You don’t seriously think I did not know what you meant? I grew up loving Charlton Heston, and any repeat watcher of Exodus knows that Moses is supposed to be an Egyptian name.
Funny thing, Sargon, which has an even older story about him being drawn out of the river as an infant… he isn’t named after “draw out”.
As I said in my earlier post, the Jewish Bible is full of etymologies offered to steer their audience in the desired direction.
And so, again, I would ask: are YEC’s required to believe all these etymologies?
You write about the difficulty you have in imagining Sumerian sources to some of these words in the Bible:
" However with Sumerian, it becomes much more confusing – how did words from the Sumerian language exactly get into the Hebrew language? Sumerian civilization was wiped out as much as half a millennium before the birth of Israel. Wouldn’t that render the entire scenario you’re adjudicating a little more improbable than my scenario of Egyptian origins, since there almost certainly is zero continuity between Sumerian language and Israelite language given how far apart these civilizations existed in the archaeological and ancient records?"
Yep… I know. It takes several passes to straighten the mess out.
First you have to make a pass through the texts to get them sorted by date of composition. People love to
attribute Genesis to Moses. But there are all sorts of markers that indicate a post-Exilic date of composition/editing.
I list them at the bottom of the posting.
If the stories of David touch on 12 tribes, then Exodus provides the back story of how the 12 tribes emerged into 12 powerful nations.
But then the Patriarchal material is written to provide the backstory of Exodus, so that we learn that the 12 tribes are derived from 12 sons of Israel. The idea that any number of sons would go on to produce independent tribes is rather unprecedented and virtually unsupportable on its very face.
And yet we find the exact same story extended to the Ishmaelites…12 Ishmaelite tribes from 12 sons of Ishmael!
But to answer your question, Sumerian is not something restricted to the extinct Sumerian culture. The Sumerians had their written language, and even the pronunciation of their language preserved as the West preserved the religious language of Latin. The Babylonian scribes, who still wrote Sumerian cuneiform, knew the Sumerian word and the Akkadian word for the very same cuneiform character.
We read the post-exilic books of the Bible, and we are told the Jewish intellectuals were very quick to gain intellectual superiority over the native “magi”, “fortune tellers” and so forth. They learned the ancient writing forms. And I think we have a good example of how they used the ancient words to forge a brand new word (technically, such words in any language are called Neologisms, literally “new words”).
Let’s examine the word Cherub. Much ink has been spilled to try to find the semitic origin for this word used so often in the Old Testament. Mind you, I think several researchers get into the general area of the origin… with cognates that have related meanings.
But when I went looking into a Cuneiform Dictionary, I bumped into the two parts of that word within just a few hours!
If we look up “Ker” and “Ub” separately, the blood chills - -
“Ker” can mean “Guard” or “Watcher”. While “Ub” can mean “nook”, “corner” or “small room”.
Is this just one of those random occurences? I’m a little skeptical. The Cherubs in the Holy of Holies, are
installed in a “small room”… and their principle function is to “guard”.
Another interesting “coincidence” is the use of the term “Edom”. Most biblicists will tell you that “Edom” is a cognate of “Red”, or “Clay” or “Mankind”. Yes, I suppose it can be seen that way in the semitic lexicon.
But the connection starts getting a little tenuous when we read about a person named Obed-Edom!
And with them their brethren of the second degree, Zechariah, Ben, and Jaaziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, Eliab, and Benaiah, and Maaseiah, and Mattithiah, and Elipheleh, and Mikneiah, and Obededom, H5654 and Jeiel, the porters.
The explanation of this name is most eye-opening!
Obed-edom = “servant of Edom”
"a Levite and[/or] a Gittite who kept the ark after Uzzah was slain by God
for touching the ark while it was being taken to Jerusalem; . . .the name
of five Israelites:—Obed-edom.
Most linguists calmly accept that the “Servant of Edom” is not a reference to
being a servant of the Nation Edom… but of a deity that was named Edom.
Who would this “Red God”, or “Clay God” or “Human God” be?
2 Kings Chapter 3 tells the complex stor of Israel and Judah invading Moab by way of
Edom, the ally at that time to Israel and Judah.
Starting with verse 15, we read that Elisha has an idea about the thirsting armies that were sent to punish Moab:
“… now bring me [Elisha] a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him. And he said, Thus saith the LORD, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus saith the LORD, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water, that ye may drink, both ye, and your cattle, and your beasts.”
And it came to pass in the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water.
So imagine a country filled with dug out ditches… now filled with water. And in the subsequent verses, we read that the Moabites see the morning sun reflected in these ditches, reflecting red, and “and the Moabites saw the water on the other side as red as blood: And they said, This is blood: the kings are surely slain, and they have smitten one another: now therefore, Moab, to the spoil. And when they came to the camp of Israel, the Israelites rose up and smote the Moabites, so that they fled before them: but they went forward smiting the Moabites, even in their country.”
I had to include the exact words of 2 Kings 3, because who would believe it if someone paraphrased it. It’s a bit preposterous. Edom was notorious for being a low-elevation depression, with a water table almost every where near the surface. Any traveler in the region would know this. So to think that neighboring Moabites would confuse ground water for blood is about as convincing as 6 days of creation.
How does this connect with “Obed-Edom”, servant of a deity of Edom, and all this “red water”? This entire chapter is a giant example of word play: the red and the blood and the clay of soggy ground are the cognates of 'dm < the Hebrew.
