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YHVH (Yahweh, Jehovah)
The notes that follow are still in process of preparation.
[Need to work out the roots for YHVH and differentiate him/them/it from Elohim. Was Mosheh's YHVH really Egyptian Yahu? What are the connections between Yahu and Hitite Yah, Phoenician/Greek Io]
YHVH is frequently identified with specific mountains. For Chorev (Horeb), which is also known in the Tanach as Mount Sinai and Mount Paran, see TheBibleNet commentaries on the Book of Exodus. By the time of Yesha-Yahu (Isaiah) and the other prophets he has moved to Mount Tsi'on (transported there in a special Ark, the Mishkan, constructed by Betsal-El in the desert, held for many years at Beit-El, then at Shiloh (שִׁילֹה), briefly abducted by the Pelishtim, recovered and kept safe at Kiryat Ye'arim, and finally, at the second attempt, moved to Yerushalayim by King David).
Post-Mosheh, he is frequently associated with Mount Tavor (Tabor) - e.g. Judges 4:6 ff in the Yehudit, but more often in the Christian, where it is believed to be the site of the transfiguration; cf Matthew 17:1-9; Mark 9: 2-8, Luke 9:28-36 - which was named for Atabyrius, the son of Eurynome and the grandson of Proteus; there is also a Mount Atabyriaon the Greek island of Rhodos,with a shrine to him built by his mother Althaea (also known as Eurynome), the Orphic moon-goddess and lover of Dionysus with whom she begat Dianeira the betrayer of Hercules. A knowledge of Orpheus is essential to an understanding of King David, because the two are essentially parallels, both players of the lyre, both authors of the central poetry of their people, both regarded in some way as Prophets, or at least as the precursors of Prophets, both journeyers through the Underworld, Hades in Orpheus' story, She'ol in David's, depicted in his pursuit there by the Underworld god Sha'ul. King David's star, like the star that Orpheus received from the nine Muses, is Lyra, known in Yehudit as Oreph.
Brazen bulls were dedicated to Atabyrius at Rhodos in ceremonies identical to those of the brazen bull of King Minos made for him by Daedalus. The golden calf of Mount Chorev (Exodus 32) was presumably another such. Tavor probably became one of YHVH's shrines at the time of King David, when the cult of the Beney Yisra-El began to be centralised, most other local cults being absorbed and their god-names likewise. Robert Graves links YHVH with Dionysus the Dana'an white bull-god, and with Dionysus Sabazius, the barley-god of Thrace and Phyrgia, but this is probably a mistake resulting from mis-reading Sabazius as a variant of Sabbath or Saba'oth (Tseva'ot in Yehudit = "the hosts of the heavens" or the zodiacal constellations). Nonetheless he is not entirely wrong, because Sabazian Zeus and Dionysus were two names for the same son of Rhea who the Phyrgians called Attis (they also called Rhea Cybele), the Syrians Adonis and the Jerusalemites Tammuz.
The brazen serpent which Mosheh called Nechushtan was sacred to him; Chizki-Yahu (Hezekiah) destroyed it because he said it was idolatrous, in that incense was burned to it (2 Kings 18:4). The bull was sacred to Dionysus because he was the first to yoke oxen to the plough for agriculture.
Sabazius was torn in seven pieces by the Titans; seven was YHVH's sacred number; Cretan Zagreus was likewise torn in seven pieces (whereas Osher was torn into fourteen). Dionysus Sabazius may thus have been a Greek name for the original god of Passover, while Dionysus Liber served in the same way for Tabernacles (Sukot).
On this reading, YHVH becomes a barley-god, at Pesach (Passover) time and elsewhere; this is correct up to the point that the fertility god or goddess is the deity for all vegetation that comes out of the womb of earth, be it in the form of barley or corn, palm or oak trees, rose bushes or bulrushes.
A 5thcentury BCE silver coin found near Aza (Gaza) has YHVH in a winged chariot on one side and a bearded Dionysus on the other; the location suggests that the coin more likely belonged to the Pelishtim than the Beney Yisra-El; given that the Pelishtim were of Cretan origins, and given the further connection between the tribe of Dan and the Greek Dana'ans, these cross-fertilisations between the culture of Kena'an and that of Ionia should not surprise us.
In addition to Chorev and Tavor, YHVH has "theophanies" at Mounts Moreh, Chevron and Ophrah (the term "mount" on each of these occasions may be Biblical hyperbole; there are low hills in each location; but "high ground" is "high ground" when raising a shrine to a sky-god!) in the form of the terebinth-god Bel, who is also the god of Thursday. At Mount Karm-El (Carmel), to use the equivalent Greek terminology for a moment, Chronos of Saturday defeats Bel of Thursday (1 Kings 18). In Egypt YHVH is Set of Sunday; this is important to note in relation to King Sha'ul, who was clearly a worshipper of the donkey-god Set (several references between 1 Samuel 9 and 12). At Sukot he is the Monday god. As El of the scarlet oak he is Tuesday. The menorah links all of these into a single week, but clearly YHVH in his final, monotheistic form is an amalgamation of several deities from the era of polytheism, all ultimately identified with the Omnideity.
