Monday, 7 January 2013

Religion of Dragon in Old Testament, study by Pasi K Pohjala January 05, 2013 of times of Josiah, thus also highly relevant for comprehending the mention of SERAPH in Temple Vision of Isa 6. Considering religious developments of times more modern than time of writing of Septuagint and Hebrew Bible we may notice that in the Rabbinical Judaism of course the celebration of SHABBATH is central tenet of ancient and modern religious celebrations; it is quite worth contemplating that the Hebrew word SBT (with Teth written) usually notices rods and staffs in Biblical Hebrew (thus also in Aramaic; and the Hebrew word for Shabbath is with the Taw letter written). Contemplating connection of Shabbath celebration with SBT rods and staffs is actually quite interesting; notice well that in Synagogue the Torah is always read in Torah SCROLL that is winding around the two rods, visually somewhat similarly as snake coiling around the messenger rod (KERUKEION or CADUCEUS). In history of Scribal culture, it is well known that the form of writings in Codex, that is, writings in form of modern Book where pages are bound together, more characterises the form of oldest Christian writings. These very concrete practises of reading Holy Writings in a CODEX as early Christian religion increasingly practised and the Rabbinical practise of reading in Torah SCROLLS especially in the Shabbath are philosophically very important, especially recognising that the Torah Scroll remarkably is similar to a staff where around is coiling something- around the famous old messengers staff Caduceus was coiling snake or snakes, and Hebrew and Aramaic term for staffs and rods is SBT. Old Testament begins, especially, noticing the snake in the special tree who promised to hearers wisdom and cleverness. And later in this study we shall even more discuss the old famous triad of Syrian religion in Hierapolis of Hadad, Atargatis and Simmios (Caduceus staff) that is widely known in coins of times of Caracalla and Alexander Severus with inscriptions THEOI SURIAS HIEROPOLITOON. These developments notice thus important tenets of Rabbinical Judaism, thus in times more recent; also currently is religiosity of Rabbinical Judaism always so much considering celebration of SHABBATH. Now we importantly also consider some mentions of SARAPIS in the Greek Magical Papyri. These PGM are notoriously difficult and often exceedingly mystical so that we merely consider some clearer statements and write only concise study. We consider first the PGM XIII that is considered as a “Book of Moses”. Certainly we thereby do not endorse or at all suggest enlisting this writing together with the five books of the Torah; ancient works were quite often Pseudepigraphically attributed to some famous historical religious writer (such as Moses) so as to gain some more reputation for that writing. But the PGM XIII is important document and there are in detail much snakes, solar boat, prayers in the sunrise and Serpents noticed. We now study this exceedingly difficult text merely concisely, mostly following the important Translation of the famous Morton Smith, who was very learned important specialist of Jewish religiosity of Hellenistic times and very learned in questions of ancient Jewish magic, this published in the ed. by Hans Dieter Betz. now we consider the Spell said on sunrise, in XIII.138ff “I call on you who surround all things, I call in every language and in every dialect, as he first hymned you who was by you appointed and entrusted with all authorities, Helios ACHEBYKROM (which signified the flame and radiance of the disk) whose is the glory, AAA EEE OOO, because he was glorified by you- who set in their places the winds and then, likewise, the stars of glittering forms, and who, in divine light created the cosmos, III AAA OOO, in which you have set in order all things SABAOTH ARBATHIAO ZAGOURE…The first angel cries in birdglyphic ARAI…Helios hymns you in hieroglyphic LAILAM and in Hebrew by his own name ANOK BIATHIARBAR BERBIR SCHILATOUR BOUPHROUMTROM he says ‘I precede you, lord, I who rise on the boat of the sun, the disk, thanks to you. Your magical name in Egyptian is ALDABIAEIM’ Now he who appears on the boat rising together with you is a clever baboon; he greets you in his own language saying ‘You are the number of the year, ABRASAX. The falcon on the other end (of the boat) greets you in his own language and cries out to receive food CHI CHI CHI…TIP TIP TIP…He of the nine forms greets you in hieratic, saying MENEPHOIPHOTH” (PGM XIII.138-162 in Translation of Morton Smith, publ. in ed. Hans Dieter Betz). Among religious literature the Greek Magical Papyri are certainly some of the more mysterious and difficult documents, comprising details of Greek and Egyptian languages and mythologies and notoriously, quite often quoting details that sound quite Biblical. Indeed the huge effort of the Translator Morton Smith and the PGM translation project commenced at Claremont 1978 should be much appreciated in making hugely learned effort to bring understandable and good rendering of these notoriously