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Title: Mythology among the Hebrews - And its Historical Development
Author: Goldziher, Ignaz
Language: English
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Footnotes, which appeared at the bottom of each page, have been gathered
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                      MYTHOLOGY AMONG THE HEBREWS

                           LONDON: PRINTED BY
                         AND PARLIAMENT STREET

                      MYTHOLOGY AMONG THE HEBREWS


                       ITS HISTORICAL DEVELOPMENT


                         IGNAZ GOLDZIHER, PH.D.




                        RUSSELL MARTINEAU, M.A.

                         OF THE BRITISH MUSEUM

                        LONGMANS, GREEN, AND CO.

                         _All rights reserved_



                             H.L. FLEISCHER

                          FRIEDRICH MAX MÜLLER

                               H. VÁMBÉRY


                         This Work is Dedicated



P. 13 line 5 from below, _for_ ‘with all his advanced ideas’ _read_
      ‘notwithstanding the progress of modern ideas.’

P. 209, first line of note, after ‘ball,’ _insert_ ‘that descended from
      heaven.’ Whether this feather-ball

                         TRANSLATOR'S PREFACE.


Conscious that Comparative Mythology is not very generally studied even
in England, where some of the earliest and ablest expositions of its
principles have appeared, I foresee that this work is likely to fall
into the hands of many who have not the preliminary intellectual
training necessary to an appreciation of its principles. If anyone takes
up the book with an idea that it will settle anything in the history of
the Jews, he will be disappointed. Its aim is not theological nor
historical, but mythological; and Mythology precedes History and
Theology, and has nothing to do with them, except as a factor that may
to a certain extent determine their form. To understand this book fully,
some previous knowledge of what has already been done on the field of
Comparative Mythology is essential. This is easily obtained by reference
to the various works of Prof. Max Müller and Rev. G.W. Cox, which are
frequently quoted.[1] Such studies will enable the reader to see how far
Dr. Goldziher is merely treading in the footsteps of others, and how far
he has struck out a new track. Speaking generally, it may be said that
he acknowledges the principles of the science as laid down by Kuhn and
Max Müller, but that the application to the Semitic nations is his own.
This application was, indeed, first attempted, fifteen years ago, by
Professor H. Steinthal of Berlin with reference to one special
mythological cycle, in Essays which, on p. xxix of his Introduction, Dr.
Goldziher urgently recommends the reader to study as a suitable
preparation for this book, since they ‘showed for the first time and on
a large scale how the matter of the Hebrew legends yields to
mythological analysis,’ and contain matter which is left out here
precisely because it is to be had there. Through the obligingness of the
publishers I am enabled to present the English reader with a translation
of these Essays, whereby he is put in a position of no disadvantage as
compared with the German. They will also serve the purpose of showing
that the principles of Semitic Mythology were asserted in weighty words
by a philosopher of high repute many years ago. But Dr. Goldziher has in
the present work for the first time extended the application of the
principles of Comparative Mythology to the entire domain of Hebrew
Mythology, and laid down a broad foundation of theory, on which the
elaboration of special points may be subsequently built up. Both these
authors, it will be seen, regard a systematic working out of the results
of Psychological science as the fundamental pillar of Mythological
studies; and the reader will consequently find some psychological
preparation not less necessary to the full understanding of the book
than a knowledge of what has been written on Comparative Mythology.

The translation has received so many additions and corrections made
expressly for it by the author, that it is far superior to the original
German edition; moreover, it has been thoroughly revised by the author
in proof.

I have added a few notes, where they seemed to be wanted; they are
always distinguished (by ‘TR.’) from the author’s own. The Index is also
compiled by me.

References to the Old Testament are made to the original Hebrew; in the
few cases where the chapter or verse bears a different number in the
English and other modern versions, the reference to the latter is added
in brackets.

I have adopted a few peculiarities of orthography, which I ought to
confess to, the more so as I hope others may be convinced of their
reasonableness. _Nazirite_, _Hivvite_, are corrections of positive
blunders in spelling of the English Bible. _Hivite_ was probably written
in obedience to an unwritten law of English spelling which forbids the
doubling of _v_; whether there is now any sense in this precept (which
must have originated when _vv_ would be confounded with _w_) or not, at
least it ought not to be extended to foreign names. The tendency of the
age to dispense with the Latin diphthongs _æ_, _œ_ (which were a few
generations ago used in _æra_, _œconomy_, _Ægypt_, etc.), I have
ventured to anticipate in similar words, such as _esthetic_, _Phenicia_,
_Phenix_. The anomaly of the French spelling of the Greek word
_programme_, alongside of _anagram_, _diagram_, _parallelogram_, seems
to me sufficient condemnation of the form.

In the Hebrew and Arabic quotations the Latin alphabet has been used
throughout. The transliteration of the following letters should be
noted, as being the only ones about which there could be any doubt:—ا א
commencing a syllable in the middle of a word = ʾ. ע‎ ﻊ‎ = ʿ. ﻎ = ġ. ﺝ =
j. ﺡ = ḥ ה‎ ﺥ‎ = ch. כ‎ ك = k. ק‎ ق‎ = ḳ. ת‎ ت‎ ۃ‎ = t. ט‎ ط‎ = ṭ. ظ =
ẓ. ס‎ שׂ‎ س = s. שׁ‎ ش = sh. ث = th. ذ = ḏ. צ‎ ص = ṣ. ض = ḍ. ו as
consonant generally = v, but و = w. י‎ ى as consonant = y. The aspirated
_תפכב_ are written bh (to be pronounced v), kh, ph, th. In Hebrew ă ĕ ŏ
denote either the ordinary short vowels or the châṭêph vowels; and ĕ
also the vocal sheva. In Arabic texts the iʿrâb is omitted in prose, but
preserved in verse on account of the metre. These principles of
transliteration are the same which the author adopts in the German
edition, with a few modifications which seemed desirable for English
readers, especially the use of the letters j, th and y with their usual
English force.

                                              RUSSELL MARTINEAU.

LONDON: _January 1877._


 TRANSLATOR’S PREFACE                                                vii

 INTRODUCTION                                                       xiii

                               CHAPTER I.

 ON HEBREW MYTHOLOGY                                                   1

                              CHAPTER II.

 SOURCES OF HEBREW MYTHOLOGY                                          17

                              CHAPTER III.

 THE METHOD OF INVESTIGATING HEBREW MYTHS                             35

                              CHAPTER IV.

 NOMADISM AND AGRICULTURE                                             49

                               CHAPTER V.


                              CHAPTER VI.


                              CHAPTER VII.


                             CHAPTER VIII.


                              CHAPTER IX.

 PROPHETISM AND THE JAHVEH RELIGION                                  290

                               CHAPTER X.


 EXCURSUS                                                            337


                     _Two Essays by H. Steinthal._


 2. THE LEGEND OF SAMSON                                             392

 INDEX                                                               447



The following sheets make no claim to present a _system_ of Hebrew
Mythology. I have left out much that would necessarily be included in a
system, and confined myself to a limited portion of what can be proved
to be the matter of the Hebrew myths. Even within the actual domain of
my labours, I was not anxious to subject the extant narratives in all
their minutest features to mythological analysis. The application of the
certain results of the science of Mythology in general to a domain
hitherto almost ignored with reference to this subject, could only be
accomplished by some self-limitation on the part of the author; and my
immediate task was only to show that Semitism in general, and Hebrew in
particular, could not be exceptions to the laws of mythological enquiry
established on the basis of psychology and the science of language, and
that it is possible from Semitism itself, on psychological and
philological principles, to construct a scientific Semitic Mythology.

By blindly tracing out copious matters of detail, the investigator of
myths is very easily and unconsciously seduced to the slippery ground of
improbabilities; and therefore I preferred, in the first instance, to
enlarge only on subjects on which I was confident of being able to
present what was self-evident, and in these only, so to speak, to reveal
the first cellular formations, from which later growths were produced,
and to leave the analysis of the entire substance, and of the separate
elements which complete the conception of the mythical figures, to a
future time, when the science will have gained a firmer footing even on
the Semitic domain, and will have less distrust and misunderstanding to
contend against. I am myself responsible for this limitation of the
subject, in the service of which, encouraged by kind friends, I resolved
to publish the following pages. In mythological affairs I acknowledge
myself a pupil of the school established on the Aryan domain by Ad. Kuhn
and Max Müller. Only in certain points, which, however, occasionally
touch upon first principles, I have been compelled to differ from the
masters of Comparative Mythology. It may be boldly asserted that,
especially through Max Müller’s literary labours, Comparative Mythology
and the Science of Religion have been added to those chapters of human
knowledge with which certain borderlands of science cannot dispense, and
which can claim to have become an essential portion of general
culture.[2] This conviction must excuse frequent copiousness of
exposition, which I have adopted knowingly and intentionally. I have had
in my eye not only the small circle of professional mythologists on the
Aryan and other domains, but also the larger circle of educated readers
who will be interested in learning how the results of Comparative
Mythology shape themselves when applied to Semitic nations. But, on the
other hand, I must crave the indulgence of the latter readers, if I have
not always succeeded (especially in the fifth chapter) in making my
meaning as intelligible as I could wish. For it is a fact that the
Semitic still remains further removed from the mind of educated society
than the Aryan, which, through the study of classical antiquity, has so
ensnared us from our school-days with its irresistible charms, that it
can never cease to determine the direction of our thought and action.
Therefore I have had resort to foreign examples, sometimes non-Semitic
instances from antiquity, sometimes instances from modern poets, for
illustrations of particular assertions, which otherwise would appear
improbable, but could thus be brought nearer to the understanding. From
the figures used by poets the wealth and variety of the mythical
apperception of the primeval man is truly elucidated. Here and there I
have also permitted myself to make reference to Hungarian idioms, which
was very natural, as I originally composed this book in my Hungarian
mother-tongue for the purpose of University lectures, and then
translated it myself into German. Some parts of these essays have been
already published in Hungarian, in a different connexion and with
special reference to linguistic results, in the first and second parts
of Vol. XII. of the _Nyelvtudományi Közlemények_ (Philological Essays),
edited by Paul Hunfalvy for the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

In adducing Aryan parallels, I am very far from thinking that where the
Hebrew exhibits a striking similarity to something Aryan it has borrowed
from the latter, or that, as a recent scholar tried to make out, the
Hebrews themselves were originally Aryans, who afterwards took a Semitic
language and preserved their Aryan habits of thought. I start from the
conviction that the Myth is something universal, that the faculty of
forming it cannot _a priori_ be denied to any race as such, and that the
coincidence of mythical ideas and modes of expression is the result of
the uniformity of the psychological process which is the foundation of
the creation of myths in all races; and this very uniformity of mythical
ideas may consequently serve to psychologists as an argument for the
thesis of the psychological uniformity of all races.[3] ‘Where no
historical transference of myths can be proved,’ says Bastian very
justly,[4] ‘the uniformity must be referred to the organic law of the
growth of the mind, which will everywhere put forth similar products,
corresponding and alike, but variously modified by surrounding
influences.’ The oldest history of paleography exhibits on the
ideographic and figurative stage the most striking similarities in the
modes of apperception belonging to nations of the most various races.
Lenormant says: ‘Nous pourrions faire voir, si nous voulions nous
laisser aller à la tentation d’entreprendre un petit traité de
l’écriture symbolique chez les différents peuples, comment certaines
métaphores naturelles ont été conçues spontanément par plusieurs races
diverses sans communication les unes avec les autres, et comment, par
suite, le même symbole se retrouve avec le même sens dans plusieurs
systèmes d’origine tout-à-fait indépendante. L’exemple le plus frappant
peut-être de ce genre est celui du symbole de l’abeille, qui, ainsi que
nous venons de le dire, signifie Roi dans les hiéroglyphes égyptiens, et
se reconnaît encore clairement dans le type le plus ancien de
l’idéogramme doué du même sens dans le cunéiforme anarien.’[5] The same
lesson is taught by Prehistoric Archeology, the comparative study of
which among the various races would present very instructive examples.
In our museums we see identical implements used by men of the most
various races at the same primitive stage of civilisation,[6] yet in
this case the idea of one having borrowed from another enters no one’s
head. Why should we be surprised at meeting with the very same
phenomenon in Comparative Mythology?

The uniformity of the Hebrew myths with those of nations belonging to
other races only becomes an obvious fact when we apply the method of
modern mythological enquiry to Semitic stories. But, even without the
help of this method, the mere outside of the Hebrew stories attracted
the attention of many enquirers. It occasionally gave rise to the
absurdest aberrations, which even now shoot out into a fresh crop of
mischief. One answer, of course, was always at hand—that Greek and
Egyptian narratives and ‘theogonies’ were bad translations or ‘diluted’
versions of the Hebrew; or else, as it has often been attempted in
recent times to prove, the Egyptian was the original, from which
everything else had flowed. The eighteenth century was especially rich
in literary productions of the first species, following the lead of
Gerhard Johann Voss, Huet,[7] Bochart, and others whose labours had
prepared the way. G. Croesius published at Dort, in 1704, ‘Ὅμηρος
Ἑβραῖος, sive Historia Hebraeorum ab Homero Hebraicis nominibus ac
sententiis conscripta in Odyssea et Iliade,’ and V.G. Herklitz at
Leipzig two years later, 1706, ‘Quod Hercules idem sit ac Josua.’ At
Amsterdam a book was published in 1721 entitled ‘Parallela τῆς
χρονολογίας et Historiae Sacrae,’ having the same object; and in 1730 a
book in two volumes, of similar tendency, by Guillaume de Lavaur, an
_avocat_, was published at Paris in French, and translated into German
by Johann Daniel Heyden (Leipzig, 1745).[8] But it was reserved for the
end of the century to produce the most curious specimen, in the work
entitled ‘Histoire véritable des Temps Fabuleux: ouvrage qui, en
dévoilant le vrai que les histoires fabuleuses ont travesti et altéré,
sert à éclaircir les antiquités des peuples et surtout à venger
l’histoire sainte,’ by the Abbé Guérin du Rocher. I have not seen the
original edition of this work, but have consulted a later edition
prepared by the Abbé Chapelle, an admirer of the author (Paris and
Besançon, 1824), in five volumes, of which the first three contain the
original work, and the fourth and fifth are taken up by the editor with
a recapitulation of principles and a defence against the attacks of
antagonists, who count among their number such men as Voltaire, De la
Harpe, De Guignes, Du Voisin, Dinouart, and Anquetil du Perron. The
author undertook to prove that the entire ancient history of the
Egyptians and other nations is only a repetition of Biblical narratives:
that thus what is related of Bothyris, Orpheus, Menes, Sesostris, and
others, is identical with the Biblical history of Abraham, Jacob, Lot,
Noah, and others; even the Egyptian Thebes is not a city, but Noah’s
ark. The influence which this sensational book exercised on the learning
of the period is very characteristic of the times. Dr. Asselini, vicar
of the diocese of Paris, who had to pass judgment on it for the
censorship (1779), regards it as a vindication of the Bible. The
Sorbonne appropriated Guérin’s theorems, and made them the subject of
theses for graduation. The King of Poland read the work through, and
sent his compliments to the author. The French government accorded the
Abbé an annual pension of 1,200 livres. One reviewer compares Guérin’s
discoveries to those of Columbus and Newton; and a poetical panegyrist
sees in them a French counterpoise to the superiority in science then
possessed by England in virtue of discoveries of the first rank in
physical science. He says—

            Fière et docte Albion, qui dans un coin des mers
            Prétends aux premier rang de la littérature,
            Pour avoir à vos yeux dévoilé l’univers
            Et le vrai plan de la nature,
            De tes discours hautains rabaisse enfin le ton;
            La France, ta rivale, va égaler ta gloire.
            Ce que pour la physique a fait le grand Newton,
            Du Rocher l’a fait pour l’histoire.

But even on the very threshold of the second part of our century, in
1849, a systematic argument was conducted, to show that Livy had read
the Bible, and based his description of T. Manlius Torquatus’ battle
with the Gauls on that of David and his battle with the Philistine
giant; and twenty-two similarities between the respective stories had to
do duty as demonstrations.[9] The unscientific mode of regarding these
subjects prevailing up to the most recent time has not yet ceased to
generate absurdities.

We see old-fashioned absurdities still finding a way to the general
reading public by means of encyclopedias, as in a ‘Dictionary of the
Mythology of all Nations,’ of which a third edition was recently
published.[10] This work in its new form comes before the public with a
touching delivery against modern physical science by way of
introduction. Here we read under _Abraham_, ‘Some scholars are inclined
to make this celebrated Patriarch of the Jewish nation either the god
Brahma himself or a Brahman who was obliged to leave India in the
contest between the worshippers of Siva and those of Brahma. _In truth,
there is much that might lead to such a conjecture._ In Sanskrit the
word ‘earth’ is often expressed by _Brahm_ or _Abrahm_. Abraham’s wife
was named Sarah; Brahma’s wife was Sara (Sarasvati)’ etc. But sins of a
different kind also are committed up to the present day. The Hebrews are
said to have borrowed their myths from foreign parts. It is not only by
Voltaire and men of his age and spirit that this assumption is made. It
is expressed in a recent article by a learned German investigator
intended for the widest circulation. Sepp writes, 'No nation has been so
clever as the Hebrews in appropriating to themselves the property of
others, both intellectual and material. What can we say to the fact that
the sun’s standing still at Joshua’s bidding, with the purpose of
enabling the Hebrews to complete the slaughter of the Amalekites, is
_directly borrowed from Homer_ (_Il._ ii. 412), where the poetical
hyperbole ‘Let not the sun go down, O Zeus,’ etc., is put into the mouth
of Agamemnon?... To be brief, the popular hero Samson has had the Twelve
Labours of the Lybian Herakles transferred to him, and bears the doors,
as Sandon or Melkart the pillars of the world, on his shoulders.'[11]
The reader will agree with me in regarding it as superfluous at the
present day to attempt a serious refutation of the hypothesis of
_borrowing_, which assails the originality of the most primitive
mythological ideas known to the nation under review. But it is
impossible to evade the obligation to find an explanation of the
manifold coincidences exhibited in the independently produced myths of
nations belonging to quite different races. Under the new method of
mythological enquiry this obligation is doubly pressing; for the
coincidences appear yet more surprising, and occupy a more extensive
sphere when the myths are considered analytically by the light of the
new method, and from a linguistic point of view. Only then does the
identity become psychologically important. And then it can in my view be
explained only by the rejection of the prejudice that there are
unmythological races, or at least one race incapable of forming any
myths—the Semitic. If the Myth is a form of life of the human mind
psychologically necessary at a certain stage of growth, then the
intellectual life of every individual, nation, and race must pass
through it. ‘The tendency of modern enquiry is more and more toward the
conclusion that if law is anywhere, it is everywhere,’ as Tylor
maintains.[12] This means, applied to the present question, that if the
formation of myths is a natural law of the ψυχή (mind) at a certain
stage, it must necessarily occur everywhere where there is a beginning
of intellectual life, unless we could speak of whole races or tribes as
psychologically pathologic,[13] and make the whole Semitic race thus
pathologic on account of its alleged incapacity to form myths—which
would, after all, be rather a curious proceeding. No doubt we often read
in ethnological works of nations without a trace of Mythology. But we
ought not to forget either that such informants understand by Mythology
only complicated stories and fables, which in my view represent the more
advanced stage of mythic development, or that they identify Mythology
with heathen religious ideas, and confound absence of religion or
atheism with want of myths. So, e.g., Sir John Lubbock says, quoting
Sibree,[14] ‘Even in Madagascar, according to a good authority, “there
is nothing corresponding to a Mythology, _or any fables of gods or
goddesses_, amongst the Malagasy;”’ but this want of stories of gods and
goddesses is very far from demonstrating the absence of myths of all and
every sort.

It would be worth while in this connexion to pursue a thought raised by
Schelling, with the aid of the present more advanced ideas on the
psychology of nations. According to Schelling,[15] a nation becomes a
nation through community of consciousness between the individuals; and
this community has its foundation in a common view of the world, and
this again in Mythology. Consequently in Schelling’s system absence of
Mythology can only occur in circles of men in which nationality is as
yet unformed, and the necessary community undeveloped. But to Schelling
‘it appears impossible, because inconceivable, that a _Nation should be
without Mythology_.’ However the question may stand with reference to
savage tribes, modern science cannot possibly support the old thesis
concerning the Semitic Hebrews of their incapacity for Mythology.

Guided by this conviction, I lay down at starting the necessity of
subjecting the material of the Hebrew myths to the same psychological
and linguistic analysis which has contributed so much light to the
consideration of the beginnings of intellectual life in the Aryan race.

I do not conceal from myself that the acknowledgment of the legitimacy
of this method for Semitic things may be exposed to many attacks. For
even on Aryan ground the results which the school of Kuhn and Max Müller
have brought to light do not enjoy that general acceptation which ought
to reward such sound investigations—investigations, moreover, the basis
of which is being constantly extended by later writers such as G.W. Cox
and De Gubernatis. Both in Germany and in England this school has
notable adversaries. I do not speak of Julius Braun, who, in his
_Naturgeschichte der Sage_ (Natural History of Legend), thought to
undermine the solid substratum of Comparative Mythology by extending to
the domain of mythology the consequences of his theory of the history of
art and of Röthe’s assumptions, and by fetching from Egypt the
foundation-stone on which to construct a Science of Mythology—an attempt
which turned out most unfortunate, especially in etymology. But some
worthy partisans of the study of classical literature refuse to receive
the results of the science of Comparative Mythology. One of these is K.
Lehrs;[16] another is the latest German editor of Hesiod, who objects to
the modern science of Mythology that it ignores historical and
philological criticism and seizes upon every passage of an author that
suits its theory, without regard to its value and genuineness.[17] Among
the English scholars it is no less a writer than Fergusson who declares,
‘So far as I am capable of understanding it, it appears to me that the
ancient Solar Myth of Messrs. Max Müller and Cox is very like mere
modern moonshine.’[18] And Mr. George Smith, the renowned pioneer of the
ancient Assyrian literature, seems not to have much confidence in the
latest method of mythological investigation; for he says in his latest
book,[19] ‘The early poems and stories of almost every nation are by
some writers resolved into elaborate descriptions of natural phenomena;
and in some cases, if that were true, the myth would have taken to
create it a genius as great as that of the philosophers who explain it.’
So that the so-called ‘Solar theory’ is far from being generally adopted
even on the domain where it was first brought out and has been most
firmly established. But the adherents of the school of Max Müller may
take comfort from the consideration that the accusations made against
them hit only those who have ridden the theory too hard, since, as Tylor
says, no allegory, no nursery-rhyme, is safe from the speculations of
some fanatical mythological theoriser. ‘Much abused’ is a correct
epithet used of the Solar theory by a learned English Assyriologist,
himself a friend of it.[20] If, then, on Aryan ground the legitimacy of
the new method is not undisputed, how will it be on Semitic, and
especially on Hebrew ground, which a prejudice prevalent far and wide
has decided to be occupied by a race and a nation with no mythology at
all? Nevertheless, I hope I have kept myself free from abuse and
extravagance in these essays. I have endeavoured sedulously to avoid
whatever, on the Aryan domain, aroused the distrust of the hesitating,
by showing no anxiety to gain immediate command of the whole extent of
the mythological field. The essential point at the commencement of these
matters is not the elucidation of all the minute details, but rather the
solution of the general questions that arise, and the accurate laying
down of a sound method of investigation. What I have brought forward I
wish to be regarded as a collection of examples of the application of
the method.

The reader will observe that I have given to the conception of the myth
a narrower scope than is usually done. I believe it necessary to
separate it strictly from the conception of religion, and especially to
exclude from the sphere of primitive mythology the questions of
Cosmogony and Ethics (the origin of Evil). The latter point was of
especial importance in reference to the Hebrew Myth, since, as I show in
the last chapter, the solution of these questions by the Hebrews was
produced in the later period of civilisation and from a foreign impulse.
There is an immense difference between the ancient mythical view of the
origin of nature and that later cosmogonic system. So long as mythical
ideas are still living in the mind, though under an altered form, when
the times are ripe for cosmogonic speculations, a cosmogony appears as a
stage of development of the ancient myth. But when the myth has utterly
vanished from consciousness, then the mind is ready to receive foreign
cosmogonic ideas, which can be fitted into the frame of its religious
thought and accommodated to its religious views. This was the case with
the Hebrews; and hence it will be understood why I have not treated as
Hebrew mythical matter the Cosmogony of Genesis, which, moreover,
according to all appearance, is to be regarded rather as a mere literary
creation than as a view of the origin of things emanating directly from
the mind of the people.

It appeared desirable to give a few chapters to show what I imagined the
course of development of the primitive myths to have been, before they
attained the form in which they are presented to us in literature. The
mythological question is indeed quite distinct from that concerning the
history of literature, and there is only a distant connexion between the
two. The purpose of the following pages is, strictly speaking, attained
where that of the literary history of the Canon commences; and I would
gladly have kept aloof from the literary question, which cannot yet be
regarded as even nearly settled. But when I included in my task the
description of the further course of development of the myth, it was
obviously impossible to stand so entirely aloof. I have on many points
deviated from the current views, without being able either to enter into
so complete a justification of the deviation as is generally reasonably
expected, and the importance and scope of the subject would demand, or
to refer to all the suggestive and original works contributed,
especially by Germany and Holland, to the elucidation of the problems in
question. For this point, which is only accessory to the real subject of
my work, would require to be treated in a separate monograph, which it
was not my intention to give. On the other hand, it was impossible to
leave these questions quite on one side. On the Pentateuch question I
start from the principles of Graf, which at first were adopted solely by
the learned Professor Kuenen of Leyden, but have recently found zealous
promoters also in England[21] and Germany—in the latter country
especially in the works of Kayser (Strasburg, 1874), and Duhm (Bonn,
1875).[22] Nevertheless, the section on Jahveism and Prophetism has
turned out more lengthy than considerations of symmetry would sanction.
I must confess that my personal sympathy with and affection for this
portion of the history of religion places me too close to it to allow
me, when once brought face to face with it, to impose on my pen a
reserve which perhaps is desirable for the sake of equilibrium. All this
obliges me to count on the kind indulgence of my readers for the second
portion, which may be termed the historical.

It remains to say a few words about previous works of the same
character. Some earlier writings there are on Hebrew Mythology. But it
needs not to be specially insisted on that Nork’s muddle-headed works,
such as his ‘Biblical Mythology of the Old and New Testament,’ his
‘Etymological-symbolical-mythological Cyclopedia for Biblical Students,
Archeologists, and Artists,’[23] and other books of his, and similar
attempts by others,[24] which have tended to discredit the school of
Creuzer rather than to gain lasting adherents to it, do not deserve to
be regarded as anything but passing aberrations. Braun’s ‘Natural
History of Legend: Reference of all Religious Ideas, Legends, and
Systems to their Common Stock and Ultimate Root’[25] maintains a more
serious and dignified tone, but is a kind of anachronism built on an
antiquated theory, and not happier in its etymological identifications
and derivations than Nork’s writings. I think that no branch of the
science of History and Civilisation can be advanced to satisfactory
results when the following thesis is laid down as an axiom: ‘It is a
fundamental law of the nature of the human mind never to invent anything
as long as it is possible to copy’—which is the starting-point of
Braun's studies. It would be quite as difficult to rest satisfied at the
present day with the method which Buttmann follows in treating of Hebrew

There are many smaller excursus by Biblical expositors and historians,
who set out from the standpoint of the earlier views on the relation of
the Myth to the Legend, and more frequently from the exegetical point of
view. Among these ought especially to be named Ewald’s section on the
subject in the first volume of his ‘History of Israel,’ Tuch’s short
treatise ‘Legend and Myth’ in the general introduction to his Commentary
on Genesis, as well as several dissertations by the indefatigable
Nöldeke in his ‘_Untersuchungen_’ (Investigations) and elsewhere. It is
obvious that these performances, though in every sense noteworthy and of
permanent value, could not draw into their sphere of observation those
preliminary questions which in the subsequent investigations of Kuhn and
Max Müller removed to a greater distance the goal of mythological
enquiry. Steinthal, who did so much for the psychological basis of the
new tendency of mythological science, was the first to merit the praise
of making Comparative Mythology fruitful on Hebrew ground. His
dissertations on the Story of Prometheus and the Story of Samson[26]
showed for the first time, and on a large scale, how the matter of the
Hebrew legends yields to mythological analysis. I would on this occasion
beg the reader to have the kindness to read these pioneer-articles of
Steinthal’s, to complete the matter left undiscussed in my work, as I
considered it superfluous repetition to work up a second time what was
sufficiently expounded there. Steinthal must consequently be regarded as
the founder of mythological science on Hebrew ground. He has again
recently given some suggestive hints on this subject in a short article,
in which he again defends the capacity of the Semitic race to form
myths.[27] It is only to be regretted that the commencement made by
Steinthal in this science has not been followed up for more than fifteen
years.[28] Steinthal’s two dissertations gave me the first impulse to
the composition of this work; and my purpose was confirmed by the words
of the ingenious Italian Angelo de Gubernatis, who, in his ‘Zoological
Mythology’ (which appeared at the very time when I was maturing my
purpose of putting together into one work this series of essays
originally written as lectures), eloquently designates the subject of my
researches the next problem of Comparative Mythology.[29] The words in
which he recommends the study of Hebrew Mythology in the spirit of the
new method seem to me very striking. It is my earnest conviction that
not only the interests of learning, but also preeminently the religious
life of the present age make it important to gain for this subject an
acknowledged position in learned literature. For he who feels the true
meaning of religion must welcome these studies as a step in advance
towards the highest ideal of religion, towards Monotheism pure and
unsullied by anything coarse or pagan, which is independent of legends
and traditions of race, and has its centre, its exclusive element of
life, and its impulse towards never-resting enquiry and self-perfection,
in aspiration after the single living Source of all truth and morality.
I am convinced that every step which we take towards a correct
appreciation of the Mythical brings us nearer to that centre. The
confusion of the Mythical with the Religious makes religious life
centrifugal; it is the duty of the progressive tendency on this domain
to confirm a centripetal tendency.[30] The recognition of this relation
between pure Monotheism and the oldest historical portion of the
Biblical literature does not date from yesterday or to-day; the most
ideal representative of Hebrew Monotheism, in whom Jahveism as an
harmonious conception of the universe attained its climax, the Prophet
of the Captivity himself, described this relation in clear terms (Is.
LXIII. 16; see _infra_, p. 229).

But while, on the one hand, the investigation of Hebrew myths gives a
stimulus to religious thought to advance in the direction of a
Monotheism purified from all dross; on the other, the employment of the
method offered to the Hebrew stories by Comparative Mythology in its
latest stage, paves the way for a more serious treatment of the old
Biblical stories. It cannot be denied that there is no little frivolity
in the idea that those stories were invented at a certain time, no
matter whether _bona_ or _mala fide_, by persons guided by some
interest, or affected by some leaning, of their own. It is no more
satisfactory to be told that the stories were not _invented_, but
_sprang up_ naturally, and then to find that no answer is forthcoming to
the question, _How_ that could be? The modern science of Comparative
Mythology has washed the teachers of the human race clean of the
suspicion of mystification and deceptive principles. The origination of
the stories is, at the outset, claimed for an antiquity higher than even
the most orthodox apologists could ever exhibit. Now for the first time
we can learn to appreciate them as spontaneous acts of the human mind;
we perceive that they arose through the same psychological process which
gave us language also; that, like language itself, they were the very
oldest manifestation of activity of the mind, and burst forth from it
φύσει not θέσει, at the very threshold of its history; and subsequently
transformed and developed themselves again quite spontaneously, on the
attainment of a higher stage of civilisation, by processes of national
psychology, and most certainly not by the cunning ingenuity and the
worldly wisdom of certain leading classes.

Last year Dr. Martin Schultze announced a ‘Mythology of the Hebrews in
its connexion with those of the Indogermans and of the Egyptians’[31] as
about to appear. The method followed by the author in a preliminary
specimen[32] was not such as to induce me to delay the publication of my
work and wait for his, even though he promised to give a complete
system, which was not my intention.[33] My manuscript was already in the
publishers’ hands, when the papers announced the publication of a
learned book by Dr. Grill, ‘The Patriarchs of Mankind: a contribution
towards the establishment of a Science of Hebrew Archeology;’[34] and
more than ten sheets were printed before I could gather, from a review
of it in the _Jenaer Literaturzeitung_, in how close a connexion it
stood to the subject of my book; for from the title alone I was not
likely to suspect anything on Mythology. I cannot pretend to explain in
a few lines my opinion of so large a book as Dr. Grill’s. But as he
starts with the assumption of the impossibility of a Semitic Mythology,
and endeavours to establish the view that the Hebrew Myth is that of an
Indogermanic people, that the Hebrews were Indogermans, and that the
Hebrew mythological proper names can find an etymology only in Sanskrit,
I have great pleasure in referring him to p. 25 and to Chapter V. of my
book, where he may convince himself that no very daring etymological
leaps nor arbitrary assumptions of phonological laws of transformation
are necessary to explain the Hebrew mythological figures and their
appellations from the Semitic languages themselves. It must, no doubt,
be admitted that in some cases—but the minority—the formation of the
proper names used in Mythology is not quite in accordance with
grammatical analogy. I account for this by the peculiar feature of the
Semitic languages, that an appellative on becoming a proper name often
takes a peculiar form, differing in some respect from that of the
original appellative: ‘al-ʿadl li-l-ʿalamîyyâ,’ as the Arabian
grammarians say.[35] There will always be _cruces_. Is it possible to
indicate a satisfactory etymon for every proper name of the Greek
mythology? and if not, ought we on that account to explain the Greek out
of Semitic, whenever a case occurs which tempts us to do so, as our
learned ancestors did?[36] For transformation is always easy to find;
since etymology is allowed to be a science in which the consonants go
for but little, and the vowels have nothing at all to say for
themselves! It certainly seems a pity to waste ingenuity in trying to
banish out of the Semitic stock names which sound Semitic and can be
recognised as such without the employment of any law of transformation
at all, like Yiphtâch (Jephthah), Nôach (Noah), and Debhôrâ (Deborah),
and in dissolving by Sanskrit solvents the Hebrew impress of a word like
Yehôshûaʿ (Joshua), produced by Jahveism out of the original Hôshêaʿ,
and not even mythical at all, in order to make it into a ‘Dog of
Heaven,’ instead of ‘He has holpen’ or ‘enlarged [the people’s
possessions],’ i.e. ‘The Helper.’[37] Pinechas (Phinehas), no doubt, is
a word that might drive the etymologist to despair. But there is far
more intrinsic probability in Lauth’s Egyptian interpretation[38] than
in Grill’s Sanskrit _tour de force_, especially considering that
Egyptian proper names cannot be explained away out of the Old Testament,
and have in history a positive reason for existence. Then why hover in
the dream-land of a prehistoric connexion with the Aryans?

When the Arabian traditionary stories are once subjected to etymological
treatment, it will appear how far Semitism is from utter deficiency of
Mythology. In certain instances I have taken occasion to demonstrate
this with reference to Arabian tradition in the course of this work
(e.g. p. 182 _et seq._, p. 334 _et seq._). In other cases no reference
to the etymological meaning of the proper names is required to recognise
true Arabian myths. Instances are found especially in the stories about
the constellations. Al-Meydânî informs us that ‘the old Arabs say that
the star al-Dabarân wooed the Pleiades, but the latter constellation
would have nothing to do with the suitor, turned obstinately away from
him, and said to the Moon, ‘What must I do with that poor devil, who has
no estate at all?’ Then al-Dabarân gathered together his Ḳilâṣ (a
constellation in the neighbourhood of al-Dabarân), and thus gained
possession of an estate. And now he is constantly following after the
Pleiades, driving the Ḳilâṣ before him as a wedding-present.’[39] ‘The
constellation Capricorn killed the Bear (naʿsh), and therefore the
daughters of the latter (binât naʿsh) encircle him, seeking vengeance
for their slain father.’ ‘Suheyl gave the female star al-Jauzâ a blow;
the latter returned it and threw him down where he now lies; but he then
took his sword and cut his adversary in pieces.’ ‘The southern Sirius
(al-Shiʿra al-yamânîyyâ) was walking with her sister the northern Sirius
(al-Shiʿra al-shâmîyyâ); the latter parted company and crossed the Milky
Way, whence her name (al-Shiʿra al-ʿabûr). Her sister, seeing this,
began to weep for the separation, and her eyes dropped tears; therefore
she is called the Wet-eyed (al-ġumeyṣâ).’[40] The existence of similar
Hebrew myths may be inferred from the names of constellations in the
Book of Job (XXXVIII. 31, 32), especially from the Fool (kesîl, Orion)
bound to heaven.[41] Are not these genuine Nomads’ myths, produced
through contemplation of the constellations and their relations to one

In conclusion, I must observe that in many passages, especially of the
later chapters, a fuller citation of literary apparatus would have been
desirable. The want of this is to be ascribed in part to the peculiar
design of the book, and in part to the deficiency of aid from libraries
for the exegetical department in my dwelling-place.

                      MYTHOLOGY AMONG THE HEBREWS.

                               CHAPTER I.
                         _ON HEBREW MYTHOLOGY._

§ 1. At the very foundation of the investigations to which this book is
devoted, we find ourselves in opposition to a wide-spread assumption:
that in regard to Mythology nations may be divided into two classes,
Mythological and Unmythological, or in other words, those which have had
a natural gift for creating Myths, and those whose intellectual capacity
never sufficed for this end. It is therefore desirable to lay down
clearly our position in regard to this assumption, before we advance to
the proper subject of our studies.

The Myth is the result of a purely psychological operation, and is,
together with language, the oldest act of the human mind. This has been
shown conclusively by the modern school of mythologists who are also
psychologists. Assuming then, what can scarcely be called in question,
that the same psychological laws rule the intellectual activity of
mankind without distinction of race, we cannot _a priori_ assume that
the capacity for forming myths can be given or withheld according to
ethnological categories. As there is only one physiology, and every race
of mankind under the influence of certain conditions produces the same
physiological functions in accordance with physiological laws, so it is
also with the psychological functions, given the stimulus necessary to
their production. And this stimulus acts upon mankind everywhere alike.
For it is clearly proved that the Myth tells of the operations of
nature, and is the mode of expressing the perception which man at the
earliest stage of his intellectual life has of these operations and
phenomena. These form the substance of the Myth. Consequently, wherever
they act as attractions to the youthful human mind, the external
conditions of the rise of Mythology are present. Not unjustly,
therefore, it seems to me, has a recent psychologist spoken of the
‘Universal Presence and the Uniformity’ of myths.[42] Undoubtedly the
direction of the myth will vary with the relation of natural phenomena
to mankind; the myth will take one direction where man greets the sun as
a friendly element, and another where the sun meets him as a hostile
power; and in the rainless region the rain cannot act the same part in
Mythology which it plays in the rainy parts of the earth. The manners
and usages of men must also exercise a modifying influence on the
subject and the direction of the Myth. As in the course of our further
inquiries we shall recur to this point, I will here only refer to one
example of the latter. It is well known that in the Aryan mythology,
‘the milking of cows’ is a frequently recurring expression for the
shining of the sun, or as some say for the rain. In tribes which do not
milk their cows, like some Negro peoples,[43] or the American natives,
this mythical expression can of course not arise.

§ 2. There are two points of view, from which the Mythical faculty has
been denied to certain sections of the human race—on the one side a
_linguistic_, on the other an _ethnological_. As to the first, we must
especially name Bleek, the distinguished investigator of the South
African languages, who, in the introduction to his work on the Story of
Reynard the Fox in South Africa, makes the remark that a mythological
genius is peculiar to nations in whose languages a distinction of gender
in nouns finds expression, whereas those whose languages possess no
formal distinction of gender in nouns, have no proper mythology, but
their religion stands on that original stage which is the starting-point
of all human religion, namely that of the cultus of their ancestors.[44]
It is obvious that this learned linguist’s distinction involves a
confusion of Myth and Religion, which we shall find in the course of our
subsequent investigations to be untenable. At present we will disregard
this point, and only refer to the mythologies of the Finnish-Ugrian
nations—peoples whose languages do not indicate any distinction of
gender in their nouns. Or can it be said that the substance of the epos
of Kalevala is not proper mythology? To be sure, in nations whose mind
never evolved the category of grammatical gender in their languages, the
myth will take such a direction as will give to the sexual idea, so
charming a feature in the Aryan mythology, much less prominence. For the
mode of conception which is conveyed by the distinction of ‘_die_ Sonne’
and ‘_der_ Mond,’ or ‘_hic_ sol’ and ‘_haec_ luna,’ cannot arise where
this distinction is not made. But the figures of a mythology not only
vary as to sex and genealogy, but act also; they are busy, they fight
and kill, and the story of these actions and fights is quite independent
of the gender-idea in language. Stories of them, consequently, which we
call Myths, may exist even where the genius of language has opposed the
distinction of gender.

§ 3. The second point of view, from which some have denied to a section
of the human race the faculty and tendency to form myths, is
_ethnological_. Either the Semites in general or the Hebrews specially
fell a sacrifice to this view. The exclusion of the Semites from the
domain of Mythology is announced most emphatically by the ingenious
member of the French Academy, Ernest Renan, in the words, ‘Les Sémites
n'ont jamais eu de mythologie.’[45] This arbitrary assertion is deduced
from a scheme of race-psychology invented by Renan himself, which at the
first glance seems so natural and sounds so plausible when described
with all the elegance of style of which he is master, that it has become
an incontestable scientific dogma to a large proportion of the
professional world—for even the territory of science is sometimes
dominated by mere dogmas—and is treated by learned and cultivated people
not specially engaged in this study as an actual axiom in the
consideration of race-peculiarities.[46] The foundation of this scheme
is the idea that in their views of the world, the Aryans start from
multiplicity, the Semites from unity; and not only in their conception
of the world, but also in politics and art. On intellectual ground,
therefore, the former create mythology, polytheism, science, which is
only possible through discursive observation of natural phenomena; the
latter create monotheism, (‘the desert is monotheistic,’ says Renan),
and have therefore neither mythology nor science. ‘If it is difficult,’
justly observes Waitz, ‘to estimate the capability of single individuals
well known to us, it is a far more dubious task to gauge the
intellectual gifts of whole nations and races. It seems scarcely
possible to find available standards for the purpose, and consequently
the judgment is almost always found to be very much founded on personal
impressions. The various nations stand at various times on very
different stages of development, and if only actual performances permit
a safe induction as to the measure of existing capabilities, then this
measure itself seems not to remain the same in the same nation through
the course of time, but to vary within very wide limits, especially if
we are to assume in all cases that a state of original savageness
preceded civilisation.’[47] In fact, the words of this cautious
psychologist apply admirably to Renan’s scheme of race-psychology; for
history is just what that scheme disregards. He does not observe that
Polytheism and Monotheism are two stages of development in the history
of religious thought, and that the latter does not spring up
spontaneously,[48] without being preceded by the former stage, and that
Polytheism itself is preceded by a preliminary stage, that of the
mythological view of the world, which is in itself not yet a religion,
but prepares the way for the rise of religion.

To form some idea of the arbitrariness of schemes founded upon some
universal characteristics, we have only to glance over the literature
which sprang up as soon as Renan’s dictum was uttered, either to refute
it, or to work his hypothesis still further—a regular host of
dissertations fighting on this side or on that.[49] On reading these, we
see clearly how worthless such clever fancies are, that enable one to
embrace with a stroke of the pen a domain which geographically fills
more than half of the inhabited world, and chronologically stretches
from the highest antiquity down to the most recent time. For even
Renan’s antagonists have fallen into his radical error: they have taken
one-sided schemes and characteristics, only _different_ ones from
Renan’s. How passive and elastic these schemes are, shall be shown by an
example of some importance, which will convince us that the inferences
drawn from ethnological characteristics are never anything higher than
arbitrary sleight-of-hand, which any investigator can manipulate to his
own purpose. To this end we will place side by side the inferences which
Renan has tacked on to his hypothesis, and a talented German’s
conclusions, which also essentially take Renan’s basis as the correct
starting-point. We speak of Lange, who also starts from the principle
that the Semites grasp natural phenomena in combination, the Aryans in
multiplicity, and that therefore the former naturally incline towards
Monotheism, and the latter towards Polytheism. But let us see to what
windings and deductions this dogma leads on both sides. We hear Renan
say: ‘Or la conception de la multiplicité dans l’univers, c’est le
polythéisme chez les peuples enfants; c’est la science chez les peuples
arrivés à l’âge mûr.’[50] Quite the contrary is affirmed by the German
historian of Materialism, who says: ‘When the heathen sees gods
everywhere, and has accustomed himself to regard every separate
operation of nature as the domain of a special demonic action, he throws
in the way of a materialistic explanation difficulties a thousandfold,
like the offices in the Divine household.... But Monotheism here stands
in a very different relation to science.’ ‘If a uniform mode of work on
a large scale is attributed to the one God, the mutual connexion of
things in their origin and action becomes not only a possible, but even
a necessary consequence of the assumption. For if I saw a thousand and
again a thousand wheels in motion, and believed them to be all driven by
one agent, then I should have to conclude that it was a piece of
machinery, the minutest portion of which had its movement absolutely
determined by the plan of the whole.’ [51] ‘The fact that Islâm is the
religion in which that advancement of the study of nature, which we
attribute to the monotheistic principle, shows itself most clearly, is
connected with the peculiar talents of the Arabs, ... but also
undoubtedly with the circumstance that Mohammed’s monotheism was the
severest of all.’[52] Auguste Comte also draws the same inferences from
the tendency of Monotheism to develop a scientific conception of the
world, and makes Monotheism and Scientific treatment exert a reciprocal
influence on each other.[53] To which of these opposite deductions from
the same premisses shall we hold? ‘Which is right?’ every educated man
will ask, and immediately infer the inadequacy of such general
characterisations, and the wide room thereby opened to arbitrariness and
error, in case it should be attempted to erect upon them a history of
civilisation or an ethnology.

Now this foundation is exactly that on which Renan’s assumption of the
absence of mythology from the Semites rests—an assumption which can by
no means be admitted, first, because it is unhistorical; and secondly,
because it would necessarily follow from it that race-distinctions
differentiate the psychological bases of intellectual activity. ‘The
Semites cannot form a myth,’ is a proposition the possibility of which
could be allowed only if such an assertion as ‘This or that race has no
digestive power, or no generative power,’ could be treated otherwise
than as an _a priori_ absurdity. But it is even more remarkable that
Renan, notwithstanding his conviction of the ‘uniform psychological
constitution of the human race,’ in which he finds the justification of
a common story of the Deluge springing up everywhere without
borrowing,[54] and although he finds the gaps in the chronology of the
antediluvian period of the Biblical history filled up, ‘par des noms
d’anciens héros, et peut-être de divinités qu'on retrouve chez les
autres peuples sémitiques,’[55] still speaks of the possibility, indeed
of the necessity, that the Semitic race should be destitute of myths.

Renan’s hypothesis had to encounter many a hard battle soon after its
publication. The theologians were highly pleased at what was said about
the monotheistic tendency of Semitism, but thought it blasphemy for
Renan to find in Monotheism _le minimum de religion_ and in Polytheism a
higher and more civilised stage of religion. And philologists,
historians and philosophers assailed the foundations of Renan’s pile.
Steinthal subjects the notion introduced by Renan, of a monotheistic
_instinct_, to acute psychological criticism. Max Müller does the same,
and points to the history of the Hebrews and the other Semites, to
resolve the dreams of Semitic Monotheism into their nullity. Abraham
Geiger and Salomon Munk (Renan’s successor in the chair of the _Collége
de France_) wish to limit to the Hebrew nation the assertion of Semitic
Monotheism. Yet what is said about Mythology is not much objected to by
any of these critics (with the exception of Steinthal). Indeed, one of
the pioneers of modern Comparative Mythology, while combating the
monotheistic instinct, takes up a position on the mythological question
not very far from Renan’s own: ‘What is peculiar to the Aryan race is
their mythological phraseology, superadded to their polytheism; what is
peculiar to the Semitic race is their belief in a national god—in a god
chosen by his people, as his people had been chosen by him.’[56]

Mythological science has at the present day ceased to hold fast to the
divisions of race in relation to the formation of myths. At least it has
acted so in relation to that class of nations which, though not
exhibiting a single race or several closely connected races, has (_faute
de mieux_) been termed the _Turanian_—a purely negative designation,
which only asserts its members to be neither Semites nor Aryans. Max
Müller himself wishes to see the Turanian mythology investigated by the
same method which is employed in the Aryan; and he is not shaken by the
result, which exhibits a striking identity between Aryan and Turanian
myths. He is not shaken even by consideration of the psychological
force, which must be taken into account in the first instance in the
criticism and valuation of myths. ‘If people cannot bring themselves to
believe in solar and celestial myths among the Hindûs and Greeks,’ says
this leading investigator, ‘let them study the folk-lore of the
_Semitic_ and Turanian races. I know there is, on the part of some of
our most distinguished scholars, the same objection against comparing
Aryan to non-Aryan myths, as there is against any attempt to explain the
features of Sanskrit or Greek by a reference to Finnish or Bask. In one
sense that objection is well founded, for nothing would create greater
confusion than to ignore the genealogical principle as the only safe one
in a scientific classification of languages, of myths, and even of
customs. We must first classify our myths and legends, as we classify
our languages and dialects.... But there is in a comparative study of
languages and myths not only a philological, but also a philosophical
and more particularly a psychological interest, and though even in this
more general study of mankind the frontiers of language and race ought
never to disappear, yet they can no longer be allowed to narrow or
intercept our view.’[57] Thus Müller also lays especial stress upon the
psychological point of view, and, whatever he concedes to
race-distinctions, still takes for granted the universality of the
formation of myths as a psychological postulate. He exhibits, however,
the application of his principle to the Turanian only in concrete
examples. The Semitic, which, as we saw above, cannot be excluded in
reference to the universality of the formation of myths, is left out
altogether. Yet Müller appears in respect of the Semitic to have passed
beyond the position on which he stood in 1860, when writing his essay
‘Semitic Monotheism.’[58] Advancing in the footsteps of the master, a
recent American mythologist, John Fiske, has drawn the Turanian into the
domain of comparative mythology, and worked out a portion of the
American stories collected by Brinton,[59] according to the laws of the
new method,[60] while the German Schirren, and also Gerland less
completely, had already subjected the Polynesian myths to a similar

This circumstance, that the stories of the so-called Turanian humanity
lend themselves to the comparative method of investigation quite as
easily as the legendary treasure of the Aryan nations, is a proof how
common to all mankind is the mythological capacity, how false it is to
follow ethnological categories and assign it to one race and deny it to
another; and on the other hand, how the subject-matter, the perception
of which forms the ground-work of the oldest mythology, is everywhere
the same—the phenomena of nature and the contests of alternating
elements. For very many and various races, incapable as yet of
linguistic classification, endowed with the most diverse physical
constitutions, inhabiting the most differing climates from the highest
northern to the furthest southern latitudes, and speaking languages the
most incongruous, have taken refuge in the vast unlimited house of
Turanism, until legitimate parents are found for them. Turanism is
therefore the best test of the controverted universality of mythological
capacity. There is then no tenable reason why, for the sake of
fair-sounding but meaningless distinctions, we should introduce the
Semites into history with the loss of a nose, as it were, and interpret
the history of the intellectual development of that race by a principle
which essentially proclaims that the Semites were not born into life as
infants, and never saw the sunlight till they were men, or even old men.

§ 4. Such reflections may have determined the French Assyriologist
François Lenormant quite recently, to claim mythology for the Semitic
race also; although in so doing he does not mention the Hebrews at
all.[62] For, notwithstanding the alluring mythological subject-matter
deposited in the literature of its traditions, the Hebrew nation has
always been a stepchild of mythological inquiry, and still awaits an
investigator to do full justice to it. It is easy to be understood that
a mistaken religious interest, which identified itself with the Biblical
literature and warned off mythological inquiry with an energetic _Noli
me tangere_, sharpened, it may be, with a dose of canonical or
uncanonical excommunication, blockaded the passage of investigation on
this path. I call it a _mistaken_ interest, because the true interests
of religion are advanced, not imperilled, by the results of science.
Disregarding men of the calibre of Nork and a few other inferior
disciples of the school of Creuzer, we can affirm that, with the
exception of a few essays, even the freest and most earnest interpreters
of the Bible have examined, and do still examine, the Biblical books
only as products of literature, bringing to light valuable results as to
the times and tendencies of the original composition and subsequent
editing of the several parts of the Canon. But on the origin and
significance of the persons themselves who figure in the Biblical
stories, even the freest interpreters are silent, as if the Hebrews were
a people quite apart, and not to be measured by the measure of History
and Psychology.

Even those who are willing to know something of Semitic myths in general
resist the assumption of Hebrew myths. No one has defined his position
on this point so unambiguously as Baron Bunsen, who has thought so much
and so profoundly on religious matters. It is really extraordinary that
this immortal man, who exerted so stimulating an influence on the
studies of his young friend Max Müller, and who welcomed the latter’s
pioneer-essay ‘Comparative Mythology’ with ‘especial pleasure’ at the
‘pure popular poetry of the feeling for nature,’ exhibited so little
comprehension of the aims of the new direction given to mythological
studies by Müller. His view of the connexion of the Aryan mass of
mythology is consequently very confused. This is especially to be
regretted, because the displacement of the true point of view in
mythical speculation, and the continual concessions to Creuzer and
Schelling, hindered him from making permanently useful the philosophical
labour expended on the understanding of the Egyptian theology. Bunsen
did not separate Religion from Myths, and consequently he sees what he
calls Consciousness of a God in a genealogised and systematised
Mythology. It is therefore not surprising that he advanced no further
than his predecessors in relation to the Hebrew myths. He speaks of the
‘spirit of the Jewish people, historically penetrated through and
through with aversion to mythology,’[63] and concentrates his thoughts
on this theme in the sixth, seventh, and eighth of the theses in which
he exhibits the relation of the Egyptian mythology to the Asiatic.
According to these, ‘the Bible has no Mythology; it is the grand,
momentous, and fortunate self-denial of Judaism to possess none.’ As if
a myth—which Bunsen himself had called ‘_pure_ popular poetry of the
feeling for nature’—were an abomination, a defilement of the human mind,
a sinful act voluntarily performed, which the Elect can _deny
themselves_! On the other hand, ‘the national sentiment mirrored in
Abraham, Moses, and the primeval history generally from the Creation to
the Deluge, and the expression of it, are rooted in the mythological
life of the East in the earliest times,’ and ‘in the long period from
Joseph to Moses, there have been interwoven with the life and actions of
this greatest and most influential of all the men of the first age
[Abraham] and the history of his son and grandson, many ancient
traditions from the mythology of those tribes from whose savage natural
life the Hebrews were extracted, to their own good and that of mankind
and for higher ends.’[64] According to this there are Myths belonging to
the Hebrews, but not Hebrew Myths—only borrowed ones, obtained from
‘Primeval Asia.’

I have exhibited Bunsen’s position at some length, because, with all his
advanced ideas on the essence and significance of Mythology, he still to
this day dominates the minds of those who, while admitting the
possibility of Semitic Mythology, are up in arms against the existence
of Hebrew myths.

§ 5. Nevertheless, I hope it is clear from the above that Hebrew
mythology is _a priori_ possible. The following chapters will give
occasion to prove in what this existence consists. It will then appear
that the Hebrew myths, necessarily owing their existence to the same
psychological operation as the Aryan or the so-called Turanian, must
consequently have the same original signification as these. Hence the
figures of Hebrew mythology denote the very natural phenomena whose
appellations lie before us in those figures’ names. These names,
however, are _not symbolic_,[65] but are antiquated appellatives of the
natural phenomena denoted by them, just as the words, _Sun_, _Moon_,
_Rain_, &c. This must be distinctly proclaimed, as some who
misunderstand the modern method of Mythology pervert it in a false and
antiquated way by the introduction of symbolism.

