reply to post by 8eightup
It's not because of the agrarian culture that this god was called the god of harvest. It is merely symbolic of something sinister in nature.
It is symbolic of the harvest of souls.
In Canaanite mythology the god of the harvest is called Hadad (later Ba'al-Hadad), and the god of the dead is called Mot.
During the Baal Cycle a terrible famine befalls the Canaanite people, and Hadad travels to the Underworld in hope of getting Mot to lift the famine
and allow the vegetation to grow again. Mot refuses though, and tricks Hadad into partaking of the food and water of the Underworld, which kills
Hadad. As a result of Hadad's death the crops completely die, famine and drought set in, and Hadad's wife, Anat, with the assistance of Shapshu (a
daughter of the Supreme God Il) must travel to the Underworld and subdue Mot so that he will revive Hadad. When Hadad is brought back to life he
challenges and conquers Mot, lifting the ban on crops, and saving the suffering Canaanites from famine, drought, and starvation.
It is absolutely clear that Hadad (Ba'al-Hadad) is a vegetation and agricultural deity directly related to the agrarian nature of the Canaanite
people. When their crops stop growing it is seen as a weakening/death of Hadad. When Mot is conquered or subdued it is seen as a revitalization of
Hadad and the return of the harvest.
Your "soul harvest" scenario is only applicable in Medieval European superstition, it does not apply at all to actual ancient harvest deities.
If you look at the pitchfork which the devil holds, this tool is actually an agricultural tool. Ninurta also holds a similar agricultural tool
Actually, the Devil has a pitchfork is based on either the Trident of Poseidon, or the Bident occasionally used by Hades. Depending on which you
believe it is, here is the explanation:
Tridents (3-pronged spears) are used as fishing implements. They aid the fisherman in stabbing fish (an old method used by cultures that hadn't
perfected the fishing pole yet). Why is it associated with Poseidon? Because he is the god of the sea, which is where the fish live.
Bidents (2-pronged spears) are used in breaking up and turning over rough clay and other rocky earth. They were used by those who wished to shape and
change the land (for architecture, roads, etc). The reason that Hades used one? Because he was god of the Underworld, whose domain was the rough
earth, the rocky terrain, and because he was also the god of architecture (as all stone, precious metals, and gems came from his domain).
Obviously the Christian conception of Hell and the Devil borrows heavily from the Greek Underworld. At least, the Underworld as recounted by
Renaissance literature and poetry. Thus, the Devil has an underground realm, and holds a Bident.
It had nothing to do with harvests, reaping, farming, or soul collection.
Also, Ninurta had a sickle, a tool used for collecting wheat and grains, and in separating the wheat from the chaff. A tool with no connotations
toward Death (sickles and scythes are different tools). Ninurta also possessed a mace, called Sharur, which was a weapon of war (war-god, hero, being
two of his other qualities).
I usually skip the tales mainly because it serves as a distraction of what the truth is.
The tales are the only place to find the truth. If you never read the tales, which exist to explain their function, what are you basing your
If you look closely, Ninurta, Thor, Saturnus,Quetzalcoatl, Baal, Shiva, etc. are all hermaphrodite. In other words, it is the same deity,
whether male or female. Ishtar, Venus, Isis and the likes whom we recognized to be female, are actually hermaphrodite, the female side of Ninurta,
This is not the truth at all.
All of them are clearly masculine. Many even had wives (Gula, goddess of medicine / Anat, Queen of Heaven / Sif, goddess of the fields).
All of them are clearly feminine. Many even had husbands (Dumuzi, god of shepherds / Osiris, god of the dead / Hephaestus, god of metallurgy).
To think that Ba'al was a woman, or that Venus was a man is ridiculous.
~ Wandering Scribe