THE BOOKS OF FOUNDATION - Nietzsche's Zarathustra

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
“Behind your thoughts and feelings there stands a mighty ruler, an unknown sage – whose name is Self. In your body he dwells. He is your body.”

                                                                                                                        Friedrich Nietzsche 

Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist.
He wrote critical texts on religion, morality, contemporary culture, philosophy and science, displaying a fondness for metaphor, irony and aphorism.

Nietzsche's influence remains substantial within and beyond philosophy, notably in existentialism, nihilism, and post-modernism.
His style and radical questioning of the value and objectivity of truth have resulted in much commentary and interpretation, mostly in the continental tradition.
His key ideas include the death of God, perspectivism, the Übermensch, the eternal recurrence, and the 'will to power'..

Röcken Lutherischen Kirche
Nietzsches Geburtshaus
Born on October 15, 1844, Nietzsche grew up in the small town of Röcken, near Leipzig, in the Prussian Province of Saxony.
He was named after King Frederick William IV of Prussia, who turned 49 on the day of Nietzsche's birth. (Nietzsche later dropped his given middle name, "Wilhelm".)

Röcken Dorf
Nietzsche's parents, Carl Ludwig Nietzsche (1813–1849), a Lutheran pastor and former teacher, and Franziska Oehler (1826–1897), married in 1843, the year before their son's birth, and had two other children: a daughter, Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche, born in 1846, and a second son, Ludwig Joseph, born in 1848. Nietzsche's father died from a brain ailment in 1849; his younger brother died in 1850.
The family then moved to Naumburg, where they lived with Nietzsche's paternal grandmother and his father's two unmarried sisters.
After the death of Nietzsche's grandmother in 1856, the family moved into their own house.
Nietzsche attended a boys' school and then later a private school, where he became friends with Gustav Krug, Rudolf Wagner and Wilhelm Pinder, all of whom came from very respected families.

In 1854, he began to attend Pforta in Naumburg, but after he showed particular talents in music and language, the internationally recognised Schulpforta admitted him as a pupil, and there he continued his studies from 1858 to 1864.
Here he became friends with Paul Deussen (see right) and Carl von Gersdorff.
He also found time to work on poems and musical compositions.
At Schulpforta (see left), Nietzsche received an important introduction to literature, particularly that of the ancient Greeks and Romans, and for the first time experienced a distance from his family life in a small-town Christian environment.
After graduation in 1864 Nietzsche commenced studies in theology and classical philology at the University of Bonn.
For a short time he and Deussen became members of the Burschenschaft Frankonia.
After one semester (and to the anger of his mother) he stopped his theological studies and lost his faith.
This may have happened in part because of his reading around this time of David Strauss's (see right) 'Life of Jesus', which had a profound effect on the young Nietzsche, though in an essay entitled 'Fate and History' written in 1862, Nietzsche had already argued that historical research had discredited the central teachings of Christianity.
Nietzsche then concentrated on studying philology under Professor Friedrich Wilhelm Ritschl, whom he followed to the University of Leipzig the next year.
Amidst bouts of illness, and living in near isolation, after a falling-out with his mother and sister, Nietzsche wrote his most enigmatic work in  Rapallo.

He wrote the first part of 'Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen' (Thus Spoke Zarathustra) in only ten days. - which is a sure sign of a channelled text.
Also, the style of of 'Zarathustra' is totally unlike the style of his other works.
Although the book appears to be anti-religious, the work is written in a style which is very similar to that od Luther's Bible.
The public, perplexed by the wholy un-philosophical content and style of the work, received it only to the degree required by politeness.
Nietzsche recognized this, and maintained his solitude, though he often complained about it.
His other books, and particularly 'Zarathustra', remained largely unsold.

Mental Collapse & Death

On January 3, 1889, Nietzsche suffered a mental collapse.
Two policemen approached him after he caused a public disturbance in the streets of Turin.
In the following few days, Nietzsche sent short writings—known as the 'Wahnbriefe' (Madness Letters)—to a number of friends (including Cosima Wagner and Jacob Burckhardt).
To his former colleague Burckhardt, Nietzsche wrote: "I have had Caiaphas put in fetters. Also, last year I was crucified by the German doctors in a very drawn-out manner. 

another example - 

'I want to prove to humanity by an infinite blessing, I give her my dithyramb.
I put it in the hands of the poet of Isoline, the largest and first satyr who lives today and not just today ...'
'I sing a new song, the world is transfigured and all the heavens rejoice.'

The Crucified

Additionally, he commanded the German emperor to go to Rome to be shot, and summoned the European powers to take military action against Germany.

Although most commentators regard his breakdown as unrelated to his philosophy Georges Bataille drops dark hints ("'man incarnate' must also go mad").
Undoubtedly the entity that had channelled 'Zarathustra' had gradually taken over Nietzsche, causing him to channel 'Ecce Homo' and The Antichrist'.
Finally the entity completely overwhelmed Nietzsche's psyche, and left him a 'burnt out wreck' devoid of will and personality.
In 1898 and 1899 Nietzsche suffered at least two strokes, which partially paralysed him and left him unable to speak or walk.

After contracting pneumonia in mid-August 1900 he had another stroke during the night of August 24 / August 25, and died about noon on August 25.

Elisabeth, his sister, had him buried beside his father at the church in Röcken bei Lützen.

His friend, Peter Gast (see right), gave his funeral oration, proclaiming: "Holy be your name to all future generations!"
Nietzsche had written in 'Ecce Homo' (at the time of the funeral still unpublished) of his fear that one day his name would be regarded as "holy".

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
N I E T Z S C H E 'S   W O R K

Der Wille zur Macht

A basic element in Nietzsche's philosophical outlook is 'der Wille zur Macht' - (the will to power), which provides a basis for understanding human behaviour  In a wide sense of a term, the will to power is a more important element than pressure for adaptation or survival.
According to Nietzsche, only in limited situations is the drive for conservation precedent over the will to power.
The natural condition of life, according to him, is one of profusion.
In its later forms Nietzsche's concept of the will to power applies to all living things, suggesting that adaptation and the struggle to survive is a secondary drive in the evolution of animals, less important than the desire to expand one’s power.
Nietzsche eventually took this concept further still, and speculated that it may apply to inorganic nature as well.
He transformed the idea of matter as centers of force into matter as centers of will to power. Nietzsche wanted to dispense with the atomistic theory of matter, a theory which he viewed as a relic of the metaphysics of substance.

