To do list:
1. Finish updating sources and citations
2. Fixing spelling and grammar errors (sorry I am dyslexic, so please be tolerant of these errors as it will take time for me to sort them out)
Please mind the COH (Code of Honor)
Chapter 1: Wisdom In The Question
Chapter 2: God Of The Moon Mountain
Chapter 3: Exodus & The Voice Of God
Chapter 4: The Deuteronomy
Chapter 5: Plagues Of Egypt And The Nile Delta
Chapter 6: The Psalms
Chapter 7: Fire, Torment, And Human Sacrifice
Hello, and welcome to the first of a series of articles on the hypothesis regarding Yahweh as perhaps a possible volcano god of war. I figured, even though having been addressed before, that this hypothesis has not really been explored in any great amount of depth. Therefore, and for those of you who are curious, the series of articles I will be writing will seek to see how much weight this hypothesis has with regard to the available and current body of evidence. Thus my column entries here are personal research papers on the subject to which had sparked to life from various discussions I have had in the past few years. I have come to realize there is more to this subject than I had previously thought, and although I did not expect to find much if anything at all. I rather have found, in spite of my lack of expectation to find anything at all, a quite a bit of evidence by digging deep into Google scholar, visiting the libraries around Boston, and simply reading and reviewing the biblical scriptures. Now I have no credentials in the necessary fields, and I am no scholar, but through these efforts, I had found enough on this subject to write a few articles for which really attempt to take a close look at what seems to have had largely been ignored in modern theology, anthropology, and archaeology. I am not sure why, but I feel it’s worth taking a look at even if it ends up being completely wrong. These articles are not a declaration of fact, so I will refrain from making any such declarations here. So with that in mind, I infer there had been a select few in the academic arena who had proposed this hypothesis. The most noted among these was often the target of scorn by many Christians and theologians, and he is, of course, no other than Sigmund Freud referenced in the Smithsonian Institutes Report of the Board of Regents. Vol. 67 . However, Freud was not the only scholar to have addressed this hypothesis as we may also refer to Charles Beke, the man who wrote and published “Mount Sinai, a Volcano (1873), and Immanuel Velikovsky in the published work “From the Exodus to King Akhnaton p.39″ .
Though I must say, that as far as I can tell, these scholars largely focused on Exodus rather than taking a look at the entire bible as a whole. I wondered why, but I suspect this was because they seemed more interested in figuring out where Mt Sinai could be rather than whether or not Yahweh should be considered a Volcano God of War by further review of the language, imagery, and descriptions within the pages of the Bible itself. Now on my own review here, I personally suspect that Mt Sinai is a mythical mountain in representation, or as in that Mt Sinai may very well be a place card to describe the general volcanic activity in which these ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia had experienced throughout their history. However, Mt Sinai may also simply just be a representation of Mt. Thera giving some of the evidence presented in this article of course.
Now Putting Mt Sinai aside for the moment, I noticed that out of the scholars noted above, it appears that only Freud had come out and blatantly stated that Yahweh was a volcano god…, and so the question remains regarding how much validity does Freud’s claim really have when his claim is a mere loan wolf in the academic arena? Well, I was curious to this question of the validity, and one thing came clear during my personal research is that it became evident that the Abrahamic religions had very deep polytheistic Pagan roots to which included the worship of mountain gods in Canaan, Mesopotamia, or the Levant region. This at first hand seems irrelevant and trivial, but on further investigation, I found that there is a correlating history in addition to an understanding of the names in which are given to this deity. Names such as Yahweh, (YHVH), El, and El Shaddai being among a few with regards to the hypothesis, and how these names are important when it comes to understanding who and what Yahweh is in the Bible. I will thus be examining these names, and many areas of scripture in which seem to, consistently throughout the bible, be telling the tale of what is most likely a volcano mountain god of war. So let me begin here by addressing this hypothesis, and in seeking wisdom, ask ourselves to expand upon that question as we progress through this article to see if there really is any validity in Freud’s hypothesis.
