Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Star of Abram

Craciun Lucian sent me the following paragraph from The Book Of The Upright, Chapter 8:
And it was in the night that Abram was born, that all the servants of Terah, and all the wise men of Nimrod, and his conjurors came and ate and drank in the house of Terah, and they rejoiced with him on that night.
And when all the wise men and conjurors went out from the house of Terah, they lifted up their eyes toward heaven that night to look at the stars, and they saw, and behold one very large star came from the east and ran in the heavens, and he swallowed up the four stars from the four sides of the heavens.
And all the wise men of the king and his conjurors were astonished at the sight, and the sages understood this matter, and they knew its import.
And they said to each other, This only betokens the child that has been born to Terah this night, who will grow up and be fruitful, and multiply, and possess all the earth, he and his children for ever, and he and his seed will slay great kings, and inherit their lands.
And the wise men and conjurors went home that night, and in the morning all these wise men and conjurors rose up early, and assembled in an appointed house.
And they spoke and said to each other, Behold the sight that we saw last night is hidden from the king, it has not been made known to him.
And should this thing get known to the king in the latter days, he will say to us, Why have you concealed this matter from me, and then we shall all suffer death; therefore, now let us go and tell the king the sight which we saw, and the interpretation thereof, and we shall then remain clear.
And they did so, and they all went to the king and bowed down to him to the ground, and they said, May the king live, may the king live.
We heard that a son was born to Terah the son of Nahor, the prince of thy host, and we yesternight came to his house, and we ate and drank and rejoiced with him that night.
And when thy servants went out from the house of Terah, to go to our respective homes to abide there for the night, we lifted up our eyes to heaven, and we saw a great star coming from the east, and the same star ran with great speed, and swallowed up four great stars, from the four sides of the heavens.
And thy servants were astonished at the sight which we saw, and were greatly terrified, and we made our judgment upon the sight, and knew by our wisdom the proper interpretation thereof, that this thing applies to the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, and become powerful, and kill all the kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever.
And now our lord and king, behold we have truly acquainted thee with what we have seen concerning this child.
If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land, and his evil increase against us, that we and our children perish through his evil.
And the king heard their words and they seemed good in his sight, and he sent and called for Terah, and Terah came before the king.
And the king said to Terah, I have been told that a son was yesternight born to thee, and after this manner was observed in the heavens at his birth.
And now therefore give me the child, that we may slay him before his evil springs up against us, and I will give thee for his value, thy house full of silver and gold.
[... ... ...]
And Terah hastened, (as the thing was urgent from the king), and he took a child from one of his servants, which his handmaid had born to him that day, and Terah brought the child to the king and received value for him.
And the Lord was with Terah in this matter, that Nimrod might not cause Abram's death, and the king took the child from Terah and with all his might dashed his head to the ground, for he thought it had been Abram; and this was concealed from him from that day, and it was forgotten by the king, as it was the will of Providence not to suffer Abram's death.
And Terah took Abram his son secretly, together with his mother and nurse, and he concealed them in a cave, and he brought them their provisions monthly.
And the Lord was with Abram in the cave and he grew up, and Abram was in the cave ten years, and the king and his princes, soothsayers and sages, thought that the king had killed Abram.

This story is astonishingly similar to Mat 2 1-16
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard [these things], he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, [in] the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found [him], bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son. Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.

I reckon that folklore experts will find even more similar legends from earlier times...Anyhow, these legends may help explain the words "star of David" but not the Hebrew name of the six pointed star which is the Shield of David...

Gaulish Mosaics-3

Ancient hexagram on part of a mosaic from Gallia, apparently from the Roman period. I published another part of this mosaic on the previous posting in this blog.
Source: Inventaire de mosaique de la Gaule et de L'Afrique, Edition Leroux, Paris, 1922. Acille a la cour de Lycomede. D'apres ARTAUD

Gaulish Mosaics-2

Details from a bigger mosaic.
Source: Inventaire de mosaique de la Gaule et de L'Afrique, Edition Leroux, Paris, 1922. Acille a la cour de Lycomede. D'apres ARTAUD.

Gaulish Mosaics-1

I already published here pictures of ancient hexagrams from Pompeii. Now I'm happy to publish ancient hexagrams from Gallia that I found in a French book
Inventaire de mosaique de la Gaule et de L'Afrique, Edition Leroux, Paris, 1922. Tete de meduse, dauphins & poissans. D'apres Wilmowsky.