Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The Books of Tobit and Judith

Originally I was going to do this on my Revised Chronology blog.  But the theories about these books relevant to that are mainly the ones I'm going to be the most critical of.

I don't consider them Canon, as I already explained in my post on the Deutercanonical Books.  But they can be historically interesting to contemplate.

These books have in common being clearly mainly fictional narratives, that at least in the forms we have them contain some difficult to explain geographical errors.  And much more so with Judith apparent historical anachronisms.

Damien F Mackey attempts to explain the geographical issues in Tobit by saying Media is actually regions in Arabia, (Midian, Medan, Medina).  However this ignores the context of it clearly being about the deported Israelites.  II Kings is clear many were taken to Media and all of then to east of the Euphrates.

 I've mentioned before about how Tobit as we know it is the product of a time where First Cousin marriages were strongly encouraged.  But I also have reasons to suspect Tobias's bride maybe wasn't his cousin originally before it was revised.

With the references to Ahikar we are told exactly how he fits into Tobit's genealogy, even though that character is only someone refereed to and not really part of the story (like the Author of Tobit wanted to create a Shared Apocryphal Universe).  However we're not told how Sarah or her father Raguel fit into it, just that she is Tobias' cousin somehow.  That could be consistent with her being a cousin being a detail added to the text later.

Sarah is the Hebrew word for Princess.  According to Herodotus it was around the time frame depicted in this book that the first King of Media lived.  And she is living in Ecbatane the capital of Media.  Could the original narrative have been about Tobias marrying a Median Princess?  And maybe the book of Judith calls the king of Media Arphaxad because they descended from Arphaxad via deported Northern Israelites?

The last verse of the book refers to the fall of Nineveh to "Nabuchodonosor and Assuerus".  A lot of people assume Ahasuerus here is another name for Cyaxares I of Media.  But there is evidence his son and future successor Astyages was also involved in the taking of Nineveh.  And Nebuchadnezzar was also at that time the Crown Prince of his father Nabopolassar.  Ahasuerus being a name for Astyages would agree with Josephus calling the Darius son of Ahasuerus of Daniel 5 a son of Astyages.  Which in turn agrees with that Darius being the same as Cyaxares II of Xenophon's Cyropedia.

Damien F Mackey's theory about The Book of Judith is that the "Nebuchadnezzar" of that book is really Sennacherib under his Babylonian Throne Name.  And that this is the same attempted invasion of Judah recorded in 2 Kings and Isaiah 36-39.  My main problem with that theory is Judith doesn't record an Angel destroying Assyria's Army.

His argument for this largely begins with theorizing that the Ahikar of Tobit and the Story of Ahikar is the same person as.Achior of the Book of Judith.  I see why those names seem kind of similar, but not enough to be a smoking gun.

The revised Chronology comes into it via saying Sennacherib is the same as Nebuchadnezzar I of Babylon, conventionally dated to the end of the 12th century BC.  And if I were still inclined to agree with that theory, I'd consider identifying Holofernes, a name often said to seem Egyptian, with Horemheb based on Velikvosky's view of Horemheb.  But I'm not.

Three major mainstream theories about what historical context might have inspired Judith are Nebuchadnezzar as Artaxerxes III, as Ashurbanipal and as Tigranes The Great of Armenia.  Of those three the Ashurbanipal one is the main one I want to talk about here briefly.

It speculates the lack of a King in Judah is because it's while King Manasseh was being held in Babylon.  Which makes it interesting that Judith is called the Widow of a Manasseh.  But the only wife of King Manasseh mentioned in Scripture is Meshullemeth the mother of King Amon.  But the Kings of Judah frequently practiced Polygamy.  And some have speculated the name of Judith itself to be a symbol or code, as a feminine from of the name of the Southern Kingdom.

And since Tobit lived to see the fall of Nineveh, Ahikar could likewise have lived into the reign of Ashurbanipal.

Even if I were willing to consider changing when Nebuchadnezzar I lived.  He actually fits the time of Ashurbanipal better.  Ashurbanipal's brother Shamam-shum-ukin was King of Babylon during his reign.  A similar event involving a statue of Marduk being returned to Babylon transpires during his reign.  Nebuchadnezzar I celebrated a victory over Elam that seems similar to Ashurbanipal's.  And Nebuchadnezzar I conquered the "land of the Amorites" which could well refer to Canaan, where the Amorites originally came from, even Jerusalem was sometimes linked the Amorites.

However my own revised chronology theories generally leave the Mesopotamian Kings Lists unaltered, as supported by Vellikvosky's own writing about Hamurabi and the 12th Dynasty of Egypt.

The city or village refereed to as Bethulia, which is not otherwise known to have existed, but seems to be near Jerusalem, I think is possibly meant to be Bethlehem.  Both names begin with a Beth. Bethulia seems to come from a Hebrew word for Virgin, Micah 4-5 tells us Bethlehem is where The Messiah will be born.  And in the context of my theory that Bethlehem is Zion which is the City of David, three Bible verses refer to the Bethulah daughter of Zion, (2 Kings 19:21, Isaiah 37:22 and Lamentations 2:13).  Micah 4-5 also refers to the Daughter of Zion giving birth in Bethlehem.  And if Judith was a wife of King Manasseh, it ties into the element of Bethlehem remaining a city linked to the house of David all through the Kingdom Period.

Now for my own personal theory.

Today a Jewish tradition has developed to read the Book of Judith during Hanukkah.  And to identify the character of Holofernes with Nicanor, both wind up beheaded for example.  I haven't yet however read any theory that the Maccabees were the original inspiration for the book.  But Judith 4:3 seems to allude to The Temple being recently rededicated following a desecration.