One study of Nietzsche defines his fully developed concept of the will to power as "the element from which derive both the quantitative difference of related forces and the quality that devolves into each force in this relation" revealing the will to power as "the principle of the synthesis of forces."

Nietzsche's notion of the will to power can also be viewed as a response to Schopenhauer's "Will."
Writing a generation before Nietzsche, Schopenhauer had regarded the entire universe and everything in it as driven by a primordial 'Will', thus resulting in all creatures' desire to avoid death and to procreate.
Nietzsche, however, challenges Schopenhauer's account and suggests that people and animals really want power; living in itself appears only as a subsidiary aim—something necessary to promote one's power.
Defending his view, Nietzsche describes instances where people and animals willingly risk their lives to gain power—most notably in instances like competitive fighting and warfare.
Once again, Nietzsche seems to take part of his inspiration from the ancient Homeric Greek texts he knew well: Greek heroes and aristocrats or "masters" did not desire mere living (they often died quite young and risked their lives in battle) but wanted power, glory, and greatness.

In this regard he often mentions the common Greek theme of 'agon' or contest.

In addition to Schopenhauer's psychological views, Nietzsche contrasts his notion of the will to power with many of the other most popular psychological views of his day, such as that of utilitarianism.
Utilitarianism—a philosophy mainly promoted, in Nietzsche's days and before, by British thinkers such as Bentham and Stuart Mill—claims that all people fundamentally want to be happy. But this conception of happiness found in utilitarianism Nietzsche rejected as something limited to, and characteristic of, English society only.
Also Platonism and Christian neo-Platonism–which claim that people ultimately want to achieve unity with 'The Good' or with 'God' – are philosophies he criticizes.
In each case, Nietzsche argues that the "will to power" provides a more useful and general explanation of human behavior.


Another concept important to an understanding of Nietzsche's thought is the Übermensch.

While interpretations of Nietzsche's Übermensch vary wildly, here is one of his quotations from Thus Spoke Zarathustra (Prologue, §§3–4):

"I teach you the superman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him? … All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood, and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man?
What is ape to man? A laughing stock or painful embarrassment. And man shall be that to superman: a laughingstock or painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.... The superman is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the superman shall be the meaning of the earth.... Man is a rope, tied between beast and the superman—a rope over an abyss … what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not an end."

Later Developments

By World War I, Nietzsche had acquired a reputation as an inspiration for right-wing German militarism. 
German soldiers received copies of 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' as gifts during World War I.
Nietzsche's growing prominence was enhanced when his works became closely associated with Adolf Hitler and the Third Reich.

Many political leaders of the twentieth century were at least superficially familiar with Nietzsche's ideas, although it is not always possible to determine whether or not they actually read his work.
It is not known for sure if Hitler ever read Nietzsche, and if he did, his reading was not extensive, although he was a frequent visitor to the Nietzsche museum in Weimar (see left), and did use expressions of Nietzsche's, such as "lords of the earth" in 'Mein Kampf', and of course terms such as 'der Wille zur Macht' and  'Übermensch' were essential to Volkisch ideology.
More significant is the relationship of Nietzsche's 'Übermensch' to 'Die Geheimlehre' - (The Secret Doctrine), Theosophy, Blavatsky and the Vril.


'Also sprach Zarathustra'

'Also sprach Zarathustra: Ein Buch für Alle und Keinen' - (Thus Spoke Zarathustra: A Book for All and None) is a book by German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, composed in four parts between 1883 and 1885.
Much of the work deals with ideas such as the "eternal recurrence of the same", the parable on the "death of God", and the "prophecy" of the Übermensch.

Described by Nietzsche himself as "the deepest ever written," the book is a dense and esoteric treatise featuring as protagonist a prophet descending from his mountain retreat to mankind, Zarathustra.
A central irony of the text is that Nietzsche adopts the style of the Bible in order to present ideas which fundamentally oppose Christian and Jewish morality and tradition.

'Also sprach Zarathustra' was conceived while Nietzsche was writing 'Die fröhliche Wissenschaft'; he made a small note, reading "6,000 feet beyond man and time," as evidence of this.
More specifically, this note related to the concept of the eternal recurrence, which is, by Nietzsche's admission, the central idea of 'Zarathustra'; this idea occurred to him by a "pyramidal block of stone" on the shores of Lake Silvaplana in the Upper Engadine, a high alpine region whose valley floor is at 6,000 ft.
He wrote that the ideas for 'Zarathustra' first came to him while walking on two roads surrounding Rapallo, according to Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche.

Nietzsche commented in 'Ecce Homo' that for the completion of each part: "Ten days sufficed; in no case, neither for the first nor for the third and last, did I require more" (trans. Kaufmann).
The first three parts were first published separately, and were subsequently published in a single volume in 1887.
The fourth part remained private after Nietzsche wrote it in 1885; a scant forty copies were all that were printed, apart from seven others that were distributed to Nietzsche's close friends. In March 1892, the four parts were finally reprinted as a single volume.
Since then, the version most commonly produced has included all four parts.
The original text contains a great deal of word-play.
An example of this is the use of words beginning über ("over" or "above") and unter ("down" or "below"), often paired to emphasise the contrast, which is not always possible to bring out in translation, except by coinages.
An example is Untergang, literally "down-going" but used in German to mean "setting" (as of the sun), which Nietzsche pairs with its opposite Übergang (going over or across).
Another example is Übermensch (overman or superman), discussed later in this article.
The book chronicles the fictitious travels and pedagogy of Zarathustra.

The name of this character is taken from the ancient prophet usually known in English as Zoroaster, the Persian founder of Zoroastrianism.
Zarathustra has a simple characterisation and plot, narrated sporadically throughout the text.
Some speculate that Nietzsche intended to write about final acts of creation and destruction brought about by Zarathustra.
However, the book lacks a finale to match that description; its actual ending focuses more on Zarathustra recognizing that his legacy is beginning to perpetuate, and consequently choosing to leave the higher men to their own devices in carrying his legacy forth.
Zarathustra also contains the famous dictum "God is dead" and the doctrine of 'Eternal Occurance'
It should be noted that all the main themes of Zarathustra are not reached by philosophical argument, but are declared as statements of belief.

