|The Dark Powers That Bind - Destiner Press Titles|
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Section 2. EGYPT
The Original Egyptians
Fig.2a. Map of Ancient Egypt showing the lotus patterns used in their art and the mitres worn by the god-kings of Lower and Upper Egypt.
The sons of Ham were Cush, Canaan, Phut and Egypt; all of whom migrated westward from Mesopotamia to the area thereafter most dominated and influenced by the descendants of Egypt, the Nile valley, this regions epicenter of political and religious power for many centuries to come. To Egypts east was Canaan (Palestine), to his south was Cush (Ethiopia) where Cushite and Hamitic languages are spoken to this day. To Egypts west was Phut (Libya) and to the north was the Mediterranean Sea. The historian Josephus also recorded how the family of Canaan settled in Palestine and Phut moved west of Egypt to Libya. Indeed, most ancient Greek historians originally referred to that land as Phut, but it was later more commonly known as Libya, the land of Lybyos, one of the sons of Egypt. Perhaps Egypt sent his son Lybyos to oust his brother Phut and extend Egyptian power, or perhaps it was a gradual demographic change, the family of Lybyos migrating and simply eclipsing the importance of the descendants of his uncle Phut. Whatever happened, with it came the change of name for the land. (Antiquities, Josephus, Book 1, Chapter 6)
This connection between the lands of the sons of Ham surrounding Egypt is well known. Consider this from the renowned Egyptologist, Professor James H. Breasted of the Oriental Institute of Chicago: "The forefathers of the people (of Egypt) were related to the Lybyians on the one hand, and on the other hand to the people of (north) eastern Africa An invasion by the Semitic nomads of Asia stamped its essential character unmistakeably upon the language of the people there." (A History of Egypt, Breasted, Scribners Sons 1937, p.25) Now reflect on this from Kramer: "In the case of Egypt, Mesopotamian influence is apparent in the use of cylinder seals in Egyptian architecture Egypt may have also gotten the idea of writing from its eastern neighbours." (The Cradle of Civilization, Kramer, Time Life, 1967, pp.157-8)
Actually it is much more than the fact that the Mesopotamians had an "influence" on Egypt or "may have" given them their ideas. There is no maybe about it, especially in Scripture. Egypt himself came from Mesopotamia, fully stamped and sealed in person, and his descendants continued thereafter to be immensely impacted by that first culture. It is not only the Egyptian language that reveals the origins of the Egyptian people but practically every aspect of that virtually cloned civilization. From that source they brought all the essentials with them. Mesopotamian traditions are found at the deepest roots of Egyptian conceptions, especially in religion and architecture. Egypts family obviously brought their own unique language with them from Babel, but they already knew how to record it in clay and stone. They may have developed a different artistic style to depict their gods, and given them names in their own tongue, and altered their style and appearance to suit Egyptian tastes, but their gods are the same old Mesopotamian deities. Later migrations of Semites certainly would have continued this cultural influence, but the very foundation stone of Egypt is Mesopotamian, because the original Egyptians themselves migrated from Babel.
Although the Egyptians did not slavishly imitate every single detail of Mesopotamian culture, neither did they invent much that was new. They borrowed the concept of the early god-kings of Sumeria and turned them into their own pharaohs. The first five pharaohs are very similar to the divine kings of Uruk and they were likewise held to have descended from the original sky god, whom they called Nun. However, as we shall see, there was much more pairing across the generations in the Egyptian model, and many more replicas and clones.
Fig.2b. Chart of the first Egyptian god-kings.