Who is Judith in this context?  Well in II Maccabees in particular in 14:24, Nicanor seems to be attracted to Judas Maccabeus.  Judith is the feminine form of the name Judah, which often becomes Judas in Greek Texts.

Did the author(s) of the book of Judith swap out a woman for Judas because of heteronormativity?  Or is it the product of some tradition the more mainstream historians who wrote the books of Maccabees and whatever other sources Josephus used would have ignored, that Judas Maccabeus was a Trans-woman?

Of course a potential Queer subtext for the Book of Judith on it's own is Judith and her unnamed maid.  If I made a film based on the story, I'd rename the city of Bethulia as Bethlehem, and give the name Bethulia to this character.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

More about Isaiah 7 and 8.

I did a post already proving that Virginity is implied in the meaning of Almah. I want to deal now with other aspects of how people will try to discredit this as a Prophecy applicable to the time frame of 5-1 BC.

I firmly believe in the doctrine of duel fulfillments.  So no I'm not going to deny that this is in some way applicable to Isaiah's own time in the reign of King Ahaz, when the Northern Kingdom and Aram Damascus were allied against Judah.

I'll even agree that the Prophetess who becomes Pregnant in Isaiah 8 is a lesser near fulfillment of the Almah mentioned in Isaiah 7:14.

One thing I've seen is that some people think this Prophetess is Isaiah's wife.  It's difficult to know for sure, but I've generally more leaned towards the idea that this child in question is Hezekiah and the Prophetess is Abijah also called Abi his mother.  And so the Zechariah who is Abijah's father is the same as Zechariah son of Jeberechiah mentioned in Isaiah 8:2.

I think the basis for interpreting her as Isaiah's wife is taking the language of 8:3 as literally saying Isaiah fathered the child.  But I don't think that is the intent here.  It could be Isaiah's personal role in this first fulfillment is played in the nativity narrative by Simeon, or Zacharias, or Anna.

My hunch is this Prophetess Office was directly inherited from that held by both Deborah and Miriam the Sister of Moses.  Thus backing up aspects of what I argued in the Almah post about the significance of Miriam being called an Almah.  And at the time of the Birth of Christ this Prophetess was Anna of Luke's Gospel.

Maybe at some point it became standard for this Prophetess to be among the wives of The King.  Like the ceremonial marriage between King and Priestess many pagan cultures had.  The Marriage between Jehoram's daughter Jehosheba and the Priest Jehoiada may have been a similar arrangement, a marriage alliance between the Royal family and the Priesthood.

Isaiah 8:14 is terminology drawn on by Paul (Romans 9:32-33, 11:9 and 1 Corinthians 1:23) as well as 1 Peter 2:8-10.  So quoting this promised Son as being Jesus was not unique to Matthew.

The key objection many might have to applying this prophecy all the way into Isaiah 8 to the time of Jesus birth is what's said in Isaiah 8:4.
"For before the child shall have knowledge to cry, My father, and my mother, the riches of Damascus and the spoil of Samaria shall be taken away before the king of Assyria."
I have argued that King Herod died during the 40 days between Jesus Birth and Presentation in The Temple.  After he died rebellions broke out in the lands Herod ruled, which did extend to include parts of Old Testament Aram.  And these were put down by Varus when he was governor of Roman Syria.  I don't think it's that hard to typologically say Rome is in the role of Assyria here.  Especially the Roman Province of Syria which was basically what the Seleucid Empire had declined to.

Josephus talks in-depth about these campaigns.  One battle is clearly placed in the general area of Samaria.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

About Ephraim, All means All

So last year I did my post on Ephraim and the Fullness of The Gentiles.  I stand by that in terms of my rejecting Two House Theology.  The Church is part of Israel but not one specific Tribe.  Ephraim's role in Bible Prophecy is in Revelation 16 in the 6th Bowl.

But I'm more understanding now of the argument that Ephraim becoming "a Multitude of Nations" should be translated "the Fullness of the Gentiles".

Here is what people are missing in terms of connecting Genesis 48 to Romans 9-11.  If Ephraim became the "Fullness" of the Gentiles.  And if ALL Israel will be Saved.  Then logically Everyone will be Saved.

Hence more proof of Unviersalism.

Friday, May 26, 2017

The name Gog is in The Bible besides Ezekiel and Revelation

Everyone knows Magog is, as a son of Japheth.  However I have realized that Gog is as well (and I'm not referring to those Septuagint additions either, this is in the KJV and the Masoretic Next).  But first some context.

I did a post on Ezekiel 38 and 39 being after the Millennium, in the context of Chris White's argument.  I wavered there a bit but ultimately came to agree with Chris.  Back then I still supported identifying Magog, Rosh, Meshech and Tubal with Russia, but I've now come to be more willing to agree with White's identifications for the locations of the nations involved also.

I alluded in that post to having once seen but forgotten where an assessment that Ezekiel 39 takes place before Ezekiel 38.  I've now found a website making that argument but I don't think it's what I originally saw.  It argues Ezekiel 39 is Armageddon and Ezekiel 38 is the post Millennial invasion.
I haven't looked at other articles on that site.  I suspect there is plenty else I disagree with, I'm here endorsing only possibly this article.  I left a Comment that may or may not ever get approved where I made some incorrect statements since I didn't think them through well enough.  I'll try to say what I meant to better here.

First, making an argument like this, it's useful to state that you're aware the modern chapter divisions aren't in the original text.  In this case the first verse of Chapter 39 does make sense as a partial change of topic.  And the last verse of 38 does sound kind of like a conclusion.

