Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Vatican Interest in Israel’s Mount Sinai

Professor Emmanuel Anati

Most welcome news to the AMAIC was an article by Stephen Linde in the Jerusalem Post, ‘Vatican to accept that Mt. Sinai is in Negev, not Egypt', since we have been promoting for years the idea that Mount Har Karkom in Israel’s southern desert (Negev) - {and not the tourist destination of Jebel Musa (“Mount of Moses”) in the Sinai Peninsula} - is the true Mount Sinai. All credit goes to archaeologist professor Emmanuel Anati, firstly for recognizing Har Karkom as the sacred mountain, and, more recently, for bringing his prolific research to the attention of Vatican officials.

The Jerusalem Post article can be read at:

Anati said that it had taken the Catholic Church several years to be persuaded by his argument, and recognition had been a slow process.

“About three-and-a-half years ago, I had a telephone call from the Vatican that a priest of high standing wanted to meet with me, and he arrived here with a driver. I live 500 km. from Rome, and he sat with me for a whole day and asked me a lot of questions,” Anati recalled.

“Then he disappeared, and after about a year, a group of theologians from the Catholic Church appeared and wanted to investigate the matter more deeply. Seven theologians sat here for the whole day, and I later met with them four times. Six months ago they spent four days with me at [Har] Karkom, and as a result of this, the Vatican publisher – Edizioni Messaggero Padova – asked me to write up my findings. I revised and updated my book, and they have now published it in Italian, changing the title to The Rediscovery of Mount Sinai.”

There have been many attempts by archaeologists and would-be historians to identify the sacred mountain of Moses and to determine the correct route of the Exodus. We ourselves have received from eager writers several different versions of the Exodus route, some of which efforts seem to have Moses and the Israelites bogged down in a waterlogged Egypt, whilst others seek a direct route to the Red Sea (the popular choice), even though the Book of Exodus describes a miraculous passage by Israel through a reedy place, Yam Suf (“Sea of Reeds”), which does not befit the Red Sea.

Often these efforts come from people who may have visited these areas, but who work largely from maps. Professor Anati, on the other hand, has spent at least forty years excavating in these desert regions (like the period of time that the Israelites spent in the wilderness). He understands the regions and the challenges of trying to live there. Thus his thesis is a holistic one, taking into account water supplies; location of designated tribes; an appropriate archaeology; and so on.

The various stages of the Exodus journey would have been determined by the location of water holes, Anati argues. One must also take into account the tribes named in the Exodus narrative, such as the Amalekites, the Midianites, the Horites, and exactly where these peoples were situated. Again, the proposed route and mountain must have an appropriate archaeology to go along with it.

Often other contributors do not give due regard to all of these factors; some probably imagining that the Exodus was a constant series of miracles, with supplies of water ‘on tap’. But an attentive reading of the narrative shows that it was a hard slog indeed.

We, as noted in the previous MATRIX, are convinced on the authority of Dr. Rudolph Cohen that the Israelites were the Middle Bronze I [MBI] nomadic peoples and that any biblico-archaeological system that cannot accommodate this is doomed to failure. Har Karkom has the greatest collection of BAC (Bronze Age Complex) sites in the entire Sinai Peninsula and Negev. Jebel Musa completely misses out here. Read Anati’s explanations further on.

The only significant weakness with Professor Anati’s thesis, as with Dr. Cohen’s, is that these conventionally educated archaeologists still follow an inflated dating system, according to which the MBI people are dated to c. 2000 BC, which is half a millennium too early. This is further complicated by an un-biblical dating of the Exodus to the C13th BC, in order for Ramses II ‘the Great’ to be the Pharaoh of the Oppression/Exodus. {Ramses II actually belongs half a millennium later than this}. These factors need to be taken into account when reading Anati’s statements later.

Our own most recent promotion of Har Karkom can be found in our book:


A Revision of BC and AD Time

the first six parts of which (to Chapter Eighteen) have now been posted at:

In The Chronology of the Alpha and Omega one will read as follows:

Mount Sinai: The Mountain of God

.... In this section, in which we take a look at Professor Anati’s findings on and around the sites of Har Karkom, we shall briefly be considering the archaeology of this mountain according to (i) its chronological implications; (ii) its location in relation to the Exodus route; and (iii) its religious and physical characteristics.

(i) Chronological Implications

Anati first laid eyes on Har Karkom back in 1954. However, it was not until 1983 that he ventured the suggestion that it might be Mount Sinai. Thus he explains:

“Although Har Karkom’s religious character was quite evident, no connection was made at first between that mountain and Mt. Sinai. Never before had we had to deal with problems concerning the Exodus and Mount Sinai and never did we have reasons for questioning the conventional belief that the Exodus had occurred in the 13th century BC. Indeed, this appeared to be an established ‘fact.’”

However, Anati’s research led him to a different conclusion:

“There is no evidence of any human occupation at Har Karkom in the 13th century BC, or for centuries before and after. The usually accepted date for the Exodus occurred right in the middle of a long archaeological gap at Har Karkom.”

But not only at Har Karkom, for: “Now we know that the hiatus concerns most of the Sinai peninsula and the Negev if we leave aside military and trading stations. Thus it is not a peculiarity of Har Karkom.

In fact the description of daily life of Midianites, Amalekites, Amorites, Horites and other tribes appearing in the Bible, if nor pure mythology, must refer to either before or after the 2nd millennium BC. According to the archaeological evidence, such dynamic tribal life can hardly belong to the 2nd millennium BC.” Thus we find that (abstracting for a moment from which mountain ought to be identified with the true Mountain of Moses) the archaeology of the entire Sinai and Negev regions shows us that there is, factually speaking, an irreconcilable disagreement between the conventional view of an Exodus during the Late Bronze Age/New Kingdom Era (Anati’s conventional “C13th BC”) and the biblical testimony about the tribes (Amalekites, Midianites, etc.) living in these deserts at the time of Moses. Essentially, then, the issue involves far more than a mere debate about which mountain is the true Sinai.

(ii) The Location

How did the traditional Jebel Musa come to be accepted as the true Sinai? It seems [see also explanation on p. 23] that Christian explorers of Byzantine times went in search of the highest mountain that they could find in the Sinai Peninsula, in which direction they estimated that the Israelites would have travelled after the Exodus. Some of these explorers selected the impressive Jebel Musa, at the foot of which the monastery of St. Catherine was built; though others preferred Jebel Halal, a little to the west of Kadesh-Barnea.

Today, a visitor to St. Catherine’s monastery will be shown what the monks there claim to be “the burning bush” (Exodus 3:2). The science of archaeology, however, has revealed that there is no trace of the MBI [Middle Bronze I] people in this southern region. In other words, the Israelite wanderers [MBI] did not – according to the revised chronology – go anywhere near Jebel Musa.

In maps showing the major ancient routes between Asia and Africa, we find that none of these well-trodden routes veers down into the southern Sinai Peninsula.

Professor Anati has come to light with many other compelling reasons as well for why neither Jebel Musa, nor Jebel Halal, can be a suitable candidate for Mount Sinai. For example, he wrote that:

“The presently named “Jebel Musa”, at the foot of which the monastery of St. Catherine was built, has not provided any evidence of cult sites previous to Byzantine times. The same applies to … Jebel Halal. The only evident traces of ancient human presence were several Palaeolithic stations, a few clusters of funerary tumuli … and some sites of rock art belonging to Roman-Byzantine and to Islamic times. No traces of BAC [that is, from Early Bronze to Middle Bronze I] cult sites were found.”

Anati extends his case to the whole of the so-called “Sinai” region:

“Other mountains which have been proposed by various authors as a possible “Mount Sinai” also lack the same sort of archaeological evidence. Some … have advocated the possible existence of several mounts Sinai. However, if that is the case, where are they?”


