Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

the moon," which was also a generative principle: she was Venus, who, we are told, was worshipped amongst the Syrian nations as the Mater Deum. These two were, therefore, Dionysus and Proserpine. And we learn from Herodotus, that the only deities worshipped by the Arabians were Dionysus and Urania, whom they called in their own language Urotalt and Alilat;- the latter of which was Aphrodite, the Assyrian Mylitta, and the Persian Mithra.5 Selden finds her name in the Alcoran. In the sacred writings, also, Baal and Astaroth [Astarte) are coupled together.7

'Ενι δε και αλλο Γερον εν Φοινικη μεγα, το Σιδονιοι εχουσιν ως μεν αυτοι λεγουσι, Ασταρτης εστι. Ασταρτην δ' εγω δοκεω Σεληναιων εμμεναι. Lucian. de Dea Syr. p. 657. Edit. Variorum.

2 “Quarta Venus Syria Tyroque concepta, quæ Astarte vocatur." Cic. de Nat. Deor. lib. iii.-Ασταρτη, η παρ' Έλλησι Αφροδιτη λεγομενη. Suidas in Ασταρτη.Annoi de TOUTO TOV Agtaptny, nyovv A podctnv. Procopius, in 2 Reg. c. xvii.Plutarch, speaking of the Syrian goddess worshipped at Hierapolis, says, oi jev Αφροδιτης, οι δε Ηραν, οι δε την αρχας και σπερματα πασιν εξ υγρων παρασχουσαν altlav kai puoly Vouicovor. Plut. in vit. Cras.

3 Οι περι τας χωρας ταυτας, σεβoυσι μεν ως επι παν την Αφροδιτης ως Μητερα Θεων, ποικιλους και εγχωριοις ονομασι προσαγορευοντες. Ptolemeus, Tetrabibl. lib. ii.

4 Διονυσον δε Θεον μουνον και την ουρανιην ηγεονται ειναι. Ουνομαζουσι δε τον μεν Διονυσον, Ουροταλτ' την δε Ουρανιην, Αλιλατ. Herod. lib. iii. p. 185.

5 Επιμεμαθηκασι δε και τη Ουρανιη θυειν, παρα τε Ασσυριων μαθοντες και Αραβιων καλέoυσι δε Ασσυριοι την Αφροδιτην Μυλιττα: Αραβιοι δε Αλιττα: Περσαι δε ΜιTpav. Herod. lib. i. p. 62.-Muantav, tnv Oupaviav Acouplot. Hesychius.

6 Sed vero inter Arabum numina, quæ, ut fit, currente seculo, numerosiora faere, habemus etiam in Alcorano quod ad Herodoti Alyttam propius accedit

. Id est, Alleth, Lath, seu Alletto. Azoara Ixiii., in versione Retinensis; An tribus imuginibus visis, videlicet Alletto, Alance, Meneth, masculos Deoque fæminas adscribitis?

, Allat, seu Alletto, et Aluze et Meneth tertiam aliam? Vobisne (hæc] mares et Deo fæminæ ?-Selden, de Diis Syris, Syntag. ii. c. 2. p. 254. Ed. Elzevir. Allat is also mentioned by Abul Faragius; see also Pococke’s notes on the passage in his Spec. Hist. Arab.

? " , Baal and Ashtaroth.” Jud. ii. 13. Conf. X. 6.-Oibyan-nx 5872" 2174044

? “ Then the children of Israel did put away Baalim and Ashtaroth.” 1 Sam. vii. 4.--And, by the way, from these observations we may deduce the true interpretation of the word nvx as connected with Baal. The modern versions, following the Septuagint and Vulgate, interpret it a grove. Now I am inclined to think that it has no where such a signification. The versions to which we must look for the best information on this subject, as they have not followed the Greek or any other version, are the Chaldee, the Syriac, and the Arabic. The Chaldee version almost always interprets the words in its various forms by XiyVx, xn7wx, and the like, which Walton translates, after the other translators from the Hebrew, lucos ; but which are only the Hebrew words in a Chaldee form, and bear therefore the same meaning. The Syriac and Arabic, in every place that I have looked, except when they render it as a proper name, interpret

افرايتم اللات والعزي ومنات :In Arabico vero legitar

الكم الذكر وله الانثي uod sonat , Vidistisو الثالثة الاخري *

And they forgook the Lord , and served * ויעזבו את-יהוה ויעבדו לבעל ולעשתרות *

ואת העשתרת

it, the former, by Asw! numina, idola ; the latter, by plisl idola, simulacra.