Atum-Ra was the great sungod, also called Aten (solar disk), Ra (midday sun) and Atum (setting sun). In Egyptian religion "the sun was born every morning as a calf or as a child" who appeared in the east, moved across the celestial cow (the sky goddess) and died in the west. (A History of Egypt, Breasted, p.54) Shu was the Air God, also called Anhur the warrior. His wife Tefmut, closely associated with Bast or Sekmet, was depicted as a lioness, and in all of these identitities her attributes were similar to those of Ishtar the goddess of war in Sumeria. Geb, whose wife was also the sky-goddess under the name of Nut, was a strong father figure, "a vigorous bull who fertilized the celestial cow" that gave birth to Osiris and Isis. (Encyclopedia of Mythology, Larousse, p.14)
Thus we come to Osiris, the fourth god-king or divine pharaoh of Egypt and his sister-wife Isis. He is the same person as the fourth god-king of Uruk known as Dumuzi or Tammuz. This Egyptian version reinforces the dual sister and/or wife relationship of Ishtar with Tammuz or Dumuzi (depending on which aspect of the legend was being told at the time) and powerfully suggests that the Mesopotamian prototype, Nimrod himself, had this kind of relationship with a sister who became his wife. Regardless of how this union originated, it was certainly stamped into the "holy family" of Osiris, by far the most important Egyptian "triad." (When Egypt Ruled the East, Steindorf and Seele, University of Chicago Press, 1963, p.137) Along with Isis and Horus in this pivotal family "unit" Osiris is the master key to the mass of pieces in the entire Egyptian jigsaw puzzle. "He was worshipped throughout Egypt in company with Isis, his wife, and Horus, his posthumous son, who formed with him a trinity." (Encyclopedia of Mythology, Larousse, p.17)
Indeed, this "threesome" not only outshone and outlasted all other Nile gods favoured by the various dynasties of pharaohs but was also transferred most fervently over three thousand years later into the religion of Rome, and at the very time the early Christians were absorbing these and other myths and traditions. The Pope himself carries the power symbols of Osiris-Tammuz and wears his headpiece, actually a combination of the hats worn by Osiris, Tammuz and Dagon, the fish-god of Canaan. Christ’s elect disciples had nothing to do with this subtle blend of icons but early Christians did, using the Scriptures concerning “fishers of men” as their excuse to utilize both the pagan fish-hats and images of fish to identify their priests and themselves.
The very first truly monumental Egyptian pyramid, designed by the architect Imhotep for Pharaoh Zoser, was built at Sakkara, near modern Cairo. It should be no surprise to find that it was a terraced pyramid very similar to the ziggurats of Uruk, Ur and Babel. Known as the "Step Pyramid" it was "strongly influenced by mud-brick building in general and Sumerian architecture in particular." (The First Great Civilizations, Hawkes, Alfred Knopf, NY 1973, p.291) The Sakkara pyramid was constructed around 2600 BC, more than four hundred years after Gilgamesh (Nimrod) erected the original ziggurat for the sky god Anu at Uruk.
Fig.2c. 1. The Ziggurat of the moon god Nanna at Ur, reconstructed, The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia, Moortgat, p.56. 2. Step Pyramid of Sakkara, Egypt, c.2620 BC
However, Egyptian pyramids were not primarily temples or "stairways to heaven" in the same sense as the Sumerian ziggurats. They were sacred because they were the resting places for the pharaohs, the descendants of the gods, and therefore tombs for the gods themselves. Like the ziggurats, the pyramids were also built to satisfy amazingly precise astronomical calculations, and their structures were well designed to withstand floods, especially the feared return of The Flood. But the prime reason for their construction was the Egyptians' overpowering pre-occupation with death, the underworld, and the afterlife, especially in the death and "rebirth" of their god-king, the person of the pharaoh.
The cult of the god-king who dies and yet lives again, the same cult that began with the prototype Sumerian god-king of Uruk, namely Nimrod-Gilgamesh-Dumuzi-Tammuz, is found at the very core of Egyptian religion. No expense was spared for the pyramid-tombs of the rulers of their early dynasties. Like the Mesopotamians who had gathered under Nimrod, the Egyptians rallied with colossal national effort to raise up their immense monuments, each pyramid for a single pharaoh.
Many copies of both types of pyramid, temple and/or tomb would later be constructed across the world as far away as Mexico to the west and Indo-China to the east. Whether they were used as sacred places for sacrifice, for astronomy, for worship or for burial, they all have their origin in southern Mesopotamia, in the corner stones laid by the grand monument builder and city-founder mentioned in so few yet imposing words in Scripture, the first great and mighty ruler, Nimrod. The Egyptians called him Osiris.