But what about all this water? Is this simply an extension of “blood” as a water? No, not really. Though that connection would of course be appreciated by the Hebrew scribes as well.
The Sumerians had a word for “under ground spring” or “ground water” … the water that filled the topography of Edom.
The word was " iddim " ! In fact this word could also be used to mean the God of all underground water, Enki.
Enki = Iddim.
The Hebrew scribes would discover this meaning, and coincidence?, when they learned Cuneiform in the Exile.
And they would learn that a “small room guard” could be called a “Ker-Ub”.
Lastly - Zoroastrian Influence
The puzzle of Zoroastrian and Magian influence has been studied in fits and starts over the years. The height of Magi influence on the surrounding people would come, ironically, with the collapse of the Persian Empire. No longer having the purpose of nurting the Persian nature, Magi had to learn to earn their keep amongst the incoming Greeks and anybody else who would pay for their knowledge. So, we have 200 years of Persian hegemony, when the Magi were in charge of religious education, followed by another 200 years of Greek hegemony, where the Magi had to make themselves popular to the foreign peasants and the elites alike.
Ten years ago I wrote up this list of Eight correspondences with Persian culture. It’s not perfect, but it will certainly give you the flavor of what I’m discussing:
- A Persian “Chariot Cult of the Sun”… we
haven’t found any cult like this any earlier…
except for the “fictionated” time frame of the
"sun chariot" mentioned in the bible. Herodotus describes
the Persian king travelling with a ritual chariot of
2) A Persian cult of an “eternal flame”… haven’t
found any cult like this any earlier… did they get
this idea from the Egyptians? I haven’t heard anyone
suggest this yet.
3) A shortened version of Persian/Mede/Scythian
trousers for priests… described by Josephus and
Herodotus using the same vocabulary associated with
Scythian trousers… again, there are no known
alternative sources for this vocabulary or apparel.
Egyptian priests wore “apron-style” apparel. And other
cultures wore robes with no reference to any special
under-garments. Trouser-style garments… now THAT was
interesting! And Herodotus knew this.
4) The Hebrew use of the term “kani-besm” for an
incense that apparently is an authentic word of the
Scythian vocabulary for an incense that they ALSO
used for religious purposes. Americans have their
own word for the very same thing: 'Canna-Bis’
The use of this plant was introduced in the region
by the Scythian invaders and troopers - before and
during the Persian occupation.
5) The Ezra/Nehemia fixation on “ethnic purity”,
which parallels concerns in Zoroastrian groups for
racial purity, can be seen as redacted back into various bible
texts regarding racial purity. Interestingly, this isn’t
even a consistent redaction. The Levites are a
virtual “caste” … as are the Magi. And this is part
of the Indo-European heritage, not the Semitic one.
The Babylonian/Chaldaean parallels of "Enki"
mythology to Genesis… involving at LEAST four
distinct “Enki” story cycles in creation and mentoring
humanity, which appears to fuse with Persian
myths involving an extreme dualism of good
& evil… found combined in the O.T. (Genesis
was probably originally a Chaldaea-influenced
Samaritan Zadokite document). Point Six is so
powerful, especially in connection with Genesis,
a book purported to be the very first book!
The “exemplars” of the Book of Daniel, and
Esther, which present convincingly detailed and
intimate histories of Jewish personalities, that
are “transparently” non-historical (though I
do agree that they are useful in documenting
sociological realities). Esther is a Jerusalem
document that explains why Jews celebrate a
Persian anti-Magi holiday. [See Herodotus’
story of the Slaughter of the Magi.]
Daniel was written just before or at the Maccabeean
period. Despite the recency of these works, they are
considered ancient and legitimate parts of the Old
Testament. Imagine the possibilities of divergence from
reality for works that are slightly older, or for which we have
no available historical information that contradicts some
of these fantastic biblical chronologies.
“…in the Persian sanctuaries of Hierocaesarea
and Hypaipa in Lydia, Pausanias (Description of Greece, V, 27, 6)
had witnessed Magi light altars from a distance by atoning
’barbarian’ chants. On this point, it is not inconceivable that
the Chaldaean theurges made use of a secret from an ancient
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Compare this to the biblical discussion of Elijah:>
1Ki 18:36-38 And it came to pass at [the time of] the offering
of the [evening] sacrifice, that Elijah the prophet came near, and
said,LORD God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, let it be known this
day that thou [art] God in Israel, and [that] I [am] thy servant,
and [that] I have done all these things at thy word.
Hear me, O LORD, hear me, that this people may know that
thou [art] the LORD God, and [that] thou hast turned their
heart back again.
Then the fire of the LORD fell, and consumed the burnt sacrifice,
and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water
that [was] in the trench. "
The term for water, Hebrew “mayim”, can have various meanings,
including “water of the ‘foot’ = urine”, “water of danger”,
“water of violence”. This term can easily apply to kinds of “bad
water”, and so we should not be surprised if the “water” placed on
the altar was, in fact, the part of the same “trickery” that allowed
the Magi (and Hebrew prophets) to perform this very same miracle!
I am not suggesting that Elijah was a MAGI, I am saying that this
part of Kings is consistent with a bible writer who has been exposed
to the “magic” of the Magi, and thus he puts this same kind of
miraculous power in the hands of his “Elijah”.
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