[Professor Anati] was just as certain that the Holy See would officially sanction his stance, and that millions of Catholic pilgrims could soon be visiting Mount Karkom instead of Mount Sinai.


A decade of research (1983-1992), following on from his first estimation that Har Karkom might be Mount Sinai, has served to convince Anati that his initial idea was correct. During that decade of further findings, he says, other scholars, “after the first shocked refusal of evidence”, have come to agree with him.

Adding further strength to Anati’s thesis is his success in having been able to provide the most plausible identifications of sites along the route of Exodus, and to pinpoint the homes of the various tribes mentioned in the Bible for this period. Just to mention some examples that he gives, the “Hill Road of the Amorites” (Numbers 13:29) is likely to be in the territory of the Amorite tribe which, according to the Bible, lived in the vicinity of the Dead Sea. “Hazeroth” (Numbers 11:35), near, or in, the Paran Desert, is described as the place of departure of the twelve scouts who reached Hebron by “the desert [or wilderness] of Zin” (Numbers 13:21). This desert in the biblical narration is likely to include what is presently called Nahal Zin, from the Arabah Valley to present Sde Boker. The site of “Bene Yaakan” (Numbers 33:31) has a Horite name and the Horites lived on the eastern side of the Arabah. “Hattavah” and “Abronah” (Numbers 33:33 & 33:34) are localities in the Artava and “Ezion Geber” (Numbers 33:35) is near Eilat.

On the other hand, as Anati goes on to explain, no such plausible series of identifications as these can be made for any locations in the Sinai Peninsula:

“If one starts the analysis with the preconceived idea that Mount Sinai must be near St. Catherine, or somewhere else in the southern or central … Sinai peninsula, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to give a geographical sense to the sequence of the exodus stations. In any case, in our view, the itinerary described must have been topographically meaningful to people from the first millennium BC who were acquainted with the region.”

Anati goes on to describe some typical criticisms that his discovery has provoked – to which criticisms he replies by drawing support from [Dr. Rudolph] Cohen’s findings:

“…[there] were those who could not agree with our chronology, saying “Since the Exodus took place in the 13th century BC, Mt. Sinai should have at its foot remains of 13th century camping sites.” Should the date be as certain as some believe, this rule should apply to any site candidate for Mt. Sinai, not just to Har Karkom. In such a case, it is probable that not a single mountain in the Sinai Peninsula would fit because the 13th century BC is part of a hiatus in settlement. …. This fact was further confirmed by extensive archaeological research carried on by Rudolph Cohen of the [Palestinian] Antiquities Authority. It led him to propose for the “Age of the Exodus” the same dates as those resulting from Har Karkom (R. Cohen, BAR, 1983).”

The Scriptures provide a detailed description of the deserts and tribal areas around Mount Sinai. “One of the main emerging points”, writes Anati, “is that Mt. Sinai … must be located on or near the border between the land of Midian and the land of Amalek”; a scenario that, as he explains, applies only to the Har Karkom region. The Bible also indicates that the Amalekites occupied the highlands of the Central Negev and the area of Kadesh Barnea, and the Midianites were on both sides of the Arava [Arabah] Valley. Mt. Sinai, according to the biblical narration, should be located between these two regions, meaning in the Har Karkom area. A thorough examination of the topographical details described in the Bible locates Mount Sinai in the Har Karkom region even without the findings at Har Karkom.

Now back to:

Italian-Israeli archeologist Professor Emmanuel Anati says he believes that his controversial view that the biblical Mount Sinai is in Israel's Negev desert rather than Egypt's Sinai Peninsula will soon be adopted by the Vatican. … he presented his theory in the form of a new book at a seminar at the Theological Seminary in the northeastern Italian city of Vicenza, the Jerusalem Post reports. "Actually it's not a theory, it's a reality. I'm sure of it", Anati told the paper by telephone from his home in Capo di Ponte. “My archeological discoveries at Har Karkom over many years and my close reading of the Bible leave me with no doubt that it is the real Mount Sinai. I’m now sure that Karkom is the real mountain of God.”

In 2001, Anati published the English edition of a book that was first issued in Italian two years earlier and titled The Riddle of Mount Sinai - Archaeological Discoveries at Har Karkom. In the book, he postulated that Karkom, 25km from the Ramon Crater, was probably the peak at which Moses received the Ten Commandments - and not the summit in southern Sinai where Santa Catarina (Saint Catherine's Monastery) stands. According to Anati an abundance of archeological evidence showed that Mount Karkom had been a holy place for all desert peoples, and not just the Jews, which substantiated his case. "I know this is revolutionary," he conceded. "I'm not only changing the location, but I'm moving Mount Sinai to Israel, and I'm sure it will anger the Egyptians. But Israel should be proud of this. The Negev is empty and should be developed."

"I'm also changing the date of the Exodus from Egypt to some 1,000 years earlier than previously thought," he added. "I know this will drive everyone crazy. But I am right. I'm sure of it." Anati reasoned that if the account in the Book of Exodus was historically accurate, it must refer to the third millennium BCE - and more precisely to the period between 2200 and 2000 BCE.

It has taken him more than a decade, but Italian-Israeli archeologist Prof. Emmanuel Anati now believes his controversial view that the biblical Mount Sinai is in Israel’s Negev desert rather than Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula will soon be adopted by the Vatican. Anati reasoned that if the account in the Book of Exodus was historically accurate, it must refer to the third millennium BC – and more precisely to the period between 2200 and 2000 BC. Jewish tradition puts the Exodus around the year 1313 BC. According to Catholic tradition, Helena of Constantinople – the mother of Emperor Constantine credited with finding the relics of Jesus’ cross – determined the location of Mount Sinai and ordered the construction of a chapel at the site (sometimes referred to as the Chapel of Saint Helen) in about 330 AD.

According to Anati, however, an abundance of archeological evidence showed that Mount Karkom had been a holy place for all desert peoples, and not just the Jews, which substantiated his case.

He said more than 1,200 finds at Karkom – including sanctuaries, altars, rock paintings and a large tablet resembling the Ten Commandments – indicated that it had been considered a sacred mountain in the Middle Bronze Age. In addition, he said, the topography of its plateau perfectly reflected that of the biblical Mount Sinai.

Finally, he concluded, the biblical tale clearly backed up his geographic argument. “When the Children of Israel left Egypt, they reached the Arava. They couldn’t have been in Santa [Catarina], because it says in the Bible that they reached Nahal Tzin, and moved on to Hebron,” Anati said. “The whole story of receiving the Torah must have taken place in the Negev. The Children of Israel wandered in the north and not the south, in the Negev and not the Sinai.”

He was just as certain that the Holy See would officially sanction his stance, and that millions of Catholic pilgrims could soon be visiting Mount Karkom instead of Mount Sinai.

“Actually, they have already accepted my theory,” he said. “They are already organizing pilgrimages. There is already a plan, and I have meetings scheduled with theologians and others, including the Vatican pilgrimage office. They want to start pilgrimages to Karkom as soon as next year.”

Anati said he was aware that he had his detractors, especially among archeologists in Israel, several of whom were interviewed refuting his claims on a Channel 1 Mabat Sheni documentary ....

“I know there are all kinds of people – including professors – who resist my theory, and it’s natural that this occurs,” he said. “I urge them all to read my book and study the evidence before criticizing me.”

