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Origins of Modern Religion: Did Akhenaten's religious reforms constitute the basis of monotheism?

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posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 07:12 PM
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After reading up on some of the other posts, there seems to be some debate as to the origins of the concepts of God, Ra, Nimrod, Satan, Baal, etc. and the interchangeability of these gods/deities. There seems to be much confusion as to who symbolises who and whether many ideas held by the modern day monotheist religions (Judaism, Christianity, Islam) were actually rooted in ancient ones, particularly sun-worship. I would like to reopen the debate, as I've been extremely curious about this recently - my hypothesis is that working backwards, Islam is heavily based upon both Christianity and Judaism, Christianity is heavily based upon Judaism and it is possible that Judaism sprung immediately as a result of Atenism (explained later)

For anyone who is totally unfamiliar with him, Akhenaten was Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt for about 3/4 years somewhere between 1350 and 1356 BC (though may have shared the throne with his father for 12 years before this). When Akhenaten initially took power, the Ancient Egyptian religions were of a polytheist nature (here is where my knowledge is quite limited, so please forgive and correct any inaccuracies here) and though extremely complicated and inconsistent, were linked by their worship of various gods.

Some argue that these gods are subjective embodiments of the same concept, but most recognise that each separate god and deity were worshipped in separate manners for their representations of different qualities. One of the most important of these was Ra, the sun god who ruled and created all parts of the sky, land and sea. He was depicted in a similar manner to the other anthropomorphised gods as being human with an animals head, in this case a hawk/falcon's head with a sun disc (Aten) resting atop. His association with the sun could be significant in that the Ancients treated the sun as a source, and necessary precursor, of life.

Ra:



In any case, Akhenaten attempted to replace the traditional Egyptian religion with a new one - focused on the worship of one god, which was not symbolised in anthropomorphic form but rather in the form of Aten, the sun disc itself (the one that was previously considered a mere part or aspect of Ra). Some of the characteristics of the earlier gods were embodied in this new form, such as Ra and Horus, but were symbolised as rays of light being emitted from the sun's source - yet many of the old gods were seen to have been abandoned. In this light, some see this religion as a form of Monolatrism, but this is not quite true since there was only one deity form - Aten. Akhenaten built new temples and altered existing ones in an attempt to spread his new monotheist religious ideas. To emphasize his complete allegiance to the Aten, the king officially changed his name from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten or 'Living Spirit of Aten'. Whilst Pharaohs were often considered to be gods themselves, this act itself emphasised his desire to replace the old deity concepts with his new one of a singular godhead.

'Akhenaten' as Sphinx worshiping Aten:

'many pharaohs had their heads carved atop the guardian statues for their tombs to show their close relationship with the powerful solar deity'

Wikipedia:


Akhenaten's fifth year also marked the beginning of construction on his new capital, Akhetaten or 'Horizon of Aten', at the site known today as Amarna. Very soon afterwards, he centralized Egyptian religious practices in Akhetaten, though construction of the city seems to have continued for several more years. In honor of Aten, Akhenaten also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive temple complexes in ancient Egypt. In these new temples, Aten was worshipped in the open sunlight, rather than in dark temple enclosures, as had been the previous custom. Akhenaten is also believed to have composed the Great Hymn to the Aten.

Akhenaten's Aten:



Akhenaten and his family worshipping Aten:



Akhnaten's planned new capital, Amarna


From Wikipedia:


The real change, as some see it, was the apparent abandonment of all other gods, especially Amun, and the debatable introduction of monotheism by Akhenaten.[4] The syncretism is readily apparent in the Great Hymn to the Aten in which Re-Herakhty, Shu and Aten are merged into the creator god.[5] Others see Akhenaten as a practitioner of an Aten monolatry,[6] as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshipping any but the Aten.


Akhenaten's attempts to radically reform Ancient Egyptian religion was frowned upon by many and he soon fell out of favour, hence the short duration of his reign as Pharaoh. After Akhenaten died, disappeared or was murdered:

Wikipedia:



With Akhenaten's death, the Aten cult he had founded gradually fell out of favor.[citation needed] Tutankhaten changed his name to Tutankhamun in Year 2 of his reign (1332 BC) and abandoned the city of Akhetaten, which eventually fell into ruin. His successors Ay and Horemheb disassembled temples Akhenaten had built, including the temple at Thebes, using them as a source of easily available building materials and decorations for their own temples.
Finally, Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay were excised from the official lists of Pharaohs, which instead reported that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb. This is thought to be part of an attempt by Horemheb to delete all trace of Atenism and the pharaohs associated with it from the historical record.[citation needed] Akhenaten's name never appeared on any of the king lists compiled by later Pharaohs and it was not until the late 19th century that his identity was re-discovered and the surviving traces of his reign were unearthed by archaeologists.



