Thursday, 13 December 2012
Pasi K Pohjala December 12, 2012. Study of Ancient Navigation, Use of Compass described in Bible Verre et Bible. NAVIGATION WITH SIGNALS Old Testament clearly attests ancient developed knowledge of navigating with compass, magnetic needle indicating there direction towards north. Placed in water bowl, such magnetic needle operates quite in manner of current compass. Bowl divination thus included also reading direction towards north by observing floating magnetic needle in bowl. We notice that for ancient Arabic and Mediterranean seafare use of compass was certainly especially effective when geography of important regions is more considered. Glimpse on map alerts easily that the direction of Red Sea is along quite straight direction from northeast to southeast: thus use of compass in ancient Arabic seafare in Red Sea was certainly recognised to be especially effective. And Mediterranean coastal line from shores of Gaza and ancient naval hubs of Sinai towards shores of ancient Ugarit and southern Turkey is quite directed along southwest towards northeast. Sailing in such seas between havens located in such coasts was remarkably effectively aided by use of compass. We remember that from times ancient, Egyptian rulers practised also extensive Mediterranean seafare, often with Phoenician sailors and captains. Sailors truly were living difficult life: sailing along coastal line with coast in sight could be comprehended preferable because in high sea an ancient ship is quite diminutive and quite lost among wind and waves. However, sailing near coastal line with coast visible included the truly horrible danger of shipwreck in underwater rocks that are so numerous nearer to coastal line- especially navigating with ancient ships amidst furore of winds and storms was never so precise that currently engine driven ships precisely guided with gps satellite technology do achieve. Use of compass thus could liberate ancient sailors from sailing dangerously near to coastal line where numerous underwater rocks hampered voyages. And use of compass in sailing in the Red Sea and along Levantine coastal line was specially effective for their being thus straight directed. For comprehending better Old Testament it is notoriously important to recognise that usually ships are called MERKAVOT in Arabic seafare. Indeed, the Arabic word MERKAVA is one of the most usual Arabic words denoting ships. This is straightforward noticed, and for comprehension of Hebrew Bible this Arabic MERKAVA tradition is notoriously apt and important. It is noteworthy that in Rabbinic Judaism MERKAVA mysticism is one important feature of mystical speculation; and ancient Jewish literature of MERKAVA mysticism is quite large. We remember of course, that large Rabbinical Jewish populations flourished in ancient Arabic speaking areas, also in times of Islam, and most of them quite well knew much Arabic language, so that then usual word MERKAVA designating ships in ancient Arabic seafare was to them known. Currently, however, reading of RKB (rakaba) verb and MERKABA noun in reading Hebrew Bible and Aramaic translations and interpretations is concentrating noticing events of dry land. Readers recognise currently usual tenets of verb RAKABA that so is noticed mounting and riding a horse, chariot or war chariot; and noun MERKABA designates chariots. Readers straightforwardly find this current consensus represented in important lexica. But also is famous episode concerning the Sea in Old Testament the episode of Exodus where Israel travelled amidst the Sea of Reeds (Exodus 14-15). Readers well remember the usual comprehension of this central Old Testament event: folk Israel were liberated from Egypt and came to the shore of Sea of Reeds, pursued by troops of Pharaoh. Miraculously, then God opened the route to Israel amidst the Sea- Israel was walking across the sea as if on dry ground; but waves came back and drowned Pharaoh´s troos pursuing Israelites. These are the main tenets of episode of rescue of Israel across Sea of Reeds. This is famous Old Testament episode concerning sea, the Sea of Reeds. The Exodus 15 the famous Song of the Sea that Israelites sang after being thus miraculously divinely rescued. Here writes Exodus 15:4-5 that The Lord, the Warrior- Lord is His name! Pharaoh´s chariots (MERKAVOT) and his army He has cast into the sea; And the pick of his officers are drowned in the Sea of