Babel, Pagan God’s and the Lost Tribes
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
In archeological and critical historical religious literature the authors (usually agnostic, atheist or secular) often attempt to make one believe other cultures are older and predate that of Scriptural writ, simply because physical evidence found is often older than the earliest Biblical manuscripts. They claim that the Biblical writers took traditions and stories from these so called older cultures and adopted them as their own creation story and flood account and so on. However, if one believes the inerrancy of Scripture one would easily realize that the entire world was at one time one people, language and culture until the confounding of the languages at the Tower of Babel. Thus, in the post Babel world everyone took the shared traditions and legends from the Creation to the Flood and all the prophecies of redemption and messiah that lies therein and molded into what each people group has become. This is why every people group has a creation and flood story. Just because most all cultures practice or practiced at one point animal sacrifice, have legends of virgin births, god-men messiahs, and just because they appear in Christianity and Nazarene Judaism in the truthful events does not mean they were gleaned from a pre-Biblical pagan culture of Mesopotamians, Canaanites or what have you. No, we did not rip stories from them and claimed them as our own holy history, they ripped stories from us.
I read books such as “The Two Babylons” and see how Satan has perverted the truth in each culture in an attempt to drive them away from the truth, yet the grain of the truth lies within each culture; which lends to the possibility of a pagan culture to come to the truth. Indeed, it is an ingenious plan of the evil one to hide truth in plain sight, yet disguised in cultural paganism.
Since Canaan was a descendant of Hamm, one of Noach’s three sons, and was the Land and People whom Israel (Shem’s descendants) conquered, and seeing as they were distant relatives of one another, it stands to reason their language, culture and expressions for and worship of the Most High were similar, even after the incident at Babel.
Even with Abraham, G-d was not known as YHWH.
Exd 6:2-4 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I [am] the LORD (YHWH): And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by [the name of] God Almighty (EL SHADDAI), but by my name YAHWEH was I not known to them. And I have also established my covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their pilgrimage, wherein they were strangers.
In other words, G-d was known to Abraham by one or more of His Canaanite, generic pagan names, another common one was El Elyon (G-d Most High). El Shaddai was letting Abraham know that He was displeased with the Canaanites and He was planning on giving their land to him and his descendants.
It is no surprise G-d had “pagan” names or rather titles, I should say, like El Elyon and even sometimes Ba’al (Lord). Again, these were moreso titles and descriptions than they were proper names of a deity.
I’m not saying pagan religions are acceptable in G-d’s sight or are legitimate expressions of worshiping the One and Only G-d, but I believe they are traceable to the G-d of Abraham and the religion of His people.
For instance, all the Asian/Oriental/Near East religions such as Buddhism and its splinter groups like Taoism, Confucius-ism, and Jainism can be traced to Judaism through Kabbalah. For the main tenants and philosophies therein are virtually the same. We can even say this about Hinduism and its offshoots of Sikhism and the adherents to Hare Krishna, it too seem to have come from ancient Kabbalah. I realize for some this is a far stretch because they don’t see Kabbalah as being as old as Judaism, but according to Tradition and extra Canonical books like Enoch speaks of a mystic spiritual tradition that has been handed down from the beginning and has presently taken its form of expression to us in Kabbalah. And ironically scientist have turned to Kabbalah only to discover it speaks of things such as string theory and even medical facts; Kabbalah has at times beaten science to the punch (See: “Science and Kabbalah” by Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr). Although Hinduism is sometimes called polytheistic, this is not entirely correct. Hindus actually believe the various deities in their pantheon are manifestations or emanations of the same single G-d.
Ironically here are certain striking similarities between the Hindu god Brahma and his consort Saraisvati, and the Jewish Abraham and Sarai, that are more than mere coincidences. Although in all of India there is only one temple dedicated to Brahma, this cult is the third largest Hindu sect. A carry over from when we were one people at Babel?
Krishna was before Christ but his exploits and teachings have some striking similarities. Author Kersey Graves (1813-1883), a Quaker from Indiana, compared Jesus Christ's and Krishna's life. He found what he believed were 346 elements in common within Christian and Hindu writings. Maybe this was a form of ancient prophecy about the Messiah being preserved in Pagan religions. http://www.religion-cults.com/Eastern/Hinduism/krishna.htm
Even Native American spirituality in ritual and philosophy at times mirrors Judaism uncannily and though archeological evidence it is believed by some that the Cherokee people and possible the Lakota have Hebrew blood or at least were influenced by Hebrews who came to the America’s via Davidic and Solomonic trading ships (See: The Judaokee People” By Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr).