Some have also speculated that Moses may have been Akhenaten himself, on the run after his new religious ideas failed to gain acceptance and rather upset many people. Others claim that Akhenaten was actually an alien, or an alien-hybrid due to depictions of his bizarre appearance - bearing knowledge or ideas from a species of higher experience or intelligence. Whilst most pharaohs were depicted with broad shoulders and slender physique, he is often portrayed with a frail and small chest and a pot belly. He was the father of Tutankhamen, who also had an extremely elongated head.

Akhenaten's bizarre physique:

And his bizarrely elongated head:


Others have also argued that Moses may have been an Atenist priest, perhaps forced out of Egypt once Akhenaten was himself killed, while Atenism and Atenist followers were being heavily persecuted. If this is true, one might argue that he carried out the monotheist Atenist concept and transformed it into modern day Judaism.

I personally feel that Akhenaten's temporary attempt to change the religion of Egypt to a more monotheistic one seems to have formed a large basis of the more modern monotheistic religions - or is rather a milestone at least. This seems especially relevant when one looks at the scriptures in light of Ancient Alien theory - the idea that perhaps many prophets, angels, etc. were actually aliens (as an example) and that all modern religious stories are simply attempts to describe real-life events that those at the time would not be able to explain, due to limited understanding of technology rather than limited intelligence. One example is that Noah's arc may in fact have been a DNA storage facility, developed and provided by aliens (who may in turn have flooded the planet using another sort of technology). Even if one chooses to disregard the Ancient Alien theory, it is still possible that there may be links between modern religious stories and myths and those of the ancient polytheist religions, or sun-worship, paganism, etc.

This could be relevant to the discussion on the origins of the concepts held in other religions such as God, Zeus, Jesus, Nimrod, Satan, etc., however I'm not an expert on Polytheism .. I think it would be a really interesting subject to approach academically, would be great for everyone to bring in their own knowledge and interpretations and perhaps we may be able to reach some conclusions.

Here are some references for anyone interested in reading more:

en.wikipedia.org...

www.grahamhancock.com...

www.domainofman.com...

en.wikipedia.org...

www.greatdreams.com...


edit on 18-2-2011 by arollingstone because: (no reason given)

edit on 18-2-2011 by arollingstone because: Additions

edit on 18-2-2011 by arollingstone because: more pics




posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 07:43 PM
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Yes his religion was the start of monotheisem,however he ruled for 17 years, there are questions about whether or not he was a coregient with his father. These relate to the style of art during the beginning of his reign.Here's a link www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk...
edit on 2/18/2011 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)

Interesting postS&F
edit on 2/18/2011 by lonegurkha because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 07:49 PM
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Last summer I actually had this idea come up in my head and I never really found out too much. I'm glad you have brought it up on here. Thanks.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 08:05 PM
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While I am somewhat worn out on the monotheism debate as I've spent waaaaay too much time on the 'puter today reading on it, I must say you've presented an awesomely crafted thread full of neat stuff to explore.

That you took the time to elucidate your own thoughts in an interesting and extremely well-written way gets a big thumbs up as well as a S&F regardless of where I fall on the issue. You are a Writer indeed. Great pic choice, too.


I'm going to continue checking this stuff out and I will definitely look forward to any future threads you post.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 09:21 PM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


Thanks for all the kind words so far guys, they're greatly appreciated and encouraging!

Would like to add something else I just remembered: that the Ancient Egyptians were really big on the balance between male and female energies, which they often embodied in the gods and pharaohs. Although this works on a cosmic level, much like the idea of the perpetual balance of Yin and Yang in Eastern Philosophy, the Ancient Egyptians also referred to this on a psychological level i.e. they placed great importance on the balance of left-hemisphere and right-hemisphere thinking. The left hemisphere processes, in light of this, represent the more masculine mental traits such as linear, logical, sequential, verbal, symbolic and reality-based processing. On the other hand, the right hemisphere processes represent more feminine processes such as holistic, intuitive, random, non-verbal, concrete and fantasy-based processing. Click here for more details

Overall, the masculine processes tend to be very logical and calculative whilst the feminine ones are more intuitive and emotional. Hence, it is clear why the Egyptians would have emphasised the spiritual profoundness of one who is able to balance these two sides in order to think on a higher level then those out of balance. This is a concept Akhenaten seem to have taken very closely to heart and perhaps even one step further as he had himself (as aforementioned) depicted in an almost androgynous fashion - bearing some feminine traits such as child-bearing hips and narrow shoulders. This is one of the traits that makes him stand out from all other Pharaohs, who were usually depicted in either stereotypical masculine (male Pharaohs) or feminine (female Pharaohs) forms.