We must also beware of confounding the original Myth with Religion or,
still worse, with the Consciousness of God. This confusion is the source
of most of the erroneous estimates and notions of Mythology, which even
the latest methods of investigating myths has not entirely removed. The
very earliest activity of the human intellect can only work upon what
falls immediately under the cognisance of the senses, and upon what
through its frequency and the regularity of its return prompts men most
readily to speech. Such things are the daily natural phenomena, the
change of light and darkness, of rain and sunshine, and all that
accompanies these changes. What primitive man spoke on these things, is
the Myth. It is psychologically impossible that the earliest activity of
the human mind should have been anything else but this. We cannot speak
of a consciousness of God, a _sensus numinis_, as existing in the
earliest Mythological period. Not till later, when some process in the
history of language gives the ancient myths a new direction, do they
turn into either History or Religion. The latter always arises out of
the materials of Mythology, and then finds its historical task to be to
work itself upwards into independence. Then, while the mythology out of
which it sprang is growing less and less intelligible, and therefore
also less and less expressive, Religion must in the progress of its
development sever its connexion with Mythology, and unite itself with
the scientific consciousness, which now occupies the place of the

How Mythology becomes Religion is shown most clearly by _Dualism_.
Nothing can be less correct than the belief that the dualistic system of
religion had from its very origin an ethical meaning. This, as well as
the limitation of Dualism to Irân and Babylon,[66] is refuted by the
frequent occurrence of the dualistic conception of the world among the
most various savage peoples.[67] The ethical significance of Dualism is
decidedly secondary; it is the form of development of the main theme of
all mythology, the relation of light to darkness, proper to a higher
stage of culture. Many mythological fancies, and especially the Sun’s
voyage by ship in the nether world, became religious eschatological
ideas when the mythical meaning itself was lost from the mind, and gave
rise to new ideas of life in the nether world, resurrection, ascent to
heaven, &c.; this was first established in reference to the old Egyptian
mythology.[68] So also Dualism as it appears in Irân is a myth that has
taken an ethical sense. This is best seen in the facts that the northern
Algonquins, with whom Dualism is almost as fixed a principle as in Irân,
call the good and evil principles respectively Sun and Moon, and that
among the Hurons the Evil principle is the grand-mother of the Good:[69]
the Night is the mother or grand-mother, or, in general, the ancestress
of the Day. Here religious dualism has not quite put off the character
of its origin in Mythology. On the other hand, the Iranic system at a
very early age (that of the Avesta) elevated Dualism into the region of
pure morals, and yet at a later (the epic period) formed out of the
original myth the localised story of the war of Zohak against

That Dualism as a religious conception is a further development of the
myth, and not first excited by the moral problem of the strife of the
good against the evil, becomes evident also from the consideration of a
peculiar form of dualistic religion which we find in many Semitic
nations. We here frequently find a deity regarded as male, who has a
corresponding female to represent, as it were, the reverse side of the
same natural force, and then the two forces unite to produce a natural
phenomenon. So, for instance, Sun and Earth, Baal and Mylitta, the
factors of procreation. This likewise is a dualistic tendency, in which
however the two deities are not represented as mutually hostile. We are
justified in placing this phenomenon in the chapter on Dualism, because
two such deities in the course of history are often joined together into
one.[71] Now this side of dualistic religion can be traced back only to
Mythology as its source and point of departure. The Hebrew myth of Judah
and Tamar, which we shall consider further on (Chap. V., § 14), exhibits
a mythical prototype of such dualistic views of religion.


Footnote 1:

  Especially Max Müller’s essay on _Comparative Mythology_ (_Chips_
  etc., II. 1), and the ninth in the second series of his _Lectures on
  the Science of Language_; and Cox’s introductions to his _Manual of
  Mythology_, _Tales of the Gods and Heroes_, and _Tales of Thebes and

Footnote 2:

   Both in England and in France the attempt has been made with much
  taste to introduce the results of comparative mythology in the
  instruction of youth; in England by Rev. G.W. Cox in his _Tales of the
  Gods and Heroes_, _Tales of Thebes and Argos_, _Tales from Greek
  Mythology_, _Manual of Mythology in the form of question and answer_,
  1867, and _Tales of Ancient Greece_, 1870, the last two of which have
  just been translated into Hungarian, and published by the Franklin
  Society; in France by Baudry and Delerot (Paris 1872). Still more
  recently the results of comparative mythology have also been
  summarised in two excellent books for children by Edward Clodd, _The
  Childhood of the World: a simple account of Man in Early Times_, 1873,
  and _The Childhood of Religion; embracing a simple account of the
  birth and growth of Myths and Legends_, 1875.

Footnote 3:

   This psychological uniformity of all races of men is independent of
  the question of the monogenetic or polygenetic origin of races. The
  psychological uniformity of different races is especially conspicuous
  when we observe and compare individuals of the separate races in
  infancy, when the distinctions produced by history, education,
  instruction, etc., are not yet present (see Frohschammer, _Das
  Christenthum und die moderne Naturwissenschaft_, Vienna 1868, p. 208.)
  When we are considering the growth of mankind in general, the stage
  when myths are created corresponds to the infancy of the individual.

Footnote 4:

  _Das Beständige in den Menschenrassen und die Spielweise ihrer
  Veränderlichkeit_, Berlin 1868, p. 78.

Footnote 5:

  François Lenormant, _Essai sur la Propagation de l’Alphabet phénicien
  dans l’ancien monde_, Vol. I. (2nd ed., Paris 1875), p. 17.

Footnote 6:

   Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, I. 6.

Footnote 7:

  On these two see Pfleiderer, _Die Religion, ihr Wesen und ihre
  Geschichte_, II. 8.

Footnote 8:

  The title is 'Conférence de la Fable avec l’Histoire sainte, où l’on
  voit que les grandes fables, le culte et les mystères du paganisme ne
  sont que des copies altérées des histoires, des usages et des
  traditions des Hébreux.'

Footnote 9:

   Edward Wilton in the _Journal of Sacred Literature_, 1849, II. 374
  _et seq._

Footnote 10:

  Dr. Vollmer’s _Wörterbuch der Mythologie aller Völker_, newly revised
  by Dr. W. Binder, with an Introduction to Mythological Science by Dr.
  Johannes Minckwitz, 3rd ed., Stuttgart 1874.

Footnote 11:

   See the Augsburg _Allgemeine Zeitung_, 1875, no. 169, p. 2657.

Footnote 12:

   _Primitive Culture_, I. 22.

Footnote 13:

  See Virchow in the _Monatsbericht der königl. preuss. Akademie der
  Wissenschaften_, January 1875, p. 11.

Footnote 14:

  _Origin of Civilisation_, 3rd ed., p. 330, quoting Sibree’s
  _Madagascar and its People_, p. 396.

Footnote 15:

  _Einleitung in die Philosophie der Mythologie_, pp. 62, 63. This is
  the idea to which Max Müller refers in noticing the lectures of the
  philosopher of Berlin, in his _Introduction to the Science of
  Religion_, p. 145.

Footnote 16:

  See his _Populäre Aufsätze aus dem Alterthum, vorzugsweise zur Ethik
  und Religion der Griechen_, second edition, Leipzig 1875, especially
  p. 272 _et seq._

Footnote 17:

  Flach, _Das System der Hesiod. Kosmogonie_, Leipzig 1874; see
  _Literar. Centralblatt_, 1875, no. 7.

Footnote 18:

  _Rude Stone Monuments in all Countries_, p. 32, note 2.

Footnote 19:

  _The Chaldean Account of Genesis_, p. 302.

Footnote 20:

  Sayce in the _Academy_, 1875, p. 586.

Footnote 21:

  The _Academy_, 1875, no. 184, p. 496. The promoters of the
  _Theological Translation Fund_, by whom Kuenen’s _Religion of Israel_
  was published, Dr. J. Muir of Edinburgh, who wrote some letters to the
  _Scotsman_ on the Dutch Theology, and to a certain extent Bishop
  Colenso, besides many others who have not avowed their views so
  publicly, indicate the progress of opinion in England.—TR.

Footnote 22:

  See _Literar. Centralblatt_, 1875, no. 49, p. 157.

Footnote 23:

  _Biblische Mythologie des Alten und Neuen Testaments_, 2 vols.,
  Stuttgart 1842; _Etymologisch-symbolisch-mythologisches Realwörterbuch
  für Bibelforscher, Archäologen und bildende Künstler_, 4 vols.,
  Stuttgart 1843–5.

Footnote 24:

  I have not succeeded in obtaining a sight of Schwenk’s _Mythologie der
  Semiten_, published in 1849; but Bunsen’s condemnation of it in
  _Egypt’s Place in Universal History_, IV. p. 363, made me less anxious
  to get it.

Footnote 25:

  _Naturgeschichte der Sage. Rückführung aller religiösen Ideen, Sagen,
  Systeme auf ihren gemeinsamen Stammbaum und ihre letzte Wurzel_, 2
  vols., Munich 1864–5.

Footnote 26:

  In Vol. II. of his _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und
  Sprachwissenschaft_, translated and appended to this volume.

Footnote 27:

  _Der Semitismus_, in _Zeitsch. für Völkerpsychologie etc._, 1875,
  VIII. 339–340.

Footnote 28:

  It would be unfair not to mention the Dutch Professor Tiele as a
  worker on this field. In his _Vergelijkende Geschiedenis der oude
  godsdiensten_, Vol. I.: _De egyptische en mesopotamische godsdiensten_
  (Amsterdam 1872) he has occasionally inserted explanations of Hebrew
  myths, to which I have referred at the proper places.

Footnote 29:

  II. 421 _et seq._; see his _Rivista Europea_, year VI. II. 587. Cf.
  his review of the German edition of this work in the _Bollettino
  italiano degli studj orientali_, 1876, I. 169–172.

Footnote 30:

  In reference to this I may refer to the eloquent expressions of
  Steinthal in his lecture _Mythos und Religion_, p. 28 (in Virchow and
  Holtzendorff’s _Sammlung gemeinverständlicher Vorträge_, Bd. V. Heft

Footnote 31:

  _Mythologie der Ebräer in ihrem Zusammenhange mit den Mythologien der
  Indogermanen und der Ægypter._ Nordhausen 1876.

Footnote 32:

  _Ausland_, 1874, p. 961 _et seq._, 1001 _et seq._

Footnote 33:

  The above-named work was published immediately after the conclusion of
  this Introduction.

Footnote 34:

  _Die Erzväter der Menschheit: ein Beitrag zur Grundlegung einer
  hebräischen Alterthumswissenschaft._ Leipzig, Fues 1875.

Footnote 35:

  Ibn Yaʿîsh’s Commentary on the Mufaṣṣal, p. 74 (of the edition now
  being published by Dr. Jahn of Berlin). See _Fables_ de Loqman le Sage
  (éd. Dérenbourg), Introduction, p. 7.

Footnote 36:

  I may refer on this point to Von Grutschmid’s excellent critique on
  Bunsen’s attempt to explain Athene as Semitic, in the former’s
  _Beiträge zur Geschichte des alten Orients_, Leipzig 1858, p. 46.

Footnote 37:

  Stade (_Morgenländische Forschungen_, p. 232) justly insists on the
  good Hebrew character of the names occurring in the Hebrew stories,
  even against the false supposition of the original Aramaic character
  of the Hebrew people.

Footnote 38:

  _Zeitsch. d. D.M.G._, 1871, XXV. 139; see Lepsius, _Einleitung zur
  Chronologie der alten Ægypten_, I. 326.

Footnote 39:

  See Ibn Yaʿîsh’s Commentary on the Mufaṣṣal of Zamachsharî, p. 47, in
  which the name of the constellation al-ʿAyyûḳ (Auriga, ‘The Hinderer’)
  is imported into this story, as hindering al-Dabarân from coming up
  with his beloved.

Footnote 40:

  al-Meydânî, Majmaʿ al-amthâl (ed. of Bûlâḳ), II. 209.

Footnote 41:

  See Nöldeke in Schenkel’s _Bibellexikon_, 2nd ed. IV. 370.

Footnote 42:

  _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft_, 1869, VI.

Footnote 43:

  Theodor Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, II. 85.

Footnote 44:

  W.H.I. Bleek, _Reynard the Fox in South Africa_, 1864, pp. xx-xxvi.
  See Max Müller’s _Introduction to the Science of Religion_, London
  1873, p. 54.

Footnote 45:

  _Histoire générale et Système comparé des Langues sémitiques_, p. 7.

Footnote 46:

  Two instances will suffice to show how Renan’s hypothesis became the
  common property of educated people. It is treated as fully made out,
  both by Roscher, the German political economist, and by Draper, the
  American naturalist and historian of civilisation. The former says:
  ‘Life in the desert seems to be an especially favourable soil for
  Monotheism. It wants that luxuriant variety of the productive powers
  of nature by which Polytheism was encouraged in remarkably fruitful
  countries, such as India’ (_System der Volkswirthschaft_, 7th ed.,
  Stuttgart 1873, II. 38). The latter: ‘Polytheistic ideas have always
  been held in repute by the southern European races; the Semitic have
  maintained the unity of God. Perhaps this is due to the fact, as a
  recent author has suggested, that a diversified landscape of mountains
  and valleys, islands, rivers, and gulfs, predisposes man to a belief
  in a multitude of divinities. A vast sandy desert, the illimitable
  ocean, impresses him with an idea of the oneness of God’ (_History of
  Conflict between Religion and Science_, London 1875, p. 70). This view
  has also passed into Peschel’s _Völkerkunde_, and Bluntschli also, in
  his lecture on the ancient oriental ideas of God and world in 1861,
  echoed Renan’s hypothesis of 1855.

Footnote 47:

  _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, I. 297.

Footnote 48:

  On the other side, Renan says (_Hist. gén._ 4th ed., p. 497) ‘Cette
  grande conquête (the recognition of Monotheism) ne fut pas pour elle
  (i. e. for the Semitic race) l’effet du progrès; ce fut une de ces
  premières aperceptions.’

Footnote 49:

  Much of this literature has been unnoticed, as e.g. a late pamphlet by
  Léon Hugonnet: _La civilisation arabe, défense des peuples sémitiques
  en réponse à M. Renan_, Geneva 1873.

Footnote 50:

  _Histoire générale_, p.

Footnote 51:

  _Geschichte des Materialismus_, 1st ed., 1866, p. 77. See 2nd ed.,
  1873, I. 149.

Footnote 52:

  Ib. p. 83. See 2nd ed., p. 152.

Footnote 53:

  _Cours de Philosophie Positive_, éd. Littré, Paris 1869, V. 90, 197,

Footnote 54:

  _Histoire générale_, p. 486: ‘L’unité de constitution psychologique de
  l’espèce humaine, au moins des grandes races civilisées, en vertu de
  laquelle les mêmes mythes ont dû apparaître parallèlement sur
  plusieurs points à la fois, suffirait, d’ailleurs, pour expliquer les
  analogies qui reposent sur quelque trait général de la condition de
  l’humanité, ou sur quelques-uns de ses instincts les plus profonds.’

Footnote 55:

  Ib. p. 27.

Footnote 56:

  Max Müller, _Chips from a German Workshop_, I. 370.

Footnote 57:

  _Introduction to the Science of Religion_, p. 390 _et seq._

Footnote 58:

  In _Chips_, &c., I. p. 341.

Footnote 59:

  In _The Myths of the New World_, New York 1868. See Steinthal’s
  criticism of this collection in the _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie
  and Sprachwissenschaft_, 1871, Bd. VII.

Footnote 60:

  _Myths and Myth-Makers_, Boston 1873, p. 151 _et seq._

Footnote 61:

  In the sixth vol. of Waitz’s _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, where I
  obtained information about Schirren’s works.

Footnote 62:

  _Les premières civilisations_, Paris 1874, II. 113 _et seq._

Footnote 63:

  _Gott in der Geschichte_, I. 353; a passage which, with a large part
  of the volume, is omitted in the greatly abridged English translation.

Footnote 64:

  _Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeschichte_, V. ii. 18–19 (English tr.
  IV. 28–29).

Footnote 65:

  Even old Plutarch observed in reference to the then favourite
  explanation of the myths _ex ratione physica_: Δεῖ δὲ μὴ νομίζειν
  ἁπλῶς εἰκόνας ἐκείνων (i.e. of the sun and moon) τούτους (Zeus and
  Hera), ἀλλ’ αὐτὸν ἐν ὕλη Δία τὸν ἥλιον καὶ αὐτὴν τὴν Ἥραν ἐν ὕλῃ τὴν
  σελήνην (_Quaestiones Romanae_, 77). See Cicero, _De Nat. Deorum_,
  III. 24: Longe aliter rem se habere, atque hominum opinio sit: eos
  enim, qui dii appellantur, _rerum naturas_ esse, non _figuras deorum_.

Footnote 66:

  Spiegel still does this up to a recent date in his _Eranische
  Alterthumskunde_, II. 19.

Footnote 67:

  See Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, II. 287 _et seq._

Footnote 68:

  The story of Osiris and Typhon _e.g._ originally personified the
  vegetative life of nature and the struggles incident to it, but was
  afterwards transferred to the destinies of the human soul. See Ebers,
  _Durch Gosen zum Sinai_, Leipzig 1872, p. 477.

Footnote 69:

  Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, III. 183.

Footnote 70:

  See Roth in the _Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen
  Gesellschaft_, 1848, II. 217; Albrecht Weber, _Akademische Vorlesungen
  über indische Literaturgeschichte_, Berlin 1852, p. 35.

Footnote 71:

  See Kuenen, _The Religion of Israel_, London 1874, I. 226.


                              CHAPTER II.
                     _SOURCES OF HEBREW MYTHOLOGY._

§ 1. If it is now established that we are justified in speaking of a
Hebrew Mythology, in the same sense as of the mythologies of Indians,
Hellenes, Germans, &c., then the question naturally arises, Can we come
upon the track of those forms of expression and those figures which
generally make up the elements of the Hebrew Myth; and Are these
elements when found recognisable as elements of myths, i.e. Are they
expressions and stories in which the ancient Hebrew, standing on the
myth-creating stage of his intellectual development, spoke of the
operations and changes of Nature? That in the abstract he was as capable
as the Aryan on the same stage of development of speaking myths, we have
admitted in assuming the _universality_ of the formation of myths; and
of what those expressions exactly consist, and what are the mythical
figures which he formed, it will be the business of a subsequent chapter
to exhibit.

In this chapter our task will be limited to the discovery of the sources
which we have to estimate by the method of Comparative Mythology, in
order to discern the various expressions and figures of the Hebrew myth.
Now both the incitement to the formation of myths and the course of
development through which they pass before they are noted down in a
literary age and then stiffen and undergo no further change, are based
on psychological operations, the laws of which are not governed by
categories of race and ethnology. It is therefore obvious, that for the
understanding of the Hebrew myths we must betake ourselves to the very
same class of sources which the mythologist finds fruitful on Aryan
territory. Fortunately such sources are open to us on Hebrew ground
also. They have, indeed, a less copious stream than those of Aryan
mythology, but yet suffice to give us a picture of what the ancient
Hebrew on the mythic stage thought and felt, and how he found expression
in language for these thoughts and feelings. It is true, this
investigation cannot be separated from another closely connected with
it—what method we must employ to arrive at the germ of the myth hidden
in these sources. But for the present we must still put off this second
question, and content ourselves with the search for the sources of
mythical matter. It will, however, not be always possible to avoid an
indication of the method; and this is the case now with the first of the
sources which we have to bring forward.

§ 2. _a._) We shall have to speak again further on of the question, What
factors in the minds of the Hebrew people produced the conception of
those _Patriarchs_, whose destinies form the most illustrious portion of
their national historic writing? It will then become clear that this
Patriarchal character represents only a later historical stratum of
mythical development, produced by those very factors. Originally the
names of the Patriarchs and the actions which are told of them signified
nothing historical, but only something on the domain of Nature. The
names are appellations of physical phenomena, and the actions are
actions of Nature. For surely we must at the outset come to a clear
understanding on the question, What is the origin of persons like Abram,
Sarah, Jacob and the rest, who fill the Hebrew Patriarchal history?
whence, how, and by what psychological law did they enter into the mind
of the primitive Hebrews? The facile assumption that these persons and
the actions with which they are concerned are mere _Fiction_ with no
external foundation, is so cheap and meaningless a way of getting over
the difficulties which their existence in poetry presents to the
investigator, that it as impossible to adopt it as to admit the opposite
equally arbitrary opinion, which makes them historical in the same sense
as Goethe or Frederick the Great. Certainly they are fictions, if by
that we mean that no historical persons correspond to them as human
individuals; but by no means in the sense that their origin, or rather
the conception of them, has no other foundation but the fancy of the
poet or writer. In this sense they have actual realities corresponding
to them—the events and operations of Nature, which are the main-springs
of mythical language. And it is not conceivable that the oldest
utterances of the human mind should have begun from anything else but
from the sensations which the operations of Nature aroused in their
breasts. As soon as they perceived these, occasion for myths was
present; and the myths show how they became fully conscious of the
operations of Nature.

The Patriarchal stories are therefore an important source for the
knowledge of myths. If we loosen stratum after stratum which has been
formed through the agency of psychological and historical factors over
the primitive form of the myth, and have at length penetrated back to
the stage at which many of the mythical appellations, through the disuse
of multifarious synonymous terms, were individualised and personified,
then it is easy to pick the primitive germ, the original mythic
elements, out of the shell in which they had been encased. Hence it
appears that the most fruitful field for mythological investigation on
Hebrew territory is the Book of GENESIS, the greater part of which
brings together the stories which the Hebrew people connected with the
names of the Patriarchs.

§ 3. _b._) The Patriarchal legends, in such fulness and artistic finish
as the remains of old Hebrew literature have preserved for us, are a
distinguishing characteristic of this literature. Other nations have
failed to transform their myths into such a wealth of reports about
their first progenitors. What meagre accounts the Hellenes give of their
national ancestors, in comparison with this rich and varied Patriarchal
history! A special peculiarity of the historical development of the
Hebrew people was active here, bringing the _national_ idea into the
foreground, and exerting its influence in this direction on the
transformation of the primitive mythological materials.[72] But instead
of this, other nations, among whom our above-named example, the richly
endowed Hellenes, are to be reckoned, have chosen rather to transform
the figures of their myths into Gods and godborn Heroes.

The figures of Gods, which were developed out of Hebrew myths, very
early retired into the background. It was partly the Canaanite influence
to which the Hebrew people very early succumbed, and partly the
progressing monotheistic tendency, that allowed no theology consistently
developed out of mythology to maintain itself for any length of time. Of
Heroes, however, there is no want in the memory of the Hebrews. In that
region as well as elsewhere, the Heroes had originally borne a different
meaning and belonged to mythology; and their heroic character is, on the
Hebrew as well as on the Aryan domain, secondary, produced by the
psychological and linguistic process which caused the natural meaning of
mythological figures to vanish from the mind.

Now although these Heroes are originally gigantic persons bound to no
definite place or time, yet they are gradually condensed into
individuals and regarded as more and more concrete and definite. What is
told of them puts off its generality and indefiniteness. They are
conceived as belonging to certain places where their heroic deeds were
performed—in other words, the legends of Heroes are localised. Their
activity is assigned to a definite time, they are inserted in a
chronological frame, in which they take up a definite position as to
time. What more natural localisation of the activity of the Heroes could
there be than to imagine them living in the same geographical districts
as those who tell of them? The localisation of heroic legends is always
enlisted in the service of patriotic feeling. Herakles and Theseus are
_Greek_ patriots, heroic benefactors of the Grecian people. The
determination of the time when they lived was influenced mainly by the
endeavour, natural to every civilised nation, to gain a clear,
comprehensive, and continuous picture of its own history. But truly
historical memory does not generally go far enough back to explain with
proper fulness the entire past doings of a nation. The historical
beginnings of a people are lost in the mist of indefiniteness and
uncertainty. What is easier than to fill up this obscure period of
history by telling of the doings of the Heroes? Why, the human temper in
its pessimistic mood is always inclined to fancy the very oldest age
peopled with men of gigantic proportions of both body and mind, in
comparison with whom the enervate present generation is a mere shadow.
So we find the stories of Heroes always at the head of the national
history. The history of the Greek people begins with their heroic age;
and the obscure period of Hebrew history between the first entrance into
Canaan and the creation of the Monarchy, the so-called time of the
Judges, is likewise the frame which must hold the Hebrew heroic legends.
The stories of the Hebrew Heroes group themselves round the history of
this period. The second important source of knowledge of the materials
of the Hebrew mythology is accordingly the cycle of stories to be found
in the canonical Book of Judges. This is the mine of mythology, whose
treasures Professor Steinthal has brought to light with such critical
acuteness in his dissertation on the story of Samson,[73] which breaks
up entirely new ground. Here for the first

time the method and results of the modern science of mythology were
independently applied to the domain of Hebrew antiquity. It must be
called a happy accident that the mythical character of the Hebrew heroes
could be proved by so convincing an example as Shimshôn (Samson); for
even the wildest scepticism cannot doubt that this name is equivalent to
shemesh, ‘sun,’ and that this fact gives us an undeniable right to
maintain the _solar_ significance of the hero, and to see in his battles
the contest of the Sun against darkness and storms.

§ 4. _c._) But the Old Testament stories do not cease to be a source for
mythological investigation exactly where the traditions of Genesis and
the Book of Judges are succeeded by really historical accounts. For it
is an admitted fact that, as soon as ever the myths have lost their
original meaning by the personification of their figures, mythical
characteristics are not limited to their proper domain, but often
actually attach themselves to historical persons and historical actions.
Alexander the Great, for example, is a phenomenon whose historical
character could not be shaken by the very boldest criticism. Yet the
story even of Alexander’s acts and fortunes has been forced to bear some
characteristics of the Solar myth, traits which were originally peculiar
to the Sun-hero, as especially the journey into the realm of
darkness.[74] Accordingly, not every phenomenon in the traditional
characteristics of which we discover solar features is mythical, even
though, strictly speaking, it can scarcely be classed with history (as
e.g. William Tell). It is highly erroneous to speak, as is often done,
of myth and history as two opposites which exclude any third

However, there are two points to which we ought to attend when
considering the attachment of mythic elements to historical phenomena.
First, it is usual, as we have just mentioned, to find one or another
mythical characteristic attached to historical phenomena, as we may
observe (to keep on specifically Hebrew ground) in the portraiture of
the character of David or of Elijah (see Chap. V. § 8). The residence of
the Hebrews in Egypt, and their exodus thence under the guidance and
training of an enthusiast for the freedom of his tribe, form a series of
strictly historical facts, which find confirmation even in the documents
of ancient Egypt. But the traditional narrative of these events,
elaborated by the Hebrew people, was involuntarily associated with
characteristics of that Solar myth which forms the oldest mental
activity of mankind in general. Thus, for example, the passage through
the sea by night is to be compared with the myth of the setting sun,
which travels all night through the sea, and rises again in the morning
on the opposite side. Similarly, we find attached to the picture of the
life of Moses, which the Biblical narrative presents with a theocratic
colouring, solar characteristics, indeed more specifically features of
the myth of Prometheus. These have been clearly exhibited by Steinthal
in his fine Treatise on the Prometheus-story, to which I will here only
refer without reproducing its contents.[75] Secondly, we must consider
the converse relation—that historical facts, the names of the agents of
which have not been preserved in the popular mind, may be attached to
mythical names. We can go back to the time of the Judges for an example
of this. It is evidently real history that we read of the embittered
contests waged by the Hebrews in that age against the Philistines and
other tribes of Canaan. Remembrance of these contests, in the absence of
historical names, helped itself out by the mythical appellations which,
after the individualising of mythical figures, had obtained significance
as personal names. In the first case the bearers of the names are
historical persons, and the features of the story belong to mythology;
in the second, history is wedded to mythical names. In both directions,
accordingly, the Hebrew history treated critically is a source for
mythological investigation.

§ 5. _d._) One of the most reliable, but at the same time most
hazardous, sources of Hebrew, as of Aryan, mythological investigation is
the _language_ itself, and above all, the appellations to which the myth
is attached. These appellations, which in the process of transformation
of the original meaning of the myth became personal names, are in their
proper original sense appellatives; and we have to find the appellative
signification in order to establish the mythological character. In this
investigation it is best to follow the method, the use of which in Aryan
mythology has brought such brilliant results to light. In many
appellations the appellative sense can be found without much difficulty,
being explicable from the language itself, in our case from the known
treasures of the Hebrew tongue. In others the known material of the
Hebrew language refuses its aid, and we must then take refuge in a
cautious employment of the group of allied languages, i.e. the Semitic
stock. In this connexion we must never leave out of sight the fact that
the treasury of Hebrew words which is contained in the books of the Old
Testament does not even approximately embrace the wealth of the ancient
Hebrew vocabulary which we are enabled to infer from this fraction. In
the proper names much ancient linguistic property is preserved which
occurs nowhere else. The discovery of the appellative signification of
mythological proper names consequently does an important service to
mythological investigation, by finding a tangible starting-point for the
determination of the mythical sense of the root-word in question. But it
does more: it also fills up gaps in the Hebrew lexicon, and rescues many
an old component part of that important language, which otherwise would
remain utterly unknown.

An example will make this clear, and show that linguistic investigation
and mythology have an equal share in the instruction to be derived from
such inquiries.

We often meet in Hebrew with the verb hishkîm, denoting ‘to perform some
occupation early in the morning’ (the occupation itself being determined
by a dependent verb), ὀρθρεύειν. It represents the so-called
_Hiphʿîl_-stem, which has regularly the sense of a factitive, but is not
unfrequently used to express the entrance into a certain time or place,
the doing of an act in certain conditions of time or place. In this case
the Hiphʿîl verb is always derived from the noun which describes this
place or time. Here the conditions of time concern us most. We say, for
instance, heʿerîbh with the sense ‘to enter on the evening,’ ‘to do
something in the evening;’ e.g. ‘the Philistine came near _morning and
evening_,’ hashkêm we-haʿarêbh (I Sam. XVII. 16). The last word is
derived from the noun ʿerebh, ‘evening.’ From the word shachar, which
denotes ‘the dawn,’ is formed at a late stage of the language hishchîr,
‘to do something at that time;’ and this Hiphʿîl form of shachar can
then appear beside that from ʿerebh exactly like hishkîm in an earlier
age.[76] Now of course this verb hishkîm must have a noun for its basis,
which would denote ‘morning.’ But no such is found in the known Hebrew
thesaurus, for the nominal form belonging to this root, shekhem, means
‘neck,’ and etymologists have given themselves much useless labour in
trying to find any tolerable connexion between the meaning of this noun
and hishkîm. The most bearable which they could give is that one who
rises early to go after his business loads his neck with labour.[77] But
any one may reply, Does one who does his work after dinner or in the
evening load his neck with no labour? Considering the relation in which
these Hiphʿîl-forms stand to the nouns from which they are derived, we
might almost _a priori_ assert that in the ancient language shekhem must
have denoted ‘morning’ also. And in this instance mythological inquiry
offers us the safest clue. The name _Shekhem_ [Shechem] figures in the
Hebrew myth as the ravisher of Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. Without
anticipating the analysis of this myth, which fits into the context of
one of the next chapters, we immediately recognise in the mythic name
_Shekhem_ the noun from which the verb hishkîm is derived. Thus the
mythical appellation refers to the early morning, the red glow, as the
ravisher of the sun; and the same amorous connexion is expressed in
various ways in the Aryan mythology also.

No one can deny that the consideration of the myth has here enriched the
knowledge of the old Hebrew vocabulary; and thus, even on Hebrew ground,
mythology and linguistic studies go hand in hand. This makes the
investigation of language one of the richest sources for the discovery
of the mythical ideas of early humanity.

§ 6. _e._) While the circle of thoughts which guide the prose style
moves on the level of the general principles current at the time of the
writer, poetical language and style, on the other hand, have a tendency
to adopt modes of expression produced in a long past age in accordance
with the ideas then prevalent. These modes of expression, when they
arose, corresponded accurately with the general ideas of the time, and
had the signification which the _literal sense_ yields; they were used
whenever occasion offered for their employment, and everyone understood
what was meant by them, for the thought would in that age never be
expressed otherwise. The poetical language of a later time preserves
such modes of expression even when their significance in the general
conception of things is lost, and the occurrences thereby indicated are
imagined in a different way altogether; the language then becomes
_figurative_, as it is called.[78] Thus the language of the Hebrew
poetry and of those writers who speak in a lofty style bordering on that
of poetry, and are called Prophets, preserves many of the modes of
expression derived from the ancient mythological ideas of the world.
Mythical material may consequently be found now and then here also.

When e.g. Isaiah says (XIV. 28), ‘I will sweep it with the besom of
destruction,’ this is what we call a poetic figure—destruction being
pictured as a broom that sweeps away from the surface of the earth those
who are to be destroyed. But from another side it is seen to be
something more and different from a mere poetical figure, since its
origin is due, not to an artistic idea of the speaker, but to an
old-world mythical conception here employed figuratively, a conception
which occurs in many cycles of mythology. For instance, the Maidens of
the Plague are represented with brooms in their hands, with which they
sweep before house-doors and bring death into the village.[79] But
Isaiah says again (XXVII. 1) that ‘Jahveh with his sore and great and
strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan
that crooked serpent, and he shall slay the dragon (tannîn) that is in
the sea;’ and Job (XXVI. 13), in his grand picture of the contest which
Jahveh wages against the tempest, and the defeat of the latter by the
omnipotence of Jahveh, says ‘By his breath the heavens are brightened;
his hand has pierced the flying serpent (nâchâsh bârîach)’; and the
prophet living in the Babylonian captivity addresses Jahveh in the
following words (Is. LI. 9): ‘Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of
Jahveh! awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old! Art
thou not it that didst kill the monster (rahabh), and wound the dragon
(tannîn?)’ &c.[80] In these expressions we observe that prophets and
poets employ the long outgrown and obsolete notions of the myth of the
battle of the Sun against the flying serpent (Lightning) and against the
recumbent or curved serpent (Rain)—the monsters which want to devour the
Sun, but which the Sun shoots down with his arrows (Rays) or wounds with
a volley of stones; or else of the myth of the battle of the Sun already
set against the monster that lies in wait at the bottom of the sea to
devour him (a myth which is also preserved in the story of Jonah), only
that the monotheistic mind substituted Jahveh for the Sun. Many prophets
frequently speak in a perfectly general way, without reference to a
definite historical event, of a passage through the sea. This is by no
means a reminiscence of the Passage of the Red Sea, as an event in the
primeval history of the Hebrew people, unless a pointed reference is
made to that; it is another application of an old mythical notion of the
course taken by the Sun-hero after sunset through the sea, so as to
shine again on the following morning on the opposite shore. Indeed, that
Hebrew story of the Exodus itself, as we have indicated, is only a myth
transformed into history by a process which we can follow, step by step,
in the history of the evolution of Mythology. This becomes very clear
when we examine the sequel of the above-quoted words of the anonymous
Prophet of the Captivity (Is. LI. 10): ‘Art not thou it which dryeth the
sea, the waters of the great deep; that maketh the depths of the sea a
way for the ransomed to pass over?’ What is pictured in this verse is in
the mind of the speaker an event of the same character as that referred
to in the preceding verse—the killing of the Rahabh and the wounding of
the Tannîn. The description of Canaan, too, as a land ‘flowing with milk
and honey,’ points back to the myth of a sun-land; for the myths call
the rays of the sun and moon ‘milk and honey,’ regarding the moon as a
bee[81] and the sun as a cow. In Excursus E we shall speak of the
mythological conception of rays of light as fluids. Palestine, which the
writer wished to pourtray as possessed of every blessing, thus receives
attributes which the myth gave to a place above the earth, whence the
blessings of light streamed down to it. It is noteworthy that in the
Çatapatha Brâhmaṇa the same mythic conception which is employed
poetically in Hebrew meets us tinged already with an eschatological
colour. This work (XI. 5. 6. 4) makes _milk and honey_ flow in the
abodes of the Blest.[82] We also see from this that the notion of a
‘poetical figure’ requires frequent limitation. Many apparently poetical
figures have their origin in an ancient mythical conception. Not
everything that has the look of a poetical or rhetorical figure is one.
Who would doubt, for instance, on a superficial glance, that such a
phrase as nâr al-ḥarb, ‘the fire of war,’ was a figure of poetry or
rhetoric? Yet it is not; it is not derived from what only exists in the
fancy of the speaker, but from something which has a concrete, objective
existence. We learn this from the Arabic commentary on the proverb Nâr
al-ḥarb asʿaru, ‘the fire of war is burning.’ The scholiast[83] says
‘When the ancient Arabs began a war, they used to light a fire, to serve
as a beacon for those eager for the fight.’ It is also said (of the
Jews): ‘As often as they light a fire for war, Allâh extinguishes
it.’[84] Thus the fire of war of which the ancient Arabs spoke was only
a material or natural one.

§ 7. _f._) The Hebrew mythic tradition is not contained exclusively in
the Old Testament. This canon, indeed, was very far from receiving all
the remains of the old myths that were current among the people in an
historical transformation. Much of it is contained in the tradition
which was not incorporated with the canon, especially in the so-called
Rabbinical _Agâdâ_, which contains many a treasure of as high an
antiquity as the mythological sources which we have named within the
canon. In the discovery of such elements in the Agâdâ circumspection and
cautious criticism are necessary, because the valuable portion is only
an excessively small fraction of the whole, and has to be picked out of
a preponderating mass of very different character. Still we must
acknowledge the Agâdâ as a source for the discovery of the old Hebrew
myths. It has indeed already been employed for this purpose, though not
always wisely. The learned Professor F.L.W. Schwartz has referred to
this source,[85] and Julius Braun goes even too far in his mythological
estimate of the Agâdâ, when he says without limitation,[86] ‘The
Rabbinical stories are anything but arbitrary inventions; they are
echoes of primeval memories only refused entrance into the Bible by the
compilers of the canon. If Rabbinical erudition sometimes makes
unfortunate attempts to confirm extrabiblical tradition by a Biblical
quotation, and to prove its existence in Biblical times by imagined
allusions, this is no proof that the whole tradition is only a
speculation derived from misunderstood Bible-words.’ But Braun makes a
very bad use of the Rabbinical tradition, and vies with the foolish
writer Nork in taking from right and left without selection or judgment
whatever he can find, not caring whether it is Veda or Bible, Homer or
the Fathers, cuneiform inscriptions or some obscure allegorical writer.

The Agâdâ in many places gives names to persons who are mentioned in the
Bible without name; and these names have frequently so antique a stamp,
that we cannot suppose them to be due to the capricious invention of the
Agadists.[87] I believe that when these names appear justified by
internal evidence (i.e. when they show themselves quite fitting to the
nature of the myth), they may be ancient and important for mythological
inquiry. Of course we must not be ruled by excessive optimism, nor ever
forget the freedom with which the Agadic fancy rules in its own
sphere.[88] The same may be said also of the identifications, of which
the Agadists are very fond, and of the genealogical statements, which,
though deserving little attention from the historical point of view, may
have their origin in an old myth. So e.g. the Targûm on I Sam. XVII. 4
calls Samson the father of Goliath.[89] Now Goliath is the giant whom
‘the reddish hero with fine face’ overcomes by throwing stones; in other
words, the Sun-hero throws stones at the monster of the storm. Thus the
myth may very well say that the Sun (Samson) is the father of this
hostile giant of the night, just as the Sun in various forms frequently
appears in the character of father or mother of the Night.

It is easily intelligible how difficult it must be to determine the
mythological value of every such statement; and we have consequently
made very scanty use of this source. It might be relatively safer to use
them when they speak not merely of names and genealogies, but of actual
stories. The Abram-story especially has preserved in its Agadic form
much matter from ancient myths, the valuation of which by B. Beer, in a
lucid compilation on this very portion of the Agâdâ,[90] is easily
accessible. So e.g. the battle of Abram against Nimrod, which the
myth-investigator must take as the contest between the Nightly heaven
and the Sun, is known only from the Agâdâ; the Scripture says not a word
of it. For the solar character of Nimrod, which is however independently
clear from the Biblical statements, the Agâdâ has again preserved a
valuable datum, viz. that 365 kings (equal to the days of the solar
year) appear ministering to him.[91] This is the same conception of the
myth as that Enoch, of whom again the solar event of the Ascension is
preserved only in tradition, lived 365 years; or that Helios had herds
of 350 cattle (7 herds of 50 each); and that in the Veda the Sun-god is
blessed with 720 twin children, i.e. 360 days and nights,[92] and that
his chariot is drawn by seven horses, i.e. the seven days of the

The Agâdâ, again, has preserved the following mythical expression, which
Professor Schwartz interprets in this sense:[94] ‘Abraham was in
possession of a precious stone which he wore round his neck all his
life; when he died, God took the stone and hung it on the Sun.’[95] As
has been fully proved with regard to Aryan mythology, especially by
Schwartz and Kuhn, the myth calls the sunshine and other luminous bodies
stones in general, or more specifically precious stones.[96] By night,
as long as Abraham (the nightly heaven) lives, he bears the precious
stone himself; when the night dies, God takes this stone (the moonlight)
and hangs it on the sun.

How cautiously we must proceed in the mythological application of the
Agâdâ, is obvious to all who know the nature and origin of the Agâdâ and
the Agadic collections. I will adduce one other example to show how
easily one might be led astray by yielding too trustingly and
unconditionally to the temptation to employ this source in the
interpretation of myths.

In the course of our investigations, it will become certain that Jacob
belongs to the series of mythical figures which are connected with the
nightly heaven. How easily would this conception be disturbed, if we
were to accord to all the Agâdâ an absolute voice among the sources of
Hebrew mythical investigation! For there it is said in reference to Gen.
XXVIII. 11: ‘He (Jacob) reached that place and passed the night there,
for _the sun was come_ (kî bhâ hash-shemesh), i.e. had set.’ On this the
Agadist Chaggî of Sephoris remarks, 'This sentence indicates that Jacob,
when he was in Bethel, heard the welcoming voices of the angels: "The
Sun is come, the Sun is come," i.e. Jacob himself. Many years later,
when Jacob’s son Joseph told his father the dream in which an allusion
is made to Jacob as if he were the Sun (XXXVII. 9, 10), Jacob thought to
himself, ‘Who has informed my son that my name is Sun?’[97]

I must point out one other peculiarity in this part of the subject.
Sometimes the Agadists utilise mythological elements, by supplementing
the old mythic tradition with something added by themselves, _based on
some one of their hermeneutic principles_, but which could not possibly
be also a portion of the old myth. An example will elucidate this. We
will not lay down dogmatically, nor on the other hand dispute the
possibility, that the name Bileʿâm _Balaam_ is mythical. It signifies
‘the Devourer,’ and has consequently been identified for centuries with
the Arabic Loḳmân, which has the same meaning.[98] Accordingly Balaam
would originally have been a name of the monster which devours the sun.
It is not uncommon in mythology to find wisdom, cunning and prudence
attributed to the powers hostile to the sun. Hence the serpent appears
in the myth endowed with wisdom. This justifies Balaam’s character as
sage and prophet; the serpent delivers oracles, or is οἰωνός.[99] Balaam
is son of Beʿôr, or ‘the Shining’—a mythical expression which often
occurs when the darkness is described as springing from the daylight;
and the Agâdâ may be using mythic elements in identifying this Beʿôr
with Lâbhân ‘the White.’[100] So this myth, like many others, would then
have been _nationalised_ by the influence of factors, which will be
fully described in the Seventh Chapter. The Devourer of the Sun became a
Devourer of the Hebrew people, just as the Sun-hero became the Hebrew
national hero. Personations of the storms are often exhibited in
mythology as lame and limping.[101] This feature, which is not ascribed
to Balaam in the Bible, is found in the Agâdâ, which says, Bileʿâm
chiggêr beraglô achath hâyâ, ‘Balaam was lame of one foot.’ So far all
is regular. But then follows, Shimshôn chiggêr bishtê raglâw hâyâ,
‘Samson was lame of both feet’[102]—a feature which does not suit the
Sun-hero. We must consider that this latter is an inference drawn by the
Agâdâ in virtue of one of its hermeneutic principles, thus: Balaam’s
lameness is attached to the word shephî, ‘hill, high place,’ Num. XXIII.
3; the word shephîphôn, ‘serpent,’ Gen. XLIX. 17 (in the declaration
concerning Dan, which the Agadists take as referring to Samson the
Danite), must according to the Agadists’ hermeneutics express by its
form a doubling of the notion conveyed by shephî.[103]

Thus only what is said about Balaam could possibly belong to the old
myth; what is said about Samson is late Agadic induction, which has no
importance whatever for mythology.


Footnote 72:

  We shall treat of this in the Third Section of Chapter VIII.

Footnote 73:

  Translated and given as an Appendix to this volume.—TR.

Footnote 74:

  How readily Alexander’s history was combined with the Solar myth is
  best proved by the fact that Arabian tradition gives Alexander a
  Sun-name, the variously interpreted Ḏû-l-karnein = the Horned, i.e.
  the Beaming.

Footnote 75:

  Translated and given as an Appendix to this volume.—TR.

Footnote 76:

  _Wayyiḳrâ rabbâ_, sect. XIX.: hishchîr we-heʿerîbh.

Footnote 77:

  See Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 1406. _b._

Footnote 78:

  See Hermann Cohen’s dissertation, _Die dichterische Phantasie und der
  Mechanismus des Bewusstseins_, in the _Zeitschrift für
  Völkerpsychologie_, &c. 1869, VI. 239 _et seq._

Footnote 79:

  On the German legends in which this idea occurs see Henne-Am-Rhyn,
  _Die deutsche Volkssage_, Leipzig 1874, p. 268 _et seq._

Footnote 80:

  See Ps. LXXIV. 13–14; LXXXIV. 11. There is nothing to justify those
  interpreters who, caring nothing for the remains of ancient myths,
  always wish to understand by _Rahabh_ and _Tannîn_ the kingdom of

Footnote 81:

  Angelo de Gubernatis, _Zoological Mythology_, II. 217. On the meaning
  of milk and honey in the Hebrew myth, Steinthal has written
  exhaustively in his Treatise on the Story of Samson, given in the

Footnote 82:

  See Weber in the _Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1855, IX. 238.

Footnote 83:

  Al-Meydânî, _Majmaʿ al-amthâl_, II. 203.

Footnote 84:

  _Korân_, Sûr. V. v. 69.

Footnote 85:

  _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_ [i.e. Bd. I. of _Die poetischen
  Naturanschauungen_, &c.], p. 4.

Footnote 86:

  _Die Naturgeschichte der Sage_, I. 127.

Footnote 87:

  See Excursus A.

Footnote 88:

  Such names have often planted themselves firmly in popular tradition,
  and are accordingly mentioned in various quarters with perfect
  uniformity. So e.g. Ιαννῆς and Ιαμβρῆς, who appear both in Rabbinical
  writings and in 2 Tim. III. 8 (see Jablonski, _Opuscula_, ed. Te
  Water, II. 23).

Footnote 89:

  See Wilhelm Bacher’s treatise, _Kritische Untersuchungen zum
  Prophetentargûm_ (_Zeitschrift der D. M. G._ 1874, XXVIII. 7).

Footnote 90:

  _Leben Abraham’s nach Auffassung der jüdischen Sage_, Leipzig 1859.
  Another good compilation is that of Hamburger, _Geist der Hagada_,
  Leipzig 1857, I. 39–50.

Footnote 91:

  _Bêth ham-midrâsh: Sammlung kleiner Midrashim und vermischter
  Abhandlungen aus der jüdischen Literatur_, ed. Ad. Jellinck, Vienna
  1873, V. 40.

Footnote 92:

  Max Müller, _Essays_ [German translation of _Chips_], II. 147; not in
  the English.

Footnote 93:

  Rigveda, L. 8; CCCXCIX. 9.

Footnote 94:

  _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, p. 4.

Footnote 95:

  Bab. Bâbhâ bathrâ, fol. 16. _b._

Footnote 96:

  See Kuhn, _Ueber Entwickelungsstufen der Mythenbildeng (Abhandl. der
  kön. Akad. d. W._ 1873, Berlin 1874), p. 144.

Footnote 97:

  Berêshîth rabbâ, sect. 68.

Footnote 98:

  See on the other side Ewald, _History of Israel_ (2nd or 3rd ed.), II.

Footnote 99:

  Welcker, _Griechische Götterlehre_, Gottingen 1857, I. 66.

Footnote 100:

  I find this identification, it is true, only in later books, Tânâ
  de-bhê Elîyâ, c. 27; Sêder ʿôlâm, c. 21; see Halâkhôth gedôlôth
  (hilkhôth haspêd). In the Sêder had-dôrôth, under the year 2189, Beor
  is called son of Laban. On Laban see Chap. V. § 11. Besides the name
  Loḳmân, which in signification corresponds with Bileʿâm (Balaam), we
  find in the Preislamite genealogy of the Arabs, which in my opinion is
  largely mixed up with mythical names, the chief Balʿâʾu, who is said
  to have been a leper (Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳâḳ_, p. 106. 8). It
  should be observed that this is a man’s name with the grammatical form
  of a feminine adjective.

Footnote 101:

  See Chap V. § 10 end.

Footnote 102:

  Sôṭâ, fol. 10. _a._

Footnote 103:

  See Excursus B.


                              CHAPTER III.

§ 1. The method of investigation is intended to discover—how the
original myth is to be reached through the sources described in the
preceding chapter, how the primitive germ of the myth is to be freed
from the husk which in the course of its growth has been formed around
it, and further how the progress and lapse of this growth itself are to
be recognised. Then we shall be enabled to determine how stratum upon
stratum has fastened itself round the original myth until it reached
that configuration which is the concrete material of our investigation.
The development of the myth in any nation is mainly determined by two
factors, which give to this development the direction actually taken.
One group of these factors is _psychological_, the other belongs to the
_history of civilisation_.[104] The psychological factors in the
development of all myths are the same, not changing with the special
character of the people whose myths form the subject of our
consideration. For the same general laws everywhere determine the life
of the soul; no difference in them is introduced by the ethnological
life and the peculiarity of race of the people in question. There is a
psychology of mankind, or as it was called when Lazarus introduced the
science, a Psychology of Nations (_Völkerpsychologie_). This is not a
contemplation of the modes in which the intellectual life of various
nations exhibits itself as acting in opposite directions, but of the
modes in which the same laws find their expression and validity in the
intellectual life of the most various nations. But there is no special
psychology of races. On the other hand, the factors belonging to the
_history of civilisation_ are not everywhere alike, but are as various
as the historical fates of the nations among themselves are various. We
shall subsequently come back to the subject to show more fully that
myths share in the historical vicissitudes of their nation, that they
are always transformed in accordance with the stages of civilisation
which the nation itself passes through in its historical development,
and that accordingly the configuration of the myth is a faithful mirror
of the stage of civilisation at which it has taken this particular
configuration. Obviously therefore, we can duly estimate the myth
through all its stages of development only in connexion with a
comprehensive view over the historical development of the civilisation
of the nation itself. And to gain this view we must especially attend to
those phenomena which might produce an altered direction of the mind,
and thus impress a new form on the myth also. But as in the methodical
observation of the intellectual development of a nation in the course of
its history psychological points of view must again occupy the
foreground, we may assert that psychological observation must take up a
prominent position in the method of mythological investigation; for the
question will always be, What transformation does this or that
historical vicissitude produce in that which makes up the sum of the
human mind? The answer will however evidently turn out different
according to the nature of these historical vicissitudes. But there is
one special step of transformation which stands earlier than and in no
connexion with the separate history of the nation, and is produced by a
purely psychological operation. This transformation is therefore common
to all myths—so much so that most inquirers, and especially Max Müller,
make the life of the myth to begin only at this stage.

It is the stage of mental development which is signalised by a
remarkable fact in the history of language: viz., that an endless
multitude of names, bestowed upon the phenomena and processes of nature,
in virtue of various features of which there is a preponderating
consciousness at the moment of perception, gradually lose their meaning;
while some few features of the total phenomenon are retained, to
represent all those particular factors and supply comprehensive general
terms for their sum total. For example, the Sun has at first a countless
number of designations. It is not merely that, in its various aspects,
the Sun is treated as the subject of detached observation unrelated in
thought to that of other aspects of the same Sun; but the very same
aspect, on repeated notice, is regarded as something different every
time, and is accordingly denoted by other names. In other words,
borrowed from the terminology of modern psychology, no _fusion_
(_Verflechtung_) has yet been effected. Long-continued observation of
the same aspects gives consciousness of their identity under repetition,
and makes possible the fusion of their ideas. Next, by a further advance
in development, the psychological change emerges, through which the
various features of the same phenomenon cease to be essential
difference-marks in the idea, and, dropping into the background, give
place to a general conception gained by their fusion, an aggregate of
fusion (_Verflechtungsmasse_), the product of often-repeated
fusion.[105] The effect on language of this psychological change is
that, through its gradual operation, the meaning is lost from the great
majority of those expressions which arose merely because the particular
observations of the same aspect of a phenomenon, or the various features
of the same phenomenal aggregate had not yet been brought into unity by
the process of fusion or blending.

By the abandonment of the difference-marks, the sum total of all the
aspects, now regarded as forming one unity, is given over to one single
word, and a vast number of old designations, which stood in connexion
with one particular aspect or one particular condition of observation,
lose in the mind of the speaker all connexion with the physical
phenomenon in question. The multiplicity of names becomes objectless,
loses all psychological basis, and vanishes.[106] What vanishes,
however, is only the consciousness of the connexion of the multifarious
names with the physical phenomenon; in other words, the names cease in
great part to be designations of the phenomena, yet remain in existence.
But they have a very different value to the mind from their original
one. They become _Proper Names_; and what the sentences in which these
names figured as subjects and objects originally predicated of physical
phenomena, they now say of persons and individuals. The transition is
facilitated by the fact that the physical phenomena themselves, whose
names they were in an earlier stage of intelligence, are conceived under
the figure of human actions, as loving, fighting, persecuting, &c. We
must here observe emphatically that from this process in the history of
language the Semitic area was not excluded. In the course of the
following expositions we shall have occasion to convince ourselves that
mythological appellatives forfeited their appellative character just
like those of the Aryan myths. The Hebrew said ‘he laughs,’ ‘he hides,’
‘he trips up,’ ‘he increases,’ &c. in a strictly mythical sense; in
later times the meaning of these assertions was forgotten, and a proper
name took the place of each. What Max Müller says of Semitic speech,
that ‘those who used the word were unable to forget its predicative
meaning, and retained in most cases a distinct consciousness of its
appellative power,’[107] is not true, at least of this portion of

Now this is the very earliest step in the transformation of the myth. As
we have seen, this transformation is conditioned only by a psychological
operation, and is therefore common to every mythology. Some scholars are
inclined to draw nothing that precedes this transformation into the
domain of myths at all, and to say that these begin only when, as Max
Müller says, _the language_ (i.e. the living consciousness of the
original signification of the multifarious names) _dies_. But we hold
that there is every reason to regard the stage at which those
expressions lived in the human mind with their original appellative
sense, as one of the proper mythic stages. That event which Max Müller
treats as the commencement of the development of the myth, indicates the
first link in the long chain of transformations which make up the
history of the myth. It is not a characteristic of the myth, that the
speaker is no longer conscious of speaking of physical phenomena. As
soon as ever he perceives physical phenomena as events in human life, he
has at once made a myth; and every name by which he designates a
physical phenomenon forms a myth. For if unintelligibility or
obsoleteness of language were a condition of a myth’s existence, then
there could be no myth when the Greek calls Hêlios the brother of
Selênê, since both these names have been retained in their original
sense, and the Greek knew that the former name meant Sun and the latter
Moon, though of Hêraklês and Helenê he had no similar consciousness
left. Similarly, it could not be a myth when the Roman said that Aurora
opens the gates of the Sun and strews roses on his way, since every
Roman knew that the name Aurora denoted the Dawn.

§ 2. It is easy to see that the first step in the formation of myths
could not be a short and quickly passing stage. If it were so, the
appellations of physical phenomena could not have become so firmly
established as to prolong their existence even after a great majority of
them had become linguistically meaningless, and to become objects of
mythical transformation. The psychological process which brought about
the identification of an object with itself must therefore have taken
place late in the development of the human mind. Men had already
expressed most various notions of the phenomena of nature and observed
them in many phases, long before they attained to the power of
identifying one such repeatedly occurring phenomenon with itself,
notwithstanding the regularity of its appearance.

One other psychological consideration, however, demands our attention
here—one among many; for a systematic presentation of all the
psychological forces with which we have to reckon in investigating myths
and the history of their growth belongs to a Philosophy of Mythology,
which it is not our intention to give here.