This inspiration of  the doctrine 'Eternal Occurance' finds its expression with Zarathustra's 'Song of Midnight', featured twice in the book, once near the story's close:

O Mensch! Gib acht!
Was spricht, die tiefe Mitternacht?
"Ich schlief, ich schlief -,
Aus tiefem Traum bin ich erwacht: -
Die Welt ist tief,
Und tiefer als der Tag gedacht.
Tief ist ihr Weh -,
Lust - tiefer noch als Herzeleid:
Weh spricht: Vergeh! 
Doch alle Lust will Ewigkeit -,
- Will tiefe, tiefe Ewigkeit!"

(O man, take heed!
What says the deep midnight ?
I sleep - I sleep —
But from a deep dream I woke:—
The world is deep,
Deeper than day may deem.
Deep is its woe—
But Joy is deeper than woe:
Woe says: Go!
But all joy wants eternity—
Wants deep, deep eternity.")

Another singular feature of Zarathustra, first presented in the prologue, is the designation of human beings as a transition between apes and the "Übermensch" (in English, either the "overman" or "superman"; or, superhuman or overhuman.
The 'Übermensch' is one of the many interconnecting, interdependent themes of the story, and is represented through several different metaphors.
Examples include: the lightning that is portended by the silence and raindrops of a travelling storm cloud; or the sun's rise and culmination at its midday zenith; or a man traversing a rope stationed above an abyss, moving away from his uncultivated animality and towards the Übermensch.
The symbol of the Übermensch also alludes to Nietzsche's notions of "self-mastery", "self-cultivation", "self-direction", and "self-overcoming".
Expounding these concepts, Zarathustra declares:

"I teach you the overman. Man is something that shall be overcome. What have you done to overcome him?
"All beings so far have created something beyond themselves; and do you want to be the ebb of this great flood and even go back to the beasts rather than overcome man? What is the ape to man? A laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. And man shall be just that for the over-man: a laughingstock or a painful embarrassment. You have made your way from worm to man, and much in you is still worm. Once you were apes, and even now, too, man is more ape than any ape.
"Whoever is the wisest among you is also a mere conflict and cross between plant and ghost. But do I bid you become ghosts or plants?
"Behold, I teach you the over-man! The over-man is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the over-man shall be the meaning of the earth! I beseech you, my brothers, remain faithful to the earth, and do not believe those who speak to you of otherworldly hopes! Poison-mixers are they, whether they know it or not. Despisers of life are they, decaying and poisoned themselves, of whom the earth is weary: so let them go!"

— Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Prologue, §3, trans. Walter Kaufmann

The book embodies a number of innovative poetical and rhetorical methods of expression.
It serves as a parallel and supplement to the various philosophical ideas present in Nietzsche's body of work.
He has, however, said that "among my writings my Zarathustra stands to my mind by itself" ('Ecce Homo', Preface, sec. 4, Kaufmann).
Emphasizing its centrality and its status as his magnum opus, it is stated by Nietzsche that:

'With 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra' I have given mankind the greatest present that has ever been made to it so far. This book, with a voice bridging centuries, is not only the highest book there is, the book that is truly characterized by the air of the heights—the whole fact of man lies beneath it at a tremendous distance—it is also the deepest, born out of the innermost wealth of truth, an inexhaustible well to which no pail descends without coming up again filled with gold and goodness.'

— 'Ecce Homo', Preface, §4, trans. Walter Kaufmann

Nietzsche injects myriad ideas into the book, but there are a few recurring themes.
The over-man (Übermensch), a self-mastered individual who has achieved his full power, is an almost omnipresent idea in Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
Man as a race is merely a bridge between animals and the over-man.
Nietzsche also makes a point that the over-man is not an end result for a person, but more the journey toward self-mastery.
The 'eternal recurrence', found elsewhere in Nietzsche's writing, is also mentioned.
The 'eternal recurrence' is the idea that all events that have happened will happen again, infinitely many times.
Such a reality can serve as the litmus test for an over-man.
Faced with the knowledge that he would repeat every action that he has taken, an over-man would be elated as he has no regrets and loves life.
The 'will to power' is the fundamental component of human nature.
Everything we do is an expression of the will to power.
The will to power is a psychological analysis of all human action and is accentuated by self-overcoming and self-enhancement.
Contrasted with living for procreation, pleasure, or happiness, the will to power is the summary of all man's struggle against his surrounding environment as well as his reason for living in it.
The book in several passages expresses loathing for sentiments of human pity, compassion, indulgence and mercy towards a victim, which are regarded as the greatest sin and most insidious danger.
Many criticisms of Christianity can be found in 'Thus Spoke Zarathustra', in particular Christian values of good and evil and its belief in an afterlife.
Nietzsche sees the complacency of Christian values as fetters to the achievement of over-man as well as on the human spirit.

The book inspired Richard Strauss (see left) to compose the tone poem 'Also sprach Zarathustra', which he designated "freely based on Friedrich Nietzsche."
Zarathustra's 'Midnight Song' is set as part of Gustav Mahler's Third Symphony (1895-96), originally under the title 'What Man Tells Me', or alternatively 'What the Night tells me' (of Man).
Frederick Delius (see right) based his major choral-orchestral work 'A Mass of Life' (1904-5) on texts from Thus Spoke Zarathustra.
The work ends with a setting of Zarathustra's 'Midnight Song' which Delius had composed earlier, in 1898, as a separate work.


'And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.'

~Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

BOOK X - The Chosen People of the Demiurge - Part II

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

Thus saith the Archon Demiurge - in all his arrogance -  

'Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgements,  even as the Lord my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it.
Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom, and your understanding, in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.'
For what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day ?'

Having destroyed all the 'first-born' of Egypt - innocent or guilty, the so called 'chosen people' of the Archon Demiurge set out to 'aquire' a homeland.
It would be a 'homeland' which the evil demiurge would give to them - regardless of the rights of the original inhabitants.
Carrying their palladion, the Egyptian 'Ark' before them, this mob of 'nomadic rebels, outlaws, raiders, slaves, migrant labourers' made their way across the Sinai to  Jebel esh-Shera' (Se'ir), where the Archon Demiurge would give them the Law, and make with them a binding contract - so that they would serve him, and he would protect them from their enemies, - (something that, in the end, he quite obviously failed to do).

