The Birth of Monotheism

Since the world catastrophes were caused by planets and affected the four corners of the world, , each of these planets must have been deified , not by a
single people, but by all peoples around the world. ,. The fact that the ancient Hebrew word for God, Elohim. is plural can be accounted for by this.

In the beginning, the gods  of all nations were planetary gods, and although they had a variety of names, they were the same gods. . For one reason or
another, people or nations chose one or another of these deities as their protector .  A new world catastrophe caused by another member of the planetary
family would easily raise that planet to the  position of the supreme deity. But , on the other hand,  the loyalty  to the protective deity of the previous age would
cause some  to remain faithful to the old cult and , in many cases, would lead to wars among the tribes of the world.

For example the worship of Jupiter superseded that of Saturn; the  worship of Venus (Minerva, Athena, Astarte, Baal) in many regions eclipsed the worship of
Jupiter; and the advent of Mars and its participation in celestial wars brought new schisms into religious thinking and caused new religious wars. Thus the
Greeks battled under the patronage of the planet Venus (Athena) whereas the Trojans battled under the protection of Mars (Ares); but Ares was also
recognized as god by the Greeks and Athena as a goddess by the Trojans. Similarly the Toltec, faithful to the cult of Quetzalcoatl, the planet Venus, warred
and succumbed in the war against the Aztecs, the younger race that proclaimed Mars (Huitzilopochtli) as their god. The Romans regarded Mars as their
protective deity but their main sacrarium was dedicated to Jupiter and Minerva (Athena). Egyptians also regarded Amon as their supreme deity and Ra was its
other name. In another cult center of Egypt Osiris and Isis were worshipped as supreme gods; in early times they represented Saturn and Jupiter; at a later time
Isis became synonymous with Astarte-Athena, the planet Venus.

Others, loyal to the Old Age  remained loyal to the ancient  Kronos (Saturn), whose Age was previous to that of Jupiter. Thus the Scythians were called
Umman-Manda by the Chaldeans,  and Manda is the name of Saturn.  The Phoenicians regarded El-Saturn as their chief deity; Eusebius informs us that El, a
name used also in the Bible as a word for God, was the name of Saturn.

The different names for God in the Bible reflect the process of going through the many ages in which one planet. superseded another and was again
superseded by the next one in the
celestial war. El was the name of Saturn: Adonis of the Syrians, the bewailed deity, was also, like Osiris, the planet Saturn; but in the period of the contest
between two major planets, Adonai, which means
 My Lord became the appellative of the dual gods; then, with the victory of Jupiter, it came to be applied to
him alone; thus Adonai and also Zedek was the name of Jupiter, and in the days of the patriarch Abraham, the cult of Jupiter was prominent in Jerusalem of the
high priest Melchizedek (my king is Zedek). Zedek remained the name of Jupiter in the astronomy of the Jews in later ages and is used as such in the Talmud.
There we find also the legend that in order to teach Abraham not to believe in astrology God reversed the rising of the planet Zedek (Jupiter) and it began to
move towards the west. In another passage of the Talmud it is said that the planet Zedek made the night bright for him (Abraham) meaning that his time was
the aegis of the planet Jupiter.

We recognize in the reversion of the revolution of Jupiter the cause of great catastrophes in the solar system which affected also the earth in the age of the
patriarchs, or at the close of the Old Kingdom in Egypt. In that period Jupiter became the supreme deity having removed Saturn from its orbit. Meichizedek was
the priest of the Most High,the name by which Jupiter was known to  the Greeks: all-highest, mighty Zeus.

The end of the Middle Kingdom in Egypt was caused by a new world catastrophe: a period of a few centuries only intervened between
this catastrophe and the previous one caused by Jupiter. Actually it was caused again by Jupiter, because the comet Venus was expelled from its body; this
expulsion followed the contact of Saturn and Jupiter, and the fantasy of the peoples regarded Venus as a child of Jupiter, conceived to him by Saturn. But more
than this origin of Venus, the fact that the peoples of the entire earth were confused and in many instances regarded Zeus-Jupiter as the planetary god that
battled with the pillar of smoke or the trail of the comet, was of far-reaching consequences for the development of religion and the progress toward monotheism.