Among the various categories, that of Space is the earliest to become an
object of consciousness to the human soul, both in the genetic
development of the individual mind and in that of the human race. The
attachment of a notion to space is the earliest developed; indeed the
notion of a thing without the notion of space is impossible. Even beasts
distinguish things by their space. Hence L. Geiger correctly said that
Language, the origin of which also marks the first phase of the power of
thought, ‘springs from’ the organ of the discrimination of space, ‘the
Eye and Light.’ With the category of Time it is otherwise. The
discrimination of things in time is unfolded relatively later; it
postulates a more delicate degree of observation. The notion of Space
emanates from that sense, the use of which man acquires the earliest and
the most easily of all except that of touch—the sense of Sight; the
excitement of which also gives the first impulse to the formation of
language. But the notion of Time demands more than a mere sensuous
perception. We need not therefore be surprised if the notion of Space,
both in the individual and in history, is older than that of Time, nor
that, as language teaches, all the finer distinctions of opposite terms
emanate from the notion of Space,[108] and the very distinctions of Time
itself were originally conceived from the point of view of Space. To
verify this, we only need to observe the expressions still in daily use,
which can be applied to time, such as, _before_, _after_, _thereafter_,
_space of time_, _short_ or _long_ time. The Semitic is very instructive
on this point. The Hebrew shâm, originally used of place (_there_) is
found applied to time (_then_); in Arabic these two significations are
divided between thumma ‘then’ and thamma ‘there.’ Hebrew words, such as
liphenê ‘before’ and acharê ‘after,’ ḳedem, ḳadmôn, ‘old, olden time,’
bring before our eyes a very clear view of the transition from local to
temporal distinctions, when we take into consideration their original
significations. The Arabic beyna yedeyy, or beyna eydî, is also
especially instructive. This phrase signifies ‘between the hands,’ and
is used very commonly for ‘before,’ of space. But even in early
classical texts (e.g. in the Ḳorân) it passes over into the ‘before’ of
time. ‘Between the hands of the Prophet,’ thus means either _standing
before him_ as to place, or _preceding him_ in time. Now that which we
meet thus at every step in the Semitic and Aryan, is found also in the
third great stock of languages. The time-particles of the Anaric
languages often go back to relations of space; and what the German
_Zeitraum_ ‘space of time,’ and the Arabic _muddâ_ (properly
‘extension,’ but generally in the sense of a ‘period of time’) exemplify
to us, we see also e.g. in the Finnish _kausi_, which is used to express
a _piece of time_. It properly signifies a _direction or way_, in a
local sense; and the related Esthonian word _kaude_ is still used
exclusively to denote local relations.[109]

In myths also we find the conception of Space and of motion in space
predominant. A large group of names of the Dawn in the Aryan mythology
is formed by composition of adjectives with εὐρυ and its etymological
relatives, and yields variations on the notion ‘shining afar,’[110]
always bearing witness to local extension and motion. And in the Hebrew
myths a number of solar names designate the solar figures, as _going_,
_moving_, &c.[111] Even in cases where _rapid_ motion is spoken of, a
great result of such motion is not treated as attained in a _short
time_; but described rather by the _space_ that has been passed through.

On the other hand, when we consider the notion of Time, and the question
how far it is acknowledged in myths, we observe that at the earliest
mythical stage the distinction of Time is only very feebly presented. We
must demonstrate this at this place while treating of the method of
mythology. The myth makes a distinction between the bright radiant sunny
heaven and the dark heaven. Now as to this darkness, it is indifferent
whether it is the darkness of night or that of the overclouded heaven by
day. The myth notices only the phenomenon of the dark sky, darkness as a
physical fact or state, considers only _What_ is there? but does not
distinguish the _When_?—the time in which this darkness occurs. Hence in
the myth the nightly heaven and the stormy or cloudy heaven are
synonymous, since it does not distinguish day and night as alternate
periods of time, but only brightness and darkness as phenomena. Hence it
comes that even in later poetry and language the notions of _Rain_ and
_Night_ are so closely connected, that rain is more naturally thought of
in union with night than with day; therefore it is said in Arabic, ‘more
liberal than the rainy night’ (anda min al-leylâ al-mâṭirâ).[112] Not
only the rain, but the _Wind_ also, in contrast to the merry laughing
sunshine, is conceived as closely connected with the night.[113] In the
Mohammedan cosmogonic legend it is said that the rough Wind lives on the
curtain of the Darkness.[114] Hence also we see that the myth does not
distinguish between the _Morning Glow_ and the _Evening Glow_, but
denotes the phenomenon by itself, without caring whether it precedes or
follows the night. In connexion with this stands the fact that, as
Steinthal has recently briefly noted,[115] mythic thought did not attain
to the category of Causality; for this category presupposes a clear
consciousness of succession, or of one event following another in time.
Only thus can we explain myths which speak of the Dawn now as the
daughter, now as the mother of the Day. On the domain of language some
phenomena in the semasiology of Arabic words can be explained from this
fact of the development of conceptions, as e.g. when the lexicographers
translate the verb safar II. IV. to ‘pasture _early_ or _late_’: IV. V.
‘to come at the _morning_ or _evening_ glow’.[116] Except by the
operation of the above-named psychological fact, the express combination
of these two definitions of time in one word would seem to be

But the very fact just mentioned, that it is characteristic of mythical
ideas to put one phenomenon into a family relation towards another, and
to speak of mother, brother, son, daughter, &c., furnishes the first
elements of and impulses towards the discrimination of _Succession in
time_, though the discrimination itself may at the mythic stage not yet
break forth into life. Phenomena occurring one after another or
simultaneously are conceived in the light of the most primitive
relations of the family; and when the myth-forming man speaks of father
and child, the very use of these terms rouses and encourages in his mind
a new category, that of _Succession in time_, or more definitely

Another point follows naturally from this, enabling us to fix the
chronological position occupied by certain myths in relation to others.
If in a myth we find the fact of the temporal succession of a phenomenon
treated as important, or see that a following event is in its very name
described as such in relation to what preceded it, then we can justly
draw the conclusion that a myth of this form belongs to an advanced
stage of development, and that in determining the time of its origin we
must choose a later period than we should for myths in which no
conscious notion of time is visible. We shall have occasion to insist on
this inference when we come into the presence of such mythic expressions
as Yiphtâch _Jephthah_, i.e. the ‘Opener,’ and Yaʿaḳobh _Jacob_, i.e.
the ‘Follower.’

§ 3. What has to be said on the _historical_ aspect of the method of
mythical investigation follows from the mode in which the myth grows
under the influence of historical factors. If, after the first
transformation of the myth occasioned by a purely psychological process,
there are factors which immediately cause its further development, it is
of course the business of mythic investigation to find out those
transformative forces which have fastened themselves on a previous stage
of development. Beginning therefore from the latest aspect of the myth,
we have to follow it further and further up, to arrive by help of the
thread of historical research at a knowledge of the process of
historical development which operated on the myth and caused the
transformation. Thus we ascend step by step to the point at which the
above-described psychological process caused the individualising of the
mythic figures. From this point it is only a step to the original
formation of the myth, at which the appellations proper to the mythic
figures are not proper names but appellative nouns. It is easy to see
that, while investigation takes a retrograde course, beginning with the
latest form of the myth and going back to arrive at its original form,
exposition will take the contrary direction and pourtray its historical
transformation in the natural order of growth, beginning with the
primitive form discovered by analysis, and demonstrating successive
transformations by the aid of history.

It is advisable, before we proceed to the materials of Hebrew mythic
investigation, to elucidate the course of this historical method by a
well-known example.

Let us take the story which is presented in Genesis, chap. XXII.
Abraham, the forefather of the Hebrew people, at the behest of Elôhîm,
is about to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice, but is prevented by
an angel of Jahveh, who shows him a ram entangled in the thicket, which
he may offer as a sacrifice to Jahveh instead of his son. The various
religious tendencies connected with the two Divine names, Elôhîm and
Jahveh are scarcely so prominent in any part of the Pentateuch as in the
small passage under consideration. We see here the divergence of the
religious ideas on both sides in reference to the value of _human
sacrifice_. Not yet fully released from the Canaanitish system, the
early Elohistic religious tendency as yet regards it as an
unobjectionable performance. Jahveism abominates it, and is satisfied
with the _temper_ which is ready to sacrifice—the _intentio_; though
this may very well be brought to express itself in the substituted
sacrifice of a beast or something else. Hence our story makes Elôhîm
demand the human offering, and Jahveh recommend the substitution.[117]
The present form of the legend is accordingly the product of the
religious polemic waged by the Prophets against the popular view of
religion which still clung to the Canaanitish system; and the apologists
of the Jahveistic idea intend to show by it the advance which their own
religious views had taken beyond those of earlier times.[118] The
divergent ideas held by these two Hebrew religious parties on human
sacrifice are also to be seen in the legislative portions of the Bible.
In these we can distinguish passages in which the sacrifice of the
first-born of beasts is not clearly discriminated from the
sanctification of the first-born child, from others in which the latter
has already gained a merely theocratic meaning and is put in connexion
with the deliverance of the people out of Egypt. Therefore, what is
deeply impressed on these passages of legislation, viz. the battle
between the Canaanitish religious tendency and the national Hebrew idea
of Jahveh according to the Prophets, finds a memento in the conformation
of the existing very late myth of the sacrifice of Isaac. It has the
same purpose as the passage of Deuteronomy (XII. 31), in which the
polemic against human sacrifice as a religious institution of the
Canaanites comes most prominently forward: ‘Thou shalt not do so unto
Jahveh thy God; for every abomination to Jahveh which he hateth have
they done unto their Elôhîm; for even their sons and their daughters
they have burned in the fire to their Elôhîm.’ This polemic tendency in
the service of the Jahveh-idea, and the religious views attached to it,
gave the myth in question the form in which it is known to us. But that
cannot be the original form. Stripped of its Jahveistic coating, the
myth remains in the following form: ‘Elôhîm demanded from Abraham the
sacrifice of his only son, and Abraham was willing to sacrifice Isaac
for Elôhîm.’ But again, the myth could take this form only in a time
when the religious idea of Elôhîm had already gained such full life in
the Hebrew people as to impel them to sacrifice what was dearest to
them. When the myth had this form, accordingly, there was in Canaan
already a monotheistic religion, the centre of which was Elôhîm the
object of adoration, while the ancestors of the Hebrew people were his
pious servants and favourites. This coating also must be stripped off,
if we wish to trace the myth analytically to its primitive form. When we
have stripped off the religious coating, we have still not yet
penetrated to the central germ; for, independently of any religious
tendency, Abraham remains as Patriarch, as a national figure; and this
brings us into the historical epoch when the Hebrew people, attaining to
a consciousness of national peculiarity and opposition to the
surrounding Canaanitish peoples, constructed their own early history.
Accordingly, the national coating has now to be thrown off; and then
Abraham meets us as a (so to say) cosmopolitan figure—not yet
transformed into the likeness of one nation, but still as a person, an
individual. This stage of mythic development brings us to the
psychological process which caused the mythological _persons_ to come
forth at the beginning; and behind this stage we find the original form
of the myth: ‘Abram kills his son Isaac’ At that primitive stage these
expressions naturally signified no more than the words imply. ‘אַבְרָם
Abh Râm, the _Lofty Father_, kills his son יִצְחָק Yiṣchâḳ, the
_Laugher_.’ The Nightly Heaven and the Sun, or the Sunset, child of the
Night,[119] fell into a strife in the evening, the result of which is
that the Lofty Father kills his child; the day must give way to night.

In the above example we have endeavoured to give a short sketch, less of
the progress of development of the Hebrew myth, than of the method by
which, observing the most prominent forces in the historical development
of the intellectual life of the Hebrews, we can rise by analysis from
the latest form of the myths to the original. Having reached this, we
must confide ourselves to the guidance of the Science of Language; for
that particular source for mythic inquiry which was treated in § 5 of
the preceding chapter has chiefly to do with the primitive form of the
myth. The myth is accompanied through all its stages of development by
the same constant terms of language: these are, accordingly, the oldest
matter for investigation on the mythological field.

Thus, taking it all together, the Method of mythic investigation turns
on three hinges: 1. Psychology, 2. History, 3. Science of Language.


Footnote 104:

  ‘Die andere _culturhistorisch_.’ I am obliged to render this
  convenient adjective by a circumlocution, as ‘civilisation-historical’
  would be too cumbrous and hardly intelligible.—TR.

Footnote 105:

  I must refer those readers who are not sufficiently familiar with the
  terminology to Steinthal’s _Abriss der Sprachwissenschaft_, Berlin
  1871, vol. I., where all this is fully discussed in the section
  _Elementare psychische Processe_.

Footnote 106:

  But it is to be observed that some of the expressions produced by
  Polyonymy [multitude of names] survive the process of fusion and
  remain with the original signification; thus e.g. several names for
  Moon in Hebrew. On such names Synonymy, a secondary function of
  conscious speech, then performs its work.

Footnote 107:

  _Chips_, First Series, pp. 356, 361.

Footnote 108:

  On the Pronoun Wilhelm von Humboldt’s essay, _Ueber die Verwandtschaft
  der Ortsadverbien mit dem Pronomen_, Berlin 1830, still deserves
  study. See also what is said below (Chap. V. § 6) on Âshêr.

Footnote 109:

  Budenz, in the Hungarian review _Magyar Nyelvőr_ (‘Guardian of the
  Hungarian Language’), 1875, IV. 57.

Footnote 110:

  Max Müller, _Chips_, II. pp. 93–106.

Footnote 111:

  See Chap. V § 5, 6.

Footnote 112:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, I. 133. 19. Compare _al-Meydânî_, ed. Bûlâḳ, II.
  262. 4.

Footnote 113:

  Both wind and rain are placed in connexion with the night in the
  _Dîvân of the Huḏailites_, ed. Kosegarten, p. 125, v.5: taʿtâduhu
  rîḥu-sh-shimâli biḳurrihâ * fî kulli leylatin dâjinin wa-hutûni, ‘the
  Northwind blows over it with his coldness every cloudy rainy night.’

Footnote 114:

  Yâḳût’s _Geogr. Dictionary_, I. 24. 2.

Footnote 115:

  _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie_, &c. 1874, VIII. 179.

Footnote 116:

  See Böttcher’s article on this group of roots in Höfer’s _Zeitschrift
  für die Wissenschaft der Sprache_ (Greifswald 1851), III. 16.

Footnote 117:

  See especially the lucid exposition of Dr. Abr. Geiger, in his _Das
  Judenthum und seine Geschichte_ (2nd edit.), I. 51.

Footnote 118:

  In other countries also human sacrifices have been abolished by a
  reform of religion, and sacrifices limited to beasts and vegetables;
  e.g. in Mexico, where the reform is attributed to Quetzalcoatl. See
  Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, IV. 141.

Footnote 119:

  The Sunset is child of Night only if we keep before our eyes the
  mythical identity of the Morning and Evening Glow, according to § 2 of
  this chapter.


                              CHAPTER IV.
                      _NOMADISM AND AGRICULTURE._

The basis of all modern Comparative Mythology, and the principle from
which we start on the present studies, is that the Myth is only the
expression in language of the impression made on the men of ancient time
by the physical events and changes under the immediate influence of
which they lived. If this is true, it cannot be questioned that the
tendency and quality of the Myth must change, independently of the
matter and contents which remain the same, in obedience to the advancing
civilisation of men. For all progress in civilisation is marked,
speaking generally, by continual development of the relation in which
man stands to external nature. When a nation emerges from the stage of
Nomadism and advances to an agricultural life, its relation to external
nature is changed. The same thing happens when a people that lived
exclusively by the chase and fishing advances to Nomadism. Since a new
epoch in the development of human civilisation has commenced in our own
times through the progress made in physical science, our relation to
nature has again entered on a new phase. The spirit of modern
civilisation has been characterised by the common-place, that reason has
subdued nature.

The Myth accompanied mankind from the first germ to the highest stage of
mental culture, always adapting itself to man’s intellectual field of
view and changing with the measure of this field of view. It is
therefore a faithful mirror of the ideas of the world held by the men of
each age; and these ideas are nowhere so clearly reflected as in myths.
The configuration and tendency of the myths is always dependent on the
ideas of men at that particular stage of civilisation which gave the
myth its form and guided it to its special tendency. The traces of these
historical transformations of the myths are scarcely distinguishable for
small chronological divisions; but when the larger epochs of
civilisation are under consideration, they cannot fail to be noted by
the explorer’s eye. And the discovery and demonstration of these
transformations of the tendency of the myths in their relation to the
great epochs of civilisation is one of the special problems of
Comparative Mythology.

The solution of this problem has an intimate connexion with the answer
to the question, ‘When does the life of the Myth begin, and when does it
end? what is its _terminus a quo_, and what its _terminus ad quem_?’
This question is obviously closely bound up with the results of the
psychological inquiry into the essence and conditions of production of
the myth. The myth lives from the moment that man begins to interpret
physical phenomena through processes brought before his eyes by his own
every-day life and action; and as soon as the human mind uses in the
interpretation of the phenomena of nature utterly different means from
those prevalent in all myths, i.e. as soon as the phenomena of nature
are not interpreted from human conditions, the myth has ended its life,
and yields up its elements for other combinations. It is self-evident
that the commencing point of the creation of myths cannot be later than
the first beginnings of language; for Myth and Language are two modes of
utterance of the same intellectual activity, and the oldest declarations
of the human mind. Even in the Miocene age we find man—the so-called
fossil man—in possession of fire: so that even then the conditions were
already present for the first growth of the elements of a
Prometheus-myth. In the Postpliocene age we find him already endowed
with the first breath of religious feeling, if, as is generally done, we
can allow the careful graveyards found at Aurillac, Cro-Magnon and
Menton, to pass as historical data.[120] The end of the life of the myth
coincides with the moment at which is formed out of the elements of the
myth a _religious_ conception of the world peopled with gods. The living
and conscious existence of the myth is finished when the mythical
figures become gods. Theology hurls the myth from its throne. But this
is the end only of the living existence of the primitive myth; the myth
transfigured and newly interpreted in a religious sense lives on, and
only now begins to pass through a rich and various series of stages of
development, each marked by a corresponding stage of the religion and
civilisation of the men who possess it. There then spring from mythic
elements, sagas, fables, tales, legends. And as religion in its primal
origin appears in history not in opposition to myths, but as a higher
development of them, the life of religion does not absolutely exclude
that of myths. There remain, beside the myth which has been transformed
into religion, other portions of the mythic matter which religion has
not yet touched, and these live on as myths, so long as the process of
religious transformation has not drawn them into its domain. Pure and
free Monotheism in its highest development is the first force that comes
forward as a denial of the mythic elements in religion. The religious
history of the Hebrews reached this stage when Jahveism was fully

We will for the present not trouble ourselves with these scions of the
transformed myth. We will first study it only at the early stages when
it still lives an unclouded, young, fresh life, untroubled by
misunderstanding—the life that precedes the origin of religion from
mythic elements. There are two successive stages in the historical
development of mankind, which have to be considered in the course of the
expositions to which this chapter is devoted, the _Nomadic_ and the
_Agricultural_. In the former commences the chain of development, which
is closed by the formation of perfect, true Society. First are formed
communities which, though still standing only on the base of the Family,
yet represent a broadening of this base insofar as the notion of the
family is first enlarged into the institution of a Tribe, and then this
institution cannot always refuse to take in foreign elements (prisoners
of war, or clients claiming protection). The nomadic stage is in its
element in constant wandering from pasture to pasture, in unceasing
change of residence; and is accordingly completed, whether with regard
to its intrinsic character or to the experience of history, by passing
over to the stage of the stationary agriculturist. The gathering of wild
fruits, by which huntsmen and primitive nomads find some vegetable
nourishment, forms the first impulse to pass over to an agricultural
life, as Waitz observes.[121] It must be noticed that a pastoral life is
frequently combined with tillage. The Nomad’s relation to nature is a
very different one from the Agriculturist’s. But the consciousness of
union among men—of their belonging to one another—was first excited at
the nomadic stage; and it is therefore not surprising if a large
proportion of the names of nations point back to that age.

A nation calls itself by a common name when the consciousness of the
union of its members first arises. Names in which the nation confesses
itself to be a wandering, restless society, point back to the nomadic
stage of civilisation. That the contemplation of their own wandering
mode of life, is with the nomadic peoples one motive for the national
appellation, is shown in many instances which Bergmann has correctly
explained in this sense.[122] The Kurdic nomadic tribes still call
themselves _Kötsher_, i.e. ‘wandering,’ and despise and persecute their
settled brethren.[123] The national appellation of the Zulus denotes the
‘homeless,’ ‘roaming.’[124] According to the etymological explanation
given by an old Hebraist, Clericus, the name of one of the peoples which
are mentioned as aborigines of Canaan, the Zûzîm, is to be referred to
this notion; it is so if we can cite for its explanation the late Hebrew
_zûz_, ‘to move from place to place.’[125] Another Canaanite national
name, Perizzî, also according to many expositors points to nomadic
life.[126] The name Pûṭ, by which the Egyptians called many nomadic
tribes that came into their country, and which is also given in the list
of nations in Gen. X. as the name of a son of Ham, likewise belongs to
the same class. From their wandering life they were called by the
Egyptians the ‘Runners,’ and the graphical power of the name is shown in
the hieroglyphs by the picture of the quickfooted hare.[127] The name of
the Hebrews also, ʿIbhrîm, belongs to the same series; it denotes ‘those
who wander here and there,’ the Nomads. For the word ʿâbhar, from which
the national name ʿIbhrîm or Hebrews is derived, denotes not merely
_transire_, ‘to pass through a land, or to cross a river,’ but rather
‘to wander about’ in general; for which sense many Hebrew texts might be
quoted. The Assyrian is instructive on the point; there the phonetically
corresponding verb is used of the sun, which _i-bar-ru-u kib-ra-a-ti_
‘marches, wanders through the lands.’[128] A similar wandering through
various lands is the foundation of the appellation ʿIbhrîm ‘Hebrews,’ so
that it denotes ‘the Wanderers here and there,’ the Nomad-people.[129]
In opposition to these national names others are formed, which speak of
the sedentary mode of life; a name of this kind is that of the South
Arabian people Joḳṭân, which, as Freytag conjectured,[130] comes from
ḳaṭana ‘to take up a fixed abode.’[131]

We must not overlook the fact that such national names as these, derived
from and referring to a certain stage of life and civilisation, are
preserved by the same nation, even when that stage has been long passed.
We see this most clearly in the case of the Philistines, who lived
chiefly in towns, and preserved not even a tradition to remind them of a
former nomadic life. Yet their name Pelishtim is itself a reminiscence
of this kind. Whether the name is to be combined with the Semitic
(Ethiopic) palasha ‘to wander,’ as most of the Semitic philologists
say,[132] or is to be explained from the Aryan, as others say; in either
case it is a living witness and reminiscence of the nomadic stage of the
Philistine people, at which they gave themselves this name. Similarly
the Accadians still called themselves by that name, which means
‘Highlanders,’ long after they had chosen a new habitation in the

The herdsman finds his happiness in the well-being of his herds; his
wealth depends on the quality of the pasture which he can get for them;
to seek this is the constant object of his endless wanderings. Good,
fresh, sound pasture is the sum of his modest wishes: ‘green pastures
beside still waters,’ as a Hebrew Psalmist (Ps. XXIII. 2) expresses it.
The cloudy heaven, which sends rain to his fields, is in his eyes a most
friendly element, to which he gladly gives the victory over the
scorching glow of the sun, which dries up his pastures. The nomad calls
himself ‘Son of the water of heaven,’ i.e. the rain. ‘By banû mâ al-samâ
(Sons of Rain),’ says an Arabic commentator on Muslim’s collection of
traditions, ‘the Arabs are to be understood.... For as the greater part
of them are owners of herds, they supported themselves mainly by the
goodness of the pastures.’[134] Thus this appellation ‘Sons of the water
of heaven’ could then come to have the general meaning ‘rich people,’ as
e.g. in a sensible verse of ʿAnbar b. Samâk:[135]

             falâ tathiḳan min-an-nauka bishayʾin
             walau kânû banî mâʿi-s-samâʿi:

             ‘Confide thou not in anything in fools,
             E'en were they _sons of water of the heaven_,’

i.e. however rich they might be. The Bedawî of Somali, Isa, call their
Ogas, i.e. chief, by the name _Roblai_, which, according to Burton,
denotes Prince of the Rain.[136]

The nomad must be constantly wandering and seeking good pasture, if he
is to gain a comfortable position. The glowing heat of the sun is in
this respect his terrible enemy and continual adversary.

The starry heaven by night and the moon he recognises as his friends and
protectors; and he gladly welcomes the moment when these guardians
overcome the enemy, and drive off the beaming sun, when noon is followed
by afternoon, and the evening comes on with its cool breeze, on the
track of the departed solar heat. Then he is delivered from the tiresome
ḳail, ‘midday sleep,’ which the noon-day heat had brought on. He
therefore likes best to begin his journey in the afternoon, and
continues it till night or during the night.[137] ‘In their journeys and
expeditions with caravans or for plunder,’ says Sprenger of the Arabs,
‘they generally travel during the night. When one rides on a camel at a
slow pace through the monotonous desert, the nights seem very long. But
the heart is filled with quiet delight by the stillness of the night and
the enjoyment of the fresh air, and the eye involuntarily looks upwards.
Hence we find even in the Ḳorân and in the poetry of the Bedawî frequent
allusion to the starry heaven and its motion.’[138] The caravan-songs
(ḥidâh) accordingly refer mainly to night-travelling, as e.g. one quoted
by Wetzstein:

          O how journey we, while dew is scattered out
          And desert-dust bedecks the lips of sumpter beasts.
          O how journey we, while townsmen sleep
          With limbs involved in coverlets;[139]

and when he travels by day he follows the course of the clouds, seeking
coolness and shade. The Arabic poet Abû-l-ʿAlâ al-Maʿarrî, who, like all
the later writers of ḳaṣîdâs,[140] makes the horizon of Beduin life the
background of his poetry, says somewhere of his beloved,

    As though the cloud were her lover, she always turns her saddle
          To the quarter where the cloud is moving;

and the scholiast observes on the passage, ‘that is, she is a Beduin,
and the Bedawî always follow the rain and the places where raindrops
fall from heaven.’[141] The old Arabian poet wishes for rain also on the
grave of his friend; he cannot bear to see it scorched by the sun’s
heat. ‘Drench, O clouds, the earth of that grave!’ is a frequently
recurring formula in the old Arabic poetry; and the later poetry, with
its imitation of old forms, has received this phrase into its
inventory.[142] It is connected with this preference of the nomads for
the heavens by night, that Hind, daughter of ʿOtbâ, says on the day of
the battle of Oḥod to the Koreyshites, the opponents of Islâm: ‘We are
the daughters of the Star,’ (naḥnu binât Ṭâriḳ),[143] thereby claiming
descent for herself also from the nightly heaven. We put this
exclamation of the brave Arab woman in the same category with the
above-mentioned reference of the origin of the Arabs to the Rain, and
consider ourselves justified in rejecting the explanation given by
al-Jauharî, who finds in it a simile, with the sense, ‘Our father excels
others in nobility of birth, as that brilliant star excels the other
stars.’[144] It is then quite indifferent which star Ṭâriḳ is, whether
the morning star, according to most lexicographers, or Zoḥal, (Saturn,
or another of the five Chunnas-stars),[145] as al-Baiḍâwî explains
it.[146] The point lies only in the fact that the Arab woman calls
herself ‘Star’s daughter;’ and this designation falls into the same
category with Banû Badr ‘Sons of the Full Moon,’ Banû Hilâl ‘Sons of the
New Moon,’ adopted by some Arabian tribes, and compared even by
Bochart[147] with the name of the people Jerah.[148] Thus also several
clans of Arabian tribes, especially the Banû Temîm, Banû Ḍabbâ, and Banû
Azd called themselves ‘Sons of Night,’ (Banû Ṣarîm).[149] On the other
hand, the townsman of Mecca called himself ‘Child of the Sun,’—a name
which has survived to the present time, as is to be seen from an
interesting communication of Kremer.[150]

The relation of the Agriculturist to the two warring elements of the sky
is very different. Storm, wind, and excessive rain are the declared
enemies of his life, whereas the warm sun’s rays, which heat and bring
to perfection the fruits of the field, are gladly welcomed by him, and
their victory over the dark gloomy sky gives him joy. An old Hellenic
name of the sun is _Zeus Talaios_, or _Tallaios_, or simply _Talos_,
which denotes ‘encouraging growth,’ as has been proved long ago.[151] It
is Zeus who watches the cornfields and sends bountiful harvests;[152]
and even clouds and rain are connected with him, insofar as their powers
are beneficial to the agriculturist. For this reason Zeus himself
becomes the νεφεληγερέτα, the Thunderer and Rain-giver.[153] This
variety of relation to nature will be found reflected in the myths
formed at these two stages respectively. The altered relation to
external nature works a change even in the old and already fully formed
myths, and lays down for them a new tendency in accordance with the
altered conception of nature. Thus the myth which was already formed at
an earlier stage of civilisation frequently still possesses enough power
of resistance to preserve, in spite of adaptation to new views, much of
the character formerly impressed on it by a past stage of civilisation.
But the new myth must bear only the impress of the new stage at which
its existence begins. For as the capacity for creating language does not
exhaust all its force at once, but still continues to form new modes of
speech whenever an alteration of circumstances demands them, so it is
with myths. As the agriculturist creates new words for his new
circumstances and ideas, so also he creates new myths.

§ 2. What therefore especially distinguishes the Nomad’s myth from the
Agriculturist’s is mainly referable to the different position occupied
at these two stages by the dark night-sky on the one hand and the
brilliant, warm, sunny sky on the other. The myth is not a merely
_objective_[154] expression for the phenomena of nature. For what is
ordinarily and in common life called purely objective description, is
almost an impossibility, seeing that no one with all possible exertion,
restraint and self-abnegation can put off all his individuality; and
this is true, in a much higher degree, of the myth. It is incorrect to
speak of objective reporters or historians. For how would it be possible
for me, giving a report on an event, whether as eye-witness or as
critical sifter of the statements of others, to speak of it without
being _myself the Speaker_? And the single fact that _I_ am the speaker,
impresses on my report a different stamp from that which the report of
another would have borne. Compare so-called objective historical
narratives from different decads—not to speak of hundreds or thousands
of years. How much more must the subjectivity of the myth-creators be
impressed on the myths of different periods of civilisation! Now it is
undoubtedly true that the special, sharply characteristic intellectual
individuality of persons is only developed in direct proportion with the
advance of the culture of the mind. The more education a man has, the
more can he give expression to his inner self and make its influence
felt; and with the advance of education, the just claims of
Individuality will also receive more and more attention, both in society
and in law. This process can be traced upwards from animals of low
organisation to man, and within the human race can be confirmed through
its various stages of development, geographical and historical. At the
myth-creating stage, intellectual uniformity prevails almost
universally, in all individuals. Consequently here only the sum total of
the men who are creating language and myth has any power; the individual
could not effect anything of his own, different from the work of others.
There is no such thing as either language or myth of a single
individual;[155] and what Steinthal says in reference to national songs,
is equally true of both of them, that the mind which produces them, ‘is
the mind of a multitude of persons without individuality, held together
by physical and mental relationship; and whatever is mentally produced
by this multitude is a creation of the common mind, i.e. of the
nation.’[156] And just for this reason the common mind in each of the
various epochs of civilisation has its own characteristic impress, a
tendency and fundamental conception, which distinguish it from those of
the preceding epoch.

Among the Nomads, then, the dark, cloudy heaven of night is the
sympathetic mythical figure; they imagine it conquering, or if it is
overcome, give to its fall a tragic character, so that it falls lamented
and worthy rather of victory than of ruin; and the Nomad’s grief for the
defeated power is propagated from age to age far beyond the mythical
period. The sacrifice of Jephthah’s daughter is still lamented from time
to time by the daughters of Israel. It is just the reverse with the myth
of the Agriculturist. He makes the brilliant heaven of day-time conquer,
and the gloomy cloudy heaven or the dark night fall; he accompanies the
victory of the warm heaven of the day with cries of triumph and
applause, and his hymns immortalise what he felt and thought on this
victory. Here it is the defeat of the sunny heaven that attunes him to
lamentation. The fallen Samson is a tragical figure. Every reader will
be able himself to supply the application of these general propositions
to the myth of the Hebrews, if he pays attention to the chapter in which
the chief figures of the Hebrew mythology were brought forward, with the
chief traits by which they are accompanied in Mythology. I should deem
it superfluous to prosecute this application further, as it is to be
found in every case in the nature of the myth itself.

But it is not only from a feeling of sympathy towards the heaven of
night and clouds that the Nomad puts it in the foreground. This aspect
of heaven is to him also the _datum_, the _prius_, the _natural_, which
the heaven of day afterwards opposes as foe and persecutor. With the
nature of Nomadism, and especially of the night-wanderings, is also
connected the Reckoning of time by _Nights_. This has been best
preserved by the Arabs, who count by nights, instead of days, as we do.
It is especially marked in the determination of the distance between two
places and of the length of a journey: e.g. ‘His face perspires with
desire for the payment held back for _long nights_ (i.e. for a long
time);’[157] ‘Between Damascus and the place where Walîd b. Yazîd lived
in the desert are _four nights_;’[158] ‘I will give him five hundred
dînârs and a camel, on which he can travel for _twelve nights_;’[159] in
a poem of Abû Zeyd al-ʿAbshamî, ‘When the tribe travels for _sixteen
nights_’ (iḏa-l-ḳaumu sârat sittat ʿashrata leylatan).[160] This Arabic
idiom is so firmly established that in the opposite case, when a period
is for once to be expressed in days, the equivalent expressed in nights
is added as a more exact definition; e.g. ‘So that there lay between
them and their home a distance of _two days or three nights_.’[161] With
the reckoning of time by nights two other practices are connected.
_First_, the Night has priority before the Day; therefore among the
Arabs and the Hebrews (as also among the later Jews), the two peoples
which, as we shall see, preserved the feeling of nomadism longer than
the Aryans, the day begins with the evening. ‘There was evening, there
was morning—one day.’ A residuum of the old nomadic conception is found
in the Egyptian myth that Thum, the form of the sun’s nocturnal
existence, was born before Ra, the sun’s form by day. _Secondly_,
chronology is thereby connected chiefly with the nocturnal heaven and
the moon. It is to be observed on this subject that in nations which
begin to count the day from the evening, the moon is the central figure
and the starting point in the chronology of greater periods.[162]
Seyffarth, in an essay entitled, ‘Did the Hebrews before the Destruction
of Jerusalem reckon by lunar months?’ (published in 1848 in the
_Zeitschrift der D.M.G._, II. 347 sqq.), endeavoured to defend the
thesis that the Hebrew chronology was originally founded on solar
months, which were not supplanted by lunar months till between the
second and fourth century after Christ; but he supports this theory by
arguments which cannot stand against profounder criticism. It must
rather be assumed that the original lunar year at the beginning of
agricultural life was united with the observation of the solar periods
(see Knobel, _Commentary on Exodus_, p.95), so as to produce very early
compensation of the difference between them; but that in the various
attempts at compensation, which ended with the fixing of the calendar
and the arrangement of the intercalary month, the reckoning by moons
remained in the foreground, as is evident in the mode of compensation.
In reference to the Arabs also, Sprenger has fully proved in the essay
to which we have already referred in this chapter, that the solar
element of chronology was subordinate, and that in the old times before
Moḥammed the lunar reckoning was in force.

As on another occasion we shall recur to the fact that among the Aryans
the Indians retained a certain degree of nomadic sentiment more
distinctly than any other Aryans, and that this is impressed on their
literature and on many of their institutions, so here we may observe the
same in reference to their chronology. In the Vedas, the oldest
literature of the Sanskrit people, we find the lunar year of twelve
months, with the occasional addition of a thirteenth or intercalary
month.[163] It is remarkable that on this subject we find still more
reminiscences of the nomadic life among the Persians. In the whole book
of Avesta, in passages where the shining heavenly bodies are enumerated,
they appear in this invariable order: Stars, Moon, and Sun, the sun
always occupying the last place. And we even find also the reckoning of
time by nights exactly as it is among the Arabs; which enables Spiegel
to draw the just inference that the ancient Persians reckoned by lunar
years.[164] According to Bunsen[165] the Delphic myth of the
purification of Apollo likewise points to the conclusion that the
Hellenes in later times substituted the solar for the old lunar

The Solar chronology belongs to the Agriculturist, in opposition to the
Nomad. As the night and the nocturnal sky forms the foreground to the
nomad, so the agricultural stage of civilisation leads the sun to
victory, and the sun becomes the measure and the starting point of its
chronology. With the advance to agriculture the lunar year is superseded
by the _Magnus Annus_, or ἡλιακόν, which was also called ὁ θεοῦ
ἐνιαυτός. Yet very curiously, as the remains of nomadism in general may
be long visible and be unconsciously perpetuated in the ideas of the
agriculturist, it is the mode of calculating time that echoes the
nomadic ideas the longest, and even survives in ages of more advanced
culture. Of the Gauls, e.g., Julius Caesar reports that they counted by
nights, not by days.[166] Tacitus says the same of the ancient
Germans.[167] In one case, namely in the English word ‘fortnight,’[168]
which is a speaking proof that the ancestors of those who now use the
word reckoned time by nights, one of the most advanced nations of the
present time has not yet left off counting by nights. Other languages
also, spoken by nations which have long accepted the solar reckoning,
preserve memorials of the old nomadic lunar reckoning. In Hungarian and
other languages of the Ugric stock the expression ‘hopping year’ (szökő
év) for leap-year,[169] in connexion with other similar phenomena,
points to a chronology of lunar years, as the Hungarian Academician Paul
Hunfalvy has very fully demonstrated, with important documents.[170] The
residuum of the lunar chronology which has stood the longest, and which,
despite the generally preponderating solar character of our reckoning of
time, and despite the love of a decimal system inherent in the first
French Revolution, is now fixed firmly for a long future period, is the
_Week_—a notion specifically connected with the Moon. Yet it has long
been made evident that even this division of the month into four weeks
was in antiquity sometimes exchanged for a solar division into three
decads. This was due to the influence of the agricultural stage of
civilisation giving prominence to the Sun. We know this, e.g., of the
Egyptians, and it was therefore long doubted whether they knew the
division into weeks at all. But Sir Gardner Wilkinson collected a series
of proofs that among the Egyptians the later system of decads was
historically preceded by the division of the months into four weeks of
seven days each.[171] It is also tolerably certain of the Mexicans, that
of their two methods of reckoning time, which in later times were in
force side by side, the _Tonulpohualli_ or ‘solar reckoning’ and the
_Metzlapohualli_ or ‘lunar reckoning,’ the latter was historically the
earlier, but was retained in the time of the solar chronology, as is so
frequently the case in computations of time.[172] We ought, moreover,
also to consider the computation of longer periods of time by _Masika_,
i.e. rainy seasons, which prevails among the Unyamwesi in Africa.[173]
How powerful is the posthumous influence even on later times of the
nomadic lunar division into weeks,—an influence which again and again
obtained validity, even after it had been once supplanted by the solar
reckoning by decads, we see best among the Romans. They had originally a
consistent lunar computation; even their year consisted of ten months,
the sun’s cycle of twelve months being ignored; and they divided the
month into four weeks.[174] Later, this fourfold division gave way to a
threefold division into three decads, _nonae_, _kalendae_, _idus_; but
yet they returned at last to the week again, and called its seven days
by the names of the sun, the moon and the five planets. However, the
division of the month into three decads is not always connected with
solar chronology; it is also found in combination with lunar reckoning,
when three phases of the moon are acknowledged (as in the three-headed
forms of the moon in the Greek mythology).[175]

A _five-days’_ period has been proved to exist in many nations as the
equivalent of our week (among the Chinese, Mongol tribes, Azteks, and
Mexicans.)[176] But this division into pentads must be connected with an
original quinary system of numeration, to the linguistic importance of
which Pott has devoted a special treatise.[177] In Old Calabar on the
west coast of Africa a week of _eight days_ occurs; most curiously, as
the people cannot count beyond five.[178] _A priori_ this would seem
impossible; but it is vouched for by an observer so accurate as Bastian.

§ 3. As the Nomadic stage of civilisation of necessity historically
precedes the Agricultural, so also that stage of the myths at which the
nocturnal, dark or cloudy heaven has precedence of the bright heaven of
day comes before the stage at which the latter occupies the foreground
and plays the part of a beloved figure or favourite. Moreover, it cannot
be assumed that this second stage of the formation of myths has grown up
without being preceded by the first stage; for it is simply impossible
that any portion of mankind should have lived through the stage of
Nomadism, which perhaps lasted for thousands of years, without having
thrown its conceptions of the world into mythic forms. Everyone knows,
and no one now doubts, that the most prominent figure in the mythology
of the Aryans, which later at the theological stage took the rank of a
supreme god, was the brilliant sunny heaven, Dyu (Dyaus, _nom._), Θεός,
Zeus, on whom the powerful sympathy of the Aryan was concentrated, and
to whom he turned with admiring devotion as soon as he began to pray and
compose hymns. On the other hand, it could not escape the notice of the
inquirer on the domain of Aryan mythology and history of religion, that
the very oldest and most genuine representative of the Aryan mind seems
itself to form a sort of exception to this universal idea. The Indians,
namely, among whom Dyu certainly was elevated to theological
importance,[179] do not make him their supreme god, but Indra, who, as
his very name shows, (indu = ‘a drop’) is identical with the rainy sky
(Jupiter pluvius),[180] and Varuṇa, who, in contrast to the shining
Mitra, was the gloomy night-sky (from var = ‘to cover’).[181] Max
Müller, whose merit it mainly is to have raised the Aryan Dyu to the
high throne which he now occupies in the history of Aryan religion,
explains this strange fact by supposing that Indra drove Dyu, the oldest
of the gods, from the place which he had formerly held even among the
Indians. ‘If in India,’ he thinks, ‘Dyu did not grow to the same
proportions as Zeus in Greece, the reason is simply that _dyu_ retained
throughout too much of its appellative power,[182] and that Indra, the
new name and the new god, absorbed all the channels that could have
supported the life of Dyu,’[183] so that he died away.

From what has been explained above, it is evident that the subject might
present itself in a different light. It is well known that the people of
India represents, both in its language and in its mythology, the oldest
stage of the Aryan mind attainable by us, and after it follows the
people of Iran. The ancient literature of these two nations, but that of
the Indians more than that of the Persians, stands much nearer in its
ideas to the nomadic life than any other documents of the Aryan mind
which have been preserved to us. It is then no wonder if (it being a
rule in all physical as well as intellectual development, that at a
later stage of progress residua of a previous one remain behind
unnoticed) these nations, which at the time of their oldest known
intellectual productions were not far removed from nomadism, exhibit
more traces of nomadism than others, even if they be found to have then
fully passed out of the nomadic stage. We have already referred to this
in treating of the nomadic elements in chronology, and now return again
to the same point. In some things the Iranians preserved the traditions
of nomadism more firmly and persistently than the Indians, who generally
stood nearer to the original forms. This is to be explained from the
fact that in Persia nomadism itself lived longer as an actual stage of
civilisation, and was more fostered, than in India; for indeed it even
now maintains its position there. For just as in the time of Herodotus
(I. 125) the Persians were partly migratory nomads (νομάδες), partly
settled agriculturists (ἀροτῆρες), so now a proportion, varying from a
quarter to a half, of the population of modern Persia still leads a
nomadic life.[184] One characteristic of the nomadic period is a social
and political division into tribes, which in many civilised nations is
retained into the time of fixed dwellings as a residuum of nomadism.
Without pausing over the Thracians, who according to the account of
Herodotus,[185] found it impossible to throw off all reference to
tribe-differences and bring their power to bear through national unity,
we will refer to the Ionians as an example, whose divisions into
φρατρίαι, γένη, and γεννῆται, have been accurately traced.[186] Now
among the Indians we find no trace of tribal divisions worth mentioning,
but very soon come across the Caste—an hereditary division according to
modes of occupation, which cannot be formed at any earlier stage than
that of fixed dwellings, since this gave the first impulse to the
practice of arts and trades, which is not conceivable at the nomadic
stage. Among the Iranians, on the other hand, the tribal division
maintained itself for a long time parallel with that according to
occupation, which was better suited to the time of transition to a fixed
life.[187] Even on the Caste system of the Parsees the tribal division
still exerts a definite influence. The sacerdotal caste is a distinct
tribe, a family, just like the Levites among the Hebrews;[188] and in
ancient times many sacerdotal functions, ‘the smaller and less important
religious duties, were assigned to the heads of the various subdivisions
of the tribe.’ The name of the priests, môbed (which Spiegel explains as
umâna-païti = ‘chief head of the tribe or family,’ perhaps equivalent to
the Hebrew rôsh bêth âbh), in itself indicates the original universality
of the bestowal of the sacerdotal functions on the head of the

As in Iran a fundamental social institution, so among the Sanskrit
people a prominent mythological fact is the notable residuum of
nomadism: viz. the fact that by them the first seat and highest rank
among the figures of the myth and subsequently among the gods is
assigned not to Dyu, but to Varuṇa and Indra. It is not to the
field-guarding, harvest-sending, shining sunny heaven, but to Varuṇa the
coverer and Indra the rain-sender, that the nomad directs his admiration
and sympathy, his veneration and devotion. This relation towards Indra
was preserved by the Indian from the nomadic period—from a time before
that remarkable people had chosen a permanent abode on the banks of the
Ganges and Indus. With this agrees very well the idea which Roth worked
out in an essay on ‘the highest gods of the Aryan peoples,’ that Varuṇa
is as old as the Aryan period, and is the common property of all members
of the race; even the conception of Indra being later than that of
Varuṇa, and specially Indian.[190] But it is not only among the Indians
that we find this memory of nomadic life impressed on the mythology; its
traces may be found also in the Hellenic mythology, not however as a
positive, actual existence, as in India, but still as an historical
reminiscence. According to Hesiod’s _Theogony_, the dominion of Zeus was
preceded by that of Uranus; i.e. before the Hellenic people, choosing a
settled agricultural life, brought Zeus, the bright sunny heaven, into
the foreground, the centre of their world was Uranus (Varuṇa), the
gloomy overclouded sky. There is scarcely any serious reason for
regarding, as Bunsen[191] and some writers on the history of religion
do, the kingdom of Zeus alone as an original intellectual product of the
Hellenic people, and putting aside Uranus as merely a result of
Theogonic speculation, or for even seeing in Uranus a figure borrowed
from a Semitic source. The succession—Uranus, Zeus—rather corresponds
perfectly with the successive stages of civilisation, nomadism and
agriculture, and all that Hesiod did was to clothe an historical,
natural and true tradition of the Hellenic people in the form of a
theogonic story. With this, other points of the Theogony seem to be
clearly and unmistakably connected, namely those in which we perceive
the idea of the priority of the Night. Among the powers preceding the
rule of Zeus in Hesiod’s _Theogony_, _Chaos_ is named—a word signifying
according to its original sense ‘darkness’—and _Tartarus_. We well know
the theological meaning of the latter word—the subterranean place to
which the souls of the dead go; but there is no doubt that it originally
denoted ‘a gloomy pit, never lighted by the sun,’ or ‘darkness’ in
general. Therefore Tartarus figures in Mythology as father of Typhon and
Echidna, and therefore Nyx is his daughter. Then it agrees well with
nomadic ideas that Tartarus is called ‘father of waters and springs,’
and that he bears the epithet ‘the first born’ (πρωτόγονος). On Hebrew
ground also we meet a similar transition. In Job XXXVI. 20, the word
laylâ ‘night’ is used quite in the sense of ‘nether world;’ which is
true also of ṣalmâweth, denoting ‘darkness’ in general, and used only
secondarily with special reference to Orcus.

§ 4. We have above just touched the confines of religious history,
though it was strictly speaking, only a border territory of Mythology,
which ought not to be confounded with religious history. But we must
here allow ourselves an excursion into the neighbouring territory. For
it ought not to pass unnoticed that, as the myth which has the night-sky
in its foreground always precedes that which has the bright sky of day
in its centre, the former corresponding to the nomadic, the latter to
the settled agricultural life, the same sequence can also be observed in
the history of religion. There are nations, which, when already standing
at the nomadic stage, work out for themselves a theistic religion. As
theistic religion always grows up out of the elements of myths, the
religion of Nomadism must be essentially a worship of the night-heaven.
Then, when the progress to the agricultural stage works the revolution
in man’s ideas of the world, and in the relation of his mind to external
nature, of which I spoke above, when he cleaves more to the Sun and pays
his reverence to him, then the worship of the nocturnal starry or
overclouded rainy heaven is naturally supplanted by one of the diurnal
heaven and the sun, and only residua of the ancient ideas and the
ancient objects of worship are propagated into the new epoch, sometimes
continuing and remaining in force unmodified, and sometimes interpreted
anew in the sense of the new system. The religion and the worship of the
nomad stand to those of the agriculturist in the same relation of
historical succession as the two similar stages of mythology to each
other. At the later stage, the elements of solar religion can
undoubtedly stand peacefully side by side with the residua of the
earlier stage of religion. Similarly, when nomads have relations with
townsmen who have a solar religion already powerfully developed, many
elements of the solar worship may find their way into the nomadic
religion; of which the well-known accounts of the religion of some
Arabic Beduin tribes furnish plenty of examples. To this an outside
observer may probably reduce the report brought by William Gifford
Palgrave, the daring explorer of Central Arabia, of the adoration of the
Sun among the Bedawî.[192] But in the order of genesis the worship of
the night-sky, inclusive of that of the moon, precedes that of the
day-sky and the sun. It was observed long ago that wherever sun-worship
exists, moon-worship also is always to be found, being a residuum of the
earlier stage of religion; but not in the reverse order.[193] We shall
have to revert in a subsequent chapter to this fact, in speaking of the
religion of the nomadic Hebrews, and will therefore only refer to a few
points in the ancient Arabic religion. If Blau is right in interpreting
the old Arabic proper name ʿAbd Duhmân as ‘Servant of the Darkness of
Night,’[194] the theological importance of the night-sky to the ancient
Arabs in general is proved; for it is well known that in Arabic proper
names compounded with ʿAbd ‘servant’ the second member of the compound
is a god’s name, or at least a name of theological meaning.[195] To the
same class belongs the Moon-worship of the ancient Arabs, which is
sufficiently attested.[196] The clearest evidence of a worship of the
rainy sky and the storm among the Arabs is furnished by the name Ḳuzaḥ,
to which storms and rainbows were attributed (see the following chapter
§ 12). Arabian etymologists, among whom may be mentioned the author of
the Ḳâmûs and the author of the Supercommentary on that dictionary,
publishing at Bûlâḳ, have tried many combinations in order to find a
suitable explanation of this Ḳuzaḥ, with especial reference to the
meaning ‘rainbow;’ all the derivative significations of the root ḳzḥ,
_embellishment_, _variety of colour_, _lifting oneself_, are brought
forward to yield a sufficient ground for the appellation. This proves
how little the Mohammedan now knows of his heathen antiquity; the use of
the name Ḳuzaḥ must have been interdicted. Al-Damîrî, in his work Almasâ
ʾil al-manthûrâ, finds a deep-seated error in the word itself, instead
of which he wishes to read kazaʿ with _ʿayn_, with the meaning
‘cloud.’[197] But it is probable that this name Ḳuzaḥ is derived from
the signification ‘mingere,’ which belongs to the corresponding verb
(used specially of beasts), and that it is due to a mythological
conception of the Rain. This circumstance tempts us to connect the
Hebrew word bûl ‘rain, rainy month’ with the Arabic bâla, yabûlu
‘mingere.’ If so, the combination of this word with the name of the God
Baʿal, which certainly does occur in Himyaric in the form Bûl, must have
been made later, from a misunderstanding of the mythological
relations.[198] The theological power of Ḳuzaḥ among the ancient Arabs
is evident as well from its being explained by Moslem interpreters as
the name of a devil or angel, as also from the fact that geographical
appellations which are in force in the ritual of the old religion are
connected with it.[199] These elements of the worship of the night and
the cloudy and stormy sky must have priority before those of the solar
worship which are found subsisting beside them. F. Spiegel states this
succession to be a law in the history of religion. ‘It is not the sun,’
he says,[200] ‘that first attracted the attention of the savage by its
light.... On the other hand, the night-sky, whose lights form a contrast
to the darkness of the earth, is much more calculated to attract the
gaze of the savage to itself. And among the heavenly lights it is the
moon that first absorbs the sight, as well from its size as from its
readily discernible changes; and after it a group of particularly
brilliant stars.... We find moon-worship among almost utterly savage
tribes in Africa and America; and it is noteworthy that there the moon
is always treated as a man, the sun as a woman; not till later are these
relations inverted. From this we may infer that _the lunar worship is
older than the solar_.’ We cannot, however, agree with Spiegel when he
gives as the reason why darkness attracted the special attention of man,
that the sun was to him a matter of course. We see the same story of the
lunar religion repeat itself again in the history of the
Babylonian-Assyrian religion. HUR-KI (Assyrian SIN) is historically the
older and earliest prominent object of worship of the ancient Accadian
kingdom; and the further we advance towards the beginnings of the
history, the more does the worship of the moon preponderate. The
monarchs of the first dynasties regard her as their protector, and the
name of the moon often enters into composition to form their proper
names.[201] In the later empire, that of Assyria, this prevailing
pre-eminence of the moon gradually ceases. She is supplanted by the sun,
under whom she descends to be a deity of the second rank, the ‘Lord of
the thirty days of the month,’ and ‘Illuminator of the earth.’[202] That
SAMAS, the sun, is called in the Assyrian epic of Istar _the son of
Sin_, the moon-god (IV. 2), ‘points,’ as the learned German interpreter
of the cuneiform inscriptions observes, ‘to a veneration of the moon-god
in Babylonia earlier than that of the sun-god,’[203] or else to the
conception of the night preceding the day. Among the Egyptians, too, it
is a later period at which the dominion of the sun is recognised. The
older historical epoch—whether permeated, as Bunsen expresses it
somewhat obscurely,[204] by a ‘_cosmogonic-astral_’ idea, or, as
Lenormant describes it in a few bold strokes,[205] possessing very
little positive religion at all—knows as yet nothing of solar worship.
The solar worship of the Egyptians is undoubtedly the product of a later
development of high culture.

This phenomenon, the priority of the lunar to the solar worship, is
asserted also by the adherents of a theory of the history of
civilisation usually called the _Gynaecocratic_, which was founded and
worked out by the Swiss savant Bachofen in a large book entitled ‘The
Gynaecocracy of Antiquity.’ To the adherents of this theory, who suppose
the lordship of man to have been preceded by a long period in which the
female sex bore rule, the lunar worship is closely allied to the
importance of woman, while the solar worship is connected with the rule
of man. I do not, of course, deem it a part of my present task to
criticise the Gynaecocratic theory, which has certainly had but small
success in the learned world, or to take up a position either for or
against it. Yet it is satisfactory that the phenomenon in the history of
religion which we have brought into prominence may find confirmation in
another quarter, where the premisses are utterly different.

§ 5. The first founder of Comparative Mythology, Professor A. Kuhn,
starting from the truth ‘that every stage of social and political growth
has a more or less peculiar mythological character of its own, and that
the fact of these, so to speak, mythological strata lying side by side
or crossing one another often renders the solution of mythological
enigmas more difficult,’ insisted, primarily with reference to Aryan
mythology, that the mythological products of each of the great epochs of
civilisation ought to be sifted with reference to the cycles of myths
peculiar to each epoch.[206] He himself ventured on the first beginnings
or elements of such a sifting in a very interesting and instructive
academical treatise ‘On stages of development in the formation of
Myths.’[207] Kuhn finds the criterion of a myth’s belonging to one or
another period of civilisation mainly in the notions and objects with
which the myth has to do. Sun’s hunts were spoken of in the hunting
period, the sun’s cattle in the nomadic, &c.; and the formation of myths
which employed these notions commenced ‘as soon as the following period
had lost the understanding of the language of the preceding’ (p. 137).