Tel Aviv University’s Professor Israel Finkelstein, a world-renowned expert on the subject, said he could not accept Anati’s hypothesis. “I do not see any connection between the third millennium BCE finds at Har Karkom and the Exodus story. The latter was put in writing not before the 7th or 6th centuries BCE, and as such depicts realities which are many centuries later than the finds of Har Karkom,” Finkelstein told the Post. “Roaming the desert with the Bible in one hand and the spade in the other is a 19th-century endeavor which has no place in modern scholarship.”

Anati said it had taken the Catholic Church several years to be persuaded by his argument, and recognition had been a slow process.

“Twenty years ago, I had a hunch that Har Karkom was the real Mount Sinai,” Anati said. “Three years ago I was convinced I was correct. Today I know I’m right.”

Damien Mackey’s Note. In 1990 I was fortunate enough to have been part of a touring party, including my mother and sister, to the Sinai Peninsula, dotted with burned out army tanks in the sand, and there to have visited St. Catherine’s monastery and Jebel Musa. Being already convinced, however, that this was not the true mountain of Moses, but that far away Har Karkom (the “Saffron Mountain”) was - {the Bedouin call it Jebel Ideid, meaning perhaps ‘Mountain of the Multitude’ or ‘of Celebration’} - I was suffering from a certain lack of enthusiasm, despite the place’s rugged awesomeness. There is no indication that the aged Moses had had to exert great effort coming and going on the mountain, as would have been the case with Jebel Musa - just as Noah would have had his work cut out with the high, ice-peaked Mount Ararat (Judi Dagh in ancient Urartu being the preferable mountain for ‘Ararat’). Nor was I impressed by being shown remnants of the Burning Bush by the monks in the monastery.

Later, coming to Israel, I could not pick up any clues or interest there about Har Karkom – that is, not until we were about to fly out to Rome, when I saw a notice on a board advertising a camel trek to Har Karkom. Rather recklessly I signed up for it - emboldened perhaps by having recently been led on the back of a camel up to the Giza pyramids. So, my mother and sister agreed that we meet up again later in Rome. Anyway, the Har Karkom expedition was cancelled and I ended up rather more comfortably on the plane to Rome. The Negev desert is a frightful place, reminding me of a moonscape, and one can have some degree of sympathy with the complaining Israelites – during whose time, though, it may have been somewhat less denuded.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

"What" is Dinah?

[AMAIC comment. We believe that Dinah was a real historical person, the daughter of Jacob and distant relative of the Jewish heroine, Judith, who has a 16-generation genealogy going back to contemporaries of Moses].

by John R. Salverda

The story of Dinah in the book of Genesis can give us great insight as to how mythology works. The retellings of her story by the Greeks are clearly classified as Myths, but what is a myth, exactly… ? What follows is not meant to denigrate the Scriptural truths as mythology, but rather to elevate mythology as a similar attempt to tell the truth, using symbolic poetry rather than telling it prosaically. In doing so I am forced to point out that the Scriptures themselves are not altogether free of the use of “allegories” which, if found in other sources would be classified as mythology.

I am personally of the opinion that the character that has come down to us as Dinah was, at one time, considered to be more than simply the role that she portrays in the book of Genesis as a human woman. It seems as though she has been euhemerized into an historic personage, but never-the-less she was still "the virgin daughter of Israel." Perhaps her story was an allegorical one (as was the story of Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, etc.), told to teach about the story of the nation of Israel itself, which was also often referred to as the "Virgin of Israel." It is not unusual for a nation, a city, a church, or a population, to be figuratively symbolized as a female character. Even modern nations, (without, presumably, resorting to idolatry), have similar traditions. The U.S.A. has it’s "Columbia," the U.K. has "Britannia," and Rome had it’s "Roma," all feminine personifications that are symbolic of each their own national spirit. The nation of Israel was also referred to as a "woman," and the "maiden," and the "virgin," she was known as Zion (or Jerusalem) and called the "bride," or "wife," of God. ("Therefore thus saith the LORD; Ask ye now among the heathen, who hath heard such things: the virgin of Israel hath done a very horrible thing." Jeremiah 18:13, "Again I will build thee, and thou shall be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shall again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shall go forth in the dances of them that make merry." Jeremiah 31:4, "...O virgin of Israel, turn again to these thy cities. How long wilt thou go about, O thou backsliding daughter?..." Jeremiah 31:21,22, "The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up." Amos 5:2.) The well known female personification, the totem, of the nation of Israel had committed her "whoredoms" with the inhabitants of the land of Canaan. The story of the "rape" of Dinah, seems to me, like a way to mitigate the guilt of the "virgin," perhaps this is the original purpose of the tale.

For those who wish to read the legendary version of the Shechem incident, this tradition is outlined in Ginzberg's "Jewish Legends" "THE OUTRAGE AT SHECHEM"

The Scriptural account in Genesis offers no mention of any offspring as the result of Dinah's rape, this seems odd to me because Jewish legends clearly do. The Midrash Pirke De-Rabbi Eliezer (Chap. 38) records a view that Asenath (the wife of Joseph, and mother of Ephraim and Manasseh,) was actually the daughter of Joseph's sister Dinah, conceived in her rape by Shechem.

For those who wish to read the legendary version of the daughter of Dinah as Asenath in Egypt, this can also be found in Ginzberg's "Jewish Legends" "THE WIVES OF THE SONS OF JACOB"

In regards to the allegation that Asenath was the daughter of Dinah, the reader is urged to see also; (point #6) where it is asserted that: "The Bible states, "These are the names of the children of Israel," (Gen. 46:8), and there are indeed 70 names which follow. The seventieth name, which appears to be extra, is that of Asenath, the wife of Joseph." Thereby indicating that Asenath was indeed thought to be "a (grand) child of Israel."

An original version of this tale, no doubt included the point that Dinah (an euhemerized version of the nation of Israel itself) left ancestors as a result of her "rape." As to why there is no mention of this in Genesis, I would say; Perhaps the Jewish editors of the Scriptures were well aware of the Allegorical association between Dinah and their national personification, "the Virgin of Israel." They also knew that the Messiah was to be born of "the Virgin" (indicating that He would be an Israelite). However they promoted the Davidic Messiah (as opposed to the Ephraimitic, or Messiah ben Joseph), and were not inclined to report that a descendant of Dinah through Asenath would lend allegorical credibility to the concept of the "Messiah ben Joseph," a parallel, but sometimes thought to be competing, Messianic tradition.

The story known as "The Rape of Dinah" was a very popular and apparently widely known tale. Besides the various Hebrew versions of the story, it also seems apparent that colonists from Israel had incorporated the tale into Greek mythology. Unlike the Scriptural Dinah, and more like the Dinah of the Jewish legends, the Greek versions of the Virgin are always impregnated by the “rape.”

The Greek myth about the Rape of Danae was brought to Greece by Danite (the Israelite tribe of Dan) colonists who were known in Greece as "the Danaans" (For my reasons backing this assertion please see the article that I have written on the subject and have posted elsewhere in this forum. The progeny of Danae include Perseus and Heracles both highly Messianic characters, Heracles in particular injures his foot while slaying a serpent, the Lernian Hydra. Later Heracles sacrifices himself on his own Golgotha because the Hydra blood had poisoned him (accordingly he was resurrected to immortality on Olympus).

I would urge anyone who wants to learn more about the story of Dinah, to study the Greek myth of Danae. Even the obscure detail of being locked up in a chest in related in both stories; "Jacob ... concealed his daughter Dinah in a chest, lest Esau desire to have her for wife, and he be obliged to give her to him." (from Ginzberg "Jewish Legends") Robert Graves, in book 1 of his two volume work, "the Greek myths," (60.1,3) says that the Greek Danae was called, by the Hebrews, Dinah. Perhaps by way of explanation he previously intimates, that the Danaans who told her story, were part of a group of early arriving Helladic colonists from Palestine.