Akhenaten's understanding of this balance reflects a higher-awareness and understanding of this balance within both the ego's self and the cosmic self. I find his profoundly radical changes extremely interesting and wonder what exactly would have lead him to this revelation, or why he would feel it necessary to break so many cultural norms in order to communicate his ideas (especially this androgynous one, when this balance of male/female energy was already an accepted and understood concept). This may be part of a larger idea that I may explore in another thread - the way in which all these Ancient cultures around the world seem to have suddenly begun engaging in similar activities to one another (such as building temples in conjunction with acute and extremely accurate astrological work, development of languages, building cities etc.) in a very short time span - even though these cultures allegedly had no contact with each other.

Interestingly, I remember hearing someone explaining (perhaps on Coast to Coast, can't remember) how we have moved out of balance and lean too much on the left, masculine processes these days. This seems more relevant now more than ever, in that we are too quick to discard non-scientific concepts (or at least those which we cannot prove through scientific justification) and more and more seem to be losing touch with our emotional self. If you look at the media for example (film, and music industries), in my opinion it seems as if everything is being produced in an increasingly calculated manner with decreasing emotional investments or considerations involved. No longer do they write new films and imagine incredible new worlds, no longer do most popular musicians try to just play from their heart or break down musical boundaries, but rather recycle old ideas in a formulaic fashion that are guaranteed to appeal to the masses and make a quick profit.

That guy elaborated that within the current climate of fear, we apparently do not want a mother figure to nurture us but rather a father figure to fight off any enemies and protect us. This reflects upon not just our consent, but our willingness and desire to be ruled in an authoritarian manner. Additionally, this allegedly explains the huge surges in popularity of aggressive and 'strong' politicians and leaders after a certain point, where we began to slip and stopped maintaining this balance. However, this only serves to feed further into the cycle as we become more our of balance with our true nature. Though this is all philosophical food for thought and speculative, these ideas raise the question of if a darker force (human - e.g. illuminati or NWO, alien or supernatural) is aware of this knowledge and has consciously been manipulating our own process balances in order to keep us subservient - it would explain the mass reaction to and hence, political attractiveness of false flag operations. Perhaps Akhenaten truly was onto something!
edit on 18-2-2011 by arollingstone because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 09:41 PM
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reply to post by arollingstone

For quite some time now I've considered the very notion of Monotheism as a very recent invention, perhaps as recent as 400 BCE. And it does seem to breed violence.

If one tribe says, "Hey, our god, who has chosen us above all other tribes, is the one and only god, therefore, we can rule over you and enslave you because there is no god to come to your defense, we win, you lose."

I came across a work by a Hindu very recently:
Monotheism and the Western Pathology:
Causes, Development and Impact of the Western Drive for World Domination from the 1st Millennium BCE to the Present

Copyright © 2005-2009 SCHR all rights reserved

The author certainly seems to agree with the idea that Moses was most likely part of that same family, if he wasn't Akhenaten himself.


Akhenaten himself, the “God-King” of the Western world (or some other Atenist leader) would arguably have been in a position to actually grant the land of Canaan to the Jews as a reward for their loyalty to the new, monotheistic “Divine Monarchy of Aten/Adon”. As it happened, the Atenists were unable to regain power and their fighters must have been hunted down and eliminated by the imperial forces. The Jews themselves must have been persecuted and were forced to flee the country. This particular episode is what the Book of Exodus (the second Book of the Bible) describes as the Jewish “Flight from Egypt”.

In a few notable instances, Moses himself blurs the distinction of whether he speaks for YHWH or is YHWH, at least that he has been given permission to say "I am YHWH".


EX 6:6 "Therefore, say to the Israelites: `I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. 7 I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.' "

DT 29:2 Moses summoned all the Israelites and said to them:
Your eyes have seen all that the LORD did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his officials and to all his land. 3 With your own eyes you saw those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders. 4 But to this day the LORD has not given you a mind that understands or eyes that see or ears that hear. 5 During the forty years that I led you through the desert, your clothes did not wear out, nor did the sandals on your feet. 6 You ate no bread and drank no wine or other fermented drink. I did this so that you might know that I am the LORD your God.

If you read the wikipedia on Metatron


Metatron is identified with the term "lesser YHWH", which is the Lesser Tetragrammaton, in a Talmudic version as cited by the Karaite scholar Kirkisani. The word Metatron is numerically equivalent to El Shaddai (God) in Hebrew gematria; therefore, he is said to have a "Name like his Master." It should be noted, however, that Kirkisani may have misrepresented the Talmud in order to embarrass his Rabbanite opponents with evidence of dualism. On the other hand, extra-talmudic mystical texts (see below regarding Sefer Hekhalot) do speak of a "lesser YHWH," apparently deriving the concept from Exodus 23:21, which mentions an angel of whom God says "my name [understood as YHWH, the usual divine Proper Name] is in him."

