PraysHome - Prayer Book Explained - Preaching - Presbyterian - Catholic - Bible Myths - Men's Bible
Most ViewedHe Descended Into Hell
Jonah Swallowed By A Big Fish
Receiving The Ten Commandments
Samson And His Exploits
Christ Crishna And Christ Jesus Compared
Jacob's Vision Of The Ladder
Least ViewedThe Temptation And Fast Of Forty Days
The Song Of The Heavenly Host
The Genealogy Of Christ Jesus
The Miracles Of Christ Jesus And The Primitive Christians
The Eucharist Or Lord's Supper
The Star Of Bethlehem
The Worship Of The Virgin Mother
The Divine Child Recognized And Presented With Gifts
The Slaughter Of The Innocents
Conclusion Of Part First
There are many other legends recorded in the Old Testament which might
be treated at length, but, as we have considered the principal and most
important, and as we have so much to examine in Part Second, which
treats of the New Testament, we shall take but a passing glance at a few
In Genesis xli. is to be found the story of
PHARAOH'S TWO DREAMS,
which is to the effect that Pharaoh dreamed that he stood by a river,
and saw come up out of it seven fat kine, and seven lean kine, which
devoured the fat ones. He then dreamed that he saw seven good ears of
corn, on one stalk, spring up out of the ground. This was followed by
seven poor ears, which sprang up after them, and devoured the good
Pharaoh, upon awaking from his sleep, and recalling the dreams which he
dreamed, was greatly troubled, "and he sent and called for all the
magicians of Egypt, and all the wise men thereof, and Pharaoh told them
his dreams, but there was none that could interpret them unto Pharaoh."
Finally, his chief butler tells him of one Joseph, who was skilled in
interpreting dreams, and Pharaoh orders him to be brought before his
presence. He then repeats his dreams to Joseph, who immediately
interprets them to the great satisfaction of the king.
A very similar story is related in the Buddhist Fo-pen-hing--one of
their sacred books, which has been translated by Prof. Samuel
Beal--which, in substance, is as follows:
Suddhodana Raja dreamed seven different dreams in one night, when,
"awaking from his sleep, and recalling the visions he had seen, was
greatly troubled, so that the very hair on his body stood erect, and his
limbs trembled." He forthwith summoned to his side, within his palace,
all the great ministers of his council, and exhorted them in these
words: "Most honorable Sirs! be it known to you that during the present
night I have seen in my dreams strange and potent visions--there were
seven distinct dreams, which I will now recite (he recites the
dreams). I pray you, honorable Sirs! let not these dreams escape your
memories, but in the morning, when I am seated in my palace, and
surrounded by my attendants, let them be brought to my mind (that they
may be interpreted.)"
At morning light, the king, seated in the midst of his attendants,
issued his commands to all the Brahmans, interpreters of dreams, within
his kingdom, in these terms, "All ye men of wisdom, explain for me by
interpretation the meaning of the dreams I have dreamed in my sleep."
Then all the wise Brahmans, interpreters of dreams, began to consider,
each one in his own heart, what the meaning of these visions could be;
till at last they addressed the king, and said: "Maha-raja! be it known
to you that we never before have heard such dreams as these, and we
cannot interpret their meaning."
On hearing this, Suddhodana was very troubled in his heart, and
exceeding distressed. He thought within himself: "Who is there that can
satisfy these doubts of mine?"
Finally a "holy one," called T'so-Ping, being present in the inner
palace, and perceiving the sorrow and distress of the king, assumed the
appearance of a Brahman, and under this form he stood at the gate of the
king's palace, and cried out, saying: "I am able fully to interpret the
dreams of Suddhodana Raja, and with certainty to satisfy all the
The king ordered him to be brought before his presence, and then related
to him his dreams. Upon hearing them, T'so-Ping immediately
interpreted them, to the great satisfaction of the king.[89:1]
In the second chapter of Exodus we read of
MOSES THROWN INTO THE NILE,
which is done by command of the king.
There are many counterparts to this in ancient mythology; among them may
be mentioned that of the infant Perseus, who was, by command of the
king (Acrisius of Argos), shut up in a chest, and cast into the sea. He
was found by one Dictys, who took great care of the child, and--as
Pharaoh's daughter did with the child Moses--educated him.[89:2]
The infant Bacchus was confined in a chest, by order of Cadmus, King
of Thebes, and thrown into the Nile.[90:1] He, like Moses, had two
mothers, one by nature, the other by adoption.[90:2] He was also, like
Moses, represented horned.[90:3]
Osiris was also confined in a chest, and thrown into the river
When Osiris was shut into the coffer, and cast into the river, he
floated to Phenicia, and was there received under the name of Adonis.
Isis (his mother, or wife) wandered in quest of him, came to Byblos, and
seated herself by a fountain in silence and tears. She was then taken by
the servants of the royal palace, and made to attend on the young prince
of the land. In like manner, Demeter, after Aidoneus had ravished her
daughter, went in pursuit, reached Eleusis, seated herself by a well,
conversed with the daughters of the queen, and became nurse to her
son.[90:5] So likewise, when Moses was put into the ark made of
bulrushes, and cast into the Nile, he was found by the daughters of
Pharaoh, and his own mother became his nurse.[90:6] This is simply
another version of the same myth.
In the second chapter of the second book of Kings, we read of
ELIJAH ASCENDING TO HEAVEN.
There are many counterparts to this, in heathen mythology.
Hindoo sacred writings relate many such stories--how some of their Holy
Ones were taken up alive into heaven--and impressions on rocks are
shown, said to be foot-prints, made when they ascended.[90:7]
According to Babylonian mythology, Xisuthrus was translated to
The story of Elijah ascending to heaven in a chariot of fire may also be
compared to the fiery, flame-red chariot of Ushas.[90:9] This idea of
some Holy One ascending to heaven without dying was found in the ancient
mythology of the Chinese.[90:10]
The story of
DAVID KILLING GOLIATH,
by throwing a stone and hitting him in the forehead,[90:11] may be
compared to the story of Thor, the Scandinavian hero, throwing a
hammer at Hrungnir, and striking him in the forehead.[91:1]
We read in Numbers[91:2] that
BALAAM'S ASS SPOKE
to his master, and reproved him.
In ancient fables or stories in which animals play prominent parts, each
creature is endowed with the power of speech. This idea was common in
the whole of Western Asia and Egypt. It is found in various Egyptian and
Chaldean stories.[91:3] Homer has recorded that the horse of Achilles
spoke to him.[91:4]
We have also a very wonderful story in that of
JOSHUA'S COMMAND TO THE SUN.
This story is related in the tenth chapter of the book of Joshua, and is
to the effect that the Israelites, who were at battle with the Amorites,
wished the day to be lengthened that they might continue their
slaughter, whereupon Joshua said: "Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon,
and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. And the sun stood still, and
the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their
enemies. . . . And there was no day like that before it or after it."