ʾĀrôn Habbərît (Ark of the Covenant)
The אָרוֹן הַבְּרִית‎ ʾĀrôn Habbərît (Ark of the Covenant), also known as the 'Ark of the Testimony', is a chest described in the Jewish 'Book of Exodus' as containing the 'Tablets of Stone' on which the 'Ten Commandments' were inscribed.
According to some traditional interpretations of the 'Book of Exodus', 'Book of Numbers', and the Christian 'Letter to the Hebrews', the Ark also contained Aaron's rod, a jar of manna and the first Torah scroll as supposedly written by Moses; however, the first of the 'Books of Kings' says that at the time of King Solomon, the Ark contained only the two 'Tablets of the Law'.
According to the 'Book of Exodus', the Ark was built at the command of God, in accordance with the instructions given to Moses on Mount Sinai.
God was said to have communicated with Moses "from between the two cherubim" on the Ark's cover.
The biblical account relates that about a year after the Israelites' exodus from Egypt, the Ark was created according to the pattern given to Moses by God when Israel was encamped at the foot of Mount Sinai.
Thereafter the gold plated, acacia chest was carried by the Levites some 2,000 cubits in advance of the people when on the march or before the Israelite army, the host of fighting men.
When the Ark was borne by Levites into the bed of the Jordan, the waters parted as God had parted the waters of the Red Sea, opening a pathway for the entire host to pass through (Josh. 3:15–16; 4:7–18).
The walls of the city of Jericho were shaken to the ground with no more than a shout from the army after the Ark of the Covenant was paraded round them for seven days by Levites.
Seven priests sounding seven trumpets of rams' horns (Josh. 6:4–20).
When carried, the Ark was always hidden under a large veil made of skins and blue cloth, always carefully concealed, even from the eyes of the priests and the Levites who carried it. There are no contemporary extra-biblical references to the Ark.

'Fertile Crescent'
The history of the Habiru,  and their neighbours  is mainly that of the area called the 'Fertile Crescent', and east coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
It begins among those people who occupied the area lying between the Nile, Tigris and the Euphrates rivers.
Surrounded by ancient seats of Æon inspired culture in Aryan Egypt and Babylonia, by the deserts of Arabia, and by the highlands of Asia Minor, the land of Canaan was a meeting place of civilizations.
The land was traversed by old-established trade routes and possessed important harbours on the Gulf of Aqaba and on the Mediterranean coast, the latter exposing it to the influence of other cultures of the Fertile Crescent.
According to the Jewish sacred writings, the writers of which were inspired by the Archon Demiurge, the Jews are descended from the ancient people of Israel who settled in the land of Canaan, located between the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River . The Demiurge's 'chosen people' shared a lineage through their common ancestors, Abraham,

אַבְרָהָם (Abraham - Arabic: إبراهيم‎ʾIbrāhīm), originally Abram, is the first of the three Patriarchs of Israel whose story is told in chapters 11–25 of the Book of Genesis. According to these chapters, Abram was called by 'God' to leave his father Terah's house and native land of Mesopotamia in return for a new land, the so-called 'promised land'. Threats to the covenant arose – difficulties in producing an heir, the threat of bondage in Egypt, of lack of fear of God – but all were overcome and the covenant was established. After the death, and burial of his wife, Sarah, in the grave that he purchased in Hebron, Abraham arranged for the marriage of Isaac to a woman from his own people. Abraham later married a woman called Keturah and had six more sons, before he died at the recorded age of 175 (?), and was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. ( Genesis 25:1–10)

The Bible's internal chronology places Abraham around 2000 BCE, but the stories in Genesis cannot be definitively related to the known history of that time.

Abraham's son Isaac, and Isaac's son Jacob, were identified as Habiru (Hebrews), whose nomadic travels centred around Hebron somewhere between 1991 and 1706 BCE.
These Habiru supposedly consisted of twelve tribes, each descended from one of Jacob's twelve sons, Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehuda, Yissachar, Zevulun, Dan, Gad, Naftali, Asher, Yosef, and Benyamin.
Jacob and his twelve sons (in fact the Hyksos) were supposed to have left Canaan during a severe famine and settled in Goshen of northern Egypt.

Edward Poynter - 'Israel in Egypt' - 1867
While in Egypt the Demiurge asserted that the descendants were enslaved by the Egyptian government led by the Pharaoh.
After 400 years of slavery, YHWH, the God of Israel (in fact the Archon Demiurge - known at that time as Set), sent the Habiru  prophet Moses, a man supposedly from the tribe of Levi, to release the 'chosen people' from Egyptian 'bondage'.
According to the later scriptures, the Habiru miraculously emigrated out of Egypt (an event known as the Exodus), and returned to what was claimed to be their ancestral homeland in Canaan.
This event marks the formation of Israel as a political nation in Canaan, in 1400 BCE.
On the way to Cannan (the Land of Milk and Honey) Moses leads the 'chosen people'  to  Jebel esh-Shera'  (Se'ir), where the Archon Demiurge gives them the Law, and makes with them a binding contract (covenant) - so that they would serve him, and he would protect them from their enemies, - (something that, in the end, he quite obviously failed to do).
The demiurge's 'chosen people' then invaded Canaan in 1400 BCE under the command of general called Joshua.
After entering Canaan, portions of the land were given to each of the twelve tribes of Israel.
For several hundred years, what had been Cannan was organized into a confederacy of twelve tribes ruled by a series of Judges.
After the judges the Habiru living in Cannan were ruled by kings.
In 1000 BCE, the monarchy was established under Saul, and continued under King David and his son, Solomon.
During the reign of David, the already existing city of Jerusalem became the national and spiritual capital of the Habiru .
Solomon built the First Temple on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem.
The tribes, however, were fracturing politically.
Upon Solomon's death, a civil war erupted between the ten northern Israelite tribes, and the tribes of Judah (Simeon was absorbed into Judah) and Benjamin in the south.
The nation split into the Kingdom of Israel in the north, and the Kingdom of Judah in the south. Israel was conquered by the Assyrian ruler Tiglath-Pileser III in the 8th century BCE.
There is no commonly accepted historical record of the fate of the ten northern tribes, sometimes referred to as the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel, although speculation abounds.