Now I have dedicated this Blog to arguing Revelation needs to be interpreted Chronologically.  But the reason I emphasis that is because it's what's distinct about Revelation from other Prophetic books.  Others aren't even all one vision unless it's really short.  And even within one vision or revelation there are reasons why it could suit Yahuah to show some things out of order.  The difference in Revelation is John is being shown a clear sequence of events.  And that the Book defines itself as how to make sense of the rest of The Bible.

So I'm not 100% sure I agree with this view of Ezekiel 38 and 39 yet, but I want to start to a conversation about it.

As for why would God show Ezekiel these battles out of order?  Why do so many Historical movies not start at the beginning of what they're going to show?

To the objection that implies it's inaccurate to define Armageddon as an invasion from the north, I wouldn't address that how this article did at all.  The Hill of Megiddo is not the site of the battle but the gathering place of The Beast's Armies.  They are planning to attack Jerusalem, though they may be cut off at Bethel before they get there.  Or they are headed to The Woman's hiding place in The Wilderness (Arabia).  Either way, they are coming to their target from the North, Megiddo was in the Northern Kingdom, close to the northern extremity of what was allotted to Western Manasseh.

It's possible, though maybe a stretch, that Gog is only really an individual in chapter 39, that Ezekiel 38 means Gog as a geographical or tribal indicator.  Some things said in 38 might be a little difficult to interpret that way, but it's possible.  There are other Prophecies where Yahuah seems to speak to nations as if they were individuals.  Also remember that translators sometimes add more pronouns that the original Hebrew directly justifies.

Revelation 20 definitely seems to be using Gog not as a person but as a location or tribe, that is why it (and never Ezekiel) says "Gog and Magog", they are refereed to as two of the same kind of thing.

Meanwhile Ezekiel 39 describes the place where Gog will be buried being named after him.  That will be important later.

Also Ezekiel 39 never directly refers to Magog as being part of the invasion, it says that when the invaders are destroyed he'll also send fire on Magog and "them that dwell carelessly in the Isles".  39 also never mentions Persia, Cush, Phut, Gomer and Togarmah, Tarshish or Sheba and Dedan.

Revelation 20 also gets mistakenly claimed to have all nations involved.  It's just Nations in the four Corners, Ezekiel 38's alliance represents all four corners, Phut in the West, Cush in the South, Persia in the East,  and Gog, Gomer and Togarmah are associated with the north.

I also think Armeggedon may not be as absolutely everyone as people assume.  I've talked on this blog how I view the 6th Bowl of Wrath in Revelation 16 as being about the Scattered House of Ephraim returning to their land, in Northern Manasseh.

Meshech and Tubal can both be associated with ancient Uratu, in modern Kurdistan, near where the Assyrians took the Northern Tribes they deported, and where the Kingdom of Adiabene emerged in the first century.  Uratu also had four ancient Kings named Rusa.  So maybe "Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal", should instead be "Prince Rosh of Meshech and Tubal"?  But also one of these Rusas had a location named after him, Rusahinili.

This article unlike others seeking to identify a Gog invasion with Armageddon, insists Gog can't be The Beast since The Beast is cast into the Lake of Fire, and not killed or buried.  Indeed, it may instead be that Gog is one of the Kings of The East, along with Rosh.  But maybe there are other ways to look at it, who knows.

There is no doubt in my mind that Ezekiel 38 is about the post Millennial Gog and Magog invasion of Revelation 20.  Ezekiel 39 is either more on that, or it's Armageddon, but there is no Pre-Trib or Mid-Trib Gog and Magog invasion. 

Ironically we are now in an era where it's liberals who are paranoid about Russia.

Now what about that reference to Gog I promised?  It's in 1 Chronicles Chapter 5 verses 4-6.  The context is talking about the Tribe of Reuben at the time they were deported by Assyria in about 745 BC.
The sons of Joel: Shemaiah his son, Gog his son, Shimei his son, Micah his son, Reaiah his son, Baal his son, Beerah his son, whom Tilgath-pilneser king of Assyria carried away captive: he was prince of the Reubenites.
So it seems Joel was a Prince of Reuben at the time of the captivity, and he and his seven sons were carried away into captivity.  The word for Prince used here is Nasi, same as in Ezekiel 38 and 39.

Why am I certain this isn't just a coincidence of names?  Because Ezekiel 39:11 says the place where Gog is buried in east of the sea, all scholars agree the Dead Sea is meant here.  Reuben was one of the trans-Jordan tribes, and the only one who was far enough south to be east of the Dead Sea.  My English language Jerusalem Bible has a footnote here implying that the river Arnon is specifically mentioned.  I'm not sure why it thinks that, might be something lost in translation, but I mention it cause it's consistent with what I just said, the Arnon was meant to be the southern border of Reuben, the border between Reuben and Moab.

So the reason Gog is being associated with persons or peoples separated by over a Thousand Years is I think because it's identifying descent from Gog ben Joel of the Tribe of Reuben.

People who want to interpret Ezekiel as just referring to his own time like to see Gog as Gyges of Lydia.  Well Gyges, who was called Gugu in Assyrian inscriptions, died before Ezekiel's time.  But I do think Gyges could be the same individual as the Gog of 1 Chronicles 5.

The deportation of the Trans-Jordan tribes as in 745 BC.  Gyges reigned from 716 to 678 BC.  If he was Joel's second born son he could have been between 7-20 years old when deported.