There are many stories similar to this, to be found among other nations
of antiquity. We have, as an example, that which is related of Bacchus
in the Orphic hymns, wherein it says that this god-man arrested the
course of the sun and the moon.[91:5]
An Indian legend relates that the sun stood still to hear the pious
ejaculations of Arjouan after the death of Crishna.[91:6]
A holy Buddhist by the name of Matanga prevented the sun, at his
command, from rising, and bisected the moon.[91:7] Arresting the course
of the sun was a common thing among the disciples of Buddha.[91:8]
The Chinese also, had a legend of the sun standing still,[91:9] and a
legend was found among the Ancient Mexicans to the effect that one of
their holy persons commanded the sun to stand still, which command was
We shall now endeavor to answer the question which must naturally arise
in the minds of all who see, for the first time, the similarity in the
legends of the Hebrews and those of other nations, namely: have the
Hebrews copied from other nations, or, have other nations copied from
the Hebrews? To answer this question we shall; first, give a brief
account or history of the Pentateuch and other books of the Old
Testament from which we have taken legends, and show about what time
they were written; and, second, show that other nations were possessed
of these legends long before that time, and that the Jews copied from
The Pentateuch is ascribed, in our modern translations, to Moses,
and he is generally supposed to be the author. This is altogether
erroneous, as Moses had nothing whatever to do with these five books.
Bishop Colenso, speaking of this, says:
"The books of the Pentateuch are never ascribed to Moses in
the inscriptions of Hebrew manuscripts, or in printed copies
of the Hebrew Bible. Nor are they styled the 'Books of
Moses' in the Septuagint[92:1] or Vulgate,[92:2] but only in
our modern translations, after the example of many eminent
Fathers of the Church, who, with the exception of Jerome, and,
perhaps, Origen, were, one and all of them, very little
acquainted with the Hebrew language, and still less with its
The author of "The Religion of Israel," referring to this subject, says:
"The Jews who lived after the Babylonish Captivity, and the
Christians following their examples, ascribed these books (the
Pentateuch) to Moses; and for many centuries the notion was
cherished that he had really written them. But strict and
impartial investigation has shown that this opinion must be
given up; and that nothing in the whole Law really comes
from Moses himself except the Ten Commandments. And even
these were not delivered by him in the same form as we find
them now. If we still call these books by his name, it is
only because the Israelites always thought of him as their
first and greatest law-giver, and the actual authors grouped
all their narratives and laws around his figure, and
associated them with his name."[92:4]
As we cannot go into an extended account, and show how this is known,
we will simply say that it is principally by internal evidence that
these facts are ascertained.[92:5]
Now that we have seen that Moses did not write the books of the
Pentateuch, our next endeavor will be to ascertain when they were
written, and by whom.
We can say that they were not written by any one person, nor were they
written at the same time.
We can trace three principal redactions of the Pentateuch, that is to
say, the material was worked over, and re-edited, with
modifications and additions, by different people, at three
The two principal writers are generally known as the Jehovistic and
the Elohistic. We have--in speaking of the "Eden Myth" and the legend
of the "Deluge"--already alluded to this fact, and have illustrated how
these writers' narratives conflict with each other.
The Jehovistic writer is supposed to have been a prophet, who, it
would seem, was anxious to give Israel a history. He begins at Genesis,
ii. 4, with a short account, of the "Creation," and then he carries
the story on regularly until the Israelites enter Canaan. It is to him
that we are indebted for the charming pictures of the patriarchs. He
took these from other writings, or from the popular legends.[93:2]
About 725 B. C. the Israelites were conquered by Salmanassar, King of
Assyria, and many of them were carried away captives. Their place was
supplied by Assyrian colonists from Babylon, Persia, and other
places.[93:3] This fact is of the greatest importance, and should not
be forgotten, as we find that the first of the three writers of the
Pentateuch, spoken of above, wrote about this time, and the Israelites
heard, from the colonists from Babylon, Persia, and other places--for
the first time--many of the legends which this writer wove into the
fabulous history which he wrote, especially the accounts of the Creation
and the Deluge.
The Pentateuch remained in this, its first form, until the year 620 B.
C. Then a certain priest of marked prophetic sympathies wrote a book
of law which has come down to us in Deuteronomy, iv. 44, to xxvi., and
xxviii. Here we find the demands which the Mosaic party at that day
were making thrown into the form of laws. It was by King Josiah that
this book was first introduced and proclaimed as authoritative.[93:4] It
was soon afterwards wove into the work of the first Pentateuchian
writer, and at the same time "a few new passages" were added, some of
which related to Joshua, the successor of Moses.[94:1]
At this period in Israel's history, Jehovah had become almost forgotten,
and "other gods" had taken his place.[94:2] The Mosaic party, so
called--who worshiped Jehovah exclusively--were in the minority, but
when King Amon--who was a worshiper of Moloch--died, and was succeeded
by his son Josiah, a change immediately took place. This young prince,
who was only eight years old at the death of his father, the Mosaic
party succeeded in winning over to their interests. In the year 621 B.
C., Josiah, now in the eighteenth year of his reign, began a thorough
reformation which completely answered to the ideas of the Mosaic
It was during this time that the second Pentateuchian writer wrote,
and he makes Moses speak as the law-giver. This writer was probably
Hilkiah, who claimed to have found a book, written by Moses, in the
temple,[94:4] although it had only just been drawn up.[94:5]
The principal objections which were brought against the claims of
Hilkiah, but which are not needed in the present age of inquiry, was
that Shaphan and Josiah read it off, not as if it were an old book,
but as though it had been recently written, when any person who is
acquainted, in the slightest degree, with language, must know that a man
could not read off, at once, a book written eight hundred years
before. The phraseology would necessarily be so altered by time as to
render it comparatively unintelligible.
We must now turn to the third Pentateuchian writer, whose writings
were published 444 B. C.
At that time Ezra (or Ezdras) added to the work of his two
predecessors a series of laws and narratives which had been drawn
up by some of the priests in Babylon.[94:6] This "series of laws and
narratives," which was written by "some of the (Israelitish) priests in
Babylon," was called "The Book of Origins" (probably containing the
Babylonian account of the "Origin of Things," or the "Creation").
Ezra brought the book from Babylon to Jerusalem. He made some
modifications in it and constituted it a code of law for Israel,
dove-tailing it into those parts of the Pentateuch which existed
before. A few alterations and additions were subsequently made,
but these are of minor importance, and we may fairly say that Ezra put
the Pentateuch into the form in which we have it (about 444 B. C.).