Yahu appears in Egypt (mid 3rd millennium BCE) as a title of Set. This is also the origin of the Greek name Iacchus, who is Dionysus Lysius the wine god in the Greek mysteries (the Dionysus Liber of Sukot is also known as Dionysus Lysius, "he who frees from guilt").
In Sumerian Yah means "exalted" and "Hu" means dove; as does the Egyptian hieroglyph Hu. This may be the source of the confusion in the Tanach, and especially in later Judaism, over whether the Yah of the Psalms (as in Hallelu-Yah = "let us praise Yah") is a male or a female deity.
The moon-goddess of Kena'an was worshiped with doves like her counterparts in Egyptian Thebes, Dodona, Hierapolis, Crete and Cyprus.
Jesus' goddess-mother is also associated with the dove, as was No'ach.
Yah was also worshiped with cow's horns as Hat-Hor, Isis and Ashterot Karnayim; and as such is reflected in Le'ah, the first wife of Ya'akov.
One of the epithets of Isis is "she who weeps", because the moon scatters dew, and because Isis as mater dolorosa wept for Osher (Osiris) when Set killed him: the name connects with Mor-Yah - "the bitter tears of Yah" - which is Mount Mor-Yah, adjacent to Mount Tsi'on in Yeru-Shalayim and the site of King Shelomoh's Temple; it was there that the women wept for Tammuz at the north gate of the Temple (Ezekiel 8:14), and where Mother Mary wept for Jesus on Calvary. The golden moon-cow Io was her original form, and we have to presume from his name - Yedid-Yah - that the ever-dying ever-reborn son of Io and Ephron would have been named David, with the original Psalms as the liturgy of Chevron. Yahu thus combines the exalted dove and cow, both of which are feminine, both of which encourage the conclusion that Egyptian Yahu, like the Beney Yisra-El, was a late masculinisation. Plutarch says that the mid-winter rites included Isis as a golden moon-cow (another version of Aharon's golden calf) circling the coffin of Osiris seven times to commemorate the seven months from solstice to solstice: the same circumambulation that we find when Yehoshu'a besieges Yericho, when a Hajji makes pilgrimage to Mecca, when a bride stands under the canopy with her groom, and during the hakaphot of Simchat Torah. An orgiastic oak-cult connected to the dove-goddess took place at the summer solstice. Thus Yah[u] rules the whole solar year as moon-goddess. Set claimed such a title, but the child Horus overcame Set each year and assumed the title. Horus is Cretan Dionysus (later Iacchus) and Canaanite Bel (known in Egypt as Yahu-Bel). Are Welsh Hu Gadarn and Guernsey Har Hou variants of this? Most probably.
YHVH as Yahu thus also rules the solar year as a combination of Set, Osiris and Horus (Horus was also known as Egli-Yahu, the cow-Yahu; and it is clearly Horus whom Aharon was worshipping when he built the Golden Calf).
When the dove descends on Jesus' baptism, this reflects the coronation of the Pharaohs with the descent of the sun-god Ra in form of a hawk.
Numbers 19 has red heifer sacrifices (see Numbers 19); Leviticus 14 has various kinds of birds used for different sacrifices. In 14:2 the generic term Tsiparim (צִפֳּרִים) is used for the leprosy-cleaning rites, interesting only because Mosheh's wife is name Tsiporah (צִפֹּרָה), from the same root, and Mir-Yam, his sister, will later be stricken with leprosy (Numbers 12). Verse 22 infers that a less-than-common bird would have been used, as it now allows a poor man to bring two turtle-doves (shtey torim - שְׁתֵּי תֹרִים) or two pigeons (shney beney yonah - שְׁנֵי בְּנֵי יוֹנָה) instead.
The willow was the key to YHVH worship in Yeru-Shalayim, especially at Sukot, a fire and water ceremony also called the Day of Willows. I have a decades-old note that tells me that in Yehudit the willow and the alder are regarded as the same; I am not convinced by this; in my dictionary the willow is the Aravah - עֲרָבָה - and the alder the Almon - אַלְמוֹן. The purple osier, the same note continues, (references of this sort must be from Robert Graves; probably "The White Goddess") was used in the lulav; quince (aspargal - אַסְפַּרְגֵל) and willow were carried during the feast. The alder was also used in the rites of Astarte and her son the fire-god; they were therefore banned at Sukot. The lulav originated in the Canaanite tabernacle ceremonies. Bel defeated Belili and became the supreme lord of the universe, establishing a patriarchy where a matriarchy had previously ruled, making himself god of light, father of both sun and moon gods and creator-god. Marduk later made the same claims and the two became one, Bel taking on Marduk's godhood of spring and thunder as well. The Phoenicians took this god up and brought him to Europe. Beli was originally a willow god but added light.