difficult PGM. However, we make now some short comments based on the Greek text of Ed. Preisendanz. Here is written HELIOS AKHEBUKROOM HE MEENUEI TOU DISKOU TEEN FLOGA KAI TEEN AKTINA. Thus HELIOS AKHEBUKROOM notices the fire of sun disk and the sun rays and Preisendanz renders Achebykrom “ein Wort das andeutet des Sonnenkreises Flamme und Strahl”. And in the Greek text the names are written BIATHIARBARBERBIRSKHI LATOURBOUFROUMTOOM In the first name when read backwards are thrice found the S-R-B and in the second name the T changed to S also reveals mention of S-R-B, so that here the reference to SERAPH indeed is interestingly present in this statement by HELIOS sun god, that should present something of his name. The SERAPH thus is interestingly alluded to in this statement by HELIOS where name of sun god should be somehow indicated. Important statement by Helios sun here is PROAGOO SOU KURIE EGOO EPI TEES BAREOOS ANATELLOON O DISKOS EPI SE The PGM is notorious document of Hellenistic Egypt, reflecting ancient Egyptian traditions; so that here is described how Sun HELIOS is rising (ANATELLOO); and in Egyptian religion SUN is rising on SOLAR BARK. Here is written of EPI TEES BAREOOS that notices now exactly the SOLAR BARK; thus translates Preisendanz “Ich gehe dir voran, Herr, der rich, der Sonnengott, auf der SONNENBARKE aufgehe mit deiner Hilfe” and Morton Smith quite similarly “I precede you, lord, I who rise on the boat of the sun, the disk, thanks to you”. But reading backwards the BAREOOS (or nominative BARUS) reveals notoriously S-R-B that importantly alludes to SERAPH. Readers should now specially remember the idea of DRAGON BOATS. Solar bark of course is specially fiery boat, or fiery dragon. Also this PGM XIII writes two special prayers, or spells, to make Helios to appear (speaking thus of “make Helios to appear” is such language that is more typical of magical practises where magician assumes some capacity to bring about some effects, whereas in religious language is sunrise rather considered beyond human influence and religious prayers and petitions are addressed to the assumed divine powers or deities), in XIII.335-340 and XIII.255-260. Second description of solar bark arising in the morning is written here in the XIII.457ff. “Helios hymns you thus in hieroglyphic LAILAM and in Hebrew by his very name ANAG BIATHIARBAR BERBI SCHILATOUR BOUPHROUMTROM saying ‘I precede you, lord, I who rise on the boat of the sun, the disk, thanks to You. Your magical name in Egyptian is ALDABAEIM.’ (This means the boat, on which he comes up, rising on the world.) He who appears on the boat rising together with you is a clever baboon; he greets you in his own language, saying, ‘You are the number of (the days) of the year, ABRASAX.’ The falcon on the other end (of the boat) greets you in his own language and cries out, to receive food, CHI CHI CHI…TI TI TI…He of the nine forms greets you in hieratic MENEPHOIPHOTH” (Greek Magical Papyri XIII.457-470 in Translation of Morton Smith). Also here is noticed PROAGOO SOU KURIE, EGO, O EPI TEES BAREOOS ANATELLOON, O DISKOS, DIA SE Also here we notice description that Sun rises EPI TEES BAREOOS; and so we also here find important reference to S-R-B or the SERAPH in description of the SOLAR BARK where Sun is travelling across the heavens. It is worth noticing that reading backwards the ABRASAX word also produces S-R-B and thus refers also to SERAPHS; but numerous special studies have been written concerning this ABRASAX word in magical texts. However, important traits in depictions of this quite popular deity in ancient magic is that Abrasax quite often is regarded as solar god and depicted as a kind of snake creature. Thus there are some important similarities of comprehension of magical solar deity ABRASAX and the fiery dragon, SERAPH; but we especially remember certain vagueness in depictions and comprehensions of magic. But the similarities of SERAPH fiery dragon and ABRASAX magical deity are worth recognising and observing. We should especially remember that magical texts often call Readers to do some special reading, such as reading with permutation of letters or considerations of gematria, and presentation of symbols and allegories is especially usual, so that finding S-R-B reference to SERAPH in backward reading of name ABRASAX is actually interpretation with very usual and simple methods. In ancient world, Hebrews generally did have widespread reputation for their magic and in quite many magical texts and formulas some distant references and mentions of Biblical names and events also occur. We notice that descriptions of DRAGON are written here, also XIII.49 mentioning that DEUTERON SURIGMOS ANTI DE TOU SURIGMOU DRAKONTA DAKNONTA TEEN OURAN. Here is noticed the mysterious Hissing voice SURIGMOS (das Pfeifen) and that special dragon. Usually of course we consider here a snake biting its tail (thus trl. by Morton Smith)- but for readers with some SEMITIC KNOWLEDGE this statement is of TEEN NOURAN and the NOUR is A LAMP. We thus encounter here depiction of DRAGON WHO IN THE MOUTH CARRIES FIRE, the fiery dragon that