Gygyes' story in Greek sources has a lot of myth mingled in.  Needless to say I don't think he was the son of a Dascylus.  The story of him being a Bodyguard could be plausible, sometimes kings have used foreign mercenaries as Bodyguards, like Caligula, and Israelites living in Exile could be attracted to such a job.

The versions of his rise that involves him sleeping with the prior King's wife, have the potential to remind a Biblically literate reader of Reuben's sin.  That could mean one of two things.  The story is made up but Gyges encouraged it out of affinity with his ancestor. Or that it's a trait he inherited.

Gyges could be an ancestor of Cyrus.  A later king of Lydia from his dynasty, Alyattes, had a daughter named Aryenis who married Astagyes of Media and may have been the mother of Cyrus's mother Mandane.  A daughter of Cyrus married Dairus I and was the mother of Xerxes, who was probably an ancestor of Apamea royal wife of Seleucus I, who I've shown were ancestors of Charlemagne.

Cyrus went on to conqueror Lydia, ending Gygyes' dynasty.   At that point you could argue he fully became a successor of Gyges.

Making a Reubanite prince an ancestor of Charlemagne would be interesting to Britam supporters, since they like to make France Reuben.  France having it's own River Arnon is an interesting coincidence.  And it's also interesting here how both Eugene Sue in Les Mysteries du People and Paul Feval in Anne of the Isles (Translated into English by Brian Stableford published by BlackCoatPress) construct fictional narratives with a mythical patriarch of clans of Pre-Christian and Pre-Roman Gallic (specifically Bretan) France named Joel.

But as interesting as that all is, I think the Gog(s) of Ezekiel and Revelation will be attacking from Turkey or Northern Iraq.

Update: More on Lydia

The city of Sardis wasn't always called that it seems.  Homer called it Hyde, and I agree with the theory that Homer was contemporary with Gyges.  The first surviving reference to it being called Sardis is in the 470s BC.

I've talked on my Revised Chronology Blog about the Sherden/Shardana of the Seas Peoples being linked to both Sardis and Sardinia and possibly descending from the Sardite clan, descendants of Sered of the Tribe of Zebulun in Numbers 26:26.

In Gyges time however the Sherden were not yet native to Sardis, but were among the foreign mercenaries he was using and also recommended to Psamtick I of Egypt (Seti I in my chronology).  The son of a Reubanite prince using members of other Tribes as mercenaries would certainly be interesting.

The Hebrew spelling of Gog in Gimel-Vav-Gimel, and Magog is Mem-Gimel-Vav-Gimel.  But the vav like yot was sometimes used like a vowel in the Masoretic text, so some people theorize for words like this the vav might not have been used originally.  This factors into two theories about the etymology of Gog and Magog.

One is the idea that Magog is a Hebrew code for Babel (Babylon).  If the Vav is dropped then you get Magog from taking the next later after it in the alphabet for each letter of Magog and then turning it backwards.  Gog then becomes just Bab, which means gate in the pagan etymology of Bab-El.  Makes me think of the Persian false prophet known as The Bab.

The other is the theory that Agag might be a related name.  The Septuagint replaces Agag with Gog in Balaam's oracles, in Numbers 24:7.

In the context of looking for Gog in Media or Persia, it's interesting to remember that Haman was called an Agagite (technically his parent, presumably father, was).  The Septuagint additions to Esther has the Persian King call Haman a Macedonian.  Maybe Makedon could be related to Magog somehow?  But also a Macedonian princess named Gygaea married a Persian noble and was the mother of another Persian noble.  Gygaea was also an ancient name for Lake Mamara in Lydia.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

I don't think there will be a Millennial Temple building.

I know my fellow Pre-Millennial Futurists are very afraid of any interpretation of Scripture that can be viewed as less then Literal.  I have more and more come to feel Literal is not the right word, what I say is that I take The Bible seriously.

What I want to discus here is that denying that the Old Testament Prophecies of a future Temple might very well be fulfilled by the New Testament Doctrine of The Church as The Temple of God, demeans the importance of that Doctrine in ways that I feel damage our Understanding of God's Word more then any allegorical interpretation of Scripture ever could.

And I don't view it as Symbolic, as of Pentecost The Church is absolutely the literal deification of what a Temple is, in both Pagan and Judeo-Christian thought a Temple is what houses the Divine.  It is only what sounds like the description of a building and Sacrifices that is interpreted as Symbolic here.

And this Doctrine isn't limited to Paul, which I mention not just because of the Anti-Paul people out there, but because a Doctrine needs more then one witness.  It's in Revelation, both in the message to the church at Philadelphia and in the description of New Jerusalem (The 12 Apostles as Pillars is referencing Paul's own terminology in Ephesians 2 and Galatians).  And if you don't think Paul wrote Hebrews, Hebrews alludes to it.  Jesus teaches in John 4 that a time will come when God no longer dwells in a Temple building.  And it's implied that's what Stephen was stoned for teaching in Acts 6-7.  And it's in 1 Peter 2:4-5.

I've seen people say that Paul teaches the doctrine in the sense of an Individual Believer's Body being God's Temple only once so we can't build Doctrine on that (in 1 Corinthians in chapter 3 and 6).  However Peter refers to his Body as The Tabernacle in 1 Peter 1:13-14.  That is a second Witness more so then another reference from Paul would be.

Meanwhile in John's Gospel Chapter 2, we see Jesus refer to His Body as "This Temple".  That means that the doctrine of The Church as the Temple of God is inherently related to The Church as The Body of Christ.

And I've already talked about how The Body of Christ and Bride of Christ doctrine are related because of when Jesus says a Husband and Wife become one Flesh, and how Eve was made from Adam's flesh.  And the same passages of Revelation I alluded to above also reference the Bride of Christ doctrine.