I do not think that a definition of the periods of myth-formation which
starts with the Material of the myth can always afford a strictly
reliable rule for judging a mythic stratum and assigning it to this or
that period of civilisation. For it must not be left unnoticed that,
when once the notion of hunting or of herds has come into existence, it
does not vanish from the mental inventory of man as soon as ever the
stage of civilisation is passed on which that portion of mankind
occupies itself with hunting or keeping herds. On the other hand, the
entrance of a more advanced stage of civilisation does not imply the
utter banishment out of human society of everything connected with the
preceding, though, speaking generally, this was now passed and gone.
Otherwise, how could we at the present day, when the hunting age is left
so many thousand years behind us, still have our hunting adventures and
enjoy all the pleasures belonging to the sportsman’s life? And must
there not be shepherds even in agricultural countries, although the
agriculturist has long passed the stage of nomadism? Consequently, from
the phraseological material employed in the myth it is only possible to
infer the _terminus a quo_ referring to its origin, but not the
_terminus ad quem_. Else we should be entangled in the same mistakes
into which the earlier Danish antiquaries fell, when from the occurrence
of stone, bronze, or iron instruments in a tumulus or avenue, they
inferred that the tumulus or avenue was so and so old; not considering
that the material of a completed period is propagated into the next
epoch, as is shown in all those prehistorical finds in which instruments
of all possible materials appear promiscuously, as James Fergusson has
convincingly proved.[208] We are in the same case with the phraseology
of the Myth. On the ascent out of each of the great periods, the ideas
connected with it, which began with the entrance into it, cannot
disappear. The idea, having once been grasped by man, remains always
present to him, and can be conveniently used to give names to natural
phenomena connected with the same circle of ideas; and he does not cease
to take notice of natural phenomena while forming myths. Thus even the
agriculturist may have spoken of the Sun’s hunts; and even at the
agricultural stage myths may still have arisen which spoke of the Sun as
a sportsman armed with arrows with which he slays the dragon. It is
accordingly not the mythic material that is of the highest moment in
sketching the chief stages of development in the formation of myths, but
rather the _Tendency_ of the myth—the position occupied by man in
relation to external nature, so far as appears from the myths in
question. How, according to this scale of development, the stages of the
myth among the Aryans are reflected in their mythology, I do not presume
to judge, being on Aryan ground only a _dilettante_. I will, however,
quote some examples from the special ground of these studies, to
illustrate what has been expounded. Looking at the myth of Jacob,
observing the centre of the cycle, whose name—as is demonstrated at the
proper place—is an appellation of the starry heaven, how he strives
against the _Red_, ‘Edôm,’ and the _White_, ‘Lâbhân,’ and seeing that
the myth-maker’s sympathy always inclines to Jacob, that his
over-reaching of his enemies always appears in a light favourable to
him, and that his defeats always wear a tragic colour, I can conclude
that this cycle of myths belongs to Nomadism. The same inference must be
drawn from an examination of the myth of Joseph. But if I look at the
hymn to Judah, or consider the myth of Samson and what the Hebrew told
of the Sun-giant with his long locks, of his being blinded, and of his
fall, then I know that I have to do with myths of agricultural people.
With regard to the antipathy felt towards the scorching sun, I will
finally call attention to the ideas held by the tribe of Atarantes in
Herod. IV. 184, where it is said: οὕτοι τῷ ἡλίῳ ὑπερβάλλοντι
καταρέονται, καὶ πρὸς τούτοισι πάντα τὰ αἰσχρὰ λοιδορέονται, ὅτι σφέας
καίων ἐπιτρίβει, αὐτούς τε τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ τὴν χώρην αὐτῶν.[209]

§ 6. It is a remarkable fact in the history of the human mind that many
nations which made the advance from the nomadic to the agricultural life
under the condition that either Nomadism still continues to vegetate in
the nation as an isolated residuum of the previous stage, or that the
advance affects only a part, though an influential one, of the nation,
whilst another equally considerable portion remains at the old stage of
civilisation, not only have no consciousness that the transition is an
advance, but even hold to a conviction that they have taken a step
towards what is worse, and have sunk lower by exchanging pasture for
crops. The nomad cherishes the proud feeling of high nobility and looks
haughtily down on the agriculturist bound to the clod. Even the
half-savage Dinka in Central Africa, who leads a nomadic life, calls the
agriculturist Dyoor ‘a man of the woods,’ or ‘wild man,’ and considers
himself more privileged and nobler.[210] Everyone who knows anything of
the nature and history of Arabic civilisation knows the pride of the
Bedawî and the ironical contempt with which they look down upon the
Ḥaḍarî. For the Semites are especially characterised by this
tendency.[211] The Hellenic mind is totally different. To the Hellene
the agricultural life only is a morally perfect condition; his poet has
given expression to this feeling in the beautiful words:—

            Τῆς πᾶσιν ἀνθρώποισιν εἰρήνης φίλης
            πιστὴ τροφὸς ταμία συνεργὸς ἐπίτροπος
            θυγατὴρ ἀδελφὴ πάντα ταῦτ’ ἐχρῆτό μοι
            _σοι δ’ ὄνομα δὴ τί ἔστιν; ὅτι γεωργία_...[212]

And to the Roman poet of a period troubled by wars peaceful agriculture
is not only the most ideal condition of human life, but also the happy
state of innocence of primeval mankind:—

                          Ut _prisca gens mortalium_
                    Paterna rura bobus exercet suis,

says Horace in his celebrated epode ‘Beatus ille’; and of any more
ancient period he had never heard.[213] George Rawlinson very oddly
says, ‘It was a fashion among the Greeks to praise the simplicity and
honesty of the nomade races, who were less civilised than
themselves;[214] for the passages of literature quoted by him in
confirmation of this assertion lay no stress on the _nomadic_ element.
But the case is very different among the Semites. Let us first consider
from this point of view the territory, richest among all those of the
Semites, which yields the most copious evidence of the thoughts and
feelings of its inhabitants—the Arabic. 'The Divine Glory’
(al-sakînat=shekhînâ) it is said, in a speech of Moḥammed’s, ‘is among
the shepherds; vanity and impudence among the agriculturists’
(al-faddâdûn).[215] Another traditional sentence, which the propagators
of Moḥammed’s sayings—certainly not Bedâwî themselves—put in the mouth
of the Prophet, is that every prophet must have been a shepherd for a
long time.[216] How greatly Moḥammed approved the proud
self-consciousness of the nomad, as opposed to the agricultural
character, is evident from the following narrative belonging to the
Islamite Tradition. ‘The Prophet once told this story to one of his
companions in the presence of an Arab of the desert. An inhabitant of
Paradise asked Allâh for permission to sow, and Allâh replied, “You have
already all that you can want.” “Yes,” answered the other, “but yet I
should like also to scatter some seed.” So (when Allâh had given him
permission), he scattered seeds; and in the very moment that he was
looking at them, he saw them grow up, stand high and become ripe for
harvest; and they were like regular hills. Then Allâh said to him “Away
from here, son of men; you are an insatiable creature!” When the Prophet
had finished this story, the Arab of the desert said, “By Allâh! this
man can only have been a Kureyshite or an Anṣârî, for they employ
themselves with sowing seed, but we Desert-Arabs are not engaged in
sowing.” Then the Prophet smiled’—with manifest approbation.[217] The
accredited collections of traditions tell also the following of Abû
Umâmâ al-Bâhilî:—‘Once on seeing a ploughshare and another agricultural
implement, he said: I heard the Prophet say, “These implements do not
enter into the house of a nation, unless that Allâh causes
low-mindedness to enter in there at the same time.”’[218] So also, in
his political testament the Chalîf ʿOmar when dying recommended the
Bedâwî to his successor, ‘_for they are the root of the Arabs and the
germ of Islâm_;’[219] and how little this Arabian politician could
appreciate the importance of agriculture is evident from the edict in
which he most strictly forbade the Arabs to acquire landed possessions
and practise agriculture in the conquered districts. The only mode of
life equally privileged with the roving nomad life was held to be the
equally roving military profession, or life of nomads without herds and
with arms. Even in Egypt, a specially agricultural country, this
principle was acknowledged and strictly carried out.[220] He was
likewise hostile to permanent buildings and houses such as are erected
in towns. Once, passing by the brick house of one of his governors, he
obliged him to refund the money that had enabled him to enjoy such
luxury; and when Saʿd b. Abî Waḳḳâṣ asked his permission to build a
house, the Chalîf thought it was enough to possess a place that gave
protection from the sun’s heat and the rain.[221] And this same Chalîf,
who may pass for a still better type of the true Semite than Moḥammed
himself, extends his preference for nomadism even to the mode of giving
names. The nomad calls himself by the name of the tribe to which he
belongs; the townsman, in whom all memory of tribal life is already
extinct, receives a name from his birth-place, or that of his ancestors,
or from his occupation. ‘Learn your genealogies,’ said ʿOmar, ‘and be
not as the Nabateans of al-Sawâd; if you ask one of them where he comes
from, he says he is from this or that town.’ This trait of glorification
of the old-fashioned Beduin-life, to the disparagement of the free
urbanity of the townsmen, runs through a considerable section of Arabic
literature, which gladly encircled the rough manners of the sons of the
desert with a romantic nimbus of transfiguration. In this connexion a
passage in a work falsely ascribed to Wâḳidî[222] should be noticed,
which describes the Bedâwî Rifâʿa b. Zuheir at the court of Byzantium,
and after putting a satire against nomadism in the mouth of the emperor,
gives a brilliant victory over this attack to the ‘mouse-eating’[223]
Bedâwî. This preference for nomadism, and the view that, although,
having fewer wants, it be a simpler and more uniform stage of human
development than city-life, it nevertheless surpasses the latter in
nobility and purity, still live on in the system of the talented Arabian
historian Ibn Chaldûn. He devotes several sections of his historical
‘Introduction’ to the glorification of the Bedâwî against the
townsmen.[224] What was thus established theoretically is presented in
real life down to the present day. Still, as twelve centuries ago, the
Bedâwî alone are quite strictly entitled to the name al-ʿArab or
al-ʿOrbân (Arabs), and the Arabic poetry of the townsmen is found to
have its locality still in the desert. The old Arabic poet in forming
his poetical figures always likes best to carry the camel in his
thoughts. With the camel the great majority of his best similes are
connected. In one verse the poet compares himself to a strong sumpter
camel; and in the very same line he, the camel, milks the breast of
Death, which again is regarded as a camel. Time is a camel sinking to
earth, which crushes with its thick hide him on whom it falls; a thirsty
camel, which in its eagerness for water (here _men_) swallows
everything.[225] War and calamity also are camels. The poet Ḳabîḏa b.
Jâbir cries to his adversaries in praise of the valour of his own tribe:
‘We are not _sons of young camels with breasts cut off_, but we are sons
of fierce battle,’ where, according to the interpretation of the native
commentator, the ‘young camels with breasts cut off’ are meant to denote
‘_weak kings_, who provoke the ardour of battle in a very slight
degree.’[226] How frequently, too, has the comparison of men with camels
both in a good and in a bad sense been employed! Even in the
nomenclature of places and wells in the Arabian peninsula the camel
often comes in, probably often as the result of comparisons of which the
details have not been preserved.[227] The host of stars is to the nomad
a flock, which feeds by night on the heavenly pastures, and in the
morning is led back to the fold by the shepherd. A poet describing the
length of a night, exclaims: ‘A night when the stars move slowly
onwards, and which extends to such a length that I say to myself “It has
no end, and _the shepherd of the stars_ will not come back
to-day.”’[228] Hartwig Derenbourg finds the same view expressed also in
Ps. CXLVII. 4, ‘Counting to the stars a number, calling them all [by]
names;’[229] it is, however, doubtful whether this poetical passage is
based on the conception of the starry heaven as a flock.[230] But also
poems of non-nomadic poets have been written from a Beduin point of
view. The Ḳasîdâs of the Andalusian Arabic poets are written as from the
camel’s back, and move in the scenery of the desert; and when a modern
Arab writes a Ḳasîdâ for an English lady, as has been done, the circle
in which he moves is the circle of Imrulḳais and ʿAntarâ.[231] This is
not the effect of the traditional canon of the Ḳasîdâ only, but of the
Arab’s belief that true nobility is only to be found in the desert.
Therefore his national enthusiasm transports him into the desert, for
only there is life noble and free, the life of towns being a
degradation. ‘Even the town-life of the Arabs,’ says the celebrated
African traveller George Schweinfurth,[232] ‘is essentially half a camp
life. As a collateral illustration of this, I may remark that to this
day Malta, where an Arab colony has reached as high a degree of
civilisation as ever yet it has attained, the small towns, which are
inhabited by this active little community, are called by the very same
designations as elsewhere belong to the nomad encampments in the
desert.’ We must add, that even the so-called Moorish architecture is
said by many art critics to point to nomadic life, and the onion-shaped
domes, the thin columns, the horse shoe-arches and the double pointed
arches to be transferred from the construction of the tent to stone. The
wandering habits of the Arabs are also preserved to the present day.
‘Even now,’ says Gerhard Rohlfs,[233] ‘this volatile people is engaged
in constant wandering; the slightest reason is sufficient to make them
pack up their little tents and seek another abode.’ Yet this experienced
traveller appears somewhat to overdo it when he adds: ‘Their pleasure in
roving has its root in the essence of the Mohammedan religion; wherever
the Arab can carry his Islâm, he finds a home &c.’ But Islâm has, on the
contrary, rather contributed to give the Arab a stable, political,
state-building character. Certainly it has rather hindered than promoted
the development of the feeling of nationality—it has this in common with
every religion of catholic nature; but it has not had the influence
ascribed to it by Rohlfs for the maintenance of the nomadic tendency.
Why, it is the Bedâwî himself who is the worst Mohammedan! With this
tendency of the Arabian mind, finally, is connected the fact that the
Central Arabian sect of the Wahhabites, the very branch of the
Mohammedans which stands nearest to the old Patriarchal ways in faith
and ideas of the world, and protests energetically against all novelties
introduced by foreign civilisation and historical advancement, has a
particular dislike to agriculture.[234]

The Hebrew conception of the world, like the Arabic, inclines to a
glorification of the Nomadic life. In the last stage of their national
development the Hebrews refer the origin of agriculture to a curse
imposed by God on fallen humanity. What a charm tent-life had for
them, is proved by the fact that the fair shepherdess of the Song of
Songs (I. 5) compares her beauty with oholê Ḳêdâr, ‘the tents of the
Arabs.’ Even the Hellenised Jew Philo, quite in opposition to Greek
ideas, glorifies the shepherds as ideals of morality in contrast to
the agriculturists.[235] Such a view could not but exert an influence
on the figures of the myth. The persons of the myth who have our
sympathy are generally presented as shepherds: Abel, Jacob, Moses, and
David, are shepherds; whereas Cain is an agriculturist.

Moreover, the idea that the fall of the human race is connected with
agriculture is found, besides the analogous cases commonly adduced by
commentators, to be also often represented in the legends of the East
African negroes, especially in the Calabar legend of the Creation
communicated by Bastian,[236] which presents many interesting points of
comparison with the Biblical story of the Fall. The first human pair is
called by a bell at meal-times to Abasi (the Calabar God) in heaven; and
in place of the forbidden tree of Genesis are put agriculture and
propagation, which Abasi strictly denies to the first pair. The fall is
denoted by the transgression of both these commands, especially through
the use of implements of tillage, to which the woman is tempted by a
female friend who is given to her. From that moment man fell and became
mortal, so that, as the Bible story has it, he can ‘eat bread only in
the sweat of his face.’ There agriculture is a curse, a fall from a more
perfect stage to a lower and imperfect one. This view of the
agricultural life is, however, not the conception of nomads only; it is
proper also to nations which have not even reached the stage of
nomadism, but stand a step lower—the hunters. To them their own
condition appears the happiest, and that of the agriculturist condemned
by a curse. ‘The countries inhabited by savages,’ as Montesquieu makes
his Persian Usbek write,[237] ‘are generally sparsely peopled, through
the distaste which almost all of them have for labour and the tillage of
the soil. This unfortunate aversion is so strong that when they make an
imprecation against one of their enemies, they wish him nothing worse
than that he may be reduced to field-labour,[238] deeming no exercise
noble and worthy of them except hunting and fishing.’ This contempt of a
sedentary life and its usage is by the Bedâwî directed also especially
against the practice of arts and manufactures. Hence it comes that such
peoples as the Arabs, which even in a sedentary condition regard nomadic
life as a nobler stage of manners than the agricultural life to which
they have _fallen_, neglect manufactures and seldom attain to any
perfection in them. This is especially true of the inhabitants of the
holy cities of the Arabian peninsula, who give a practical proof of
their preference for Beduinism by the fact that the Sherîf-families let
their sons pass their childhood in the tents of the desert for the sake
of a nobler education. ‘I am inclined to think,’ says the credible
traveller Burckhardt in his description of the inhabitants of
Medina,[239] ‘that the want of artisans here is to be attributed to the
very low estimation in which they are held by the Arabians, whose pride
often proves stronger than their cupidity, and prevents a father from
educating his sons in any craft. This aversion they probably inherit
from the ancient inhabitants, the Bedouins, who, as I have remarked,
exclude to this day all handicraftsmen from their tribes, and consider
those who settle in their encampment as of an inferior caste, with whom
they neither associate nor intermarry.’[240] Burton compares the Arabs
of the desert in this respect with the North American Indians of a
former generation: ‘Both recognising no other occupation but war and the
chase, despise artificers and the effeminate people of cities, as the
game-cock spurns the vulgar roosters of the poultry-yard.’[241] The same
is true of the relation of the Bedâwî towards the townsmen in the Somali
country.[242] Kant, who casually notices this remarkable trait of human
ideas in a small tract, refers the peculiarity to the fact that not only
the natural laziness, but also the vanity (a misunderstood freedom) of
man cause those who have merely to live—whether profusely or
parsimoniously—to consider themselves Magnates in comparison with those
who have to labour in order to live.[243]

Thus is explained the conception which forms the basis of the Story of
the Fall, and at the same time everything else in the older strata of
Hebrew mythology in which the sympathy of the myth-forming people is
given to the shepherds, to the prejudice of personages introduced as
agriculturists. And now we will consider the most prominent of the
figures forming the elements of the ancient Hebrew mythology.


Footnote 120:

  See Sir Ch. Lyell, _The Geological Evidence of the Antiquity of Man_
  (4th ed. 1873), pp. 122 _et seq._ and 228. See also F. Lenormant’s
  essay, ‘L’Homme Fossile,’ in his _Les premiéres Civilisations_, I. 42.

Footnote 121:

  _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, I. 407. Compare Hehn, _Culturpflanzen
  und Hausthiere_, 2nd edit., p. 103.

Footnote 122:

  Bergmann, _Les peuples primitifs de la race de Jafète_, Colmar 1853,
  pp. 42, 45, 52, 53 apud Renan, _Hist. gén. d. langues sém._, p. 39. It
  is interesting that the ancients explained the hard-bested name of the
  Pelasgians from this point of view, making Πελασγοί equivalent to
  πελαργοί = storks (Strabo, V. 313; Falconer, ed. Kramer, V. 2, § 4).
  Compare Pott, _Etymologische Forschungen_, 1836, II. 527.

Footnote 123:

  Blau in the _Zeitschrift d. D. M. G._, 1858, II. 589.

Footnote 124:

  Waitz, _ibid._ II. 349.

Footnote 125:

  Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 410. a.

Footnote 126:

  Munk, _Palästina_, Germ. transl. by Levy, Leipzig 1871, p. 190.

Footnote 127:

  Ebers, _Aegypten und die Bücher Moses_, I. 70.

Footnote 128:

  See the passage in Schrader, _Keilinschriften und das A. T._, p. 64.

Footnote 129:

  See Böttcher, _Ausführl. Lehrb. d. hebräischen Sprache_, edited by
  Mühlau, p. 7, _note_.

Footnote 130:

  _Einleitung in das Studium der arab. Sprache_, p. 19.

Footnote 131:

  Compare the Hottentot national name _Saan_, from _sâ_ ‘to rest,’ i.e.
  ‘the Settlers’ (F. Müller, _Allgemeine Ethnographie_, p. 75).

Footnote 132:

  J.S. Müller, _Semiten, Chamiten und Japheiten_, &c, p. 257.

Footnote 133:

  Lenormant, _Études Accadiennes_, pt. 3, I. 72.

Footnote 134:

  _Al-Nawawî_ (the Cairo edition of Muslim’s collection, with
  Commentary), V. 169.

Footnote 135:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, XVI. 82 _penult._

Footnote 136:

  Burton’s _First Footsteps in East Africa_, London 1856, p. 174.

Footnote 137:

  See _al-Nâbiġâ_, XXXI. v. 4 (Derenbourg).

Footnote 138:

  On the Calendar of the Arabs before Moḥammed (in _Zeitschrift der D.
  M. G._, 1859, XIII. 161).

Footnote 139:

  _Sprachliches aus den Zeltlagern der syrischen Wüste_, p. 32, _note_
  21 (a reprint from _Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1868, XXII.).

Footnote 140:

  A species of lyric poem or elegy.—Tr.

Footnote 141:

  _Saḳt al-zand_ (Bûlâḳ edition of 1286), II. 34. Yet _Aġânî_, I. 147.
  20, in a poem of Nuṣeyb: wa lam ara matbûʿan aḍarra min-al-maṭari.

Footnote 142:

  See an example in _Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1857, V. p. 100, l. 14.

Footnote 143:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, XI. 126.

Footnote 144:

  Ṣaḥâḥ, s.r. _ṭrḳ_.

Footnote 145:

  Chunnas, ‘planet,’ i.e. Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, or Mercury.—TR.

Footnote 146:

  _Commentary on the Ḳorân_ (Fleischer’s edition), II. 397. 6.

Footnote 147:

  _Phaleg_ (ed. Frankfort), II. 124.

Footnote 148:

  Yerach (pausal yârach), Gen. X. 26, 1 Chr. I. 20; elsewhere yerach
  denotes ‘month’ and yârêach ‘moon.’—TR.

Footnote 149:

  Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳâḳ_, p. 99. 9.

Footnote 150:

  _Culturgeschichtliche Streifzüge auf dem Gebiete des Islams_, Leipzig
  1873, p. viii.

Footnote 151:

  See Creuzer, _Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Völker_, 3rd ed., I.

Footnote 152:

  Welcker, _Griechische Götterlehre_, I. 169.

Footnote 153:

  As the myth grows more and more into a religion, and the conception of
  a mighty god who excels all others becomes fixed, the production of
  thunder and rain, &c., is gradually transferred to this originally
  solar god (see also Max Müller, _Chips_, &c., I. 357 _et seq._). The
  sharp division made above is therefore absolutely true only of the
  purely mythological stage. Conversely Indra and Varuṇa, originally
  figures belonging to the gloomy cloudy and rainy sky, which take the
  highest places in the Indian religion, are in the Vedic Hymns endowed
  with solar traits.

Footnote 154:

  Those to whom the philosophical terms _objective_ and _subjective_ are
  not familiar must understand them respectively as _impersonal_ or
  _impartial_, and _personal_ or _partial_; the former being that which
  is outside the thinker’s personality, the latter that which is within
  him, and therefore often the reflected image of external things on his
  own mind.—TR.

Footnote 155:

  On the disappearance of individuality in direct proportion to
  antiquity, see Wilhelm von Humboldt, _Ueber die Verschiedenheit des
  menschlichen Sprachbaues_, Berlin 1836, p. 4. Lazarus appears to
  concede to the individual too much influence on the origin of speech;
  see _Leben der Seele_ II. 115.

Footnote 156:

  See the article ‘Das Epos’ in _Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie_, &c.
  1868, V. 8, 10.

Footnote 157:

  Nöldeke, _Beiträge zur Kenntniss der Poesie der alten Araber_, p. 185.

Footnote 158:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, VI. 137. 17.

Footnote 159:

  _Durrat al-ġauwâs_ (ed. Thorbecke), p. 178. 4.

Footnote 160:

  Yâḳût, I. 934. 2.

Footnote 161:

  _Romance of ʿAntar_, IV. 97. 2.

Footnote 162:

  This connexion is found among the Polynesians: ‘The time-reckoning in
  all Polynesia conformed to the moon. They reckoned by nights,’ &c.,
  Gerland, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_. 71. Only the nights had
  names, the days had none, _ibid._, pp. 72. Both the chronology
  according to moons and the counting of days by nights are
  linguistically demonstrated of the Melanesian group. See the
  comparison in Gerland, _ibid._, pp. 616–619.

Footnote 163:

  Laz. Geiger, _Ursprung und Entwicklung der menschlichen Sprache und
  Vernunft_, II. 270.

Footnote 164:

  _Die heiligen Schriften der Parsen_, in German, II. xcviii. and III.

Footnote 165:

  _God in History_, II. 433–5.

Footnote 166:

  _De Bello Gallico_, VI. 18: ‘Spatia omnis temporis non numero dierum,
  sed noctium finiunt; dies natales et mensium et annorum initia sic
  observant, ut _noctem dies subsequatur_.’

Footnote 167:

  _Germania_, XI: ‘Nec dierum numerum, ut nos, sed noctium computant.
  Sic constituunt, sic condicunt: _nox ducere diem videtur_,’ in
  connexion with the public assemblies at the changes of the moon. The
  fact must not be overlooked that, according to Caesar, _ibid._ 22, the
  Germans ‘agriculturae non student, majorque pars victus eorum in
  lacte, caseo, carne consistit.’ See also, on this subject, Pictet,
  _Les origines Indo-Européennes et les Aryas primitifs_, II. 588.

Footnote 168:

  And in ‘Se'nnight.’—TR.

Footnote 169:

  The identical English term ‘Leap year’ is another apposite

Footnote 170:

  See the Hungarian review, _Magyar Nyelvőr_, I. 26–28.

Footnote 171:

  In Rawlinson’s _History of Herodotus_, App. to Book II. chap. VII. §
  16–20 (ed. of 1862, vol. II. p. 282 _et seq._).

Footnote 172:

  Waitz, _l. c._ IV. 174.

Footnote 173:

  See Karl Andree, _Forschungsreisen_, &c., II. 205.

Footnote 174:

  Mommsen, _History of Rome_, I. 217 (ed. 1862), 230 (ed. 1868).

Footnote 175:

  Welcker, _Griechische Götterlehre_, I. 555.

Footnote 176:

  Sir Gardner Wilkinson, in Rawlinson’s _Herodotus_, ed. 1862, vol. II.
  p. 283, § 17.

Footnote 177:

  _Die quinäre und vigesimale Zählmethode_, Halle 1867.

Footnote 178:

  Waitz, _l. c_. II. p. 224, compared with Bastian, _Geographische und
  ethnologische Bilder_, Jena 1874, pp. 144, 155.

Footnote 179:

  See on this J. Muir, _Contributions to a Knowledge of the Vedic
  Theogon and Mythology_ (_Journal of Royal Asiatic Society_, N.S.,
  1864, I. pp. 54–58).

Footnote 180:

  Max Müller, _Lectures on the Science of Language_, Second Series, p.

Footnote 181:

  Max Müller, _Chips_, &c., II. p. 65. Muir, _l. c._ p. 77 _et seq._

Footnote 182:

  This is connected with Müller’s view that ‘language must die before it
  can enter into a new stage of mythological life’ (_Lectures on the
  Science of Language_, Second Series, p. 426).

Footnote 183:

  _Lectures_, &c., Second Series, p. 432.

Footnote 184:

  Rawlinson, _History of Herodotus_, I. 211.

Footnote 185:

  V. 3: ἀλλὰ γὰρ τοῦτο ἄπορόν σφι καὶ ἀμήχανον μή κοτε ἐγγένηται· εἰσὶ
  δὴ κατὰ τοῦτο ἀσθενέες.

Footnote 186:

  The literature is clearly and concisely enumerated in G. Rawlinson’s
  essay _On the Early History of the Athenians_, §8-11 (_Hist. of
  Herod._, Bk. II. Essay II.). But it must be added that the idea of the
  learned author—‘The Attic castes, if they existed, belong to the very
  infancy of the nation, and had certainly passed into tribes long
  before the reign of Codrus’—does not agree with the historical
  sequence demanded by the connexion of the tribes with nomadic life and
  that of the caste with fixed tenure. In the very nature of the case
  the division into tribes is proper to nomadism, which knows of no
  systematic occupation with arts and trades, whereas the division into
  castes presupposes such an occupation with trades and arts as only a
  sedentary life renders possible. Therefore, between tribes and castes
  the priority will always have to be assigned to the former.

Footnote 187:

  Spiegel, _Ueber die eranische Stammesverfassung_ (_Abhandlungen der
  kön. bair. Akad. d. W._, 1855, Bd. VII.); _Kasten und Stände in der
  arischen Vorzeit_ (_Ausland_, 1874, No. 36).

Footnote 188:

  _Die heiligen Schriften der Parsen_, in German, III. vi.

Footnote 189:

  _Ibid._ II. xiv.-xv.

Footnote 190:

  _Zeitschrift d. D. M. G._ 1852, VI. 67 _et seq._

Footnote 191:

  _God in History_, II. 8.

Footnote 192:

  _Narrative of a Year’s Journey through Central and Eastern Arabia_, I.

Footnote 193:

  See Welcker. _Griechische Götterlehre_, I. 551.

Footnote 194:

  _Zur hauranischen Alterthumskunde_ (_Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1861,
  XV. 444).

Footnote 195:

  It should be noted that from Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳâḳ_, p. 96.
  II, it is evidently possible that in such compounds the word ʿabd
  itself may belong to the idol; he writes wa-ʿabdu shams^{in} zaʿamû
  ṣanam^{un} wa-ḳâla ḳaum^{un} bal ʿaynu mâ^{in} maʿrufat^{un} wa-hua
  ism^{un} ḳadîm^{un}: ‘ʿAbd Shams is in the opinion of some an idol,
  others say it is the name of a well-known spring of water: it is an
  old name.’

Footnote 196:

  Tuch, _Sinaitische Inschriften_ (_Zeitschr. der D. M. G._, 1849, III.
  202).—Osiander, _Vorislam. Religion der Araber_ (_Zeitschr. der D. M.
  G._, 1853. VII. 483).

Footnote 197:

  _Tâj-al-ʿarûs_, II. 209.

Footnote 198:

  Schlottmann, _Die Inschrift Eshmunazar’s_, Halle 1868, p. 84.

Footnote 199:

  Yâḳût, IV. 85. See al-Jawâlîḳî’s _Livre des locutions vicieuses_ (ed.
  Derenbourg in _Morgenländ. Forschungen_), p. 153.

Footnote 200:

  _Zur vergleichenden Religionsgeschichte_, 1 Art. (_Ausland_ 1872), p.
  4. See also 1871, p. 1159.

Footnote 201:

  Compare also the Himyaric proper name Ben Sîn (Halévy, _Études
  sabéennes_ [_Journal Asiat._ 1874, II. 543]).

Footnote 202:

  Lenormant, _Les premières civilisations_, II. 158.

Footnote 203:

  Schrader, _Die Höllenfahrt der Istar_, p. 45.

Footnote 204:

  _Egypt’s Place in Universal History_, IV. 342.

Footnote 205:

  In his essay on the Egyptian antiquities at the Great Exhibition of
  1867 at Paris.

Footnote 206:

  I must explain that the preceding four sections were already written
  down, before I could get a sight of Kuhn’s essay, which appeared

Footnote 207:

  _Ueber Entwickelungsstufen der Mythenbildung_, Berlin 1874; from the
  _Abhandlungen der königl. Akademie d. Wiss. zu Berlin (phil.-hist.
  Klasse)_, 1873, pp. 123–137.

Footnote 208:

  _Rude Stone Monuments in all Countries, their Ages and Uses_, London
  1872, pp. 9 _et seq._ and 28.

Footnote 209:

  The same is stated of some American tribes by Sir J. Lubbock, _The
  Origin of Civilisation_, ed. 3, 1875, pp. 273, 306, _et seq._

Footnote 210:

  Georg Schweinfurth, _The Heart of Africa_, I. p. 200.

Footnote 211:

  But we cannot on this account characterise the Semites generally by
  the assertions, ‘The Semites are in general a pastoral people,’ ‘the
  Semites live in tents,’ as Friedrich von Hellwald does in his
  _Culturgeschichte in ihrer natürlichen Entwickelung_, p. 134. A glance
  at the sedentary Phenicians and the settled Semites of Mesopotamia
  shows at once the important exceptions. It must also not be overlooked
  that agriculture was in practice to no small extent among the
  Phenicians; even the Romans call a kind of threshing machine, the
  ‘Punic:’ Varro, _De re rustica_, I. 52; cf. Lowth, _De sacra poesi
  Hebraeorum_, Oxford 1821, Prael. VII. p. 62. The commerce with Egypt,
  which von Hellwald brings into prominence, is no sufficient reason why
  the favourite characterisation of the Semites does not apply to these
  nations. The Hebrews continued their nomadic life for a long time
  after they had made intimate acquaintance with Egypt; and the nomadic
  Arabs were not materially influenced by communication with sedentary

Footnote 212:

  Given by Josephus Langius, _Florilegii magni seu Polyantheae ... libri
  XXIII._, Lugduni 1681, I. 120, as by Aristophanes; but the author and
  the translator have searched the works and fragments of Aristophanes
  in vain.

Footnote 213:

  Ovid also begins with the life of the fields; his golden age is
  distinguished from the others only in this, that:

            Ipsa quoque immunis, rastroque intacta, nec ullis
            Saucia vomeribus, per se dabat omnia tellus;


               Mox etiam fruges tellus inarata ferebat:
               Nec renovatus ager gravidis canebat aristis.
                         (_Metamorph._ I. 101–2, 109–10.)

Footnote 214:

  _History of Herodotus_, tr. G. Rawlinson, IV. c. 46, note 5.

Footnote 215:

  Muslim’s _Collection of Traditions_ (ed. of Cairo with commentary), I.
  138; al-Jauharî, s.r. _fdd._ Cf. Dozy, _Geschichte der Mauren in
  Spanien_, Leipzig 1874, I. 17.

Footnote 216:

  Al-Buchârî, _Recueil des Traditions Musulmans_ (ed. Krehl), II. 385
  (LX. No. 29).

Footnote 217:

  Al-Buchârî, _Recueil_ &c., II. 74 (XL I. No. 20).

Footnote 218:

  Al-Buchârî, _Recueil_ &c. p. 67, No. 2. It is true these expressions
  might be balanced by a few somewhat opposite in character, such as
  that which declares that in the judgment of the Prophet the best
  business is Trade; according to other reporters Manufacture; according
  to others (whose version is regarded as the correct one) Agriculture
  (see al-Nawawî on Muslim’s _Collection of Traditions_, IV. 32). Still
  such sentences, even when confirmed by others, cannot weaken the force
  of those cited in the text. I must also mention in conclusion that al
  Shaʿrânî in his _Book of the Balance_ (Kitâb al-mîzân, Cairo
  [Castelli], 1279, II. 68) mentions this question as a point of
  difference among the canonical authorities of Islamic theology: the
  school of al-Shâfeʿî regards trade as the noblest occupation, whilst
  the three other Imâms (Abû Ḥanîfâ, Mâlik b. Anas, and Aḥmed b. Ḥanbal)
  declare for field-labour and manufactures.

Footnote 219:

  See Alfred von Kremer, _Culturgeschichte des Orients unter den
  Khalifen_, I. 16.

Footnote 220:

  Von Kremer, _ibid._ pp. 71, 77; _Culturgeschichtlichte Streifzüge_, p.

Footnote 221:

  Ibn ʿAbdi Rabbihi, _Kitâb al-ʿiḳd al-ferîd_, ed. Bûlâḳ 1293 A.H., vol.
  III. p. 347.

Footnote 222:

  _Futuh as-Shâm_, being an account of the Moslem conquests in Syria,
  ed. Nassau Lees, Calcutta 1854, I. 9 _et seq_.

Footnote 223:

  This satirical reproach of the Bedâwî often occurs, e.g. sometimes in
  the Romance of ʿ_Antar_ in passages which are not accessible to me at
  the present moment. We meet with it also in the Persian king
  Yezdegird’s satire on the Arabs (_Chroniques de Tabari_, transl. by
  Zotenberg, III. 387). Later also, in Ibn Baṭûṭâ, _Voyages_, III. 282,
  where the Indian Prince describes his Beduin brother-in-law Seif
  al-Dîn Ġada, who had at first charmed him, but afterwards been
  disgraced for his want of manners, by the epithet _mûsh châr_, i.e.
  ‘field-rat-eater;’ ‘for,’ adds the traveller, ‘the Arabs of the Desert
  eat field-rats.’ See also _Aġânî_, III. 33, l. 4 from below, where
  Bashshâr b. Burd accuses a Bedâwî of hunting mice (ṣeydu faʿrin).

Footnote 224:

  _Prolégomènes, trad. par de Slane_, pp. 255–273.

Footnote 225:

  A collection of similar poetical passages is to be found in Freytag’s
  _Commentary on the amâsâ_, pp. 601 and 606.

Footnote 226:

  _Ḥamâsâ_, Text, p. 340, 3 _infr._

Footnote 227:

  E.g. Yâḳûṭ, _Geograph. Dict._, II. 118. s.v. _gamal_.

Footnote 228:

  _al-Nâbiġâ_, III. 2.

Footnote 229:

  _Journal Asiatique_, 1868, II. 378.

Footnote 230:

  Just as can be said of another passage closely connected with the
  above, Is. XL. 26. On the contrary, especially in the latter passage,
  the host of stars is compared to a war-host, ṣâbhâ; and the idea that
  each star is a valiant warrior is also not strange to Arabic poetry
  (e.g. _Ḥamâsâ_, p. 36, l. 5, comp. Num. XXIV. 17); for the conception
  of ṣebâ hash-shamayîm ‘host or army of heaven,’ has taken as firm root
  among the Arabs as among the Hebrews. ‘For thou art the Sun,’ says
  al-Nâbiġâ (VIII. 10) to king Noʿmân, ‘and the other kings are stars;
  when the former rises, not a single star of these latter are any
  longer visible.’ With this is connected the expression juyûsh al-ẓalâm
  ‘the armies of darkness’ (_Romance of ʿAntar_, XVIII. 8. 6, XXV. 60.
  69). In the last passage, indeed, it stands in parallelism with
  ʿasâkir al-ḍiʾâ w-al-ibtisâm ‘armies of light and smiling,’ just as
  with the synonymous juyûsh al-ġeyhab (_ʿAntar_, XV. 58. 11).

Footnote 231:

  On this peculiarity of the poets of the towns an opinion of ʿAjjâj
  very much to the point occurs in the _Kitâb al-aġânî_, II. 18.

Footnote 232:

  _The Heart of Africa_, I. 28.

Footnote 233:

  _Quer durch Afrika_, I. 121.

Footnote 234:

  Palgrave, _Central and Eastern Arabia_, I. 463.

Footnote 235:

  _De Sacrificio Kajin_, p. 169, ed. Mangey, Oxford 1742. In another
  treatise Philo distinguishes two kinds of shepherds and two kinds of
  agriculturists, of which one kind is blameworthy, and the other
  praiseworthy. There is a distinction between ποιμήν and κηνοτροφός,
  and on the other hand between γῆς ἐργάτης (probably answering to the
  Hebrew ʿôbêd adâmâ), and γεωργός (probably intended to represent the
  Hebrew îsh adâmâ). See _De Agricultura_, p. 303 _et seq_.

Footnote 236:

  _Geographische und ethnologische Bilder_, pp. 191–97.

Footnote 237:

  _Lettres persanes_, Lettre CXXI.

Footnote 238:

  See Herberstein, _Rerum Moscoviticarum Commentarii_, Vienna 1549, p.
  61, where a Tatar formula of execration is said to be ‘ut eodem in
  loco perpetuo tamquam Christianus haereas.’

Footnote 239:

  _Travels in Arabia_, ed. Ouseley, 1829, p. 381.

Footnote 240:

  A notable illustration of this relation is presented by the Arabic
  proverb, ‘If you hear that the smith (of the caravan) is packing up in
  the evening, be sure that he will not go till the following morning’
  (_al-Meydânî_, Bûlâḳ edition, I. 34). Notice the occasion of the
  origin of this proverb, in the commentary on the passage.

Footnote 241:

  _Personal Narrative of Pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina_, 2nd ed. 1857,
  I. 117.

Footnote 242:

  Burton’s _First Footsteps in Eastern Africa_, p. 240.

Footnote 243:

  Kant’s _Kleinere Schriften zur Logik und Metaphysik, herausgegeben von
  Kirchmann_, II. 4 (_Philosoph. Bibliothek_, Hermann, Bd. XXXIII.).


                               CHAPTER V.

Battle and bloodshed, pursuit and suppression on the one side, love and
union, glowing desire and coy evasion on the other, are the points of
view from which the Myth regards the relations of day and night, of the
grey morning and the sunrise, of the red sunset and the darkness of
night, and their recurring changes. And this point of view is made yet
more definite by the mythical idea that when forces are either engaged
in mutual conflict, or seeking and pursuing one another in mutual love,
as one follows the other, so one must have sprung from the other, as the
child from the father or the mother; or else, being conceived as
existing side by side in the moment of battle or of heavenly love, must
be brothers or sisters, children of the same father or of the same
mother, i.e. of the phenomenon that precedes both of them alike—as the
bright day precedes the twilight and the night—or must be the parents of
the child that follows them.

Therefore, still more definitely, murders of parents or children or
brothers, battles between brothers, sexual love and union between
children and parents, between brother and sister, form the chief plots
of all myths, and by their manifold shades have produced that variety in
our race’s earliest observations of nature, which we encounter in the
thousand colours of the Myth.

The talented founders of Aryan Comparative Mythology, especially Max
Müller in the first rank, have set these themes of the myth on so firm
and unquestioned a foundation both in relation to psychology and to
philology, and have so completely introduced them to the mind of the
educated class, that I may safely omit a new exposition of this axiom of
all Mythology. I content myself with pointing once more to what was
shown in the preceding chapters, that these fundamental mythical themes
are not something specially Aryan, but lie at the bottom of the Myth of
all mankind without distinction of race, and consequently must form a
starting-point when we are about to investigate Semitic or Hebrew myths.

The task of the following chapter will therefore be to find a place in
the category of what is _common_ to the _whole_ of human kind for the
myth of the Hebrews; in other words, to prove the existence of the
myth-plots on Hebrew ground. As it is not my object to exhaust all the
materials, to present a system already perfectly worked out on every
side, or to erect a building with all its rooms and stories stuffed
full, I shall confine myself to that which, after competent and sober
philological criticism, can be acknowledged as certain and indubitable.
I hope that other investigators, who will gain from the method pursued
here a rich treasury of material, will then follow up these safe results
by gleanings of their own.

§ 1. In the designation of the Heaven the Semite starts from the
sensuous impression of _height_, and therefore forms the names denoting
it from the roots _samâ_ (shama) and _râm_, both of which express the
idea of ‘being high.’ To the latter group belongs e.g. the Ethiopic
rayam,[244] which denotes _heaven_. Both roots are combined in the
Phenician Shâmîn-rûm. One of the most prominent figures of Hebrew
mythology belongs to this category: Abh-râm the _High Father_, with his
innumerable host of descendants.[245] We have seen above that in his
view of nature the nomad begins with the sky at night. The sky by itself
is the dark, nightly, or clouded heaven; the sunshine on the sky is an
accessory. Hence it comes that in Arabic the word Sky (samâ) is very
often used even for ‘Rain;’ and the notions of _rain_ and _sky_ are so
closely interwoven that even the traces of rain on the earth are called
sky.[246] In the language of the Bongo people there is only one word for
sky and rain, hetōrro.[247] On Semitic ground the Assyrian divine name
Rammanu or Raman must be mentioned here. If this name has any
etymological connexion with the root _râm_ ‘to be high,’ as Hesychius
and some modern scholars say, though others derive it from _raʿam_
‘thunder,’ Raʿamân ‘the Thunderer,’[248] then we find here again the
primitive mythological idea that the intrinsically High is the dark
stormy sky, or, personified, the God of Storms. So also in the old
Hebrew myth the ‘High’ is the nightly or rainy sky. The best known myth
that the Hebrews told of their Abh-râm is the story of the intended
sacrifice of his only son Yiṣchâḳ, commonly called Isaac. But what is
Yiṣchâḳ? Literally translated, the word denotes ‘he laughs,’ or ‘the
Laughing.’ In the Semitic languages, especially in proper names and
epithets, the use of the aorist[249] (even in the second person, e.g. in
the Arabic name Tazîd) is very frequent where we should employ a
participle.[250] So here. Now who is the ‘He laughs,’ the ‘Smiling one'?
No other but 'He who sits in heaven and laughs’ (Ps. II. 4), whom the
mythology of almost all nations and their later poetry too likes to call
the Laughing or Smiling one. When, as Plutarch tells in his Life of
Lycurgus, that legislator consecrated a statue to Laughter (γέλως) and
Laughter enjoyed divine honours at Sparta, we are certainly not to
understand it of the laughter that plays round the lips of mortals, but
of the celestial smile with which Mythology endows the Sun, as when the
Indian singer calls Ushas (the Sun[251]) the _Smiling_ (Rigveda, VI. 64.
10). With regard to the Sun’s laughing in the Aryan mythology, we can
refer to the learned work of Angelo de Gubernatis, ‘Zoological
Mythology’ (vol. I. i. 1).

But there is a primitive connexion between the ideas ‘to laugh’ and ‘to
shine,’ which is not, as might be thought, brought about _figuratively_
by a mere poetical view, but rather, at least on the Semitic field,
established at the very beginning of the formation of speech. An
extraordinary number of the verbs which describe a loud expression of
joyousness (to shout, bellow, laugh &c.), originally denoted to shine,
dazzle, be visible, and the like; affording another confirmation of
Geiger’s thesis, that language owes its origin more to optic than to
acoustic impressions (see _supra_ p. 40). I give a series of linguistic
facts as examples to prove this assertion. The Hebrew ṣâhal signifies
both ‘to shine bright’ and ‘to cry aloud,’ and its phonetic connexion
with ṣâhar, zâhar &c., proves the priority of the optical meaning.
Similarly hillêl, which means ‘to cry out, to triumph,’ was originally
‘to be brilliant,’ as is proved by the derivative nouns hilâl (Ar.) ‘new
moon’ and hêlêl (Heb.) ‘morning star,’ and the employment of the verb
itself in Hebrew. Ṣârach, ṣerach, ṣaraḥa, denotes ‘to cry’ in the chief
representatives of Semitism; but the Arabic has also preserved the
original sense ‘clarus, manifestus fuit,’ which appears in the Hebrew
noun ṣerîach ‘a conspicuous eminence,’ or ‘a high tower.’[252] The roots
yâphaʿ (in Hiphʿîl) ‘to be bright’ and pâʿâ ‘to cry,’ are through their
etymological connexion brought into this group. The root of the Hebrew
hêdâd ‘cry of joy’ is the same from which Hadad, the name of the Syrian
god of the shining sun, can be etymologically derived. This root
undoubtedly represents a reduplicated form of the radical of the solar
name Yehûdâ ‘Judah’ (see § 14 of this chapter). The verbal root from
which nahâr (Ar.) nehârâ (Heb.) ‘daylight,’ is derived has in one Arabic
derivative form the meaning ‘to cry.’ So also ṣâchaḳ ‘to laugh aloud’
(compare ṣâʿaḳ ‘to cry’) must have originally expressed the idea of
‘being bright, clear,’ which is proper to the primitive Semitic root
ṣaḥ, ṣach. If this be admitted, it follows that the name Yiṣchaḳ as a
solar epithet was not formed by mere figurative or poetical metaphor,
but is based on the original signification of the group of roots to
which it belongs. Poetical phraseology then brought into general use
what was based on etymology.

There is nothing more universal and more generally pervading all
nature-poetry than the idea ‘Like one _laughing gaily_ the world shone,’
as the Tatar poet says of the sunrise;[253] and in Arabic poetry, which
has to be especially considered on these subjects, it is met with at
every step. In the charming Romance of ʿAntar, the cessation of night
and the break of day is dozens of times expressed by the words ‘until
the black night went off and the _laughing morning_ (al-ṣabâḥ al-ḍaḥik)
arose;’ or ‘the morning arose and smiled (ibtasama) out of dazzling
teeth.’[254] The old poet al-Aʿsha says of a blooming meadow that it
rivals the sun in laughter (yuḍâḥik al-shams);[255] and in the last
maḳâmâ of Ḥarîrî (de Sacy, 2nd ed. p. 673. 2,) it is even said that ‘the
tooth of the daybreak laughs’ (ibtasama thaġr al-fajr), i.e. becomes
visible, as the teeth of a person laughing become visible. This mythic
view has become so incorporated in the Arabic language that the word
_bazaġa_, denoting that the teeth are prominent, is also used of the
rising of the sun. In a small Arabic tract[256] by the Sheikh ʿUlwân b.
ʿAṭîyyâ of Ḥamâ, which brings forward the contest between Day and Night,
a subject not infrequent[257] in Oriental literature, in which the two
champions engage in a battle of respective excellence in prose and
poetry, there also occurs a passage suitable for quotation here. The
Night says in the course of her dispute: ‘To the string of these thy
blameworthy qualities this must yet be added—that thou art changeable
and many-coloured in thy various conditions, and not stedfast; thy
beginning contradicts thy end, and thy interior is different from thy
exterior. O what an utterly culpable quality is this, which scratches
out the face of every merit! _Thou laughest at thy rising_, when thou
rememberest weeping and mourning; and at thy extinction thou clothest
thyself in thy most gorgeous of raiments, instead of putting on mourning
garments.’ And the Day replies, in his own defence to his black
antagonist: ‘What rank takest thou in comparison with me? What is thy
gloominess and thy sombre seriousness in comparison with my _gay smiles_
(ḍaḥikî wabtisâmî)?’[258]

It is not only the clear shining sunny sky that is called by the Arab
poet ‘the Smiling;’ this attribute is applied also to other luminous
things, e.g. to the glittering _Stars_ (not to the night-sky
itself),[259] and to the Lightning, which is even called al-ḍâḥik, ‘the
Laughing.’ In the Romance of ʿAntar there frequently occurs the
expression ‘the Lightning laughed’ (al-barḳ yaḍḥak, e.g. XXIV. 65.
6).[260] Abû-l-ʿAlâ al-Maʿarrî, an excellent Arabic poet, says in an
elegy on the death of his father:

 I disapprove of merriment even in the _laughing_ (_i.e._ lightning)
 And let no cloud bring me rain, except a gloomy, dark one.[261]

We have in passing treated the words ‘He who sits in heaven laughs’ in
the second Psalm as a mythical reminiscence, which originally referred
to the Sun, but then, like similar instances which we shall see, was
employed by the poet in another sense. But there is nothing to exclude
the possibility that the Laughter of him who sits in heaven may refer in
this passage not to the sweet smile of the bright sunny sky, but to the
wild raging of the Thunderer, pictured in the myths as scornful
laughter, as F.L.W. Schwartz[262] shows by many examples from classical
antiquity. This conception would also be more suitable to the context of
the passage in question in the second Psalm, where mention is made of
derisive laughter. However this be, the ‘Smiling one’ whom the ‘High
Father’ intends to slay, is the smiling day, or more closely defined the
smiling sunset, which gets the worst of the contest with the night-sky
and disappears.

§ 2. The same myth is also given as follows: ‘_Jephthah sacrifices or
kills his daughter_.’ In its later ethical or religious transformation
given in Judges XI. 29–40, it is known to everyone. This story is
especially worthy of consideration in connexion with the science of
Mythology, because a Hebrew custom similar to the mourning for Osiris or
Adonis and Tammûz was fastened on to it, as appears in v. 40; and it is
well known that these latter rites stand in a very close connexion with
physical phenomena, and with the myth which speaks of these phenomena.

What means Jephthah (Yiphtâch)? We have again an aorist form[263]
exactly similar to Yiṣchâḳ; it denotes literally ‘he opens, he begins,’
thence ‘the opener or beginner.’ For the understanding of this mythical
person we must note by anticipation that this Opener has a correlative
in the After-follower Jacob (Yaʿaḳôbh), ‘he follows his heels.’[264]
Both these expressions belong to one group of mythic conceptions; and it
is remarkable that in these designations we find mythology already
advanced to the stage which we characterised in the previous chapter as
belonging to the ideas of the Agriculturist. For these two names and the
cycle of myths coupled with them presuppose the view that in the order
of time the Day is the earlier and is followed by the Night; and the
very circumstance that the idea of time is impressed on these myths with
something of precision (see above, p. 44), also indicates a relatively
late formation of these designations and of the views that led to them.
The Opener is the Sun, which first opens the womb (see Gen. XXX. 22; EX.
XIII. 2, 12), while the Night is called the After-follower; just as in
the Rigveda (II. 38. 6) the Night follows on the heel of Sâvitri. To
establish more certainly the meaning of the name Yaʿaḳôbh it may also be
mentioned that in Arabic the participial form of the same verb, ‘ʿÂḳib,’
is exceedingly frequent in the same signification. According to
Mohammedan tradition one of the many names of the Arabian Prophet is
Al-ʿâḳib, with the sense that Moḥammed, the last of the prophets,
followed after and concluded their line.[265] We will now first return
to Jephthah, the _Opening Sun_. This conception of the Sun as Opener
receives a remarkable illustration in a passage of the Persian national
epic by Firdûsî, in which occurs an expressive echo of this mythical
view. The sun is there actually a _golden key_, which is lost during the
night.[266] As the lighting up of the sun is conceived as an
_unlocking_, so the darkness is a _locking up_. ‘Who commandeth the sun
and it riseth not, and who locketh up the stars,’ is said in Job IX. 7,
of the God who brings on darkness. The solar character of Jephthah
receives confirmation from another side, but likewise on Semitic ground.
In the version of the Phenician Cosmogony furnished by Damascius[267] it
is related, on the authority of Mochus, that the spiritual God Ulômos
begot Chrysoros τὸν ἀνοιγέα, ‘the Opener.’ The Sanchuniathon of Philo
Herennius identifies this Opener with Hephaestus, who was the first
inventor of iron implements (Tûbhal-Ḳayin of the Hebrews). Now, although
in its latest development this cosmogony does not pretend to mean
anything else than the opening of the Egg of the world,[268] there can
be no doubt that this version belongs to a very late, perhaps the last
phase of development of the myth which lies hidden in the background—a
stage at which all that makes the myth a myth is quite washed out and
changed by the prevalence of theological ideas into an artfully
systematised cosmogony. But originally nothing else can have been
understood by the Opener than the firstborn brother of the pair, Sun and
Night. Another mythic trait which we know of this Opener testifies to
his solar signification in the myths on which the Phenician cosmogony
was based. Philo Herennius’ authority, who calls the opener _Chrysôr_,
says of him: ‘He was the first man who fared in ships.’ This trait,
which is far from fitting into the frame of the portrait of Hephaestus
presents a very attractive and simple conception held by the men of the
myth-forming age. We generally find in myths of the rising and setting
of the sun, that the view which lives longest and conforms most
naturally to the nature of the phenomenon is that the rising sun ascends
out of the river or the sea, and that the setting sun sinks into the

                The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
                _Is crept into the bosom of the sea_,

as Shakespeare says,[269] or as a German poet, feeling an echo of the
meaning of the old myth, speaks still more expressively:

                        ‘—that the sun was only
            A lovely woman, who the old sea-god
            Out of convenience married;
            All the day long she joyously wander’d
            In the high heavens, deck’d out with purple
            And glitt’ring diamonds,
            And all-beloved and all-admired
            By every mortal creature,
            And every mortal creature rejoicing
            With her sweet glance’s light and warmth;
            But in the evening, impell’d, all-disconsolate,
            Once more returneth she home
            To the moist house and desert arms
            Of her grey-headed spouse.’[270]

In a Swedish popular song, a King of England has two daughters, the
elder _black as night_ (Night itself); the other, younger, _beautiful
and brilliant like the day_ (Day itself). The latter goes forward
followed by the other, who comes and throws her into the sea.[271] In
this popular story, also, the sunset is viewed as a fall into the sea;
but one new feature is here added, viz., that the two sisters fight, and
the black one, the dark Night, throws the brilliant Sun into the sea. In
the morning the Sun that had fallen into the sea rises up again out of
her night’s quarters. The Roman poet expresses the idea ‘Never did a
fairer lady see _the sun arise_,’ by the words:

                      Ne qua femina pulchrior
                      Clarum _ab Oceano diem_
                        Viderit _venientem_;[272]

and because the sun rises out of the water, a Persian poet[273] calls
water in general ‘the Source of Light (tsheshmei nûr).’ Connected with
these ideas is that of the so-called _Pools of the Sun_,[274] which are
assigned to the rising and setting sun alike.[275] But the morning sun
is also made to come forth out of _mud_ and _morass_ (as in Homer from
the λίμνη), as is described amongst others in the Arabic tradition.[276]
It is obvious that this conception must have first arisen in countries
whose horizon was not bounded by the sea. The same assumption must be
made with regard to another conception also, found in the African nation
of the Yorubas. These regard the town Ife as a sort of abode of gods,
_where the Sun and Moon always issue forth again from the earth in which
they were buried_.[277] No doubt this notion was formed among the
portion of the nation that lived at a distance from the sea. A
considerable part of the elements of the animal-worship which refers to
water animals may be traced back to mythological conceptions which we
have exhibited above.[278]

When in ancient times men dwelling by the sea-shore saw the heavenly
fire-ball in the evening dip into the sea, and the next morning issue
shining at the opposite point of the sea-line, what other idea could he
conceive of this but that down in the sea the sun was swallowed by a
monster which spat out its prey again on the shore (see p. 28)?—or else
that the sun undertook a voyage, starting over night?—or, as is so
beautifully expressed in the Hellenic myth, that he took a bath, so as
to shine on the sea-shore in the morning with new brightness and
purified from all dinginess?