In early excavations, archaeologists unearthed the tombs of the pharaohs inscribed with the name of the god most predominantly identified with the dead ruler, the Egyptian Lord of the Underworld, Osiris. What puzzled them was where this primary deity came from in the first place. "The origin of Osiris is obscure, for it is not certain whether he was a local god or simply a deified hero." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Osiris) No one has ever been able to prove where Osiris came from in Egypt. That is not surprising because he did not come from Egypt; he is a clone of the deified king of Uruk in ancient Mesopotamia. He is a replica of Tammuz, and of Gilgamesh who died and became "the judge of the nether world." (History Begins at Sumer, Kramer, p.156)
Osiris was "dark skinned and taller than other men." (Encyclopedia of Mythology, Larousse, p.16) He is often portrayed as black or blue-black on tomb walls or papyrus drawings, and this is not at all surprising since we now know that he was made in the image of Nimrod, son of Cush and grandson of Ham. And he was just as central to Egypt as he was in Mesopotamia. Without a doubt Osiris was their most important deity. The impact of his life-after-death cult is unsurpassed in the belief system of the ancient Nile people: "the immense influence of Osiris worship on the life of Egypt." (A History Of Egypt, Breasted, p.60)
1. 2. 3.
Fig.2d. 1. Osiris and 2. Horus, shrine II of Tutankhamuns tomb, c.1400 BC, Cairo Museum, Egypt. 3. Atum-Ra identified with pharaoh, c.1400 BC, Karnak Temple, Egypt.
Associated with the setting sun (Atum) as the dying pharaoh and with the rising sun (Horus, his son) as the pharaoh reborn, Osiris ruled the underworld by night. "Here, according to a very early belief, dwelt the dead, whose king was Osiris. He had succeeded the sungod as king on earth, aided in his government by his faithful sister-wife, Isis he was slain by his brother so powerful were the charms uttered by Isis over the body of her dead husband that it was reanimated and although it was impossible for the departed god to resume his earthly life, he passed down in triumph as a living king to become lord of the nether world. Isis later gave birth to a son, Horus, whom she secretly reared among the marshy fastness of the (Nile) Delta." (A History Of Egypt, Breasted, p.58)
This early version of the Osiris myth shows him to be practically identical to Tammuz and his sister-wife Ishtar. Other versions show him to be a clone of Dumuzi, the Bull who was slain. "At Memphis the holy bull Apis was regarded as a representation of Osiris." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Osiris) Just as Dumuzi was rescued and regenerated by Ishtar to become lord of the underworld, as well as being miraculously reborn on earth in Damu the Child, so too Osiris was retrieved from the grave by Isis to become Judge of the Dead, and also reborn in Horus the Child.
As a fertility god, Osiris was again identical to Tammuz the Shepherd and Tammuz of the grain. His death was re-enacted in Egyptian festivals every year and his imaginary resurrection was seen in the newly growing grain. When identified with the tree of life (a favourite symbol beside the god-kings in Mesopotamian art) or with vegetation in general, the Egyptian Osiris was called the Djed and painted green. The rebirth imagery was very powerful. People believed that by taking part in the "Osiris mysteries" they could participate in eternal life. "A central feature of the festivals was the construction of the Osiris garden, a mould in the shape of Osiris, filled with soil moistened with water from the Nile and sown with grain the sprouting grain symbolized the vital strength of Osiris." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Osiris)
In Greek religion this vastly popular deity became Adonis and Bacchus. Christians in the Greek Church (Orthodox, not in Scriptural truth but certainly correct in Babylonian and Egyptian traditions) still continue the pre-Christian Greek practice of making "Adonis gardens" at Easter (Ishtar), thereby deliberately con-fusing Christ with Tammuz-Osiris. The Romans, later copied in great detail by the Catholic Church, adopted other death and resurrection symbols of Tammuz-Osiris, particularly the tree which was felled, cut in into pieces and then reborn as a young sprouting tree. The cut logs and trees were brought into the peoples houses in the great festival of the Saturnalia in late December, paganism perversely being resurrected in the blended neo-paganism of Christianity, complete with trees and Yule logs at Yuletide.