And plenty of Prophecies about either The Millennium or the New Jerusalem lack any reference to a Temple.  The Christian Doctrine of The Millennium is dependent on Revelation 20 and 1 Corinthians 15, neither mentions a Temple.  Ezekiel 37 I view as about The Millennium and it mentions no Temple building, Paul quotes Ezekiel 37 when building his Church as the Temple doctrine in 2 Corinthians 6:16.  Even Zechariah 14 while talking about the Feast of Tabernacle being observed doesn't mention a Temple, Torah observant Christian observe that Feast without needing a Temple.

Isaiah 65 and 66 are viewed as about The Millennium by many but the New Heaven and New Earth by me.  Either way he makes clear there will be no Sacrifices.

Ezekiel 40-49 is the only presumed Prophecy of The Millennium that describes a Temple Building and Sacrifices being carried out, there is no second Witness, other passages you can take as referring to a Temple in The Millennium lack details.  Yet the part on Yahuah-Shammah is clearly among what Revelation is drawing on in it's account of New Jerusalem, where all Christian agree the only Temple is The Church.

And when The Holy Days are discussed in chapter 45, First Fruits, Pentecost, Yom Teruah and Yom Kippur are left out.  Those happen to be the Holy Days most dependent on the Temple rituals. 

And so here I point back to my past discussions on Ezekiel's Temple.

So now you may ask, what about the "Third Temple" as in a Temple The Antichrist will desecrate?

Historicism is predicated on saying The Temple Paul refers to in II Thessalonians 2 is the same one he means in the Corinthian Epistles and Ephesians 2.  My issue there is mainly that Paul clearly means something unmistakable.  Even so the idea that the literal and symbolic meaning could both true is possible, I have for many reason become convinced The Antichrist will be within The Church.  But the issues with saying The Pope fulfilled this already are endless.

I firmly believe the Eschatological portions of the Thessalonian Epistles were Paul's commentary on the Olivite Discourses.  Jesus didn't use the word Temple there, in both Matthew and Mark there is no denying he is using geographical terms.

Mark 13's Abomination of Desolation reference has often been interpreted to imply the location of The Temple but not necessary require the building itself to still be standing.  Which is why many have seen Hadrian's Temple built after the Bar Kokhba Revolt as fulfilling this.

However most of my fellow Futurists feel Matthew 24 saying "in" and 'Holy Place" mean inside a Temple building.  But in fact the Greek terminology there can refer to an outside as well as inside location, the word for "in" is sometimes also translated "on".

The only reference to an Earthly Temple building in Revelation is at the start of Revelation 11.  In that case I recently read someone arguing that what the Greek Text actually says is that in 42 months Jerusalem will be trodden under foot of the Gentile for an indeterminate amount of time.  I have shown that Luke 21 begins that time frame when The Temple was destroyed in 70 AD.

This person was a Futurist in their overall view of Revelation.  But argued this passage is about the time John received the Revelation being 42 months before September of 70 AD when Titus fully secured control of the City.  However this was an Anti-Paul website that teaches a lot of bad doctrine.

What's most important is that I have come to an understanding of the Image of The Beast that says the final Abomination of Desolation won't happen till after The Beast's mortal wound is healed.  Which in turn can't happen till after the Abyss has been unlocked is Revelation 9.  And that is why the Historicist view of II Thessalonians fails.

At the same time, I am now open to a Pre-Millenial Futurist view that does not require any future Temple Building.

But also, since I now think The Tabernacle and Solomon's Temple were originally Domes.  And the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque are both Domed buildings.  Is it possible one of them could be considered close enough?  The issue of where the Holy Place was in relation to those buildings I've discussed in the past and will again.

Long time viewers of this Blog may recall that there not being enough time to rebuild The Temple was why I abandoned my 2018-2025 70th Week model (that came from the Suleiman the Magnificent theory).  Am I now willing to revive that?  Maybe, but I don't want to definitively predict anything.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Iapetos could be The Name of The Beast

Iapetos was the name of a Titan from Greek Mythology, is often called today Iapetus or Japetus because of Latinization, but Ἰαπετός Iapetos was the original proper Greek spelling.

Disclaimer up front, I am not arguing Greek Mythology is true and The Antichrist will be a Titan from it.  Or even how many Christians usually tie the Titan Mythology into Genesis 6.  Nor would it require him being anyone who lived in the past returning.  By the end it will make sense why a (completely biologically Homo-Sapien) Jewish Messiah claimant, or maybe even someone claiming to be Jesus, would use this name. Just bear with me.

The spelling has a Greek Gemetria value of Six Hundred and Sixty Six.
Iota=10, Alpha=1, Pi=80, Epsilon=5, Tau=300, Omicron=70, Sigma=200.

This spelling is also 7 letters, and no repeats, 7 different Greek letters.  Why do I find that significant?  At the start of Chapter 13 John says the Name of Blasphemy was written on the seven heads of the Beast.  I've long had a hunch this is the name being dealt with at the end, just not sure what to make of it.  Here I think it possible that each Head had one letter.  Perhaps I could go deeper with that, but not today.

A few Greek names are known to have had this value.  Irenaus and Hippolytos and other Early Church Father speculated on some, but didn't notice this one.  Though Tietan, a bizarre I don't think attested anywhere else spelling of Titan, is included, and a Titan is what Iapetos was in Greek Mythology.  I'm not quite the first to notice this however, a google search for Iapetos 666 will mainly turns up stuff about a Metal band (I haven't listened to them).  But no Bible Study seriously looking into it.  At first I myself while excited to have stumbled on this didn't think too much of it.