Even Egypt for a short time (18th dynasty) went back to a monotheistic religious state under Pharaoh Akhenaten to worship the one and only G-d he called Aten. It is impossible to discuss Aten without mentioned his biggest promoter, the pharaoh Amenhotep IV, or Akhenaten. Early in his reign, Akhenaten worshipped both Amon (the chief god in Thebes at the time) and Aten. Amon at one time the supreme god of Egypt which in many ways resembled the G-d of Israel. The belief and worship of Amon-Ra and Aten is thought and speculated by some to have been influenced by Joseph when he was second in command of Egypt and it carried over into other rulers and dynasties. Amon in the Egyptian language means, the one who is unseen, which would describe the G-d of Israel who has no image to represent Him. Amon in Hebrew means master builder and which, if influenced by Joseph could be his attempt to point Egyptians to YHWH the Creator in a way they would understand. Ra, was the original sun god and supreme deity of Egypt and the contract name Amon-Ra many have been used to indicate that the master builder is the supreme God who made the sun and all of creation. In the time Amon-Ra was worshipped it Egyptians became somewhat monotheistic and all other Egyptians gods were said to be one with Amon-Ra and emanate from him. Similar to YHWH, the G-d of Israel and Messiah Yeshua, the Ruach HaKodesh and His Sefirot (Attributes).
Zoroastrianism was the ancient Persian monotheistic religion which took many ideals and words from the Hebrew religion as it was then and thus looks and sounds like Judaism at times.
Thus out side of the Abrahamic religions and post Exilic times I believe traces of Hebraism and its faith from after the Assyrian captivity and dispersion of the 10 tribes can be found in pagan religions and cultures.
For example, I was watching a Viking movie and heard one of the Vikings say “Odin help us!” And it struck me how similar Odin is to Adon, the Hebrew word for Lord and where we get the name, Adonai.
Odin, is the Norse (Anglo-Saxton) Father God , God of wisdom, wealth, inspiration, poetry, battle, hunting, magic, prophecy. Odin (Woden) – Adon – Adonai
Like with the Cherokee deity Yowah, looks and sounds a lot like the personal Name of G-d found in the Bible, Yahweh. Spelled: Yod-Hey-Vav (Waw)-Hey. In Hebrew there were no vowels and interestingly enough these names we are exploring have the same consonants but different vowels.
In the morphing of words through the ages, through various languages and cultures with the change in accent and inflection, usually the consonants remain the same and the vowels change and so it is easily to see how Yahweh can become Yowah and Adon can become Odin.
Coincidence, I am not a big believer in coincidences.
Before we go any further allow me to say that I am not promoting, endorsing or condoning British-Israeliteism, but there are rumors, legends and speculations that some of the Vikings could have come from one of the lost ten tribes, especially portions of Dan, Gad, Zebulon, Naphtali, and Benjamin.
So could the similarities between the name and character of Odin and Adon indicate that post Assyrian captivity or Babel link?
Adonis, originally a Phoenician god (Phoenicia being modern day Lebanon), also known in Greek mythology as the god of rebirth and vegetation, worshipped in mystery religions for untold eons. Again, the Name is uncannily similar to the Hebrew Adon; Adonis – Adon – Adonai.
The new kid on the block is the Bahai faith which originally came from a Muslim, but sees all other religions and prophets and their messages an extension or facet of the same religion and thus loosely blends the traditions and teachings of all into a unified system.
The reason the various religions of the world became pagan is that after Babel is that the various people groups took the creation and flood story with them, including the Torah (Divine Laws of G-d) as it was known up to that time and through their culture formed it into a separate and distinct religion and so trace elements of “Hebrew” religion can be found.
This is like diluting something in water so you can barely taste what was the originally there. Yet to put it “sciency”… trace elements could be found if tests were run on it.
A great book that fleshes this out is “Eternity in Their Hearts” by Don Richardson. He makes comparisons of tribal religions and peoples he worked with, to things in Scripture. One of which is the concept of the city of refuge which the peoples he worked with had and thus was able to share with them the Word.
However, there is even debate in this area regarding timing. Did it come from Babel or from Sinai or both? I have already covered how it could have came from Babel, but from Sinai means that when YHWH gave the Torah He spoke and His voice, His Torah reverberated throughout the world and those truly seeking the One True G-d heard and obeyed and influenced their culture by it. Well, I must say I have to be as Forrest Gump on this issue as he was on free will and fate, “I think it’s a little of both.”
Then we have Christianity and Islam, direct cuts from the cloth, so to speak, for both religions traces their roots to Judaism via Abraham’s sons Isaac and Ishmael respectively.
It is my belief that in reaching out to other peoples and religions one must find the inroad so as to guide one back to the original source; the G-d of Israel.
What of epiphanies, miracles and personal spiritual encounters and experiences of other religions; are they valid or a delusion?
If valid, is G-d a deceiver, taking on whatever form in whatever religion?
G-d is infinite, boundless; we as finite creations can’t help but put G-d in a nice little box of our own design.
Do I believe in supernatural events and or manifestations in other religions are real?
Yes. They can only come from one of two sources; G-d or the fallen angelic legions, the Devil, Satan, the Evil One, whatever you want to call it. For in the instance of a healing, if the malady is supernatural in origin, all the demonic entity has to do is to remove its influence or “hand” off of the individual and V’wallah! Presto! It looks as if a miracle has occurred, someone has been healed. In which case it will either slowly return over time or another, possibly worse malady will replace it.
