I have found the recent exchanges about Israelite Sun worship to be most
interesting, having done some research on this topic.

There are verses in the Hebrew Bible that metaphorically seem to identify
Yahweh-Elohim with the Sun. Malachi metaphorically identifies God with a
winged Sun disc whose wings are associated with healing (recalling the
Egyptian winged Sun disc). In Deuteronomy, God is spoken of as "DAWNING from
Seir," a term which suggests Sun worship. The temple at Jerusalem faced the
East and the Sun-rise. The Cherubim, identified with winged sphinxes found
in Canaanite art forms of the Late Bronze Age in Phoenicia, Syria, and
Canaan (Megiddo) are understood to be reinterpretations of Egyptian winged
Sphinxes. The Egyptian Sphinx was associated with Solar worship,
particularly the rising Sun at morning, being called Hor-em-akhet ("Horus in
the Horizon"). The great sphinx of Giza which guards the Pyramids, faces the
east and the rising sun, of which he is an aspect. The Egyptians also
portrayed the Sun (called at times Horus or Re) as being born each morning
as a bull-calf, the son of Hathor the cow goddess who personified the sky.
In the Egyptian temples of the Sinai, Serabit el Khadim and Timna, Hathor
images were found as well as votives, amongst which were sphinxes.

Although I am in agreement with Critical scholarship that the Exodus as
portrayed in the Bible is fiction, I do embrace the notion that behind all
myths lie historical kernels and my research is directed at identifying
these archaeologically attested kernels. Egypt ruled Canaan from 1560-1140
BCE and it is not to be ruled out that Egyptian forms of Solar worship
penetrated the Canaanite religious mindset and were adapted and assimilated
to the worship of Yahweh.

Sooo, it is my understanding that the tree of life, the cherubim which guard
it, the temple's facing east, the ark of the covenant and its mercy seat,
calf worship, are all echoes of Egyptian solar worship (allowing a fusion
with similar motifs in Mesopotamian and Syrian motifs which also exist, for
example, the Sun and Moon being associated with a calf ).

I have noted that the Bible suggests in its chronologies preserved in Judges
and Samuel, and Exodus occurring in the reign of Pharaoh Ahmose I, who
expelled the Hyksos. The archaeological evidence though, shows that Israel's
settlement of the Hill country is Early Iron I.  For me, the biblical
narrator has projected Israel's Iron Age settlement into the 18th dynasty
and associated it with the Hyksos expulsion.

The big concern for all in studies of the Hebrew Bible is "WHERE is the
archaeological evidence" in the Sinai, Negev and Arabah for the Exodus ?

My research suggests that events at Timna, occuring in the Late Bronze/Early
Iron I phase are being recalled and transformed into Moses and the
Israelites at Mount Sinai. Timna is a Ramesside creation, and the Exodus
begins at Ramesses in Egypt according to the Bible.

I thus understand that the Exodus is a fusion and conflation of events
attested archaeologically, extending in time from Early Bronze II to Late
Iron II (7th/6th centuries BCE).

Those with an interest in this subject can access my research at the
following urls-

Exodus Memories of Southern Sinai
(Linking the Archaeological Data to the Biblical Narratives)

Is Mount Horeb (Mt. Sinai) Jebel `Arribeh by St. Catherine's or Mount Timna`

Dating the Exodus, The Hyksos Expulsion of 1540 BCE ?

Dating the Exodus
(And Other Associated Problems)

The Exodus Traditions (Their pre-biblical backgrounds)

Cherubim, The Pre-Biblical Origins of
(And The Mercy Seat Atop the Ark of the Covenant)

All the best, Walter

Walter Reinhold Warttig Mattfeld
Walldorf by Heidelberg
Baden-Wurttemburg, Germany

----- Original Message -----
From: "John Lupia" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 12:51 AM
Subject: orion-list Re: orion V2002 #17

> Victor Horovitz  wrote:
> Excuse me for being blunt, but your assertion is
> ridiculous. The semitic word for sun is $VmV$. It is
> shared by all semitic languages (Heb $eme$, Akkadian
> $am$su, Ugaritic $p$, Arabic sams, etc). The Akkadian
> nominal form would be $am$u with the nominative
> ending. The form $ama$ is the absolute form used in
> personal names, so $ama$ is simply the way one
> adresses the sun (Mr. Sun). THe word for the heavenly
> luminary precedes its deification, and does not derive
> from it.
> Dear Victor:
> The fact that the name $ama$ could mean Mr. Sun
> presupposes that it could also have meant Lord Sun
> ranking him among the nobility, in a monarchial
> structure, where, perhaps, $ama$ was its king.  We
> cannot rule out a form of pagan idolatry where a
> deceased king is honored and considered the rising sun
> in the eternal life.  In this case then the origin of
> the name does not precludes that it was involved in
> its very origin as a religio-mythic cult of a
> primogenetor king who eternally lives and reigns and
> who can give us enlightenment.  Judaism seems to have
> broken off from this cultic sun-worship and imputed to
> the one-uncreated-God the faculties and personality of
> $ama$ and established monotheism as an outgrowth and a
> response to this.
> Victor Horovitz  wrote:
> Although the sun may have been adored in Israelite
> religion, biblical or post biblical, as has been
> asserted by many scholars (see, for example Morton
> Smith's article on Helios in Palestine in the Orlinsky
> Volume of Eretz Israel, or Hadley? articles and
> books), your argument is simply wrong, backward, and
> irrelevant.
> I agree that the Israeli sun worshipping would be
> irrelevant since it would have been post Sumerian
> period which first gave evidence to this phenomenon.
> Conseuently, Judaism would have been a development as
> an outgrowth from Sumerian culture, which appears to
> have lapsed back into its former Sumerian form from
> time to time.
> Victor Horovitz  wrote:
> As for adoring the rising sun, in particular, I might
> refer you to the famous Sun Disk inscription of
> Nebobaladan (King, Babylonian Boundary Stones no. 36)
> which tells that the statue of $ama$ was lost, and
> until it was "miraculously" rediscovered, it was
> substituted for by a "niphu".  Now, niphu designates a
> sundisk model, round and decorated with a four pointed
> star with wavy lines characteristic of $ama$ between
> each arm of the star. If you look at a picture of the
> tablet you will see such a niphu. What is relevant to
> your suggestion about this, is that the Akkadian verb
> napahu, from which niphu is derived, means to break
> out in flames, and also "sun rise", so if we may learn
> anything from this it may be that the accepted
> non-anthropormorphic symbol of the Babylonian Sun God
> $ama$ was a model of the rising sun.
> Victor
> Yes, Victor, $ama$ would have been associated with the
> sun and time, hence he would be considered as
> "father-time" or "the eternal one", or, perhaps
> called, "Lord Sun-Rise".  It is from this origin that
> it appears that Judaism was born.  Substituting or
> replacing "Ehad" the "One" the eternal and uncreated
> God, who is the source of all creation, with $ama$,
> forms the new monotheistic religion of Judaism.  The
> first Jews had adored the sun but as the "Father" who
> could enlighten us and give revelations.  He could
> speak through prophets, kings, priests, and reveal
> himself to the human family.  The disolvement between
> monolitheistic cult worship with the sun and without
> it seems to have drifted in and out suggesting priests
> from different schools existed and that the high
> priests were selected shifting between these different
> schools from time to time.
> Best regards,
> John
> =====
> John N. Lupia
> 501 North Avenue B-1
> Elizabeth, New Jersey 07208-1731 USA

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