Yahweh was the name of the deity that caused the Middle Kingdom of Egypt to fall into ruins, bringing equally great or greater disasters to the rest of the world.
The name of the deity became known only a little time before the catastrophe, and this is asserted in the Book of Genesis.

Image of the Calf Apis and Pole Reversal.

According to the Biblical tradition Aaron made an image of a calf (Apis) at Mount Sinai, which was the image of Venus for many centuries to come; but due to
the confusion concerning the agent of the catastrophe, Zeus is also often figured as a bull. The 'bull carried the evening land to the East', which is a strong
indicator that during this period the land experienced a pole reversal.  
The cult of Apis actually started after the end of the Middle Kingdom, in the days of the
or  in the very days which followed the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt.

It  should not go unnoticed that Moses also built an image in the desert and that the Hyksos deified the snake deity known as Seth,

But as time passed, the presence of the serpent of Moses in the Temple of Jerusalem became so objectionable to the spirit of the prophets that in the days of
Isaiah the serpent was broken into pieces. Even though its original purpose may have been curative, it being the image of the angel who was sent in the pillar
of fire and cloud to save the people of Israel from slavery, the brazen serpent with the lapse of time became an object of worship.
 Chiun, in the words of
Amos: Chiun, your images, the star of your god denoting Saturn, in the opinion of Max Seligsohn, is identified by Jerome as Lucifer or Venus,
the image of the  star carried in the desert, it could be this serpent.
The fact that Moses made an image -in violation of the second commandment of
the Decalogue -  is not necessarily inconsistent with his being a monotheist: there are many churches today where symbolic and even human figures are
deified by people who profess to be monotheists

Whatever the sublime height to which the spirit of Moses carried him in the days of a cosmic catastrophe, with the passing of time
the Jewish people reverted back to idolatry ....And the pages of the Bible are full of testimony to this fact.

The god Yahweh was the supreme Deity of the Judeans and they excluded all other rival deities from their pantheon. But in the Time of Wandering and Judges,
the  astronomical science
made progress. Soon after the sky of the desert of Wandering became free from the carbogenous clouds and the Israelites emerged from the desert they saw
the comet Venus, Noga, illuminating the sky. In the days of Joshua it caused the second derailment of the earth from its path in the short interval of fifty-two
years. The Israelites could believe that it was still the old and furious planet Jupiter that descended close to the earth. But as time passed, and the new
orientation of the sky became better known, and the old constellations were recognized in their new positions, and the planets in their new orbits, the
astronomers of Babylon, Egypt and Palestine became aware that Jupiter was not the comet Venus. During the time of Judges the name Baal was often applied
to the deity of the most popular cult, as the names of many Israelites of that period attest.

The Temple of Dan Vs. Temple of Jerusalem

When in the fifth year after the death of Solomon the Northern part of the kingdom was separated from Judah, Benjamin, Simeon and part of Levi a temple was
built in Dan to compete with the temple in Jerusalem. This  temple of Dan was called The House of High Places which meant that it also served as an
observatory or center for the cult of astral deities. Jeroboam  renewed there the cult of Aaron and a calf was worshipped at Dan. On the Phoenician coast the
deity Baal, or Belith (Baalith), which is Baal in it's  female form, or Ishtar (Astarte), which was also a male and a female deity  was worshipped - - this being also
the comet Venus.    The Northern Kingdom hadn't had the time to process the disassociating of the deity from the celestial object when the Kingdom was
destroyed (-723 or -722), and its population was led away into captivity, from which they did not return. "
And they [the tribes of the Northern Kingdom] left all
the commandments of the Lord their God, and made them molten images, even two calves, and made a grove, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served
Baal" (II Kings 17:16).

The Supremacy of Yahweh in the Jerusalem Cult Rose to Monotheism.

