Sunday, 23 September 2012

Ha-shem: The G-d Baal Reloaded








The cycle of Ugaritic Baal and `Anat ‘ is in three parts, each written on two tablets.
Found in the 1920's in modern Ras Shamra, situated on the Mediterranean coast of northern Syria, a few kilometers north of the modern city of Latakia, it reveals interesting facts about origins of YHWH.
Let’s see:

Part I
Baal and Yamm-Nahar :

El calls to end the violence among the Gods, and intends to crown Yamm ("Sea"), the god of the chaotic seas (also called Nahar "River"), king of the earth. Baal ("Lord"), the storm god, and Mot ("Death"), the god of the underworld, are rivals.

Yamm sends messengers to El’s court demanding that Baal surrender to him as captive. Baal is indignant, and enters battle with Yamm. Kothar-wa-Hasis, the divine craftsman, has been instructed to build Yamm a palace, but instead helps Baal defeat Yamm by designing two war clubs for him. And Nahar (River) from his seat of rule. Baal becomes king of the earth
Parallel Story found in Psalm 29:

Verse1- The sons of Gods(Plural Dieties) are called to acclaim Yahweh as king.

Verse 3- He subdues the waters(Read: God Yamm) with his voice and thunder.

Verse 10- The LORD sits enthroned over the flood(Read:River); the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

Part II
The Palace of Baal:

Intermediaries petition El on Baal’s behalf to allow him a palace. El grants permission, and Baal summons Kothar-we-Hasis to build a palace for him on his sacred Mountain Zaphon. The two argue over whether it should have windows; Baal does not want windows (presumably because it might allow Yamm to invade), but in the end agrees to open windows in the clouds.

Parallel Story found in Psalm 89:

Verse 10- You rule the raging of the sea(Yamm); when its waves rise, you still them.

Verse 13- Zaphon and Yamin you created them

Note:- Zaphon is the sacred mountain of Baal, 30 miles north of Ras Shamra-Ugarit.

Part III
Baal and Mot:

Mot spurns Baal’s invitation, and sends a taunting reply, that just as Baal’s triumphed over Yamm, so Mot will triumph over Baal. The messenger advises Baal to take his storm cloud and descend to Mot with his attendants. Baal obeys, but on the way he lusts after a cow and copulates with her and produces a child Math.

Apparently he dresses up the child to look like him, and sends it to Mot. The body is discovered and messengers bring back the report that Baal is dead. Anat and El mourn.

Anat goes to the underworld and slays Mot, and reports to El. She (or El) has a dream of fruitfulness on the earth, that convinces her that Baal is alive.

Baal returns, and after 7 years Mot recovers. Baal and Mot fight until they collapse. The goddess Shapsh warns Mot that it is useless to fight Baal, since El is now on his side. Mot finally concedes and declares that Baal is king.

Parallel Story in Isaiah:

Verse 26:19 -Your dead shall live, my corpse shall rise . . .

Verse 27:1- On that day the LORD with his cruel and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea.

Note: Leviathan is a mythical creature.

Important Points to take consideration of:-

A} Yahweh’s kingship accompanied by Royal banquet on Mt Zion to which all nations comes; Yahweh will swallow up death forever (Isa 25:6-8) // After Baal becomes King and completes temple, holds a banquet on Mt Zaphon to which all gods are invited; immediately after this, story of Baal’s conflict with Mot (Death) the god that swallows up humans.

B} Yahweh’s triumph over Leviathan is preceded by resurrection of dead (Isa 26:19, 27:1) // Baal’s resurrection from dead and defeat of Mot, followed by threat of Leviathan

C} Daniel 7 Son of Man descending on clouds enthroned by the Ancient of Days in place of Beasts of the cosmic sea is nothing but rehash of Canaanite Baal mythology :Baal the rider of clouds enthroned by El over the cosmic sea and dragons.

Notice how the picture is picked up and expanded in Revelation too where “cosmic many-headed dragon that has been cast out of heaven following a battle there.”

D} In Ugaritic myths El dwells in the depths of a mountain, at the source of the double deep (tehom), that is the source of the fresh and salt water oceans. The Hebrews have drawn from the Ugaritic imagery in associating Yahweh in the opening lines of Genesis with tehom (English: "the deep")

E} The Epic of Gilgamesh notes that Baal is portrayed as a god who dwells with the darkness of a thundercloud, whose thunder is his voice, and whose rains, initiate the Flood which destroys all mankind.

The Bible's portrayal of Yahweh as a god who dwells within the darkness of the thundercloud (Deut 4:11; 5:22, 23) is borrowing imagery from Baal Hadad, who also dwells in a dark thundercloud and whose voice is the thunder.


In The Name Of Humanity !!!

                            Robert Mascharan



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