But then I read how the name is usually interpreted to mean The Piercer.  It's thought to come from the word iapto which means wound or pierce, and usually refers to a spear.  Most scholars think this meaning is meant to apply the idea of mortality to him.

All that is stuff right from Wikipedia.  I myself think it could also be possible to interpret it's derivation from that word as meaning Pierced or Wounded.  Which can make us think of Revelation 13 even if we didn't already have the Gemetria connection.  But maybe The Beast would want both the Piercer and Pierced meanings to apply to him, he was Pierced, but after being healed intends to Peirce his enemies.

I will return to Etymology later.

Homer mentions Iapetos in the Iliad (8.478–81) as being in Tartaros with Kronos. He is a brother of Kronos, who ruled the world during the Golden Age.  1 Peter uses Tartaros as a name for The Abyss, The Beast ascends out of The Bottomless Pit.

The importance of that Homer reference has to do with how the idea of all the Titans being in Tartaros comes later, at first it was just these two.  Given how little we know of Iapetos, and how Homer and Hesiod come after Greek Mythology has already changed in many ways.  It could be Iapetos and Kronos were originally the same.

Egyptian mythology also has more then one Underworld god.  Anubis is like Hades is seemingly existing only to rule there.  The other is Osiris who similar to the Titans originally ruled the world of the living but then was killed.  The Pharaoh is Horus in life and Osiris in death.

It is believed there was an underworld god among the Semites named Shalman, the god of the Theophoric Assyrian name Shalmanezzer.  Possibly related to the Hebrew name Shalim meaning Dusk.  In Egyptian Mythology the land of the Dead was also called The West, Amentis, because it was where they believe the Sun traveled from West to East during the Night.  It's not difficult to connect these names to the name of Solomon, as Shalim and Shalem are very similar if not identical in spelling.  And I've argued elsewhere adding an N to the name of Shalmo to get Solomon isn't just a result of the Greek.  And these are speculated to be related to the Greek Salmoneus, another King imprisoned in Tartaros.  In the Septuagint Solomon is spelled Salomon.

Solomon is linked to the number 666 in 1 Kings 10:14 and 2 Chronicles 9:13.  He was a type of Christ early on when he was doing well, but later he fell into Idolatry.  Even the fact that he built a palace for himself that took 4 years longer to build then The Temple is perhaps a sign of this.  That will be a subject in the future.  But this connection is still only as a type.

I've also talked on this Blog about how The Beast may seek to be an Adam figure.  That one of the titles of Christ he may claim for himself is The Last Adam.  How part of the reason his name adding up to 666 means something may be a connection to the 6th day of Creation being the day Adam was made.  And understanding The Image of The Beast begins with Adam being made in The Image of God.  And that maybe his deception will draw on false teaching that say Genesis 1 and 2 are about two different Adams.

Iapetos in Greek Mythology is made an ancestor of the entire Human Race.  Two of his sons are Prometheus and Epimetheus.  Prometheus is the father of Deucalion, the Noah figure of one of Greek Mythology's Flood Legends.  And Epimetheus married Pandora (arguably an Eve figure) and had Pyrrha, the wife of Deucalion.

It may be interesting to note that being the Granfather of the Flood Survivor gives basis to identify Iapetos with Methuselah, who's name means "His death shall bring" making an interesting connection for the mortality association.

The Flood connection is a good place to get into how many Creationists (including myself), and even some purely Secular people doing comparative mythology like Robert Graves, see this name as being derived from Yaphet/Japheth.  Greek mythology is very garbled and so a son of the Flood survivor became an ancestor.  Not unlike Rammah son of Kush becoming Rama with a son named Kush in Hindu mythology. 

The secular scholars however tend to do so from a desire to late date as much of Genesis as they can and say Genesis took the name from the Greeks.  While Iapetos makes sense as an archaic Greek transliteration of Japheth, if it went the other way I wouldn't expect Japheth to be spelt with only three letters.

This can be a good time to look at how Japheth fits into typological themes of The Bible.

In Genesis 9:27.
 God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant.
The word for Tents here is Ophel and is definitely used of the Mishkan/Holy Tabernacle elsewhere.   This can be seen as anticipating Romans 9-11 and Galatians talk of Gentiles being grafted unto Israel.  That is good, I love the Adoption theme of The Bible.

The Problem is how many, including some in the Hebrew Roots movements, tie that into British Israelism and Two House Theology.  Seeing Ephraim and the Northern Kingdom become intermingled beyond distinction with the descendants of Japheth.  Cimmerians linked to both Gomer and Omri, Scythians linked to both Magog and Israel, The Irish linked to Magog and Judah's son Zarah and later the House of David.  And all of Britam's identifications.  I do see some truth in plenty of that kind of stuff, but it also gets tied into Racist and Nationalist political agendas.

And many of these are expecting a Messiah Ben-Joseph.  Christ White has argued for The Antichrist claiming to be Messiah Ben-Joseph independent of the Lost Tribes aspect.  And I disagree with many aspects of his argument especially Jerusalem as Mystery Babylon, but have explored how that could tie into the Lost Tribes issue.

I have a growing hunch The Antichrist will be using much rhetoric taken from the Hebrew Roots movement.  That he'll talk about Nimrod basically plagiarizing Rob Skiba.  And that includes their reverence for The Book of Jasher, which paints Nimrod as Evil and says he fought a War with Japheth.  There may be other sources for this Japheth vs Nimrod mythology, I'm unsure.