These priestly passages are partly occupied with historical matter,
comprising a very free account of things from the creation of the world
to the arrival of Israel in Canaan. Everything is here presented from
the priestly point of view; some events, elsewhere recorded, are
touched up in the priestly spirit, and others are entirely
It was the belief of the Jews, asserted by the Pirke Aboth (Sayings of
the Fathers), one of the oldest books of the Talmud,[95:2] as well as
other Jewish records, that Ezra, acting in accordance with a divine
commission, re-wrote the Old Testament, the manuscripts of which were
said to have been lost in the destruction of the first temple, when
Nebuchadnezzar took Jerusalem.[95:3] This we know could not have been
the case. The fact that Ezra wrote--adding to, and taking from the
already existing books of the Pentateuch--was probably the foundation
for this tradition. The account of it is to be found in the Apocryphal
book of Esdras, a book deemed authentic by the Greek Church.
Dr. Knappert, speaking of this, says:
"For many centuries, both the Christians and the Jews supposed
that Ezra had brought together the sacred writings of his
people, united them in one whole, and introduced them as a
book given by the Spirit of God--a Holy Scripture.
"The only authority for this supposition was a very modern and
altogether untrustworthy tradition. The historical and
critical studies of our times have been emancipated from the
influence of this tradition, and the most ancient statements
with regard to the subject have been hunted up and compared
together. These statements are, indeed, scanty and incomplete,
and many a detail is still obscure; but the main facts have
been completely ascertained.
"Before the Babylonish captivity, Israel had no sacred
writings. There were certain laws, prophetic writings, and a
few historical books, but no one had ever thought of ascribing
binding and divine authority to these documents.
"Ezra brought the priestly law with him from Babylon,
altering it and amalgamating it with the narratives and laws
already in existence, and thus produced the Pentateuch in
pretty much the same form (though not quite, as we shall
show) as we still have it. These books got the name of the
'Law of Moses,' or simply the 'Law.' Ezra introduced them
into Israel (B. C. 444), and gave them binding authority, and
from that time forward they were considered divine."[95:4]
From the time of Ezra until the year 287 B. C., when the Pentateuch was
translated into Greek by order of Ptolemy Philadelphus, King of Egypt,
these books evidently underwent some changes. This the writer quoted
above admits, in saying:
"Later still (viz., after the time of Ezra), a few more
changes and additions were made, and so the Pentateuch grew
into its present form."[96:1]
In answer to those who claim that the Pentateuch was written by one
person, Bishop Colenso says:
"It is certainly inconceivable that if the Pentateuch be the
production of one and the same hand throughout, it should
contain such a number of glaring inconsistencies. . . . No
single author could have been guilty of such absurdities; but
it is quite possible, and what was almost sure to happen in
such a case, that, if the Pentateuch be the work of different
authors in different ages, this fact should betray itself
by the existence of contradictions in the narrative."[96:2]
Having ascertained the origin of the Pentateuch, or first five books of
the Old Testament, it will be unnecessary to refer to the others here,
as we have nothing to do with them in our investigations. Suffice it
to say then, that: "In the earlier period after Ezra, none of the other
books which already existed, enjoyed the same authority as the
It is probable[96:4] that Nehemiah made a collection of historical and
prophetic books, songs, and letters from Persian kings, not to form a
second collection, but for the purpose of saving them from being lost.
The scribes of Jerusalem, followers of Ezra, who were known as "the men
of the Great Synagogue," were the collectors of the second and third
divisions of the Old Testament. They collected together the historical
and prophetic books, songs, &c., which were then in existence, and
after altering many of them, they were added to the collection of
sacred books. It must not be supposed that any fixed plan was pursued
in this work, or that the idea was entertained from the first, that
these books would one day stand on the same level with the
In the course of time, however, many of the Jews began to consider
some of these books as sacred. The Alexandrian Jews adopted books
into the canon which those of Jerusalem did not, and this difference of
opinion lasted for a long time, even till the second century after
Christ. It was not until this time that all the books of the Old
Testament acquired divine authority.[96:6] It is not known, however,
just when the canon of the Old Testament was closed. The time and
manner in which it was done is altogether obscure.[97:1] Jewish
tradition indicates that the full canonicity of several books was not
free from doubt till the time of the famous Rabbi Akiba,[97:2] who
flourished about the beginning of the second century after Christ.[97:3]
After giving a history of the books of the Old Testament, the author of
"The Religion of Israel," whom we have followed in this investigation,
"The great majority of the writers of the Old Testament had no
other source of information about the past history of Israel
than simple tradition. Indeed, it could not have been
otherwise, for in primitive times no one used to record
anything in writing, and the only way of preserving a
knowledge of the past was to hand it down by word of mouth.
The father told the son what his elders had told him, and the
son handed it on to the next generation.
"Not only did the historian of Israel draw from tradition with
perfect freedom, and write down without hesitation anything
they heard and what was current in the mouths of the people,
but they did not shrink from modifying their representation
of the past in any way that they thought would be good and
useful. It is difficult for us to look at things from this
point of view, because our ideas of historical good faith are
so utterly different. When we write history, we know that we
ought to be guided solely by a desire to represent facts
exactly as they really happened. All that we are concerned
with is reality; we want to make the old times live again,
and we take all possible pains not to remodel the past from
the point of view of to-day. All we want to know is what
happened, and how men lived, thought, and worked in those
days. The Israelites had a very different notion of the nature
of historical composition. When a prophet or a priest related
something about bygone times, his object was not to convey
knowledge about those times; on the contrary, he used history
merely as a vehicle for the conveyance of instruction and
exhortation. Not only did he confine his narrative to such
matters as he thought would serve his purpose but he never
hesitated to modify what he knew of the past, and he did not
think twice about touching it up from his own imagination,
simply that it might be more conducive to the end he had in
view and chime in better with his opinions. All the past
became colored through and through with the tinge of his own
mind. Our own notions of honor and good faith would never
permit all this; but we must not measure ancient writers by
our own standard; they considered that they were acting quite
within their rights and in strict accordance with duty and
It will be noticed that, in our investigations on the authority of the
Pentateuch, we have followed, principally, Dr. Knappert's ideas as set
forth in "The Religion of Israel."
This we have done because we could not go into an extended
investigation, and because his words are very expressive, and just to
the point. To those who may think that his ideas are not the same as
those entertained by other Biblical scholars of the present day, we
subjoin, in a note below, a list of works to which they are
We shall now, after giving a brief history of the Pentateuch, refer to
the legends of which we have been treating, and endeavor to show from
whence the Hebrews borrowed them. The first of these is "The Creation
and Fall of Man."
Egypt, the country out of which the Israelites came, had no story of the
Creation and Fall of Man, such as we have found among the Hebrews;
they therefore could not have learned it from them. The Chaldeans,
however, as we saw in our first chapter, had this legend, and it is from
them that the Hebrews borrowed it.