_Navigation_ is the explanation of this daily phenomenon which prevails
in the myth. It became so general that later among the Egyptians it was
divested of its original associations and brought into connexion with
the sun of day. In the Egyptian view the Sun’s bark sails over the ocean
of heaven:[279] Ἥλιον δὲ καὶ σελήνεν οὐχ ἅρμασιν ἁλλὰ πλοίοις ὀχήμασι
χρωμένους περιπλεῖν ἀεί, says Plutarch of the Egyptian view,[280] and
adduces Homeric parallels.[281] The Jewish Midrâsh compares the course
of the sun to that of a ship—and curiously enough to a ship coming from
Britain,[282] which has 365 ropes (the number of the days of the solar
year), and to a ship coming from Alexandria, which has 354 ropes (the
number of the days of the lunar year).[283] The solar figures, then, are
everywhere brought into connexion with the invention and employment of
navigation. The sinking Apollo is with the Greeks the founder of
navigation. Herakles receives from Helios the present of a golden bowl,
which he used to employ as a bark when he sailed across the Okeanos. The
voyage of the shining (φαί-νω) Phaeacians and Argonauts originally
signified only the same sea-passage, which the sun makes every evening.
Of Charon himself, the subterranean ferryman (whose name, Schwartz
thinks, indicates his solar significance, χαραπός) it has also been
proved that his subterranean navigation is only an eschatological
development of the solar myth.[284] Indeed, eschatology and conceptions
of the things after death and resurrection have their essential origin
in the Sun’s voyage under the sea and reappearance on the other
side.[285] The Roman Sun-god Janus is also brought into connexion with
navigation; this idea is unmistakably expressed on coins which bear the
image of the two-headed god,[286] and is especially important here
because Janus himself, as the etymology of his name declares, likewise
belongs to the series of ‘Openers.’ ‘This name was given him,’ says
Hartung, ‘because the door represents in space exactly what formed the
basis of his essence with regard to the relations of time and force. For
every beginning resembles an entrance.’[287] The most prominent figure
of the lately discovered Babylonian epos, Izdubar, and Ûr-Bêl (the Light
of Bêl, _i.e._ the Sun), both of them purely solar figures, are provided
with ships.[288] We cannot justly doubt, it is true, the historical
character of the Biblical prophet Jonah. But, from what was discussed in
the Second Chapter, this does not exclude the possibility that various
mythical features may have been fastened on this undoubtedly historical
personage, as is the case with many other persons of Hebrew history, for
example, most strikingly with David. The most prominent mythical
characteristic of the story of Jonah is his celebrated abode in the sea
in the belly of the whale. This trait is eminently solar and belongs to
the group on which we are now engaged. As on occasion of the storm the
storm-dragon or the storm-serpent swallows the sun, so when he sets he
is swallowed by a mighty fish, waiting for him at the bottom of the sea.
Then when he appears again on the horizon, he is _spit out on the shore_
by the sea-monster.[289]

Accordingly, when Chrysôr is said to have been the _first navigator_,
this must have the same meaning that it has when applied to Apollo, viz.
that the Sun, sinking and going down into the ocean, is taking a journey
by sea; or when applied to the Tyrian Herakles, the builder of the city
(building of cities we shall see to be a specially solar
characteristic), called the _inventor of navigation_;[290] or when used
of Prometheus, recounting before the descendants of Okeanos his benefits
conferred on mankind, and saying:—

               βραχεῖ δὲ μύθω πάντα συλλήβδην μάθε,
               πᾶσαι τέχναι βροτοῖσιν ἐκ Προμηθέως.

               Learn, in a word, the sense of all I mean:
               Prometheus gave all arts to mortal men;—

without forgetting to allude to the ships:—

            θαλασσόπλαγκτα δ’ οὔτις ἄλλος ἀντ’ ἐμοῦ
            λινόπτερ’ εὗρε ναυτίλων ὀχήματα.

            The seaman’s chariot roaming o'er the sea
            With flaxen wings none other found—’twas I.[291]

Now if this trait raises the solar character of Chrysôr to a certainty,
then it cannot be doubted that his epithet the ‘Opener,’ which is
identical with the Hebrew name Yiphtâch (Jephthah) is an appellation of
the Sun—the First-born. The Sun sacrifices his own daughter. In the
evening the sunset sky is born from the lap of the sun, and in the
morning, when in place of the red sunrise (which the myth does not
distinguish from the red sunset) the hot midday sun comes forth,
Jephthah has killed his own daughter, and she is gone.

Thus we see in the myths of Abram and of Jephthah the two sides of the
same idea, each having its peculiar form and frame: the former tells of
the victory of the Night, the dark sky of night over the Sun, the latter
of that of the Dawn over the shades of Night. In Hebrew mythology the
name Enoch (Chanôkh) belongs to this series. It was very happily
explained by Ewald[292] as denoting the Beginner, _inceptor_, and is
therefore a strict synonym of Jephthah.

We meet with one other ‘Opener’ on Semitic ground, the Libyan and
especially Cyrenaic god of agriculture, whose name is preserved in the
Grecized form Aptûchos (Ἀπτοῦχος). Blau[293] has already connected the
name with the verb pâthach ‘to open,’ as opener of the ground by the
plough. We must here refer in anticipation to the following chapter,
which will elucidate the connexion in which the ancient religions put
the rise of agriculture with the personages of mythology; and such a
personage this Libyan ‘Opener’ undoubtedly is. Anyhow, we must hold fast
to the identity of Aptûchos (Ἀπτοῦχος) and Jephthah.

§ 3. The myth of the death of Isaac, and that of his later life, which
of course presupposes that he continued to live, are not contradictory
to the mythical mind. At a more advanced stage of intellectual life,
which had lost all share in and understanding of the nature-myth, and
the mythical figures became _epic persons_, this contradiction
necessitated an arrangement or harmonising process; and in this lies the
reason for the origin of the turn which occurred in the historical form
of the legend of Isaac, substituting for the accomplished homicide an
_intended_ homicide; which latter, when religious feeling began to rule
over the still existing mythic materials, became later simply an act of
pious willingness to perform a sacrifice. Such contradictions do not
present themselves distinctly to the mind of men at the stage of the
actual formation of myths. The slain Isaac appears again on the arena a
few hours after he was killed; he shews himself afresh. Some fifteen
years ago when a Christian mission penetrated to the Central-African
tribe of the Liryas, a great crowd collected round a priest, who began
to expound to them the main principles of his religion. ‘But when he
came to the attributes of God, they absolutely refused to allow that he
is very good. On the contrary, they said, he is very angry, and even
bad, for he sends death; he is the cause of dying, and sends the sun,
which always burns up our crops. _Scarcely is one sun dead in the west
in the evening, than there grows up out of the earth in the east next
morning another which is no better._’[294] In this story we see the
beginning of the transition from the formation of myths to religious
reflexion: the sun that appears in the morning in the east is a
different one from that which fell dead to the earth in the evening in
the west. Yet, though substantially it is a different one and not
identical with that of the previous day, it is still perfectly like it,
and qualitatively not distinct from it. At the mythical stage, when it
was still productive, Isaac reappearing is the same as Isaac already
killed. He appears again several times; he marries Ribhḳâ (Rebekah); and
again we meet him old and blind ‘with weakened eyes,’ sending his son
Yaʿaḳôbh (Jacob) into a foreign land, to return only after the death of
the old blind ‘Smiling’ one, with a large family, and prepared to take
up again his old quarrel with his hairy brother Esau, the hunter. The
living myth does not treat these events as following one after the
other. To work up together the various members of the group of myths
which assemble round a common centre or a common name, is not the
business of the myth proper. The _epic_ impulse first begins to act in
this direction, and gives the first incitement to the harmonising of

We will linger a few minutes longer with Isaac.

He loves and marries Rebekah, or as she is called in the Hebrew text,
Ribhḳâ. The Dutch historian of religions C.P. Tiele sees in this name an
appellation of the fruitful, rich _earth_,[295] a view which is
partially supported by the etymology of the word. ‘The laughing sky of
day or the Sun-god (surely originally only the Sun?) is united in
marriage with the fatness and fruitfulness of the earth.’ This
conception of the myth, notwithstanding its etymological correctness,
has little to recommend it to my feeling, but I cannot propose any
better in its stead. I only add, that if Tiele’s conception is correct,
we shall certainly understand better the feature of the myth which makes
‘the Laughing one’ (Isaac) of his two sons prefer Esau (who will be
proved to be a solar character), while the mother’s love attached itself
more to Jacob. Esau is a mythical figure homogeneous with Isaac; but the
fruitful earth is more closely connected with the dark rainy sky, as a
kindred and homogeneous phenomenon.

Another notable point in the myth of Isaac is blindness. ‘And when Isaac
was old, his eyes became too dim to see’ (Gen. XXVII. 1). It is an idea
peculiarly mythical (which found an echo in poetry), to regard the Sun
as an Eye, which looks down with its sharp sight upon the earth. In the
Egyptian monuments and in the Book of the Dead the Sun is often
represented as an eye, provided with wings and feet. To the same
conception are also due the so-called mystic eye which is often met with
on Etruscan vessels of clay, and the part played by the eye in the
representation of Osiris.[296] The sun is called in the Malacassa
language _masovanru_, and in Dayak _matasu_, both of which expressions
denote _oculus diei_.[297] In the Polynesian mythology the sun is the
left eye of Tangaloa, the highest god of heaven, hence the Eye of
Heaven.[298] The sun accordingly possesses also the attributes of the
eye. Thus in the Hebrew poetry we meet with the _Eyelashes_[299] (i.e.
rays) of the Dawn, ʿaphʿappê shachar (Job III. 9, XLI. 10), as in the
Greek with ἁμέρας βλέφαρον (Soph. _Ant._ 104),[300] and in the Arabic
with ḥawâjib al-shams. This notion has so completely become an idiom of
the Arabic language, where the mythical force of the ‘sun’s eyelashes’
has retired into the background, that we even find the singular: ‘the
sun’s eyelash is risen,’ (ṭalaʿa ḥâjib al-shams) or ‘set’ (ġâba ḥâjib

Among more recent poets Shakespeare is most familiar with the expression
_eye, eye of heaven_, as descriptive of the sun:

                     Though thy speech doth fail,
           One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace;
           The sun _with one eye_ vieweth all the world.
                               _King Henry VI._ Pt. I. I. 4.

                       Or with taper light
           To seek the beauteous _eye of heaven_ to garnish.
                                         _King John_, IV. 2.

           All places that the _eye of heaven_ visits
           Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
                                    _King Richard II._ I. 3.

           When the _searching eye of heaven_ is hid
           Behind the globe and lights the lower world,
           Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen.
                                  _King Richard II._ III. 2.

Hence also the Dawn is spoken of as _looking about_:—

             Who is this that looketh forth as the morning?
                                   _Song of Songs_, VI. 10.

At the theological stage the mythical view was subjected to several
alterations. The holy book of the Parsees[302] calls the sun the _Eye of
Ahuramazda_. Many regard the name ʿAnamelekh, who from 2 Kings XVII. 3
was a deity of the inhabitants of Sepharvaim (the Babylonian Sipar of
the cuneiform Inscriptions), expressly designated in the national
documents a solar town,[303] as contracted for ʿÊn ham-melekh, i.e. _Eye
of the Sun-god Melelkh_, and so probably the sun itself.[304] Even in
the speech of a late Hebrew prophet (Zech. IV. 10) we find the same
view, somewhat modified: ‘_These seven are the eyes of Jahveh_, that run
over the whole earth.’ Here Jahveh’s eyes are undoubtedly to be referred
to the sun, and the number seven allows us to think of the seven days of
the week.[305] Similarly, it is said in the Atharvaveda IV. 16. 4 of the
messengers of Varuṇa; ‘descending from heaven they traverse the whole
world, and _inspect the whole earth with a thousand eyes_.’[306] To the
same tendency we must attribute names of places such as _ʿÊn Shemesh_,
‘Sun’s Eye,’ (e.g. Josh. XV. 7), and the Egyptian Heliopolis, Arabic
ʿayn shams;[307] which suggests the obvious conjecture that the Hebrew
ʿIr ha-cheres ‘city of the sun’ was originally and more correctly ʿÊn
ha-cheres. The emendation affects only the final consonant ר.[308]

The Indian singer (Rigveda I. 164. 14), says that the sun has a sharp
sight, and the same idea is preserved in a relic of Hebrew mythology,
which has attached itself to an historical person. Of King David, an
historical hero, it is written among other features borrowed from the
myth of the Solar hero (to which also must belong the idea that he takes
the life of his _giant_ adversary by _hurling stones_), that 'he was
ruddy, with beautiful eyes, and a good sight, admônî ʿim yephê ʿênayim
we-ṭôbh rôʾî' (1 Sam. XVI. 12). The red colour itself which is praised,
since the narrator evidently wishes to characterise David’s
handsomeness, shows us that these traits cannot have been invented
directly for the hero of this story; for it can scarcely be proved that
the Hebrews in ancient times considered reddishness an element of
beauty. But the red colour is admirably fitted to figures of the solar
myth, as we shall have further occasion to observe in the course of this
chapter. With this are connected the beautiful eyes and the good sight,
which are certainly taken from the mythical description of the blazing
midday sun. They are the relics of a mythic cycle only preserved in
fragments, and have been tacked on to the portraiture of an historical
hero, who had, like the Solar hero, to fight with a hostile giant. When
the sun appeared at noon with a red glow at its highest point in the
heaven, the men of old said ‘The Red one is looking down on the earth
with his perfect eyes and sharp sight.’ And he viewed the diminution of
the solar rays and heat as a weakening of his sight, which ended at
sunset with total blindness. Samson (Shimshôn), the hero whose solar
character Steinthal has raised above all doubt, ends his heroic career
by being made blind. In the Greek mythology the significance of one-eyed
and blinded persons is exhibited with equal clearness.[309] This
mythical idea is very clearly reflected in language. In Arabic, for
example, iṭlachamma or iṭrachamma signifies both _oculos hebetiores
habuit_ and _obscura fuit_ [nox]. The verb aġdana, from which aġdan is
derived, which is used of suffering from certain eye-diseases, expresses
the idea of darkness, and the word inchasafa unites the two meanings _to
be eclipsed_ (of the moon) and _to lose one’s sight_. Hence the
expression, al-leyl aʿwar, ‘the night is one-eyed.’[310] It becomes
clear from all this what is the meaning of the mythical words, ‘And when
Isaac was old, his eyes became too dim to see.’ It may also be mentioned
here that Shakespeare calls night the _eyeless_:—

                             Thou and eyeless night
                     Have done me shame.
                                  _King John_ V. 6.

§ 4. The battle of the Day with the Night is still more frequently
represented as a _quarrel between brothers_. At the very threshold of
the earliest Biblical history we meet a brothers’ quarrel of this kind,
the source of which is the nature-myth, spread out among all nations of
the world without exception. It is not difficult to prove that Cain
(Ḳayin) is a solar figure, and that Abel (Hebhel) is connected with the
sky dark with night or clouds. Here, as everywhere, investigation must
of course be guided by the nature of the personages in question, by the
matter of the story, and by the appellative signification of the names.
Cain is an agriculturist, Abel a shepherd. We have demonstrated in the
preceding chapter that agriculture always has a solar character, whereas
the shepherd’s life is connected with the phenomena of the cloudy or
nightly sky. Shepherds in mythology are figures belonging to the dark or
overclouded sky; whereas huntsmen and agriculturists are solar heroes.
The heaven at night is a great tent or a group of tents, with a great
piece of pasture close by, where the herds (the clouds) are driven to
feed. In German, to be sure, the expression _Himmelszelt_ (heaven’s
tent) is also used of the heaven by day, but this is a generalisation of
the original limitation to the nocturnal and cloudy sky. This limitation
is still acknowledged in the Hungarian language, where _sátoros éj_ is
said, ‘the tented (provided with many tents) night;’ e.g. by Vörösmarty
at the commencement of the second canto of his national epic ‘Zalán
Futása’ (the Flight of Zalán). And in Arabic, ‘Night spread out its
tent, and there arose thick darkness,’ is quite a familiar

The shepherd Abel (Hebhel) is accordingly a figure of the dark sky. This
is proved also by the signification of the name. For it denotes neither
_childlessness_, as some try to explain it by the help of Arabic, and on
the supposition that the first parents anticipated their son’s future
fate on giving his name, nor simply _son_, being explained from the
Assyrian. The Hebrew language itself is adequate to establish the proper
signification. The word denotes in Hebrew a ‘breath of wind;’[312] and
the wind stands in connexion with the dark sky. Another modification of
the same appellation is known to Hebrew mythology. As in other classes
of language _h_ and _y_ may interchange dialectically, so here beside
Hebhel (Abel) we have Yâbhâl (Jabal). This latter appellation is
etymologically either identical with the former, or if not, at least its
mythological identity can scarcely be questioned. Yâbhâl (from whence
comes mabbûl, ‘body of water,’ hence of the Deluge) signifies Rain (like
Indra). Rain and Wind are both attributes of the dark sky and the
night-sky. In Arabic the verb ġasaḳa denotes both the darkness of the
sky, and the rain, and (what exactly suits the mythical circle of ideas)
the flowing of milk from the udder. The rain is to the men of the
myth-creating age a milking of the cloud-cows, which the shepherd leads
out to pasture by night on the heavenly meadows. The verb aġḍana, of
which Freytag, following al-Jauharî, gives only the meaning _perpetuo
pluit coelum_, is known to the classical lexicographer of Arabic
synonyms also in the sense _it is dark night_. Similarly, aġḍafa denotes
both _obscura, atra fuit nox_ and _ad pluviam effundendam paratum et
dispositum fuit coelum_. In poetry also rain is often attached to night:
an old poet quoted by Ibn al-Sîkkît says,[313] ‘A dark night, during
which a drenching rain pours down upon the streets.’[314]

The identity of Abel and Jabal appears conspicuously in another
circumstance. Abel is introduced as a Herdsman. In the system of the
harmonising genealogy of Genesis, in which Jabal appears some
generations later, he is described as the ‘_Father of those that dwell
in tents and with cattle_’ (Gen. IV. 2, 20). Both features or rather
this identical feature told of both these Patriarchs, have a foundation
and are equally true. But in the method of the critical school of
Biblical exegesis these two accounts involve a contradiction which it is
attempted to solve, either by the usual supposition of different
narrators, or by minutely pressing the literal meaning of words and
setting up delicate distinctions. The acute Knobel, for instance,
pretends to know that 'Even Abel had kept cattle, but only small cattle,
and these only in his own district; Jabal invented the moving about with
cattle from one district to another.[315] It concerns us not to know how
far Jabal extended the area of his pasture, and within what narrow
limits Abel confined his: our assumption of the mythological identity of
the two designations solves the inconsistency without any resort to
minute distinctions.

Equally clear is also the Solar character of the name Cain (Ḳayin). This
word, which, with other synonymous names of trades, occurs several times
on the so-called Nabatean Sinaitic inscriptions,[316] signifies
_Smith_,[317] maker of agricultural implements, and has preserved this
meaning in the Arabic ḳayn[318] and the Aramaic ḳinâyâ, whilst in the
later Hebrew it was lost altogether, being probably suppressed through
the Biblical attempt to derive the proper name Cain etymologically from
ḳânâ ‘to gain.’ In Hebrew therefore it appears only as the name of the
first fratricide and of his duplicate Tubal-cain (Tûbhal-ḳayin), the
brother of Jabal, who is called the founder of the smith’s trade (Gen.
IV. 22), and stands to Cain in very much the same relation as Jabal does
to Abel.

Cain is accordingly the same mythological figure as Hephaestus and
Vulcan with the Greeks and Romans. But there are some other points which
determine his Solar character. First, there is the characteristic that
after the murder of his brother he built the first city, and called it
Enoch (Chanôkh, Gen. IV. 17). We have seen above, and I shall show still
more clearly in the treatment of the Myth of Civilisation, that in the
myths of all peoples the Solar heroes are regarded as the founders of
city-life, and that a fratricide often precedes the building of the
city. The agricultural stage, which is connected with the Solar worship,
overcomes the stage of nomadic life, which holds to the dark sky of
night or clouds; and, after conquering the herdsmen, the surviving
agriculturists build the first city. It will not surprise us if the
solution of the question raised by F. Lenormant, ‘pour en suivre toutes
les formes depuis Cain bâtissant le première ville Hanoch après avoir
assassiné Abel, jusqu'à Romulus fondant Rome dans le sang de son frère
Remus,’[319] proves the consistency and universality of the ideas of
mankind at the mythic stage in reference to this point. Whether the
connexion of the zodiacal figure of the Twins with this feature of the
myth is so close as this acute French scholar imagines, is an
independent question. The account of Cain as the first builder of a city
is accordingly a testimony to his Solar character. But far more
important testimony is afforded by the characteristic feature in the
story of Cain, that after the commission of the crime that fratricide,
laden with the curse of Jahveh, has to be ‘a fugitive and a vagabond in
the earth’ (Gen. IV. 11). We will pause a little at this mythic feature,
and passing beyond Cain, consider it in connexion with a larger group of
myths which exhibit the same.[320]

§ 5. The word which preeminently denotes the Sun in the Semitic
languages, and which, when the abundant synonyms produced by mythology
to designate the Sun had vanished, drove all other names of the Sun into
the background, viz. the Hebrew shemesh and the corresponding words in
the cognate languages, has been proved to descend from the etymological
basis of the idea of rapid motion, or busy running about. This original
sense gives the point of connexion with the Aramaic terms shammêsh ‘to
serve’ and shûmshemânâ ‘an ant.’[321] The same function which language
exhibits in the most prominent name of the Sun is also repeatedly shown
in mythology.

The myth views the Sun from the point of view of his rapid course,
hastening and continuous motion, or steady march forwards.

          Like a bridegroom coming out of the bridal chamber,
          Who exults like a hero to _run a course_.
                                              Ps. XIX. 6 [5].

Hence fiery, rapid horses are attributed to the Sun both in the
classical mythology and in Indian and Persian,[322] and no less so in
the Hebrew. The latter may be inferred from the fact that in the Hebrew
worship in Canaan there were horses dedicated to the Sun. King Josiah,
the zealot for Jahveh, was the first to abolish this worship (2 Kings
XXIII. 11). And Heinrich Heine gives the jesting couplet:—

                  Phoebus lashed his steeds of fire
                  In the Sun’s own cab with ire.[323]

To the same mythical conception must be referred the _Wings_ assigned to
the Sun or the Dawn, which are mentioned very frequently in the
classical mythology.[324] Just as the Egyptians and the Assyrians[325]
in their monuments express this aspect of the sun by the picture of a
winged solar disc, so the Hebrews, although they did not give expression
to their ideas in monuments and imitations which might have been
preserved to the present time, have in the extant fragments of their
poetical literature left behind them confirmation of the fact that they
conceived of the Sun and the Dawn in the same way. As they called the
wind ‘winged,’ so that the monotheistic singer imagines Jahveh as
‘flying on the wings of the wind’ (Ps. XVIII. 11 [10]), so he binds
wings also to the rapidly increasing light of the Dawn:—

          If I take the wings of the Dawn,
          And go down at the uttermost parts of the sea.[326]
                                               Ps. CXXXIX. 9.

Jahveh ‘makes the Dawn _flying_’ (literally _for flight_), as the
prophet Amos (IV. 13) says. The prophet speaks in this verse of the
regular phenomena of nature, not of exceptional physical changes, which
would allow us to take ʿêphâ as _obscuration_, as in Job X. 22; it is
therefore best to keep to the sense of _flying_. Joel (II. 2) says, ‘As
the Dawn, spreading out her wings over the mountains.’[327] Accordingly
the Dawn or the Sun is a bird, and the Persian expression murġ-i-saḥar
‘Bird of the Dawn’ becomes intelligible. When the sun sets, the runner
has stumbled and fallen to the ground; or the bird gliding through the
air has lost its power of flight and fallen into the sea. Hence comes
the use of ‘to fall’ of the setting sun: _cadit sol_, and in

               Ἐν δ’ ἔπες’ Ὠκεανῷ λαμπρὸν φαὸς Ἢελίοιο,
               ἔλκον νύκτα μέλαιναν ἐπὶ ζείδωρον ἄρουραν.

And in Arabic they say of the setting of the sun, wajabat al-shams, or
habaṭat al-shams,[329] verbs which are synonymous with waḳaʿa, ‘to
fall.’ We then understand (passing again to Hebrew) Isaiah’s exclamation
(XIV. 12), ‘How art thou _fallen_ from heaven, _Light-bringer, son of
the Dawn_!’

As the rising Dawn is said to spread out her wings, so the setting
evening sun _drops_ her[330] pinions, bends her wings downwards. This
expression, a relic of the mythic view, is retained in the Arabic
language. The Arab says of the setting sun, janaḥat; but although this
verb according to the lexicons denotes _inclinavit_ in general, yet
there can be no doubt that this _inclinatio_ was originally something
special, namely the bending of the wings, from whose name janâḥ, indeed,
the above denominative verb is formed. Ḥassân b. Thâbit,[331] a poet
contemporary with Moḥammed, says, ‘The sun of the day bent herself (i.e.
bent her wings) that she might set’ (wa-ḳad janaḥat shams-al-nahâri
litaġribâ). But when wings are attributed to the Night, the basis of the
conception is quite different from that which gives wings to the Sun or
the Dawn. In this case the thought is of covering and hiding.[332] In
this sense are to be understood such phrases as kâna-l-leyl nâshiran
ajniḥat al-ẓalâm, ‘Night unfolded the wings of darkness,’ or kâna-l-leyl
ḳad asbala ʿala-l-châfiḳeyni ajniḥat al-ẓalâm, ‘Night had thrown down
over the ends of the earth the wings of darkness.’[333] The frequent
expression fî junḥ or jinḥ al-leyl certainly belongs to this category.
Lexicographers who translate the word junḥ _pars noctis_, even on the
authority of native lexicons, e.g. al-Jauharî, who explains it as ṭâʾifâ
minhu ‘a portion of it,’[334] are mistaken. It must rather signify
‘under the wings of Night,’ which is also supported by the fact that,
besides junḥ al-leyl, fî junḥ al-ẓalâm is also found,[335] where _wings_
only can be understood.[336]

From all this it is easy to perceive that the solar figures of the myth
are brought into connexion with the idea of swiftness, flight, and
constant marching forwards; for rapid motion is one of the chief
attributes of the Sun which naturally present themselves to the eye and
the mind. From this mythical view of the rapid running of the Sun may
also be explained a feature in the German mythology which Holtzmann[337]
leaves unexplained. ‘The _Osterhase_ [Easter-hare],’ he says, ‘is
inexplicable to me; probably the hare is the animal of Ostara [the
goddess]; on the picture of Abnoba a hare is present.’ If Ostara, as
Holtzmann proves, is the sun or the sunrise, then the hare is easily
explained as indicating the quick-footed sun. The connexion of ideas
required to bring the hare into connexion with this view is one that
needs no proof. In the hieroglyphs also, when there is free choice among
various phonetic signs (e.g. with the vowel _u_), the figure of the hare
is generally chosen when the word expresses a rapid motion.[338] So the
Red Indians, in calling their Kadmus a great white hare, may have been
influenced (independently of the false popular etymology of the word
_michabo_[339]) by the conception of the Sun as a swift-footed

Abraham and his wife Sarah (the princess or queen of heaven—the Moon as
we shall see) expel Hagar (Gen. XVI. 6). The Moon is jealous of Hagar.
What does Hagar signify in this Hebrew myth? The cognate Arabic language
offers the most satisfactory basis of interpretation of this name.
Hajara, the root of the name Hâgâr, denotes ‘to fly,’ and yields the
word hijrâ, ‘flight,’ especially known from the flight of Moḥammed from
Mecca to Medina. The mythic designation Hâgâr is consequently only one
of the names of the Sun in a feminine form. The battle of the two
figures of the night-sky against Hagar is again that inexhaustible theme
of all mythology, the battle of Day with Night. With respect to this
particular name the Arabic language gives us still further light. While
ġaṭasha denotes both ‘to be dark’ and ‘to move slowly,’ the hot noonday
sun is described by the Arabs by the participle of the verb from which
we have explained the name Hagar, _al-hâjirâ_ or _al-hijîrâ_ ‘the flying
one.’ That this is not mere chance, but is connected with the mythical
order of ideas from which we deduced the designation Hâgâr for the Sun,
is further confirmed by the word barâḥi or birâḥ, also denoting ‘flight’
(from the Hebrew and Arabic root _brḥ_ ‘to flee’), and yet belonging to
the nomenclature of the Sun.

The case is the same with the ‘fugitive and vagabond’ life of Cain;
after the conquest of Abel the Sun wanders from place to place, and
leads a life of unrest and motion till night comes. A reminiscence of
the solar significance of Cain is even found in the Agâdâ, which makes
the sign granted for the safety of Cain to consist in the brightening of
the sun; or, according to another interpretation, in a horn, which grew
up on him from the moment of the promise.[341] It is well known that the
sun’s rays were mythologically called _horns_,—a meaning which the
language preserved.

§ 6. With this group of Solar figures of the Hebrew mythology which are
exhibited as _wandering_ or _rapidly marching forward_,[342] I also
class some others whose names alone lead us to recognise this
mythological character. First and foremost we must consider a word which
has been retained in the language beyond the mythical stage: the Hebrew
shachar, Arabic saḥar, ‘morning, dawn.’ This word is doubtless connected
with the verb sâchar, which denotes constant moving, wandering.[343] The
Arabic sâḥir ‘magician’ is the same word as the Hebrew sôchêr
‘merchant,’ both signifying originally those who are always travelling
about from place to place. The Hebrew verb shachêr ‘to seek’ relates
originally to the _movement_ of one who has lost something and goes
about looking for it. Although in the course of this chapter I shall
devote a special connected disquisition to Jacob’s sons, yet I must here
pick out a few beforehand to incorporate them in the class of solar
figures whose characteristic feature is that here discussed. To this
class belongs e.g. Âshêr, the name of a son of Jacob by his concubine
Zilpah. The name cannot be explained (according to Gen. XXX. 13) as the
‘Happy,’ or ‘Bringer of Happiness,’ since this signification of the root
(‘to be happy’) is only secondary to the fundamental meaning—applied,
not original. Language does not form originally expressions for ethical
notions of this kind, any more than the notion itself rises without
contact with something sensual, which may subsequently be transferred to
the ethical. The Arabic words for similar ideas spring up in a similar
way, e.g. muṣliḥ ‘successful’ denotes properly ‘one who _penetrates_
through something,’ &c. The root of Âshêr, in Hebrew âshar, in Arabic
athara (whence athar ‘a trace’), originally denoted _to march, go
forwards_ (Prov. IX. 6); intensively ashshêr, _to make_ some one _go
forward, to lead_, and as a noun, ashûr ‘way, path.’ From the same root
comes also the relative pronoun asher, which originally signified
_place_, (compare the Aramaic athar ‘place’); but we know that
expressions which serve as exponents of the category of _relation_, both
in time and space, generally start from the conception of space, as is
clearly seen in the Hebrew shâm, indicating originally the idea of
place, ‘there’ but also transferred to the expression of the idea of
time, ‘then.’[344] We see the same quite as clearly in the employment of
the Aramaic athar in the combination bâthar (from ba-athar) to denote
_after, afterwards_, properly _on the spot_.[345]

To this fundamental meaning of the root âshar ‘to march, go forward’ is
added the secondary application ‘to be happy,’ properly ‘to advance
prosperously.’ But the old mythical designation Âshêr is connected with
the original sense: since at the time when this mythical word was first
spoken the verb had not yet obtained its secondary sense, nor could yet
obtain it, as ethical ideas were still non-existent. Accordingly Âshêr
signifies ‘he who marches on,’ and is simply a solar name. Thus the
ancient Hebrew called the Sun, when he noticed the continual change of
his place on the horizon, and observed his constant movement. ‘Through
Asher,’ it is said, in a fragmentary hymn on Asher in Gen. XLIX. 20,
‘his bread is fat; he gives dainties for a king;’ for the sun is to the
agriculturist the beneficent element that hastens the ripening of his

This simple and, I hope, obvious explanation throws light on another
expression in Hebrew mythology, which stands in the closest connexion
with Asher. I mean the feminine form derived from the masculine sun, the
appellation Ashêrâ, on which Biblical interpreters and antiquaries have
had so much to say. Ashêrâ, as the feminine form of Âshêr, denotes what
the Hebrews regarded as the marriage-consort of the Sun. We know this of
the Moon, as I hope to show more fully in speaking of Sarah. Ashêrâ is,
therefore, an old Hebrew name of the Moon. In those passages of the Old
Testament which speak of the idolatry of the Hebrews in Canaan, Asherah
is named with Baal (the Sun-god): ‘The vessels that were made for Baal
and for Asherah and for all the host of heaven’ (as though for Sun,
Moon, and Stars), 2 Kings XXIII. 4; ‘And the children of Israel did that
which was evil in the sight of Jahveh, and forgat Jahveh their God, and
served Baal and Asherah,’ Judges III. 7. They probably served Asherah
too at the altar of Baal (see Judges VI. 25); but this is quite in the
spirit of the Canaanitish and Mesopotamian religious practice. One mode
of doing homage to the supreme God was to offer sacrifices and build
temples to his subordinate deity, just as any honour conferred on the
Satraps conduced to the greater excellence of the ‘King of kings.’ This
view is very general on the votive tables with cuneiform inscriptions;
so e.g. in an inscription in the Temple of Mugheir: ‘_In honore_ SIN
_domini deorum coeli et terrae, regis deorum ... templum_ Iz _deae
magnae condidi et feci_.’

Asherah is accordingly the _Wandering one_, and the moon is here made
feminine. A masculine word for the Moon, which, being common to all the
Semitic dialects (unlike the later, lebhânâ), must be one of the oldest
Semitic names for _moon_, viz. yârêach, expresses the same idea; for it
is derived from the noun ôrach, ‘a path, way,’ and stands for ôrêach
with the initial hardened[346] (like yâchîd ‘only,’ with initial y, yet
echâd ‘one;’ and yâshâr ‘straight,’ connected with the root under
discussion, âshar ‘to go forwards’). In Job XXXI. 26, the epithet
hôlêkh, ‘marching,’ is applied to the moon. Therefore the two plural
forms ashêrîm and ashêrôth are not identical (the former denoting
_objects of worship_, and the latter as ‘femininum vilitatis’ declaring
them to be in the opinion of the writer _objects of abomination_);[347]
but the masculine form is derived from the singular Âshêr, and the
feminine from the singular Ashêrâ.

§ 7. To the same series belong also the names Dân and Dînâ, which latter
is only a feminine to the first, and occurs again as a proper name in
Arabic.[348] It would be erroneous to regard the verb dîn ‘to judge’ as
the etymon: for this would give no solution of the question concerning
the nature and signification of the designations under review. Then, as
the Hebrew language itself offers no satisfactory _points d’appui_, we
are fully entitled to look for information to the cognate idioms. I
believe that the fundamental idea contained in the group of consonants
_Dn_ is extant in the Assyrian, where it expresses the idea of
_going_;[349] whence the Arabic dâna ‘to approach,’ the secondary dana,
and the adjective dunya, which denotes the near and visible world, in
opposition to al-âchirâ, the life beyond.[350] Consequently, Dân and
Dînâ must denote ‘he or she who marches on, or comes nearer,’ or ‘goes’
in general, synonymous with Âshêr, i.e. the Sun. In Arabic also
al-jâriyâ ‘who goes’ is one of the many names of the Sun which are
enumerated by Ibn al-Sikkît in his Synonymical Dictionary of the Arabic
Language.[351] Whilst of Dan no actual myth has reached us, and
etymology alone gives us any help in discovering his mythical character,
of Dinah on the other hand the chief source of our knowledge of Hebrew
antiquity has preserved a more material statement, telling of the love
of Shechem for Dinah and their ultimate union, and of the immediately
following murder of Shechem by Jacob’s sons. These are the features
which come under our view when we draw out the mythical kernel from the
mass of epical description surrounding it (Gen. XXXIV). From the
arguments of the Second Chapter the connexion of the noun shekhem with
the verb hishkîm may surely be treated as removed beyond all doubt, as
well as the fact that this word is a designation of the Morning-dawn. I
will add at this place, to complete what was discussed at p. 26, that
the Hebrew word shekhem seems to be etymologically connected with the
Arabic thakam, which signifies ‘way.’ Like most Hebrew words denoting a
_way_, this word shekhem must stand in connexion with the verbal idea of
‘marching forwards’—either by the verb being a _denominative_ (like the
German _bewegen_ from _Weg_), or inversely by the noun being a
_deverbal_. The changes of consonants which we find here are in
accordance with the law of the Semitic languages, namely:

 Arabic   ث th         Hebrew   שׁ sh               Aramaic  ת t, th

          ﺛﻝﺍﺜة                 שְׁלשָׁה shelôshâ               תְּלָתָא telâthâ

          ﺛوﺮ thaur             שׁוֹר shôr                    תּוֹרָא tôrâ

Therefore also:

          ﺛكم thakam   =        שְׁכֶם shekhem                 ——

The longing love of the Dawn for the Sun and her union with him—the same
theme which Max Müller in his essay on ‘Comparative Mythology’ has so
ingeniously traced in Indian and Hellenic myths—was told also by the
Hebrews; only that the Hebrew inverted the relation. When the Dawn
vanished and the Sun began to shine bright in the sky, the Hebrew said
of the union between the Dawn and the Sun that the Dawn snatched up the
Sun to himself and was united with her. Not long afterwards followed the
vengeance taken by the sons of Jacob (the night-sky), who, enraged at
the abduction of their sister, murder the ravisher and deliver her. This
is only the disappearance of the Sun, while the evening glow comes
forward, again independent, to inaugurate the dominion of the
Night.[352] The myth makes no distinction between the morning and the
evening glow, but treats them as identical phenomena. Therefore Shekhem
is made a son of the Ass (Chamôr); and there is no doubt that chamôr
(ass) has here the mythic significance which accompanies that animal
whenever it appears in the Aryan mythology.[353]

Zilpah also, the mother of Asher, is to be classed in the same group.
Any one who has cast even a superficial glance on the real meaning of
the myths of the Aryan nations, as now discovered and recognised, must
have noticed the peculiarity that the mythical relation of child to
parent does not always indicate a succession of what should precede and
what follow, but that the child is not unfrequently only a repetition of
the father or the mother, and is therefore to be considered identical
with them.[354] The present is a case of this kind. Âshêr is only a
repetition of his mother. The designation Zilpâ, the explanation of
which has been sought in vain in Hebrew—for the meaning ‘a drop’ can
hardly be maintained—finds a smooth and ready interpretation in Arabic,
where zalafa, as well as _zlp_, _zlb_ in Assyrian,[355] denotes ‘to
march on.’ So that Zilpâ also is ‘she that marches forward.’ Another
‘marcher forward’ is preserved by Arabian tradition, viz. Zalîchâ. She
is unmistakably a solar figure, and her name (_zlch_ has the same
signification ‘to march forward’) is perhaps even formally
connected[356] with that of Zilpâ, with whom she is identical. The
battle of the Sunshine with the Rainy Sky is the amorous contest of the
beautiful Zalîchâ (or, as the name is commonly but erroneously
pronounced, Zuleychâ) with Yôsêph ‘the Multiplier.’ Now, having been led
into the above digressions by the explanation of Cain’s flight, we
return to Cain again.

§ 8. We have just alluded to the fact that in the Hebrew mythology the
figures presented as children are frequently only _repetitions_ of one
of their parents.[357] This observation is found to be confirmed in the
case of the posterity which the Biblical genealogy in Gen. IV. derives
from Cain. Some of the descendants of Cain are quite as much solar
figures as their ancestor himself; and in an age which had advanced
beyond the stage of the formation of myths, and even beyond the
after-sentiment of mythology, this identity occasioned the idea that
these figures must stand in a genealogical connexion with the ancestor.
The same psychological process which in the employment of language
produces a specialisation or limitation in the sense of words originally
synonymous, is at work here also, forming from the numerous synonyms of
mythology genealogies, in which identical designations, after their
substratum has been personified, become his sons, grandsons, and
great-grandsons. Thus among Cain’s descendants none but solar figures
are to be found. In the demonstration of this fact, I limit myself to
those names which can be interpreted without at all forcing their
meaning. The very first, Enoch (Chanôkh), the son of Cain, from whom he
names the first city he built, is of pure solar significance. We have
above already, with Ewald, put his name in the class in which the Sun is
presented as the ‘Opener.’ The solar character of Enoch admits of no
doubt. He is brought into connexion with the building of towns—a solar
feature. He lives exactly three hundred and sixty-five years, the number
of days of the solar year; which cannot be accidental.[358] And even
then he did not die, but ‘Enoch, _walked_ with Elôhîm, and was no more
[to be seen], for Elôhîm took _him away_.’ In the old times when the
figure of Enoch was imagined, this was doubtless called Enoch’s
Ascension to heaven, as in the late traditional legend. Ascensions to
heaven are generally acknowledged to be solar features. Herakles among
the Greeks, Romulus the city-founder among the Latins, and several
heroes of American mythology,[359] agree in this. The same feature also
often attaches itself even to historical persons—e.g. to the legend of
the Prophet Elijah, the ‘hairy man’ who ascends to heaven on ‘a chariot
of fire and horses of fire,’[360] indeed this as well as other mythical
features has been better preserved in the case of this favourite hero of
Israelitish prophecy than in that of the former purely mythical

Wachsmuth[361] expressed a conjecture that the old Greek god Helios, who
drives round the vault of heaven on a fiery chariot, has a share in the
phenomenon, so frequent in modern Greece, that the prophet Ilias (Elias
or Elijah) is especially venerated on mountain-tops. The temples and
altars of Helios in ancient times were similarly situated on high hills;
and the casual similarity of sound between Ilios and Ilias, together
with the identity of the myths concerning each, in this case caused the
old heathen worship to be preserved and transferred to the name of the
Biblical prophet. But this certainly cannot have taken place, as Otto
Keller lately flippantly declared in a lecture on the ‘Discovery of Troy
by Henry Schliemann,’ 'from a sort of childish attention to the wants of
great Prophet, inasmuch as the people wished to make the fiery journey
as easy as possible for him, and therefore made him mount the chariot at
the nearest point to heaven.[362]

Enoch (Chanôkh) is introduced in another version of the genealogy (Gen.
V. 18), as son not of Cain but of Jered, who is separated by five
generations from Seth, Adam’s third son. But this genealogy has but
little importance for mythological investigation; indeed its two chief
original creations (Seth and Enos), do not belong to mythology at all.
The feeling of a later time rebelled against deriving all mankind from
the hated fratricide who bore the curse of God, and thus gave rise to
the two interpolated patriarchs and the Seth-genealogy, which runs
parallel with that of Cain: moreover, in proof of the honourable origin
of mankind, the son of Seth was made the author of the worship of
Jahveh, which is said to have begun in his time. The Seth-genealogy,
which answered better to the feeling and the ethical need of mankind,
then utterly expelled the Cain-genealogy. The author of the Book of
Chronicles, who knows only Adam, Seth, Enos, &c. as first-fathers, seems
either not to have known or intentionally to have ignored the other
genealogy, and keeps strictly to that in Gen. V. It is remarkable that
even in the Seth-genealogy among the ancestors of Enoch a Cainan (קֵינָן
Ḳênân) is named—a word which will be recognised by everyone who knows
the laws of the Semitic formation of words as a so-called nunnated form
of the word קַיִן Ḳayin, so that the two are really perfectly

Let us continue the consideration of Cain’s descendants. One prominent
figure is Lemech.[364] An obscure song, which he declaims before his two
wives, has given the interpreters much trouble with regard both to its
language and to its subject; and legend has made free with this song, as
it has with anything problematical. For us here this only is important,
that the song contains a self-accusation on the part of Lemech before
his wives, of having killed his own child. As Jephthah killed his
daughter, so the myth spoke of Lemech as a similar solar hero who killed
his child. The Sun today kills her child, the Night, whom she bore
yesterday evening. Among the children of Lemech we actually find Jabal
(Yâbhâl), of whom we have already spoken at length as denoting the Rainy
Sky. No doubt the ancient myth spoke of Jabal as the son who was
murdered by his solar father Lemech. Accordingly, the genealogy does not
continue the line of Jabal. Next to him his brother Jubal (Yûbhâl),
inventor of musical instruments, the Hebrew Apollo, is mentioned. It is
to solar gods such as Apollo, and heroes, that the invention of music, a
product of the settled mode of civilised life, was everywhere
attributed. But his name seems to have been chosen only on account of
its assonance to Jabal (a favourite practice with the Semites), and not
to belong to the ancient myth, but to owe its origin to the later legend
of civilisation.

That the brothers Tubal-cain and Jabal are only a repetition of Cain and
Abel I think I have already made evident. It must here be added that the
mother of Tubal-cain, the solar man, is named Zillah (Ṣillâ), ‘she who
_covers_, _overshadows_’—the Night, mother of the Sun or of the Day. The
Seth-genealogy concludes with one who is called son of Lemech—Noah
(Nôach), the founder of improved agriculture, who ‘gave men rest from
their work and the toil of their hands proceeding from the earth which
Jahveh cursed’ (V. 29). What else can this mean, but that Noah invented
agricultural implements? The Seth-genealogy accordingly disputes the
invention of these by Cain or Tubal-cain, and gives to the etymology of
the name Nôach, which really does denote ‘rest,’ an application which
makes it as impossible for it to belong to the ancient myth as for the
names Shêth and Enôsh. Noah is a regular hero of the legend of
civilisation; and the larger part of what the myth tells of him is a
product of the victory of Solarism, i.e. of agricultural life. He is the
first vine-grower, and a new ancestor of the human race, since all
mankind is derived from his three sons. The regular operation of the
laws of nature (Gen. VIII. 22), and social order and legality, are also
brought into connexion with him. The protection and forbearance, secured
to the beasts by the Nomad, ceases; the Agriculturist subdues the
beasts. But, on the other hand, with him begins the protection and
security of human life (Gen. IX. 2–5). Yet side by side with this legend
of civilisation we have in connexion with Noah a true _old_ solar myth,
which well deserves attention. After the introduction of
vine-cultivation Noah once makes overfree use of his discovery and gets
drunk; and in that condition ‘uncovers himself—takes off his clothes
(Gen. IX. 21). Only this last feature has any mythological interest; for
the previous one, which was attached to this germ, belongs to another
and later stage of formation of legends, since nothing could be told of
intoxication till the free use of wine was known and practised. The word
Nôach denotes 'him who _rests_.’ While the Sun of Day is called ‘he who
_goes_, _runs_, _wanders_,’ the Evening Sun, preparing to set, is ‘he
who _rests_.’ ‘Noah uncovers himself:’ after setting, the Sun is
shrouded in a covering which darkens his light, but in the morning he
throws off the clothes and becomes visible, spreading light and
brightness abroad. In a hymn to Ushas, the Dawn, the ancient Indian poet
says that she ‘uncovers her bosom’ (Rigveda, VI. 64. 2, 10). If the
intoxication is also to be accounted for, then this prominent
circumstance must describe the reeling motion with which the Sun,
exhausted by his long course, staggers towards his repose. The Agadic
tradition has preserved another element of the Noah-myth. The wicked
black son Ham (Châm), emasculates his father (Sanhedrîn, 70 a). The
emasculation of the Sun, when the Sun is male, is an expression of Aryan
mythology denoting the weakening of his rays before and at sunset.[365]
The black son, the Night, overcomes and emasculates his father, takes
all power from his rays and drives him to ruin.

§ 9. Thus we find Cain’s posterity to be repetitions of their ancestor,
mere solar figures of the old myth, brought by an unmythological age
into a genealogical connexion with the wandering and fratricidal solar
hero. It is the genealogy of the solar figures to which the data of the
legend of civilisation are attached; for the agriculturist always puts
civilisation into conjunction with the sun.[366] But besides this solar
pedigree, we possess also a nomadic one, starting from the myth of the
dark Night-sky—the genealogy of Abram (Gen. XI 10 sq.), which begins
with his ancestor Shem. But the name Shêm has the same signification as
Abhrâm itself, according to the lexicon. As Abhrâm is the ‘_High_
Father,’ so also the name Shêm denotes the ‘High;’ and from this name
the Semitic appellation of heaven, Hebrew shâmayim, Arabic samâ, is
derived. Like Abram, Abel, Jabal, Jacob, Lot &c., Shem too possesses
tents. ‘Elôhîm opens out (room) for Jepheth;[367] he (Jepheth) dwells in
the tents of Shem’ (Gen. XI. 27), is said in the extant fragment of an
ancient hymn. Jepheth (Yepheth) signifies the ‘Beautiful, Brilliant,’ if
it is connected with yâpheh; or ‘who spreads himself out,’ if the root
pâthâh is its origin; or ‘who opens,’ if with Gesenius and some later
writers we lay stress on the connexion of the sounds of pâthâh with
pâthach; but in any case it is a solar name. As the sun of the daytime
is observed wandering from place to place, it is not an unnatural idea
that the sun takes up his abode in the _tents_ of high heaven. ‘For the
sun he made a tent in them (the heavens).’[368]

It cannot be denied that in Abraham’s genealogy, as given in the Book of
Genesis, there occur some ethnographical appellations which have no
mythological meaning (e.g. Arpachshad). Still, the majority of names are
of a mythical character. Unfortunately, they must remain mere names to
us, as no material myth connected with these names is extant. Although
they seem to invite etymological attempts, as e.g. the names Shelach and
ʿÊbher, yet I shall resist the temptation, as it is not my business here
to indulge in vague speculations. But I may be allowed to remark that
there is one sentence in this genealogy which reflects the nomad’s life
again. ‘Peleg begat Reʿû:’ that is, taking these words, as they were
originally understood, appellatively and translating them literally,
‘The stream produces the pasture-land;’ the nomad owes his meadow-land
to the stream that meanders through the pasture and keeps the grass
fresh and green. So instead of ‘to lead the cattle to pasture,’ he says
also, ‘to lead them to the waters of rest.’ The psalmist of Ps. XXIII.
1, 2, says ‘Jahveh is my shepherd, I want nothing. He makes me lie down
in green pastures, he leads me to waters of rest.’

§ 10. We will now continue our contemplation of the contests which the
myth tells of the sky at night, in which we have already seen the dark
sky either conquering or conquered by his brilliant father or brother.
One of the most conspicuous names of the dark sky of night or clouds in
the Hebrew mythology, and containing a rich fund of mythical matter, is
Jacob. Etymologically we have already done justice to him. Now let us
see what the myth has to say of him. He endures hard struggles. His
father, ‘the _laughing_ sunny sky,’ loves him not. The hatred of his
brother Esau drives him from house and home; and at the place where he
takes refuge, he has to struggle against ‘the white one’ (Lâbhân), who,
if not his brother, is at least his near relative, and in the original
form of the myth was perhaps presented as his brother (see Gen. XXIX.
15). We must examine more closely the mythical character of these two
hostile brothers of Jacob. To make short work of it—both Esau and Laban
are solar figures. What we learn of them in the epic treatment of the
old myth found in the Old Testament, presents a multitude of solar
characteristics. We especially note this in Esau, whose _heel Jacob
grasps at their birth_ (Gen. XXV. 26). This mythical expression is in
itself clear enough: ‘Night comes into the world with Day’s heel in his
hand,’ or, as we should say, Night follows close upon Day, driving him
from his place. Nevertheless, we can further confirm this signification
of the mythical expression for the benefit of hesitating doubters by
showing that the same conception is found even in the later Arabic
poetry, where it is doubtless a residuum of an old mythical idea. For
Thaʿlabâ b. Ṣuʿeyr al-Mâzinî[369] says of the breaking of the dawn: ‘The
shining one stretches his right hand towards him who covers up;’ the Sun
puts out his hand towards the Night, grasps him, and pulls him forward,
whilst he himself retires; here therefore it is the same relation, only
inverted. Similarly, the poet al-ʿAjjâj says: ‘till I see the shoulder
of the brilliant dawn, when he springs upon the back of the black
night.’[370] This is spoken in quite a mythical tone, and expresses the
same idea as the Hebrew when he said ‘Jacob holds the heel of his red
brother in his hand,’ only that the Arabic words quoted speak of day
following after night.

‘Esau is a hunter, Jacob a herdsman, dwelling in tents.’ _The Sun is a
hunter_: he discharges his arrows, i.e. his rays, and does battle with
them against darkness, wind and clouds. Why should I adduce examples
from Aryan mythology, where this view occurs in manifold variations and
is one of the commonest?[371] The Sun’s arrows are golden, wherefore
Apollo is called χρυσότοξος Πύθιος (Pindar, _Ol_. XIV. 15). This
mythical idea is frequently reflected in the composition of language. In
Egyptian, the combination _st_ denotes ‘flame, ray, and arrow,’ all at
once; and the Slavonic strêla, with which the German _Strahl_ ‘ray’ is
connected, means ‘arrow.’[372]

‘The Sun can no longer bend his bow’ = he has lost his power, is
therefore an expression for the setting of the sun. When Herakles finds
himself too weak to bend his bow and shoot his arrows, he feels that his
end is approaching. When the Sun regains his powers at the outburst of
spring, after a long winter in which his arrows had been at rest,
Odysseus (Ulysses), a solar wanderer like Cain, seizes his bow to shoot
off his shafts again.[373] We see the same in the myths of the Semites.
An epithet of the Sun-god Bêl is Nipru, which, according to Sir Henry
Rawlinson, signifies ‘hunter;’[374] and the city Resen, the building of
which is attributed in the Bible to Nimrod, is called in the historical
cuneiform inscriptions the ‘City of the Hunter.’[375] This Nimrod
himself, against whom Abraham the Nomad contends in the same sense in
which Jacob the Nomad against Esau the Hunter, is a hunter (Gen. X. 9).
The etymological explanation of the name Nimrôd cannot be established
until the really primary signification of the root mârad has been
satisfactorily traced; for it may be considered certain, that at the
myth-creating stage mankind had no sense of the idea of ‘insurrection,’
which could only be formed after some advance in social life, and could
not therefore endow a word with that special meaning. This signification
can consequently only be secondary and metaphorical.[376] As to the
grammatical form of the name Nimrôd, it is not impossible that, like
Yiṣchâk ‘Isaac,’ Yiphtâch ‘Jephthah,’ &c., it is a verbal form. If so,
it would be the third person of the imperfect, formed by prefixing _n_,
as in Aramaic. Schrader[377] regards this prefixed _n_ in Nimrôd as a
sound used for the formation of _nouns_. I will also call to mind
incidentally that on Babylonian ground we meet also with the name of a
god Merôd.[378] The wars of Nimrod with Abraham are not preserved in the
Old Testament, but are in Agadic tradition, which has also retained from
the Nimrod-myth an expression of a truly solar character; that _three
hundred and fifty kings_ sit before Nimrod, to serve him.[379] Similarly
against Joseph, the giver of increase, the rainy sky, fight ‘the _men
with arrows_’[380] (baʿalê chiṣṣîm, Gen. XLIX. 23), ‘who exasperate him
and _shoot_ and persecute him.’ So again Jacob fights against Esau the
_hunter_. It is always the battle of the sky of Night and Clouds against
the Sun, who sends his arrows to repel the invader. One somewhat more
complicated mythological conception having reference to the arrows of
the sun is found on Hebrew ground. The sun and the moon stand still, and
then go in the direction of the arrows which were sent off before them.
This view is known to poetry, except that there it is Jahveh who shoots
the arrows, so that the sun and moon

     Walk to the light of thy (Jahveh’s) arrows,
     To the brightness of the glitter of thy spear.—_Hab._ III. 11.

The rays of the moon also are here designated arrows.

_Esau is a hairy man, Jacob a smooth man_ (Gen. XXVII. 11). ‘_The first
came out red, quite like a hairy mantle_’ (XXV. 25). For the present we
will put the redness aside, and pay particular attention to the element
of hairiness. Long locks of hair and a long beard are mythological
attributes of the Sun. The Sun’s rays are compared with locks or hairs
on the face or head of the Sun.

Helios is called by the Greeks the _yellow-haired_; and in Greek poetry
χρυσοκόμης or ἀκερσοκόμης is a frequent epithet of solar gods and
heroes. A Latin poet also calls the sun’s rays _Crines Phoebi_.[381] In
an American legend the Sun-god Bocsika is introduced as an old man with
a long beard; the Viracochaya of the Peruvians, the Quetzalcoatl of the
Toltecs, the Coxcox of the Chichimecs, solar figures all of them,
possess this strongly emphasized characteristic of the long beard.[382]
Indeed, this feature is sometimes ascribed in popular fancy to
historical personages, as e.g. to Julius Caesar, who was imagined to
have been born with long hair; and his name was popularly explained from
this circumstance—_caesaries_.

