Imágenes de páginas

§ 408. of other BAALs of BAALIM. 521

and next to the Amschaspands, the greatest of all the divinities; indeed they supposed him to be the body or residence of one of them, Zend Avesta, P. II. p. 231. They described the chariot of the sun, as being of a white colour, and wreathed with garlands of flowers. The sacred horses were white also, of the Nisean breed, and four in number. The tongue of the chariot, to which they were fastened, was covered with gold, Xenophon, CYRoPAED. VIII.3, 6. Zend Avesta, P. II. p. 264. Amon and Manasses, the predecessors of king Josiah, who lived between 699–642 before Christ, and consequently before the time of Zoroaster, placed a chariot of this kind before the gate of the Temple at Jerusalem; which was burnt by the order of Josiah, their successor, 2 Kgs. 23: 11. Such was the religious veneration of the Mehestani for the sun, that they did not pray without turning their face towards him. They saluted his rising beams with songs of praise, holding in their hands, at the same time, a BARsom, i. e. a bundle of branches, taken from the pome

granate tree, the tamarisk, and the palm. Compare Ezek. 8:, . 16, 17.

§ 408. Of OTHER BAALs or BAALIM.

The word Baal, Ezz, properly signifies a master, lord, or husband. It sometimes occurred, in the popular mode of speech, for Jehovah himself, Hos. 2: 16. But it is in general the name of the sun, as appeared in the preceding section, or of other false deities; and we, accordingly, find it in the plural form, viz. Baalim, bo, Jud. 2: 11. 3: 7. 8:33. 10: 6, 10. 1 Sam. 7: 4. 12:10, etc. comp. 1 Cor. 8: 5. Many cities were distinguished by bearing the name of some idol. deity, that was thus called; for instance, BaalPhrazim not far from Jerusalem ; Baal-Hazor in the tribe of Ephraim; Baal-Thamar in that of Benjamin; Baal-Hermon beyond the Jordan.

Who the Baals were, from whom these cities were named, and what was their character, cannot now in all instances be determined. Baal-Zephon, Thes ::2, however, mentioned in Exodus 14: 2, situated on the boundaries of Egypt, derived its additional name from Typhon. The letter Tsade is changed in Tav ; in the same way that jox becomes TANIs by a change of the same

letters. The place in question seems to have been no other than

522 § 408. of other BAALs or BAALIM.

Heroopolis, where Typhon is said to have been struck dead with lightning. This Baal then was Typhon. As respects the others, although they are involved in obscurity, we may perhaps come to the following conclusions. I. Baal-Peor, nye oz. This was a god of the Moabites. The men bound their temples with garlands in his honour; and it was at the shrine of this corrupt deity, that the Moabitish women, in order to do him reverence, parted with their virtue, Num. 25: 1–9. Baal-Peor then was another Priapus. The name nyo, to open, seems to be an allusion to the corrupt practices, which were patronized by him. An account of the exceeding abominations, which prevailed at the shrines, of those deities, who, like Priapus, were the patrons of carnal gratification, may be seen in Augustine's book De civitate DEI IV. 10. VI. 9. VII. 21, comp. Bayer's AdditAMENTA Ad SELDEN SyntagMA W. DE DIIs SYRIS p. 235. Whether the idol of the Moabites, called on: Chamosh or Chemosh, (Num. 21:29. Jer. 48: 7, 13,) be the same with Baal-Peor cannot now be positively determined. II. no-2 by: Baal-Berith, i. e. the lord of the Covenant. The Shechemites, it appears, built a Temple to this God, Jud. 8: 33.9:4. He was the tutelary god of Covenants, answering in a certain sense to the JUPITER FIDIUs of the Romans. III. Baal-Zebub, 55-1 oz. This god had a Temple of some note in the city of Ekron, 2 Kgs. 1:2. He was the tutelary deity; that protected the people from the infestations of gnats. The inhabitants of Olympia and Elis had, in like manner, their Čsvg witoavog ; the Trojans their Apollo outv640s, so called from having destroyed mice; the inhabitants of Mount Oeta their Hercules zogvoittov, to protect them from the locusts; and the Erythreans their Hercules witvwrovog, who destroyed vermin, Pausanias in ELIAC. pr. c. 14, p. 55. Strabo p. 613. But, as the gods, which have now been mentioned did not, by any means, assume the form of the animals or insects, from which they were supposed to defend the people, we have good reason for supposing, that BaalZebub, although we are unable to say precisely what his form was, did not take the shape of a gnat. Baal-Zebub is not to be confounded with Beel-Zebul, fleshoeffov), the lord of the dwelling, habitation, or region, (viz. of the air or visible firmament,) of whom we have spoken in another place.