The Babylonian Talmud mentions Metatron in two other places: Sanhedrin 38b and Avodah Zarah 3b. Yevamot 16b describes in the Amoraic period the duties of 'prince of the world' being transferred from Michael to Metatron.

This subject of Monotheism and where the idea came from is very big, with many ramifications. I can already see the link between Deut 29:4 quoted above and the editorial insertion of Luke 24:45 into the New Testament canon in order to make Jesus the new Moses.

I've got lots of notes since I've been thinking of this issue alot lately, specifically, the pathological results.


the Mosaic Covenant was nothing but an imitation of what had been standard practice among the Israelites’ neighbours for millennia. The most striking difference between the Mosaic Covenant and the earlier covenants of the Babylonians and Hittites is its blatant criminal intention. For, while the Babylonian Covenant (or Code) had been concerned with the establishment of righteousness in Babylon and the Hittite Covenant with good relations between Egypt and Hatti, the Covenant of Moses was aimed at the creation of a Jewish state in Canaan over the dead bodies of its indigenous inhabitants!
www.hindurevolution.org...

edit on 18-2-2011 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 10:18 PM
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reply to post by arollingstone
 


It could also be possible that Akhenaten was influenced by ancient Jews. Abraham is reported to have interacted with an unnamed Pharaoh, so is Joseph. In fact the Jews lived peacefully among the Egyptians before they were enslaved by "a Pharaoh that did not know Joseph". Perhaps the Pharaoh that knew Joseph or Abraham, adopted their monotheism.
edit on 18-2-2011 by kallisti36 because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 10:31 PM
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he really broke with tradition,

that's why he moved.


i like him. we have the same belly.



posted on Feb, 18 2011 @ 11:19 PM
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I'm still trying to figure out how Aiwass made some of his DNA conclusions if there's so much academic uncertainty on Akhenaten's remains. I must have missed something.

But on topic: If I understand correctly the issue being raised about monotheism here is the inference that any monotheistic religion that's perceived to have come later might be assumed to have been plagiaristic of the concept and therefore invalid?

My problem with that would be is how would Akhenaten's view of one supreme deity invalidate any other monotheistic religion?

It doesn't necessarily follow to me, if I understand the theory correctly.

He and Nefertiti are fascinating though. If it weren't for the apparent fact that they had children, one could possibly make the argument that it was one person playing two roles.

Fooks good point on the 'move' and:


i like him. we have the same belly.


HA!



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 12:08 AM
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Originally posted by arollingstone
my hypothesis is that working backwards, Islam is heavily based upon both Christianity and Judaism, Christianity is heavily based upon Judaism and it is possible that Judaism sprung immediately as a result of Atenism (explained later)


Not really, no.


One of the most important of these was Ra, the sun god who ruled and created all parts of the sky, land and sea. He was depicted in a similar manner to the other anthropomorphised gods as being human with an animals head, in this case a hawk/falcon's head with a sun disc (Aten) resting atop.


Actually, that's more of a "Middle Kingdom" version of him after several changes and merging with other gods -- and it's not a universal depiction of him.


In any case, Akhenaten attempted to replace the traditional Egyptian religion with a new one - focused on the worship of one god, which was not symbolised in anthropomorphic form but rather in the form of Aten, the sun disc itself (the one that was previously considered a mere part or aspect of Ra).


It was more than that. Ahkenaten also considered himself to be an aspect of Aten, so the worship of Aten was equaled to the worship of Ahkenaten.


Akhenaten built new temples and altered existing ones in an attempt to spread his new monotheist religious ideas.


It appears to be more than that -- he took the gold from other deities' temples and applied them to Aten's temples (essentially the worship of himself.)



The real change, as some see it, was the apparent abandonment of all other gods, especially Amun, and the debatable introduction of monotheism by Akhenaten.[4] The syncretism is readily apparent in the Great Hymn to the Aten in which Re-Herakhty, Shu and Aten are merged into the creator god.[5] Others see Akhenaten as a practitioner of an Aten monolatry,[6] as he did not actively deny the existence of other gods; he simply refrained from worshipping any but the Aten.


People hated him for it, and the priests who served those deities really hated him. After his death, they attempted to erase his name so that he would not live forever. Conditions for the laborers who built Armana were very poor -- many died young. The city was far away from resources, so it was expensive to bring in water and food.