The account which we have given of the Chaldean story of the Creation
and Fall of Man, was taken, as we stated, from the writings of Berosus,
the Chaldean historian, who lived in the time of Alexander the Great
(356-325 B. C.), and as the Jews were acquainted with the story some
centuries earlier than this, his works did not prove that these
traditions were in Babylonia before the Jewish captivity, and could not
afford testimony in favor of the statement that the Jews borrowed this
legend from the Babylonians at that time. It was left for Mr. George
Smith, of the British Museum, to establish, without a doubt, the fact
that this legend was known to the Babylonians at least two thousand
years before the time assigned for the birth of Jesus. The cuneiform
inscriptions discovered by him, while on an expedition to Assyria,
organized by the London "Daily Telegraph," was the means of doing this,
and although by far the greatest number of these tablets belong to the
age of Assurbanipal, who reigned over Assyria B. C. 670, it is
"acknowledged on all hands that these tablets are not the originals,
but are only copies from earlier texts." "The Assyrians acknowledge
themselves that this literature was borrowed from Babylonian sources,
and of course it is to Babylonia we have to look to ascertain the
approximate dates of the original documents."[98:2] Mr. Smith then
shows, from "fragments of the Cuneiform account of the Creation and
Fall" which have been discovered, that, "in the period from B. C. 2000
to 1500, the Babylonians believed in a story similar to that in
Genesis." It is probable, however, says Mr. Smith, that this legend
existed as traditions in the country long before it was committed to
writing, and some of these traditions exhibited great difference in
details, showing that they had passed through many changes.[99:1]
Professor James Fergusson, in his celebrated work on "Tree and Serpent
"The two chapters which refer to this (i. e., the Garden,
the Tree, and the Serpent), as indeed the whole of the first
eight of Genesis, are now generally admitted by scholars to be
made up of fragments of earlier books or earlier traditions,
belonging, properly speaking, to Mesopotamia rather than to
Jewish history, the exact meaning of which the writers of the
Pentateuch seem hardly to have appreciated when they
transcribed them in the form in which they are now
John Fiske says:
"The story of the Serpent in Eden is an Aryan story in every
particular. The notion of Satan as the author of evil appears
only in the later books, composed after the Jews had come
into close contact with Persian ideas."[99:3]
Prof. John W. Draper says:
"In the old legends of dualism, the evil spirit was said to
have sent a serpent to ruin Paradise. These legends became
known to the Jews during their Babylonian captivity."[99:4]
Professor Goldziher also shows, in his "Mythology Among the
Hebrews,"[99:5] that the story of the creation was borrowed by the
Hebrews from the Babylonians. He also informs us that the notion of the
bore and yoser, "Creator" (the term used in the cosmogony in
Genesis) as an integral part of the idea of God, are first brought into
use by the prophets of the captivity. "Thus also the story of the
Garden of Eden, as a supplement to the history of the Creation, was
written down at Babylon."
Strange as it may appear, after the Genesis account, we may pass
through the whole Pentateuch, and other books of the Old Testament,
clear to the end, and will find that the story of the "Garden of Eden"
and "Fall of Man," is hardly alluded to, if at all. Lengkerke says:
"One single certain trace of the employment of the story of Adam's
fall is entirely wanting in the Hebrew Canon (after the Genesis
account). Adam, Eve, the Serpent, the woman's seduction of her husband,
&c., are all images, to which the remaining words of the Israelites
never again recur."[100:1]
This circumstance can only be explained by the fact that the first
chapters of Genesis were not written until after the other portions
had been written.
It is worthy of notice, that this story of the Fall of Man, upon which
the whole orthodox scheme of a divine Saviour or Redeemer is based, was
not considered by the learned Israelites as fact. They simply looked
upon it as a story which satisfied the ignorant, but which should be
considered as allegory by the learned.[100:2]
Rabbi Maimonides (Moses Ben Maimon), one of the most celebrated of the
Rabbis, says on this subject:--
"We must not understand, or take in a literal sense, what is
written in the book on the Creation, nor form of it the
same ideas which are participated by the generality of
mankind; otherwise our ancient sages would not have so much
recommended to us, to hide the real meaning of it, and not to
lift the allegorical veil, which covers the truth contained
therein. When taken in its literal sense, the work gives
the most absurd and most extravagant ideas of the Deity.
'Whosoever should divine its true meaning ought to take great
care in not divulging it.' This is a maxim repeated to us by
all our sages, principally concerning the understanding of the
work of the six days."[100:3]
Philo, a Jewish writer contemporary with Jesus, held the same opinion of
the character of the sacred books of the Hebrews. He has made two
particular treatises, bearing the title of "The Allegories," and he
traces back to the allegorical sense the "Tree of Life," the "Rivers
of Paradise," and the other fictions of the Genesis.[100:4]
Many of the early Christian Fathers declared that, in the story of the
Creation and Fall of Man, there was but an allegorical fiction. Among
these may be mentioned St. Augustine, who speaks of it in his "City of
God," and also Origen, who says:
"What man of sense will agree with the statement that the
first, second, and third days, in which the evening is named
and the morning, were without sun, moon and stars? What man
is found such an idiot as to suppose that God planted trees in
Paradise like an husbandman? I believe that every man must
hold these things for images under which a hidden sense is
Origen believed aright, as it is now almost universally admitted, that
the stories of the "Garden of Eden," the "Elysian Fields," the "Garden
of the Blessed," &c., which were the abode of the blessed, where grief
and sorrow could not approach them, where plague and sickness could not
touch them, were founded on allegory. These abodes of delight were far
away in the West, where the sun goes down beyond the bounds of the
earth. They were the "Golden Islands" sailing in a sea of blue--the
burnished clouds floating in the pure ether. In a word, the "Elysian
Fields" are the clouds at eventide. The picture was suggested by the
images drawn from the phenomena of sunset and twilight.[101:1]
Eating of the forbidden fruit was simply a figurative mode of expressing
the performance of the act necessary to the perpetuation of the human
race. The "Tree of Knowledge" was a Phallic tree, and the fruit which
grew upon it was Phallic fruit.[101:2]
In regard to the story of "The Deluge," we have already seen[101:3]
that "Egyptian records tell nothing of a cataclysmal deluge," and that,
"the land was never visited by other than its annual beneficent
overflow of the river Nile." Also, that "the Pharaoh Khoufou-cheops was
building his pyramid, according to Egyptian chronicle, when the whole
world was under the waters of a universal deluge, according to the
Hebrew chronicle." This is sufficient evidence that the Hebrews did not
borrow the legend from the Egyptians.
We have also seen, in the chapter that treated of this legend, that it
corresponded in all the principal features with the Chaldean account.
We shall now show that it was taken from this.