The facts, as they pile up, will show well beyond any reasonable doubt that Osiris, like Bacchus (Son of Cush) and every other version of this same personality, is derived from Tammuz, Dumuzi, Gilgamesh, Nanna and ultimately from Nimrod. All lead us back to the first god-king and counterfeit shepherd of the people of Sumeria, a deity so closely identified in Scripture with Satan. His resurrection, which was no resurrection at all except in the imagination of his deluded followers, became "a hope of life after death for all Egyptians." (The First Great Civilizations, Hawkes, p.41)
The origin of Isis in Egyptian archaeology, like that of Osiris, is viewed as a mystery. "Little is known of the early Isis cult she is rarely mentioned except as the mourner for her murdered husband, the god Osiris she was the principal actor, but only after his death; she discovered and re-united the pieces of her dead husbands body, was the chief mourner at his funeral, and through her divine power brought Osiris back to life again." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Isis)
The fact is that there is no mystery about Isis, because she too was a deity from Mesopotamia first known as Inanna or Ishtar, the Queen of Heaven who lamented for Tammuz and brought him back to life. Like Ishtar in Mesopotamia, Isis rose from small beginnings due to her association with Osiris and was gradually exalted to the most important female position in the religion of Egypt, even eclipsing her miraculous son, Horus, in power. She became the same planet as Ishtar (Venus) and gained the title, "Queen of Heaven." So powerful was this delusion that even Jews living in Egypt around 600 BC worshipped her. (Jeremiah ch.44) Early Christians would later do the equivalent, instituting their warped version of Mary and Jesus even before the elect apostles had passed away, concocting a Mother who surpassed her Son and was given the same title, Queen of Heaven.
This is not idle speculation. The veneration of Mary and pilgrimages to her shrines come from the cult of Isis, particularly because of her supposed power in resurrecting Osiris and bearing the child Horus. "The shelter she afforded her child gave her the character of a goddess of protection a great enchantress whose power transcended that of other deities she cured the sick and brought the dead to life; and as mother was herself life-giver her cult was brought to the shores of the Mediterranean world including Greece and Rome." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Isis)
Fig.2e. Isis and Horus, Ancient Egypt, Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge. "The Christian representations of the Madonna and child are clearly the continuation of Isis and her son suckling her breast." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Mystery Religions, 1974, 12:785)
"Of all the images of the gods, that of Isis with the child Horus on her lap, perhaps the prototype of the Madonna with Child, is the most noteworthy." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Macropedia, Egyptian Religion) There is no longer any "perhaps" about this prototype. The source is certain. The cult of Isis became one of the most powerful in the entire Roman world. Shrines were constructed in her honour from Alexandria to Rome itself, her temple there being so aptly located beneath where the Vatican now stands. My Lady (Madonna) of Babylon and the Queen of Heaven of Egypt are today revered by millions under the name of Mary, one of the greatest hoaxes and substitutions for Scriptual truth ever fabricated by Christians.
The sungod Horus was often confused with his father, Osiris, since he was, in a sense, his rebirth and reincarnation. Exactly how this transpired is similar to the story of Dumuzi, Ishtar and their offspring, Damu. The popular belief in Egypt was that Isis had miraculously conceived Horus. "There are many versions of the story Osiris, the good king, is drowned by his younger brother. His heart-broken wife, Isis, seeks for hi body, finds it, yet Set is able to tear it up and scatter the parts. Isis and Nephys reunite the body, and although they cannot bring the listless one fully to life they so far succeed in securing an erection that Isis conceives and bears Horus." (The First Great Civilizations, Hawkes, p.410)
In all its versions, this part of the myth firmly established the Mother and Child cult in Egypt. Like the early Christian Councils that would convene thousands of years later to officially endorse this very same doctrine (which was already enormously popular in the churches) the Egyptians stamped their seal of approval on this cornerstone of their religion. "Both official theology and popular belief proclaimed Isis and Horus to be the perfect mother and son." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Isis) Horus became associated with the rising sun Ra and represented as a falcon (Ra-Harakhte). "It was claimed that he was reborn every morning of the celestial cow, like a suckling calf, or like a little child of the sky goddess" and later Horus would become "constantly identified with Apollo in Greco-Roman religion." (Encyclopedia of Mythology, Larousse, pp.10, 21)
Through his identification with Horus the pharaoh became a kind of miracle child, a god capable of regenerating himself. "It became the central myth of Egyptian religion and of the Egyptian state that Pharaoh ruled as Horus, but on death became Osiris." In this way both Horus and Osiris "met in the person of Pharaoh" and this explains how "within a single hymn Pharaoh could be invoked as a beautiful child in the arms of his mother Hathor, and as a divine youth who begot and bore himself." (The First Great Civilizations, Hawkes, pp.407, 411)
Fig.2f Hathor, "Dwelling of Horus," "Lady of Byblos," Cairo Museum, Egypt.