The Cannanites

Canaan and the Canaanites are mentioned some 160 times in Habiru scripture, mostly in the 'Pentateuch' and the books of 'Joshua' and 'Judges'.
According to the scriptures inspired by the Archon Demiurge, Canaan first appears as one of Noah's grandsons, cursed with perpetual slavery because his father Ham had "looked upon" the drunk and naked Noah.
The Archon Demiurge later promises Canaan's land to Abraham, and eventually delivers it to the Habiru.

The curse upon Canaan was imposed by the biblical patriarch Noah. The relevant narrative occurs in the 'Book of Genesis' and concerns Noah's drunkenness and the accompanying shameful act perpetrated by his son Ham the father of Canaan (Gen. 9:20–27). The controversies raised by this story regarding the nature of Ham's transgression, and the question of why Noah cursed Canaan when Ham had sinned, have been debated for over two thousand years. The story's objective was to justify the subjection of the Canaanites to the Israelites. The curse on Canaan, invoked in response to an act of moral depravity, is the first intimation of the theme of the corruption of the Canaanites, which is given as the justification for their being dispossessed of their land, and for the transfer of that land to the descendants of Abraham.

Joshua Enters Cannan
The Habiru scriptures lists borders for the land of Canaan.
'Numbers 34:2' includes the phrase "the land of Canaan as defined by its borders."
The borders are then delineated in Numbers 34:3–12'.
The term "Canaanites" in the Hebrew language is applied especially to the inhabitants of the lower regions, along the sea coast and on the shores of Jordan, as opposed to the inhabitants of the mountainous regions.
By the time of the Second Temple, "Canaanite" in Hebrew had come to be not an ethnic designation, so much as a general synonym for "merchant".
According to the Book of Jubilees, the Habiru conquest of Canaan, and the 'curse', are attributed to Canaan's steadfast refusal to join his elder brothers in Ham's allotment beyond the Nile, and instead "squatting" on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, within the inheritance delineated for Shem.

The Ark Destroys the Enemies of the 'Chosen People'
One of the 613 mitzvot (precisely n. 596) prescribes that no inhabitants of the cities of six Canaanite nations, the same as mentioned in 7:1, minus the Girgashites, were to be left alive !
The strange fact about the relationship between the Cannanites and the Habiru was the fact that both groups were Semites.
The only difference between the two groups seems to be the fact that the 'Twelve Tribes' had been designated as the Archon Demiurge's 'chosen people' - and that the Demiurge had granted the land occupied by the Cannanites to the Habiru - which obviously meant that the Cannanites had to be eliminated.

The 613 commandments (Hebrew: תרי"ג מצוות‎: taryag mitzvot, "613 Mitzvot"; Biblical Hebrew: Miṣwoth) is the number of mitzvot listed in the Torah, first codified by Rabbi Simlai in Talmud Makkot 23b.
These principles of Biblical law are sometimes called commandments (mitzvot), and referred to collectively as the "Law of Moses" (Torat Mosheh, תורת משה), "Mosaic Law," "Sinaitic Law," or simply "the Law". The word mitzvot is plural; singular is mitzvah.

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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2014

BOOK IX - The Chosen People of the Demiurge - Part I

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013
© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

Cro-Magnon Man
Neanderthal Man

The 'chosen people' of the demiurge were hybrids (mixed-race) - the result of miscegenation - interbreeding - between the Cro-Magnons and the Neanderthals and less evolved primates.

These new races, in which the Neanderthal traits dominated, were 'lower hybrid races' - the non-Aryan races - and were designated by us - (the Æons) - as 'the creation of a lesser god' - the lesser 'god' being the Archon Demiourgós.

The Archon Demiourgós  (δημιουργός), on the completion of his work of imitation ('mimesis' - making poor copies of the ineffable 'Forms') became blinded by arrogance.

Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon Girl 
Aryan Man
He announced to his sentient creatures, the miscegenated hybrids - his 'chosen race' -

'Thou shalt worship no other god; for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God' (Exod. 34:14).

There were many hybrid races as a result of this miscegenation.

Miscegenation (Latin miscere "to mix" + genus "kind") is the mixing of different racial groups through marriage, cohabitation, sexual relations, and procreation. The term miscegenation has been used since the 19th century to refer to interracial marriage and interracial sexual relations, and more generally to the process of racial admixture, which has taken place since ancient history. Historically, the term has been used in the context of laws banning interracial marriage and sex, known as anti-miscegenation laws.

The most developed (in the sense of 'cunning') of these miscegenated lower races were the Semitic peoples, and it was this group that the Archon Demiurge chose in order to set his will over his new 'creation' - and therefore they became known to themselves, and other races, as the 'chosen people'.

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The true 'chosen people', of course, were the Aryan people - the 'true blood' descendants of the  Cro-Magnons - who were the physical, sentient descendants of the great Æons.

Modern DNA evidence has provided evidence that the world's Jews have a common ancestral lineage in the Levant, which can be traced to a common ancestral population that inhabited the Middle East.
DNA results indicate that the Jews have had a high percentage of marriage within their community; in contrast to a low percentage of interfaith marriages (as low as 0.5% per generation).
This indicates that there is a distinct racial group of Semitic people.

The Shasu

Shasu is an Egyptian word for semitic-speaking pastoral cattle nomads who lived in the Levant from what was known, to human history, as the late 'Bronze Age' to the 'Early Iron Age' or 'Third Intermediate Period' of Egyptian history.
These peoples of the Demiourgós were organized in clans, under tribal chieftaisn, and were described by those around them as lawless brigands, active from the Jezreel Valley to Ashkelon and the Sinai.
The name evolved from a transliteration of the Egyptian word š3sw, meaning "those who move on foot", into the term for Bedouin-type wanderers.
The term first originated in an ancient list of peoples in Transjordan.
It is used in a list of enemies of Egypt inscribed on column bases at the temple of Soleb built by the Pharoah Amenhotep III.
Copied later by either Pharaoh Seti I and Pharaoh Ramesses II at Amarah-West, the list mentions six groups of Shashu: the Shasu of S'rr, the Shasu of Lbn, the Shasu of Sm't, the Shasu of Wrbr, the Shasu of Yhw, and the Shasu of Pysps.