Mr. Smith discovered, on the site of Ninevah, during the years 1873-4,
cylinders belonging to the early Babylonian monarchy, (from 2500 to 1500
B. C.) which contained the legend of the flood,[101:4] and which we gave
in Chapter II. This was the foundation for the Hebrew legend, and they
learned it at the time of the Captivity.[101:5] The myth of Deucalion,
the Grecian hero, was also taken from the same source. The Greeks
learned it from the Chaldeans.
We read in Chambers's Encyclopaedia, that:
"It was at one time extensively believed, even by intelligent
scholars, that the myth of Deucalion was a corrupted
tradition of the Noachian deluge, but this untenable
opinion is now all but universally abandoned."[102:1]
This idea was abandoned after it was found that the Deucalion myth was
older than the Hebrew.
What was said in regard to the Eden story not being mentioned in other
portions of the Old Testament save in Genesis, also applies to this
story of the Deluge. Nowhere in the other books of the Old Testament
is found any reference to this story, except in Isaiah, where "the
waters of Noah" are mentioned, and in Ezekiel, where simply the name
of Noah is mentioned.
We stated in Chapter II. that some persons saw in this story an
astronomical myth. Although not generally admitted, yet there are very
strong reasons for believing this to be the case.
According to the Chaldean account--which is the oldest one
known--there were seven persons saved in the ark.[102:2] There were
also seven persons saved, according to some of the Hindoo
accounts.[102:3] That this referred to the sun, moon, and five planets
looks very probable. We have also seen that Noah was the tenth
patriarch, and Xisuthrus (who is the Chaldean hero) was the tenth
king.[102:4] Now, according to the Babylonian table, their Zodiac
contained ten gods called the "Ten Zodiac gods."[102:5] They also
believed that whenever all the planets met in the sign of Capricorn,
the whole earth was overwhelmed with a deluge of water.[102:6] The
Hindoos and other nations had a similar belief.[102:7]
It is well known that the Chaldeans were great astronomers. When
Alexander the Great conquered the city of Babylon, the Chaldean priests
boasted to the Greek philosophers, who followed his army, that they had
continued their astronomical calculations through a period of more than
forty thousand years.[102:8] Although this statement cannot be credited,
yet the great antiquity of Chaldea cannot be doubted, and its immediate
connection with Hindostan, or Egypt, is abundantly proved by the little
that is known concerning its religion, and by the few fragments that
remain of its former grandeur.
In regard to the story of "The Tower of Babel" little need be said.
This, as well as the story of the Creation and Fall of Man, and the
Deluge, was borrowed from the Babylonians.[102:9]
"It seems," says George Smith, "from the indications in the (cuneiform)
inscriptions, that there happened in the interval between 2000 and 1850
B. C. a general collection of the development of the various
traditions of the Creation, Flood, Tower of Babel, and other similar
legends." "These legends were, however, traditions before they were
committed to writing, and were common in some form to all the
The Tower of Babel, or the confusion of tongues, is nowhere alluded to
in the Old Testament outside of Genesis, where the story is related.
The next story in order is "The Trial of Abraham's Faith."
In this connection we have shown similar legends taken from Grecian
mythology, which legends may have given the idea to the writer of the
It may appear strange that the Hebrews should have been acquainted
with Grecian mythology, yet we know this was the case. The fact is
accounted for in the following manner:
Many of the Jews taken captive at the Edomite sack of Jerusalem were
sold to the Grecians,[103:2] who took them to their country. While
there, they became acquainted with Grecian legends, and when they
returned from "the Islands of the Sea"--as they called the Western
countries--they brought them to Jerusalem.[103:3]
This legend, as we stated in the chapter which treated of it, was
written at the time when the Mosaic party in Israel were endeavoring to
abolish human sacrifices and other "abominations," and the author of the
story invented it to make it appear that the Lord had abolished them in
the time of Abraham. The earliest Targum[103:4] knows nothing about
the legend, showing that the story was not in the Pentateuch at the time
this Targum was written.
We have also seen that a story written by Sanchoniathon (about B. C.
1300) of one Saturn, whom the Phenicians called Israel, bore a
resemblance to the Hebrew legend of Abraham. Now, Count de Volney
tells us that "a similar tradition prevailed among the Chaldeans,"
and that they had the history of one Zerban--which means
"rich-in-gold"[103:5]--that corresponded in many respects with the
history of Abraham.[103:6] It may, then, have been from the Chaldean
story that the Hebrew fable writer got his idea.
The next legend which we examined was that of "Jacob's Vision of the
Ladder." We claimed that it probably referred to the doctrine of the
transmigration of souls from one body into another, and also gave the
apparent reason for the invention of the story.
The next story was "The Exodus from Egypt, and Passage through the Red
Sea," in which we showed, from Egyptian history, that the Israelites
were turned out of the country on account of their uncleanness, and
that the wonderful exploits recorded of Moses were simply copies of
legends related of the sun-god Bacchus. These legends came from "the
Islands of the Sea," and came in very handy for the Hebrew fable
writers; they saved them the trouble of inventing.
We now come to the story relating to "The Receiving of the Ten
Commandments" by Moses from the Lord, on the top of a mountain, 'mid
thunders and lightnings.
All that is likely to be historical in this account, is that Moses
assembled, not, indeed, the whole of the people, but the heads of the
tribes, and gave them the code which he had prepared.[104:1] The
marvellous portion of the story was evidently copied from that related
of the law-giver Zoroaster, by the Persians, and the idea that there
were two tables of stone with the Law written thereon was evidently
taken from the story of Bacchus, the Law-giver, who had his laws
written on two tables of stone.[104:2]
The next legend treated was that of "Samson and his Exploits."
Those who, like the learned of the last century, maintain that the
Pagans copied from the Hebrews, may say that Samson was the model of all
their similar stories, but now that our ideas concerning antiquity are
enlarged, and when we know that Hercules is well known to have been the
God Sol, whose allegorical history was spread among many nations
long before the Hebrews were ever heard of, we are authorized to believe
and to say that some Jewish mythologist--for what else are their
so-called historians--composed the anecdote of Samson, by partly
disfiguring the popular traditions of the Greeks, Phenicians and
Chaldeans, and claiming that hero for his own nation.[104:3]
The Babylonian story of Izdubar, the lion-killer, who wandered to the
regions of the blessed (the Grecian Elysium), who crossed a great
waste of land (the desert of Lybia, according to the Grecian mythos),
and arrived at a region where splendid trees were laden with jewels
(the Grecian Garden of the Hesperides), is probably the foundation for
the Hercules and other corresponding myths. This conclusion is drawn
from the fact that, although the story of Hercules was known in the
island of Thasus, by the Phenician colony settled there, five
centuries before he was known in Greece,[105:1] yet its antiquity
among the Babylonians antedates that.