Reeds. The deeps covered them; They went down into the depths like a stone. (Tanakh translation) Pharaoh´s chariots, MERKAVOT, drowned in the Sea of Reeds according to this currently usual reading. Of course, chariots MERKAVOT are designed for land battles, and this currently quite usual reading notices situation where such chariots drown in seas. However, recognising Arabic usual tenet that MERKABA noun designates ships, dramatically changes reading of this episode. MERKAVOT SHIPS of course are appropriate vehicles of transportation across a sea. We read in Hebrew Bible this description that H AJS MLHMH H SMW MRKBT PRYH WHJLW JRH BJM WMBHR SLSJW TBYW BJM SWP In the Hebrew Bible these words in the song of the Sea are truly notorious: here are MERKAVOT noticed and verb TBY is written, this especially referring to Biblical seafare, because the Ark of Noah in Hebrew Bible is called the TEBA. We find thus straightforwardly here interesting description that God carried Pharaoh´s MERKAVOT warships with their troops on sea, and Pharaoh´s troops thus sailed (TBYW, cf. TEBA the name of Ark of Noah) on the Sea of Reeds!! Readers with reading Hebrew knowledge are strongly encouraged to take in front of them this text written in Hebrew, preferably unvocalised consonantal writing, and nothing else than that, and some time seriously contemplate the meaning of those consonants that convey to us these so important ancient traditions. Considering usual Arabic word MERKAVA that usually designates different ships thus brings to Readers ability to quite naturally comprehend this tradition of Sea of Reeds- there are described sailing of Pharaoh´s warships and troops across the Sea of Reeds in MERKAVA warships. Importantly, large Rabbinically oriented ancient Jewish communities were living in Arabic speaking areas, and for them this interpretation was, of course, evident. Greek Septuagint translation of these descriptions of the Song of the Sea are also notorious and important. Greek translation of Exodus 15:1 reads TOTE EESEN MOUSES KAI OI HUIOI ISRAEL TEN OODEEN TAUTEN TO THEO (dat) KAI EIPAN LEGONTES AISOOMEN TO KURIO (dat) ENDOKSOOS GAR DEDOKSASTAI HIPPON KAI ANABATEEN ERRIPSEN EIS THALASSAN Here this Greek Septuagint tradition translates the Hebrew ASJRH LH KJ GAH GAH (gao gaa) SWS WRKBW RMH BJM Already we noticed here 15:4 writing of MERKAVOT PHARAOH in Hebrew Bible in the statement that MRKBT PRYH WHJLW JRH BJM and we noticed that ancient speakers with knowledge of sailing practises of Eastern regions, or old Arabic seafare, here in 15:4 recognised promptly description that God brought upon sea ships and troops of Pharaoh, the MERKABA in old Arabic seafare practises noticing ships. It is only logical and fully understandable to every reader to say that ships and troops sailing on ships were coming upon seas; and speakers may well ascribe this to powerful acts of God. Here in Exodus 15:1 the Hebrew Bible writes of RKB, thus of the MERKABA tradition. Importantly, Septuagint here translates HIPPON KAI ANABATEEN ERRIPSEN EIS THALASSAN. This Greek translation becomes importantly understandable more considering Greek seafare traditions: important type of PHOENICIAN SHIPS were in old Greek parlance called HIPPOS, mostly motivated for the specific decorations on the stem of those ships, looking like horse heads. Recognising thus HIPPOS designating important famous class of Phoenician ships, it is indeed appropriate to state that such HIPPOS ships are set on sea (RIPTO, aor ERRIPSEN). Of course the noun HIPPOS usually denotes the domestic animals horses; but THIS context of the famous Song of the Sea specifically writes of issues concerning sea. Thus IN THIS context of this Greek Septuagint translation it is indeed appropriate to comprehend the HIPPOS as denoting ships, motivated by the usual designation of famous type of Phoenician ships as HIPPOI. It is really logical thus to say in Greek that HIPPON KAI ANABATEN ERRIPSEN EIS THALASSAN; thus is described how ships and those people on board were brought floating upon sea. Here is written of ANA-BAINO form ANABATES that quite generally denotes those on board a ship; but in the ancient CONTEXT of Hellenistic world Readers undoubtedly recognised here ANABATEN referring specifically to NABATEANS. This Septuagint translation thus praises God for having brought on sea boats of Pharaoh and those on board, specifically designated as NABATEANS. We