I've said before I think there may be Decoy Antichrists, including the Terrible of The Nations who will rule Babylonia.  And that The Terrible of The Nations will be an enemy of The Antichrist, and probably who wounds him.

Of all the people who are types of Christ in The Hebrew Bible, it's interesting how it was Joshua of all of them who shares his actual name.  The Shia Muslim reverence of Ali draws a lot on seeing Ali as the Joshua to Muhammad's Moses.  Well in this un-Biblical Jasher mythology Japheth becomes arguably the Joshua to Noah's Moses.

Now some Creationists talking about Iapetos as Japheth have claimed Iapetos makes no sense in Greek etymology at all.  And in fairness there are real Greek scholars who have questioned the etymology I discussed above.

But what I want to talk about is how that commonly accepted Etymolgoy for Iapetos can be more consistent with Japheth's Hebrew eytmolgoy then you might think.

Going back to Genesis 9:27, the use of Enlarge there is a known pun, as Japheth's name is derived from that Hebrew word, phathah.  But this verse is the only time the KJV translates it Enlarge.  It's also sometimes words like Entice or Beguile, where sometimes a sexual connotation is implied in the context.  And the Strongs definition suggests it could mean "to open".  So the idea of Piercing could come from it, especially as things get clouded through a change in language.

A Yot added at the beginning of a name is often a sign of being Yah theophoric. Yeshua itself is an example of one of a Yahuah theophoric being contracted to the point where the letter Yot is all that represents the Holy Name.  Now I don't think Japheth was a Yah theophoric name, but I think a future false Messiah deifying himself while going by that name could seek to re-imagine it as one.

Those who out of ignorance of how First Century Greek worked try to claim Iesous is really a pagan name.  May add that they feel a transliteration of a Yah theophoric name should have an Alpha after the Iota.  But in Greco-Rroman times all Semitic names beginning with Yot began with Iota-Eta.  And that included Japheth in the Septuigant. But this rule wasn't a factor in more archaic times when the spelling of Iapetos was standardized.  And given the many Semtic via Phonecian influences on Greek, I wonder if Iasus might derive from a more ancient Greek form of Yeshua?

So I can easily imagine a false Messiah Ben-Joseph etymologically connecting himself to Japheth.  And interpreting the name Iapetos to mean either "Yah pierced" or "Yah Piercer".  And either those proposed meaning could have opposite proposed interpretation depending on if he identifies himself with Yahuah or rejects the name of Yahuah.  "Pierced by Yah" or "Yah is pierced".  And "Yah the Piercer" or "the Piercer of Yah".  There are multiple options.

And the Hebrew Gemetria value of the Hebrew spelling of Japheth being 490 he could argue a Biblical Numerical significance for, being 70 times 7.  I've suggested before that the Antichrist maybe claim to be the Messiah the 70 weeks points to.

And so I feel I have made my case.  What's below is just a supplemental epilogue and not part of the main thesis. 

For those who want to cling to the Hexagram having some connection to the Mark of The Beast because of the Seal of Solomon/Ring of Solomon mythology.  Which I talked a little about yesterday.  You could easily place one letter of Iapetos, probably the first, Iota, in the middle and the remaining six letters in each point.

It becomes interesting then that the moon of Saturn that has become named after Iapetos is hard to look at without thinking of Hexagons and Hexagrams because of it's unique appearance.  Saturn was the roman name for Kronos, so to keep that theme all or most of Saturn's moons were given names with a Titan connection, including one simply named Titan.

In the novel of Arthur C Clarke's 2001:A Space Odyssey, the Black Alien Monolith is on Iapetus.  But the movie changed it to a moon of Jupiter because they couldn't figure out how to do Saturn's Rings.  (Yet people think Kubrick directed to rehearse a NASA faked Moon Landing).  This fact is a factor in why I imagine Iapetus when thinking of William Scnebelen's Cathedral of Pain story about being taken to a Moon of Saturn, even though Bill doesn't specify which moon at all.

There are lots of Ancient Aliens related fringe theories about Iapetus.  Including that it's an artificially created moon comparable to The Death Star.  Tom Horn advanced a Christianized version of these ideas placing Tartaros/The Abyss inside Iapetus rather then The Earth.  I no longer believe that theory, but the idea that the Star approaching the Earth in Revelation 9 after the 5th Angel Sounds could be Iapetos remains in my mind.  Remphan being known to refer to Saturn I view as possibly support for Satan's Throne being on one of it's moons.

But that astronomical stuff is not that important.

Update May 27 2017: More on Bill Cooper's After The Flood, and Japheth and Noah in Pagan in mythologies.

There is a lot of agreement on Iapetos being derived from Japheth.  But Bill Cooper's other identifications for Japheth are more controversial.  And while I love his research, it does have flaws.

I've already talked about how flawed I feel his argument for Sceaf (once rendered Seth) as Japheth is.  I've contemplated using the Seth variant to identify him with Set of Egyptian mythology, or one of the Seti's of the 19th Dynasty named after him.  And I may engage in further speculation on that in the future.

And his Iupater/Jupiter argument is silly, that etymology is clearly simply Father-Jove.  If the Spear association of Iapetos is correct, then Quirinus may be the Latin form of him.  As far as appendix 11 goes.  Dardanus was a descendant of both Iapetos and Jupiter because his parents in Greek mythology were Zeus and Electra daughter of Atlas son of Iapetos.

But I want to defend the Pra-Japati connection.  Arguing Prajapati is Japheth gets written off since it has a seemingly clear etymology, Praja-Pati, "Lord of The People".  But Prajapati was definitely viewed as a god of procreation, which fits what I pointed out above about the etymology of phathah.