"Shasu of Yhw"

Merneptah Stele
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Mount Seir - Jebel Madhbah
Regarding the "Shasu of Yhw," the hieroglyphic rendering corresponds very precisely to the Hebrew 'Tetragrammaton'  יהוה (YHWH), or Yahweh, and antedates the hitherto oldest occurrence of that name - on the Moabite Stone - by over five hundred years.
The demonym 'Israel', recorded on the Merneptah Stele, (see below), refers to a Shasu enclave, since later Jewish tradition portrays Yahweh "coming forth from Se'ir" (where there is a Semetic 'High Place).
The Shasu, originally from Moab and northern Edom, went on to form a major element in the amalgam that was to constitute the the racial entity 'Israel', which was protected and guided by the Archon Demiurge.
It was this racial group which later established the Kingdom of Israel.

The Merneptah Stele - also known as the 'Israel Stele' or 'Victory Stele of Merneptah' - is an inscription by the Ancient Egyptian king Merneptah (reign:1213 to 1203 BC) discovered by Flinders Petrie in 1896 at Thebes, and now housed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. The text is largely an account of Merneptah's victory over the Libyans and their allies, but the last few lines deal with a separate campaign in Canaan, then part of Egypt's imperial possessions, and include the first probable instance of the name "Israel" in the historical record.

עברים or עבריים, - Hebrews ʿIḇrîm, ʿIḇriyyîm - is an ethnonym used in the Tanakh.
It is synonymous with the Semitic Israelites, especially in the pre-monarchic period when they were still nomadic, but may also be used in a wider sense, referring to the group known as 'Shasu of Yhw' (see above).
'Habiru' or 'Apiru'  was the name given by various Sumerian, Egyptian, Akkadian, Hittite, Mitanni, and Ugaritic sources (dated, roughly, between 1800 BC and 1100 BC) to a racial group living as nomadic invaders in areas of the Fertile Crescent, from North-eastern Mesopotamia and Iran to the borders of Egypt in Canaan.
These people can be identified by the wall-paintings and reliefs, depicting them as racialy Semitic, and the name 'Habiru' is obviously taken from the word which the Hebrews used to describe themselves.
Significantly, these 'Habiru' are variously described as nomadic or semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders, servants, slaves, migrant labourers, etc.
The names 'Habiru' and 'Apiru' are also used in Akkadian cuneiform texts.
The corresponding name in the Egyptian script appears to be ʕpr.w, pronounced 'Apiru' (W,or u-vowel "quail-chick" being used as the Egyptian plural suffix).
In Mesopotamian records they are also identified by the Sumerian logogram SA.GAZ.
The name 'Habiru' was also found in the 'Amarna Letters', which again include many names of Canaanite peoples written in Akkadian.

Amarna Letters
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The Amarna letters (sometimes Amarna correspondence or Amarna tablets) archive, on clay tablets, mostly diplomatic correspondence between the Egyptian administration and its representatives in Canaan and Amurru during the New Kingdom. The letters were found in Upper Egypt at Amarna, the modern name for the Egyptian capital of Akhetaten (el-Amarna), founded by Pharaoh Akhenaten (1350s – 1330s BC) during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. The Amarna letters are unusual in Egyptological research, because they are mostly written in Akkadian cuneiform, the writing system of ancient Mesopotamia, rather than in hieroglyphic, hieratic or demotic script normally used in ancient Egypt. The correspondence spans a period of at most thirty years.

The Amarna letters were written to Egyptian pharaohs in the 14th century BC, and document a time of unrest in Canaan that goes back before the battle of Kadesh, to the time of Pharaoh Thutmose I.
Though such letters are found throughout most of the Fertile Crescent, the arc of civilization extending from the Tigris-Euphrates river basins over to the Mediterranean littoral, and down through the Nile Valley during the Second Millennium, the principal area of historical interest is in their engagement with Egypt.

Amenhotep III
A number of what are known as the 'Amarna letters' - sent to Pharaohs Amenhotep III, Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) and, briefly, his two successors, from vassal kings in Canaan and Syria in the 14th century BC - mention the "Habiru".
These letters, written by Canaanite scribes in the cuneiform-based Akkadian language, complain about attacks by armed groups who were willing to fight and plunder on any side of the local wars in exchange for equipment, provisions, and quarters.
These people are the "Habiru".


The Creation of a 'Chosen People'

The Archon Demiurge taught his 'chosen people' to trace their origin to Abraham, who supposedly established the belief among certain Semitic groups that there was only one God, the supposed creator of the universe - who was referred to as El.

The bull was symbolic to El
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ʾĒl (written aleph-lamed, e.g. Ugaritic: Hebrew: אל‎, Arabic: إل‎ or إله, cognate to Akkadian: ilu) is a Northwest Semitic word meaning "deity" or god.
In the Canaanite religion, or Levantine religion as a whole, El or Il was a god also known as the 'Father of Humankind', and all of creatures, and in some traditions, the husband of the Goddess Asherah, as recorded in the clay tablets of Ugarit. The bull was symbolic to El. He may have been a desert god at some point.
In the תַּנַ"ךְ‎ (Tanakh - the canon of the Hebrew Bible - also known as the Masoretic Text or Miqra), אֱלֹהִ֔ים (’elōhîm) is the normal word for a God. The theological position of the Tanakh is that the names Ēl and ’Ĕlōhîm, when used in the singular to mean the supreme and active 'God', refer to the same being as does the name, Yahweh. All three refer to the one supreme God who is the God of Israel, beside whom other Gods are supposed to be either non-existent or insignificant. Whether this was a longstanding belief or a relatively new one has long been the subject of inconclusive scholarly debate about the prehistory of the sources of the Tanakh and about the prehistory of Israelite religion. YHVH says in Exodus 6:2–3:
'I revealed myself to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob as Ēl Shaddāi, but was not known to them by my name, Yahweh.'

Abraham, his son  יִצְחָק (Yitshak - Isaac), and grandson  יַעֲקֹב  (Jacob - Israel), were held to be the patriarchs of the Israelites.
All three patriarchs were said to have lived in the Land of Canaan, that later came to be known as the Land of Israel.
They, and their wives, were buried in the  מערת המכפלה (Me'arat ha-Machpela), the 'Tomb of the Patriarchs', in Hebron
According to the Hebrew Bible אַבְרָהָם (Abraham) was born in the Sumerian city of Ur Kaśdim in Mesopotamia, and migrated to Canaan (commonly known as the Land of Israel) with his family.