If it be from G-d, whether a healing or an epiphany or a revelation of spiritual truth; if it comes from G-d the healing will be permanent and medically recordable, though by all means not necessarily explainable by medicine. If it is a revelation, the truth will be universal regardless of what guise it takes.
When G-d reveals Himself or speaks to a pagan or one of another faith, G-d may look to them as indigenous to their religion. G-d will slowly, by degrees, reveal Himself like a light controlled by a dimmer switch so as to slowly reveal and acclimate one to the Truth and not to blind them with it by a sudden blast of full force light from a pitch black state. This would look so shocking and startling that the receiver of the revelation will automatically deem it a lie from the other side and disregard it.
Secondly, the truth may be revealed so plainly, however, the pagan clothes it and filters it through their own religious world view and thus in the retelling it looks as if it came from his religion.
Yeshua to Jesus
Rabbi Yehudah ben Shomeyr
One of the big mysteries in Christianity and Messianic/Natsari Judaism is the alleged cover up of Yeshua the Messiah’s Hebrew Name. There are a lot of religious conspiracy theorists out there who claim this. I use to believe it too because of all the Anti-Semetic and Anti-Nomian garbage that has made its way into the English versions of the Brit Chadasha (New Testament). But I think I have finally figured it out.
We know that the Messiah’s Name, “Yeshua” is shortened form of the Hebrew, “Yehoshuah (Joshua)” but why in the Greek Septuagint they used “Joshua” but for the Greek New Testament they call, Yeshua/Joshua; Jesus!?
I am by no means fluent in Koine Greek or Hebrew, whether ancient or modern… Heck, I’m not the greatest of my mother tongue, English! But I have taken Koine Greek and Biblical Hebrew in College and I am increasing my knowledge and proficiency in the languages one day at a time and I think I discovered how they got Jesus out of Yeshua.
Since Yeshua means, “Yah’s Salvation.” I use to say, “Why not make the Greek name of Messiah, “Theo-Sotar” (which is Greek for “G-d’s Salvation”) to symbolize Yeshua’s Name in the Greek? But I believe I have discovered why the translators did what they did, and it wasn’t to hide the Hebrew Name of Messiah, nor was it to secretly link Messiah to Zeus as I have heard and read by many Messianic/Natsari believing circles. On the contrary, it was, I believe to distinguish Messiah’s Name from others.
My thoughts are confirmed by this author of this website:
“The reason that the interpreters made the mistake is because the Greek translation of Jesus and Joshua are exactly the same. The same translation is used in the Septuagint (for the name of Joshua) as in the Greek scriptures of the New Testament. I'm just guessing that somewhere along the line, someone thought that the Lord's name should be distinguishable from the other "Joshuas" in the Bible (because there are others). I'm just guessing on that one. I also guess that Anglo Saxons, fresh from defeat at the Crusades, were willing to give the Lord a more Englishly pleasing name than, Yeshua (I'm using the more modern name and the one recognized worldwide as our Lord's true name in Hebrew), which had (and has) a Middle Eastern sound to it.” -- http://www.wheres-the-church.com/yhoshua.html
In the Septuagint the translators transliterated the Hebrew name Yehoshuah to sound as close to the Hebrew as possible in the Greek and thus we get in the English; Joshua. Now so as not to confuse the Old Testament Joshua with the Messiah or any other Joshua for that matter the translators translated Yehoshuah into Greek. They took the Hebrew Yud and made it a Greek Iota. The Shin became a Sigma and the Vav became an Omicron-Upsilon and it is necessary for a final sigma to be placed at the end of the word to distinguish that the name is masculine. Greek grammar rules require that the Hebrew Ayin, the “ah” sound be dropped and BAMB! Yeshua becomes Jesus in the English.
“Dr. Daniel Botkin pinpoints the interchangeableness of the names Joshua and Jesus noting that Neh. 8:17 has Yeshua (Jesus) for Yehoshua (Joshua). Joshua’s name in Greek is (also) Yeasous and is seen in the Septuagint (Josh. 1:12; 2:11; 3:1; 4:4, etc.) which predates the Messiah’s birth by more than 200 years. Botkin also says that this too is proof that ‘Yesous has no connection to Zeus’ for the Jewish Sages who wrote the Septuagint would have been well aware of the pagan god by that name and wouldn’t have used those Greek letters to form Joshua’s name with it if they thought there was a connection to it or to ‘Hail Zeus!’ as some infer.”-- http://www.seedofabraham.net/jesusyeshua.html
Now, I do not use the name Jesus Christ, I do not like it for what anti-Semites and anti-Nomians have made the name to come to symbolize. I use Messiah’s Hebrew Name, Yeshua Ha Moshiach. But even though this issue of Yeshua to Jesus has caused a lot of confusion in religious circles today I pray that a little knowledge of the languages involved we can see how Yeshua became Jesus.