Genesis 22:22: a son of Nachor.

The name means "weeping", from the root Dalaph (דלף).

When it suits the scholars and translators, they treat names beginning with a Yud (י) as having god links - as for example Ye'ush (יעוש) = "whom god hastens" or Jonathan (יונתן) = "whom god gave". But when it does not suit them, they treat the Yud prefix as being the 3rd person singular of the future tense, as here, Yidlaph = "he will weep". What we need is a paradigm from which to establish some consistency, even if full agreement is not practicable. Are these names god-linked or not? Yes or no. The evidence is in the affirmative, and we should therefore treat Yidlaph as Yah-Dalaph (יה-דלף), and recognise him, or rather her, as the weeping goddess whom we have already encountered at Alon-Bachot (אלון בחות), the deity of the weeping willow and the weeping oak, known at Alon-Bachot as Devorah, the bee-goddess, because these weeping trees were deliberately planted in the ancient world as grief-trees above the catacombs and tumuli in which the dead were buried, and all those ancient mounds were beehive-tombs.

Why would Yidlaph be a son of Nachor - or should it now read daughter? Because Nachor was the river-god of the Tigris and Euphrates, and his waters would have watered the oasis in which the tree grew. The relationship is more geographic than familial.

What is most fascinating about this alternate (improved?) reading, is that the bee-hive tomb that affords its bee-goddess deity, as well as the skull buried in or under the sacred tree and through which oracles are given, and the sacred grove itself - every deducible detail of the ancient shrine bears a perfect resemblance to that most famous of all Greek oracular shrines, which just happens to be named - Delphi.

It is even more interesting to go back now to the book of Ester (Esther), and discover that Haman - Chaman/חמן = a stone idol of sun-worship - also named his son Dalphon (דלפון). Recognising thereby that Ester (עסתר) is Ishtar the moon and mother goddess, that Mordechai (מרדכי) is Marduk the sun-god, that a Haman was an icon of the sun-god long before he entered the Purim story ("And I will destroy your high places, and cut down your sun-pillars [chamaneychem], and cast your carcasses upon the carcasses of your idols; and My soul shall abhor you." Leviticus 26:30), and that the whole of that tale is an adaptation of the most ancient version of the New Year Creation myth in ancient Persia.

In the Greek myth, Poseidon married the Nereid Amphitrite only after his messenger, Delphinus, successfully wooed her; as a reward for which Delphinus' image was placed among the stars as the constellation the Dolphin, one of the 48 constellations listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy, and now number 69 (the order is by size) on the list of 88 constellations recognized by the International Astronomical Union. The Chinese call it "The Black Tortoise of the North". Like Nachor, Poseidon was a water-god. The relationship of Dalphon to Haman is likewise that of star to sun, and in the original form so is the relationship of Mordechai (the god) to Haman (the idol). Can we then see in Yidlaph the constellation of the Dolphin, which in Hebrew bears the identical name phonetically (דולפין)?

Nereis and Amphitrite were synonyms or local names for the moon-goddess (i.e. Ishtar); Amphitrite in fact means "the third element", which to the Greeks was the sea, but the moon-goddess came in three age-forms as well, virgin, mother and crone. Interestingly her children by Poseidon were Triton, the new moon, Rhode, the full harvest-moon, and Benthesicyme, the dangerous old-moon, thereby reflecting the three age-forms through her "children". In the Hebrew version Nachor's other known child is Milkah (literally "the Queen of Heaven"; i.e. Ishtar by her epithet), whom he then married. Milkah is elsewhere given as the daughter of Nachor's "brother" Haran, and Haran inhabited the principal moon-shrine on the river Tigris, so we can recognise the two Milkahs as the same moon-goddess; and of course Haran resurfaces as Aaron (Aharon/אהרון) in the Moshe stories; Haroun in the Arabic pronunciation. In the same way the daughters of al-Lah - al-Lat, al-Uzah and Manat - make manifest the three phases of the moon, and the Three Graces of Christianity likewise. The same threesome recurs throughout modern "fairy stories" - which are generally the reductions of the ancient moon-goddess myths - as Cinderella and her two step-sisters, as Cordelia, Regan and Goneril in Lear, and with the full moon left out and only the waxing and waning moons still present in Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, the Snow Queen et cetera. The Three Graces represent a Christian variation of the same original.

But then it becomes even more interesting still. The shrine at Delphi was dedicated to Apollo, Zeus' son by Leto - who they also named Lat or Lot (daughter of Phoebe/the moon and Coeus/intelligence), a fertility-goddess of the date-palm and the olive who later became Latona in Italy, but who began life, according to Greek authorities, in southern Canaan. Apollo was reared on nectar and ambrosia - the produce of the date and of the honeycomb, both requiring bees to make them. It was Apollo's battle with Python that led to the founding of Delphi: the Cosmic Snake, Tiamat or Tahamat - which to the Persians was the form taken by Marduk when he made the world - fled there in defeat, seeking refuge with his mate Delphyne, who lived there. He became the oracle, Delphyne the priestess of the shrine. Its ruling deity was Hera, the principle wife of Zeus - the Greek equivalent of Ishtar. Regional variations, dialect variations – but always the same story!

And if this still doesn't convince you of the trans-cultural links between all the ancient cultures, then try this. After Zeus destroyed the giants, Mother Earth (Chava, Eve, Hera) lay with Tartarus the Titan and gave birth to Typhon, the greatest monster of them all. Typhon wrestled with Zeus, and tore out the sinews of his hands and feet, immobilising him. He then hid the sinews in a bear-skin, which he gave to Delphyne to guard. The other gods took fright and came to his rescue, Pan distracting Delphyne while another seized the bear-skin; Hermes then sewed back the sinews and freed Zeus. Who was that other? No less a person than Cadmus, King of Thebes, whose daughter bore Dionysus to Zeus. In the Hebrew legends Cadmus is Kedem (קדם), a Canaanite tribe mentioned in Genesis 15:19 - though see the notes for some skepticism about this. In Genesis 25:15 he is a son of Yishma-El, and it was precisely the Beney Yishma-El who inhabited that region of southern Kena'an where the Lot stories (and later in Islam the al-Lat stories) reside [see the notes to Kadmonim]. Graves argues (Greek Myths p135) that Typhon is in fact an error for Python, and points out that in Egypt both Python and Typhon are called Set, the killer of Osher (Osiris) and a frequent inhabitant of these notes.

Copyright © 2015 David Prashker
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