Some have also speculated that Moses may have been Akhenaten himself, on the run after his new religious ideas failed to gain acceptance and rather upset many people.

Not very likely. Ahkenaten's parents are known, he was not found/adopted, we know who his wives (plural) were and who his daughters were. None of this matches any information about Moses.


Others claim that Akhenaten was actually an alien, or an alien-hybrid due to depictions of his bizarre appearance - bearing knowledge or ideas from a species of higher experience or intelligence. Whilst most pharaohs were depicted with broad shoulders and slender physique, he is often portrayed with a frail and small chest and a pot belly. He was the father of Tutankhamen, who also had an extremely elongated head.


It isn't that bizarre. The stylized art emphasizes the shape of his head, but his skull isn't that much longer than most folks'.


Others have also argued that Moses may have been an Atenist priest, perhaps forced out of Egypt once Akhenaten was himself killed, while Atenism and Atenist followers were being heavily persecuted. If this is true, one might argue that he carried out the monotheist Atenist concept and transformed it into modern day Judaism.


Highly unlikely, since the Jews had no reason to accept an enemy (Egyptian) as a prophet. Moses was a Jew. There are very few traces of Jews in Egypt.



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 04:25 AM
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reply to post by Byrd
 


Thanks for the additional information, adds much more dimension to the story of Akhenaten - interesting stuff.



Not really, no.


That's not a very helpful comment, which of my points do you disagree with? That Judaism may have sprung from Atenism? This clearly is debatable, it is hard to refute the other two points regarding Judaism, Christianity and Islam mind you. This thread is more about 'where does this trend go back to after this point? where does it start?' than this specific story - I just thought this one would be an interesting starting point.



It isn't that bizarre. The stylized art emphasizes the shape of his head, but his skull isn't that much longer than most folks'.


Though the stylised art does vastly exaggerate the length of his skull, it does appear to be quite abnormally long (though it may just be thinner at parts, having compared this picture with a 'normal' skull):


Anyway what I really hoped to achieve was to pool everyone's arguments and knowledge and try to trace back modern Monotheist religions to see where many of these concepts may have began - i.e. to see if they were in fact plagiarised from somewhere rather than being directly communicated by God himself. Do you have an alternative perspective of what may have inspired some of the ideas prevalent in the modern monotheist religions?
edit on 19-2-2011 by arollingstone because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 04:37 AM
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reply to post by The GUT
 


It is not so much that such influence would render the modern religions 'invalid' but rather to see if it is possible to identify any possible influences as a basis for concepts in the major modern religions. If so, this still would not necessarily invalidate the modern ideas of God, or the prophets rather than explain where some additional stories may or may not have originated (though many of these similarities could also be coincidences) - or perhaps which spiritual knowledge seems to be more naturally progressed towards and used as a basis for religion at different points in time. We'll see where it goes, depending on how much is contributed.



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 04:38 AM
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As the wikipedia article quted above say, the worship of Aten was not monotheism.... the other gods were still believed to exist. But worship of them was transferred to Aten. This is not monotheism (actual belief in only ONE god). It's similar to the transferral of worship to Marduk in Babylonia (while not abandoning belief in the other gods): a simlar case where association of one god with a particular political entity caued pre-eminence or exclusivity of that god in worship.



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 12:44 PM
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reply to post by arollingstone


pool everyone's arguments and knowledge and try to trace back modern Monotheist religions to see where many of these concepts may have began - i.e. to see if they were in fact plagiarised from somewhere rather than being directly communicated by God himself.

The Plagiarism and Mis-representation of Balaam
Balaam was known as "the Gentile prophet" from the attempt to curse the invading Israelites (Numbers 22-24) Great effort is made by the editors of Torah to make it appear that Balaam is a monotheist. In actual fact, he's the earliest prophet mentioned in the Bible for whom any actual archeological evidence exists. Monotheists don't feel inclined to mention the Deir_Alla_inscription.

Balaam and the Deir_Alla_inscription
In 1967, at Deir Alla, Jordan, archaeologists found an inscription apparently containing a previously unknown prophecy by Balaam written in a previously unattested dialect with Aramaic and South Canaanite characteristics and employing an idiosyncratic script.[7] The inscription is datable to ca. 840-760 BCE; it was painted in red and black inks, apparently to emphasize the text, on fragments of a plastered wall: 119 pieces of inked plaster were recovered. According to the story in the inscription,[8] Balaam wakes up weeping and tells his people that the gods appeared to him in the night telling him about a goddess threatening to destroy the land. She is to cover the sky and reduce the world to complete darkness. The remarkable text has not received the attention it deserves from Old Testament scholars, who have been inclined to dismiss it. Meindert Dykstra suggests that "the reticence of OT scholarship to take account of the text may be attributable to its damaged state, the difficulty of reconstructing and reading it, and the many questions it raises of script, language, literary form and religious content."[9]

[9]Meindert Dijkstra, "Is Balaam Also among the Prophets?" Journal of Biblical Literature 114.1 (Spring 1995, pp. 43-64), p. 44.