The great mother Hathor was merely another version of Isis, the mother of Horus, often portrayed in pharaohs tombs in the sweeping universal image of either a woman or cow stretched across the sky. Hathor is the Egyptian replica of Mesopotamias Ninsun, the mother of Tammuz. Hat-hor literally means "dwelling of Horus" and she is depicted as both his mother and sometimes as his wife. (Encyclopedia of Mythology, Larousse, pp.23,25) Since Horus and Osiris are often con-fused, Horus could also be considered as the husband of his own mother. There may have been a factual relationship upon which this was based. Like Ishtar to Tammuz, Isis was both wife and sister to Osiris. Their child may have married his mother in the guise of the father miraculously returned to join her. The Mesopotamian original myths contain similar hints at this incest, as do the Greek versions.
Whatever the origin of this connection, the position of Hathor became almost as important as Isis, but in this form as a great mother goddess and celestial cow whose milk the pharaohs drank in order to become divine. Hathor and Isis were both depicted with the horns of a cow and the solar disk crowning their heads. The Egyptian belief in the sacredness of cattle came, of course, directly from Mesopotamia where Dumuzi was worshipped as a Bull, Damu as a calf and Ninsun as a cow. The Egyptians did not invent this bovine fetish. They absorbed it from Mesopotamia, just as the peoples of the Indus Valley (the ancestors of modern Hindus) swallowed it hook, line and sinker. Does this sound like silly superstition, that grown men and women would believe such nonsense? Ridiculous as such idolatry may seem, there are millions of people in the world today who venerate cattle.
In the Egyptian model both Osiris and Horus were associated with Apis in the form of both Bull and Calf, and Apis was both a solar deity and symbol of fertility. Osiris-Apis was jointly called Serapis. Apis was, not surprisingly, portrayed as black in colour. The solar disk was placed between his horns along with a white triangle on his forehead (the unholy family bound together in one) and a crescent moon on his side (symbol of Nanna, Nimrod deified in the Sumerian moon and bull-god). An important version of this crescent moon god would become Al-ilah or Allah, the most important god in the Arabian pantheon of deities, the god that Muhammad would mix with Jewish and Christian traditions and then elevate to be the sole deity of the cult he founded. This same crescent moon, sometimes with one or three attendant stars, is now found on the flag of almost every Islamic nation.
Another important version of the Egyptian bull story was that Apis was "begotten by a ray of sunlight that descended from heaven and impregnated a cow, which would thereafter never be able to give birth a second time." (When Egypt Ruled the East, Steindorf and Seele, University of Chicago Press, 1963, p.140) In other words not only did this cow-goddess experience a miraculous conception but had no further offspring. This belief figured prominently in the doctrine of the Early Church concerning the perpetual virginity of Mary, just as the image of Isis as "perfect mother" was absorbed into the doctrine of the "immaculate conception," that Mary was sinless in order to conceive Christ. Neither of these concepts is found in Scripture; both come from Babylon, particularly via Egypt.
The golden calf that many of the Israelites made for themselves shortly after God had rescued them from Egypt was almost certainly that of Apis-Horus. They blended this pagan icon with the name of Yahweh himself, a mistake that cost them their lives. The allure of this cult was clearly very powerful. Egyptian priests venerated a live bull as the person of Apis and made food offerings to him, exactly the way Hindus treat their cattle today. To kill the Apis bull was considered an act of murder. The sungod Ra was associated with various forms of the sacred bull, including Merwer, but of all the versions it was Apis that received the most widespread worship.