I wrote an article comparing the Greek myth of Acrisius, Proetus, and Danae, with the Scriptural story of Jacob, Esau, and Dinah. The entire article can be found at for those who wish to read it in it's entirety. An excerpt of which follows:

Comparing the two stories Jacob and Esau, with Acrisius and Proetus, the first thing that most people will notice in any comparison between the two pairs, is that in each case we have the birth of twins who struggle, even in the womb before birth, over who should receive the kingdom as a birthright. The motif of twins struggling with each other in the womb before birth is a fairly rare one. The early life of both sets of twins are remarkably similar. The Greek myth has Acrisius and Proetus initially alternating their possession of the kingdom inheritance for a time. In the Hebrew Scriptures Esau has the initial inheritance for a time until Jacob tricks him out of it, but then Esau travels to Seir, marries into a local Canaanite clan, and begins to raise an army among them with the idea of destroying Jacob. Therefore Jacob flees to Syria where he increases his forces and returns, at this point, there is a meeting between the two groups, however, instead of fighting to the death, there is a stand off between the two brothers who decide to split the kingdom up, Esau taking Seir which he names after himself “Edom,” while Jacob retained the land which he named after himself, “Israel.” Now, the Greek myth, has a very similar series of events occur between their equivalent set of twins Acrisius and Proetus. Just as did Jacob in Israel, Acrisius gained the upper hand and refused to let Proetus have his rightful share in the kingdom inheritance. Therefore, Proetus goes off and marries into a local Greek clan, the Lycians, among whom he raises an army with the intent of destroying his brother Acrisius and regaining the Argolian throne. However, again just as in the Scriptural account, when there is a meeting of their two armies, it leads to a stand off between them. The two brothers, instead of fighting to the death, decide to split up the kingdom, Proetus taking Tiryns, while Acrisius retained the kingdom of Argolis.

During the course of these dynastic struggles, Acrisius, the Greek version of Israel, had a daughter named Danae, who had gotten ravaged. While Israel himself had a daughter named Dinah, who also was ravaged. In each case the analogous virgin was thought to have been raped by the enemy of her father and, also in each case, revenge had been taken against this enemy. We also learn, whether in the Hebrew story or in the Greek rendition of it, that the respective despoilers had actually fallen in love with, each their own version of, the victimized maiden.

As the book of Genesis comes to it’s end, we learn that the Hebrew patriarch Israel, and Dinah as well, had to leave his inherited kingdom after all. Driven by a famine he left the promised land and he went into Egypt, leaving his brother Esau behind in the kingdom uncontested. The scriptural account then goes on at this point to tell the story of the Exodus. Returning to the Greek myths, we find from Ovid that ultimately Proetus drove his twin Acrisius from the throne and out of Argolis, Hyginus says that Acrisius followed his daughter Danae and grandson Perseus to the land of their exile, Seriphos, leaving his brother Proetus behind in the kingdom uncontested. This is the point in the Greek myth, where the story of the dynastic struggles over Argolis ends, and the story of Perseus begins. (the myth of Perseus can indeed be shown to be a Greek variant of the Hebrew story of the Exodus.)

I wrote an article called "Perseus" wherein I included reasons for believing that his mother Danae was a personification of the nation of Israel. It can be found elsewhere in this forum in it's entirety at . What follows is the pertinent passage:

The slaying of Medusa is portrayed as a prerequisite to freedom for the captive mother of Perseus, "Danae." Danae was the earthly wife of Zeus, and she was being held captive by an earthy king, there can be no mistake in identifying her with Zion, the nation that gave birth to Moses. It is evident that while in Egypt, the Israelites pronounced the name "Zion," as "Zoan," it was the name of the City-state of their captivity, "the field of Zoan." The classical Greeks knew of this place and called it "Tanis," they identified the goddess, who was named after this place, with "Athena." In the Assyrian cuneiform inscriptions, the same Egyptian district was called, "Sinu." A clever philologist can find this far famed woman’s name throughout ancient literature, besides those already mentioned, here is a partial list of the name Zion transliterated; Diana, Dione, Deino, Dion, Dinah, Sinai, Hesione, Thyone, (even backwards) Anath (the name "Asenath" is thought to be Egyptian for "beloved of Anath"), Neith, and Nut.

Another Greek myth, with apparent connections to the story of Dinah, is called "The Rape of Aigina," it is from the Sisyphus cycle of Greek mythology and comes from Corinth (recognized as a "Phoenician" settlement). This myth seems to reflect a more "Canaanite" or "Shechemite" point of view. Her rape produces offspring leading to Achilles, another Greek hero with obvious Messianic attributes (his death is the result of a wound in the heel).

I wrote an article comparing the Greek myth of Sisyphus, with the Scriptural story of Joseph. For those who wish to read it in it's entirety the article can be found here; . An excerpt of which is as follows:

An inclusion in the Sisyphus cycle of Greek mythology, was the story of a character named, "Asopus," his tale, which is also known as, "the rape of Aegina," clearly borrows, quite liberally, from the story of Jacob. Even the Greek names of the players retain their phonetic similarities to the original Hebrew cast. The name "Sisyphus" passes as "Joseph-us," "Asopus" is plausibly a Greek form of the name "Jacob," (with a soft "c" and the usual Greek suffix "-us" appended,) moreover, the name of the daughter of Asopus, "Aegina," is a very likely Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name of Jacob’s daughter, "Dinah," whose story, of course, has correspondingly come to be known as, "the rape of Dinah." It was this account for which Sisyphus became famously chided, as was Joseph elsewhere, as a tattle tale, because he gave a damning report for which he, it is said in the Greek myth, had earned his well known eternal punishment. The myth of the rape of Aegina helps us to identify the Hebrew city of Shechem with the Greek city of Corinth, because it was in the vicinity of Shechem that the rape of Dinah occurred. Just as Joseph was especially loved by Jacob, who made rationalizations for Joseph’s dreams and tattling telling, so Sisyphus gets recompense from Asopus. For Sisyphus was rewarded for "informing" to Asopus. Just as Jacob dug a well on Mount Ebal in Shechem and then gave (in his deathbed blessing through Joseph), the city to Ephraim as a so called extra shoulder. We learn from Pausanias in recounting the Greek myth that the well, or fountain, or spring called the "Upper Peirene" on the mountain at Corinth; "The spring, which is behind the temple, they say was the gift of Asopus to Sisyphus. The latter knew, so runs the legend, that Zeus had ravished Aegina, the daughter of Asopus, but refused to give information to the seeker before he had a spring given him on the Acrocorinth." (Pausanias, 2.5.1). Note how the story of the Mountain, the temple, and the well as a gift to Sisyphus from Asopus, were all "borrowed" from the story of Shechem. More evidence for the identification of Asopus with Jacob, lies in the mythic claim that Zeus had inflicted Asopus with a permanent limp, as a result of his contention with the king of the gods. Jacob, of course, limped because of a similar contention.

That the lives of the Patriarchs, and Matriarchs, of the Scriptures were not only about the story simply told in the book of Genesis, but rather were allegories and foreshadowings of things greater than themselves, we are told over and over again. The apostle Paul tells us in Galatians 4:22-26, “For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. ... Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which brings forth children to bondage, which is Hagar. For this Hagar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” We are told in our catechism classes that the sacrifice of Isaac, was also that of the Passover Lamb of God at the Exodus (not to mention that of the Christ). The life of Joseph foreshadows the trials and tribulations of Jesus and the role of Christianity in the future World. None of this is taken as if we are doubting the original stories that are told in the Scriptures as myths. So perhaps a little better understanding of the life of Dinah also includes a bit of allegory and foreshadowing.