I will now hasten to conclude. If I were inclined, I could

The very mode in which lexicographers account for the word signifying a grove, is exceedingly absurd : it is given as a derivative from the root yox beavit, beatum, felicem prædicavit. "AYVx f. (says Buxtorf.) Lucus, sic dictus, quod homines beatitatem in eo, utpote sacro et religioso, quærerent, aut per antiphrasin, quasi minime beatus, ut Latine Lucus quasi minime lucidus." This word is never used but in connexion with Baal or other idols, or idolatrous practices. The words in other places rendered in English by wood, or grove, or forest, are: 7. Deut. xix. 5. Josh. xix. 8. 1 Sam. xiv. 25. xvii. 5. xxiii. 15, 16. 18. 2 Sam. xviii. 6. 8. 2 Kings ii. 24. Ps. lxxx. 13. Is. X. 18. Jer. v. 6. Ezek. xxxiii. 15. xxxiv. 25. Micah vii. 14.-50x Gen. xxi. 33.-Von 1 Sam. xxiii. 15, 16. 18, 19. 2 Chron. xxvii. 4. I consider, therefore, that nwwx is but another way of writing ninvy, and that it ought to be rendered the same. And in the time of Procopius, it appears to have been understood as such by those acquainted with the Hebrew: for he observes on 2 Kings xvii. tartaxou to adoos of OLTOL AOταρωθ ερμηνευουσιν and at c. 7. το δε αλσος οι λοιποι Ασηρωθ [i. e. nowΝ] η Ασταpal [i. e. nynvy] Špunuevovou TNU Aoraptov Onao.-In Jud. iii. 7. accordingly, where we find, " they served 19vxnnxi Dibyaltonx Baalim and the groves, τοις Βααλιμ και τοις αλσεσι, codices collated by Kennicott and De Rossi have miinwyn, and the Vulgate translates it servientes Baalim et Astaroth: the Syriac, too, bas 1234@UO US 1: yet the Chaldee has x770x5 bya; and the Arabic is Baúl et Ascrah. I think, therefore, that the common reading is the best, and that the other has crept in as a gloss to explain it; and I would translate it “ Baal's and Astarte's,” or rather“ images of Baal and of Astarte :” ayanuata tys Aotapons, as Aquila justly rendered the plural noun.-In Jud. ii. 13. where the Hebrew has 779nwybi byas, the English and Vulgate “Baal and Ashtaroth,” and the Greek τφ Βααλ και τοις Ασταρταις, the Syriac and Arabic translate it the same as the former. Conf. 2 Kings xvii. 16. xxiii. 6. in the Greek, Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac, and Arabic.-In 1 Sam. vii. 3. "put away nindueni daginn the strange gods and Ashtaroth,” the Greek has περιελετε θεους αλλοτριους εκ μεσου tuwv, kai ta adon; and in 1 Sam. xii. 10.“ we have forsaken the Lord, and have

--Baalim ,” τοις Βααλιμ και τους addeol; and in 1 Sam. vii. 4. for “monuyo-ngi Dibyan-nx Baalim and Ashtaroth,” Tas Baaripi kal ta aron Aotapwl; and, on the other hand, we find nivx translated by A Taptn, 2 Chron. xv. 16; “ And also concerning Maachah, the mother of Asa the king, he removed her from being queen, because she had made an idol in a grove; and Asa cut down her idol, and stamped it, and burnt it at the brook Kidron ;” και την Μααχα την μητερα αυτου μετεστησε του μη ειναι τη Ασταρτη λειτουργουσαν, και μετεκοψε το ειδωλον, κ. τ. λ.: the Chaldee and Arabic inter pret it, quod festum celebrasset idolis suis. It should therefore be translated an idol or image of Astarte. Again, Deut. vii. 5. “ And serves groves and idols,”

yyn"ΠΝΟ ΟΝΟΠΝ, και εδουλευον ταις Ασταρταις και τους ειδωλοις. The Greek interpreters themselves, therefore, understood the two words as synonymous. The expression in the latter part of the sentence is the same as is used in other places in relation to 7770x when translated a grove: conf. Deut. vii. 6. xii. 3. Exod. xxxiv. 13. 2 Kings xxiii. 5, 6. Baal and Astarte, as the sun and moon, were the leaders of the host of heaven. Thus, 2 Kings xxi. 3. reared up altars for Baal, and made anvx a grove-ta alon-Chald. x970properly Astarte, i. e. an image of her ; as did Ahab, king of Israel ; and worshipped all the host of heaven. 7. And he set a graven image of the grove that he had made in the house ;” TO JAUTTov Tov adgovs, idolum luci, Vulgate. This is

9

9

" And he

absurd. The Hebrew is own 105-nx. The Syriac 145x?o Hosi samo

pursue the analogy by showing that the same worship was not only universally spread over the old world, but that it was even the religion of the new. I will add one observation. The ancients continually speak of Dionysus as an Indian deity; and in that country we find remains not only of the Eleusinian or Egyptian rites, but of the Priapeia and the worship of the phallus or lingam.' In proof of this, I refer my readers to the descriptions of the caverus at Elephanta and Elora, in Maurice and other authors.