§ 408. of other BAALs or BAALIM. 523

IV. The Baal of Jezebel; i. e. the Baal, whom Jezebel, the wife of king Ahab and daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians, introduced into the kingdom of Israel and clothed with so great authority, and whom their daughter Athaliah, the wife of Jehoram, introduced to so great authority in the kingdom of Judah, that he had, both at Samaria and Jerusalem, temples, altars, and priests. This deity was evidently the Hercules of the Phenicians. (See 1. Kgs. 16: 31. 18: 19—29. 21: 5–15, 23–25. 2 Kgs. 10: 18– 27. 8: 18. 11:18, 2 Chron. 23: 17.) This Hercules, (for there were no less than six of that name, Cicero de NAT. Deon. III. 16.) was worshipped chiefly at Tyre in a very ancient temple, and at Tartessus in Spain. It was in honour of this god, that the Carthaginians, for a long time, annually sent the tenth of their income to Tyre, Arrian DE EXPED. ALEXANDRI II. 16. Herodotus II. 44, comp. 2 Macc. 4:18—20. He is said to have been the son of Jupiter and Asteria. The account of the Baal of Jezebel and Athaliah agrees with that of this Hercules; since the representation of Scripture (1 Kgs. 19:18) is the same with that of Diodorus Siculus XX. 14. viz. that human sacrifices were not offered to him, and with that of Cicero IN VERREM Lib. IV. 43, viz. that the Tyrian Hercules was worshipped by kissing. This mode of adoration, however, was not withheld from other deities, Hos. 13: 2. Job 31: 26, 27.

V. Bel, #3. This word appears to be contracted from $22 or o: ; and the deity signified by it is probably the heathen god, called by Cicero the Indian Hercules. (See Nat. DEonum III. 16.) Herodotus (I. 181—183,) gives a description of a magnificent temple, erected to this god in Babylon. It resembled in its construction seven towers built one upon another. In the upper tower or story was the shrine or the most sacred part of the temple, which was furnished with a bed and table of gold. A female dwelt here during the night, at which time the god Baal was supposed to pay his visitations to it. In the lower story, there was a very large image, also a table and a throne of gold, the weight of which, as the priests informed Herodotus, was eight hundred talents.

In the open court, there was an altar of gold, upon which milk only was offered, and another, upon which frankincense and sheep, were offered. Herodotus was informed, that Xerxes took away from this temple a golden statue twelve cubits high. The temple was still standing in the time of Strabo.

524 § 409. The Moon. As AN object of worship.

§ 409. Of ASTARTE, ASHTARoth of the Moon, As AN object of WoRSHIP.