Ur of the Chaldees
אַבְרָהָם Abraham (אַבְרָהָם‎ Arabic: إبراهيم‎ʾIbrāhīm), originally Abram, is the first of the three Patriarchs of Israel whose story is told in chapters 11–25 of the Book of Genesis.

Abraham leaves Ur of the Chaldees
Abram was called by God to leave his father Terah's house and native land of Mesopotamia, in return for a new land, family, and inheritance in Canaan, the so-called 'promised land'. Threats to the covenant arose – difficulties in producing an heir, the threat of bondage in Egypt, of lack of fear of God – but all were overcome and the covenant was established. After the death, and burial of his wife, Sarah, in the grave that he purchased in Hebron, Abraham arranged for the marriage of Isaac to a woman from his own people. Abraham later married a woman called Keturah and had six more sons, before he died at the recorded age of 175 (?), and was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael. ( Genesis 25:1–10)
The Bible's internal chronology places Abraham around 2000 BCE, but the stories in Genesis cannot be definitively related to the known history of that time.

This, of course, is a fantasy concocted by the Archon Demiurge, to give a sense of unity to the various 'mixed-race' Semitic tribes, who originated in Mesopotamia, and which constituted his 'chosen people'

The Israelites in Egypt
According to this fantasy, יַעֲקֹב (Yaʿakov - Jacob) and his sons are forced by famine to go down into Egypt.
When they arrive they and their families are 70 in number, but within four generations they have increased to 600,000 men of fighting age, and the Pharaoh of Egypt, alarmed, first enslaves them and then orders the death of all male Hebrew children.
The 'God of Israel' (the Archon Demiurge calling himself יהוה Yawehrevealed his name to  מֹשֶׁה‎, (Moshe - Moses), (who is described as a Hebrew of the tribe of Levi).
Moses leads the Israelites out of slavery, and into the desert, where יהוה (Yaweh) gives them their laws and, in return for Yaweh's guidance and protection, the Israelites agree to become 'his people'.
Hyksos and Egyptians
This story is, of course, an invention of the Archon Demiurge.
The sons of Jacob were never slaves in Egypt - rather they were marauding invaders (semi-nomadic, rebels, outlaws, raiders - see above), whom the Egyptians referred to as the Hyksos.
The Hyksos (Egyptian heqa khasewet, "foreign rulers or desert princes"; Greek Ὑκσώς, Ὑξώς, Arabic: الملوك الرعاة, shepherd kings) were a mixed-race Semitic people who took over the eastern Nile Delta, ending the thirteenth dynasty, and initiating the 'Second Intermediate Period' of ancient Egypt.
The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt c.1800 BC, during the eleventh dynasty, began their climb to power in the thirteenth dynasty, and came out of the second intermediate period in control of Avaris and the Egyptian Delta.
Negro soldiers fighting for the Hyksos
By the fifteenth dynasty, they ruled Lower Egypt, and at the end of the seventeenth dynasty, they were expelled (c.1560 BC) - reflected in the legend of the Exodus..
The historian Josephus states correctly that the Hyksos were in fact the 'Children of Jacob' (Jews) who joined his son Joseph to escape the famine in the land of Canaan in the book of Exodus.
Interestingly, the Hyksos included Negro soldiers (Nubians) in their armies when fighting the native Egyptians.
The origin of the term "Hyksos" derives from the Egyptian expression heka khasewet ("rulers of foreign lands"), used in Egyptian texts such as the 'Turin King List' to describe the rulers of neighbouring lands.
This expression begins to appear as early as the late Old Kingdom in Egypt, referring to various Nubian (Negroid) chieftains, and as early as the Middle Kingdom, referring to the Semitic chieftains of Mesopotamia and Canaan..
Kamose, the last Pharaoh of the Theban 17th Dynasty, refers to Apophis, leader of the Hyksos, as a "Chieftain of Retjenu (i.e., Canaan)" in a stela that implies a Semitic Canaanite background for this Hyksos king.
The Hyksos kingdom was centred in the eastern Nile Delta and Middle Egypt, and was limited in size, never extending south into Upper Egypt, which was under the control of Theban-based rulers.
Hyksos relations with the south seem, to have been mainly of a commercial nature, although Theban princes appear to have recognized the Hyksos rulers, and may possibly have provided them with tribute for a period.
The Hyksos Fifteenth Dynasty rulers established their capital and seat of government at Avaris in the area that was referred to in the תַּנַ"ךְ‎ (Tanakh - the canon of the Hebrew Bible - also known as the Masoretic Text or Miqra), as 'Goshen'.

Avaris - Goshen
Avaris - Goshen
אֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן‎ or ארץ גושן (The Land of Goshen (Hebrew: Eretz Gošen) is named in the Bible as the place in Egypt given to the Hebrews by the Pharaoh of Joseph (Genesis 45:9 - 10), and the land from which they later left Egypt at the time of the Exodus. It was located in the eastern Delta. Goshen has been identified as the 20th Nome (Province) of Egypt, located in the eastern Delta, and known as "Gesem" or "Kesem" during the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (672-525 BC). It covered the western end of the Wadi Tumilat, the eastern end being the district of Succoth, which had Avaris as its main town, extended north as far as Piramesse (the "land of Rameses"), and included both crop land and grazing land.

The rule of these kings overlaps with that of the native Egyptian Pharaohs of the 16th and 17th dynasties of Egypt, better known as the 'Second Intermediate Period'.
The first Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, Ahmose I, finally expelled the Hyksos from their last holdout at Sharuhen in Gaza by the 16th year of his reign.

The Demiurge
Incarnated as Seth
Because they had no advanced social traditions of their own, the Hyksos used Egyptian titles associated with traditional Egyptian kingship, and took the Egyptian god Seth to represent their own deity יהוה (YHWH).