Elijah was its apostle in the Northern Kingdom, and he was in strife with the priests of Venus. The spreading of the cult of Venus (Baal, Baalith, Ishtar) in the
Northern Kingdom was due not only to the external influence of the Phoenicians or Babylonians, but in the first place to the fact that Venus was the most
conspicuous object in the sky, which illuminated as brightly as the sun, and also that it threatened the world with new catastrophes, and finally  like the
Babylonians, Egyptians or Brahmans, the Israelites would find out that it was Venus, not Jupiter, that caused the catastrophes in the middle of the second
millennium, which in terms of the Israelite history meant that Venus is the celestial body which had ruined the Egypt of Oppression and opened the way through
the Sea of Passage. This astronomical understanding  together with the brilliancy of Venus, caused many to fall away from
The God of the Fathers or  from
Deity of the Ancient Age that, after all, was not the deliverer from the yoke of Egypt. This explains the long struggle between the adherents of Yahweh
and the adherents of Baal. The adherents of the cult of the God of our Fathers pressed by the revelations of astronomical science, ceded so far as to say that
if it was not the ancient Lord who caused the deliverance from Egypt, then it was his messenger, or angel. And though Jupiter became a modest looking object
in the sky when compared with Venus, it is still the stronger one. Similarly in Greece the planet Jupiter (Zeus), which looks less imposing than Venus, was
recognized as the stronger deity;
although in the beginning there was also a confusion as to who had battled Typhon-Pallas, the pillar of cloud -
Zeus or Athena already in the days of Homer the supremacy of the planet Jupiter which is able to remove all other planets, the earth included,
from their orbits, was recognized as a fact.
The chapter of Habakkuk makes the impression of describing an apparition of the comet Venus: His glory
covered the heavens...and his brightness was as the light; he had horns coming out of his hand... burning coals went forth at his feet ... [he] drove asunder the
nations; and the everlasting mountains were scattered.... Was thine anger against the rivers? Was thy wrath against the sea, that thou didst ride upon thine
horses and thy chariots of salvation?" Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers. The mountains saw thee, and they trembled: the overflowing of the water passed
by: the deep uttered his voice The sun and moon stood still in their habitation: at the sight of thy arrows they went, and at the shining of thy glittering spear.
Thou didst march through the land in indignation, though didst thresh the heathen in anger! Thou didst walk through the sea with thine horses, through the
heap of great waters."

In Palestine, like in Mexico and in other places, Venus was appeased every fifty years, the sending of a goat to Azazel, or Venus, into the desert was not a
sacrifice to a worshipped deity but. the removal of a threatening and vicious deity. It seems that the Day of Atonement was observed in the beginning only once
in fifty years, at the beginning of the year when Venus was expected on its cometary orbit. A number of instances in the Scriptures can be referred to
substantiate this point. And that Azazel is Venus is clear from the fact that Azazel was regarded as a fallen star-angel, which is Lucifer, another name of Satan.
Set, the Egyptian name of the damaging comet, is the origin of the very name Satan. Uzza, the other form of Azza, was thrown into the Red Sea which implies
that the authors of this legend knew the role of Venus in the cataclysm of the Sea of Passage. Also in the Arab pantheon El-Uzza is the planet Venus,  and as
late as the Middle Ages was venerated in Mecca, and Mohammed also paid homage to it.,, Thus Azazel to whom the scapegoat was sent was Venus.

In the eighth pre-Christian century Mars supplanted Venus as the threatening planet  The Hebrew prophets did not regard it as a deity by itself, but as a
messenger of the Supreme Deity:
"Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which is a tempest, hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the
earth with the hand,"
said Isaiah. And Amos spoke of the Lord who makes Khima and Kesil, or Saturn and Mars.

In Judea Jupiter by-and-by became the Supreme God, not connected with any planet, a process that can be traced also in the writings of Greek philosophers,
Plato in the first place, some five hundred years later. Thus religion was at odds with astronomy of the age.

Since the day when Israel became a people, this Earth was severely threatened at two periods: in the days of the Red Sea passage with an epilogue at Gibeon
and in the days of
Jerusalem and Sennacherib, with prologues in the days of Ussiah and on the burial day of Ahaz. At the Red Sea as well as at Jerusalem heavenly wrath
destroyed the host of a cruel oppressor.