As the Sun was called the lord or the king, so the moon was called the queen of heaven, poor non; to whom the Hebrews, (Jer. 7: 18. 44; 17, 19.) offered cakes, =":42, poured out libations, and burnt incense. It is this queen, that is termed, (1 Kgs. 11:5, 33.2 Kgs. 23: 13, 14.) the goddess of the Zidonians, also nonov Ashtoreth, and in Judges 2: 13. 10:6. 1 Sam. 7: 3, 4. 12: 10, is named nonroe Ashtaroth. The Moon, as an object of worship, being connected with Baal or the Sun, she is thence called Baż0tg, a word answering to wrozz, Eusebius, PRAEP Evang. I. 10. Hesychius on the word Bmibng, Selden be bus SYRIs, SYNTAGM. II. p. 245, 246. As the word nonps, which properly means groves, occurs in Jud. 3: 7, for no-ruz, and in Jud. 2:13, is found in connection with Baalim, the conclusion is a very clear one, that groves were consecrated to this goddess; and she is, accordingly, denominated (2 Kgs. 21: 7. 23: 6, 7,) Hoyosote, the image or idol of the groves, and likewise Hogs merely. Wherever, therefore, a grove, or Ashtaroth is mentioned in connection with Baal, Baalim, or the Host of heaven, we have reason for concluding, that reference is had to the moon, as an object of worship, Jud. 6: 23–28. 1 Kgs. 16:33. 2 Kgs. 13: 6, 18; 4. It is the moon, otherwise called Ashtaroth, which appears to be meant in 1 Kgs. 15: 13. 18: 19. 2 Chron. 15: 16, by the word noon, i.e. fear or terrour; in the same way, that one, (Gen. 31:42) and the Aramean word Ninerti, both of which mean fear, are put for the object of fear or reverence, viz. the Deity. The worship of this goddess, as well as of the god Baal, was common in Palestine before its occupation by Moses. Hence the command to cut down the groves, Exod. 34: 13. Deut. 7: 5. The Greeks and Romans were acquainted with the goddess in question under the name of Astarte, and sometimes made her, in their representations, the same with Juno, and, at other times, the same with Diana or Venus; but Lucian, or whoever wrote the book concerning the Syrian goddess, considers her to be the moon, and says, that a very celebrated Temple was erected for her worship in Phenicia. Perhaps there were many Astartes, as § 410. or TAMMUz AND ADonis. 525

there were many Baals. The temple, which Herodotus (I. 105.) found at Ascalon, and which he reckons among the fanes of Venus, was undoubtedly a temple of Astarte or Ashtaroth, 1 Sam. 30: 10. The fact of groves being mentioned in connection with this goddess is in itself a circumstance, calculated to excite a suspicion, that her worship was impure; and in 2 Kgs. 23: 6, 7, we have a very clear intimation indeed, that such was the case. Compare Hos. 4; 13, 14. Is. 57: 7. Ezek. 6: 13. Sanconiathon, or if it be preferred, Philo Biblius remarks indeed in Eusebius (PRAEP. Evang. I. 10.) that Astarte was the Venus of the Phenicians; and adds further, that the effigy of the goddess was the head of an ox with horns probably in resemblance of the crescent. This statement throws some light on the expressions top no-nois Ashteroth of horns, Gen. 14: 5. Deut. 1:4. The Syrians also call Venus ninney, which is merely a word altered from no-roz. . The Arabians before the time of Mohammed worshipped the planet Venus or the morning and evening star so called. This accounts for their making Venus' day or Friday a festival, although there is no command respecting it, in the Koran. But the moon likewise was worshipped by them, and made a separate object of their adoration, as may very well be inferred from their propensity to make images of the moon, which is mentioned Jud. 8:21– 26. These images were crescents, hung upon the necks of the camels. Compare Selden DE DIIs Syris, Syntasma. II. p. 291.

§ 410. OF TAMMUz AND ADoNIs.

In progress of time, various fables were invented relative to the Sun and Moon in their character of deities, one of which was the story of Adonis. The name Adonis, "...hs i.e. my lord, is in itself an intimation, that the Sun is implied under it. The stories concerning him, though not always consistent with themselves, agree in this, that he was an object of love to Venus, Astarte, or the moon, that he was afterwards slain by a boar, and that it was at length permitted him, to spend his time alternately and at equal intervals, as a shade, in the realms of Proserpine, and in his original form, on the earth. (Compare the large German edition of this Work, P. III. § 133.)

The Egyptians had a fable, that their god Osiris was shut up


« AnteriorContinuar »