the tribes of Israel.

33Since they have deserted Me and have prostrated themselves to Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, to Chemosh, the god of Moab, and Milcom, the god of the children of Ammon, and they have not walked in My ways, to do what is right in My eyes to keep My statutes and judgments as did David his father.

34However, I will not take any part of the kingdom away from him but I will make him a king all the days of his life for the sake of David My servant, whom I chose, for he kept My commandments and My statutes.

35However, I will take the kingdom away from his son and will give it to you, the ten tribes

36And his son I shall give one tribe so that David My servant may have a kingdom before Me in Jerusalem, the city which I chose for Myself to place My name there.

37And I shall take you, and you shall rule over all that your soul desires, and you shall be king over Israel.

38And it will be, if you heed all that I shall command you and will walk in My ways and do what is righteous in My eyes, to keep My statutes and My commandments as did David My servant, and I shall be with you and build for a lasting dynasty as I have built for David My servant, and I shall give Israel to you.

39And I shall afflict David's descendants because of this, but not for all times."

40Solomon sought to put Jeroboam to death, but Jeroboam arose and fled to Egypt to Shishak, the king of Egypt, and remained in Egypt until Solomon's death.    

Kohelet - Ecclesiastes - Chapter 12

While Solomon did pay for his transgressions here on earth, his last word of wisdom does offer hope for his possible Salvation.

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1 And remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of evil come, and years arrive, about which you will say, "I have no desire in them."

2 Before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars darken, and the clouds return after the rain.

3 On the day that the keepers of the house tremble, and the mighty men are seized by cramps, and the grinders cease since they have become few, and those who look out of the windows become darkened.

4 And the doors shall be shut in the street when the sound of the mill is low, and one shall rise at the voice of a bird, and all the songstresses shall be brought low.

5 Also from the high places they will fear, and terrors on the road, and the almond tree will blossom, and the grasshopper will drag itself along, and sexual desire will fail, for man goes to his everlasting home, and the mourners go about in the street.

6 Before the silver cord snaps, and the golden fountain is shattered, and the pitcher breaks at the fountain, and the wheel falls shattered into the pit.

7 And the dust returns to the earth as it was, and the spirit returns to God, Who gave it.

8 "Vanity of vanities," said Koheleth; "all is vanity."

9 And more [than this], Koheleth was wise, he also taught knowledge to the people; he listened and sought out, he established many proverbs.

10 Koheleth sought to find words of delight and properly recorded words of truth.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like well-fastened nails with large heads, given from one shepherd.

12 And more than they, my son, beware; making many books has no end, and studying much is a weariness of the flesh.

13 The end of the matter, everything having been heard, fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the entire man.

14 For every deed God will bring to judgment-for every hidden thing, whether good or bad.

 

Shishak, Shishaq or Susac (Hebrew: שישק, Tiberian: [ʃiʃaq], Ancient Greek: Σουσακίμ, translit. Sousakim) was, according to the Hebrew Bible, an Egyptian pharaoh who sacked Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE. He is usually identified with the pharaoh Shoshenq I.

Sheshonq I campaign against the Kingdom of Judah and his sack of Jerusalem is contained in the Hebrew Bible (1 Kings 14:25 and 2 Chronicles 12:1-12).

According to these books of the Hebrew Bible, Shishak had provided refuge to Jeroboam during the later years of Solomon's reign, and upon Solomon's death, Jeroboam became king of the tribes in the north, which became the Kingdom of Israel. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign (commonly dated ca. 926 BCE[2]), Shishak swept through the Kingdom of Judah with a powerful army of 60,000 horsemen and 1,200 chariots, in support of his ally Jeroboam, the king of Israel. According to 2 Chronicles 12:3, he was supported by the Lubim (Libyans), the Sukkiim, and the Kushites ("Ethiopians" in the Septuagint). Shishak took away treasures of the Temple of Yahweh and the king's house, as well as shields of gold which Solomon had made;[3] Rehoboam replaced them with brass ones.

According to Second Chronicles,


Egyptian military conquests against Assyria and Israel, aided by Ethiopians are recorded in
the Books of Kings, Acts, and the Chronicles. Mention is made of an Ethiopian army assisting
Shishak ( Sheshonk) who ruled Egypt during the reign of Rehoboam, the King of Judah and the
Son of Solomon. Shishak’s army swept across the land of Judah, with twelve hundred chariots and
sixty thousand men, leaving in his wake fi re and destruction. Th e people of Lubim and Sukkim,
and the Ethiopians are further described as a host with many horses and chariots. Subduing the
Judeans in the south, Shishak continued north to Jerusalem, taking away the treasures of the king
which included all of the gold shields which Solomon had made.31

Melachim I - I Kings - Chapter 14

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21 And Rehoboam the son of Solomon ruled in Judah; forty-one years of age was Rehoboam when he became king and seventeen years he reigned in Jerusalem, the city that the Lord had chosen to place His Name there out of all the tribes of Israel, and his mother's name was Naamah the Amonitess.

22 And Judah did what displeased the Lord, and they angered Him more than their forefathers had done with their sins that they sinned.

23 And they, too, built for themselves high places, monuments and trees for idol worship on every high hill and under every green tree.

24 And also adultery was in the land; they did as all the abominations of the nations that the Lord had driven out from before the Children of Israel.

25 And it came to pass in the fifth year of king Rehoboam, that Shishak, the king of Egypt, came up against Jerusalem.

26 And he took the treasures of the House of the Lord and the treasures of the king's palace, and he took everything; and he took all the golden shields that Solomon had made.

Divrei Hayamim II - II Chronicles - Chapter 12

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1 Now it came to pass when Rehoboam's kingdom was established and when he became strong, he abandoned the Law of the Lord, and all Israel with him.

2 And it came to pass in the fifth year of King Rehoboam, that Shishak the king of Egypt marched against Jerusalem, for they had betrayed the Lord.

3 With a thousand and two hundred chariots and with sixty thousand horsemen, and there was no number to the people who came with him from Egypt: the Lubim, the Sukkiim, and the Cushites.

4 And he seized Judah's fortified cities, and he came until Jerusalem.

5 And Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and the princes of Judah who had gathered to Jerusalem because of Shishak, and he said to them, "So said the Lord: You have forsaken Me; so I too have forsaken you in the hand of Shishak."

6 And the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and they said, "The Lord is just."

7 And when the Lord saw that they had humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, "They have humbled themselves; I shall not destroy them, but I shall grant them some measure of deliverance, and My wrath will not be poured out in Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.

8 For they will be his slaves, and they will know My service and the service of the kingdoms of the lands.

9 And Shishak, the king of Egypt, marched against Jerusalem, and he took the treasures of the House of the Lord and the treasures of the king's palace; everything he took, and he took the golden shields that Solomon had made.

 

 


 

 

 

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