The seven days of creation = seven days of the week and are linked to gods of the seven days (which also explains some of the oddities on the tale, such as Light being created on the first day, but the light-givers only on the fourth): Sun = Light; Moon = division of waters; Mars = Dry land, pasture and trees; Mercury = heavenly bodies and seasons because god of astronomy); Jupiter = sea beasts and birds; Venus = land beasts man and woman; Saturn = repose. The Genesis story was obviously written later and with due deference to the gods. The 5th day makes sense as the day of the creation of the birds because the god of the oak cult is a son of the sea-goddess to whom the dove, eagle etc are sacred; he himself takes the form of the sea-beast Tahamat. "Go forth and multiply" likewise belongs to Friday, which is the day of Venus, the "nymphet" aspect of the triple-female. Rest for Saturn because he is high noon, at which rest is advisable: the siesta; thus also the seventh year is the jubilee.
Thursday is Bel-Marduk, Aramaean Juppiter (as differentiated from Roman Jupiter with one 'p') and Paeonian Apollo's day.
Midsummer Day was a water as well as a fire festival, linked to baptism. The Hemero-Baptists were a sect linked to the Pythagorean Essenes, who worshiped YHVH as the sun. The Thracian goddess Cotytto had mystagogues called Baptists.
Ninib was Assyrian Saturn, god of the south, the noon-day sun and mid-winter. Amos 5:26 links Ninib with Jehovah as the God of Repose (i.e. Shabbat); also Ezekiel 7:3 and 7:5 have his image set up at the north gate of the temple, so devotees would face south; the north gate was also the place of Adonis/Tammuz worship by women. The city of Nineveh was named for him.
Jehovah announced "I am that I am" from an acacia; had he done it from an oak it would have described a different god; the acacia is the tree of Sunday, the first day, and there are no other gods before Sunday! Graves says the month named Uath was the one in which the terebinth fair at Chevron took place; all sexual congress and vanity was taboo in that month, which belongs to the acacia; it was the month of purification of the temples in Greece, Italy and throughout the near east.
The hare and pig were both taboo in ancient Britain. Isaiah says the Yeru-Shalayim Canaanites had a pig-feast at mid-winter, consuming the boar's head in particular. Fish also taboo is Britain as in Egypt, as were various birds.
The taboo dolphin was used as a covering for the ark of the covenant. The taboo whale was sacred to Pelasgian Greece and Scythia.
The belief that the Tetragrammaton should not be pronounced derives from Ex 20:7 and Lev 24:11. Can we use the models of Ya'akov and Pharaoh to deduce the correct pronunciation as Yahvoh or Yahavoh? But I still prefer to treat the second Vav (ו) as an error for a Yud (י), which is commonplace, and which also reflects the famous Eheyeh asher eheyeh (אהיה אשר אהיה) of Exodus 3:14; this would allow the name of Yah to be doubled into divinity in perfect echo of the Egyptian form for her Egyptian counterpart Isis (Ishah-Ishah = Woman of Women in the way Shir Ha Shirim means Song of Songs). Engraved jewels of Egyptian gnostics confirm this.
The amalgamation of YHVH (יהוה) with Elohim (אלהים) was a Rabbinical attempt to identify the new masculine monodeity YHVH with the ancient pantheon and to give retroactive validity to the claim that the Beney Yisra-El had always been monotheistic since the time of Mosheh; this can be found in Genesis 2:3; Exodus 9:30; 2 Samuel 7:22; 1 Chronicles 28:20 and 29:1; 2 Chronicles 1:9 and 6:41; Psalm 72:18 and 82:14; Jonah 4:6 and others.
He also appears as YHVH Elohey Yisrael (יהוה אלהי ישראל) throughout the book of Joshua; and as YHVH Elohey Avoteycha (יהוה אלהי אבותיך), YHVH Eloheycha (יהוה אלהיך) or YHVH Elohay (יהוה אלהי) on several occasions in Deuteronomy; all of which adds weight to my argument, since we now know that Deuteronomy was not written until very late in Jewish history (date?). He is called YHVH Tseva'ot on a number of occasions and surprisingly Adonay YHVH (אדני יהוה) in 2 Sam 7:18; Isaiah 50:4, Jeremiah 32:17 and throughout Ezekiel.
Various names appear to incorporate YHVH, though they could as well be said to incorporate Yah: Yehochanan (יהוחנן), a captain of the guard under King Yehoshaphat (2 Chron 17:15 and 23:1); Yehoyada (יהוידע) a priest of Samaria in 2 Kings 11:4; Yehoachin (יהויכין) and his father King Yehoakim (יהויקים) who ruled Judah circa 600 BCE...and various others (see Gesenius pp338/9).
smith-god was named Elath-Iahu, the god of Wednesday, the lover of Ba’alit (the
local name for Aphrodite the goddess of Friday). It is likely that he became
transformed into YHWH later on.
Need to look at the Exodus texts for YHVH as the local god of Chorev, and the possibility that Chorev was volcanic. See commentaries for this.