Questions indeed! Balaam at around 800 BCE, Moses supposed to have been some time between 1200 - 1500 BCE. Supposed to be contemporaries. Was Moses a fictional character cooked up in 700 BCE for the Torah being written about then? Or was the Balaam story added in to an already existing text, and back-dated? Why is a polytheistic prophet depicted as monotheistic, acknowledging the same god as the invaders?

McCarter's translation & reconstruction of the text
(1) [VACAT] The sa]ying[s of Bala]am, [son of Be]or, the man who was a seer of the gods. Lo! Gods came to him in the night [and spoke to] him (2) according to these w[ord]s. Then they said to [Bala]am, son of Beor, thus: Let someone make a [ ] hearafter, so that [what] you have hea[rd may be se]en!" (3) And Balaam rose in the morning [ ] right hand [ ] and could not [eat] and wept (4) aloud. Then his people came in to him [and said] to Balaam, son of Beor, "Do you fast? [ ] Do you weep?" And he (5) said to them, "Si[t] do]wn! I shall inform you what the Shad[daying have done]. Now come, see the deeds of the g[ o ]ds!. The g[ o ]ds have gathered (6) and the Shaddayin have taken their places in the assembly and said to Sh[ , thus:] 'Sew the skies shut with your thick cloud! There let there be darkness and no (7) perpetual shining and n[ o ] radiance! For you will put a sea[l upon the thick] cloud of darkness and you will not remove it forever! For the swift has (8) reproached the eagle, the voice of vultures resounds. The st[ork has ] the young of the NHS-bird and ripped up the chicks of the heron. The swallow has belittled (9) the dove, and the sparrow [ ] and [ ] the staff. Instead of ewes the stick is driven along. Hares have eaten (10) [ ]. Freemen [] have drunk wine, and hyenas have listened to instruction. The whelps of the (11) f[ox] laughs at wise men, and the poor woman has mixed myrhh, and the priestess (12) [ ] to the one who wears a girdle of threads. The esteemed esteems and the esteemer is es[teemed. ] and everyone has seen those things that decree offspring and young. (15) [ ] to the leopard. The piglet has chased the young (16) [of] those who are girded and the eye ....'"

[5]P. Kyle McCarter Jr., The Balaam Texts from Deir 'Alla: The First Combination",Bulletin of the Schools of Oriental Research 237 (1980): 49-60

There are the Gods, who come to him warning of what the Shaddayin (plural of Shaddai) who seem to be a group of gods or godlets or demons hostile to life, have planned. Then there is the High Goddess Shagar, possibly the Queen of Heaven, the one who actually could bring eternal darkness, She may be Darkness Herself.

I had never heard that The Queen of Heaven had been called Shagar, so I did a google search and came upon a eulogy for Rav Shagar. I don't know if that means Rabbi devoted to the Goddess of Heaven or what.

About Rav Shagar ZT"L
Our beloved Rosh-Yeshiva, Rav Shagar, was niftar on Sunday night, 25 Sivan 5767 (10.6.07).
. . .
Rav Shimon Gerson Rosenberg (Shagar) grew up in Jerusalem, was educated at the Kerem B’Yavneh Hesder Yeshiva and later moved on to Yeshivat HaKotel. During the Yom Kippur War he was severely wounded in battle. At a later stage he sought out gedolim such as Rav Yisrael Gustman zt'l, Rav Shlomo Fisher shlit'a and Rav Avigdor Nebenzahl shlit'a to study with. He also began to delve deeply into Kabbalah and Chassidut.