The age of the legends of Izdubar among the Babylonians cannot be placed
with certainty, yet, the cuneiform inscriptions relating to this hero,
which have been found, may be placed at about 2000 years B. C.[105:2]
"As these stories were traditions," says Mr. Smith, the discoverer of
the cylinders, "before they were committed to writing, their antiquity
as tradition is probably much greater than that."[105:3]
With these legends before them, the Jewish priests in Babylon had no
difficulty in arranging the story of Samson, and adding it to their
already fabulous history.
As the Rev. Dr. Isaac M. Wise remarks, in speaking of the ancient
Hebrews: "They adopted forms, terms, ideas and myths of all nations with
whom they came in contact, and, like the Greeks, in their way, cast
them all in a peculiar Jewish religious mold."
We have seen, in the chapter which treats of this legend, that it is
recorded in the book of Judges. This book was not written till after
the first set of Israelites had been carried into captivity, and perhaps
After this we have "Jonah swallowed by a Big Fish," which is the last
We saw that it was a solar myth, known to many nations of antiquity.
The writer of the book--whoever he may have been--lived in the fifth
century before Christ--after the Jews had become acquainted and had
mixed with other nations. The writer of this wholly fictitious story,
taking the prophet Jonah--who was evidently an historical personage--for
his hero, was perhaps intending to show the loving-kindness of
We have now examined all the principal Old Testament legends, and,
after what has been seen, we think that no impartial person can still
consider them historical facts. That so great a number of educated
persons still do so seems astonishing, in our way of thinking. They have
repudiated Greek and Roman mythology with disdain; why then admit with
respect the mythology of the Jews? Ought the miracles of Jehovah to
impress us more than those of Jupiter? We think not; they should all be
looked upon as relics of the past.
That Christian writers are beginning to be aroused to the idea that
another tack should be taken, differing from the old, is very evident.
This is clearly seen by the words of Prof. Richard A. Armstrong, the
translator of Dr. Knappert's "Religion of Israel" into English. In the
Preface of this work, he says:
"It appears to me to be profoundly important that the youthful
English mind should be faithfully and accurately informed of
the results of modern research into the early development of
the Israelitish religion. Deplorable and irreparable mischief
will be done to the generation, now passing into manhood and
womanhood, if their educators leave them ignorant or loosely
informed on these topics; for they will then be rudely
awakened by the enemies of Christianity from a blind and
unreasoning faith in the supernatural inspiration of the
Scriptures; and being suddenly and bluntly made aware that
Abraham, Moses, David, and the rest did not say, do, or write
what has been ascribed to them, they will fling away all care
for the venerable religion of Israel and all hope that it can
nourish their own religious life. How much happier will those
of our children and young people be who learn what is now
known of the actual origin of the Pentateuch and the Writings,
from the same lips which have taught them that the Prophets
indeed prepared the way for Jesus, and that God is indeed our
Heavenly Father. For these will, without difficulty, perceive
that God's love is none the feebler and that the Bible is no
less precious, because Moses knew nothing of the Levitical
legislation, or because it was not the warrior monarch on his
semi-barbaric throne, but some far later son of Israel, who
breathed forth the immortal hymn of faith, 'The Lord is my
Shepherd; I shall not want.'"
For the benefit of those who may think that the evidence of plagiarism
on the part of the Hebrew writers has not been sufficiently
substantiated, we will quote a few words from Prof. Max Mueller, who is
one of the best English authorities on this subject that can be
produced. In speaking of this he says:
"The opinion that the Pagan religions were mere corruptions
of the religion of the Old Testament, once supported by men of
high authority and great learning, is now as completely
surrendered as the attempts of explaining Greek and Latin as
the corruptions of Hebrew."[106:1]
Again he says:
"As soon as the ancient language and religion of India became
known in Europe it was asserted that Sanskrit, like all other
languages, was to be derived from Hebrew, and the ancient
religion of the Brahmans from the Old Testament. There was at
that time an enthusiasm among Oriental scholars, particularly
at Calcutta, and an interest for Oriental antiquities in the
public at large, of which we, in these days of apathy for
Eastern literature, can hardly form an adequate idea.
Everybody wished to be first in the field, and to bring to
light some of the treasures which were supposed to be hidden
in the sacred literature of the Brahmans. . . . No doubt the
temptation was great. No one could look down for a moment into
the rich mine of religious and mythological lore that was
suddenly opened before the eyes of scholars and theologians,
without being struck by a host of similarities, not only in
the languages, but also in the ancient traditions of the
Hindoos, the Greeks, and the Romans; and if at that time the
Greeks and Romans were still supposed to have borrowed their
language and their religion from Jewish quarters, the same
conclusion could hardly be avoided with regard to the language
and the religion of the Brahmans of India. . . .
"The student of Pagan religion as well as Christian
missionaries were bent on discovering more striking and more
startling coincidences, in order to use them in confirmation
of their favorite theory that some rays of a primeval
revelation, or some reflection of the Jewish religion, had
reached the uttermost ends of the world."[107:1]
The result of all this is summed up by Prof. Mueller as follows:
"It was the fate of all (these) pioneers, not only to be left
behind in the assault which they had planned, but to find that
many of their approaches were made in a false direction, and
had to be abandoned."[107:2]
Before closing this chapter, we shall say a few words on the religion of
Israel. It is supposed by many--in fact, we have heard it asserted by
those who should know better--that the Israelites were always
monotheists, that they worshiped One God only--Jehovah.[107:3] This
is altogether erroneous; they were not different from their
neighbors--the Heathen, so-called--in regard to their religion.