— Chapter 1: —
THE WISDOM IN THE QUESTION
Is Yahweh A Mountain Volcano GOD Of War?
Well, I would surely argue this is quite a hot question to ask in these days, and one I have hotly debated in various discussions. I found that when I have asked this question or found myself within such conversations, I’m often addressed with scripture in regards to proverbs 1, this of course in dealing with having “wisdom” as some sort of rebuttal to my arguments. This, of course, ignoring that it is EL, Yahweh’s father to whom is the godhead being addressed in Proverbs. However, putting that also aside for the moment, I realized the very citation of Proverbs 1 ironically seems to have ended up supporting the very hypothesis in which this citation was supposed to refute. Thus in addressing the wisdom of God, I argue his or her supposed gender, and these verses in Proverbs 1, may actually have a lot do with Freud’s hypothesis when placed under further review. Now this may not appear as so to begin with, but it is in the fine details of the language used in warning those who scoff in disbelief to which we can establish this possibility, and largely through cross-referencing Proverbs with other sections, verses, and chapters of the Bible:
Proverbs 1 is a pretty interesting piece of scripture brought to my attention in debate, and despite the fact this is often cited as an argument of “wisdom”, and how Yahweh seems to have both male and female epithets and traits, it’s important to mention that volcanoes or mountains are often anthropomorphic in the male and female gender. They are even sometimes associated with both as I would argue concerning Yahweh even though the female nature of proverbs 1 is likely perhaps the usurping of a Goddesses of wisdom, or possibly that of Hokmah to which is very close to the Hebrew word chokmah, or “Wisdom” into the persona of Yahweh. Proverbs 1 is “Wisdom’s Rebuke”, or “Hokmah’s Rebuke”, and in some literature, Hokmah is treated in the context of Yahweh’s daughter. There is also this video lecture “Women in the Greek Old Testament – pt. 4 (Hokmah)” as a Goddess. Yet regardless if Hokmah was a Goddess, Yahweh’s daughter, El’s wife Ashera (this being more likely), or the feminine side of Yahweh’s nature, it is more important to the subject at hand that these deities of mountain and volcano worship, in the traditional sense spanning across cultural divides, are depicted as controlling the weather and the forces of nature, and such deities are even more interestingly often seen as creator god’s such as the Mountain gods of Tibet – (journal.oraltradition.org – Xie_Jisheng.pdf.) So however the gender, there is thus something I thought perhaps ought to be taken closer notice of in proverbs 1 as it is evidently the likely description of natural geological and volcanic phenomenon. This being, of course, the nature in which we will be deeply exploring here in this article, and so I have outlined the following verses in which could be consistent with such imagery:
The verses noted are not in themselves very telling, but for us to really understand these verses, we need first take the time to read the Deuteronomy, Exodus, Psalms, and Acts 2 in relation. Thus this must be done in order to get a broader picture of what proverbs 1 is likely making reference to. Therefore by cross-referencing from Acts 2, I began to take notice of the likely context and nature of Proverbs 1. It was here I found, as I did in proverbs 1, a calamity of a whirlwind, a storm, and the “pouring out my spirit”. However there was one bit of difference, there was the inclusion of the “tongues of fire”. I found this to be profoundly consistent with anthropomorphic volcanic imagery, and as should be expected if Freud’s hypothesis is to have any reasonable contextual foundation I can academically support:
So when I cross-referenced Proverbs 1 and Acts 2, It stands out expressing an awe-inspiring and frightening experience written in poetic volcanic imagery. This in which those in the narrative have taken witness of one nature’s most powerful events to which has had an immense impact on the lives of those of our ancient past. Ask a volcanologist or geologist to read these verses, I would dare say they will most surely agree. Thus I have come to regard the reference to “tongues of fire” as being most likely that of lava flows streaming down the side of an erupting volcano to which “everyone can understand”. For me, it is the only way any of this makes any coherent sense. This is, course, further supported in Isaiah 30 as the Lord’s burning anger, raging storm, dense clouds of smoke, lips full of wrath, and a consuming tongue of fire continue to further paint a clearer image of a possible volcanic deity. These primary aspects of the narrative in both proverbs and acts 2 are found in Isaiah 30, but more importantly in conjunction to the “mountain of the lord” and the “Rock of Israel”. :
Thus it is pretty evident that not only is God’s tongue a consuming fire also referenced as a stream of burning sulfur in Isaiah 30, we see the reference of the majestic Lord as “The Rock Of Israel” in the image of a raging thunderstorm and hail. There even seems to be the very description of a caldera as the fire pit that has been made deep and wide. These are all that I would expect to see in regards to the imagery of erupting volcanoes, and most certainly what I would expect to find for Freud’s hypothesis to have any merit worth considering. Furthermore, and despite fire’s ability to span the language barriers, such civilizations would have been heavily reliant on fire for their very survival. Fire was thus held in high regard, and as a divine elemental part of cultural life in Mesopotamia. Therefore to them, an erupting volcano of fire may have been the ultimate manifestation of what they had so depended on for their very daily existence. It is also what appears to be the basis for the Holy Ghost or the Holy Spirit of God in both the OT and in the NT.