John wrote (26 Mar)

Dear Damien,

Thanks for that, You've done a fine job (I was a bit worried about all those links), the article looks great.

Please don't get me wrong, I do not deny the actual existence of Dinah as a person. This is why I placed the word "what" in quotes. In fact I, as do you apparently, think that she left descendants, a supposition that is not confirmed Biblically. Do you have a theory as to why such a possibility may have been expunged from the Biblical record? I would love to hear it.

You think (Why?) that Judith has descended from Dinah, well maybe so. The Greek myths alluded to are older than the life of Judith, and who knows how old Ginzberg's "Jewish Legends" on the subject may be. Danae is an ancestor of Heracles, and Aegina of Achilles, and if Joseph actually did wed the daughter of Dinah then, the Messiah Ben Joseph would be her descendant.

Now, as to referring to Dinah as a "what;" I feel justified in the same way that Paul in Galatians referred to "Hagar" as mount Sinai in Arabia. Surely Paul believed that Hagar had really lived.

Keep up the good work. -John

Damien replied (28 Mar)


By "ancestor" in relation to Dinah and Judith I meant fellow relative of Simeon, not a direct descendant as in great-g-g-g(etc)-mother.

The Simeonite Judith refers back to Dinah by way of contrast. Dinah was ravaged by the gentile, whereas it was Judith's great triumph that she was not (in fact that is the first thing she tells the Bethulians upon her return).

The Bible is very selective. E.g. you would think from it that the Philistines inhabited merely the Shephelah region, whereas archaeology shows that they occupied a far greater territory. Again, there is virtually no interest in Solomon after he had apostatised, yet he went on to do great things after that, in a commercial and mercantile and architectural sense.

The Bible does tell us that there was great further coverage of (e.g. kings) in other written sources. The scribes were apparently not going to duplicate what was already freely available perhaps. I wish we had those records now.

Seemingly Dinah, too, was of no great interest later for whatever reason.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Minoans in North America?

Book Review: The Lost Empire of Atlantis - Gavin Menzies

Title: The Lost Empire of Atlantis: History’s Greatest Mystery Revealed
Author: Gavin Menzies
ISBN: 9780062049483
Pages: 400
Release Date: October 25, 2011
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: History, Travel, Non-Fiction
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5
Famed historian Gavin Menzies was on vacation, recovering from the process of writing his last book, when he stumbled upon the subject for his next one. Menzies tackles the Minoan Empire, an ancient culture based on the island of Crete, and argues that it was the downfall of their civilization that inspired the Atlantis legend.
The Lost Empire of Atlantis is part-history, part-theory, and part-travelogue. In his book, Menzies attempts to reconstruct the Minoan civilization, a culture that is still something of a mystery to us today.  He shows us that they were extremely advanced for their time and postulates that they traveled farther than anyone has ever suspected - from India to North America.  Menzies’ basis for this surprising claim rests more on connections made between sporadic pieces of evidence than on any solid foundation.  His enthusiasm is infectious, and while readers will appreciate his passion for the subject, his logic isn’t entirely convincing.
Still, the theory Menzies puts forward is certainly interesting and will make readers question the history they’ve been taught.  His conjecture that the Atlantean Empire was one and the same as the Minoan Empire is actually very compelling.  It’s not the first - or the last - time this theory has been brought forward, but Menzies examines the evidence in what seems to be a new and intriguing way.  There is no proof here, but it’s much more convincing than his leaps of faith concerning the Minoans’ worldwide travel.
Menzies also injects himself into The Lost Empire of Atlantis by writing it as a sort of travelogue.  As he journeys to all the places he believes the Minoans had a presence, he writes with vivid descriptions.  As a result, this isn’t just a history book; the travel aspects of it make it very engaging and easy to read.  Additionally, through the narration of his travel, Menzies makes it clear that he exhausted all research on the subject, something that is made evident by the amount of detail in the book.
While The Lost Empire of Atlantis isn’t perfect, it certainly is an entertaining read for any history buff.  If you have always been enchanted by the myth of Atlantis, or you are itching for a good travelogue, this is a solid choice.  Perhaps you will be convinced by Menzies’ logic, but even if you aren’t, he puts forward an intriguing theory that is worth further exploration.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Noah, Japheth and the Greeks

Mar 11, 2012 10:35 PM

There is much to be gleaned from this article, especially the inference that the Greek god Ouranos is to be identified with the Hebrew patriarch Noah, and that Ouranos’ castration episode originates with the Hebrew story of Noah’s drunkenness. But the last sentence of this article reveals a chronological bias of the author that it will be difficult for him to overcome; “Japheth, who is absent from all other Near Eastern accounts, may well derive from Hesiod’s Iapetos.” Here the author assumes that the writings of Hesiod are older than the account in Genesis. This is a blatant error and a very unlikely assumption.

Even the premise, that Japheth is absent from all other Near Eastern accounts, is an unrealistic assumption. There is a strong possibility that the Persians had a tradition about Japheth. According to Herodotus (VII, 72, 450 BC.), there was a group of People who were known to the Greeks as the, "Leucosyri," or the "White Syrians," they lived in the land, that the Persians called "Cappadocia." Therefore it seems that White People are associated with, this time the Persian form of the name, Japheth. (The Hebrews say, "Japheth," the Latins say, "Gepetto," and it seems as though the Persians used a version of the name that was very much like the Latins, "Cappado,") Japheth is the famous progenitor of the White People, and as it turns out Iapetus has a connection with White People, as well. Iapetus is the father of the earliest known, and arguably the most famous, “Caucasian” who ever lived! Prometheus (As the mythical creator of mankind, we assume these men, must have been Caucasian men, for why are White folks named after the well known mountain of Prometheus, Mount Caucasia?).

Another false assumption, inferred although unstated, is the idea that the Greek Myths did not get the names of their mythological characters from the Hebrews. However, there are dozens of examples that would argue otherwise; “Melamp-us and Phylac-us” as “Balaam and Balak,” “Salmone-us” as “Solomon,” “Sisyph-us” as “Joseph,” “Inach-us” as “Anak,” or “Phorone-us” as “Ephron” Any one of which is at least as compelling as “Iapet-us” as “Japheth.”

A logical question to ask ones self after reading the foregoing is this; Did the writer or writers of the Biblical book of Genesis derive Japheth from the Greek Iapetus, or was it the other way around? I trust that the discerning reader will reach a better conclusion than the author of this article seems to have done.


AMAICMar 12, 2012 03:21 PM

I am glad that you picked this up, John. I was going to send it to you.

I fully agree with your comments about who influenced whom.

Best regards

Damien Mackey.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Hesiodic Greek Appropriation of Japheth

Hesiod and Genesis: Iapetos and Japheth

Bruce Louden

Each foundational for their respective cultures, each a combination of several of the same genres of myth, Hesiod and Genesis overlap in ways that remain under-analyzed. The tradition preserved at Gen 6:2 and 4, in which “the sons of the gods” (plural in the original, often edited out of translations) mate with mortal women and give birth to a race of heroes, is unexpectedly close to Hesiod’s Bronze Age (Works 155-69; cf. Pindar Olympian 9, 53-56). Scholars have long recognized a number of Near Eastern elements in Hesiod (M. L. West: 1966, 1997), while more recent analyses (e.g., López-Ruiz: 2010) suggest Northwest Semitic ties in particular (Ugaritic, Syrian / Phoenician), the same context out of which Genesis is thought to have evolved (the Biblical Canaanites = Phoenicians). But Genesis also includes specific allusions to Greek culture (Javan) in the aftermath of the Flood myth. Noah's son Japheth, father of Javan, appears to be the same name as the Hesiodic Iapetos, a specific intersection of both traditions.