remember that Egyptians much employed people with good naval experience in their ships- and this poem of Sea of Reeds now notices Pharaoh´s HIPPOS boats and NABATEANS on board, probably as navigating specialists; and ANABATEN including practically everyone on board. We also remember that usually OT Hebrew writes NHG to denote to drive, conduct and to do charioteering (BDB 624); thus understandably here Hebrew Bible begins this ancient poetry with ASJRA LH (to God) KJ GAH GAH (gao gaa). Thus is God praised being leader of Egyptian naval forces- that God brought ships and those on board upon sea. However, after the complete defeat of Actium, praises of Egyptian naval forces were obviously considerably rare and such prejudice still in our times hampers to hear this praise of Egyptian naval power and God leading the Egyptian powerful navy. Here also the 15:7 writes in Hebrew Bible that WBRB GAWNK THRS QMJK This is in the Tanakh rendered In Your great triumph You break Your opponents It is certainly difficult to fully appreciate this powerful ancient poetry and its profound wisdom. However, we notice the following. Here is usually read vocalisation BEROB, “with much, by much” but we also may wonder if vocalisation RAB could be appropriate- the Consonantal Script is hallowed but vocalisation merely follows tradition and is often in interpretations speculated and changed. Reading vocalisation RAB in this poetry of ancient Song of the Sea considering matters of seafare and naval battles is of course specially appropriate- in traditions of Arabic seafare one noun designating captain of ship is namely: RAB. Already is noticed that Jerus-salem is a noun designating many safe havens, the Quranic tradition of Sura HUD 11:41 emphasising MURSAHA as the safe anchorage of the Ark of Noah and this noun still currently designating safe havens and harbours. The currently agreed lexical rendering of HRS of course describes destruction and breaking; but in this ancient Poem Song of the Sea certainly this THRS describes how God brings to safe harbour. We thus discover that this statement notices how: God with his skilled Captain with much knowledge (GAON) brings his own folk safely to harbour This poem Song of the Sea begins ASJRA LH KJ GAH GAH noticing how God leads or drives forward such forces (NHG). ELIJAH; Malachi 2:16 Malachi 2:16 writes in Hebrew Bible that KJ SNA SLH AMR JHWH Also we find written in Malachi 3:1 that HNNJ SLH MLAKJ WPNH DRK LPNJ WPTAM JBWA AL HJKLW HADWN Now we consider the SLH here described, this notices some style of “sending”. Attentive reading of these statements notices written HNNJSLH and NASLH where is written specifically of NSL and NSLH. Notoriously, this word has specific meaning of bringing to harbour. We read in Quran Sura Al-Muminun in the 23:29 in Quranic description of histories of Noah and his sailing that RABBI! ANZLINI MUNZALAN MUBARAKAN WANTA KHAIRUN ALMUNZILIN “My Lord! Cause me to land at a blessed landing place, for You are the best of those who bring to land” (interpretation by M.M.Khan and Muhammad Al-Hilali) The verb NAZALA has many various meanings, and meanings designating landing of ship, embarking and disembarking are important (1122). Malachi 3:1 so emphatically describes travelling and travel arrangements, so also New Testament traditions where Jesus of Nazareth by quoting Malachi 3:1 is noticed having described activity of forerunner John the Baptist. Comparison with 3:23 already emphasised that John´s activity SWB describes his clever finding the way and directing travel to proper destination. In these statements of 2:16 and 3:1 now we recognise the NSLH that apparently is comparable with this Quranic tradition of NAZALA bringing to harbour, bringing to landing place MUNZALA. ABRAHAM Old Testament religion much begins with narratives of histories of Abraham, or Ibrahim. Interpretations of the name Abraham are numerous in Midrashic literature, and very often noticed interpretation finds in the name Abraham reference to father of mercy, AB- RHM. Important Old Testament episode was of course the change of name of ABRAM to ABRAHAM; and many interpreters write quite much discussion of such change of name as indicating more fundamental truths. Also Philo of Alexandria wrote comprehensively of Abraham especially in treaties De Migratione and De Abrahamo, and current Author Pasi K Pohjala has been during years devoting much consideration to