We know, from Bryant, that our great progenitor, as well as

وخعر

We find in the Syriac version הבעל אשר לאביך ואת־האשרה אשר עליו תכרת: Acerte gram Baal !ܟܠܠܐ ܟܬܦܕܗ ܕܐܟܩܙ. ܘܐܣܬܪܐ ܕܩܝܡܙܠܠܘܗܝ. ܦܤܩ

præterea simulacra et idola.—The Arabic, &c. idolum quod ipse adorabat. The Hebrew should be translated, a graven image of Astarte. Conf. 2 Kings c. xxiii. v. 5, 6. In Judg. c. vi. v. 25. we have, “and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it”-7a1a-nix :

! : aram idoli patris tui, Estheram illi superpositam excide. In the Arabic version it is, Asira idolo feminino.—The Chaldee xnqwx. In 1 Kings xviii. 19. “The prophets byan of Baal, and the prophets nyvx7 of Astarte.” The Greek translates byán by TNS aloxums.-As, when we find mention made of Baal and the idols or images, we must understand the idols or images as referring to Astarte; so, when we find Astarte nonwyn or JIW87, coupled with other idols, we must understand the latter as referring to Baal. Thus, Isa. xxvii. 9. “ The groves [leg. the images of As. tarte) and the images [i. e. of Baal, &c.] shall not stand up :" Dani o'928 1927-xb. Conf. 1 Sam. vii. 3. Deut. xii. 3. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 19. Isa. xvii. 8. Deut. xvi. 21. Exod. xxxiv. 14. In 2 Kings xvii. 10. “ And they set them up d'ivxt Diarn images and groves, otnias kal aron. in every high hill and under every green tree,” according to the common version is nonsense : it should be understood as images (of Baal] and [images of] Astarte. Compare 1 Kings xiv. 23. Jer. xvii. 2. I do not know one passage in which the word occurs where it must not be understood of, and would not be better translated, Aslarte. Conf. Deut. xvi. 21. 1 Kings xvi. 32, 33. 2 Kings xiii. 16. xvii. 16. xxiii. 4. 6. 2 Chron. xxxiii. 3. Judg. vi. 15. 2 Kings xiii. 4. 1 Kings xiv. 15. 2 Kings xviii. 4. xxiv. 14. 2 Chron. xxxiv, 3, 4. xiv. 3. xvii. 6. xix. 3. xxxi. 1. xxxiii. 19. Isa. xvii. 8. Micah v. 14. Judg. x. 6. 1 Kings xi. 5.—In 2 Kings xxiii. 7. these words occur :

' -. the English version : And he brake down the houses of the Sodomites that were by the house of the Lord, where the women wove hangings for the grove.” (or for Astarte.] For Ovipa, the Greek has twv kaồnoiu, the Vulgate effoeminatorum. The same word occurs in 1 Kings xv. 12. where the Vatican edition of the Septuagint translates it teleras, and the Complut. TETEREOLEVous: conf. xxii. 46. and in Hos. iv. 14. the fein. noun is translated in the Complut. Vat. and Alexandr. by τετελεσμενων. Parkhurst says that it means a prostitute, male or female. Buxtorf observes on the word,“ tp m. meritorius, cinædus, qui se prostituit, et quasi consecrat libidini.” It has probably a reference to the rites of Astarte, or Mylitta, (see Herodotus] of Venus, Persephone, and Cybele, or the Magna Mater and these ovipoy were the Galli, concerning whom see Lucian, de Dea Syria.

It is remarkable that the same word is in use amongst the people of the Tonga islands, where lingha signifies pudendum virile. See the Vocabulary appended to Mariner's “ Account.”

In .ויתץ את בתי הקדשים אשר בבית יהוה אשר הנשים ארגות שם כתים לאשרה

[ocr errors]

Noah, the regenerator, were characterised in the Egyptian theology under the hieroglyphical figure of a bull. Bryant has given us two prayers of the Parsees, taken from the Zendavesta, which may be compared with the foregoing observations. The first is the Néaesch de la Lune. “ Je prie Ormusd, je prie Amschaspands,' je prie la Lune, qui garde la semence du Taureau ; je prie en regardant en haut, je prie en regardant en bas,-que la Lune ne soit favorable, elle, qui conserve la semence du Taureau ; qui a été créé unique, et dont sont venus des animaux de beaucoup d'espèces: je lui fais izeschné, et néaesch," &c.“Lorsque la lumière de la Lune répand la chaleur, elle fait croitre les arbres de couleur d'or; elle multiplie la verdure sur la terre avec la nouvelle Lune, avec la pleine Lune viennent toutes les productiors,” &c. The other is A Prayer to the Sacred Bull;2 under the character of which we recognise the Egyptian deity, in his threefold reference to the first father of all, to the regenerative personage, and to the future saviour and author of regeneration. The bull is first addressed: “ Adressez votre prière au Taureau excellent : adressez votre prière au Taureau pur : adressez votre prière à ces principes de tout bien : adressez votre prière à la pluie, source d'abondance : adressez votre prière au Taureau devenu pur, céleste, saint, qui n'as pas été engendré; qui est saint.” Mention is next made of the evil principle, that had filled the world with desolation: “Lorsque Djé

· Les sept premières Esprits célestes.