Neither has a speaking part, both serving primarily as genealogical agents, sons of parents who are more significant, who themselves marry and have sons. Genesis 9:27 uses wordplay on Japheth's name, "May God extend Japheth's boundaries," where "extend," is the Hebrew, yapht, much like Hesiod on the name Titans (Theog. 207-9: Τιτῆνας . . . τιταίνοντας). Both characters are linked to their respective Flood myths (Iapetos is grandfather of Deukalion). Pindar, at a fairly early date (468), knows a complete version of the myth (Olympian 9, 40-56), and makes prominent mention of Iapetos. In Hesiod Iapetos’ brother Kronos castrates his father Ouranos. Japheth’s brother Ham sees Noah naked, passed out from drinking, and tells Shem and Japheth. When Noah wakes he curses Ham, but directs the curse at his son Canaan (9:20-27). Here Ham is referred to as Noah’s youngest son, whereas 9:18 suggests Japheth is.

From these inconsistencies, many assume Genesis 9:20-7 is an abbreviated excerpt from a longer tale. TheTalmud (b. Sanhedrin 70a) suggests that Ham originally committed a much greater offence, that he castrated Noah, or sexually abused him (on the basis of parallels between “and he saw” also at Gen 34:2 of Shechem violating Dinah; if correct, Ham would offer unexpected parallels with the Derveni Papyrus, López-Ruiz: 139-42). In Hesiod Kronos castrates his father, but Iapetos has also committed unspecified offences for which he is punished in Tartaros (Iliad 8.479; cf. his name’s likely derivation from ἰάπτω [Chantraine]). Iapetos and his wife Klymene produce four sons (Theog. 507-616), three of whom are severely punished: Atlas, Menoitios (who seems most like Ham: Theog. 514-16), and Prometheus, referred to eight times as "Son of Iapetos." Not only are there multiple points of contact with Hesiod, but after the flood Japheth becomes the father of Javan (10:2), the same eponym as the Greek Ion (from *Ἰαϝων). Some see “extend Japheth’s boundaries”as a Hellenistic era reference to Alexander’s conquests (Wadjenbaum 101).

Based on the congruence of these motifs, the characters' occurrence at similar stages of larger creation myths, and Japheth's specific connection to Greek culture (as father of Javan) we might best see this part of Genesis as having evolvedin a dialogic relation with Hesiod’s account (cf. Louden 2011, which argues that parts of Genesis evolved in a dialogic relation with The Odyssey). There is no evidence external to the Bible for the names of Noah’s sons (Carr 162), and recent scholarship has moved the dates up for Genesis considerably (Carr passim). Elsewhere the Bible several times transposes other cultures’ divine names to human characters (Nimrod: Ninurta; Esther: Ishtar, Mordecai: Marduk). Though the resultant versions lack an exact match between the two characters (they do not occupy the same sequential position in their Flood myths), Japheth, who is absent from all other Near Eastern accounts, may well derive from Hesiod’s Iapetos.


•Carr, David M. 1996. Reading the Fractures of Genesis. Westminster.

•López-Ruiz, Carolina. 2010. When the Gods Were Born: Greek Cosmogonies and the Near East. Harvard University Press.

•Louden, B. 2011. Homer’s Odyssey and the Near East. Cambridge University Press.

•Wadjenbaum, Philippe. 2011. Argonauts of the Desert: Structural Analysis of the Hebrew Bible. Equinox.

•West, M. L. 1966. Hesiod: Theogony. Oxford: Clarendon Press.

•West, M. L. 1997. The East Face of Helicon: West Asiatic Elements in Greek Poetry and Myth. Oxford: Clarendon Press.


Taken from:

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Perseus, Wanderings and Exodus Comparisons

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following]


Perseus Compared to Moses and the Danites of Jaffa

by John R. Salverda


The Wanderings

Perseus at the Danite seaport of Joppa

The Wanderings

The story of Perseus, like the story of the Exodus includes an episode of extensive wandering over African desert sands. "But Perseus, with the snake-haired monster's head, that famous spoil, in triumph made his way on rustling pinions through the balmy air and, as he hovered over Libya's sands, the blood-drops from the Gorgon's Head dripped down. The spattered desert gave them life as snakes, smooth snakes of many kinds, and so that land still swarms with deadly serpents to this day." (Ovid's Metamorphoses 4.770) For when the godlike Perseus, 'flew over Libya brining the Gorgon's newly severed head to the king, every drop of dark blood that fell from it to the ground produced a brood of these serpents." (Argonautica 4.1505) Notice the myth also has miraculously appearing poisonous serpents, and see Numbers 21:6, Moses had a curative serpent stick, while Hermes carried the caduceus. "Nimble knee Perseus, waving his winged feet, held his course near the clouds, a wayfarer pacing through the air 'Perseus fled with flickering wings' with Hermes' wings though Zeus was his father; he sailed a fugitive on swiftest shoes," (Dionysiaca 24.270) Notice the myth also has wings on which Perseus fled, and see Ex.19:4 where God's Earthly wife was delivered from her slavery on "eagles wings" (The eagle is the well known bird of Zeus. In fact Lycophron, a little known Greek poet from the 3rd B.C. calls Perseus "the eagle son of the golden Sire." Alexandra 838 ff). One may wonder why the myth makes the wandering of Perseus out to be an aerial phenomenon, but on the other hand, there was a very famous appearance in the sky associated with the Hebrew Exodus that lead the Israelites on their wanderings, the pillar of cloud and fire. "Thence wafted by the never-constant winds through boundless latitudes, now here now there, as flits a vapor-cloud in dizzy flight, down-looking from the lofty skies on earth, removed far, so compassed he the world. Three times did he behold the frozen Bears, times thrice his gaze was on the Crab's bent arms. Now shifting to the west, now to the east, how often changed his course'" (Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 617 ff). Two towns are named in the mythic wanderings of Perseus, Joppa in Phoenicia which was well known and was mentioned by many ancient mythographers, and the Egyptian city of Chemmis. It is Herodotus who tells us that Perseus was in the Egyptian city of Chemmis before proceeding to Joppa; "'they (the Egyptians) said that Perseus ‘had come to Egypt' to bring from Libya the Gorgon's head, and had then visited them also and recognized all his kinsfolk,'" (Histories Book 2 Page 91) Herodotus further connects Perseus with specifically, the Nile delta region when he says that it is; "the opinion of the Ionians, who say that only the Delta is Egypt, and that its seaboard reaches from the so-called 'Watchtower of Perseus' forty schoeni to the Salters at Pelusium." (Histories Book 2 Page 15) Perseus then came to Joppa at the end of his wandering.

Perseus at the Danite seaport of Joppa

[Note: The city of "Joppa" is on the coast of Israel. At present it is known as Jaffa (pronounced Yaffa) and adjoins Tel Aviv.

As legend has it, Joppa was founded by Japheth, the son of Noah, just after the flood and was named for him. (The "tent" of Japheth included many Semitic peoples, Danes are considered to be "Japhetic," so are the Cimmerians the Medes the Persians the Greeks and the Scythians.) It was the well known capital of tribal Dan, the seaport of Jerusalem and Hebron. Solomon had placed a fleet of Ships called "Tarshish" ships at Joppa. A land route was established between Joppa and the Red Sea port of Ezion Geber where Solomon had placed another fleet of Tarshish ships so that goods could be shipped back and forth from India/Ethiopia to the Mediterranean lands and beyond (Tarsus in Cilicia not withstanding, Tarshish is usually thought to be Spain, Tartessos). The city of Joppa was well known to the Greeks of the mythological age. "Red water, in color like blood, is found in the land of the Hebrews near the city of Joppa. The water is close to the sea, and the account which 'the natives give' of the spring is that Perseus, after destroying the sea-monster, to which the daughter of Cepheus was exposed, washed off the blood in the spring."(Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 35. 9)

It is apparent that this episode of the Perseus myth (where he destroyed the sea serpent at Joppa) is not a part of the original, but is a later addition to the story. Just as the city of Joppa could not have been included in the Exodus story of Moses. It must have been a generation or so after the death of Moses, who died before entering the promised land, that the city of Joppa became established as the capital of tribal Dan. It would have been even longer before emigrants from the Danite Joppa would have become established, as the Danaans, in the cities of Mycenaean Greece.