is fire breathing dragon- and indeed many dragon statues were in their MOUTH CARRYING THE HANDLE OF LAMP, thus “DAKNONTA TEEN NOURAN”. And important feature of ancient DRAGON BOATS with dragon statues or dragon heads at stem whose mouth was carrying the handle of a signal lamp. It is worth recognising that in Synagogues the NIR OLAM always burns. And the Great Magical Papyrus PGM IV indeed does specifically mention the continuously burning light in Jerusalem, thus in IV.1220 “I call upon you, the one on the gold leaf, before whom the unquenchable lamp continually burns, the great God, the one who shone on the whole world, who is radiant at Jerusalem” (PGM IV.1220ff in Translation of W.C. Grese); and Greek text in Ed. Preisendanz reads EPIKALOUMAI SE TON EN TO KHRUSO (dat) PETALO O O ASBESTOS LUKHNOS DIENEKOOS PARAKAETAI, O MEGAS THEOS, O FANEIS EN OLOO TO KOSMOO (dat), KATA IEROUSALEM MARMAIROON, KURIE Also we find mention in PGM IV.3068ff “I conjure by the one in holy Jerusalem, before whom the unquenchable fire burns for all time, with his holy name IAEOBAPHRENEMOUN, the One before whom the fiery Gehenna trembles, flames surround, iron bursts asunder” (Translation W.C. Grese). We now remember that Jerusalem is ancient noun for safe havens and their temples, such as safe harbours and anchorages. This language of enlightening in this PGM IV does have specific reference to SOLAR BARK also in IV.990ff where is noticed “I call upon you the greatest god (magical formulas) you who enlighten the universe and by your own power illumine the whole world, god of gods, benefactor AO IAO EAEY you who direct night and day AI AO, handle and steer the tiller, restrain the serpent you Good holy Daimon whose name is HARBATHANOPS IAOAI, whom sunrises and sunsets hymn when you arise and set” (translation W.C. Grese) This language notices now steering the solar bark (see comments to this in Ed. H.D.Betz). EPIALOUMAI SE, TON MEGISTON THEON, DUNASTEEN...TON TA PANTA FOOTIZONTA KAI DIAUGAZONTA TE IDIA DUNAMEI (dat) TON SUMPANTA KOSMON, THEE THEOON, EUERGETA AO IAOO EAEU O DIEPOON NUKTA KAI HEMERAN AI AOO EENIOKHOON KAI KUBERNOON OIAKA KATEKHOON DRAKONTA, AGATHON HIERON DAIMONA (PGM IV.987-997 in Ed. PREISENDANZ) The current Author Pasi K. Pohjala recently in study of seafaring traditions and Book of NAHUM has commented this mention of KUBERNOON OIAKA, “steering the tiller”. NOW we little improve study of this Greek statement considering that then is KATEKHOON DRAKONTA written. The comment in Ed. Betz to words “handle and steer the tiller” (n.138 in p.57) is “a reference to the solar bark of Re and the serpent Apophis, who attempts daily to devour the sun” (this comment of Robert K. Ritner). Worth is considering the German translation in Ed. Preisendanz where is rendered “Gott der Gotter, Wohltater AO IAO EAEY, du, der leitet Nacht und Tag, AI AO, der die Zugel halt und das Steuer fuhrt, der die Schlange beherrscht, den Guten heiligen Damon”. This German translation writes of “die Schlange beherrscht” that would not describe any violent battle against adversary snake, but rather the German beherrschen describes activities such as steering and managing a ship’s course; but Karl Preisendanz does not here clearly state that so is SOLAR BARK described as a dragon or as a dragon boat. In Egyptian mythology of voyage of Sun god Amun Re of course the serpent Apophis is famous adversary. But in THIS statement the description of EENIOKHOON KAI KUBERNOON OIAKA is clear description of steering the solar bark, so that then following words KATEKHOON DRAKONTA would more logically be comprehended as denoting the solar bark, that the act of handling and steering the tiller IS the act of restraining the Serpent- that is, the SOLAR BARK is HERE DESCRIBED AS DRAGON, or a DRAGON BOAT. For the Readers it is also worth mentioning that old Israelites were some times in anecdotes ridiculed as people who were haplessly straying around carrying some figurine of boat; considered in the current discussion such funny remarks reveal actually especially serious content concerning old Israelite religion. (In the Commentary NAHUM I did not comment such detail of Dragon Boats, because such comment would have required some more comprehensive considerations of Dragons in ancient world and in Bible; and this is topic of the current study, for rejoicing of all Readers and Scholars. It is ideologically specifically important to notice how the Egyptian SOLAR BARK has been compared with a dragon or identified with a dragon- generally in more everyday practises well known in ancient world are of course dragon boats. There may be in current scholarship some tendencies to overlook evidence of ancient dragon boats or even to forget sailing with such dragon boats- but in the current study we now present much important discussion and details of sailing with ancient dragon boats and other ancient dragon religiosity, hopefully to profound rejoicing of all Readers!). The PGM V in wholeness is Oracle of Serapis. Also in discussing this PGM V we now follow mostly the m

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