In the first place, we know that they revered and worshiped a Bull,
called Apis,[107:4] just as the ancient Egyptians did. They worshiped
the sun,[108:1] the moon,[108:2] the stars and all the host of
They worshiped fire, and kept it burning on an altar, just as the
Persians and other nations.[108:4] They worshiped stones,[108:5]
revered an oak tree,[108:6] and "bowed down" to images.[108:7] They
worshiped a "Queen of Heaven" called the goddess Astarte or Mylitta,
and "burned incense" to her.[108:8] They worshiped Baal,[108:9]
Moloch,[108:10] and Chemosh,[108:11] and offered up human sacrifices
to them,[108:12] after which in some instances, they ate the
It was during the Captivity that idolatry ceased among the
Israelites.[108:14] The Babylonian Captivity is clearly referred to in
the book of Deuteronomy, as the close of Israel's idolatry.[108:15]
There is reason to believe that the real genius of the people was first
called into full exercise, and put on its career of development at this
time; that Babylon was a forcing nursery, not a prison cell; creating
instead of stifling a nation. The astonishing outburst of intellectual
and moral energy that accompanied the return from the Babylonish
Captivity, attests the spiritual activity of that "mysterious and
momentous" time. As Prof. Goldziher says: "The intellect of Babylon
and Assyria exerted a more than passing influence on that of the
Hebrews, not merely touching it, but entering deep into it, and
leaving its own impression upon it."[108:16]
This impression we have already partly seen in the legends which they
borrowed, and it may also be seen in the religious ideas which they
The Assyrian colonies which came and occupied the land of the tribes of
Israel filled the kingdom of Samaria with the dogma of the Magi, which
very soon penetrated into the kingdom of Judah. Afterward, Jerusalem
being subjugated, the defenseless country was entered by persons of
different nationalities, who introduced their opinions, and in this way,
the religion of Israel was doubly mutilated. Besides, the priests and
great men, who were transported to Babylon, were educated in the
sciences of the Chaldeans, and imbibed, during a residence of fifty
years, nearly the whole of their theology. It was not until this time
that the dogmas of the hostile genius (Satan), the angels Michael,
Uriel, Yar, Nisan, &c., the rebel angels, the battle in heaven, the
immortality of the soul, and the resurrection, were introduced and
naturalized among the Jews.[109:1]
* * * * *
NOTE.--It is not generally known that the Jews were removed from their
own land until the time of the Babylonian Nebuchadnezzar, but there is
evidence that Jerusalem was plundered by the Edomites about 800 B. C.,
who sold some of the captive Jews to the Greeks (Joel, iii. 6). When the
captives returned to their country from "the Islands which are beyond
the sea" (Jer. xxv. 18, 22), they would naturally bring back with them
much of the Hellenic lore of their conquerors. In Isaiah (xi. 11), we
find a reference to this first captivity in the following words: "In
that day the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover
the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from
Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar,
and from Hamath, and from the Islands of the sea;" i. e., GREECE.
[89:1] See Beal: Hist. Buddha, p. 111, et seq.
[89:2] Bell's Pantheon, under "Perseus;" Knight: Ancient Art and Mytho.,
p. 178, and Bulfinch: Age of Fables, p. 161.
[90:1] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 118. Taylor's Diegesis, p. 190.
Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 19.
[90:3] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122. Dupuis: Origin of Religious
Belief, p. 174. Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 179. Higgins:
Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 19.
[90:4] Bell's Pantheon, art. "Osiris;" and Bulfinch: Age of Fable, p.
[90:5] Baring-Gould: Orig. Relig. Belief, i. 159.
[90:6] Exodus, ii.
[90:7] See Child: Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 6, and most any work on
[90:8] See Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis.
[90:9] See Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 128, note.
[90:10] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 213, 214.
[90:11] I. Samuel, xvii.
[91:1] See Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, p. 430, and Bulfinch: Age of
[91:2] Chapter xxii.
[91:3] See Smith's Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 188, et seq.
[91:4] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 323.
[91:5] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 19.
[91:6] Ibid. i. 191, and ii. 241; Franklin: Bud. & Jeynes, 174.
[91:7] Hardy: Buddhist Legends, pp. 50, 53, and 140.
[91:8] See Ibid.
[91:9] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 191.
[91:10] Ibid. p. 39.
[92:1] "Septuagint."--The Old Greek version of the Old Testament.
[92:2] "Vulgate."--The Latin version of the Old Testament.
[92:3] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. pp. 186, 187.
[92:4] The Religion of Israel, p. 9.
[92:5] Besides the many other facts which show that the Pentateuch was
not composed until long after the time of Moses and Joshua, the
following may be mentioned as examples: Gilgal, mentioned in Deut. xi.
30, was not given as the name of that place till after the entrance
into Canaan. Dan, mentioned in Genesis xiv. 14, was not so called till
long after the time of Moses. In Gen. xxxvi. 31, the beginning of the
reign of the kings over Israel is spoken of historically, an event
which did not occur before the time of Samuel. (See, for further
information, Bishop Colenso's Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. ch. v. and
[93:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 9.
[93:2] Ibid. p. 10.
[93:3] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Jews."
[93:4] The Religion of Israel, pp. 10, 11.
[94:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 11.
[94:2] See Ibid. pp. 120, 122.
[94:3] See Ibid. p. 122.
[94:4] The account of the finding of this book by Hilkiah is to be
found in II. Chronicles, ch. xxxiv.
[94:5] See Religion of Israel, pp. 124, 125.
[94:6] Ibid. p. 11.
[95:1] The Religion of Israel, pp. 186, 187.
[95:2] "Talmud."--The books containing the Jewish traditions.
[95:3] See Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Bible."
[95:4] The Religion of Israel, pp. 240, 241.
[96:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 11.
[96:2] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. ii. p. 178.
[96:3] The Religion of Israel, p. 241.
[96:4] On the strength of II. Maccabees, ii. 12.
[96:5] The Religion of Israel, p. 242.
[96:6] Ibid. p. 243.
[97:1] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Bible."
[97:3] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Akiba."
[97:4] The Religion of Israel, pp. 19, 23.
[98:1] "What is the Bible," by J. T. Sunderland. "The Bible of To-day,"
by J. W. Chadwick. "Hebrew and Christian Records," by the Rev. Dr.
Giles, 2 vols. Prof. W. R. Smith's article on "The Bible," in the last
edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Introduction to the Old
Testament," by Davidson. "The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua
Examined," by Bishop Colenso. Prof. F. W. Newman's "Hebrew Monarchy."
"The Bible for Learners" (vols. i. and ii.), by Prof. Oort and others.
"The Old Testament in the Jewish Church," by Prof. Robertson Smith, and
Kuenen's "Religion of Israel."
[98:2] Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 22, 29.
[99:1] Ibid. pp. 29, 100. Also, Assyrian Discoveries, p. 397.
[99:2] Tree and Serpent Worship, pp. 6, 7.
[99:3] Myths and Myth-Makers, p. 112.
[99:4] Draper: Religion and Science, p. 62.
[99:5] Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 328, et seq.
[100:1] Quoted by Bishop Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, iv. 283.
[100:2] "Much of the Old Testament which Christian divines, in their
ignorance of Jewish lore, have insisted on receiving and interpreting
literally, the informed Rabbis never dreamed of regarding as anything
but allegorical. The 'literalists' they called fools. The account of
the Creation was one of the portions which the unlearned were
specially forbidden to meddle with." (Greg: The Creed of Christendom, p.
[100:3] Quoted by Dupuis: Origin of Religious Belief, p. 226.
[100:4] See Ibid. p. 227.
[100:5] Quoted by Dunlap: Mysteries of Adoni, p. 176. See also, Bunsen:
Keys of St. Peter, p. 406.
[101:1] See Appendix, c.
[101:2] See Westropp & Wakes, "Phallic Worship."
[101:3] In chap. ii.