This particular part of the Perseus tale has often, and for good reason, been compared to the story of Heracles at Troy, which is said to have occurred a generation before the Trojan War. Hercules came to Troy as he sailed with the Argonauts. He found the city in utter turmoil, because its King Laomedon had cheated Poseidon. For punishment the god sent a sea monster, to consume his daughter the princess Hesione. She was chained to a rock as the creature approached. Heracles agreed to kill the monster for a reward. Heracles was swallowed by the monster, and after spending three days in the belly of the beast, he managed to cut his way out thus killing it. Heracles never got his reward so he sacked Troy, and took Hesione instead. Thus the story of Heracles at Troy is much like the story of Perseus at Joppa. There is also, because of the death defying three days, an apparent debt owed to the story of Jonah (the Septuagint has "Jonas"). Jonah, it is worth noticing, embarked from Joppa (like Perseus) and also encountered a sea serpent (Cetus, the astronomical name of the "sea serpent" of Perseus means, "whale") furthermore Jonah, like Heracles, was swallowed by the creature for three days. There is at least one version of the story about Perseus that has him swallowed by Cetus, for Lycophron, even so far back in history as the third century B.C. tells us that the sea monster, in its attempt to devour Andromeda "leapt in quest of food, but carried off in his jaws, instead of a woman, the eagle son of the golden Sire (Perseus) a male with winged sandals who destroyed his liver." (Alexandra 838 ff)

As we have intimated earlier, a different source contributed this episode, a source that had a more intricate knowledge of astrology, for the characters included in this particular segment of the story, as told by those exiles from the Danite Joppa, have constellations named after them such as Cassiopeia, Andromeda, Cepheus, and the sea serpent. However none of the characters from the previous adventures of Perseus, neither Danae, Polydectes, Acrisius, the Gorgons, the Graeae, nor any of those Danaans who had fled from Aegyptus, seem to have been so honored as to be included in the stellar cast. Of course, Perseus himself is also a constellation but presumably, only in regards to this episode of his story, outlining his exploits at the city of Joppa.

The Joppa episode of the Perseus myth has a much more historic flavor, for here we not only learn that the sons of Perseus, after sailing out of Joppa, became the Kings of, and fortified the cities of, Mycenae in Greece, which we will detail a little further on. (A partial list of royal families and heroes that were known to the Greeks to have been descended from Perseus were 1. The royal family of Mycenae, his sons King Alcaeus, King Electryon and King Sthenelus, grandson King Eurystheus, and great granddaughter Queen Clytemnestra 2. The royal family of Elis, his son King Heleius, and grandson King Augeias 3. The royal family of the Taphian Islands, Kings Taphos and Pterelaus 4. The royal family of Messenia, his daughter Queen Gorgophone, and grandsons King Aphareus and King Leucippus, and great-grandsons the heroes Idas and Lynceus 5. The royal family of Sparta, his daughter Queen Gorgophone, grandson King Tyndareus, and great-grandchildren (in fact or putatively) : the Dioskouroi and Queen Helene. 6. The kings of Persia, from his son Perses 7. Heracles, and his descendants, who eventually assumed power in the Peloponnese.) "They [the Persians] were formerly called by the Greeks Cephenes . . . When Perseus son of Danae and Zeus had come to Cepheus son of Belus and married his daughter Andromeda, a son was born to him whom he called Perses, and he left him there; for Cepheus had no male offspring; it was from this Perses that the Persians took their name." (Herodotus, Histories Book 7 Page 61) "Perseus, the son of Danae ' wanting to establish for himself his own kingdom, despised that of the Medes." (Suidas "Medusa") "There is a story told in Hellas that before Xerxes set forth on his march against Hellas, he sent a herald to Argos, who said on his coming (so the story goes), 'Men of Argos, this is the message to you from King Xerxes. Perses our forefather had, as we believe, Perseus son of Danae for his father, and Andromeda daughter of Cepheus for his mother; if that is so, then we are descended from your nation.' " (Herodotus, Histories Book 7 Page 150)

Now, it is not my intention with this article to trace the Achaemenid Kings of Persia to Moses, (I shall make that the subject of a future article) but only to trace the Greek myth of Perseus to the story of Moses. However since serious Greek historians, such as Herodotus, Xenophon, and others, do quite confidently report that the Persian Kings themselves make the claim that they descend from Perseus and Andromeda, I would be remiss if I did not make a few remarks on the subject here. We know, for example, that the cities of the Medes were occupied by the exiled Israelites. (see 2KI 17:6 and 18:11) The Magi were the dominant religious organization, a tribe priests analogous to the Levites among the Israelites, officiating the sacrifices for those Medes and the later Persians. ("Deioces then [709 BC.] united the 'Medes there are the tribes which here follow, namely, Busai, Paretakenians, Struchates, Arizantians, Budians, Magians" Herodotus Book 1, Page 101. See also Page 132,"' without a Magian it is not lawful for them to make sacrifices.") However, the question arises, as to what the Magi had to do with those exiled Israelites. If these Magi were living in the cities of the Medes with the exiled Israelites, then one wonders indeed, what their relationship to the Levites was.

The Danites had a Levitical priesthood, it was not however, the usual one descended from Aaron, but instead their priesthood was descended from Moses (Perseus) through his grandson Jonathan (Perses). These Priests were known as the priesthood of Micah. ("Micah," meaning "image" is a plausible transliteration for the term "Magus") At that very time there was a legendary religious leader named Zoroaster, he was famous for, not originating, but for reorganizing the already existing Magi priesthood into one of the most powerful religious organizations in the world at that time. We are told that Zoroaster was born in the city Rages, (the same city, and at the same time, where the relatives of Tobit the Naphtalite lived Tob. 5:6) according to the Parse tradition in the year 660 BC. (It could have been he who was born to the exiled Virgin Israel nearly 65 years after the fall of Samaria, he was a famous curd eater, and famed for his "Zoroastrian" dualism distinguishing good from evil, compare Isaiah Chap. 7). Zoroaster died in the year 583 BC. at the age of seventy seven. As a major religious leader, he must have been aware of the destruction of the Jewish temple when he was 73, in 587 BC. this act may have prompted him to raise up a "Messiah" to overthrow the, Temple destroying, Babylonians, and to deliver the Jews from their Babylonian captivity.

Zoroaster lived long enough, (eleven years into the reign of Astyages,) to have, as the chief of the Magi, orchestrated the birth of Cyrus. We learn of the role that the Magi played in the birth of Cyrus from Herodotus ("Histories." Book 1, Pages 107-129)...The name "Zoroaster" is plausibly a sleight corruption from the Hebrew for "Seed of the Woman" (Zeru-ish-shah).

So much for the role of "Perseus" in the Persian culture and beyond, an influence that is certainly worthy of a "Moses." We may now return to the Greek myth armed with a better understanding of the conflict between the priesthood of the Aaronic Phinehas, and the priesthood of the Mosaic Jonathan.