And the name Prajapati is also linked to the family of the Flood survivor, Manu in Hindu mythology.  But this time rather then a descendant or ancestor Prajapati is a title of Manu, being a progenitor.  But the name of Prajapati is applied to ancestors of Manu as well.

Manu as a Hindu name for Noah is interesting to speculate on, since Man as a word for Human probably comes from the same Proto Indo-European origin (Man was not originally gender specific, Woman means Man with a Womb) it is used in Bible translations for Adam and Enosh, words for Human, and Ish and Zakar, works for Male.

Manes is an obscure name in Greek texts thought to be a Hellenized form of it.  He was the the first King of Maeonia, but mainly an ancestor of Kings of Lydia.  His son was Atys and Atys son was Lydus/Ludos, the namesake of Lydia.  In the Bible the namesake of Lydia is Lud/Lod the son of Shem son of Noah.

Manu the Great is also a Chaledean god of Fate.  It is usually said there probably isn't a connection between him and the Hindu Manu, but Prajapati is also a god of time and fate.

The Hebrew name Noah or Noach is Strong number 5146, it means Rest or Comfort.  A related Hebrew word carrying similar meaning is Nacham, Strong number 5162.  But another Hebrew name comes form that, by adding a Mem as a prefix you get Manehem/Menahem.  So adding a similar prefix to Noah, which would carry the meaning of "from Noah" would get Menoah or Manoah, the name of Samson's father.

Could Manu be a corruption of that name?  And maybe even Menes as the first Pharaoh of Egypt was as well.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The Beast of The Earth from the Koran.

My attitude towards Islamic Antichrist/Mahdi theories has been long and complicated.

One factor is I used to say that if the Beast out of the Sea does claim to be the Islamic Mahdi, that I doubted the second assumption of The False Prophet aka the Beast out of The Earth claiming to be the Islamic Isa/Jesus would be correct.

Then I changed my mind on that as I learned more.  I showed from Scripture that the False Prophet being a Counterfeit Jesus does make sense independent of reading Islamic eschatology into it.  But now, I've again noticed something others talking about Islamic Eschatology miss.

The Koran, which doesn't mention The Mahdi, does mention a Beast of The Earth, it actually calls it that, but doesn't depict this Beast as Evil, it's depicted as good.
And when the Word is fulfilled against them (the unjust), we shall produce from the earth a beast to (face) them: He will speak to them, for that mankind did not believe with assurance in Our Signs.
— Qur'an, sura 27 (An-Naml), ayat 82
 And from a Hadith, though it's considered weak.
Narrated Abu Hurairah: that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: "A beast will emerge from the earth. With it shall be the ring of Sulaiman (Solomon) and the staff of Musa (Moses). It will brighten the face of the believer, and stamp the nose of the disbeliever with the ring, such that when the people gather to eat, it will be said to this one: 'O believer! and to that one: 'O disbeliever!'"
— Jami' Al-Tirmidhi; English: Vol. 5, Book 44, Hadith 3187; Arabic: Book 47, Hadith 3490
Could this Brightening the Faces have some connection to the Mark of The Beast in the Forehead?

Many Christian commentators think The False Prophet will claim to be the Prophet like Unto Moses.  This beast claiming to have the Staff of Moses could fit that.  The New Testament tells us that Prophet is Jesus.  But many even claiming to be Christians want to give that title to someone else, like Muslims arguing it was Muhammad.  And those who want to make Moses one of the Two Witnesses say this Prophecy is about a second coming of Moses.  I haven't seen it yet but it wouldn't surprise me if some Jews think that will be fulfilled by Elijah.

Since The Mahdi was added to Islamic Eschatology later.  One could argue that the demonic forces behind The Koran originally just intended Isa to be the Antichrist and this Beast the False Prophet.

But maybe it's possible for a Muslin today to try and argue this Beast in this Sura was a symbol of Isa, just as the New Testament Apocalypse Symbolized Jesus as the Arnion (usually translated Lamb but could be Goat or Ram).  And indeed The Beast out of The Earth has Horns like an Arnion.  And Jesus did Descend into the Heart of The Earth.  Contrary to what most Muslims think The Koran doesn't contradict Jesus dying on The Cross but affirms it.

Having The Ring of Solomon could be a sign of being an Heir to Solomon and thus being Messiah Ben-David.  But in this extra Biblical Lore about Solomon (it's not unique to Islam) Solomon used this Ring/Seal to perform Magick and control Demons/Shedim/Jinn.  The Ring is also said to have the Divine Name in-graved on it.  And I would guess it's normally depicted as being worn on the Right Hand.

This is perhaps a good time to remember that the number 666 was linked to Solomon, and the Hexagram has been linked to the Seal of Solomon, which many have sought to connect to the Number of The Beast.  And in one Legend the Ring of Solomon is thrown into the Sea to be returned to Solomon later by a Sea Animal.

What if the Ring of Solomon here is going to be used like a Ring a King would give to a Regent?

More importantly, there is a reason the Ring of Solomon and Seal of Solomon are treated as synonyms when you study this lore.  Because a King's Seal was often on his Ring which he would use to place his Seal on documents and so forth, but he might also give the Ring to someone else to give them authority to seal things in his name.  Revelation is definitely drawing on this imagery in Chapter 7 with the 144,000.  And The Mark is frequently viewed as Satan's inferior copy of that.

Again, my take on studying these False Prophecies is that I think Satan makes all of them as potential seeds for The Antichrist.  But that doesn't mean for certain that false Prophecy is what The Antichrist will wind up using.