We must here consider a point in the history of Art, which occupied
archeologists about the years 1820–30, and especially the meritorious
numismatist Ekhel. I refer to the representation of Janus as _biceps_,
_vultu uno barbato_, _altero imberbi_, which some regarded as the old
traditional conception of Janus, while others thought it comparatively
modern; the question of age is, however, not a question of principle at
all.[383] In any case it may be assumed as probable that this picture of
the two-headed ‘Opener,’[384] is not an accidental idea, devoid of all
mythical import; but that on the contrary, the two bearded and beardless
representations of the Sun-god express two points in the Sun’s life; he
appears in the morning and evening (as ‘Opener’ and ‘Closer,’ _Janus
Patulcius_ and _Janus Clusius_) with smooth, beardless face, i.e.
without powerful rays, but in the middle of the day with a large beard
and hairy face.[385]

When the Sun sets and leaves his place to the darkness, or when the
powerful summer sun is succeeded by the weak rays of the winter sun,
then Samson’s long locks,[386] in which alone his strength lies, are cut
off through the treachery of his deceitful concubine Delilah, the
‘languishing,[387] languid,’ according to the meaning of the name
(Delîlâ).[388] The Beaming Apollo, moreover, is called the Unshaven; and
Minos cannot conquer the solar hero Nisos, till the latter loses his
golden hair.[389]

It is then clear what the description of Esau as a man born hairy in
contradistinction to the smooth Jacob denotes—the same as the epithet
îsh baʿal sêʿâr ‘hairy man’ (2 Kings I. 8) in the description of Elijah:
the rays of the sun, whose mythical representative Esau is. It is a more
difficult question whether the solar character of this hero is capable
of proof from his name. If, not to have recourse to non-Hebraic
languages, we derive ʿÊsâv from the Hebrew verb ʿâsâ ‘to do,
accomplish,’ and explain it as the ‘Accomplisher, Worker,’ or the like,
then this description of a solar hero is suitable enough for a legend of
civilisation, which sees in the sun the power that brings to perfection
the corn and fruit, and produces in human society a legally secured
condition of social life, in short, the Perfecting Agent. But such a
description is less consonant with the sense possible to the ancient
myth, in which the ideas and conceptions just mentioned were not yet
developed. If then the name ʿÊsâv cannot be etymologically explained in
the spirit of the oldest mythical circle of ideas, we are necessarily
driven to conjecture that the appellation does not belong to the oldest
stratum of the materials of Hebrew legends, but was introduced by a
legend of civilisation. This conjecture appears all the more probable
when we remember that Jacob’s hostile brother in the Bible itself bears
another name besides Esau, much more expressive and suited to the
earliest period of the formation of legends; namely, Edôm ‘the Red.’ In
later times, when the original signification of the myths was entirely
forgotten, these two names Esau and Edom were found in the story of the
brothers’ quarrel, as appellations of the brother with whom Jacob
fights. Attempts were made to harmonise them; and the name ‘the Red’ was
connected with the _red_ pottage (Gen. XXV. 30), as well as with the
more characteristic feature belonging to the old mythic stage, that the
hostile brother was admônî, ‘of a reddish colour.’ But the name Esau
also can be rescued for the old myth, if we connect this name with the
Arabic aʿtha ‘hairy,’ which is etymologically related to the name
Esau.[390] Thus the name Esau would come in contact with the
above-discussed mythic characteristic of the Solar hero, that he is an
îsh sêʿâr, a hairy man.[391] In the Phenician mythology the antagonist
of Usov (whom those who do not utterly reject the authenticity of the
statements of Sanchuniathon identify with Esau) lives in tents and is
called Shâmînrûm ‘the high heaven,’[392] i.e. the dark night-sky. The
identity of the conceptions _Abh-râm_ and _Yaʿakôbh_ would find further
confirmation here. We are led to a different series of solar
characteristics by the name Edôm, an unquestionably ancient designation
of the Solar hero. We will consider together the names Edôm and Lâbhân,
both appellations of hostile brothers of the Night-Sky. But before we
begin this, I will mention another contest of Jacob’s, to which the
original writer devotes only a few lines: ‘Then Jacob remained behind
alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the morning rose. And he
saw that he could not do anything to him, so he knocked his
thigh-socket, and Jacob’s thigh-socket was dislocated in wrestling with
him. And he said, Let me go, for the morning has risen’ (Gen. XXXII.
25–27 [24–26]). Thus Jacob fights with a man who cannot conquer him, but
whom he must let off at the rise of the morning. This is the Dawn, who
wrestles with the end of the night, and in the end breaks loose, so as
to go up to the sky. The Night is a _limping_ figure (ver. 32 [31]).
This again is a feature in the myth of the hero of darkness, which we
meet with also in classical mythology, e.g. in Hermes, κυλλοποδύων.[393]
It probably indicates the opposite to the swiftness and the rapid
never-ceasing course of the day, the sun and the dawn.

§ 11. Jacob is pursued and made to fight by the _Red_ and by the
_White_. Both words are designations of the same thing, _i.e._ the Sun.
It strikes us as very strange that the myth should call the same object
now red, now white. To appreciate this fact, we must think of the
various stages which the sense of colour has to pass through in old
times, until it is fully developed. Even in much later times we come
across extraordinary fluctuations of language on Semitic ground in the
designation of colours for solar phenomena. As the demonstration of this
fact appears important to our present subject and things in connexion
with it, the reader will excuse me for pausing longer than usual at this
point and taking some excursions from the centre of our investigations.
The names of colours were in ancient times very vague; the primitive man
could not elevate himself to make any sharply defined distinction and
classification of colours. _Red_ and _white_ are therefore here not
exactly red and white, according to our modern distinction of these
colours, but rather _light_ or _bright-coloured_. It is a great merit of
the late Lazarus Geiger, too early called home, to have most clearly
exhibited this phase of the history of the development of ideas and
their expression in language, and illustrated it with the light of
psychology and comparative philology.[394] His ingenious researches have
raised to a certainty the theory that the capacity for distinguishing
colours has arisen, both in the individual and in the whole race, in the
course of history, through gradual general development; that its
beginning follows very late after the beginnings of other intellectual
capacities; and that, even after man had grasped the distinction of
different classes of colour, the _fixing_ of his conceptions of colour
made very slow progress, so that he often attributes first one and then
another colour to the same object. The shading-off of colours, when once
understood, has yet been fixed in the human mind with such difficulty,
that we find in many languages the most helpless wavering in the use of
names of colours. As this phenomenon, important in man’s mental
development, is no less so in relation to the origin and the
understanding of the elements of myths, we will pause over Geiger’s
disquisitions, to consider still further the fluctuating nature of the
designations of colour in language, and especially to notice how far
from clear and unsullied a reflexion impressions of colour cast on
language, their natural medium of expression. We will however stay in
the neighbourhood of the proper subject of investigation, and bring only
Semitic words under consideration. Let us pick out the designations of
Gold in this field. We cannot say in general terms of the Semitic
languages that in the designation of gold and silver they do not express
the optical difference between them, as a scholiast remarks in reference
to Homer; for the appellations both of gold as _brilliant_,
_shimmering_, and of silver as _pale_, prove that at least the different
shine of the two metals was observed at the stage of the formation of
language.[395] Far less definite, however, than this distinction of the
two according to the general impression made on the sight, is the
designation of the sensation made by each separately. The appellations
of gold in Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic, zâhâbh, dahabhâ, ḏahab, denote
_brilliant_ in general; whereas the Assyrian and Phenician[396] word for
gold, ḥuraṣu (which is the same as the Hebrew chârûṣ), expresses no
optical sensation.[397] The former appellations describe an optical
sensation; but no definite colour-sensation. Indeed, even a late Arabic
poet says of gold: al-ḏahab al-nârî,[398] ‘the _fire-like_ gold,’ which,
if a description of colour, is a very vague one. Ruʾbâ b. al-ʿAjjâj, an
Arabic poet living in the second century of the Hijrâ, says:[399]

    Hal yanfaʿunî kaḏabun sichtîtu * au fiḍḍatun au dahabun kibrîtu?
          Will a great lie save me? * or silver, or _sulphur-gold_?

Here gold and sulphur are compared together as similar, at all events in
colour, for colour is the only possible _tertium comparationis_ between
them; and in fact we also find in Arabic the expression ‘yellow sulphur,
as if it were gold’ (kibrît aṣfar kaʾannahu ḏahab).[400] I lay
particular stress upon this, because a common phrase among the Arabs is,
al-kibrît al-aḥmar ‘red sulphur,’ to denote a peculiar person, one
without his equal, inasmuch as there is no red sulphur. Now gold, of all
things, is commonly used both in the later literature and in popular
speech with the epithet _red_ (al-ḏahab al-aḥmar). This phrase, as
Osiander has proved,[401] occurs also in Himyaric, and passed from
Arabic into Persian and Turkish (in Persian zeri surch; in Turkish ḳizil
altyn), and is used especially when minted gold is opposed to silver
coins. The former is _red_ money, the latter _white_: e.g. wa-malaʾtum
aydîkum min al-ḏahab al-aḥmar wal-fiḍḍâ al-beyḍâ ‘you have filled your
hands with _red gold_ and _white silver_;’[402] dihhezâr dînâr zeri
surch, ‘ten thousand dînârs of _red gold_.’[403] In a very noteworthy
essay, Belin has shown with reference to Turkish that in the Ottoman
Empire the metal money is divided into _white_, ‘aḳ,’ and _red_,
‘ḳizil’;[404] and in Egypt at the present day the silver piaster is
called abyaḍ ‘white,’ to distinguish it from the copper money _chorde_.
Muʿâwiyyâ said to Ṣaʿṣaʿâ, ‘Thou Red one;’ and he answered, ‘Gold is
red.’[405] Thus we see that _red_ has become the constant designation of
the colour of gold. Now in what harmony does this stand with the
above-quoted designation, ‘sulphur-coloured gold,’ when we consider at
the same time the proverbial kibrît aḥmar ‘red sulphur’?

Ethiopic designates gold, not by a derivative of the root ‘ḏhb,’ like
the other languages of the same stock, but by the word waraḳ. We cannot
decide _a priori_ whether in its origin this word expresses a
colour-sensation or not. In Arabic also we find waraḳ or wariḳ in a
similar signification, and I can scarcely believe that it must be thrown
out of the original treasury of the Arabic vocabulary. Von Kremer
classifies it with the Arabic words borrowed from the Persian stock, and
refers it to the Huzwâresh _warg_.[406] In old time it was equivalent to
‘property, goods.’[407] The poet Suḥeym, an elder contemporary of
Moḥammed, says in a little poem, ‘The poems of the slave of the
Banû-l-Ḥasḥâs on the day of competition are worth as much as noble birth
and waraḳ (property);[408] and in some of the traditional sayings of
Moḥammed a collateral form of the same word, riḳâ, denotes 'money.’[409]
The Arabic lexicographers give the signification of both forms as
al-darâhim al-maḍrûbâ ‘stamped coins,’ drachmas. In the more general
signification we find waraḳ used by Abû Nuwâs in a poem of youth or
rather childhood. The poet Ibn Munâdir, finding little Abû Nuwâs leaning
against a pillar in the mosque, took a great fancy to him, and addressed
an erotic poem to him; upon which the boy extemporised the following
verses, and wrote them on the back of the letter:

    You write me a letter of praise without any waraḳ (present);
        That is like a house built on a foundation of reeds;
    But I should think it much pleasanter than your eulogy on me,
        If you would send me a pair of black shoes and a fine dress.
    If you are willing, do get me a waraḳ (present): if you do so
        I shall not turn you away.[410]

We see clearly from this example how general the meaning of waraḳ is in
Arabic; even a pair of shoes and a dress are included in it. It is,
however, probable that the word, which certainly comes from the south of
Arabia, originally denoted specially _gold_, but being supplanted in
this narrow sense by ḏahab in ordinary Arabic, was applied first to
gold-money, then to money generally (even of silver), and lastly by a
further generalisation to goods and objects of value of all kinds. Its
South-Arabic origin is also confirmed by the fact that it occurs in
Himyarite,[411] beside ḏahab and kethem; and there is no reason for
supposing, with Halévy, that it denotes specially _de l’or en feuilles_,
contrasted with _de l’or en poudre_.[412] On the other hand, it must be
noticed that the root waraḳ in the Semitic languages designates a
_colour_, either _green_ or _yellow_, and that it is probably owing to
this circumstance that gold is in Ethiopic called waraḳ. But this word
of colour itself is very fluctuating. Whilst in Ethiopic it designates
the colour of gold, in Hebrew it gives a name to _grass_ (yereḳ), and
similarly in Arabic the green leaves are called waraḳ, notwithstanding
which its diminutive urayyiḳ[413] (from auraḳ) denotes a _dark brown_
camel; in irḳân it returns again to the notion _yellow_ or _reddish_.
The Hebrew of the Talmûd and the Targûm employs yârôḳ (which in Biblical
Hebrew is mostly used for _green_, but sometimes of a pale face for
_yellow_, e.g. yêrâḳôn ‘jaundice’) chiefly for a green colour, of
vegetables and precious stones;[414] nevertheless, we find in the Talmûd
(Bab. Nedârîm, 32. a) hôrîḳân bezâhâbh ‘he made it yârôḳ with gold,’
i.e. made it yellow, gilded it. We have in Ps. LXVIII. 14 [13] yeraḳraḳ
chârûṣ, _flavedo auri_. There is a noteworthy passage in Berêshîth rabbâ
(sect. 4 near the end), in which the various colours of the sky are
mentioned: red, black, white, and also yârôḳ.

The above remarks show how little consistency and distinctness there is
in the relation of the names derived from colour to the various types of
colour. The same result is reached when we inquire, with what
designations of colour other objects are combined. For we find almost
everywhere the greatest fluctuation, whether we consider the
etymological value of the names themselves, or study the adjectives
attached to them. In the most favourable cases only the class of
colour—light or dark—is observed; but within the class nothing definite
is found. Arabic especially is a field offering abundant matter for
observation and demonstration, on which the excellent labours of Lazarus
Geiger might be corroborated, completed and extended; but I cannot
undertake such a task at this place. We will now limit our observations
to the point which has to be established here: the views of colour which
were attached to day and night, the sunny sky and the night-sky, the
grey of the morning and the red of the evening.

In the Vedas, when day and night, sun and darkness, are opposed to each
other, the one is designated _red_, the other _black_. ‘The gods have
made the night and the dawn of different hue, and given them _black_ and
_red_ colours’ (Rigveda, I. 73. 7). ‘The _red_ mother of the _red_ calf
comes; the _black_ leaves his place to her’ (Rigveda, I., 113. 2). ‘The
dawn comes forward, driving off _black night_’ (Rigveda, I. 92. 5:
compare VI. 64. 3).[415] In Hebrew poetry we find no similar case, in
which the opposite colours of the antagonistic forces are thus clearly
set against one another. Indeed, we do not even find that a separate
colour-epithet is given to each. Still it seems certain that at least
Night was brought into connexion with the colour black;[416] otherwise a
sentence such as ‘Darker than Blackness (châshakh mish-shechôr) is their
form’ (Lam. IV. 8) would be impossible. We may infer from this that the
notions of chôshekh ‘Darkness’ and shechôr ‘Blackness’ were closely
connected together. This is in Arabic one of the commonest combinations.
The dark night is sometimes called al-leyl al-ḥâlik—a word denoting the
deepest shade of blackness. To the same class also belongs adʿaj (in
leyl adʿaj ‘black night’), another adjective denoting _black_.
Chudârîyya is an Arabic word which denotes both _raven_[417] and _night_
(one cannot help thinking of the Hebrew ʿerebh ‘evening’ and ʿôrêbh
‘raven’). The verb iktaḥal is used of Night: ‘She has coloured herself
with the black dye[418] al-kuḥl, e.g. wa-l-ẓalâm iḏa-ktaḥal (Rom. of
ʿAntar, VI. 53. 12). Poetry gives the same evidence as language itself.
As in other literatures, so in Arabic, darkness is the term of
comparison for everything black. The black hero of the best loved Arabic
popular romance is pictured as 'black as the colour of darkness, riding
on a horse which resembles the darkness of night’ (aswad kalaun al-ẓalâm
ʿala jawâd min al-cheyl yaḥkî ẓalâm al-leyl: Rom. of ʿAntar, IV. 183.
14). This is the source of a poetic figure much used by Arabic poets in
application to a mistress with light features and dark hair. So Bekr b.
al-Naṭṭâḥ says (Ḥamâsâ, p. 566): ‘She is as white as if she were herself
the brilliant noonday-sky, as if her _black_ hair were the _night_ which
darkens it.’ The black hero ʿAntar, contrasting his own colour and that
of his beloved ʿAblâ, compares himself regularly with the night, and her
with the dawn (e.g. ʿAntar, VII. 136 penult.). She herself once
addressed him thus, ‘Go, in the name of God, thou colour of night’ (sir
fî âmâni-llâhi yâ laun al-duja, VI. 162. 4), and he often repeats the
idea that his colour and that of night are the same. Thus (XVIII. 66.

 In akun yâ ʿAblata ʿabdan aswadâ * fasawâdu-l-leyli min baʿḍi ṣifâtî
 Wafachârî annanî yauma-l-liḳâʿi * yachḍaʿu-ṣ-ṣubḥu liseyfî wa-ḳanâti.

 Though I am, ʿAblâ, a black slave,
     And the blackness of night is one of my qualities,
 Yet it is my boast that on the day of encounter
     The Dawn bows before my bow and spear.

As a black man is compared to night, so, inversely, the latter is
likened to a black gipsy. Abû-l-ʿAlâ al-Maʿarrî, who is remarkable for
accurate pictures of nature, says of the sky dazzling with stars, ‘This
night is a Gipsy’s bride, decked out with pearls:’[419]

 Leylatî hâḏihi ʿarûsun min az-zan- * ji ʿaleyhâ ḳalâʿidu min

On another occasion the same poet (II. 106. 4) compares the night to
black _ink_:

 Katabnâ wa-aʿrabnâ bi-ḥibrin min ad-duja * suṭûra-s-sura fî ẓahri
    beyḍâʾa balḳaʿi.

And one of the most ordinary descriptions of _darkening_ is that ‘Night
put on her _black_ adornments.’[421] From all this it is seen that it is
perfectly usual and matter-of-course to associate Night with the colour
_Black_.[422] Indeed, by the Black the poet understands _par excellence_
Night. Abû-l-ʿAlâ al-Maʿarrî, the poet so frequently quoted in this
section, says at one place (_ibid._ I. 131.2): ‘The _Black_ one, whose
father is unknown to men, has shrouded me in clothes from himself (i.e.
in black or dark ones).’ Nevertheless, we can convince ourselves here
too, that even this point of the conception of colour is not devoid of
fluctuation. For the blackness of night is not nearly so distinct a
conception as ours when we speak of a black night. On the contrary, it
is not yet separated from the general category of _dark colour_, to
which green and blue also belong. When the land of the Banû Madhij was
visited with drought, the tribe sent out three explorers (ruwwâd, from
the singular râʾid), to look for suitable pasturage. One of them says in
his report in praise of the splendid green meadows of the land he
recommends, that the surface of the land is _like night_, so green is
it.[423] Al-Afwah, a Preislamite Arabic poet and sage,[424] in a verse
quoted by the lexicographer al-Jauharî (under the root _sds_),
associates Night with the colour of _sudûs_. So also Abû Nucheylâ,[425]
a later poet who lived under the Abbasid dynasty as their laureate, says
‘Put on as thy shirt Night, black and dark like the colour of _sundus_’:

 Waddariʿî jilbâba leylin daḥmasi * aswada dâjin mithli

Another anonymous poet, or rather verse-monger, says in the same sense
‘Among the nights a dark night, when the sky is like the colour of

 Waleylatin min-al-layâlî ḥindisi * launu ḥawâshîhâ

But sudûs and sundus denote a garment the colour of which is regularly
mentioned as achḍar ‘greenish.’ So, e.g., twice in the Ḳorân (Sûr.
XVIII. 30, LXXVI. 21), where the joys and delights of Paradise are
described, _green sundus garments_ are promised to the faithful; and
similarly in a tradition mentioned by al-Ġazâli[428] we find it said of
men who become brethren in God, ‘Their beauty shines like the sun, and
they are clothed in _green sundus garments_’ (wa-ʿaleyhim thiâb sundus

But this uncertainty of the colour which is associated with the Night is
far less prominent than the fluctuation which prevails when the colour
of the Day has to be described. In the former case, with a few
exceptions based on the impression which a certain peculiar night may
have made on the mind of the speaker or poet, black is by far the
prevailing colour. Not so with the colour-distinctions of the solar
phenomena. Here usage wavers among three colours, which are usually
connected with the various stages of the Sun himself: _golden-yellow_,
_red_, and _white_. The greatest definiteness is found to exist with
reference to the first. It refers mostly to the dawn and sunset. In
Aramaic the early morning is ṣafrâ. Etymologically this word is capable
of many explanations which justify the above-expounded mythical
conceptions of the dawn. It may be explained, as the soundest
lexicographers on Semitic ground do explain it,[429] to denote _curled
locks of hair_, or _one who springs, leaps_. Both explanations take us
back to mythic attributes of the morning-sun; in the second we see the
morning-sun springing up to heaven from behind the hills like a bird
(ṣippôr). But I believe that the word ṣafrâ is related to aṣfar, a
colour-name in Arabic, which, though like all such it has an extremely
vague signification, and may even mean _nigredo_, prevailingly indicates
a golden-yellow colour. Now while the Aramaic ṣafrâ is exclusively the
morning-sun (compare Ἢὼς κροκόπεπλος, Iliad, VIII. 1, and μελάμπεπλος of
the night), in Arabic the colour-word in question is prevailingly
applied to the evening-sun: ‘Until upon him came the end of the day, and
the Sun put on the garment of yellowness’ (ila an atâ ʿaleyhi âchir
al-nahâr wa-labisat al-shams ḥullat al-iṣfirâr, Rom. of ʿAntar, VI. 244.
1). Another example, in which the succession of time comes out with
still greater clearness, is: ‘They had defeated al-Noʿmân at noon; then
they took rest till the Sun put on the garment of yellowness, and
towards evening dust appeared before them’ (wa-kânû ḳad sabaḳû al-Noʿmân
bi-niṣf al-nahâr wa-achaḏû râḥâ ḥatta labisat al-shams ḥullat al-iṣfirâr
wa-ʿind al-masâ ṭalaʿ ʿaleyhim ġobâr, Rom. of ʿAntar, VI. 35. 2). It is
remarkable that in Egyptian the setting sun is said to throw out rays of
_tahen_—a metal distinguished for its saffron colour, which is
frequently contrasted with the colour red.[430] Chabas finds this
contrast to constitute a difficulty in the comparison with the setting
sun. Semitic analogies, however, show that the association of saffron
colour with the sun, especially the evening-sun, is not confined to
Egyptian. No case on Arabic ground is as yet known to me in which this
yellowish colour, al-iṣfirâr, is attributed to any other stage of the
sun’s course except the evening. But there is the word aṣbaḥ (from ṣubḥ
‘the early morning’) ‘morning-coloured,’ used of the lion, which is said
to denote a colour near to aṣfar.[431] At all events, the Aramaic ṣafrâ
and the Arabic usage teach us that a yellow colour is in Semitic an
attribute of both the morning- and the evening-sun. It is very different
with the two other colours, white and red. There we meet with greater
fluctuations. Sometimes the morning-sun is described as white, in
comparison with the sun of the advanced day; sometimes the former is
bright red and the latter white:

 Kaʾanna sana-l-fajreyni lammâ tawâlayâ * damuʾl-achaweyni zaʿfarâni
 Afâḍa ʿala tâlîhima-ṣ-ṣubḥu mâʾahu * faġayyara min ishrâḳi aḥmara

 As if the light of the two daybreaks when they follow one after the
     Were the blood of the two brothers saffron and red.
 The dawn poured its waters over the latter,
     And changed into white its deep red.[432]

At its very first appearance the morning-dawn is of saffron colour, then
a bright red comes, and the further the day advances, the whiter it
becomes. The two daybreaks (al-fajrân), as the scholiast observes on
this passage, are al-kâḏib wa-l-ṣâdiḳ—the _lying_ or supposed one, which
precedes the true dawn, and the latter itself. The very poet, however,
from whom I quote this fragment, at another place exactly inverts the
order of colour: representing the white or grey colour as appearing
first, and then passing into the reddish or saffron. In a poem to a
friend, in which he gives a beautiful description of night, he brings
forward Night as in love with the stars. But she grows old—

 Thumma shâba-d-duja wa-châfa min al-haj- * ri faġaṭṭa-l-mashîba

 And Night grew grey, and feared the desertion [of her lover, the starry
 So she dipped her grey hair into saffron.[433]

The idea that the poet intends to express here is, that Night at its
latter end becomes grey, when the grey morning begins to appear, and
that to preserve the appearance of youth and be still acceptable to her
lover she must put on red paint. But even the brightness of the sun by
day (ḍiâ al-nahâr) is compared by the same poet to the grey hairs of an
old man (II. 226. 2), as is also the brightness of the stars:[434]

 Raʾâhâ salîlu ṭ-ṭîni wa-sh-sheybu shâmilun * lahâ bith-thureyyâ
    wâ-s-simâkeyni wa-l-wazni.[435]

 He that was brought out of clay [Adam] saw it [the world], when its hair
    was all grey,
     With the Pleiades, the two Fishes and the Balance.

We find the same figure, of which we have seen Abû-l-ʿAlâ to be so fond,
used by Abû-l-Ḥasan ʿAlî b. Isḥâḳ al-Waddânî, a Maġreb [North African]
poet, who says of the morning: ‘It is like the greyness which spreads
itself over the black hair of youth (the black night):’

 Dâna-ṣ-ṣabâḥu wa-lâ ata wa-kaʾannahu * sheybun aṭalla ʿala sawâdi

So, inversely, when the hair grows grey it is said ‘The dark night is

From all these cases it may be gathered that the progress of the sun
from the dawn to the full day is treated sometimes as a transition from
a whitish to a reddish colour, sometimes as the reverse. Sometimes the
redness of morning begins, and turns into white; sometimes the greyness,
which passes into red.[438] But both conceptions are also found combined
in a single idea: thus, for instance, al-ʿArjî the poet says:

 Bâtâ bi-anʿâmi leylatin ḥatta badâ * subḥun talawwaḥa
 They both passed a joyous night, until began
 The morning to appear, like a red horse with white forehead-spot

Some already-cited examples have enabled us to observe that when day is
contrasted with night, it is done by calling the night black and the day
white. To the former instances I will now add another for clearness’
sake: ‘Till the whiteness of the day became black’ (ḥatta ʿâda bayâḍ
al-nahâr sawâdan, Rom. of ʿAntar, XXV. 5. 4). The attribute _white_,
applied to the sun of the advanced day, is especially clear in a passage
which I must not omit to mention. The poet al-Mutanabbî says:

 Azûruhum wa-sawâdu-l-leyli yashfaʿunî * wa-anthanî wa-bayâḍu-ṣ-ṣubḥi
    yuġrî bî.
     I visit them when the _blackness of the night_ aids me;
     And I retire when the _whiteness of the morning_ drives me away.

A critic[440] remarks on this passage that the writer ought to have
spoken of the _day_ rather than of the _whiteness of the morning_, as
the rhetorical law of al-muḳâbalâ ‘antithesis’ demands as the opposite
to Night not Dawn, but Day. Thus ‘the whiteness of day’ would be better.
Another passage with the antithesis is contained in Ḥarîrî: ‘The white
day becomes black’ (iswadda-l-yaum al-abyaḍ).[441] This use of language
is characteristically exemplified in the expression sirnâ bayâḍa jauminâ
wa-sawâda leylatinâ, ‘we travelled night and day’ (literally, ‘we
travelled during the whiteness of our day and the blackness of our
night,’ Aġânî, II. 74. 20). But apart from any antithesis, the white
colour is attributed to the light of the morning and the day:
falamma-rtafaʿat al-shams fabyâḍḍat, ‘after the sun had risen high and
_become white_,’ is said in a tradition.[442] In the Romance of ʿAntar
(XXIV. 111. 3), a horse is thus described: ‘he was white in colour, as
if he were the day when it breaks, or the moon[443] when it shines with
full beams’ (wa-hua abyaḍ al-laun kaʾannahu al-ṣabâḥ iḏa-nfajar
wa-l-ḳamar iḏâ badar).

On Assyrian ground also we discover the idea of the _whiteness_ of the
sun, expressed, not indeed by a word directly signifying a colour, but
yet by an epithet which is undoubtedly founded upon this idea. In the
lyrical poem, called by Schrader ‘The Assyrian Royal Psalm’ (line 29), a
land with a _silver sky_,[444] i.e. with a bright shining sunny sky, is
desired for the king. So here the bright sunny sky is represented as of
silver colour. On the other hand, Ḥomar^m, the name of a Himyarite
god,[445] has perhaps a solar meaning, equivalent to the Arabic aḥmar
‘Red;’ at all events, the fancy that he may be a sort of Bacchus (chamr
‘wine’) sounds improbable. In Hebrew literature we find no direct
indications of the colours which were associated with the sun: an
indirect indication is afforded by the passage in Is. XXIV. 23, where it
is said that ‘the sun grows pale and the moon red.’[446] In the Talmûd
literature, however, we find an incidental discussion of the colour of
the sun; to which one of the Excursus is devoted.[447]

I have paused long on the ideas held of the Sun with reference to
colour, longer than is consistent with the symmetry of my book, and have
especially brought up many examples from the Arabic language, celebrated
for its wealth of synonyms and epithets—all with the object of giving
probability to my ideas on the mythical character of Esau or Edom and
Laban, Jacob’s two hostile kinsmen. We have seen that the sun is called
_white_ quite as frequently as _red_;[448] now is it not certain beyond
a doubt that the two foes of Jacob the Night-sky, namely Edom the red
and Laban the white, are only names for the Sun, formed by the Hebrew
myth on the ground of the sun’s colour? The war of darkness and the
stormy sky against the red or white sunny sky is described in the rich
language of Mythology, which has devoted such multifarious appellations
to this struggle, as a strife of one who follows on the heel of his
brother, against the white and the red. Here we will return to a point
which was anticipated in the Third Section of this chapter; I mean the
fact that the mythic feature which, with other solar characteristics,
has fastened itself on the description of David, a perfectly historical
person, that he was admônî ‘reddish,’ belongs to the same group of
mythic ideas. It is a bit of solar myth: ‘He is red, and of excellent
sight and good eyes’ (1 Sam. XVI. 12).

Thus the mythical appellations Jacob, Edom, and Laban appear to be
cleared up, and the features belonging to them have discovered to us the
nocturnal character of the first-named and the solar of the two latter
personages. I have confined myself to the most essential point, the
statement of the fact and the identification of the mythic figures in
the centre of the story. If we were to use the collateral points also as
mythic matter, more abundant results might be attained. But we must
limit ourselves to an investigation of the main features, since in the
present position of mythological inquiry it would be difficult and
dangerous to try to pick out with any confidence from the epic
descriptions in the Bible all that belongs to the original myth. It
might, for instance, be urged that Jacob is endowed with a _deceitful_
character, since he cheats the one of his blessing and his birthright,
and the other of his sheep (Hermes), and this might be treated as
characteristic of the _night_, as the figures of the night-sky are
credited elsewhere with a thievish nature. ‘Like thieves,’ said the
ancient Indian singer, ‘so the nights stole away with their stars, that
Sûrya might become visible’ (Rigveda, I. 50. 2).

In a legend of the Palatinate the _King of the Night_ residing at the
Ice-sea _stole_ the Sun;[449] Rachel steals the household-gods of her
father Laban (Gen. XXXI. 19); and Jacob himself, as the Scripture
expresses it, _steals_ the heart of Laban the Aramean, not telling him
of his intention to fly (v. 20).

         Now wrapt in mantle, like a thief, the Night is seen,
         She covers o'er her silver-studded raiment’s sheen.

says Arany, in his ‘Gipsies of Nagy-Ida’[450] (Canto I. v. 21).

But what I have hitherto explained is only one side of Jacob’s mythical
characteristics: we have seen against whom he fought. But Jacob did not
only fight: he loved also, loved with tenderness and self-abnegation. He
wooed, he married; and the history of his children takes up a
considerable portion of the Book of Genesis. The loves of the Night-sky,
the names of his wives whom he gained by conquest, and of the children
that came out of his loins, must be an important part of the Myth of the
Night-sky; and we should be accomplishing our task very imperfectly if
we refused to enter on the consideration of these figures of Hebrew

§ 12. Let us turn first to his women. He has both wives and so-called
concubines. In my opinion this distinction belongs to the original
form of the myth; and some explanation of its significancy must be
given at the outset. There is another already-discussed name of the
night-sky, Abhrâm, with which are associated both a legitimate wife
Sârâ, and a concubine Hâgâr; and in the latter we discovered the
mythical bearer of a solar name, ‘the Flying one.’ This circumstance
leads to the discovery that, whilst the concubines in mythical
phraseology are figures of _opposite_ nature to their master, like
Hagar a solar figure to Abram the dark sky, the names of the
legitimate wives represent figures homogeneous to the nature of the
husband. This is the case preeminently with Sarah, Abram’s wife. The
name signifies _Princess, Lady_, the Princess of the Heaven, the Moon,
the Queen who rules over the great army of the night-sky (ṣebhâ
hash-shâmayîm). Another name of the moon in Hebrew mythology is
probably Milkâ (the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor, Gen. XI. 29),
i.e. ‘the Queen’—not expressly _wife_, but grammatically the feminine
form of Melekh (Abhî-melekh) ‘King’ (the Sun), like Ashêrâ (Moon) from
Âshêr (Sun), or Lebhânâ (Moon) from Lâbhân (Sun). ‘Queen or Princess
of Heaven’ is a very frequent name for the Moon.[451] We learn most
remarkable facts from the Chaldee-Babylonian series of deities, which,
though not old enough to be a myth, must, like every theogony, have
sprung from mythology misunderstood. In this system, in which the
deities are arranged in male and female triads, so that there is
always a male deity parallel to the goddess of the female triad who
stands at the same spot, Sîn (the Moon) and Gula of the male triad are
balanced respectively by ‘the highest Princess’ and by Malkît ‘the
Queen’ in the female; and these are only Sarah and Milcah again. Istar
also is described as Princess (sarrat) of heaven;[452] which is
probably connected with the fact that this goddess of the Assyrian
Pantheon, who is commonly compared to Venus, in later times became a
moon-goddess.[453] Sir H. Rawlinson says that Μισσαρή in Damascius may
be cognate with the Assyrian Sheruha or Sheruya, the wife of Asshûr,
and signify ‘the Queen.’[454] And as it is the _stars_ over which the
Queen of the night-sky bears sway, she is _siderum regina_ in Horace
(_Carmen saeculare_, v. 35).[455] Even in the latest times the Hebrews
called the moon the ‘Queen of Heaven’ (mele-kheth hash-shâmayîm, Jer.
VII. 18), and paid her divine honours in this character at the time of
the Captivity. The Hebrew women who had migrated to Egypt answered the
Prophet who warned them: ‘As to the word that thou has spoken unto us
in the name of Jahveh, we do not listen to thee; for we shall
certainly do all the things that have gone forth from our own mouth;
burning incense to the _Queen of Heaven_, and pouring libations to her
as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and princes, in the
cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, and were filled with
food and were happy and saw no evil; whereas ever since we have ceased
to burn incense to the _Queen of Heaven_ and pour libations to her, we
have wanted everything, and been consumed by sword and famine. And
when we were burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring
libations to her, was it _without our men_ that we made cakes for her,
to receive her image, and poured libations to her?’ (Jer. XLIV.
16–19). This reply leads us to infer that the moon-worship in Judah
was specially attractive to the women and allowed by the men, and was
not a mere secondary religious act, but a prominent worship of the
first rank; yet a worship which, considering the prevailingly solar
character of the religion of an agricultural people, was then kept up
chiefly by the women as the relic of an ancient nomadic age. What was
the antiquity of this lunar worship among the Hebrews, is testified
(as has long been known) by the part played by Mount Sinai in the
history of Hebrew religion. For this geographical name is doubtless
related to _Sin_, one of the Semitic names of the moon. The mountain
must in ancient times have been consecrated to the Moon.[456] The
beginning of the Hebrew religion, which, as we shall see, was
connected with the phenomena of the night-sky, germinated first during
the residence in Egypt on the foundation of an ancient myth. The
recollection of this occasioned them to call the part of Egypt which
they had long inhabited ereṣ Sînîm ‘Moonland’ (Is. XLIX. 12).
Obviously the lunar worship of Nomads stands in connexion with the
prominent position occupied by the figures of the night-sky in their
mythology. When, through that psychological process which results in
the decay of the life of the myth and the rise of a religious view of
the world, the mythic elements become religion, then the Moon is not
believed to possess those deleterious qualities of which the later
legends of the American nations are full, but is rather regarded as
the source of blessing and success. The Hebrews called the most
fruitful place in their new country, the ‘City of the Palms,’ formerly
delightful, though now a very cheerless hole, by a name denoting
_Moon-city_—Yerêchô (Jericho). An analogous system of nomenclature is
mentioned by Ḥamzâ of Iṣpahân, a Persian who wrote in Arabic, who says
in his _Kitâb al-muwâzanâ_ that, because the moon is the cause of an
abundant supply of water and of rain, the names of the most fruitful
places in Persia are compounded with the word _mâh_ ‘moon:’ e.g.
Mâhidînâr, Mâhishereryârân, Mâhikârân, Mâhiharûm &c.[457] For, in the
opinion of the Iranians the growth of plants depends on the influence
of the moon.[458] The Arabic language still shows clearly the mythical
connexion between the moon and good pasture,[459] in the fact that the
same word, which as a noun, al-ḳamar, signifies moon, as a verb,
ḳamara, expresses the notion _multus fuit_ (de aqua et pabulo), and
ḳamir means _multa_ aqua.

The nomadic Hebrews called Sarah, the Princess of Heaven,[460] i.e. of
the night-sky, Abram’s legitimate wife. The same relation between wife
and concubine comes out with still greater distinctness in the case of
Jacob, Abram’s synonym. His legitimate wives are Leah and Rachel; to the
latter he is bound by the tenderest love—a love which in the view of the
Biblical writer became the ideal of self-sacrificing conjugal affection.
Both their names are homogeneous to Jacob’s mythical character, and the
bearers of these mythical appellations are figures of the dark sky of
night and clouds. It will be regarded by serious investigators as no
mere chance that the word Lêʾâ in its origin signifies the same as
Delîlâ, namely, _languida, defatigata_, the _Languishing, Weary,
Weak_—the setting Sun that has finished its day’s work, or rather the
time when there is no longer any sun, but the Night, who cuts off from
her long-haired lover or bridegroom the locks (_crines Phoebi_) in which
his whole force resides; the Night, which robs the Sun of his splendid
rays, and causes him to fall powerless to the ground and lie blind on
the battle-field. Even in a product of the Jewish literature of a later
age the expression châlâsh ‘weak, debilitated’ is used of the setting
sun. ‘He is like a hero who goes forth strong and returns home
powerless; thus the sun at his rising is a mighty hero, and at his
setting a _weakling_.’[461] Nothing similar is connected with the name
Lêʾâ; yet it is clear that this name is an appellation of the setting
sun or the advancing night, when we read: weʿênê Lêʾâ rakkôth ‘the eyes
of Leah were weak’ (Gen. XXIX. 17).[462] How closely the ideas ‘End’
(here that of the day) and ‘Weariness’ hang together in Semitic, we see
clearly in the Aramaic word shilhâ, shilhê ‘end,’ which is developed out
of the Shaphʿêl form of the root lehî (the Hebrew lâʾâ, whence the name
Lêʾâ), which denotes ‘to be wearied.’[463] The name Râchêl is still
clearer and less ambiguous. It signifies ‘Sheep.’ When the ancients
raised their eyes to heaven and saw grey clouds slowly driving over the
celestial fields, they discovered there the same as our children see
when in their innocent imaginations they find figures of hills and
animals in the sky. Men who form myths stand in this respect on the same
intellectual stage as our children. How finely has Angelo de Gubernatis,
in the introduction to his most original work ‘Zoological Mythology,’
attached his profound explanations of the old animal-mythology, which
are based upon a sympathetic poetical feeling after the sentiments of a
mythic age, to vivid memories of that early age in which the enquirer
after myths himself looked up to heaven and _made_ myths! Moreover, what
the primitive humanity that created myths and the children of our
advanced modern age read in the picture-book of nature,[464] is still
found there by people who, although they no longer make myths, yet excel
us in immediate observation of nature. The sandhills and downs of the
Sahara are variously called by the natives kelb ‘Dog,’ kebsh ‘Ram,’ or
chashm el-kelb or chashm el-kebsh ‘Dog’s nose’ or ‘Ram’s nose.’[465] But
it is chiefly the clouds that gave so much food to fancy. On Arabic
ground we can refer to a treatise by Abû Bekr ibn Dureyd, a linguist of
an early age known to every Arabist, on the ‘Description of the Rain and
the Cloud,’ which the learned Professor William Wright has published in
a useful collection. In this treatise many a vivid picture is to be
found which exhibits the continual working of the old mythic views.[466]
Even a modern literature nearer to us may be quoted; for who knows not
the classical passage in Shakespeare, where Polonius makes observations
on the forms of the clouds—a series of mythical observations, which the
same poet allows another of his heroes to condense into a mythological

              Sometime we see a cloud that’s dragonish;
              A vapour sometime like a bear or lion,
              A tower'd citadel, a pendent rock,
              A forked mountain, or blue promontory
              With trees upon ’t, that nod unto the world,
              And mock our eyes with air.
                           _Antony and Cleopatra_, IV. 14.

If the sky is a pasture, it is most natural to see in the clouds beasts
feeding there. So the nomad Arab sees in the clouds herds of
camels,[467] and calls a small herd of twenty or thirty camels by the
same name by which he describes a broken-off fragment of cloud—al-ṣirmâ.
The poet Abû Ḥibâl calls a rain-cloud dalûḥ, i.e. ‘a heavily laden
camel;’[468] and according to the Arabian philologist al-Tebrîzî a cloud
accompanied by thunder and lightning is called al-ḥannânâ ‘the
bellowing,’ because the ancient Arabs compared a thundering cloud[469]
to a camel that breaks out into loud bellowing from painful desire to
reach home.[470] How full of meaning is the myth that lies hidden behind
this expression ḥannânâ! The camel on a journey has gone far away from
home, longs to be back again, and bellows with terrible pain: it is the
Thunder.[471] And this myth was not confined to the Arabs; we find a
slight trace of it among the later Jews, in the Talmûd. When it
thundered, they said, ‘The clouds groan.’ Achâ b. Jaʿaḳôbh describes
meteorological phenomena in the following words: ‘The lightning
sparkles, _the clouds groan_ (menahamîn ʿanânê), and the rain comes’
(Berâkhôth, fol. 59. a). This mythical conception is only a variation of
the more general view that thunder is a _lion’s roaring_ (Job XXXVII. 4;
shâʾag is used specially of the lion), out of which grew the roaring of
Jahveh, mentioned in many passages of prophecy and poetry—a result of
the monotheistic transformation of mythical ideas. In Arabic hamhama is
used both of the lion’s roaring and of thunder; and so also zamjara. In
the work of Ibn Dureyd already quoted an Arab says of a thunder-cloud,
‘Its thunders groan like camels longing to get home (ṭirâb), and roar
like raging lions.’[472]

The Arab saw in the clouds a herd of camels, in a single cloud a single
camel.[473] The ostrich, which is a favourite term of comparison in
Arabic poetry, is also seen by them in the clouds. Zuheyr b. ʿUrwâ says
of a little cloud visible behind a larger one, that it was an ostrich
hung up by the feet (kaʾanna-r-rabâba duweyna-s-saḥâbi * naʿâmun
tuʿallaḳu bi-l-arjuli).[474] From the Hebrew mythology we have the
similar conception of the cloud as a _sheep_, as Râchêl. She is the
legitimate wife of the dark, nocturnal or overclouded sky. When the
cloud let fall its wet burden in drizzling rain upon the earth, the
primitive Hebrews said ‘Rachel is weeping for her children’—a phrase
preserved from an age of mythic ideas, which was retained to a late age
in a very different sense.[475] For as the Arab regarded the thunder as
the cloud’s cry of pain, so the Hebrew could see in the rain Rachel’s
tears. Even up to the present day the Arabs say of the rain: ‘The sky
weeps, the clouds weep;’[476] and the idea was not strange to the Greek,
who spoke of the ‘Tears of Zeus.’[477] In the Romance of ʿAntar, XXV.
58. 4, it is said of the rain:

    The gloomy heaven weeps with tears, that stream in constant flow
                Out from the eye of a rainful cloud.

The poet Ibn Muṭeyr says most beautifully of the weeping sky: ‘The cloud
smiles at the lighting up (of the lightning), and weeps from the corners
of her eyes, the moisture of which is not excited by splinters (sticking
in the eye); and without either joy or grief she combines laughing and
weeping.’[478] Rachel has a favourite son called Yôsêph (Joseph). This
name signifies: ‘He multiplies,’ or, from the explanation already given,
‘The Multiplier.’ He is called in a hymn addressed to him, ‘The blessing
of the heaven above, the blessing of the flood that lies below, the
blessing of the (female) breasts and of the womb’ (Gen. XLIX. 25). Can
we doubt that this is the Rain, which multiplies—the blessing from
above, which lies below in floods of water, the rain which
mythologically was so often regarded as the nutritive milk of the milked
cows of the clouds?[479] And probably the old Arabic idol called
Zâʾidatu,[480] i.e. ‘the Multiplieress,’ has the same mythological
signification as the synonymous term Joseph in Hebrew, and may therefore
be regarded as a goddess of Rain. Can the least doubt be felt, that ‘the
Multiplier,’ the son of the cloud, must be the rain, as wine is called
the daughter of the grape,[481] and the fruit the son of the tree,[482]
and as bread is called in Arabic jâbiru-bnu ḥabbata, like ‘Strengthener,
son of Mrs. Grain?’[483] Moreover, while these latter views are natural,
but not spread abroad everywhere, the idea that the rain is the child of
the cloud is universal. We meet it among the Greeks, for Pindar sings:

             ... ἕστιν δ’ οὐρανίων ὑδάτων
             ὀμβρίων, _παίδων Νεφέλας_ (Olymp. XI. 2, 3),—

just like the Arabs. The poet Moḥammed b. ʿAbd al-Malik said, when a
violent shower of rain delayed the arrival of his friend al-Ḥasan b.
Wahab, ‘I know not how to express my complaint against one heaven which
keeps back from me another heaven (the friend), unless indeed I utter
curse and blessing together: Let _the former become childless_, and the
latter live long.’[484] The cloudy heaven was to lose his children—i.e.
the rain was to cease.

 Lastu adrî mâ ḏâ aḳûlu wa-ashkû * min samâʾin taʿûḳunî ʿan samâʾï
 Ġayra annî adʿû ʿala tilka bi-th-thuk- * lî wa-adʿû lihâḏihi

It is this ‘Multiplier, Son of the Cloud,’ alone who can bring aid when
the earth is visited by long drought and famine. The _multiplying_ Rain
gives back to the parched earth her fertility and procures nourishment
for starving mankind. This simple idea is formed from the mythic base
into the story of the famine in Egypt and Joseph’s aid in allaying it.
The myth itself, while it lived, was general, not bound by time or
place, limited neither geographically or chronologically. When no longer
understood and when lost to human consciousness, it became a locally
defined legend, belonging to a certain historical period. This is the
same experience which meets us in most of the myths of Hellenic Heroes.
The Sun, which daily assails with an iron club and slays the monsters of
darkness and the storms, when personified as Herakles does his deeds in
a small place in Hellas, Nemea or Lerna. While Joseph imparts fertility
to the parched earth, and in his character of ‘Multiplier’ delivers it
from the curse which rested on it, the prophetic hero, in whom we have
already detected some solar features, does the opposite. Elijah, who
ascends to heaven on a fiery chariot with a fiery horse, the ‘hairy
man,’ curses the soil of the Hebrew land in the time of Ahab (again a
localising and chronological limitation of what the myth had told in
general terms without such limitation) with drought, want of rain, and
unfruitfulness; he is the cause of a fearful famine (1 Kings XVII. 1).

The ‘Multiplier’ has also severe contests to sustain. The most
celebrated of them is that which he maintains against her who loves him
dearly, whose name is preserved to us only in legendary
tradition—Zalîchâ, the ‘Swift-marching.’[485] We know her already. He
flies from the temptress, but _leaves his cloak in her hand_ (Gen.
XXXIX. 12). This feature, which seems to us only accessory, may have
been an important element of the original myth. We shall see further on,
that the figures of the night-sky or the dark sky generally are provided
with a covering or cloak, with which they cover over the earth or the
sun, and thus produce darkness. It is a different battle that he fights
against his brothers, the ‘Possessors of arrows,’ i.e. the sun-rays,
which shoot at the rain-cloud and try to drive it off. Joseph’s
persecution by his own brothers and expulsion to Egypt is only the other
side of the Egyptian myth of Osiris and Typhon and the Phenician myth of
Adonis; the solar hero being in the latter cases, and the rain-hero in
the former case, the object of persecution. While the sarcophagus of
Osiris starts from Egypt on its travels, and lands at Byblos on the
Phenician coast, Joseph when sold goes in the opposite direction from
Canaan to Egypt. Both these myths became local legends, one in Egypt,
the other in Canaan; consequently the direction of the wandering is
modified in conformity with the locality.

From the battle of the rainy sky against the solar heroes with their
arrows our myth makes the Rainbow to arise: just as the lightning was
called ‘the Arrow of God,’ so the rainbow was in later times described
as the ‘Bow of God’ (ḳashtî, Gen. IX. 13). The later legend of
civilisation gives to the rainbow a foundation which is quite foreign to
mythology. In mythology the rainbow appears to be attributed to Joseph,
who, when overcome and driven off the field by the ‘Possessors of
arrows,’ is after all not totally defeated, for ‘his bow abode in
strength’ (Gen. XLIX. 24). This expression indicates the following
conception. When the rain-cloud was driven from its place by the solar
heroes, he fixed his bow in the sky, to be ready for a future fight.
Thus in the Hebrew myth the rainbow is a bow belonging to the hero of
storms. We find the same idea in the Arabic mythology. Besides other
names, the rainbow bears that of ḳausu Ḳuzaḥa, ‘the bow of Ḳuzaḥ’ (who
has been proved to be a storm-hero); and it may be gathered from some
passages which Tuch has incidentally brought together in his Treatise on
Sinaitic Inscriptions,[486] that Ḳuzaḥ shoots his arrows of lightning
during the storms from this same bow, which after the conclusion of the
battle appears in the sky. In the same Hebrew hymn which contains the
above mention of the Bow, ebhen Yisrâʾêl ‘the Stone of Israel’ is named.
Perhaps I am not at fault in conjecturing that the Stone here has a
solar signification, and is used of the Sun which after the victory over
Joseph appears on the firmament. We know from Schwartz’s[487]
demonstrations, which Kuhn has recently confirmed in his academical
treatise on the stages of development in the formation of Myths, that in
mythical language the sun and other luminous bodies are called ‘stones.’
To the same mythic cycle belongs the circumstance that David slays his
giant-foe by casting stones. And tradition[488] says that Cain killed
Abel by throwing stones. But on the whole we find in the above-quoted
hymn (called Jacob’s) only slight hints that can be claimed for the
mythic period; for the remains of primeval hymns like that fragment were
in later times so overgrown with matter derived from historical
circumstances, that we must be content if we can discover what were the
points of view and conceptions chiefly represented by these fragments.
The reason why it is so difficult to reconstruct the old mythic view of
the Hebrews concerning the Rainbow, obviously lies in the fact that it
was supplanted by a later theological explanation (Gen. IX. 12–17). It
is curious that the reason assigned in this later passage for the origin
of the Rainbow was not able to obtain general credence, and that even
Christian popular legends frequently appear to flow from ancient mythic
conceptions. I will only mention an instance given by Bernhard
Schmidt—the Christians in Zante call the rainbow 'the girdle, or the bow
of the Virgin, τὸ ζώναρι, τὸ τόξο τῆς παναγίας.[489]

§ 13. Now while Jacob’s lawful wives are mythical figures homogeneous to
himself, as we have seen, his collateral wives, the two concubines
Zilpah and Bilhah represent figures of the ancient myth standing in a
position of opposition to Jacob. The mythical character of Zilpah has
been already determined, in the Seventh Section of this chapter. For
this determination we had no other resource but the etymology of the
name, no mythical matter having been preserved concerning this mythical
figure. The case is reversed when we enquire into the meaning of Bilhah.
The resource of etymology abandons us here; for, even if we assume that
the abstract idea represented by the name must here be understood in a
participial sense (Bilhâ=‘the Trembling, Terrified’), yet, in the want
of analogous cases, the signification of the name brings us to no track
worth pursuing. But, on the other hand, we fortunately have a material
myth (as opposed to a mere name), relating to Bilhah: ‘Reuben went and
lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine’ (Gen. XXXV. 22).

The transition from one aspect of nature to another is not always
regarded by the myth from the point of view of a battle, in which the
vanishing aspect is represented by the conquered and the approaching one
by the conqueror. The myth speaks equally frequently of love and union,
i.e. of sexual connexion. The vanishing aspect disappears in that which
immediately follows: they become one, as man and wife. In the myths of
sexual union, the mythical feature that the two figures one of which
follows the other are brother and sister, father and daughter, or mother
and son, is sometimes disregarded. We had an example of this in the
Hebrew myth of the union of Shechem with Dinah. This is very frequent in
Aryan mythology; and it is sufficient to refer to the part of Max
Müller’s essay which deals with this subject.[490] There is a very fine
myth of this kind, preserved in a work ascribed to Plutarch, _De
fluviorum et montium nominibus_ (IV. 3). It is there said with reference
to the Ganges, ‘Near it is situated the mountain _Anatole_, or the
Rising,’ so called for the following reason: ‘Helios saw the maiden
Anaxibia dancing there, and was seized with violent love for her. No
longer able to control his passion, he pursued her with desire to force
her to yield to his desire. The maiden, surrounded on every side,
escaped into the temple of Artemis Orthia on the mountain Koryphe, and
was lost to the eyes of her pursuer. He, following after, and unable to
overtake his beloved, went up to the same mountain grieving. Therefore
the natives call the mountain Anatole or ‘Sun-uprising,’ as Kaemarus
narrates in the tenth book of his ‘Indian Affairs.’[491] Here, where the
sunrise is not even the result of a union, but very characteristically
that of disappointed love, Helios is no relative whatever of the Dawn,
any more than Shechem of Dinah, or Abimelech, the later Sun-god (Melekh,
compare Abhîbaʿal and Baʿal), of Rebekah, whom he loves (Gen. XXVI), or
of Sarah, ‘Moon,’ whom he takes to himself (Gen. XX). However, the view
which we shall encounter in the myth of Lot, that the lovers or united
couples are blood-relations, brother and sister, or parent and child, is
more prevalent. The idea of a son in love with his mother is quite
general in Asiatic mythology, as Lenormant proves: in the old Babylonian
mythology Dâzî, the Hebrew Tammûz, is lover of his mother Istar,
&c.;[492] among the Egyptians Amôn is called the husband of his mother
Neith; and among the Hindus Pûshan is described as both his sister’s
lover and his mother’s husband. When after long darkness a mysterious
Twilight slowly advanced, followed by the Dawn with ever-increasing
rapidity, the Aryan said, ‘Prajâpati loves his own daughter Ushas and
forces her,’ or ‘Indra seduces Ahalyâ the Night,’ or forms a union with
his mother Dahanâ.[493] To the same class Sarah also seems to belong, as
she is not only wife but also sister of Abram. Reuben marries Bilhah,
his mother, or more correctly his father’s wife. Reuben is a figure
homogeneous to Jacob, and therefore belongs to the night, as we discover
most certainly from the circumstance that in the battle of the
‘Possessors of arrows’ against Joseph he is on the side of the latter
and tries to save him, while Judah, a solar man, proposes to sell Joseph
(Gen. XXXVII. 21, 26). In a myth such sympathy indicates that the
subject and object of it are at all events not hostile figures: we have
already seen this in the relations between Isaac and Esau and between
Rebekah and Jacob. However, Reuben here seems not to be the night in
general, but the twilight which forms the beginning and the end of the
night, if we attach weight to the fact that Reuben is Jacob’s son.
Though unimportant and not even necessary for the appreciation of the
myth, this is very probable. The Sun is the mother of the Twilight, for
the twilight proceeds from the sun. So when at the end of the night the
morning-darkness gives way to the sun or dawn and disappears in them,
Reuben and Bilhah are united. Whatever part the twilight may play here,
it is at least clear that this myth speaks of the union of Night with
its mother Day: when Night gives place to Day, from whose womb it was
born but yesterday, then the myth says ‘Reuben is marrying his mother.’