"Apis, Classical Greek form of Hapi, the sacred Egyptian bull deity probably at first a fertility god he became associated with Osiris with the solar cult and was often represented with the sun disk between his horns spread amongst the Greeks and Romans to become one of the most universally popular Oriental cults." (Encyclopedia Britannica, Micropedia, Apis)
In Mesopotamia the people had "shared a common pantheon but the gods were not worshipped everywhere under the same name." (The Epic of Gilgamesh, Sandars, p.23) In exactly the same manner the Egyptians gave different names to the same personality. Egypt himself would have brought this mixed bag with him from Babel, after the original language was confused and divided, and people migrated outward from the source. Thus we find the counterparts of Ishtar and Ninsun repeated up and down the Nile in new guises. Isis, Hathor, Sekmet and Bast, for instance, are simply variations of the same female character, each one emphasizing some particular attribute such as heavenly or universal appeal, virginity, motherhood or protection. The archaeologist Henri Frankfort aptly described this inclination to mix up the same gods under various identities as "a multiplicity of approaches." Such multiple images do tend to complicate the overall picture at first sight, but the key is to remember that all of these deities are variations on the same theme derived from an original family unit, real people named in Scripture. These gods are made in the image of man, created by people after The Flood to suit their own beliefs and preferences.
Like the Sumerians the Egyptians were particularly fond of a "triad" which formed a "holy family." (A History of Egypt, Breasted, p.137) In the previous section we examined how the prime male figure, the first god-king of Ba-Bel (Son of Bel, Nimrod the son of Cush) was likened to the person of Lucifer, the dark lord who substitutes himself for the real Lord. So it should come as no surprise that the "trinity" in which this false lord is found has the same satanic source. It is a counterfeit object of worship. Satans hand in this scheme cannot be underestimated. He has seen God. Think about that. If he fell from heaven then he was previously in heaven. He knows the identity of God better than any mortal man. Of all Gods creatures there is none more subtle or devious, and possibly none more powerful or knowledgeable. (Jude 5-13)
Satan was there when God promised that the seed of a woman would appear to redeem the ruin of the Fall, and ever since then he has done everything in his power to delude men with a substitute redeemer. Satan was there, arguing in person with God in order to bring down the Lords faithful servant. (Job, ch.1) The Devil knows the three who descended in terrible wrath to destroy his devotees in Sodom and Gomorrah, and why the three were referred to as the LORD (Yahweh) and Judge of all the earth. He knows exactly why Abraham bowed down to them and addressed them in both singular and plural. (Genesis ch. 18) He knows the awesome oneness of the Father, Prince and Counselor (Isaiah 9:6) and why the apostles who worshipped Christ were commanded by him to baptize in the name (singular) of all three (plural). (Matthew 28:16-20) If Satan knows who the Father, Son and Spirit are in Person and Persons it is no surprise that he concocts a triad of his own and plants it in the hearts and minds of men.
This false trinity is quite easily recognized as a counterfeit in many ways, but the outstanding feature is that it usually contains a female character. There is no female person in the LORD God. One might think that such an obvious difference would limit the appeal of this substitute. Far from it. This triad has spread with huge success and unparalleled popularity across the entire globe. Sometimes this threesome was represented as an equal-sided triangle, sometimes as a single person with three heads (Africa, China and South America), a particularly grotesque image still found today on the staff of Ethiopian bishops in the Coptic Church. But most popular of all was the holy family (Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome and India). This family in the Greco-Roman world was quickly adopted by the early Christians and incorporated into the doctrines of their church, the counterfeit body which split from the apostles, some even believing that Joseph, Mary and Jesus made up an incarnate trinity of the Father, Spirit and Son. Joseph-worship is rare today, but hundreds of millions still venerate the Roman saviouress Juno, long since blended into Mary, often portrayed with the same symbol of that goddess, the dove, and thereby subtly associating her with the Holy Spirit. Like almost every bishop of Rome, the late Pope John Paul II was an avid worshipper, and he is buried under her image in the Vatican, just as the pharaohs and their high priests were entombed with their beloved Isis and mother Hathor on the wall above them.
In ancient Egypt Osiris, Isis and Horus constituted by far the most popular triad, but it was not the only one. In Thebes we find the head of their triad to be based not on Nimrod deified as Osiris but on his father, Cush. This king of the gods is very similar to Enlil or Bel or Zeus (all of whom are Cush deified) and his name, Amon, may very well have originally meant "Son of Ham." No source for this name has been proven, but we already know that all these gods are clones of Mesopotamian prototypes. Amon fits Cush the son of Ham in deified form perfectly, right up to the horns on his head. Amons wife Mut was, not surprisingly, a celestial sky or cow goddess similar to Isis and Hathor. Their son Khons or Khonsu was the moon god, just like Nanna of Sumeria. A very popular version of this moon god in Egypt was Thoth, the keeper of religious mysteries and patron of the sacred art of writing, the equivalent of Nebo (Nimrod) of Babylon. In Greece Thoth would be named Hermes, the son of Bel-Zeus. And so the pattern and members of this trinity would be repeated, again and again in likeness after likeness.