[101:4] See Assyrian Discoveries, pp. 167, 168, and Chaldean Account of
[101:5] "Upon the carrying away of the Jews to Babylon, they were
brought into contact with a flood of Iranian as well as Chaldean myths,
and adopted them without hesitation." (S. Baring-Gould; Curious Myths,
[102:1] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Deucalion."
[102:2] See chapter ii.
[102:3] Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 185, and Maurice: Indian
Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 277.
[102:4] Chapter ii.
[102:5] See Dunlap's Son of the Man, p. 153, note.
[102:6] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 254.
[102:7] See Ibid. p. 367.
[102:8] See Ibid. p. 252.
[102:9] Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, pp. 130-135, and Smith's Chaldean
Account of Genesis.
[103:1] Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 27, 28.
[103:2] See Note, p. 109.
[103:3] See Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 685.
[103:4] "Targum."--The general term for the Aramaic versions of the
[103:5] In Genesis xxiii. 2, Abraham is called rich in gold and in
[103:6] See Volney's Researches in Ancient History, pp. 144-147.
[104:1] The Religion of Israel, p. 49.
[104:2] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122. Higgins: vol. ii. p. 19.
[104:3] In claiming the "mighty man" and "lion-killer" as one of their
own race, the Jews were simply doing what other nations had done before
them. The Greeks claimed Hercules as their countryman; stated where he
was born, and showed his tomb. The Egyptians affirmed that he was born
in their country (see Tacitus, Annals, b. ii. ch. lix.), and so did
many other nations.
[105:1] See Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, pp. 92, 93.
[105:2] Chaldean Account of Genesis, pp. 168 and 174; and Assyrian
Discoveries, p. 167.
[105:3] Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 168.
[105:4] See The Religion of Israel, p. 12; and Chadwick's Bible of
To-Day, p. 55.
[105:5] See The Religion of Israel, p. 41, and Chadwick's Bible of
To-Day, p. 24.
[106:1] The Science of Religion, p. 48.
[107:1] They even claimed that one of the "lost tribes of Israel" had
found their way to America, and had taught the natives Hebrew.
[107:2] The Science of Religion, pp. 285, 292.
[107:3] "It is an assumption of the popular theology, and an almost
universal belief in the popular mind, that the Jewish nation was
selected by the Almighty to preserve and carry down to later ages a
knowledge of the One and true God--that the Patriarchs possessed this
knowledge--that Moses delivered and enforced this doctrine as the
fundamental tenet of the national creed; and that it was, in fact, the
received and distinctive dogma of the Hebrew people. This alleged
possession of the true faith by one only people, while all surrounding
tribes were lost in Polytheism, or something worse, has been adduced by
divines in general as a proof of the truth of the sacred history, and of
the divine origin of the Mosaic dispensation." (Greg: The Creed of
Christendom, p. 145.)
Even such authorities as Paley and Milman have written in this strain.
(See quotations from Paley's "Evidences of Christianity," and Dean
Milman's "History of the Jews," made by Mr. Greg in his "Creed of
Christendom," p. 145.)
[107:4] See the Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 321, vol. ii. p. 102; and
Dunlap: Mysteries of Adoni, p. 108.
[108:1] See the Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 317, 418; vol. ii. p.
301. Dunlap's Son of the Man, p. 3, and his Spirit Hist., pp. 68 and
182. Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. pp. 782, 783; and Goldziher: Hebrew
Mythol., pp. 227, 240, 242.
[108:2] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 317. Dunlap's Son of the Man,
p. 3; and Spirit Hist., p. 68. Also, Goldziher: Hebrew Mythol., p. 159.
[108:3] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 26, and 317; vol. ii. p. 301
and 328. Dunlap's Son of the Man, p. 3. Dunlap's Spirit Hist., 68;
Mysteries of Adoni, pp. xvii. and 108; and The Religion of Israel, p.
[108:4] Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, pp. 101, 102.
[108:5] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 175-178, 317, 322, 448.
[108:6] Ibid. 115.
[108:7] Ibid. i. 23, 321; ii. 102, 103, 109, 264, 274. Dunlap's Spirit
Hist., p. 108. Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. i. p. 438; vol. ii. p. 30.
[108:8] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 88, 318; vol. ii. pp. 102,
113, 300. Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. 3; and Mysteries of Adoni, p. xvii.
Mueller: The Science of Religion, p. 261.
[108:9] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 21-25, 105, 391; vol. ii.
pp. 102, 136-138. Dunlap: Son of the Man, p. 3. Mysteries of Adoni, pp.
106, 177. Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. pp. 782, 783. Bunsen: The Keys
of St. Peter, p. 91. Mueller: The Science of Religion, p. 181. Bal,
Bel or Belus was an idol of the Chaldeans and Phenicians or
Canaanites. The word Bal, in the Punic language, signifies Lord or
Master. The name Bal is often joined with some other, as Bal-berith,
Bal-peor, Bal-zephon, &c. "The Israelites made him their god, and
erected altars to him on which they offered human sacrifices," and "what
is still more unnatural, they ate of the victims they offered."
(Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. pp. 113, 114.)
[108:10] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 17, 26; vol. ii. pp. 102,
299, 300. Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, p. 110. Mueller: The Science of
Religion, p. 285. Moloch was a god of the Ammonites, also worshiped
among the Israelites. Solomon built a temple to him, on the Mount of
Olives, and human sacrifices were offered to him. (Bell's Pantheon,
vol. ii. pp. 84, 85.)
[108:11] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 153; vol. ii. pp. 71, 83,
125. Smith's Bible Dictionary art. "Chemosh."
[108:12] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. pp. 26, 117, 148, 319, 320;
vol. ii. pp. 16, 17, 299, 300. Dunlap's Spirit Hist., pp. 108, 222.
Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. pp. 100, 101. Mueller: Science of
Religion, p. 261. Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. 113, 114; vol. ii. 84, 85.
[108:13] See note 9 above.
[108:14] See Bunsen: Keys of St. Peter, 291.
[108:15] Ibid. p. 27.
[108:16] Goldziher: Hebrew Mythology, p. 319
[109:1] The Talmud of Jerusalem expressly states that the names of the
angels and the months, such as Gabriel, Michael, Yar, Nisan, &c., came
from Babylon with the Jews. (Goldziher, p. 319.) "There is no trace of
the doctrine of Angels in the Hebrew Scriptures composed or written
before the exile." (Bunsen: The Angel Messiah, p. 285) "The Jews
adopted, during the Captivity, the idea of angels, Michael, Raphael,
Uriel, Gabriel," &c. (Knight: Ancient Art and Mythology, p. 54.) See,
for further information on this subject, Dr. Knappert's "Religion of
Israel," or Prof. Kuenen's "Religion of Israel."
Next: The Miraculous Birth Of Christ Jesus