As a young man he became a ram at Yeshivat HaKotel, gathering around him a devoted group of budding young scholars, who have remained his faithful students throughout the years, many becoming influential roshei yeshiva and educators in their own right. At a later stage he was the Rosh Bet Midrash of Bet Morasha. During this time he also began to teach at Nishmat, where our relationship began. Ultimately he founded, together with his loyal chevruta of forty years, Rav Yair Dreifus shlit'a, Yeshivat Siach-Yitzhak, a Hesder Yeshiva that ultimately moved to Givat HaDagan in Efrat. Here he began, in addition to his teaching, to write his numerous books on Gemara, Jewish Philosophy and Contemporary religious society in Israel.
. . .
It is not an exaggeration to say that Rav Shagar was perhaps the greatest pioneer of Chassidut Eretz-Yisraelit, and that it is largely in his merit that the study and practice of Chassidut has become the one of the most dramatic features of dati-leumi life in Israel, especially since the paradigm of Religious Nationalism lost its capacity to be the sole provider of spiritual meaning for a whole generation of young people. Of course this Chassidut, interwoven with the writings of Rav Kook zt'l and open as well to expression through literature and poetry, is also akin to the Chassidic revival envisioned by such thinkers as Rav Hillel Zeitlin zt'l, who saw pre-messianic Chassidut as a much broader and all encompassing reality, in line with the original message of the Baal Shem Tov. Thus Rav Shagar developed a religious language uniquely capable of meeting the needs of the current generation of Israeli dati-leumi youth, searching for more, much more, than the often simplistic formulations they were taught in high school.

I don't know what most of the transliterated Hebrew means, so some amount of xenophobia may be clouding my thinking. Traditionally, Chassidut is anti-Zionist, but after fighting in Yom Kippur War and collecting gedolim (see note below) and studying Kabbalah, he seems to have reconciled himself to Zionism so much so that he built his women's school on the hill of Dagan which is in occupied Palestine.


n 1996, following the Oslo accords, it was in danger of being turned over to the Palestinian Authority, with the understanding that any place with a Jewish house on it would remain under Israel's authority, and any place that did not have a Jewish house would be turned over to the PA. So my friends Marilyn Adler, Eve Harow, Nadia Matar, and I organized other women to come join us on a dark hilltop in the middle of the night. The purpose was to try to keep hold of our land. Thank G-d we succeeded. We spent a summer, along with hundreds of other residents of Efrat and supporters from throughout Israel, on that hilltop. We succeeded in having Dagan Hill declared a part of Efrat. Today, Yeshivat Siach stands there and it will also be the home of a new beit midrash in memory of Sara Blaustein, who was from the Five Towns, who was murdered in a terror attack in the summer of 2001.
www.5tjt.com...

The question this raises in my mind is: Is "monotheism" a joke, a subterfuge for the ignorant masses, while the cabal, insiders in the joke, are polytheists? This seems to be the case as far as I can tell.

Gedolim
Gedolim pictures are photos or sketches of famous rabbis, known as gedolim admired by Haredi Jews.

It is a cultural phenomenon found largely in the Orthodox and Haredi Jewish communities. Gedolim pictures are pictures of famous rabbis and other prominent Jews which are circulated amongst the Jewish communities. Quite frequently, these pictures are posted on the walls of offices, businesses, houses, and schools where Jews are present.

Collecting Gedolim pictures has developed into a hobby for many Jewish children around the world; it is similar to collecting sports cards.

I'm guessing that the Rabbi who used the name of The Queen of Heaven used these icons "to study with" in the way students of the yogis use them: deep contemplation so that the images seem to speak and communicate to the initiate. A spiritualistic channeling of the dead, necromancy. Is this what deeper Judaism is?


edit on 19-2-2011 by pthena because: (no reason given)



posted on Feb, 19 2011 @ 09:58 PM
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Creator God - Amun

For many people the concept of God includes the idea of Creator. As far as I can tell, the concept of a person or being not a part of creation, who creates out of nothing, which seems to be the Western concept of creation, pretty much begins and ends with Amun.

wikipedia Amun
Amun was self created, without mother and father, and during the New Kingdom he became the greatest expression of transcendental deity in Egyptian theology. He was not considered to be immanent within creation nor was creation seen as an extension of himself. Amun-Ra did not physically engender the universe. His position as King of Gods developed to the point of virtual monotheism where other Gods became manifestations of him.

All the other mythologies depict the Ruler God to have achieved that status by defeating some primordial elemental being or essence, as in Zeus besting Chronos(sky) becoming God of heaven, not that he is heaven, but that he rules over heaven, with heaven as his slave or prisoner. Baal bested El, his father to become Lord. Marduk originally was handed power and authority from the gods Ea and Enlil, "Father Ea voluntarily recognized the superiority of the son and hands over to him the control of humanity" en.wikipedia.org...

No other Western deity that I can think of even claims to be creator except for YHWH.