At one highly unusual point in Egypts history, around 1400 BC, a pharaoh reigned who tried to do away with all the confusing gods and trinities and replace them with a single deity. His name was Akhenaten and his chosen god was Aten or Atum, the sun, represented plainly and simply by the solar disk. Some historians have suggested that Moses, who lived around this time, may have derived the concept of one god from Akhenaten. This is patently absurd. Moses was an Israelite in Egyptian captivity, a descendant of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (also called Israel), all forefathers who had unwaveringly believed in a single god for hundreds of years beforehand. "Hear O Israel," they recited, "the LORD is one, and you shall have no other." It is much more plausible that it was the other way around, that Akhenaten got the idea from Moses, particularly if he came to power after the pharaoh whose army had been destroyed by the LORD and whose country had been devastated by the plagues sent by the One God. Perhaps Akhenaten feared similar ruin so he opted for one god but (like Christians 1500 years later) blended this god with at least one popular pagan symbol in order to keep a foot in both camps. Emperor Constantine did exactly the same thing with the pagan symbol of a cross, the "T" or "tau" which was precious to both idolatrous Christians and non-Christians alike. Akhenaten chose the sun, the universal life-giving Egyptian icon which was neither man, bird nor beast.
Atum, also called Atum-Ra, was believed to be "the ancestor of the human race." (Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, p.11) The name is very similar to that of Adam, and this is quite probably its origin, men identifying the first human being in Scripture with the sun and deifying him as the source of life. Hams son Egypt would certainly have known who Adam was when he brought the religion of Sumeria to the Nile. The solar disk was of vital importance to the Mesopotamians, its circle representing not only the Sun but also the Seed, complete and perfect. This disk, or halo as we now see it in modern religion, was placed on or around the head of a god, indicating that such a personality was divine and "good," sacred in spirit, even without blemish or sin. It became one of the most popularly used images across the whole world. In ancient art and artifacts, some priests, as “representatives” of the sun-god, were even depicted with hollow gourds enclosing their heads. Rather corny amateur archaeologists and science fiction writers, seeking attention or profit, have claimed that these orbs were the helmets of visiting spacemen. But perhaps that is no more ludicrous than the nonsense that millions did believe about the power and significance of these disks.
Akhenaten knew the influence of the icon well, and cleverly used the disk to roll the gods into one. That is the critical point in which he differed from Moses. Akhenaten merely replaced all other images with one idol. Moses had no idols. Akhenaten worshipped the sun - a creature - something created by God. Moses worshipped the Creator alone. Akhenatens experiment did not work, and after he died the young pharaoh Tutankhamun (Tut-ankh-amon) brought back all the old gods like Amon and goddesses like Isis. This was no doubt much to the relief of the multitude of priests in these many cults who wanted the old ways back and their positions of influence returned to them. They would have lobbied hard for this reversal. This event would eerily be mirrored by the early Christians re-establishing a priesthood that God had rendered obsolete in Christ, and in their mixing of almost every aspect of the pagan priesthoods, from clothes to sacred rites, into their own. Religion is a relentless force to be sure, having its origin in the dark lord of this world and continuing by his power until that is finally taken away, when there shall be One God and no priests or clergy at all.
After Tutankhamun Isis again rose to reign supreme. From the port of Alexandria she was taken to Greece and Rome (Aphrodite, Venus) along with Hathor (Hera, Rhea), Sekmet (Artemis, Diana), Osiris (Adonis, Bacchus), Amon (Zeus, Jupiter), Thoth (Hermes) and Horus (Apollo), to name a few. Thus the Greco-Roman world received a double dose of the gods, from the original source in Mesopotamia via Canaan and Asia Minor (modern Turkey) and also second-hand across the Mediterranean from Egypt. Rome was primarily a copycat empire like Egypt and imitated much of the religion of the people of the Nile, sometimes hardly changing any of the details. The Greeks were more inventive, strongly influencing Rome, and themselves fashioned more directly on the Mesopotamian models, aided significantly by the exploits of Alexander the Great into the Orient.
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