Set (also spelled Setesh, Sutekh, Setekh, or Suty) was the incarnated δημιουργός ( Archon Demiurge), whom the Jews called 'Yaweh'.
The meaning of the name Seth is unknown, thought to have been originally pronounced *Sūtaḫ based on the occurrence of his name in Egyptian hieroglyphs (swtḫ), and his later mention in the Coptic documents with the name Sēt.
His purpose was to disrupt the work of the Aeons.
The Ancient Egyptians, not understanding the differentiation between the Aeons and the Archon Demiurge, believed the Archon to be a 'god' (neter) of the desert, storms, and foreigners.
In later myths he was also the 'god' of darkness, and chaos.
In Ancient Greek, the 'god's' name was given as Seth.
For the Egyptians, Set, who was worshipped exclusively, represented a manifestation of evil.
During the Second Intermediate Period, the Hyksos chose Set, originally Upper Egypt's chief god, the god of foreigners and the god they found most similar to their own chief god, as their patron.
The Hyksos King Apophis is recorded as worshipping Set in a monolatric way: 'He chose for his Lord the god Seth. He didn't worship any other deity in the whole land except Seth.'

- Papyrus Sallier 1 (Apophis and Sekenenre), 1.2-3, ed. Gardiner 1932


In spite of the prosperity that the stable political situation brought to the land, the native Egyptians continued to view the Hyksos as non-Egyptian "invaders."
When the Semitic Hyksos were eventually driven out of Egypt, all traces of their occupation were erased.

Edward Poynter - 'Israel in Egypt' - 1867
No accounts survive recording the history of the period from the Hyksos perspective except the legend that they were enslaved by the Egyptians, and freed by the combined actions of Moses, and his 'god' Yaweh.
There are, however, detailed accounts from the native Egyptians who evicted the occupiers, in this case the rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty, who were the direct successor of the Theban Seventeenth Dynasty.
The historian Manetho wrote that -

'By main force they overpowered the rulers of the land. They then burned our cities ruthlessly, razed to the ground the temples of gods… Finally, they appointed as king one of their number. He had his seat at Memphis, levying tribute from Upper and Lower Egypt and  leaving garrisons behind in the most advantageous positions.'

Most significantly the Hyksos had no culture of their own and, like parasites, derived their social structures, art, architecture, and all aspects of civilised life from their host country.
This is a phenomena that was repeated in every country which the descendants of the Semitic Hykos either over-ran or settled.


Scroll of the Law
In order to set his 'chosen people' apart from the other hybrid, mixed-race groups, and to instil in them a sense of separation and discipline, the Archon Demiurge gave them not culture, but law, in the form of detailed regulations affecting every aspect of their lives.
Ark of the Covenant 
Using the alphabets which had been taught to the higher races by the Æons, these laws and regulations were woven into a narrative which described how the Semites had been 'created' by the Archon Demiurge - who now called himself 'Yaweh'.
In order to maintain contact with his 'chosen people' the Archon Demiurge gave the Jewish priesthood a device which was contained in a specially constructed container.
This device was called in Jewish scriptures the אָרוֹן הַבְּרִית‎ (the Ark of the Covenant - covenant here meaning the link between Yaweh and his 'chosen people').
However, because the 'chosen people' had no culture, and no art, the design of this device was based on Egyptian models.

The 'god' יהוה (Yahweh), prior to taking on wholly monotheistic attributes in the 6th century BCE, was a part of the Canaanite pantheon in the pre-Babylonian captivity period.
Archaeological evidence reveals that during this time period the Israelites were a group of Semetic Canaanite people.

 El. Asherah
Yahweh was seen as a war god, and equated with El. Asherah, who was often seen as El's consort, has been described as a consort of Yahweh in numerous inscriptions.
The name Yahwi may be found in some male Amorite names.
Yahu may be found in a place name.
The earliest known occurrence of the name "Yahu" is its inclusion of the name "the land of Shasu-y/iw" in a list of Egyptian place names found in the temple of Amon at Soleb, from the time of Pharaoh Amenhotep III (1402-1363 BCE).
The place name appears to be associated with Asiatic nomads in the 14th to 13th centuries BCE.
Ramesses II
A later mention from the era of Pharaoh Ramesses II (c. 1303 BCE – 1213 BCE) associates Yahu with Mount Seir. From this, it is generally supposed that this Yahu refers to a place in the area of Moab and Edom. Whether the god was named after the place, or the place named after the god, is undecided.
Early worship of 'Yahweh' likely originated in southern Canaan during the Late Bronze Age.It is probable that Yahu or 'Yahweh' was worshipped in southern Canaan (Edom, Moab, Midian) from the 14th century BC, and that this cult was transmitted northwards due to the Kenites.
It is assumed that Moses was a historical Midianite who brought the cult of 'Yahweh' north to Israel.

Moses and Jethro in Midian
This idea is based on an old tradition (recorded in Judges 1:16, 4:11) that Moses' father-in-law was a Midianite priest of 'Yahweh', as it were preserving a memory of the Midianite origin of the god. The oldest West Semitic attestation of the name (outside of biblical evidence) is the inscription of the victory stela erected by Mesha, king of Moab, in the 9th century BC.

Baʿal - בעל
In this inscription, 'Yahweh' is not presented as a Moabite deity. Mesha rather records how he defeated Israel, and plundered the temple of 'Yahweh', presenting the spoils to his own god, Chemosh. The direct competition of 'Yahweh' with Baal is depicted in the narrative of Elijah in the 'Books of Kings'. Baʿal (Biblical Hebrew בעל, usually spelled Baal in English) is a Northwest Semitic title, and honorific, meaning "master" or "lord" that is used for various gods who were patrons of cities in the Levant and Asia Minor, cognate to Akkadian Bēlu.  Baʿal can refer to any god and even to human officials. In some texts it is used for Hadad, a god of the rain, thunder, fertility and agriculture, and the lord of Heaven. Since only priests were allowed to utter his divine name, Hadad, Ba‛al was commonly used. Nevertheless, few if any Biblical uses of "Baʿal" refer to Hadad, the lord over the assembly of gods on the holy mount of Heaven, but rather refer to any number of local spirit-deities worshipped as cult images, each called baʿal and regarded in the Hebrew Bible in that context as a "false god". At first the name Baʿal was used by the Jews for their 'god' without discrimination, but as the struggle between the two religions developed, the name Baʿal was given up in Judaism 
'Yahweh' or Yahu appears in many Hebrew Bible theophoric names, including Elijah itself, which translates to "my god is Yahu", besides other names such as Yesha'yahu "Yahu saved", Yeshua (Jesus) "Yahweh's Salvation", or Yahu-haz "Yahu held", and others found in the early Jewish Elephantine papyri.

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© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013

© Copyright Peter Crawford 2013