EX 20:8 "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. 11 For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Therefore, YHWH does not claim to be Aten, or Zeus, or Baal, or Jupiter, or Marduk, he claims to be Amun. I saw a picture of Amun somewhere with a rod and staff, such as mentioned in Psalm 23. Is his name also memorialized in the Psalms as Amen? What is the relationship of the concept "so be it" and "I am"? Why does YHWH claim to be the El of Abraham?



posted on Feb, 20 2011 @ 04:05 AM
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look,you are in danger of fooling around and giving yourself an endless mother of all migraines here. the likelihood of you ever getting much nailed down here is zip. consider the following possibilities: judea was created by the persians to be a buffer state holding down the worlds key land-sea nexus. the new state was awarded tax concessions. the priesthood-govt. agreed to read a certain document to the forcibly assembled people of the new state yearly. someone came up with a holy book which was a chronologically jumbled mishmash of old history and fabulous stories as might be encountered at ATS. it has been a cornucopia of killer memes of which we'll never hear the last. clever persians! consider: was hatshepsut semmiramis and was david her son and were they assyrian nobility? was solomons temple actually built in thebes? do you really want to do this to your head? if you wish to continue these pursuits, suggest you read emmet sweeney's THE PYRAMID AGE. educational in the extreme, but his writing style makes extracting the book's meaning painful like skinning your left hand with your right; you'll have to be his editor. also reccomend ahmed osman's books. why don't you just spend the next few months getting ready for the eotwawki? there will be fresh religious problems, i promise.



posted on Feb, 25 2011 @ 04:28 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 08:52 AM
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Hi Rollingstone,

Terrific post I thoroughly enjoyed it. I noticed something when reading about Akhenaten that literally jumped out of the page at me, it was the wording used to address Akhenaten by Yapahu, Ruler of Gazru/Gezer. He used:

"To my King, my Lord, My God, my Son, The Sun in the Sky," What is strange to someone today is that 'My God' is third in the list, not first. How it was customary to address Akhenaten by a number of titles embodying kingship could well have been radically or politically supernatural part called' My God'.

I don't think it mattters how many times different people have meticulously copied ancient scripts one does not know if those scripts were the original ones or how accurate they were when first written. .

With the ancient Israelites portrayed in the bible, they appear by their travelling to be hunter gatherers who left it considerably later than most to build their city.

I would like to add a thought about the origin of the ancient pantheons. When they first came into being were they actually concepts of the power and wonderment of the earth and all things ancient man saw and experienced eg thunder, the sea, mountains and slowly over time that concept evolved into man egotistically imprinting his power over these concepts eg Poesiden God of the Sea. one might privately think of dear! this has got right out of hand. The Egyptians may have been aware of this possibly because they masked their faces on many of their Gods.



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 11:10 AM
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Bah. Duplicate answer to original post. That'll teach me to read the WHOLE thread before responding, won't it?
edit on 18-3-2011 by Byrd because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 18 2011 @ 11:26 AM
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Originally posted by arollingstone
reply to post by The GUT
 

Would like to add something else I just remembered: that the Ancient Egyptians were really big on the balance between male and female energies, which they often embodied in the gods and pharaohs.


Er... no. There was no such concept to them as "male energy" and "female energy." There was a concept of Ma'at (truth/justice/balance) which is very complex and formed the basis of their lives. But Yin/Yang dualism is strictly an Eastern concept.



the Ancient Egyptians also referred to this on a psychological level i.e. they placed great importance on the balance of left-hemisphere and right-hemisphere thinking.

They had no idea what the brain was for. The heart (to them and the rest of the ancients) was the seat of the soul, and it was the heart that was weighed in the balance of Ma'at.

They did have medical procedures to treat brain injuries, but as you can see from the Edwin Smith Medical Papyrus they had no idea of hemisphere function:
en.wikipedia.org...


Hence, it is clear why the Egyptians would have emphasised the spiritual profoundness of one who is able to balance these two sides in order to think on a higher level then those out of balance.

They had no such concept -- and I don't think they'd have understood "spiritual profoundness" since Ma'at was embodied in everyone and all things.
en.wikipedia.org...


Akhenaten's understanding of this balance reflects a higher-awareness and understanding of this balance within both the ego's self and the cosmic self.

There's a lot of letters and other material from him, including the attributed hymn (which he may or may not have written.) The hymn has no indication of this "understanding of balance."
en.wikipedia.org...



I find his profoundly radical changes extremely interesting and wonder what exactly would have lead him to this revelation,

Might be because the treasury was getting thin and he didn't have enough money to build the monuments and temples that his ancestors did. He feuded with the priests of Aten and then took the step of declaring that all the wealth of all the temples should come under his direct control by assigning himself the only mediator-priest of the Official God of Egypt. By the way, this gave him the money and resources to build his dream city.


the way in which all these Ancient cultures around the world seem to have suddenly begun engaging in similar activities to one another (such as building temples in conjunction with acute and extremely accurate astrological work, development of languages, building cities etc.) in a very short time span - even though these cultures allegedly had no contact with each other.

You may have a little trouble there when you start matching cultural achievements and timelines. Just sayin'.



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