§ 14. But before we continue the chapter on love and sexual union, the
materials of which are mainly drawn from the history of Jacob’s family,
it is desirable to insert some remarks on the mythological significance
of that family. Our mythological observation leads to the following
result. From its first commencement the myth speaks of _twelve children_
of Jacob, i.e. of the dark night-sky. These children, on whose names the
myth lays no stress, can hardly be anything else than the shining troop
which has its home in the night-sky—the Moon and the Eleven Stars (comp.
Gen. XXXVII. 9, achad ʿâsâr kôkhâbhîm). These are Jacob’s children,
though in a different sense from that in which Isaac is the son of
Abraham, or Joseph the son of Rachel. In these latter instances the
conception of a parental and filial relation was the result of the
impression produced upon the creators of myths by constant succession;
in the case of Jacob’s sons it is only meant that the eleven stars and
the moon together form the Family of the Night-sky. This conception
having once been grasped, there was nothing to hinder creators of myths
from speaking of a son of Jacob who did not belong to that Family. And
if there were a myth which said that Jacob fought with his son, as is
said of Abraham, then we could not seek such a son in the family of
stars which fills Jacob’s house. It is a general rule which must never
be lost out of sight in the investigation of myths, that mythology does
not present a _system_, whose separate elements are comprehensive
results, or abstractions from _continuous_ observation of nature. What
is told in the myth expresses how each _single_ observation affects the
mind of man. Hence the various modes in which the myth speaks of a
phenomenon; viewing it from various positions, it constantly changes the
names, and recognises different relations. Whoever finds contradictions
in all this must not turn against the interpreter and reconstructor of
the myth, but against the mind of man itself which created myths: his
dispute lies with the latter, not with the method of mythological

Jacob’s twelve sons, who are mentioned by name in the document in
Genesis, can hardly have had their separate existence acknowledged at so
early an age as that of the myth which comprised them under the general
name of the twelve sons of the starry sky. Fathers of tribes with twelve
or thirteen children (even in the numeration of Jacob’s children this
uncertainty of number occurs) are frequently met with in Biblical
genealogies, e.g. Joktan, Nahor, and Ishmael. The same tendency towards
the number twelve is encountered in genealogies in other parts of the
world. In the Ojibwa legend Getube has twelve children, of whom the
eldest is called Mujekewis, and the youngest, who obtains great power
and successfully repels the evil spirits, Wa-jeeg-e-wa-kon-ay.[494] At a
later time, when a harmonising of the legendary matter, not from a set
purpose, but from the acknowledged tendency of the human mind to bridge
over contradictions, was going on, then a desire was felt to know the
names of the twelve sons. When mythic consciousness and the stage when
the mind was self-impelled to mythic conception were long passed, and
the real meaning of names connected by mythology with certain deeds was
no longer known, twelve such names, most of which had no longer any
meaning, were taken at random and called Jacob’s twelve sons. Thus were
obtained twelve names to answer the general proposition, ‘The Twelve
form the Family of Jacob.’ Among these names there are true sons of
Jacob, i.e. some who are declared by the myth itself to be so: here the
genealogical narrator employed data derived from the myth. Next, there
are some among them whom the myth treats not as sons of Jacob but as
sons of his wives. For we must not forget that when Joseph is said to be
son of Rachel, the myth does not trouble itself to ask who the father
was. The conception that ‘the Rain is the son of the Cloud,’ which is
expounded in the mythic description of Joseph’s birth, is not the result
of any consideration of the names of the two parents who gave life to
him; but the myth-former, seeing the cloud heavy with rain and observing
the rain dripping from its lap, combined these two impressions and said,
‘The Cloud has borne the Rain.’ The later genealogical story could then
easily find a father for the children of Zilpah, Rachel and others, in
him whom the myth introduces as husband of those female figures.

Other Hebrew tribes have names totally free from any mythical character,
and ethnographical (Judah) or geographical in nature. The last
especially must of course have originated after the conquest of Canaan,
since they are connected with geographical peculiarities of that land.
One of these is Ephraim, whose name we shall see in the Fourth Section
of the Eighth Chapter to be derived from the name of the town Ephrathah;
another is Benjamin. The name Bin-yâmîn is associated with the division
of the land, and signifies _Son of the right side_. The tribe was
probably so called by the leading tribe of Judah, on whose right side
Benjamin was his next neighbour.[495] Yet myths have attached themselves
even to these geographical and ethnographical names, as they have to
many historical ones. Concerning some no mythical features have been
preserved, which is most to be regretted in the case of Gad. This name
occurs in a later age with a religious signification (Is. LXV. 11), and
would doubtless yield much instruction if a fuller myth gave us insight
into its original meaning and connexion. Gad is commonly held to be the
so-called Star of Fortune (Jupiter); but it is difficult to determine
whether Gad’s sons, when they were called his sons, were put into
connexion with the Star. If they were, we should have a case analogous
to the Arabic appellation ‘Daughters of the star al-Ṭâriḳ’ (see above,
p. 57). As some Arabian tribes call themselves ‘Sons of the Rain’ (benû
mâ al-samâ), &c. so the Hebrew tribes, at the time when the myth still
lived in the understanding of all, took names from the mythical figures,
one calling itself ‘Sons of the Longhaired,’ another ‘Sons of the
Multiplier’ &c. I think I cannot be wrong in assuming this nomenclature
of the tribes to be older than the assignation of names to each of
Jacob’s twelve sons. When the names of tribes had long been in
existence, they were brought forward to serve as names for Jacob’s sons;
and thus they laid the foundation of the genealogical tradition which
traces the people of Israel to its first father Jacob, and thence goes
back to his father and to Abraham.[496] But the mythical matter
transmitted to us concerning the twelve who are introduced as the sons
of Jacob, independently of what we have already discussed, is very
little. Some names resist any reasonable etymology, or at least any
etymology consonant with the character of mythical appellations. Still,
even from these scanty materials we can pick out some single points that
seem worthy of preservation as relics of the old Hebrew mythology. If
the investigation of this subject is to be successfully pushed further
than I can pretend to do in this treatise, the accurate enquirer will
have especially to adduce the forty-ninth chapter of Genesis, known as
‘Jacob’s Blessing,’ from which I have already borrowed materials. In
this ancient piece I am convinced that many fragments of _hymns_ are
contained which originally had for their subject those mythical figures
to which in their present form as _blessings_ they refer. We have in
this fragment a sort of Hebrew Veda before our eyes.

Those figures among Jacob’s sons, of whom I venture to treat,[497] so
far as there are means available have a solar character, with the
exception of those which we have already recognised to be figures of the
sky of night and clouds, and of one other figure (Levi) in which we
shall discover something antagonistic to solarism. Zebhûlûn was seen
even by Gesenius to mean the _Round_, _Globular_. Though we cannot find
any analogous expression as a name for the sun, it must be acknowledged
to be a very natural one. I believe that Zebhûlûn designates the sun at
the end of its course when its red ball appears on the horizon of the
sea. Anyone who has had the opportunity of admiring a sunset at the
sea-side, will understand why people living there should call the
setting sun _globular_; for its true globular form is especially
perceptible and striking in such localities. That the name Zebhûlûn owes
its origin to such considerations is evident from the language of the
Hymn to Zebulun: ‘he rests at the edge of the sea’ (lechôph yammîm
yishkôn, Gen. XLIX. 13); and this verse (especially in yishkôn) further
confirms what was said on p. 116. Naphtâlî (from the root _ptl_, ‘to
twine, twist,’ whence pâthîl ‘thread’), is ‘he of the plaited locks of
hair.’ The Hymn calls him ‘a hind let loose’ (ayyâlâ shelûchâ, ver. 21),
which is decisive for the solar meaning of Naphtâlî with the locks of
hair. For the Semites call the Dawn a _hind_—the Hebrews ayyeleth
hash-shachar ‘the Hind of the Dawn’ (Ps. XXII. 1), the Arabs
al-ġazâlâ.[498] Even the Talmûd seeks and finds the reason for the
identification of the Dawn with a Hind;[499] and another ancient
Jewish-Arabic philologist, Moses ben Ezra, in his book on Poetry, also
recognised the connexion of this appellation in Hebrew and in
Arabic.[500] Accordingly, we must think of a solar interpretation when
we read that among the furniture of the ancient Kaʿbâ at Mekka, besides
various idols, there were _golden Gazelles_, which were carried off and
buried by the Jurhumites, but found again by ʿAbd-al-Muṭṭalib in the
well Zemzem.[501] The mythical description of the rising sun as a hind
or gazelle is explained by the animal’s horns; for the myth which
regards the Sun’s rays sometimes as arrows, sometimes as locks of hair,
also treats them sometimes as horns. For this reason the Hebrew language
has only one word to denote ‘horn’ and ‘ray of light,’ viz., ḳeren; and
for the same reason Moses, who received many features of the solar myth,
as Steinthal has pertinently proved in his treatise on the Story of
Prometheus,[502] was imagined provided with horns, i.e., with beaming
countenance (Ex. XXXIV. 29, 30, 35), a symbol which sacred art has
preserved only too faithfully. In the Edda the point of the horn of
Heimdall (the sun) is fixed in Niflheim (abode of cloud), i.e. the rays
of the sun come forth out of darkness. The glyptic representation of the
Assyrian god Bêl in the Louvre is adorned with a tiara surrounded by a
row of ox-horns. In the Accadian mythology the name of the goddess
Ninka-si, ‘the Lady of the horned face,’ as Lenormant translates it, has
undoubtedly a solar character.[503] The same is the case with the
Egyptian Isis: Τὸ γὰρ τῆς Ἴσιος ἄγαλμα ἐὸν γυναικήϊον βούκερων ἐστι
κατάπερ Ἕλληνες τὴν Ἰοῦν γράφουσι, says Herodotus (II. 41). Lucian, the
frivolous scoffer at everything religious, expresses his surprise to
Zeus why he is represented with ram’s horns;[504] to which he makes Zeus
reply by referring to a mystery into which the uninitiated cannot
penetrate.[505] In a word, Naphtali of the long locks, Naphtali the
swift hind, is certainly identical with the ‘Hind of the Dawn.’

Whether the name Yehûdâ (Judah) belongs to mythology, or was an early
ethnical name before tradition introduced it as that of a Patriarch, is
difficult to determine. If the name Yehûdâ could be referred to an
etymon which exhibited a solar signification, we should decide for the
former alternative, on account of the solar characteristics which are
attached to the name. The most plausible etymological explanation would
be ‘the Splendid,’ or (on account of the feminine termination â, added
to the passive participle with an abstract force) ‘Splendour.’ But if
the second alternative be correct, and the name Yehûdâ had from the
first only an ethnographical force, then, as in the case of other names
not belonging to primeval myths, we must suppose that the solar myths,
in company with which we find these historical names, were attached to
them in later times.

It is a true solar legend[506] that Judah forms a sexual connexion with
Tamar. The latter name denotes ‘Fruit;’ and the myth of her union with
Judah expresses the fact that the autumn-sun pours its rays over the
fruits of the trees and fields. Thus the Hebrew agriculturist may have
said at harvest-time, when the hot rays of the sun rapidly ripened the
fruits: and he may at such a time, especially with reference to the
vintage, have addressed to the autumn sun ‘Yehûdâ’ the hymn which is
contained in the so-called _Jacob’s Blessing_ for Judah (Gen. XLIX.

                 He binds to the vine his foal,
                 To the wine-tree his ass’s young one.
                 He washes in wine his clothes,
                 And in blood of the vine his covering.
                 _Reddish is his eye from wine,_
                 _And white his teeth from milk._

This is a truly mythic picture of the Sun, pairing at vintage-time with
the Vine. The red eyes and white teeth need no further discussion after
what has been said in § 11 of this chapter. But a few words are needed
in explanation of what is said of the ass and foal. It is sufficient to
point to the fact that the reddish-brown ass is one of the animals used
in the old mythology to designate the sun.[507] The point of resemblance
must be sought in the _reddish_ colour; and hence in the Semitic
languages the ass is called the _Red_ (Hebrew chamôr, ‘ass’; Arabic
aḥmar, ‘red’).[508] It is probably in consequence of the solar
significance of the ass, that Shechem’s father is named ‘the Ass’
(Hamor; and in Arabic ‘Ass’ is a very frequent personal name),[509] and
Issachar is described as a bony ass. Therefore to say, as is said in our
hymn, that the foal and the colt are bound to the vine is equivalent to
saying that ‘the Sun forms a connexion with the Vine;’ it is only a
different view of the myth of the connexion of Judah with Tamar. This
connexion of the Sun and the Fruit, which is the fundamental thought of
the myth of Judah and Tamar, was developed with the aid of other
elements into the later form found in the story in Gen. XXXVIII. The
same myth was also attached to figures of the historical age in the
legend of Amnon and Tamar (2 Sam. XIII. 1–20). David’s son Amnon loves
his sister Tamar; and keeping her near him to wait upon him under the
pretence of being ill, takes the opportunity to ravish her. Here the
myth of the love of the Sun for the Fruit has been transferred to Amnon,
a perfect unmythical personage. But Tamar is here quite the same as the
personage whose connexion with Judah is described in Genesis; although
in the legend of Amnon and Tamar it is Amnon who pursues Tamar, whereas
in that of Judah and Tamar the intriguer and seducer is Tamar. When
people in ancient times perceived the fruit of the tree gradually change
its colour till the autumn-sun shone on it, after which it fell down
ripe, they saw in this a love-affair between the Sun and Fruit, which
ended with their union. We have here, therefore, to do with that phrase
of mythology in which men, as agriculturists, but still standing on the
myth-creating stage of intellectual life, speak of vegetation and its
causes in terms which later, at the religious stage, will give rise to
dualistic religious ideas. Different from the Iranian religious dualism,
which sets up two mutually hostile powers, this dualism will put side by
side two factors of the course of vegetation (see above, p. 15). This
kind of dualism is met with very frequently in the Semitic—especially
North and Middle Semitic—religions. Indeed, were we to investigate
closely the legends and love-stories which fill the history of the
Arabic nation and tribes before Islâm, we should probably discover
mythological matter turned into history, which would possess great
similarity with the legend of Judah and Tamar. We will select here one
only of these stories, which has preserved transparently enough its
mythical character. On the mountains Ṣafâ and Marwâ, which still play a
part in the pilgrimage to Mekka, there formerly stood two idols named
Isâf and Nâʾilâ, who were said to have been two persons of Jurhum who
having committed improprieties in the Kaʿbâ were turned into stone in
punishment for desecration of the holy place[510]—which, be it
incidentally observed, is no rare offence in modern times. It need
scarcely be observed that this conformation of the story is due to a
distinct Mohammedan tendency imparted to it, and that the interpreter of
the myth has to regard only the germ of the story—the sexual union of
Nâʾilâ with Isâf. Now the mere translation of these words give us to
understand the meaning of the myth. Isâf means _solum sterile,
unfruitful ground_, and Nâʾilâ, _she who presents_ (a _nomen agentis_
from nâla ‘to present’). No deep acquaintance with Arabic literature is
necessary to convince one that the latter name may be simply an epithet
of the Rain, which the Arabs can as readily call the Giver as they
compare a liberal giver with the rain (compare geshem nedâbhôth, Ps.
LXVIII. 10 [9]). Thus the liberal Rain unites with the unfruitful Ground
and encourages vegetation. Out of this, as out of most unions of this
sort, sexual licence was evolved at a later time.

The names of Judah’s sons, Perez and Zerah,[511] are solar: the latter
denoting ‘the Shining one,’ who comes into the world with a red thread
on his hand, and the former ‘he who breaks forth.’ This name is founded
on the same idea as is present in the German _Tagesanbruch_,[512] the
Hungarian _Hajnalhasadás_, i.e. ‘the breaking through of the dawn’[513]
(exactly the same as Perez), the Arabic, fajar (especially infajar
al-ṣubḥ or infajar al-fataḳ ‘erupit aurora’).[514] The dawn breaks
through, or rather tears asunder, the veil of darkness and breaks forth
out of it.

After this survey of the solar figures found among Jacob’s sons, we will
conclude this section with the consideration of another mythical name
belonging to the class of designations of Jacob’s sons which is
connected with the dark sky of clouds and night. This is _Levi_. If we
contemplate this name unbiassed by the etymological explanation of it
given in the Bible (from lâvâ ‘to cleave to’), I think we shall not be
inclined to doubt that Lêvî bears the same relation to the serpent’s
name livyâthân, as another serpent’s name nâchâsh bears to the enlarged
form nechushtân, which is given as the name of the brazen serpent broken
in pieces by King Hezekiah (2 Kings XVIII. 4). The name certainly does
not denote ‘brazen;’ for an image is more naturally named from the
object it represents than from the matter of which it is made. And the
form livyâthân necessarily presupposes a simpler form, from which it
could be derived by the addition of the termination âthân (or only ân,
if we suppose the original word to have passed through the feminine form
livyat), as nechushtân necessitates the preexistence of the simpler
nâchâsh. If we have in English a word _earthly_, then, even if no word
_earth_ actually existed at the time in the language, we could with
perfect justice assert _a priori_ that the word _earth_ must have once
existed, in order to make the formation of _earthly_ possible. Similarly
the existence of the form livyâthân justifies the assumption of a simple
noun-form, as the basis of that derivative enlarged by suffixes.

Now fortunately this simple form is preserved to us in the name Lêvî,
and we may therefore unhesitatingly affirm that Levi means ‘Serpent.’
Mythology speaks of a serpent that devours the sun, of a Storm-Serpent,
which the Sun assails with his rays; they are the serpents, dragons and
monsters with whom the Solar heroes of the Aryan mythology wage their
contests, which Herakles even in his cradle crushes and afterwards
overpowers at Lerna and Nemea; the same, which sometimes, on the other
hand, keep their ground and come forth victorious from the battle with
the Sun, when the Sun, repulsed by a boisterous Storm, is forced to
abandon the celestial battle-field.

                   A serpent on the way,
                   An adder on the path,
                   That bites the horse’s heels,
                   So that the rider falls backwards,

(Gen. XLIX. 17), they are called in the Hebrew hymn of the battle of the
Rain-serpent with the Sun-horse.[515] It is this same serpent that bears
a ‘fiery flying serpent’ (sârâph meʿôphêph, Is. XIV. 29), i.e. the
Lightning; that in common with the lightning is called the ‘Flying
Serpent’ (nâchâsh bârîach, Is. XXVII. 1), for whose conqueror the Sun,
the monotheistic ideas of later times substituted Jahveh ‘who with his
might lashes the sea, and who with his intelligence pierces the monster
(Rahab); by whose breath the heaven becomes bright, whose hand has
stabbed the _flying serpent_’ (Job XXVI. 12, 13). The hissing of this
flying Serpent is said in an American myth to be the Thunder; and the
Lightning is called by the Algonquins an immense serpent, which God spat
out.[516] The Rain itself is regarded in mythology as a serpent; the
columns of water which fall in a serpentine course to the earth are
called the ‘Crooked Serpent’ (nâchâsh ʿaḳallâthôn). The flying
Lightning, the crooked Serpent (both livyâthân), and the great Monster
in the sea, which tries to devour the Sun when he sinks into the sea in
the evening, are assailed by the Sun, and the monotheistic prophet
transfers the attack upon them to Jahveh (Is. XXVII. 1; compare Ps.
LXXVI. 4 [3]). It is to be noted that, in speaking of night and storms,
even the later poetry uses the expression that they ‘bite, wound,’
because the Serpent of darkness and tempest bites and hurts the Sun. ‘I
said, Surely the darkness will bite me (yeshûphênî), and the night [will
bite] the light near me’ (Ps. CXXXIX. 11); and so of the storm (Job IX.
17). Everywhere here the verb is used which is employed in Gen. III. 15
to denote that the serpent wounds the heel of the man. In these passages
of poetry, therefore, we find an echo of the myth which declares that
the Serpent of the storm, when victorious, bites, wounds, or even
swallows down the hero of the Sun. We encounter the Rain described still
more clearly as a serpent in the sacred literature of the Parsees, in
the first chapter of the Vendidâd, verse 2, where it is said that
Ahuramazdao created Airyana-vaêjô to be the best of all lands, whilst in
opposition to his act the Deadly Aegrô mainyus created the ‘flowing
serpent’ (azhim raoidhitem) and the snow. Professor Haug was the
discoverer of this explanation of the _azhim raoidhitem_;[517]
nevertheless he translates it ‘a powerful serpent,’ as he thinks that
the word ‘flowing’ can be only understood of the ejection of the venom,
or of the writer’s remembrance of a warm spring which may have existed
in the land Airyana-vaêjô. It is a very obvious conjecture that the
_flowing_ serpent means the Rain; the more so because it is mentioned in
conjunction with Snow.[518] The last shoots of this mythological
conception are discovered in the system of the Ophites, in which the
serpent represents a _moist substance_.[519]

Levi (with Simeon, whose etymological value is no longer determinable),
is introduced in the Hebrew myth (Gen. XXXIV.) as the slayer of Chamôr
‘the Ass’ and Shekem (see above, p. 125). Of the same two brothers it is
said in the fragments of hymns already quoted, sometimes that ‘for their
amusement they destroyed the bull’ (XLIX. 6)—the horned solar animal
whose horns (rays) the storm-serpents eradicate (ʿiḳḳerû). It is at the
same time perfectly clear in this interpretation that no difficulty at
all resides in what is always troubling the expounders of these
passages—in the fact, namely, that these brothers are said in the hymn
(or Blessing) to have killed a bull (shôr), whilst no mention is made in
the narrative of any such act.

§ 15. In the Biblical story of the family of Jacob we have met with a
few of those myths of Love which the Aryan mythology developed in such
variety and richness. One of the best known myths of this kind is the
story of Oedipus and Jokaste. The king of Thebes received a sad oracle,
declaring that he would be exposed to serious danger from a son who
would be born to him by his wife Jokaste. He therefore exposed Oedipus,
his new-born son; and the latter, having been marvellously saved from
death and educated at Corinth, travelled to Thebes when grown to
manhood, but killed his father on the way. Arrived at Thebes, he
delivered the city from the terror of the Sphinx, and was proclaimed
king, after which he married his mother Jokaste. When he received
information of the two horrible crimes that he had unconsciously
committed, the murder of his father and the incest with his mother, in
despair he put out his own eyes and came to a tragic end. Everyone knows
this celebrated Hellenic story, which in the Oedipus-Tragedy was worked
out powerfully in its ethical bearings so as to excite the emotions and
touch the heart.

Oedipus kills his father, marries his mother, and dies, a blind and
worn-out old man. The hero of the Sun murders the father who begot
him—the Darkness; he shares his bed with his mother—the Evening-glow,
from whose womb (in the character of the Morning-glow) he had been born;
he dies _blind_—the Sun sets. We have seen above that the setting sun
loses the bright light of its eyes.[520]

What a universal act of the human mind, and how little affected by
ethnological distinctions, the production of myths is, and what
agreement is consequently discovered in the direction taken by this
myth-formation among the most dissimilar peoples and races of the earth,
will be most strikingly brought home to us by the discovery that this
very myth of marriage with a mother occurs among the Hebrews just as
much as among the Aryans. We have already seen that Reuben marries his
father’s wife Bilhah. We observe that in the Hebrew myth the hero of
Darkness occupies the central position, whereas in the Hellenic it is
the Solar hero who shares his mother’s bed. But while the myth of Reuben
and Bilhah is only mentioned quite shortly in the Old Testament, there
is another myth which has grown into a long story in the Biblical
narrative—that of Lot’s daughters. But before we pass to this, I wish to
call attention to a concurrence which I believe has never yet been
noticed, but which may excite to further meditations. The whole story of
Oedipus, quite in the form in which we find it among the Hellenes,
occurs also as an _Arabic tradition_, without change except in the
persons. One of the many Nimrods which the Arabic legend seized upon
(six Namâridâ ‘Nimrods’ are commonly reckoned),[521] son of Kenaʿan and
Salchâ, is the Oedipus of the Arabic story. In consequence of an
intimidating prophecy, he is exposed by his parents, that he may die and
not be a source of danger to his father. But he is miraculously suckled
by a tigress (whence his name Nimrûd is said to be derived, for nimr is
‘tiger’ in Arabic), and subsequently brought up by the inhabitants of a
neighbouring village. When grown to manhood he contrives to bring
together a great army, and becomes involved in a war against his father
Kenaʿan, whom he slays in the decisive battle. He marches in triumph
into his capital, and marries his mother Salchâ. Thus the outlines of
the Oedipus-story have been attached to the solar hero of the Semites,
Nimrod the hunter. The story is told at full length in the long
introduction to the Romance of ʿAntar (I. 13 _seq._), and I leave it to
readers competent to judge, to decide between two possibilities. Either
the Arabs borrowed from the Greeks and simply took to themselves this
version of the Oedipus-story; in this case the remarkable fact of such a
transference would provoke a searching enquiry into the middle points
between Greece and Arabia, which made it possible to borrow mythology,
and also into the extent and nature of such borrowings. Or we may assume
that the story was independently and gradually formed by the Arabs
without external influence, so that the elements of the Arabian as of
the Greek story reach back to the primeval age of the creation of myths,
and that with the Arabs also it was originally a myth of the war of the
Sun with the Night, and his union with the Evening-glow. The latter view
is favoured by the circumstance that in the Arabian version the story of
Oedipus putting out his eyes is wanting—a feature which would certainly
have been taken if the Arabian story were only a borrowed one. But the
above-mentioned questions ought to be investigated before any decision
in favour of one of these possibilities can be arrived at, however
inclined I may be from personal feeling towards the assumption of

The story of Lot and his daughters as told in Genesis in one of the
Biblical passages most notorious for its obscenity; let us see, however,
what appears to have been its original meaning. When the aged Lôṭ and
his family were saved from the Divine judgment on Sodom and Gomorrha,
which converted those cities into a sea of bitumen, he left his wife
behind him, converted into a pillar of salt, at a point of the coast of
the Dead Sea, which is still shown to credulous travellers, and lived in
a cave with his two unmarried daughters. These made their old father
drunk in two successive nights, and perpetrated with him an act of
unchastity which is to us almost unmentionable (Gen. XIX. 30–38). But
the science of Mythology has often saved the honour and moral worth of
primitive humanity by restoring the original mythological meaning of
many a story; and so here we shall be able to prove that the Lôṭ-story,
in the form in which we have received it, is only the tradition of the
myth of the Sun and the Night, the understanding of which was lost in a
later unmythological generation. Through the clever succession of ideas
suggested by the solar theory, the science of Mythology on Aryan ground
at one blow caused the ideal heights of Olympus to tower in their
original purity above the endless chain of scandalous acts which
mythology misunderstood attributed to the immoral inhabitants of the
mountain of the Gods; and the method which guides us in these studies
will aim at the same result on the domain of Hebrew mythology.

We return to Lôṭ. This name (formed from the root lûṭ ‘to cover’)
denotes ‘he who covers.’ ‘Darkness _covers_ the earth, and clouds the
nations’ (Is. LX. 2). ‘For I did not shrink before the Darkness, when
thick darkness _covered_ (everything) before my face’ (Job XXIII. 17).
‘Thou hast pressed us down to the dwelling-place of the sea-monsters,
and _covered_ us _over_ with deep shadow’ (Ps. XLIV. 20 [19]). The
Semitic designations of darkness are mostly formed from roots denoting
‘to cover’: so e.g. ʿalâṭâ in Hebrew, ʿishâ in Arabic;[523] and the most
prominent Semitic word for Night, layil, laylâ, etymologically means
only something that _covers_.[524] In Aryan languages also, the Sanskrit
Varuṇa and the Greek οὔρανος, which denote the overclouded sky, are
formed from the root _var_ ‘to cover,’ in opposition to the bright
day-sky, Mitra.[525] Keeping on Semitic ground, we find in Arabic
copious illustrations of this conception. The words ġashiya, damasa,
ġatha, saja, etc. (compare ġardaḳat al-leyl, taʾaṭṭam al-leyl), combine
the notions of Darkness and Covering-up. Accordingly the coming on of
night is expressed by janna al-ẓalâm, literally ‘the darkness has
covered up’ (e.g. Romance of ʿAntar, V. 80. 3); and for the simple words
‘of an evening,’ or ‘at night,’ the Arabic expression is taḥt al-leyl
‘under the night,’[526] or fuller taḥt astâr al-ẓalâm ‘under the veils
of the night’ (ʿAntar, X. 70, 1); and the Night is above the day,
‘aleyhâ.’[527] The Night is a garment or carpet spread out over the Day.
‘It is he,’ it is said in the Ḳorân (Sûr. XXV. v. 49), ‘who made the
Night as a garment or veil for you.’ ‘We have made the Night as a
clothing’ (Sûr. LXXVIII. v. 10).[528] The Arabic poet Abû-l-ʿAlâ
al-Maʿarrî uses the most palpable expression for this conception of the
darkness of night. Describing his swift camels, on which he traversed
great distances at Night, he says (I. 131. v. 4) ‘in their swift course
they tore the mantle of night,’ i.e. they ran so quickly that they
unrolled the garment which covers the surface of the earth at night. On
this conception of the nature of Night I believe a peculiar expression
in the Arabic language to be based. In the old classical Arabic, nights
which either have no moonshine at all, or have none at the beginning and
only a little quite at the end, are called layâlin durʿun; and when a
verb is required, adraʿa al-shahr is said. This adraʿa is unquestionably
a denominative verb from dirʿ, which signifies a ‘breast-plate,’ or a
breast-covering of any sort. The Arabic expressions just quoted are
founded on the idea that the breast (al-ṣadr), i.e. the upper side, the
first part, of such nights is dark, covered by a garment, so that only
the uncovered lower side or end is visible. In the cosmogony of
Mohammedan legends, Night is represented as a _curtain_, ḥijâb.[529]

The clothing of the Night is of black colour, leylâ ḥâlikat al-jilbâb,
as is said in Arabic,[530] (compare μελάμπεπλος νύξ[531]), a ‘pitchy
mantle,’ as Shakespeare says,

               The day begins to break, and night is fled
               Whose pitchy mantle overveil’d the earth.
                 _King Henry VI._ First Part, II. 2.[532]

And in Arabic poetry also we meet with night described as a ‘pitchy
mantle.’ For the poet Abû-l-Shibl says in a remarkable elegy[533]:

 Shamsun kaʾanna-ẓ-ẓalâma albasahâ * thauban min-az-zifti au min-al-ḳîrî
                 A sun, as if darkness had clothed him
                 With a garment of resin or pitch.

The darker the Night, the thicker is the black cloak with which it is
provided. Even modern languages have expressions like _thick_ darkness
(Hungarian _vastag setétség_); in Arabic a very dark night is called a
night with a heavy covering, leyl murjahinn.[534]

The name Lôṭ, accordingly, signifies, like the Hellenic female forms
Kalyke, Kalypso (from καλύπτω), the _Covering Night_. It is very
significant of the Night that the Greek figures are represented as
weaving clothes for the Thunderer:[535] they weave the cloak with which
they cover over the world when they spread darkness over it. Surely no
one will after all this doubt that the name Lot is a designation of the
Covering Night. Should this be still doubtful, perhaps the following
fact from the domain of the Arabic language may bring conviction.
Everyone knows the Arabic word kâfir, at least in its usual meaning of
Infidel. Even the earlier Arabian philologians, who, notwithstanding
frequent amusing whims and hobbies, often exhibit a fine feeling and
very sober judgment as to etymology, said that this word received the
meaning Infidel only through the dogmatism of Islâm, that it originally
denoted the _Coverer_, and that the transition of meaning was founded on
the idea that the Infidel covers up God’s omnipotence. Similarly in
Hebrew the verb kâphar is said of God when he _forgives_ (i.e. covers)
the sins of men; in Arabic ġafar.[536] In Arabic the Unthankful is also
a kâfir, a ‘Coverer,’ since he _covers_ the blessings he has received:
and in late Hebrew he is similarly termed kephûy ṭôbhâ ‘one who covers
up the good.’[537] In short, the kâfir is properly the Coverer. Now the
darkness of night is called kâfir by old Arabian poets. We have already
(in the Tenth Section of this chapter, p. 134), quoted for another
purpose the verse of the poet of the tribe Mâzin: ‘The Shining one
stretches his right hand towards him who _covers up_,’ where the latter
is kâfir, the Night. The celebrated poet Lebîd, too, says in his
prize-poem (Muʿallaḳâ, v. 65): ‘Until the stars stretch out their hands
towards the kâfir, and the weaknesses of the boundaries are covered over
by their darkness,’

 Ḥatta iḏâ alḳat yadan fî kâfirin * waʾajanna ʿaurâti-th-thuġûri

And the poet al-Ḥumeyd says, ‘They (the camels) go to water before the
breaking of the morning, whilst the son of splendour (the dawn) is still
_hiding in the cloak_,’ i.e. before it is yet day,

 Fawaradat ḳabla-nbilâji-l-fajri * wabnu ḏukâʾa _kâminun fî kafri_.[538]

A very witty use of the application of the epithet _kâfir_ to the Night
is make by the poet Behâ al-Dîn Zuheyr. He would fain prolong the
duration of the night, which passes away far too soon for all the
pleasures that it brings him in the midst of a merry circle, and so he
says: ‘To me is due from thee the reward of a Champion of the Faith [in
battle against the infidels], if it is true that Night is a _kâfir_ (an
infidel, properly a ‘coverer’),

       Lî fîka ajru mujâhidin * in ṣaḥḥa anna-l-leyla kâfir.[539]

As the Darkness of night is what covers over and hides, so on the other
hand the Dawn, or the Sun in general, is that which uncovers and
discloses. We have met with this conception before in the case of Noah
(p. 131). In Arabic safara or asfara is said of the _uncovering_ of any
concealed object, and the same words are used of the breaking-forth of
the morning sun. There is no doubt that this latter usage is deduced
from the signification ‘to reveal, uncover;’ the instance quoted in the
lexicons, ‘The night which removes the cover from the morning of the
Friday’ (yusfir ʿan), i.e. which precedes Friday, shews by the
preposition ʿ_an_ that ‘to uncover’ is the fundamental signification.
Thus the Arabic etymologists whom I mentioned in a former work[540] may
be right in a certain sense in tracing back most of the derivations of
the root safar to this sense. But in Egyptian and in the Arabic of the
desert the word al-sufrâ denotes the Sunset, the reason of which is by
no means clear.[541] No doubt can now be entertained that our Lot is
identical with his namesake the Arabic Kâfir the Concealer, the Covering
Night. Now we can consider the myth. ‘The daughters of Night form a
sexual connexion with their father.’ When the evening glow, which is a
daughter of the Night (for, as we have seen, the myth identifies the
morning and the evening glow), unites with the shades of night and
becomes darker and dimmer, so as at length to lose itself in the night,
the myth-creators said, ‘The daughters of Lot, the Coverer, are going to
bed with their father.’ From the bright, lively character, which the
myth must have attributed to the Glow in comparison with the dark, heavy
Night, they would naturally regard the aged Lot as the victim of an
intrigue of his lustful daughters; whereas in the Aryan myth it is
Prajâpati who uses force against his daughter Ushas. The names of Lot’s
daughters are not given in the Old Testament; but we know them from
another source. The Arabic legend in which the story of Lot,
communicated by Jews, likewise finds a place, tells us their names. It
is scarcely credible that these are pure inventions of the Arabs; it is
much more probable that they received them, as they did much else, from
the traditions of the Jews. But the Jewish tradition itself has lost the
names, as it has lost much else that was not written down. In the Arabic
statements, however, there occur such various versions of the names as
to show clearly that they are instances of the corruption by which
foreign names are constantly ruined beyond recognition in Arabic
manuscripts. One version gives Rayya as the name of the elder, Zoġar as
that of the younger (see Yâḳût, II. 933. 22, 934. 16); and from the
latter a town is said to be named, which is mentioned in some ancient
Arabic poems. Ibn Badrûn (ed. Dozy, p. 8) calls them something like
Rasha and Raʿûsha (or Raʿvasha?); Masʿûdî (_Prairies d’or_, II. 193)
Zaha and Raʿva. Among these differing forms, every one of which is
probably based on a corrupt text, Zaha is the only one that may confirm
the solar character of Lot’s daughters in the myth. But I think the myth
of Lot is clear enough in itself to dispense with any such problematic

If the conception of Kerûbhîm (Cherubim) is native to the Hebrews, and
not borrowed at a later period from foreign parts—a question which must
be regarded as still an open one—then we may find here also the
_Coverer_ (compare kerûbh has-sôkhêkh ‘the cherub that covereth,’ Ezek.
XXVIII. 14), the covering cloud; and hence may be derived the function
of concealing and covering which was given to the cherubim in the later
ceremonial, as also their connexion with the curtains.[542] ‘Jahveh
rides on the Cherub,’ says one of the later religious poets (2 Sam.
XXII. 11), ‘and appears on the wings of the wind; he makes darkness
round about him, tents, collections of water, gloomy clouds.’ Here the
dark overclouded rainy sky is described; and when Jahveh sends rain over
the earth, he rides on the Cherub, and ‘mists are beneath his feet,’ and
the dust which he turns up while riding, forms the shechâḳîm (properly
the dust), the overcast sky. Jahveh is described in other passages also
as riding on clouds (Is. XIX. 1). Accordingly kerûbh would originally
denote the covering cloud, and whatever is connected with the Cherubim
in later theological conceptions would be a transformation of ancient
mythological ideas.[543] Now the root _krb_ is used in Himyarite
inscriptions in titles of kings, as Mukrib Saba, or Tobbaʿ kerîb, i.e.
as Von Kremer explains them,[544] ‘_Protector_ of Saba,’ ‘_Protecting_
Tobbaʿ.’ This is easily explained by the fact that in the Semitic
languages words signifying ‘to protect’ are often derived from the
fundamental idea of ‘covering.’ ‘The Cherubim spread forth their wings’
(1 Kings VIII. 7), i.e. they cover. To spread out the wings (kenâphayîm)
over some one is in Biblical language the usual expression for the
protection which is allotted to him. In Arabic the same word (kanaf)
signifies not only a bird’s wing, but also concealment, shade (compare
Ps. XCI. 1–4), and protection.[545]

The opinion that the Cherubim were borrowed from foreign parts is
accordingly much less probable than that which maintains that they
originated with the Hebrews;[546] and the latter view receives further
support from the fact that the Cherubim can be easily fitted without any
violence into the system of Hebrew mythology. It is again supported by
the connexion between Cherubim and Seraphim, the latter of which are
originally Hebrew. This connexion agrees moreover with the results of
our mythological researches. As Kerûbh as ‘Coverer’ belongs to the dark
cloudy sky, so the Serâphîm must be a mythological conception pertaining
to the same series, if we adopt the correct interpretation of them as
_Dragons_,[547] and remember the mythological meaning of serpents and
dragons (_supra_, p. 27, 184, _sq._). It then becomes probable that the
theological significance of Cherubim and Seraphim belongs to the remains
of the very earliest form of Hebrew religion, and approximates to the
facts of which I shall speak at Chapter VI. § 5, pp. 224, 5.


Footnote 244:

  Osiander (_Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1853, VII. 437) is inclined to
  combine with this the old Arabic _Rayâm_ or _Riyâm_.

Footnote 245:

  The added Abh in Abhrâm, compared with the other expressions in which
  the quality of _father_ is not emphasized, finds an exact parallel in
  Δη ( = Γη)-μητήρ and Γαῖα.

Footnote 246:

  _Opuscula Arabica_ (ed. W. Wright, Leyden 1859), p. 30. 2; 34. 5. This
  usage is made possible by the signification _Cloud_, which is peculiar
  to the word samâ in Arabic (Sprenger, _Das Leben und die Lehre des
  Mohammed_, I. 544).

Footnote 247:

  Schweinfurth, _The Heart of Africa_, I. 311.

Footnote 248:

  See the Count von Baudissin, _Studien zur semitischen
  Religionsgeschichte_, Leipzig 1876, I. p. 306 _et seqq._

Footnote 249:

  Or Future, or Imperfect, as it is more generally termed.—TR.

Footnote 250:

  It is worthy of note that in Arabic _pluralia fracta_ can be formed
  from this class of proper names. An interesting example of this is
  Tanʿum^u b. Ḳamiʾata, the name of the ancestor of the tribe Tanâʿum.
  See Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳâḳ_, p. 85 and gloss _h_.

Footnote 251:

  Strictly the Dawn.—TR.

Footnote 252:

  This theory explains the connexion of ṣârach with zârach ‘to be
  bright.’ Accordingly, I should like to place the Hebrew ṣâraʿath
  _lepra_ in this same etymological group, as the relationship between ע
  and ה does not require demonstration; the signification would then be
  that of ‘whiteness’ (see Lev. XIII. 3, 4).

Footnote 253:

  Hermann Vámbéry, _Uigurische Sprachmonumente und das Kudatku Bilik_,
  Innsbruck 1870, p. 238 _a_.

Footnote 254:

  E.g. vol. IV. 26 ult.; XVIII. 3, 11. 19, 93. 11; XXV. 5. 12, 6. 6 &c.
  I always quote the octavo edition of the _Romance of ʿAntar_, printed
  by Sheikh Shâhîn in thirty-two small vols., Cairo 1286.

Footnote 255:

  In De Sacy, _Chrestomathie Arabe_, II. 151. 13.

Footnote 256:

  It is entitled _Nuzhat al-asrâr fî muḥâwarat al-leyl w-al-nahâr_, and
  is in MS. in the University Library at Leipzig: cod. Ref. no. 357,
  fol. 11–18.

Footnote 257:

  Of this literature I will now draw attention only to a Ḳasîdâ of the
  old Persian poet Asadî, which is now made accessible in the edition of
  Rückert’s _Grammatik, Poetik und Rhetorik der Perser_, published by
  the care of W. Pertsch, Gotha 1874, pp. 59–63. But it contains little
  that harmonises with the argumentation of the above-employed Arabic

Footnote 258:

  _Nuzhat al-asrâr_ &c., fol. 14 _verso_, 17 _verso_.

Footnote 259:

  E.g. Abû-l-ʿAlâ’s Poems in the edition with commentary, Bûlâḳ 1286,
  II. 107, line 1: wa-tabtasimu-l-ashrâṭu fajran.

Footnote 260:

  See Abû-l-ʿAlâ, _ibid_., p. 211, line 5: fî maḍḥaki-l-barḳi.

Footnote 261:

  Vol. I. 193. Compare a beautiful passage in a poem of Ibn Muṭeyr,
  given by Nöldeke, _Beiträge zur Poesie der alten Araber_, p. 34, to
  which we shall recur farther on.

Footnote 262:

  _Ursprung der Mythologie_, p. 109 _et seq_.

Footnote 263:

  Most persons know this tense as Future, or as Imperfect.—TR.

Footnote 264:

  Similar correlative names in Hellenic mythology are Pro-metheus and

Footnote 265:

  Muslim’s _Collection of Traditions_, edition with Commentary, Cairo
  1284, V. 118. The commentator, Al-Nawawî, puts the name al-ʿÂḳib in
  combination with another name of the Prophet of identical meaning,
  viz. al-Muḳfî. The name al-ʿÂḳib occurs elsewhere also as a proper
  name, e.g. as the name of a friend of the poet al-Aʿsha (_Kitâb
  al-aġânî_, VI. 73).

Footnote 266:

  _Shâhnâmeh_, ed. Mohl, VII. v. 633, according to Rückert’s ingenious
  interpretation in the _Zeitschrift der D. M. G._, 1856, X. 145.

Footnote 267:

  _De Principiis_, ed. Kopp, p. 385.

Footnote 268:

  The sun itself is called a golden egg (Ad. Kuhn, _Zeitschr. für vergl.
  Sprachforschung_, I. 456).

Footnote 269:

  _King Henry VI._, Part II. Act IV. beginning.

Footnote 270:

  Heinrich Heine, _The Baltic_ [_sic!_ i.e. ‘die Nordsee’ = the German
  Ocean], Part 2, No. 4 in E.A. Bowring’s translation.

Footnote 271:

  In Henne-am-Rhyn, _Die deutsche Volkssage_, Leipzig 1874, p. 292, No.

Footnote 272:

  Catullus, LIX. [LXI.] vv. 84–86.

Footnote 273:

  Emîr Chosrev of Delhi, in Rückert, _Grammatik, Rhetorik und Poetik der
  Perser_, p. 69. 6.

Footnote 274:

  See Excursus C.

Footnote 275:

  Pauly, _Realencyklopädie_, VII. 1277; Wilhelm Bacher, Niẓâmî’s _Leben
  und Werke_, Leipzig 1871, p. 97, note 13.

Footnote 276:

  Al-Beiḍâwî, _Commentarius in Coranum_, ed. Fleischer, I. 572. 17.
  Bacher, _l.c._

Footnote 277:

  Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, II. 170.

Footnote 278:

  See Excursus D.

Footnote 279:

  See e.g. Brugsch, _Histoire d’Égypte_, 1st ed., I. 37.

Footnote 280:

  _De Osir. et Isid._, c. XXXIV.

Footnote 281:

  _De Pythiae oraculis_, c. XII., and compare the pseudo-Plutarch, _De
  vita et poësi Homeri_, c. CIV.

Footnote 282:

  So says Yalḳûṭ. Shôchêr Ṭôbh has the reading Akramânia, which is
  difficult of identification (Germania?).

Footnote 283:

  Yalḳûṭ and Shôchêr Ṭôbh on Ps. XIX. 7.

Footnote 284:

  _Ursprung der Mythologie_, p. 273.

Footnote 285:

  See p. 15.

Footnote 286:

  Compare Eckhel, _Doctrina Nummorum veterum_, V. 15.

Footnote 287:

  _Die Religion der Römer_, Erlangen 1836, II. 218. Compare Mommsen,
  _History of Rome_ (translation), I. 185, ed. of 1868.

Footnote 288:

  Fr. Lenormant, _Les premières civilisations_, Paris 1874, II. 29–31.

Footnote 289:

  It is well known that the story of Jonah was long ago connected with
  the myth of Herakles and Hesione, or that of Perseus and Andromeda
  (Bleek, _Einleitung ins A. T._, Berlin 1870, p. 577). Tylor,
  _Primitive Culture_, I. 306, should also be consulted. What Emil
  Burnouf says in his _La Science des Religions_, Paris 1872, p. 263, is
  quite untenable; he finds in the myth ‘un image de la naissance du feu
  divin et de la vie dont il est le principe.’

Footnote 290:

  Nonnus, _Dionysiaca_ XL. 443; Movers, _Religion der Phönizier_, p.

Footnote 291:

  Aesch., _Prom._, vv. 505, 467, Dind. I must also refer to Tangaloa,
  the chief figure in the Polynesian mythology, who is described as the
  first navigator. This characteristic, and the fact that Tangaloa is
  regarded as the originator of every handicraft (see the chapter on the
  Myth of Civilisation), with other features on which Schirren lays
  stress in determining his nature, seem to claim for him a solar
  character. Gerland (_Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, VI. 242) disputes
  this interpretation.

Footnote 292:

  _Jahrbücher für die bibl._ Wissenschaft, X. 21; _History of Israel_,
  I. 265 _et seq._

Footnote 293:

  In his essay _Phönikische Analekten, in the Zeitschr. der D. M. G._,
  1865, XIX. 536.

Footnote 294:

  Sepp, _Jerusalem und das Heilige Land_, Schaffhausen 1863, II. 687.

Footnote 295:

  _Vergelijkende geschiedenis van de egyptische en mesopotamische
  Godsdiensten_, Amsterdam 1872, p. 434.

Footnote 296:

  Julius Braun, _Naturgeschichte der Sage_, I. 41. See Tylor, _Primitive
  Culture_, I. 316.

Footnote 297:

  E. Jacques, _Vocabulaire Arabe-malacassa_, in _Journ. Asiat._, 1833,
  XI. 129, 130.

Footnote 298:

  Gerland, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, VI. 242.

Footnote 299:

  ‘Wimpern der Morgenröthe,’ and so Ewald translates aphʿappayim in Job,
  i.e. eyelashes, _eyelids_ being ‘Augenlieder.’ Yet Gesenius
  understands the word as _palpebrae_, i.e. eyelids (though both this
  word and _cilium_ are occasionally used indiscriminately in either
  sense). Βλέφαρον is only ‘eyelid;’ the Arabic ḥawâjib is only

Footnote 300:

  Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 1003. _a_; compare Orph. VIII. I. 13. In the
  _Thesmophoriazusae_ v. 17, Aristophanes makes Euripides call the eye
  ‘the imitation of the disc of the sun;’ compare _Acharn_. v. 1184: ὦ
  κλεινὸν ὄμμα, ‘O glorious eye!’ as an address to the Sun.

Footnote 301:

  Al Buchârî, IX. 30, 35.

Footnote 302:

  _Yaçna_, I. 35, III. 49.

Footnote 303:

  Eberh. Schrader, _Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament_, p. 165.

Footnote 304:

  Haneberg, _Religiöse Alterthümer der Bibel_, Münich 1869, p. 49;
  Movers, _Die Phönizier_, I. 411, where other combinations are given.

Footnote 305:

  The seven days of the week are imagined to have a connexion with the
  sun. According to Diodorus, I. 272, the inhabitants of Rhodes at the
  time of Cadmus worshipped the Sun-god, who had begotten seven sons on
  that island.

Footnote 306:

  Muir, _Sanskrit Texts_, V. 64.

Footnote 307:

  Yâḳûṭ, _Geogr. Wörterb._, III. 762.

Footnote 308:

  See Excursus E.

Footnote 309:

  Hartung, _Religion und Mythologie der Griechen_, Leipzig 1865, II.

Footnote 310:

  _al-Meydânî Majmaʾ al-amthâl_, II. 111. 21.

Footnote 311:

  Wa-kân auwal mâ asbal al-leyl riwâḳah wa-ḳad iswadd al-ẓalâm
  biaġ-sâḳah, _Romance of ʿAntar_, V. 170. 17. Accordingly, insadal is
  said of night as well as of a tent, e.g. _ʿAntar_, VI. 60. 14, 95. 5.

Footnote 312:

  I wish to mention here a suggestion received in a letter from Prof. de
  Goeje of Leyden, to take the name Hebhel in the appellative sense
  ‘herdsman,’ and compare it with the Arabic abil, the initial breathing
  being aspirated. The Hebrew âbhêl, ‘pasture,’ would then belong to the
  same group. But see also on the latter word an ingenious conjecture of
  Derenbourg in the _Journal Asiatique_, 1867, vol. I. p. 93.

Footnote 313:

  Wa-leylatun ṭachyâʾu yarmaʿillu * fîhâ ʿala-l-shârî nadan muchḍallu,
  _MS. of Univ. Leyden, Cod. Warner_, No. 597, p. 345.

Footnote 314:

  See above, pp. 42, 43.

Footnote 315:

  _Die Genesis_, Leipzig 1860, p. 64.

Footnote 316:

  Levy, in the _Zeitschr. der D. M. G._, 1860, XIV. 404.

Footnote 317:

  Compare Gelpke’s article _Neutestamentliche Studien_, in the _Theo.
  Studien u. Kritiken_, 1849, pp. 639 _et seq._

Footnote 318:

  See Excursus F.

Footnote 319:

  _Premières Civilisations_, II. 81.

Footnote 320:

  We do not wish to overlook the fact that the word Ḳayn in Himyaritic
  is a name of dignity, like Prince, Ruler, Lord, and may therefore, if
  this signification is adopted, be a synonym for Baʿal. See Prætorius
  in the _Zeitschr. der D. M. G._, 1872, XXVI. 432.

Footnote 321:

  See Fleischer’s _Nachträgliches_ to Levy’s _Chald. Wörterb. über d.
  Targ._, II. 577. _b_.

Footnote 322:

  _Yaçna_, I. 35, XVII. 22; _Khordavesta_, III. 49, VII. 4; Spiegel,
  _Die heiligen Schriften der Parsen_, III. 27: ‘The beautiful Dawn we
  praise; the brilliant, endowed with brilliant horses, who remembers
  men, remembers heroes, and is provided with splendour, with dwellings.
  The morning Dawn we praise; the cheering, endowed with fast horses.’
  _Vendidad_, XXI. 20: ‘Rise up, O splendid Sun! with thy fast horses,
  and shine on the creatures.’ In the Sun’s Yast (it is the sixth), in
  almost every verse from the invocation to the end of the prayer, this
  epithet is applied to the Sun; and in the tenth Yast chariots and
  flaming horses are assigned to Mithra (see the references in Spiegel,
  _l. c._ III. xxv.).

Footnote 323:

  A rough imitation of:

                      Phöbus in der Sonnendroschke
                      Peitschte seine Flammenrosse.
                           _Atta Troll_, XXII. 1.

Footnote 324:

  Schwartz, _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, pp. 106–109.

Footnote 325:

  According to Rawlinson this conception came from the Assyrians to the
  Persians. Put the learned explorer of Assyrian antiquity seems to
  ignore the solar significance of the winged disc when he says: ‘The
  conjecture is probable that ... the wings signify Omnipresence and the
  circle Eternity’ (_History of Herodotus_, note to I. c. 135, I. 215 of
  the edition of 1862).

Footnote 326:

  Hebrew scholars will observe that I here abandon the usual
  interpretation, and understand eshkenâ in the second member of the
  setting of the sun. In this way the first member speaks of the rising,
  the second of the setting of the sun (= bâ hash-shemesh), which dips
  into the water at the further edge (horizon) of the sea (acharîth

Footnote 327:

  See Excursus G.

Footnote 328:

  _Iliad_, VIII. 485. See Plutarch, _De vita et poes. Hom._, c. CIII.

Footnote 329:

  E.g. al-Suytûṭi in the _Ḥusn al-muḥâḍarâ_, &c: ‘fa iḏâ achaḏat
  fî-l-hubût’ (ap. Weyer’s _Diss. de loco Ibn Khacanis de Ibn Zeidun_,
  p. 87, n. 82).

Footnote 330:

  The Sun is in all the Semitic as well as in many Aryan languages
  grammatically feminine, and the myths frequently assign to the Sun a
  female form. It is therefore necessary sometimes to use the feminine

Footnote 331:

  In Ahlwardt, _Chalaf al-aḥmar_, p. 49. I. See _Vita Timuri_, II. 48:
  ‘ḳad janaḥat al shams lil-ġurûb.’

Footnote 332:

  Compare Ps. XVII. 8, LXI. 5 [4]; and accordingly in tastîrêm besêther
  pânekhâ, Ps. XXXI. 21 [20], ‘thou hidest them in the hiding-place of
  thy _face_,’ we must emend pânekhâ ‘face,’ into kenâphekhâ ‘wings.’

Footnote 333:

  _Romance of ʿAntar_, V. 136 ult., 236 penult. In the Babylonian epos
  of _Istar’s Descent to Hell_, v. 10 (Lenormant, _Premières
  Civilisations_, II. 85), Night is compared to a bird.

Footnote 334:

  This interpretation, here erroneously employed, is occasioned by the
  fact that in the Semitic languages the notion of ‘part’ is conveyed by
  words which properly denote ‘side:’ the two sides of a thing are two
  parts of it. Thus, even in literary Arabic the word ṭaraf, and in
  vulgar Arabic the word jânib (which is etymologically connected with
  the Hebrew kânâph ‘wing’) are used quite in the sense of baʿḍ ‘a
  part.’ An interesting modern example of this lies before me in the
  Arabic text of the terms of the latest 5,000,000_l._ loan by the
  Egyptian Minister of Finance, in which the third article says: 'The
  shares fall under the ordinary laws regulating buying and selling and
  bequest—sawâʾan kâna fî jânib minhu au fîhi bil-kâmil—equally whether
  it concerns a portion of them or the whole' (_al-Jawâʾïb_, a weekly
  paper, XIV. No. 695, p. 2, c. 2, of the year 1291).

Footnote 335:

  E.g. _Romance of ʿAntar_, V. 80 ult., 168 v. 6: Saarḥalu ʿankum lâ
  urîdu sawâʾakum * waʾaḳṣidukum fî junḥi kulli ẓalâmin ‘I go away from
  you, I want not the like of you; but I shall seek you under the wings
  of all darkness.’

Footnote 336:

  _al-Aġânî_, II. 12. 3, is also noticeable: ‘ḳamrun tawassaṭu junḥa
  leylin mubridi.’

Footnote 337:

  _Deutsche Mythologie_, p. 141.

Footnote 338:

  Ebers, _Aegypten und die Bücher Mosis_, p. 70.

Footnote 339:

  Fiske, _Myths and Myth-Makers_, pp. 71, 154.

Footnote 340:

  The sun is called _celer deus_ by Ovid, _Fasti_, I. 386; and
  Herodotus, I. 215, says: τῶν θεῶν ὁ τάχιστος. See Hehn,
  _Culturpflanzen_, etc., p. 38.

Footnote 341:

  _Berêshîth rabbâ_, sect. 22.

Footnote 342:

  Even Philo lays the chief momentum of the story of Hagar on her
  flight: μέμνηται γὰρ (sc. ὁ ἱερὸς λόγος) πολλαχοῦ τῶν ἀποδιδρασκόντων,
  καθάπερ καὶ νῦν φάσκων ἐπὶ τῆς Ἄγαρ ὅτι κακωθεῖσα ἀπέδρα ἀπὸ προσώπου
  τῆς κυρίας (_De profugis_, p. 546, ed. Mangey).

Footnote 343:

  I leave it for the present undecided whether the name Terach, given to
  Abraham’s father, belongs to this class. Ewald (_History of Israel_,
  I. 274) puts it in connexion with ârach ‘to wander,’ though in an
  ethnological sense.

Footnote 344:

  See above, p. 41.

Footnote 345:

  The first to discover this origin of the relative asher was the
  Hungarian Csepregi, pupil of the great Schultens, _Dissert._, Lugd.,
  p. 171 (quoted by Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 165): he did not, however,
  follow out the idea very clearly. Compare also Stade’s view,
  essentially the same, in the _Morgenländische Forschungen_, Leipzig
  1875, p. 188; I could not get a sight of this till after the above was
  ready for the press. On the other side Schrader, _Jen. Literaturzeit_
  1875, p. 299.

Footnote 346:

  In Assyrian the Moon is called arḥu, with a mere hamzâ (Schrader,
  _Assyr.-babyl. Keilinschr._, p. 282). In Arabic the reverse has
  happened; from warch (yârêach) has been formed the verb arracha ‘to
  fix the time (by the lunar calendar), to date,’ the _w_ (Heb. _y_)
  being weakened into hamzâ (aleph). Whether the Coptic Ioh and Arabic
  yûḥ are connected with yârêach (the abrasion of _r_ is not uncommon),
  is another question.