various details in these magnificent although quite difficult interpretations, even in philosophical meaning quite elaborate and difficult. We consider now some details in the Old Testament episodes of Abraham. Everyone remembers that Abraham is famous traveller. Old Testament episodes commence with the LEKH LEKH that usually are comprehended indicating divine commandment to Abraham to commence his journey. The Genesis writes then lengthy and elaborate histories of travels of Abraham. The current study in Verre et Bible series is studying Book of Malachi and ancient methods of travelling, navigating. Thus we certainly shall notice histories of Abraham also in the current study somewhat elaborate. Abraham is often in interpretations presented being well learned in much of ancient Chaldean science, especially astronomy, and many interpretations notice his specialist observations having aided his finding routes for travelling. Also in this study we shortly consider questions that what did Abraham observe, and how did Abraham direct his routes in his travels. We thus consider some questions of ancient lighthouses, and methods of directing routes with observing light from lighthouses. Histories of Abraham begin in Genesis 12, notably after the episode of building the huge tower in Genesis 11. Many interpreters bypass connection of these episodes: namely, in Arabic language usual word for tower is the BURJ. For Semitic and especially Arabic speakers thus are obviously connected the episodes of Genesis 11 describing building the huge tower (Arabic BURJ) and there described scattering of that people around in their ancient world, and Genesis 12 describing then how ABRAHAM began his journeying in LEKH LEKH episode- important connection is exactly found in the name ABRAHAM where also echo to BURJ is heard. Then we notice of course, that the RHM or RAHAM in the name Abraham usually is rendered to denote mercy and merciful character. But travelling terminology of Arabic language knows important meaning of RAHMAN- this word denotes travel directories and some style of ancient travel aides or maps. Recognising these Arabic traditions of BURJ towers and RAHMAN travel aides and planners we recognise that the name Abraham presents this patriarch as specialist of system of towers that were aiding travellers to find their proper routes. Apparently thus are noticed ancient lighthouses whose light greatly could direct travellers towards that city or town. We especially remember that Arabic noun Minaret denotes also LIGHTHOUSES; and this Arabic noun Minaret also denotes the minaret towers of mosques. In Islamic culture the Minarets are very usual feature built with mosques; and in dark times currently Minarets are notably beautifully enlightened so that Minaret towers of Mosques in night times are also beautifully enlightened lighthouses whose light in ancient times could really well help ancient travellers to find their direction. Importantly, the word Minaret is of same Semitic root as the Hebrew word MENORAH, the famous lampstand of the Temple, so important also in the current times that the MENORAH is the symbol in state emblem of current Zionist Israel. Profoundly regrettably although so descriptively to the current Israel Palestinian conflict, numerous Palestinian families settled there since old times and worshipping in the Mosques and Minarets, have been unjustly driven to exile and Zionist state emblem Menorah become prominent in those regions. Abraham is important Biblical traveller who could successfully travel lengthy journeys towards the Promised Land and in that Promised Land; and often is his success connected with his special knowledge of Chaldean astronomy so that he could direct his journeys with looking at the stars. Certainly Abraham indeed was great traveller who successfully travelled apparently in quite distances; and his name including BURJ RAHMAN notices his special knowledge of directing travel with help of lighthouses that guide the way of travellers. We read in Quran the SURA 85 BURUJ- The Big Stars, this Sura beginning By the heaven holding the Big Stars (interpretation of M.M.Khan- Muhammad al-Hilali) Moreover, 85:3 notices WASAHID WAMASHUD, or By the Witnessing day and by the Witnessed Day; this notices visions and observations. The SAHADA widely notices meanings of witnessing, observing, seeing (570ff). We notice that here is written of Big Stars BURUJ; and