Great was the wonder at the natural phenomenon which took place at the sea, but it had its physical cause. Really wondrous was the coincidence: Escaped
slaves, encircled by a pursuing foe, stood before the stormy sea, when it was rent asunder before the persecuted ones, and shortly thereafter swallowed up the
pursuing host of the tyrant.

When, some seven hundred years later, the Earth was again drawn out of its path, once more the wonder lay not in the retrograde rotation of the Earth for a
few hours or minutes, but in the coincidence: the army of the despot before whom the whole world trembled, who had just blasphemed against the Lord of
Heaven and Earth, was encamped on its way to storm Jerusalem, and the very night before the attack could begin it was scorched by a heavenly blast of
combusting gases. In the morning the army was but a heap of one hundred eighty five thousand dead bodies.

Two great catastrophes, two great salvations - how could a people fail to believe that it was preserved for some great destiny?

After -687, one hundred years passed by. Not only did Hezekiah receive a period of grace, but also the people of Jerusalem from -687 to -587.

The result of the great wonder in the days of Hezekiah was the reverse of what it should have been. Only a few years after the deliverance of Judea from the
hand of Sennacherib, Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, who at the age of twelve succeeded his father Hezekiah on the throne of Jerusalem, came under the
influence of diviners hostile to Isaiah, and alienated himself from the spirit that dominated the palace in the days of his father. He ""observed times",  which
means that he followed the advice of the astrologers, who read in the constellation of the planets orders and vetoes for kings and their peoples. During the
greater part of Menasseh's reign, which endured for more than half a century, planets were officially worshipped in Jerusalem. Manasseh built altars for all the
host of heaven in the two courts of the house of the Lord (II Kings 21 : 5). For he [Manasseh] built again high places which Hezekiah his father had broken
down, and he reared up altars for Baalim, and he made groves, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and served them (II Chronicles 33 : 3). This was actually
a realistic interpretation of the matter.

It was in the time of Josiah, grandson of Manasseh, and shortly before the exile of Judah to Babylon, that a pure monotheism emerged as an outcome of the
progress the Jewish people had made during its long struggle for national existence, on the one hand, and for purification of its concept of God, on the other.
'And the king [Josiah] commanded Hilkiah the High Priest ... to
bring forth out of the Temple of the Lord all the vessels that were made for Baal and for the grove, and for all the host of heaven: and he burned them without
Jerusalem in the fields of Kidron, and carried the ashes of them into Bethel. And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah had ordained to
burn incense in the high places in the cities of Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the
moon, and to the planets, and to all the host of heaven  (II Kings 23 : 4-5).

In the last passage the division of the astral gods is the same as that used by Democritus, who spoke of Venus, sun, and moon, and the planets, thus affording
to Venus a special position, a
fact that surprised the commentators.

Jeremiah had a clear conception of a God who is over the entire creation."Do not I fill heaven and earth? Saith the Lord"  (Jeremiah 23:24).

The Scriptures do not hide the fact that in Judea, as well as in Israel, the planetary cult was the official cult with the priests and with kings, with many prophets
and with the people. Thus Jeremiah, contemporary of King Josiah, says: "At that time, saith the Lord, they shall bring out the bones of the kings of Judah, and
the bones of his princes, and the bones of the priests, and the bones of the prophets, and the bones of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, out of their graves: and
they shall spread them before the sun, and the moon, and all the host of heaven, whom they have loved, and whom they have served, and after whom they
have walked, and whom they have sought, and whom they have worshipped".  (Jeremiah 8 : 1-2). And again he says: "And
the houses of Jerusalem, and the houses of the kings of Judah, shall be defiled as the place of Tophet, because of all the houses upon whose roofs they have
burned incense unto all the
host of heaven" (Jeremiah 19 : 13).