Further still, Isaiah continues to provide a possible contextual understanding of what they mean in regarding “tongues of fire”, and how “God will pour out his spirit”. I would also further reference; Isaiah 5:24, James 3:6, and 2 Esdras 13:10 in conjunction to where Isaiah further declares his god as not only the “Rock of Israel”, but also he whose house is to be established as the “chief of the mountains”:
This is arguably mountain god worship in my opinion, and Contextually it is difficult for me to accept otherwise when continuing to read further into Acts 2:17. This wherein God states he will pour out his spirit upon all people while presenting the wonders in the heavens, and the signs on Earth ranging from billows of smoke to blood and fire, all whilst blocking out the sun and turning the moon red as blood:
Acts 2 is very descriptive to the coming of “the great and glorious day of the lord”, and neither Acts 2, or Proverbs 1 are the only places in the bible to where God is pouring out his spirit in such expected imagery. Thus notable when further cross-referencing them with; Joel 2: 28-32, 2 Chronicles 34:25, Jeremiah 7:20, Lamentations 2:4, Lamentations 4:11, Ezekiel 22:31, Nahum 1:6, and Ezekiel 22: 19-22 .
At this point in my research, I asked the question of what exactly are we supposedly being saved from in Acts 2? Well in light of the scripture noted, I am led to believe it is rather quite apparent. Thus what other natural events other than a volcanic eruption could possibly best match that of the narrative? Though as an Atheist, I personally understand this as typical of animism and Anthropomorphism as I find it hard to believe it as anything other than such. That sounds like bias, but giving animism and anthropomorphism was common in the foundation of ancient cultures and beliefs throughout Mesopotamia, I dare say my argument is justifiable. Furthermore, I bring you back to where the Moon has being turned to blood red, and in accordance to the wrath of God as further evidence that we are perhaps dealing with volcanic ash as the chief cause of this phenomenon:
Scientifically this is a very typical phenomenon when dealing with volcanic eruptions even though there are other possibilities that will cause the moon to turn blood red. However, in this case, it’s important to note that this phenomenon is being described within the associated volcanic imagery such as thundering, lightning, hail, darkness, storm, fire, smoke, and earthquakes. Hence they are not separated phenomenon but related to each other directly within the same narrative. It is within this narrative we find that El Shaddai appears to have power over the moon. A power the moon gods such as Sin have been seen to have traditionally had. This interesting aspect of the narrative is rather in itself profound as I would argue that Yahweh is perhaps the result and product of the merger or assimilation of both moon and mountain god worship. Now keep in mind that although that may seem quite ridiculous to some, there actually is a significant amount of evidence for this. So if you are curious, I refer back to seeking wisdom, back to Proverbs 1 in where I simply “ turn you at my reproof” in Chapter 2: “God of the Moon Mountain”.