thus it is especially noteworthy that SURA BURUJ 85:5-6 writes ALNAR DAT ALWAQUD ID HUM ALAIHA QU’UD Of Fire fed with fuel When they sat by it (fire) (interpretation M.M.Khan-Muhammad al-Hilali) Truly notably this SURA BURUJ writes of “big Stars” and writes of a fire fed with fuel. Importantly, the BURJ notices “towers” and here written NAR root also forms the MINARET. The QA’ADA does denote to sit and be sitting (912) BUT Arabic QADA word (930) quite differently notices to lead, conduct, guide and to steer, in modern times noticing steering cars, vehicles and even airplanes. Comprehended with this QADA, the SURA BURUJ 85:5-6 notices FIRE FED WITH FUEL; WHEN THEIR MOVEMENT WERE GUIDED BY THAT (fire) We find thus in SURA BURUJ notable description how there was big fire in such tower, fire fed with fuel and that this fire was steering travel of those who observed this fire. Also this huge light could be denoted a BIG STAR. The name of this SURA BURUJ now apparently echoes the name of Abraham; and in tradition Abraham was especially famous traveller who was specialist of Chaldean science of observing stars. We comprehend that Abraham was indeed specialist of observing stars of heavens (cf. e.g. Sura An Najm); but also very importantly, this traveller Abraham was specialist of observing the BIG FIRE-LIGHTS IN TOWERS that guided paths of travellers, or MINARET LIGHTS. Considering ancient circumstances makes of course clear that light from towers (Minarets) of cities indeed much steered the travel of travellers; and light from lighthouses or Minarets of coastal line also importantly guided seafarers. We should now remember that Jewish faith and Islam strictly emphasise that God is One (In Quran e.g. so emphasised in Sura Tauhid, SURA 112), writing that God is AHAD. This oneness of God notices His oneness numerically and qualitatively, His absolute oneness. Moreover, in the current discussion it is also important to regard that verb HUDA notices steering and guiding travellers and movements. New Testament Readers remember the famous episode of birth of Jesus of Nazareth and the visit of the magicians coming to greet this newborn, told in the Matthew 2. This episode of Matthew 2 is notorious in numerous details; and for the current discussion now is notable mention that the “star of Bethlehem” guided the travel of magicians in their coming to greet newborn Jesus. Really numerous speculations have been presented in scholarly discussions for this Star of Bethlehem. Numerous studies have been discussing special heavenly events, proposed having formed the specially bright star in heavens; even many academically learned scholars have been calculating of times of such special heavenly event. In the current discussion we recognise that he Star of Bethlehem apparently was the signal fire that was burning in upper echelons of that house or in tower of that place where Jesus was born. The famous episode of Gospel of Luke 2 so famously describes that Jesus was born in midst of times of large travelling, and Jesus was born in the hut beside a house or inn made for travellers. It is understandable that such special house or inn for travellers also burned some really visible signal fire to guide travellers- this is understandable regarding ancient Near Eastern travelling practises and arrangements. There may have been even a some edifice that properly may be called a tower for such signal fire adjacent to that travellers’ inn. Such larger signal fire could then be called even a “star”, the word in Matthew 2 written. Thus is clearly comprehensible the notorious statement of Matthew 2:9 that KAI IDOU O ASTER ON EIDON EN TE ANATOLE (dat) PROEEGEN AUTOUS EOOS ELTHOON ESTATHE EPANO (dat) OU EEN TO PAIDION This Greek text of Gospel of Matthew is easily understandable with considering such ancient arrangements of guiding travellers. This Star was leading (PRO-AGO) the travel of these magicians; it is truly notable that the word PRO-AGO here is written. Comprehending that such travellers’ inn was keeping such guiding fire either on upper echelons or in tower style edifice, it is then appropriate to say that this Big Star indeed and very really stopped upon the place where Jesus was born. Description of Gospel of Matthew 2 of the Star of Bethlehem thus is understandable with considering ancient system of guiding travellers with signal fires towards cities and special edifices of travellers’ inns.