|Egyptian Goddess Meret-Hekau|
Is Judaism A Cult Of Serpent Worshipper?
The image of the serpent was of tremendously significant in the ancient world. Societies and scriptures of the Near East simultaneously attributed two highly symbolic roles to serpents:
a) Representing a deity with creative powers, and healing.
b) The other being of underworld and associated them with evil, harm, and destructive influences.
A careful reading of Israel's sacred writings reveals that the same duality regarding serpent symbolism that existed among various peoples of the ancient Near East .
The serpent first appears in the scriptures in the story of the fall of Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:1). In the Hebrew language the creature is called a nahash, a viper, from which derives the noun for copper or brass (nehosheth), also used as an adjective denoting the "brass" serpent that Moses erected on a pole in the wilderness for the protection and healing of the Israelites (see Numbers 21:4–9).
On the one hand, the nahash in Genesis is clearly symbolic of evil promoting the cause of the adversary . On the other hand, is used by Moses nahash or, more precisely, the nahash nehosheth (brass serpent), became the agent of life and salvation for God's covenant people.
In Short, an agent of both harm and healing, death and life, is, in this instance, the serpent. The Israelites may already have been familiar with images of fiery serpents from their exposure to Egyptian mythology while sojourning in Egypt. But the serpent symbol is now seen in its true light—a valid and important representation of God's ultimate power over life and death.
Also note that when Moses was sent to Pharoah to deliver Hebrews , YHWH chose serpent as sign to convience Egyptian King. The image of the serpent continued to exist as a powerful symbol of God long after the Mosaic era ended. Lets see ,2 Kings 18:4:
“He [King Hezekiah] removed the high places, and brake the images, and cut down the groves, and brake in pieces the brasen serpent that Moses had made: for unto those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it: and he called it Nehushtan.”
Note : The serpent at that point ceased to be for the Israelite’s symbol of the one true God to be worshiped (as Moses intended)due to King’s interference.
In New Testament , we read in John 3:14–15:
“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life”. Thus, according to Jesus, the serpent was intended to be the supernal symbol of atonement.
In the Egyptian Book of the Dead ,chapter 87, we are told that transformation into a serpent upon death gives new life to the deceased person.
Veneration of serpents in predynastic Egypt and during the Old Kingdom coalesced around the most important serpent-goddess of Lower Egypt: Wadjet.
Phoenician and Greek Evidence:-
On the Mediterranean coastal plain of northern Syria-Palestine, an important Phoenician deity named ESHMUN of Sidon was worshiped. Who was the god of medicine whose symbol was a serpent. He oversaw the growth and use of medicinal herbs, the cure of poisons, and also potent charms.
In Phoenician inscriptions, Eshmun is called Adonai, "My Lord," parallel to the use of the Hebrew Adonai in referring to YHWH.
Even the most famous example of the winged serpent motif outside of (but related to) the Near East, namely, the Aztec god Quetzalcoatl ("feathered serpent"), is impressive because that G-d was revered as the founder of priestly wisdom (almost as if the Aztecs were somehow familiar with Jesus' statement to be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves" [Matthew 10:16]
Serpent veneration is attested in virtually every region , but nowhere more explicitly than in the Holy Land. Jars and vessels decorated with snakes give evidence of the existence of serpent cults in early Canaan. The snake goddess was worshiped during the Early Iron Age (1225–960 B.C.) at such sites as Gezer, Beth-shan, Beth-shemesh, Shechem, and Hazor.
The serpent-dove motif found at Beth-shan, dating from the 12th century B.C., seems to have been commonly associated with Ashtoreth, the female consort of the Canaanite deity El.
This beautifully painted piece is a winged, human-headed cobra, probably representing the goddess Meret-Hekau, the One of Great Magic.
The picture (Which I have uploaded) has a base of green for fertility, and a face of yellow, the color traditionally used to depict female skin.
The figure’s outspread blue wings suggest a shielding embrace; Meret-Hekau would have aided the deceased king in his heavenly ascent.
Notice how it closely resembles the winged Cherubium of Jewish Ark Of the Covenant. Coincidence?
My friends, nothing in this world is out of sheer coincidence !!
In The Name Of Humanity !!