In the days of Jeremiah and King Josiah, a scroll was found in a chamber of the Temple (II Kings 22). It is generally thought that it was the book of
Deuteronomy, the last book of the Pentateuch. The text of the scroll made a strong impression on the king (Deuteronomy 4:19): And lest thou lift up thine eyes
unto heaven, and when thou see the sun, and the moon, and the stars, even all the host of heaven, shouldest be driven to worship them, and serve them,
which the Lord thy God hath divided unto all nations under the whole heaven".

The scroll continued: Thou shalt not make thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath  (5:8),
which is a passage of the
Decalogue (Exodus 20 : 4) verbatim.

If there be found among you ¦man or woman, that hath wrought wickedness  and hath gone and served other gods, and worshipped them, either the sun, or
moon, or any of the host of
heaven, which I have not commanded then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman and shall stone them with stones, till they die. (17: 2-5).

Thus we see the centuries-long struggle for the Jewish God, Creator and not unanimated planet, itself a creation, being carried on in the closing decades
before the exile to Babylon with the help of the book whose authorship was ascribed to Moses.

In -587 Jerusalem underwent a long siege by the host of the Chaldeans. Nebuchadnezar, a fourth-generation descendent of Sennacherib, beleaguered
Jerusalem. Jeremiah did not tell the king and the people, as did Isaiah a century before, that the Lord would save them from the hand of the conqueror.
Jerusalem heroically defended itself for eighteen months; at last its walls were broken through and soon thereafter the temple and the city were destroyed by
the host of Nebuchadnezar, and became a desolation. The people was dragged into slavery.

When the people of Jerusalem were exiled to Babylon, and group of refugees succeeded in escaping to Egypt, taking with them Jeremiah, they said to him:
we will certainly ... burn our
incense unto the Queen of Heaven and to pour out drink offerings unto her, as we have done, we, and our fathers, our kings, and our princes, in the cities of
Judah, and in the streets
of Jerusalem: for then had we plenty of victuals and were well, and saw no evil. But since we left off to burn incense to the Queen of Heaven  and to pour out
drink offerings unto her, we have wanted all things, and have been consumed by the sword and by the famine  (Jeremiah 44:17-18)."  
From this passage, it
becomes apparent that the refugees of Jerusalem that sought refuge in Egypt thought the national catastrophe fell upon their people, not because they had left
the Lord God, but because in the days of Josiah and his sons they had ceased to worship the planetary gods of Manasseh and especially the Queen of
Heaven, the planet Venus.

Of this remnant of the people that went to Egypt in the beginning of the sixth century a military colony was established in Ebb (Elephantine) in southern Egypt.
Documents (papyri) of this colony were unearthed in the beginning of this century. The Jewish colony in Elephantine faithfully worshipped Yahu (Yahweh), the
Lord of the sky, as the theophoric names of many members of the colony testify. Scholars were puzzled, however, to find on one of the papyri the name
Anat-Yahu; they were uncertain whether it belonged to a goddess or a place or a person. Anat is the familiar name of the Canaanite goddess identified with
Athene in a Cyprian inscription. The historical facts revealed in the present research make the understanding of such cult easier.
The dark tradition that it
was the planet Venus that played such an important role in the days when the forebears of these refugees in Egypt left that land and passed
through cataclysms of fire and water, sea and desert, was responsible for this syncretism of names.

At that time the ideas of Jeremiah and other prophets of monotheism grew to a strong flame in the soul of the people, and the moral code of the Jewish people
was carried with the exile towards the East, and only a few decades after the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, Buddha in India and
Laotze and Confucius in China started their gospels.

The idea of some Bible critics that the Jewish people obtained their idea of monotheism in the Exile of Babylon is wrong. The Assyrians and Babylonians,
according to the inscriptions which survived in abundance, worshipped simultaneously all planets. Marduk or Jupiter was the Supreme God, but in various times
or even in single periods in the life of a single person, this or that deity was obtaining preeminence. So we see that Nebuchadnezzar in his younger years
worshipped Astarte (Ishtar)-Venus and in later years Marduk-Jupiter; and his name indicates a reverence for Mercury (Nebo).

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Birth of Monotheism by Mary Sutherland
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