? It is very remarkable that Bacchus or Dionysus amongst the Greeks was also represented as tauriform. The authorities on which this observation are grounded are thus given by the learned Bochart : (Chanaan, lib. i. c. 18. p. 479.)." Idem Bacchus in Euripide describitur taupouoppos, tauriformis. De eo enim sic Pentheus in Bacchis vers. 918.

Και ταυρος ημιν προσθεν ηγεισθαι δοκεις: •

Et nos videris taurus antecedere. Et paulo post :

Αλλ' η ποτ' ησθα θηρ; τεταυρωσαι γαρ ουν"

Tune fera factus ? tauri enim speciem geris. Ita apud Lycophronem :

Ταυρω κρυφαιας χερνιβας καταρζεται:

Arcana Tauro is offeret libamina. Tauro, id est Baccho, ut interpretatur Scholiastes, pag. 42. et 43. Et in Elide mulieres hunc hymnum Βaccho accinebant: Ελθειν ηρω Διονυσε άλιον ες ναον άγνον, συν Χαριτεσσιν ες ναον, τη βοεφ ποδι θυων, αξιε ταυρε, αξιε ταυρε: Veni, heros Βacche, in sacrum fanum maritinum, cum Gratiis in templum bubulo pede ruens, digne taure, digne taure. Plutarch. in Hellen. q. 36.” But I think that Bochart has not been very happy in his mode of explaining it. “Quia verus in Scriptura Deus sæpe vocatur non abbir voce homonyma quæ et potentem significat taurum. Frustra se fatigant Plutarchus et Isacius in Lycophronem ut hujus appellationis alias causas comminiscantur.”

ravage le monde, lorsque l'impur Aschmogh affoiblit l'homme, qui lui est dévoué, l'eau se répand en haut : elle coule en bas en abondance, cette eau se résout en mille, en dix mille pluies. Je vous le dis, ô pur Zoroastre, que l'envie, que la mort soit sur la terre : l'eau frappe l'envie, qui est sur la terre : elle frappe la mort, qui est sur la terre. Que le Dew Djé se multiplie; si c'est au lever du soleil, qu'il désole le monde, la pluie remet tout dans l'ordre, lorsque le jour est pur.—Si c'est la nuit, que Djé désole le monde, la pluie rétablit tout au (gâh) Oschen, Elle tombe en abondance: alors l'eau se renouvelle; la terre se renouvelle; les arbres se renouvellent; la santé se renouvelle; ce qui donne la santé, se renouvelle.” We are next told of the destruction of the evil principle, the serpent : “ Lorsque l'eau se répand dans le fleuve Voorokesché, &c.—ce cruel Djé, maître de magie, s'elève avec empire; il veut exercer sa violence ; mais la pluie éloigne Ascheré; éloigne Eghoüere, elle éloigne Eghranm, &c. elle éloigne l'envie, elle éloigne la mort; elle éloigne la Couleuvre ; elle éloigne le mensonge ; elle éloigne la méchanceté, la corruption, et l'impureté, qu'Ahriman a produites dans les corps des hommes.” In another part of the Zendavesta mention is made of the serpent : “Ormusd, le juste juge, dit à Nérioseugh: après avoir fait ce lieu pur, dont l'éclat se montroit au loin, je marchois dans ma grandeur; alors la Couleuvre m'apperçut : alors cette Couleuvre, cette Ahriman, plein de mort, produisit abondamment contre moi, neuf, neuf" fois neuf, neuf cens, neuf mille, quatre-vingt-dix mille envies.” Bryant says, It is to be observed also that there were two persons alluded to under the same character, called in the Zendavesta l'Homme Taureau; both of whom were looked on as the authors of the human race. It is probable that the like was intended in the Apis and Mneuis of Egypt; and that in these characteristics there was originally a twofold reference. By the former was perhaps signified our great progenitor, from whom all mankind has been derived: by the other was denoted the patriarch in whom the world was renewed.”

Novel as the foregoing theory may appear, I think few can, after a mature consideration, doubt its general truth. The mysteries were intended amongst the gentile nations to supply the place of the sacred histories amongst the Jews; but their intent was soon lost, as that also of the Jewish histories would doubtlessly have been, had it not been preserved by a particular providence. They were intended to record the history of the infant world, of the means by which mortality was introduced on the earth, and the promise of a future salvation from the con

« FöregåendeFortsätt »