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

"Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends"

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bellerophon and Joshua. The Conquest Left Incomplete

[The AMAIC considers the Middle East – West comparisons of John R. Salverda as interesting, with some of them we think being very likely. But we do not necessarily agree with all of the following] 

Bellerophon and Joshua,
The Conquest Left Incomplete

by John R. Salverda

The next group of enemies that Bellerophon was sent to clear out was the pirates of the Carian coast.
The origins of the Carian people was just as much a mystery to the ancients as it is to historians today. Herodotus was able to trace them back to the time when they served as sailors for the fleet of King Minos of Crete. We have seen that the Minoans were originally from Phoenicia, descendants from Europa the maiden of Phoenicia. The Carians were often associated with the sea faring Phoenicians and there were even at least two cities in the land of Caria named for the Phoenicians, Phoinix and Phoinikus. The Carians were famously known to the Greeks as pirates of the Mediterranean Sea, in fact the Egyptians called the Mediterranean Sea, "the sea of Kharu," presumably, the "Carian" Sea. If it was one of the tasks of Bellerophon to dispel the Carians, and Bellerophon was Joshua, then the Carians must have been one of the peoples of Canaan, such as the Hurrians. In his greatest historical work, a book called, "Ages in Chaos" the heretical genius Immanuel Velikovsky identifies the Carians with the Hurrians, and in the light of his reconstruction of ancient history he leaves little doubt but that he is correct. As Velikovsky has told us, the Assyrian cuneiform texts referred to the Hurrians as the "Khurri" and in the Egyptian chronicles they were called the "Kharu." The Hurrians are not mentioned in the Scriptures, but many historians identify the Horites with the Hurrians and while Velikovsky does make a distinction between the two groups, it should be pointed out that the Septuagint calls the Horites the "Chorreans." Furthermore, if the Horites can be identified with the Hurrians, then so can the Hivites and also the Jebusites of Jerusalem, also called "Uru-salim," (Hurrian Salem') in the El-Amarna correspondences.
    Just because the Hurrians are not called by that name in the Scriptures is no reason to doubt their coexistence with the Hebrews, for archaeologists have found evidence of the Hurrians all over the promised land, (Abraham himself is said to have hailed from "Ur" of the Chaldees, presumably the Chaldians of Armenia where the Hurrians are also said to have come from. Furthermore, the city of Harran, where Abraham lived for some time before he moved to the land of Canaan, has been shown to be of Hurrian foundation.) and after all, the Scriptures don't seem to know about the Phoenicians by that name either. The Scriptures do mention the Carians as a troop of bodyguards to the kings of Judah, in the Scriptures the Carians are referred to as the "Cherethites," these served as the bodyguard to King David (2Ki. 11:4, 13-16, 19 see also 2Sam. 8:18). In the Greek Septuagint the term "Cretans" is substituted for "Cherethites," which brings us back to the statement made by Greek Herodotus so saying that "Carians" served King Minos of Crete. The Egyptian kings Psammetichus and Amasis used Carian mercenaries and the Carians also formed the bodyguard for the kings of Lydia.
    The end of the myth about Bellerophon's battles in Lycia, is the story about the overthrow of the Lycians themselves. Luz was the Canaanite name for the city that was known to the Hebrews as Bethel. It was the warriors of the House of Joseph who were specifically accredited with overthrowing the Canaanites of Luz. This corresponds to the Greek myth because it was Bellerophon of the house of Sisyphus who defeated the Lycians, and this is in keeping with the theory that Sisyphus was the Greek equivalent to Joseph.

    At this point we may be able to tell how these Canaanites came to be known to the Greeks as the Lycians of Lycia, despite the common transliteration from the Greek as "Lykia," the name of the nation in Asia Minor is pronounced "lish'ee-ah." Although the Greeks had their own various versions concerning the founding of Lycia, (The bulk of opinion makes Lycia to be founded by Phoenicians through Europa's son Sarpedon.) the Scriptural account about the fall of Luz may hold a more satisfying explanation. In the book of Judges chapter 1, verses 22 through 26, we see that the House of Joseph made a deal with one of the Luzians. If the unnamed man would turn against his own city and show the Hebrews the way in, then the Josephites would deal mercifully with him and his family. And so it was, the man wisely consorted with the Israelite enemy and was allowed to take his family out from the doomed city of Luz and they got away unharmed. Then the scriptural account goes on to say how he took his family to the "land of the Hittites," where he set up a colony from, and named it after, his recently destroyed homeland, Luz. While the promised land was sometimes known as the land of the Hittites, it was only a part of the vast Hittite empire, the bulk of their kingdom, and the land of their nativity, was in Asia Minor. Since the promised land of Canaan was being taken away from the Hittites and given to the Israelites, it doesn't seem likely that the new Luz should be set up, as some have suggested, at another location within the land of Canaan. Therefore the designation, "land of the Hittites," at verse 26 of the Scriptural account, is most probably referring to the Hittites of Asia Minor, where indeed, the land of Lycia did end up being located. Now, while the Greek myths have Bellerophon making his deal with the king of Lycia, whom they called by the very Semitic looking name, "Iobates," there is no indication in the Scriptures that the unnamed traitor at Luz was its king. However, if Iobates was the traitor at old Luz, then he was also the founder of its replacement colony in the land of the Hittites, which would, of course, qualify him as the preeminent king of the new place. This scenario may also help to explain why the Greeks would call the king of Lycia "Iobates" for generation after generation, because it was not unusual for the name of founding, or otherwise exemplary, kings to leave their name as an hereditary title to subsequent regents, examples of this practice may be seen in the cases of Gordius and Midas, famous kings of the neighboring kingdom of Phrygia.

    Joshua and the Hebrews did not wipe out all of the Canaanites, at first with divine assistance, they were quite successful against the Canaanites but then, even though they had God on their side, they began to make deals with the enemy, the interloping Israelites intermarried with the Canaanite nations and even left them with sovereignty in many cases. The case of Bellerophon was quite comparable in this regard for he also fought successfully against the Lycians but then their king, seeing that Bellerophon had the gods on his side, sued for peace, and allowed the hero to marry into the Lycian royal family, giving him only half of the Lycian kingdom while the king was able to retain sovereignty in the remainder. It is perhaps because of this incomplete conquest of Canaan that Ezekiel was forced to lament about Jerusalem, "'Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite." (Eze. 16:3) Looking back we have to admit that the racial "impurities" of Israel are like a labyrinth that is impossible to straighten out. Abraham can be associated with the Hurrians as well as the Chaldeans. The Amorites of Babylon are called Canaanites, and the Chaldeans have been identified with the Hittites by Velikovsky. The Hittites are said, by modern historians, to have adopted the religion of the Hurrians (such as their mother goddess, Hebat who has in turn been identified with Eve). The kings of Assyria refer to the Kings of Israel as "the King of the Hittites." King David himself is the direct descendant of Rahab the Canaanite prostitute of Jericho, and of Ruth the "Moabitess." The Ishmaelites are the Midianites are the Kenites are the Cushites. Moses himself (the supposed institutor of monogamy) married a Cushite woman and their descendants became the priesthood of the widely roving Danites (If you are a "Dane" then perhaps you have a mole or a freckle that reflects this last fact.). Therefore I would strongly appeal to those of us who would attempt to Identify "lost" Israelites based upon their ethnicity or racial makeup to reconsider the strategy completely. There are no "pure" Israelites, for both the Hebrews and the Greeks report that the conquest of Canaan, or "Lycia," as its referred to in the "myths" of the Greeks, was incomplete, you can blame Joshua, or as the Greeks seem to have called him, Bellerophon.

For more articles by John R. Salverda on the Hebraic Connections of Greek Mythology, see:

"Helleno-Yishurin. The Hebrew Origin of Greek Legends"