Footnote 347:

  So Böttcher, _Ausführl. Lehrbuch der hebr. Sprache_, I. 516–17.

Footnote 348:

  The poet Dîk al-Jinn had a mistress named Dînâ (Ibn Challiḳân. ed.
  Wüstenfeld, IV. 96. 7). See also Abû ʿUyeynâ al-Muhallabî (_Agânî_,
  III. 128. 2, 6).

Footnote 349:

  Edwin Norris, _Assyrian Dictionary_, I. 248.

Footnote 350:

  We find also al-ʿulya opposed to al-dunya in Ibn Châḳân ḳalâʾïd
  al-ʿiḳyân, ed. Bûlâḳ 1284, p. 60 ult.: ‘wa-dâmat laka-d-dunya *
  wa-dâmat laka-l-ʿulya.’

Footnote 351:

  Cod. Leyden, Warner’s Fund, No. 597, p. 325.

Footnote 352:

  It also deserves consideration whether Dînâ as the feminine of Dân
  denotes the Moon: compare Lâbhân, Lebhânâ; Âshêr, Ashêrâ. In that case
  the above myth would speak of the abduction of the Moon by the
  Morning-dawn, i.e. the disappearance of the moon at sunrise. It would
  then be the same myth as the Hellenic one of the abduction of Helenê
  (Selênê) by Paris.

Footnote 353:

  Angelo de Gubernatis, _ibid._ p. 278 _et seq._

Footnote 354:

  See _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1855, IX. 758.

Footnote 355:

  Edwin Norris, _Assyrian Dictionary_, I. 347. The signification ‘having
  locks’ might also be mentioned as a possibility for zalîchâ. In that
  case we should have to notice the Syrian zelîchê of the Peshiṭtô in
  _Song of Songs_, I. 11, where the parallelism to gedûlê demands
  something like ‘locks of hair;’ and this meaning agrees with that of
  zelach in Syriac: _fudit._

Footnote 356:

  It is well-known that the gutturals ح ḥ and خ ch often change into ف
  f. The Arabic ḳadaḥ ‘cup’ becomes in Turkish ḳadef; the name Yehûd is
  pronounced in jest _Jufut_. Compare the Arabic naḳacha with naḳafa,
  and the Mehri ehû, denoting ‘mouth,’ with Arabic fû, Hebrew peh, etc.

Footnote 357:

  See _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1855, IX. 758.

Footnote 358:

  See Pfleiderer, _Religion und ihre Geschichte_, II. 271.

Footnote 359:

  Brinton, _Myths of the New World_, pp. 159 _et seq._

Footnote 360:

  2 Kings, I. 8, II. 11. Compare the fiery, flame-red chariot of Ushas
  (_Rigveda_, VI. 64. 7).

Footnote 361:

  _Das alte Griechenland im neuen_, p. 23.

Footnote 362:

  Supplement to the Augsburg _Allgem. Zeitung_, 1874, No. 344. p. 5377.

Footnote 363:

  Compare Renan, _Hist. génér. des Langues sémitiques_, p. 28.

Footnote 364:

  Called in the English Bible Lamech, which is derived from the pausal
  form Lâmĕkh through the LXX. Λάμεχ, as is the case with many names,
  e.g. Abel, Japheth, Jared, though not all; cf. on the other side
  Jether, Zerah, Peleg. The ordinary form, such as Lĕmĕch, ought to be

Footnote 365:

  Schwartz, _Ursprung der Mythologie_, pp. 138–150.

Footnote 366:

  See the whole of Chapter VI.

Footnote 367:

  See note 364, p. 129:.

Footnote 368:

  Ps. XIX. 5 [4]. We have already remarked (p. 111) that the tents which
  originally belonged to the sky at night are frequently transferred to
  the sky of daytime; see also Is. XL. 22. And Noah uncovers himself,
  bethôkh oholô ‘in the middle of his tent’ (Gen. IX. 21).

Footnote 369:

  In al-Jauharî, s.r. _kfr_.

Footnote 370:

  In Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 193; ḥatta ara aʿnâḳa ṣubḥin ablajâ * tasûru fî
  aʿjâzi leylin adʿajâ. The expression aʿjâz al-leyl also occurs in a
  verse of Farazdaḳ, _Kitâb al-Aġânî_, XIV. 173. 19, and of Ashgaʿ,
  _ibid._ XVII. 35. 13.

Footnote 371:

  See also _Shâhnâmêh_, VII. 395, with Rückert’s conjecture suggested in
  _Zeitsch. der D. M. G.,_ 1856, X. 136.

Footnote 372:

  Lazarus Geiger, _Ursprung und Entwickelung der menschl_. _Sprache und
  Vernunft_, I. 447.

Footnote 373:

  Schwartz, _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, p. 228.

Footnote 374:

  In G. Rawlinson’s _History of Herodotus_, I. 490 _et seq._ One might
  also think of the Arabic nafara ‘to fly.’ The Sun is a _fugitive_, as
  has been already shown.

Footnote 375:

  Lenormant, _Premières Civilisations_, II. 21.

Footnote 376:

  On the primary signification of the root _mrd_ in Semitic, see Fried.
  Delitzsch, _Studien über indogerm.-semit_. _Wurzelverwandtschaft_,
  Leipzig 1873, p. 74.

Footnote 377:

  _Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament_, p. 17, and _Die
  assyr.-babyl_. _Keilinschriften_, p. 212. Compare Merx, _Grammatica
  Syriaca_, p. 201.

Footnote 378:

  Levy, _Phönizische Studien_, pt. II. p. 24.

Footnote 379:

  Adolf Jellinek, _Bêth ham-midrâsh_, V. 40; see supra, p. 32.

Footnote 380:

  I am fully aware that in Hebrew poetry arrows are frequently, indeed
  most frequently, to be understood of lightning. ‘He sends out his
  arrows and scatters them; lightnings in great number and discomfits
  them’ (Ps. XVIII. 15 [14]). But the arrows of Joseph’s adversaries
  must from the very nature of the myth be rays of the sun. If the
  hunter is the Sun, then the rays can only be something which the
  hunter in that ancient time used for shooting. Mythology is not the
  product of a well-thought-out consistent system, and so nothing is
  more likely than that two different things should be treated in the
  same way by virtue of some feature common to both. Thus the solar ray
  and the lightning are the same in mythology—an Arrow.

Footnote 381:

  See a fuller description in Schwartz, _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, pp.

Footnote 382:

  J.G. Müller, _Geschichte der amerikanischen Urreligionen_, p. 429.

Footnote 383:

  See this question treated and its literature cited in Creuzer,
  _Symbolik und Mythologie_, 3rd ed., I. 57.

Footnote 384:

  For the description of the Sun as an Opener, I am enabled to insert a
  supplementary datum, borrowed from a book which was published when p.
  97 of the present work (to which I refer back) was already printed. In
  a cuneiform Hymn to Samas, the Sun-god, he is addressed thus:

       O Samas! from the back of the heavens thou hast come forth:
       _The barrier of the shining heavens thou hast opened;
       Yea the gate of the heavens thou hast opened_.

  (German translation of George Smith’s _Chaldean Account of Genesis_,
  with additions by Dr. Fr. Delitzsch, Leipzig, 1876.) The passage
  quoted is one of Delitzsch’s additions, p. 284. I think this Hymn is a
  remarkable illustration of our hypothesis that Yiphtâch, ‘the Opener,’
  is a linguistic description of the Sun.

Footnote 385:

  I owe to the kindness of my honoured friend Dr. Hampel, Custos of the
  archeological section of the Hungarian National Museum, the
  verification of a reference in the _Bulletino dell’ Instituto di
  Correspondenza Archeologica_, 1853, p. 150, to a stone which exhibits
  the same representation of the head of Janus as the coin in question,
  viz.: ‘una testa doppia, di cui una facie è barbata, l’altra

Footnote 386:

  See _Naphtali_, discussed in § 14 of this Chapter; p. 178.

Footnote 387:

  Compare _Sol languidus_ (Lucretius, _De rerum nat._, V. 726).

Footnote 388:

  The Arabian historians transfer the entire Biblical story of Samson
  (Arabic Shamsûn), to the time of the Mulûk al-ṭawâʾif; and in their
  narrative the hero fights against Rûm [i.e. the Greek Empire at
  Constantinople]; for the jawbone of an ass is substituted that of a
  camel. See Ibn al-Athîr al-Taʾrîch al-kâmil, Bûlâḳ edition, I. 146.

Footnote 389:

  Schwartz, _Ursprung der Mythologie_, p. 144, where Sif and Loki of the
  Scandinavian mythology are also mentioned. The hairiness of the solar
  heroes has been translated into an ethnographical peculiarity in
  modern Greek popular legends. Bernhard Schmidt (_Das Volksleben der
  Neugriechen_, I. 206) says, ‘In Zante I encountered the idea that the
  entire power of the ancient Greeks lay in three hairs on the breast,
  and vanished if these were cut off, but returned when the hairs grew

Footnote 390:

  See Ewald, _History of Israel_, I. 345, note 1.

Footnote 391:

  In Gen. XXVII. 11, the received punctuation is îsh sâʿîr.—Tr.

Footnote 392:

  Compare Tiele, _Vergel. Geschied._ p. 447.

Footnote 393:

  Schwartz, _Ursprung der Mythologie_, p. 146; see above, p. 34.

Footnote 394:

  _Zur Entwickelungsgeschichte der Menschheit_, pp. 45–60.—_Ursprung und
  Entwickelung der menschlichen Sprache und Vernunft_, Bd. II. book
  3.—Compare Lazarus, _Leben der Seele_, II. 80; _ibid._ p. 185 note.

Footnote 395:

  For _Silver_ the three North-Semitic languages, Assyrian, Aramaic, and
  Hebrew, have the same word, and in so far ‘form a strict union,’ as
  Schrader says, in opposition to the South-Semitic languages, which
  employ other words for the designation of this metal.'
  _Keilinschriften und das A. T._, p. 46.

Footnote 396:

  Chârûṣ = gold has in recent times been frequently met with on
  Phenician territory, e.g. in the Inscription of Idalion published by
  Euting, II. 1, in the Inscription of Gebal (De Vogüé in the _Journal
  asiat._ 1875, I. 327), and in an unpublished Carthaginian Inscription
  (Derenbourg in _Journal asiat._ 1875, I. 336).

Footnote 397:

  The consideration of the Hebrew cheres ‘Sun’ might suggest that both
  it and the old word for gold (chârûṣ), composed of possibly related
  sounds, both originated in the notion of _shining_.

Footnote 398:

  Al-Maḳḳarî, _Analectes_, etc., Leyden edition, I. 369. 3.

Footnote 399:

  Al-Jauharî, s.r. _kbr._

Footnote 400:

  Yâḳût, _Geogr. Dictionary_, II. 609. 8.

Footnote 401:

  _Zur himjarischen Alterthumskunde_, in _Zeitsch. der D. M. G._, 1865,
  XIX. 247. Compare Halévy, _Etudes sabéennes_, in _Journal asiat._,
  1874, II. 523.

Footnote 402:

  Pseudowâḳidî, ed. Nassau Lees, p. 181. 6.

Footnote 403:

  _Hist. de l’économie politique en Turquie_, in _Journal asiat._, 1864,
  I. 421. Compare also Sprenger, _Alte Geographie Arabiens_, p. 56.

Footnote 404:

  The use of _black_ should also be noticed; dirhem saudâ and kara

Footnote 405:

  In _al-Thaʿâlibî_ in the _Zeitsch. der D. M. G._, 1854, VII. 505.

Footnote 406:

  _Culturgeschichtliche Streifzüge_, p. xi.

Footnote 407:

  Compare _Aġânî_, III. 90. 10. Fadaʿa bichâzinihi wa-ḳâla kam fî beyt
  mâlî faḳâla lahu min al-waraḳ w-al-ʿayn baḳîyyatun.

Footnote 408:

  Thorbecke, _Antarah, ein vorislamischer Dichter_, Leipzig 1867, p. 41.

Footnote 409:

  al-Ḥarîrî, Paris edition, 2nd ed., p. 467.

Footnote 410:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, XVII. p. 11.

Footnote 411:

  M.A. Levy in _Zeitschr. der D. M. G._, 1870, XXIV. p. 191.

Footnote 412:

  Halévy, _ibid._ p. 539.

Footnote 413:

  Freytag points this word urayḳ.—TR.

Footnote 414:

  J. Levy, _Chaldäisches Wörterbuch_, I. 345.

Footnote 415:

                   ‘The Sun had long since in the lap
                   Of Thetis taken out his nap;
                   And, like a lobster boil’d, the Morn
                   From black to red began to turn’—

  —says _Hudibras_, canto II.

Footnote 416:

  In the Babyl. Talmûd, Yômâ 28. b, the falling of the shades of night
  is described as the time when meshacharê kôthâlê ‘the walls are

Footnote 417:

  Called by Freytag an _eagle_.—TR.

Footnote 418:

  In Harîrî (Paris edition, 2nd ed.), p. 644. 4, we read of the Dawn:
  ḥîna naṣal chiḍâb al-ẓalâm ‘when the dye of darkness was washed off.’
  The Arabic word here used for ‘dye’ is generally employed of gay
  colours, e.g. al-ḥinnâ; but it is self-evident that here only al-kuḥl
  can be meant.

Footnote 419:

  In Persian black hair is called mû i-Zengî ‘Gipsies’ hair,’ and
  zulf-i-Hindu, ‘Indian hair,’ i.e. black like an Indian’s (e.g.
  Rückert, _Grammatik, Poetik und Rhetorik der Perser_, p. 287). So in
  the well-known verse of Ḥafiẓ, in which the poet gives away all
  Bochara and Samarkand for the black mole (bechâl-i-Hinduwesh, ‘Indian
  mole’) of his Turkish boy (Dîwân Râ, no. 8. v. 1; ed. Rosenzweig, I.

Footnote 420:

  _Saḳt-al-zand_, I. 91. 7.

Footnote 421:

  E.g. _Romance of ʿAntar_, VII. 115. line 4 from below: wa-kasa-l-leylu
  ḥullat al-sawâd.

Footnote 422:

  Varro treats it as self-evident that ‘black’ is the most suitable
  epithet for Night, and is thereby tempted to a very curious etymology
  in his work _De ratione vocabulorum_. He explains the word _fur_
  ‘thief’ by saying that in the old Latin _fur-vum_ was equivalent to
  ‘black,’ and thieves practise their dark deeds at night. ‘Sed in
  posteriore ejusdem libri parte docuit (scil. Varro) furem ex eo dictum
  quod veteres Romani furvum atrum appellaverint: at fures per noctem
  quae atra sit facilius furentur’ (Aulus Gellius, _Noctes Atticae_, I.
  18. 3–6).

Footnote 423:

  Opuscula arabica, ed. W. Wright, Leyden 1859, p. 30. 11; compare p.
  31. 12.

Footnote 424:

  _Aġânî_, XI. 44.

Footnote 425:

  _Ibid._, XVIII. 139.

Footnote 426:

  Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 344.

Footnote 427:

  Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 345.

Footnote 428:

  _Iḥyâ ʿulûm al-dîn_, II. 148.

Footnote 429:

  Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 1183.

Footnote 430:

  Chabas, _Etudes sur l’antiquité historique d’après les sources
  égyptiennes_, etc. 2nd edition, Paris 1873, p. 34, where the article
  by Le Page Renouf is referred to.

Footnote 431:

  Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 193, whom I follow as a reliable ancient authority;
  al-Jauharî and Freytag after him understand aṣbaḥ somewhat

Footnote 432:

  Abû-l-ʿAlâ, II. 107. 3–4.

Footnote 433:

  _Saḳt al-zand_, I. 93. 1. These ideas of the relations of colours are
  found expressed with characteristic energy by the eccentric Persian
  poet Abû Isḥâḳ Ḥallâjî; he says, ‘When the Sun in the blue vault turns
  his cheek into yellow, it makes me think of saffron-coloured viands on
  an azure dish’ (Rückert, _Grammatik, Poetik und Rhetorik der Perser_,
  p. 126). The conception of turning grey combines that of both
  colours—the white appearing beside the black. According to _Aġânî_,
  II. 41. 7; those clouds which combine the two colours are called shîb
  ‘grey’ (al-saḥâʾib allatî fîhâ sawâd wa-bayâd).

Footnote 434:

  I will mention here that according to al-Ġazâlî (_Iḥjâ_, IV. 433) the
  stars have various colours, some tending towards red, others towards
  white, others towards leaden: wa-tadabbar ʿadad kawâkibihâ, wachtilâf
  alwânihâ fabaʿḍuhâ tamîl ila-l-ḥumrâ wa-baʿḍuhâ ila-l-bayâḍ wa-baʿḍuhâ
  ila launi-r-ruṣâṣ.

Footnote 435:

  Abû-l-ʿAlâ, I. 195. 1.

Footnote 436:

  In Yâḳût, IV. 911. 7.

Footnote 437:

  Ḥarîrî’s _Maḳâmâs_, p. 675. 7: Istanâra-l-leyl al-bahîm.

Footnote 438:

  See Excursus H.

Footnote 439:

  _Aġânî_, I. 158. 23.

Footnote 440:

  al-Anṭâḳi, _Tazyîn al-aswâḳ_, etc., p. 405.

Footnote 441:

  _Maḳâmâs_, p. 128; cf. Mehren, _Rhetorik der Araber_, p. 99.

Footnote 442:

  al-Buchârî, IX. 35.

Footnote 443:

  The notion of the white colour of the moon is also the foundation of
  one of the Hebrew names of the moon. In the verse Ẓabyatun admâʾu
  mithla-l-hilâlî ‘a gazelle red like the new moon’ (_Aġânî_, VI. 122.
  21) the moon is treated as red. But in the appellation al-layâli
  al-bîḍ ‘white nights,’ by which are meant nights illumined throughout
  by the moon, the moonshine is associated with a white colour.

Footnote 444:

  _Die Höllenfahrt der Istar_, p. 75.

Footnote 445:

  Halévy, _ibid._, p. 556.

Footnote 446:

  See Excursus I.

Footnote 447:

  See Excursus K.

Footnote 448:

  Among the Arabic names of the sun, we find the curious appellation
  al-jaunâ (Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 324), a word of colour, which belongs to
  the aḍdâd of the Arabic philologians, i.e. words with contradictory
  signification, and may denote either white or black (see Redslob, _Die
  arab_. _Wörter mit entgegengesetzter Bedeutung_, Göttingen 1873, p.
  27). Al-jaunâ is especially the setting sun, e.g. lâ âtîhi ḥatta taġîb
  al-jaunâ, ‘I cannot come to him till the jaunâ sets;’ and the setting
  sun is well described by a colour-word which, by its faculty of
  standing for either white or black, answers to the transition from
  sunshine to darkness.

Footnote 449:

  Communicated by Henne Am Rhyn, _Deutsche Volkssagen_ &c., p. 219. no.

Footnote 450:

  _Nagyidai Czigányok_. In the original Hungarian:

                  Most az Éj fölvette tolvajköpönyegét,
                  Eltakará azzal pitykés öltözetét.

Footnote 451:

  On _Regina coeli_, see Jablonski, _Opuscula_, II. 54 _et seq_. (ed. Te

Footnote 452:

  In Fox Talbot, quoted by Schrader, _Die Höllenfahrt der Istar_, p. 98.

Footnote 453:

  _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1873, XXVII. p. 404.

Footnote 454:

  G. Rawlinson, _History of Herodotus_, App. B. I., Essay X. (I. 484).

Footnote 455:

  Schwartz, _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, 269, 274.

Footnote 456:

  See especially Osiander in the _Zeitsch, d. D. M. G._, 1865, XIX. 242
  _et seq._

Footnote 457:

  In Yâḳût, IV. 406.

Footnote 458:

  The constant epithet ‘holding the seed of bulls’ brings to view the
  idea that the influence of the moon produces fertility in cattle
  (Spiegel, _Die heiligen Schriften der Parsen_ [in German], III. xxi.).
  According to Yasht, VII. 5, it is the moon ‘that produces verdure,
  that produces good things.’ Compare _Catullus_, XXXII (XXXIV) v.
  17–20, where the poet apostrophises the Moon—

                         Tu cursu, Dea, menstruo
                         Metiens iter annuum,
                         Rustica agricolae bonis
                           Tecta frugibus exples.

Footnote 459:

  This connexion is also clear in the Hottentot mythology. Heizi Eibib,
  which means moon, is there the name of the man to whom grave-tumuli
  are consecrated, and who is addressed in prayer for good sport and
  numerous herds (Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, II. 324).

Footnote 460:

  Max Müller’s view (_Introduction to the Science of Religion_, p. 184),
  ‘When Jeremiah speaks of the Queen of Heaven, this can only be meant
  for Astarte or Baaltis,’ is correct only if Baaltis be identified with
  the Moon. The correctness of this identification, which was first
  asserted by Philo Byblius, and has been conceded by the older
  interpreters Grotius and Lyra, and by many modern ones, is very
  probable; for the name Baaltis stands in the same relation to Baʿal
  (Sun) as Milkâ to Melekh, Lebhânâ to Lâbhân, and Ashêrâ to Âshêr.
  Tiele also (_Vergelijkende Geschiedenis_, p. 512) says the same as

Footnote 461:

  Midrâsh Shôchêr Ṭôbh on Ps. XIX. 7.

Footnote 462:

  The contrast of Leah’s weak eyes to Rachel’s beauty belongs not to the
  mythic stage, but to the epic description.

Footnote 463:

  There is no reason to separate the word shilhê from the Shaphʿêl
  shalhî, as Levy does in his _Chald. Wôrterbuch_, II. 481; compare
  Reggio in the Hebrew journal _Ozar Nechmad_, I. 122.

Footnote 464:

  See _Zeitschr. für Völkerpsychologie und Sprachwissenschaft_, 1869,
  VI. 237, 252.

Footnote 465:

  Rohlfs, _Quer durch Afrika_, I. 204.

Footnote 466:

  _Opuscula Arabica_, pp. 16–39.

Footnote 467:

  E.g. _Ḥamâsâ_, p. 609, v. 6: _Nâbiġâ_, VI. v. 9.

Footnote 468:

  _Ḥamâsâ_, p. 391, v. 2.

Footnote 469:

  Commentary on _Ḥamâsâ_, _ibid._

Footnote 470:

  The Arabian poet Ibn Mayyâdâ, in a description of the lightning
  (_Aġânî_, II. 120. 9), says 'it lights up the piled-up cloud, which is
  like a herd of camels, at the head of which those that long for their
  home cry out with pain: yuḍîʾu ṣabîran min saḥâbin kaʾannahu * hijânun
  arannat lil-ḥanîni nawâziʿuh.

Footnote 471:

  The ancient Arabs understood that the thunder and lightning were
  caused by the clouds whence they issued. Many passages might be quoted
  in support of this, but Lebîd Muʿallaḳâ v. 4, 5, is sufficient. Ḥanna
  (to sigh, to groan with desire) is therefore equivalent to ‘to
  thunder,’ e.g. _Aġânî_, XIII. 32. 8. ḳad raʿadat samâʾuhu wa-baraḳat
  wa-ḥannat warjaḥannat.

Footnote 472:

  See W. Wright, _Opuscula Arabica_, p. 20. 10; 21. 7.

Footnote 473:

  _Ibid._, p. 29. 2.

Footnote 474:

  _Kitâb al-Aġânî_, XIX. 157. 1.

Footnote 475:

  Jeremiah XXXI. 15, Matth. II. 18.

Footnote 476:

  Compare al-Sherbînî Hezz al-ḳuḥûf, etc., lithographed Alexandria, p.
  253. The Arabs also said of the red evening-sky that ‘it wept bloody
  tears’ (al-Maḳrîzî, _al-Chiṭaṭ_, Bûlâk edition, I. 430).

Footnote 477:

  Clemens Alex. _Strom._ V. 571.

Footnote 478:

  See Nöldeke’s _Beiträge zur altarab. Poesie_, p. 34.

Footnote 479:

  In mythology the clouds are also called udders. See Mannhardt, _German
  Mythenf._, pp. 176–188; so in Arabic, Ibn Muṭeyr apud Nöldeke l. c.

Footnote 480:

  Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳaḳ_, ed. Wüstenfeld, pp. 13, 14.

Footnote 481:

  Ibnat al-ʿinab, in the celebrated wine-song of Wâlid b. Yazîd
  (_Aġânî_, VI. 110. 5). Wine is well known to be called in Hebrew
  ‘Blood of the grape,’ dam ʿênâbh (_Deut._ XXXII. 14); compare the
  Persian chôni rûz in Waṣṣâf ed. Hammer, p. 138. 6: shahzâdegân bâ
  yekdiger chôni rûz chordend.

Footnote 482:

  In Siamese luk mei is ‘son of the tree, fruit’ (Steinthal,
  _Charakteristik_, p. 150); compare Midrâsh rabbâ Leviticus, sect 7,
  where ‘children of the tree’ are spoken of, châlaḳtâ khâbhôd laʿêṣîm
  bishebhîl benêhem. The pearl is called by Waṣṣâf, p. 180. 15, zâdei
  yem ‘son of the sea.’ A curious mythological relationship is found in
  the Polynesian system; the year, a daughter of the first pair,
  combined with her own father to produce the months, and the children
  of the latter are the days (Gerland, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_,
  VI. 233).

Footnote 483:

  Fleischer in the _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1853, VII. 502 note.

Footnote 484:

  _Aġânî_, XX. 54. 16.

Footnote 485:

  Arabic tradition knows another name besides Zalîchâ for this person.
  In al-Ṭabarî her name is given as Râʿîl; see Ouseley, _Travels in
  various Countries of the East_, London 1819, I. 74; also in
  al-Beyḍâwî’s _Anwâr al-tanzîl_, ed. Fleischer, I. 456–8.

Footnote 486:

  _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._ 1849, III. 200. See above p. 73. _et seq._

Footnote 487:

  _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, pp. 1. _et seq._

Footnote 488:

  Weil, _Biblische Legenden der Muselmänner_, p. 39. _Zeitschrift d. D.
  M. G._, 1861, XV. 86.

Footnote 489:

  _Das Volksleben der Neugriechen_, Leipzig 1871, I. 36.

Footnote 490:

  _Chips_, &c. vol. II., the latter part of ‘Comparative Mythology,’ and
  _Lectures on the Science of Language_, Second Series, Lecture IX. ‘The
  Mythology of the Greeks.’—TR.

Footnote 491:

  Plutarchi _Fragmenta et Spuria_, ed. Fr. Dübner, in F. Didot’s
  Collection, Paris 1855, p. 83.

Footnote 492:

  _Lettres assyriologiques et épigraphiques_, Paris 1872, II. fifth

Footnote 493:

  Müller, _History of Sanskrit Literature_, p. 530; _Chips_, &c., II.
  163 _et seq._; Fiske, _Myths_, p. 113.

Footnote 494:

  Schoolcraft, _Historical and Statistical Information respecting the
  History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes_, 1851, II. 136.

Footnote 495:

  See Geiger, _Jüd. Zeitschrift für Wissenschaft und Leben_, vol. VIII.
  p. 285. Breslau 1869.

Footnote 496:

  Kuenen (in his _Religion of Israel_, I. 111 in the translation)
  expresses the opinion that only the degree of mutual relationship
  between the fathers of tribes was a later idea: that, e.g. the less
  noble tribes were called sons of Jacob’s slave-girls, and those that
  were bound together by closer fraternal feelings were regarded as sons
  of the same mother. Compare now also Zunz, _Gesammelte Schriften_,
  Berlin 1875, I. 268.

Footnote 497:

  There still remain some names whose etymological explanation is
  difficult, as Reʾûbhên and Shimʿôn. Yissâsekhâr (Issachar) translated
  literally might be ‘the Day-labourer,’ certainly a fitting designation
  for the Sun, expressing how he does his day’s work, like a
  day-labourer. Yet I cannot look upon that as a mythical description,
  because it would be an unpardonable anachronism to suppose that that
  primeval age when myths were created would speak of day-labourers,
  especially after the fashion in which the idea is expressed by the
  word Yissâ-sekhâr, ‘he takes up his _wages_.’

Footnote 498:

  Which according to al-Damîrî, _Ḥayât al-ḥaywân_, Bûlâḳ 1274, II. 219,
  is used only of the rising sun; we can say ṭalaʿat al-ġazâlâ ‘the
  gazelle rises,’ but not ġarabat ‘he sets.’ Abû Saʿîd al-Rustamî the
  poet (in Behâ al-Dîn al-ʿÂmilî, _Keshkûl_, p. 164. 13) carries out the
  mythological figure still further, using the verb naṭaḥa ‘to butt,’
  said of horned beasts. Describing a fine building, he says tanâṭaḥa
  ḳarna-sh-shamsi min sharafâtihi, that ‘as to splendour it butts in
  rivalry with the sun’—as if the palace and the sun were knocking their
  horns together.

Footnote 499:

  _Babyl. Tract. Yômâ_, fol. 29. a: ‘As the hind’s horns branch out to
  every side, so also the light of dawn spreads out to all sides.’

Footnote 500:

  _Journal asiatique_, 1861, II. 437.

Footnote 501:

  Caussin de Perceval, _Essai sur l’histoire des Arabes avant
  l’Islamisme_, I. 260.

Footnote 502:

  Given in the Appendix to this work.

Footnote 503:

  Lenormant, _La Magie chez les Chaldéens_, Paris 1874, p. 140. In the
  decadence of magic, however, the horns, which are connected with
  magic, are used even outside the cycle of solar gods; e.g. ‘On voit
  Bin la tête surmontée de la tiare royale armée de cornes de taureau,
  les épaules munies de quatre grandes ailes, etc.,’ _ibid._ p. 50. Here
  the horns are for butting, not to symbolise rays. However, in this
  particular case of Bin the mythical meaning is not very clear. As he
  is sometimes called ‘the southern sun over ʿElâm,’ _ibid._ p. 121, the
  horns in the passage quoted may have something to do with his solar

Footnote 504:

  _Deorum Concilium_, 10.

Footnote 505:

  See Herodotus, II. 42, IV. 181.

Footnote 506:

  We will not claim any importance for the fact that in Sanchuniathon’s
  account of the sacrifice of Isaac the name Jeûd is given instead of
  Isaac; consequently if Jeûd be identical with the Hebrew Jehûdâ, the
  fact that Jeûd is here equivalent to Isaac would prove the solar
  character of Jehûdâ.

Footnote 507:

  Angelo de Gubernatis, in his _Zoological Mythology_, is peculiarly
  indefinite on the mythological significance of this animal; compare
  Pleyte, _La Religion des Pré-Israelites_, Leyden 1865, p. 151, where
  much useful information will be found on the worship of the Ass.

Footnote 508:

  See Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, pp. 494 and 1163.

Footnote 509:

  On the Arabic proper name _Ḥimâr_, Yâḳût, II. 362, may be consulted;
  cf. Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-ishtiḳâḳ_, p. 4. The Arabic proper name
  Misḥal is also connected with the Ass; it alludes to the screeching of
  the wild-ass; see _Tebrîzî’s Scholia to the Ḥamâsâ_, p. 200 penult.
  Compare _al-Meydânî_, II. 98: akfar min Ḥimâr.

Footnote 510:

  _Ḳazwînî_, ed. Wüstenfeld, I. 77, II. 166. I must also just refer to
  the story of Muṭʿim, as told in Yâḳût, IV. 565, and mention that
  Muṭʿim ‘he who gives food’ is likewise the name of an ancient Arabian
  idol. Even Krehl, in his work on the _Preislamite Religion of the
  Arabs_, p. 61, attempted to explain mythologically the story of Isâf
  and Nâʾilâ, interpreting the latter name as ‘she who kisses.’

Footnote 511:

  Pharez and Zarah in the English Bible, derived through the LXX. from
  the pausal forms Pâreṣ and Zârach.—TR.

Footnote 512:

  And English _Daybreak_.—TR.

Footnote 513:

  From Hajnal ‘dawn,’ and hasadás, abstract substantive from root hasad
  ‘to split, tear open.’—TR.

Footnote 514:

  Abû Nuwâs says of the dawn, maftûḳ-ul-adîmi, _Yâḳut_, III. 697. 22.

Footnote 515:

  This hymn is applied to Dan, to whom it is quite unsuitable, as Dan
  has a solar character. We are tempted to conjecture that it originally
  referred to a non-solar figure, perhaps actually to Levi, whose name
  is synonymous with nâchâsh ‘serpent.’ This is the more probable,
  because no separate section of Jacob’s Blessing is devoted to this
  son, and in the only words relating to him he is coupled with Simeon.

Footnote 516:

  See _Zeitsch. für Völkerpsychologie &c._, 1871, VII. 307.

Footnote 517:

  The first chapter of the _Vendidâd_ translated and explained, in
  Bunsen’s _Egypt’s Place_ &c. III. 494 _et seq._

Footnote 518:

  As raoidhitem may also signify ‘running’ (root rudh = to flow and to
  run), a ‘running snake,’ literally the same as nâchâsh bârîach, might
  be meant.

Footnote 519:

  Möller, _Kosmogonie_, p. 193.

Footnote 520:

  Max Müller, _Chips_ &c., II. 164; Fiske, _Myths_ &c., p. 113. On the
  blinding, see p. 109 _et seq._

Footnote 521:

  See al-Damîrî, _Ḥayât al-heyvân_, I. 70.

Footnote 522:

  See Excursus L.

Footnote 523:

  Connected with ġashiya ‘to veil.’

Footnote 524:

  See Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 749.

Footnote 525:

  Max Müller, _Chips_ &c., II. 68.

Footnote 526:

  Arsala achâhu Sheybûb taḥt al-leyl, _ʿAntar_, VI. 102. 9.

Footnote 527:

  _Ḥamâsâ_, p. 566. v. 2.

Footnote 528:

  Libâsan, compare Sûr. VII. v. 52; XIII. v. 3; yuġshî-l-leyla-n-nahâra.

Footnote 529:

  In _Yâḳût_, I. 24. 2.

Footnote 530:

  Ḥarîrî, p. 162, 2nd ed.; compare the Commentary, in which particular
  stress is laid on the act of covering up: liʾannahu yuġaṭṭî mâ fîhî.
  Compare al-Meydânî, II. 112. 23: al-leyl yuwârî ḥaḍanan.

Footnote 531:

  Eur. _Ion_, v. 1150; it is also called ποικίλον ἔνδυμα ἔχουσα, and in
  Aeschylus, _Prom._ v. 24 ποικίλειμων νύξ, from the gay robe of stars.

Footnote 532:

  Compare _King Richard II._, III. 2. ‘The cloak of night being pluck'd
  from off their backs.’

Footnote 533:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, III. 28. 24.

Footnote 534:

  I quote also a passage from the Uigur language: ‘The creation tore its
  black shirt,’ _i.e._ the day has dawned: Vámbéry, _Kudatku Bilik_, p.
  218; compare p. 70, ‘I have put off the cloak of darkness;’ p. 219,
  ‘The daughter of the west spreads out her carpet.’

Footnote 535:

  Max Müller, _Chips_, &c., II. 83. Schwartz, _Ursprung d. Mythologie_,
  p. 245.

Footnote 536:

  al-Beyḍâwî’s Commentary on the _Ḳorân_, I. 19. 21 _et seq._
  Abû-l-Baḳâ, _Kulliât_, p. 305.

Footnote 537:

  See Excursus G.

Footnote 538:

  Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 322.

Footnote 539:

  _The Poetical Works_ of Behâ-ed-Dîn Zoheir of Egypt. By E.H. Palmer,
  Cambridge 1876, I. 108. 7. It is impossible to quote this edition
  without an expression of admiration for the perfection to which Arabic
  typography has been brought in England in this magnificent Oriental
  work, the production of which redounds to the imperishable credit of
  the University of Cambridge. It may be pronounced one of the most
  beautiful Oriental books that have ever been printed in Europe; and
  the learning of the editor worthily rivals the technical get-up of the
  creations of the soul of one of the most tasteful poets of Islâm, the
  study of which will contribute not a little to save the honour of the
  poetry of the Arabs. Here first we make the acquaintance of a poet who
  gives us something better than monotonous descriptions of camels and
  deserts, and may even be regarded as superior in charm to

Footnote 540:

  _Beiträge zur Geschichte der Sprachgelehrsamkeit bei den Arabern_, no.
  1, in the _Sitzungsberichte der kais. Akademie der Wissenschaften_,
  Vienna 1871, Jan. p. 222 _et seq._; or in the reprint p. 18 _et seq._

Footnote 541:

  Wallin’s articles in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1851, V. 17; but see
  above p. 43.

Footnote 542:

  See Vatke, _Biblische Theologie_, p. 327, and Gesenius, _Thesaurus_,
  p. 711, where importance is attached to this.

Footnote 543:

  The conception of Cherubim penetrated even into Mohammedan regions,
  e.g. Ḥâfiẓ, ed. Rosenzweig, III. 526 _penult._, chalweti kerrûbiân

Footnote 544:

  _Ueber die südarabische Sage_, Leipzig 1866 p. 27.

Footnote 545:

  See Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 697.

Footnote 546:

  See Dillmann, in Schenkel’s _Bibellexikon_, I. 511.

Footnote 547:

  _Ibid._, V. 284.


                              CHAPTER VI.

§ 1. In close connexion with that stage of development of the
myth-producing faculty which is inaugurated by the beginnings of
agricultural life, is found a natural consequence of the solar myth
among agriculturists—the Myth of Civilisation.

We have seen that the advance in civilisation from the nomad life to the
agricultural stage is accompanied by that inversion of the direction of
the myth which puts the Sun in the foreground and allows a tone
favourable to him to prevail in it, whereas at the nomad stage it was
the night-sky and the phenomena of nature connected with it that
engrossed the sympathy of the formers of myths. Now here we again
encounter a remarkable phenomenon. No intricate psychological foundation
or historical demonstration is required to prove that our own stage of
civilisation—and not ours alone—is intellectually qualified to compare
itself either with a lower stage through which it has long since passed,
or with a higher which is now only beginning to be aimed at by our best
spirits,—so as to estimate its value from the point of view given us by
our social system. For let two different stages of civilisation, social
systems or conditions be brought before any man’s observation so that he
notes their essential difference, and the perception of this difference
will awaken an impulse to measure them off against one another and form
a judgment on the perfection of the one and the insufficiency of the
other. And not only does the man who has reached the higher stage feel
himself impelled to compare his new condition with that of those who
remain behind on the less perfect stage already passed by him; but also
those who stand on the lower stage, but are acquainted with the altered
mode of life of others, contemplate the advanced stage and set off its
value against that of the stage on which they still stand. Thus we have
seen above that huntsmen and fishermen have their ideas about
agricultural life. Still he who has reached the higher stage will be
more generally impelled to such meditations than those who still stand
on the lower. When the question has arisen in his mind, it must finally
culminate in the enquiry, What was the origin or who was the author of
the great advance which procures for him such advantages over one who
stands lower? It is true, the agriculturist is not always conscious that
his stage of civilisation is the result of an _advance_ at all; for in
many nations there exists no consciousness that any less perfect stage
preceded that of the agriculturist. But this consciousness is not a
necessary condition of the raising of the question; the mere observation
of the _difference_ between the two stages of civilisation suffices to
prompt it. And it will come more and more into the foreground when the
gradual progress within the limits of the agricultural stage has
advanced so far as to develop the social consequences of the new state
in all their fulness. Social order and laws are non-existent for the
nomad, who has not yet formed for himself any permanent social system.
At his stage they are not merely superfluous, but even in a certain
sense inconceivable. The wranglings, the objects of which are chiefly
wells and pastures, are settled and composed, not by laws and rights
established once for all, but by strength of arm, or between disputants
of peaceful disposition by separation: ‘And there arose strife between
the herdsmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdsmen of Lot’s cattle. And
Abram said to Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and
thee, between my herdsmen and thy herdsmen; for we are brethren. Is not
the whole land before thee? Separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if
thou goest to the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou
goest to the right hand, then I will go to the left’ (Gen. XIII.
7–9).[548] And on occasion of a dispute about a well, Abimelech said to
Isaac: ‘Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we. And Isaac
departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt
there’ (Gen. XXVI. 16, 17). Arts, manufactures and other occupations are
inconceivable at this stage; for the wants of the nomad are so limited
that the conditions of his existence are satisfied by his tents, herds,
and pasture-ground.

The answer which the agriculturist gives to the question about the
origin of the arts and manufactures, of social order and law, all of
them products of agricultural life, is what we call the Myth of
Civilisation. This Myth of Civilisation, which we encounter among the
most various nations, refers the authorship of the advanced and refined
state of civilisation to the _Solar figures_ of the myth, which, to the
prejudice of the figures of the dark sky, are brought into the
foreground by the human mind on its advance to agriculture. It is
therefore a spontaneous act of the human mind that is made the cause of
a series of phenomena, of which it is itself really the result.

The Greek and Roman mythology abounds with data verifying the Solar
character of the stories of the origin of civilisation and morals. Arts
and manufactures are constantly brought into connexion with mythical
names which are recognised by comparative philologists as designations
of the Sun. Not only the musician but the smith of Olympus are Solar
figures; so also the first navigator and founder of cities. The right
understanding of Mythology was long hindered by the so-called
Euhemeristic system, which assumed that the gods of mythology, and
especially of the Greek and Roman mythology (for scarcely any others
were sufficiently known to be considered), were only great benefactors
of humanity, who after their death were rewarded by divine honours; and
this system has been maintained till the present day. The Myth of
Civilisation consequently had to be fitted into the frame of this
convenient system. It was said that posterity had from mere _Gratitude_
raised the inventor of the arts to the throne of deity. Petrarch says,
‘We know that the founders of some arts after their death were rewarded
by divine honours, rather from grateful than from pious feelings ...
Thus Apollo was made a god through his lyre, Apollo and Aesculapius
through medicine, Saturn, Liber and Ceres through agriculture, Vulcan
through his smithy.’[549] This mode of regarding the subject was not
only upheld from Euhemerus down to Petrarch, but exerted its influence
on the interpretation of the ancient stories even to our own times.

However, the consideration of the store of legends of humanity in
general, as far as they are brought under our ken, collected and
analysed according to their historical and psychological truths, teaches
us that the founder of all the order and morality which result from the
more civilised agricultural life is, in the language of the old stories,
the Sun. The so-called Myths of Civilisation are always put into
connexion with the Sun, or with some of the copious synonyms which
mythology gives to the Sun. These myths must exist in every nation which
has won its upward way from nomadism to agriculture, or from tribal life
to society. As soon as the agriculturist began to use the ploughshare,
he could not but observe the difference between his life and that of the
nomad, who fixed his tent-plugs in the earth at a different place from
day to day, moving from pasture to pasture, whilst he himself had the
control of permanent dwellings, protected by definite unalterable laws,
and lived a life of regularity, yet full of enjoyment and variety,
strongly contrasting with the Bedawî’s monotonous independence. Then,
when the source of this difference was sought, all the advance was
attributed to the Sun, as the author and encourager of agriculture and
inventor of the more refined arts and enjoyments of life. Moreover, the
connexion which the Myth of Civilisation establishes between the Founder
of cities and the Wolf, as e.g. between Romulus and a she-wolf who
suckled him, has lately been explained by Prof. Sepp through the
signification given to the wolf in the solar myth—with perfect justice,
though perhaps going rather too far in the elaboration of details.[550]
Like Apollo, Osiris also is γεωργίας εὑρετὴς, Μουσῦν μαθητής, ‘Inventor
of agriculture and teacher of the arts;’[551] and in this point the
myths of nations quite distinct in race agree. A few examples taken from
sources wide apart will make this clear.

One of the Solar heroes of the Persian myth of civilisation is Jemshîd,
whose character can scarcely be doubtful to the mythologist, after the
consentaneous characteristics with which the epic poet Firdôsî and the
historian Mirchond fill up the description of his life.[552] His very
name indicates clearly enough a solar signification; and to this must be
added the fact that he combines many characteristics of the solar
supporters of the Myth of Civilisation. He first gives to Irân, till
then savage, the benefits of civilisation. He is the first builder of
cities, the inventor of the fine arts, especially of music, navigation
(which belongs especially to the solar myth, as we have seen), and, as
Mirchond explains at length, of the cultivation of the vine—an Iranian
Noah. He divides the whole nation into four classes: Scribes, Warriors,
Agriculturists, and Artists. Thus it is he who puts an end to the
nomadic tribal life. In this breaking up into castes not the slightest
trace is discoverable of any notice of pastoral life; on the contrary,
in the story of Jemshîd as worked out by the later narrator, probably in
close agreement with the still living mythical tradition, especial
weight is laid on _Agriculture_. The solar chronology is also due to
Jemshîd. Mirchond says: ‘As often as the Chosrev of the stars, the Sun,
took away the royal robe of rays from the fish’s tail and threw it on
the neck of the ram, Jemshîd appointed an assemblage of the great and
noble at the foot of the throne. He instituted all the appliances of
pleasure, and spread out the carpet of joy, and called the day Neurûz.’
The Prometheus-side of the Jemshîd-story is surprising. The Persian hero
of civilisation, like the Greek, is chastised and hurled down by God for
his presumption; his fall is occasioned by _Zohak_, who conquers him,
_from whose shoulders dragons grow up_ (the dragons of the Storm and the
Night). After a fall of a hundred years he appears on the coast of the
Chinese sea. The Sun is devoured by the monster waiting for him at the
bottom of the sea, but afterwards rises again out of the sea, like Jonah
in the Hebrew myth.

If now we turn from ancient Irân to the American tribes, we find the
Myth of Civilisation take the same direction. There also the origin of
morals, law and order is attributed to the Sun. I quote one of the
numerous myths of civilisation from J.G. Müller, who deserves great
credit for his work on American religions, which makes American
mythology known in Germany. It is the myth of civilisation belonging to
the Muyscas, inhabitants of the Terra Firma in the plain of Bogotà, who
tell as follows of the commencement of civilisation among themselves:
‘In the earliest times, before the moon was, the high plain of
Cundinamarca was closed in and the pass of Tequendama not yet opened.
Then the Muyscas people were savage, without agriculture, without
religion, without morals, without civil rule. Then there appeared _a
bearded old man who came from the East_, who had three names, Bochica,
Nenequetheba, and Zuhé, and was represented as having three heads. He
taught the savages to wear clothes, to till the land, to worship the
gods, to form states. His wife had also three names, Huythaca, Chia,
Yubecayguaya. She was dazzlingly beautiful, but so malicious that she
plotted to destroy all her husband’s salutary undertakings. And she
actually succeeded by secret magic arts, in causing the Funzha (now Rio
Bogotà), the river of the country, to rise to such a height as to
overwhelm the whole high plain with flood. Only a minority of the
inhabitants were able to escape to the summits of the mountains. But
then the just wrath of Bochica was kindled; he drove the wicked woman
off the earth for ever, and changed her into the Moon. Since then there
has been a moon. And to get rid of the troubles of the earth, Bochica
made an opening in the wall of rock, and allowed the water to run off by
the majestic waterfall of Tequendama, 570 feet high. When the land was
thus dried, the people that were left were called to civilisation, and
the Solar worship was introduced, with a sacerdotal order, periodical
feasts, sacrifices and pilgrimages. At the head of the state Bochica set
a secular and a sacerdotal chief, settled the chronology, and after a
life of two thousand years at length withdrew, bearing the name

So much for the Myth of Civilisation. It is certainly wrong to try to
find matter of history in these stories of civilisation, and, with
Markham, Rivero, and Tschudi, to see in Bochica and the other bearded
heroes of civilisation belonging to American mythology ‘missionaries of
the worship of Brahma, of Buddha, and probably of other sects.’[554] My
readers will surely perceive the perverseness of such a proceeding. J.G.
Müller himself recognised the Sun in Bochica, the civiliser of the
Muyscas; but he did not find out all the mythological relations which
determine his solar character. The most important of these is the
circumstance that Bochica is ‘a bearded old man, who came from the
East.’ Here then, as in other American myths, the Sun’s rays are
regarded as the long white beard of the old man of the sun, in the same
sense in which they appear elsewhere under the form of _locks_ of hair
(see supra, p. 137). And as in Egyptian the rising sun has a different
name from the setting, and the same distinction of name is stamped upon
the Hebrew myth also (Leah and Delilah on the one side, and Dinah,
Zilpah, Asher, etc. on the other), so in the myth of the Muyscas the
three names of the Sun refer to his various positions at rising, noon,
and setting, which probably played a part in the ancient myth of the
Muyscas. The corresponding three faces of the Sun express the same idea
that produced the myth of the two of Janus (see p. 137); with the
difference that the American myth notices three phases of the Sun, and
the Roman only two. The Sun is opposed by the Moon, the sky of day is
engaged in an everlasting war with the sky of night. The circumstance
that the moon causes the flood exactly agrees with the American
conception, which connects water with the moon.[555] The moon also is
provided with three names in our American myth, and these three names
have the same signification as the three of the Sun, i.e. the conception
that each of the varying phases of the moon is itself an independent
object. Dr. Anton Henne, a Swiss mythologist, first considered the
meaning of the three visible forms of the moon (as contrasted with the
four astronomical phases) in mythology, especially German, and cited
some parallels from classical mythology.[556] Now although this feature
of the triple form of the moon is undoubtedly expressed in many myths,
among others in the American one under review, yet Henne-Am-Rhyn seems
to go rather too far, in referring the many variations of the German
story of the three spinning girls and so forth to this mythical idea.
Many of these variants bear the undeniable impress of a mythical
description of the setting Sun’s or the Night’s battle with the bright
Sun of day; especially that in which one of the Sisters is quite white,
the second half-white and half-black, and the third _blind_.
Unquestionably the Sun of day is the quite white sister; the Sun shortly
before setting the half-white and half-black; and the Night the blind
one (see supra, pp. 109–10).[557] The solar character of the princess
Märthöll (no. 586, Henne-Am-Rhyn), _who is as beautiful as the sun, and
can only weep golden tears_ (see Excursus E), can escape no one.

The moon-lit sky of night appears in the Myth of Civilisation averse to
all the blessings which the Sun grants to the agriculturist. In this
character it appears frequently, especially in the American
mythology;[558] whereas in the Oriental the connexion between the moon
and water suggests the idea that the moon produces fertility and
freshness in the soil (see supra, p. 160). In the Voguls’ story of
civilisation, a small fragment of which, from the collections made by
Antony Reguly, is contained in the important work of the Hungarian
Academician Paul Hunfalvy on the ‘Country and People of the
Voguls,’[559] _Kulyater_ is the builder of the first city. The solar
character of Kulyater cannot be doubted, if the following portion of the
Vogul story be taken into consideration: ‘He dwelt in a house locked
with seven iron locks. Tarom was angry with him, and seized him by one
foot, and he fell into the heart of the foaming sea.’ This is the
sunset. The reason why the Founder of Cities (whom the Vogul reckons
among the evil spirits and regards as the originator of death[560])
appears here in an unfavourable light is the same as that which we shall
discover for the tone of dislike which the Hebrew story adopts towards
the agriculturist Cain. Till they became Russified the Voguls remained
prevailingly a hunting people, and their myths did not rise to the
elevation of the view of the world possessed by agriculturists. The
Vogul story of the Creation[561] reflects exactly the ideas of a hunting
and fishing people; it speaks only of the chase and of catching fish.

Now we have seen that the Myth of Civilisation expresses the same idea
in nations of the most different races. Even in the Japanese myths of
civilisation, published by the learned Japanese Dira Kittao,[562] a
thoroughly solar character is evident. Manufactures and arts, social
order and law are always attributed to the Sun as author, not only by
Aryans, but even by the still unclassified American tribes. If the
knowledge of the American languages were more advanced than it is in our
time, and if the mutual relations of those languages were not
‘exceedingly perplexing, for the same reason as those presented by the
Polynesian and African dialects, and in a yet higher degree,’[563] we
might gain some understanding of the origin of the many proper names
which we encounter in the above myth and in the other members of the
copious American mythology; and this would lead us to a far more
accurate idea of their origin and life than is possible with petrified
myths of civilisation. Nevertheless, before we part from them, we will
still just notice that the introduction of social laws, political
constitutions and religious institutions such as are ascribed in the
Muyscas’ myth to the Sun himself as an old man, is frequently attributed
to the _sons of the Sun_. There is no need to prove that in such stories
the sons of the Sun are identical with their father the Sun. So e.g.
Orpheus, son of the Sun, calls into cities men living a savage life in
the forests, and urges them to a more civilised life. Again, the Indian
legislator Vaivasuta is son of the Sun. And, not to neglect again here
American mythology, the two sons of the Sun, Manco Copac and Mama Oello,
are brought forward in the Peruvian myth of civilisation as teachers of
civilisation. There is no reason whatever to identify Mama Oello with
the Moon, as J.G. Müller does;[564] and it would even run counter to the
very nature of the Myth of Civilisation. For, as we saw in the
previously cited American myth, the Moon is the very power that
paralyses the work of the Sun in introducing civilisation and law. To
this place belongs also the idea, which is found in many nations, that
the founders of their legislation and religion were born from virgins,
made to conceive by the Sun’s rays.[565] This element of the solar myth
still operates in a story told by the Persian poet Ferîd al-Dîn ʿAṭṭâr,
who introduces a maiden’s dream as follows: ‘Then the Christian maiden
saw in a dream that a Sun _fell into her lap_, opened his mouth and
said, etc.[566]’

§ 2. The sources of the ancient Hebrew mythology have preserved no less
considerable remains of the Hebrew people’s myth of civilisation; and it
moves in the same direction as has been indicated above. The invention
of arts and manufactures, morals, law, and social order, is attributed
to Solar figures. Especially note-worthy in this connexion is the fourth
chapter of Genesis, where mention is made of the beginning of the
building of cities, and of the invention of agricultural and of musical
instruments; and the ninth chapter of the same book, in which the first
commencement of social order secured by law is related. All this is
attached to names of which other mythical features besides those
concerning civilisation are recorded, features which point to their
solar significance, and serve to fill up the story of the civilising
activity of their bearers.

But the Solar figures are authors not of manufactures and civil order
only: the human race itself has the Sun as its author, through whose
children mankind is propagated. The name Âdâm, Abû-l-bashar ‘father of
all flesh,’ as the Arabs call him, is, as is obvious at a glance, a
solar appellation ‘the Red’; etymologically the same word as Edôm. When
the Hebrew story of civilisation derives the human race from the Red
one, it does the same as the Greeks when they call the mother of mankind
Pyrrha ‘the Red.’[567] The Hebrews call the mother of mankind Chawwâ
(Eve) ‘the mother of all that lives’ (Gen. III. 29),[568] i.e., ‘the
Circulating’ (in Arabic ḥawa V), a name of the Sun, the feminine synonym
of Zebhûlûn ‘the Round;’ a very ancient appellation of the Sun, the
traces of which we meet also in the Vedas, where (Rigveda, I. 174. 5)
the Sun is called a Wheel, or, as he frequently is in other passages, a
Chariot. This is based not only on the conception of the Horses of the
Sun drawing his chariot, but on the original conception of this chariot,
as consisting of a single wheel or of a cylinder on a sloping plain, as
Lazarus Geiger has admirably demonstrated.[569]

It is also to be considered that the mythological genealogy of the
Hebrews makes the world to be peopled by the descendants of Cain,
children of the Sun, and that a second progenitor of the human race,
Noah, is likewise a solar figure. We must here of course disregard the
late Seth-genealogy, at the time of the drawing up of which even the
minimum of mythical conception necessary to the working-out of the Myth
of Civilisation had already vanished. It is not impossible that
originally two or even more now forgotten versions of the myth of
population existed—one which called the first father of the human race
Adam, and another which attached the propagation of mankind to the name
Noah, and that then, by the interposition of the story of the Flood
which made the whole human race perish, the two versions grew into
harmony with one another in the popular mind. But in any case it is
certain that the Hebrews made Solar figures the ancestors of mankind.

Thus among the Hebrews also it was the Solar myth that answered the
question concerning the primeval origin of agricultural civilisation;
and thus was completed the picture of what modern interpreters love to
call the ‘Origins.’ It is this side of the formation of legends which
maintains its life and productiveness longest among men. For there is
always a latent instinct and powerful impulse in the mind of man to
cancel all notes of interrogation, and to gain and to give intelligence
on the origin of all that surrounds him. We well know how many stories
are current in the mouth of the people, stories of comparatively modern
origin, which have for their subject the rise of rivers, mountains and
institutions. How charming are the Hungarian stories invented to explain
the origin of the two great rivers which traverse that beautiful
country! and who knows not into what petty details this impulse of the
human mind pushes its way? It treats nothing as a matter of course and
as sufficiently explained by the mere fact of its existence; it finds
everywhere a Why and a How, that must be answered. It not only seeks
reasons of existence, and dives into cosmogonies, for the overpowering
universe of the world and the grander features of it, mountains and
seas; but even what distinguishes one being from another—the ox’s horns
and the camel’s short ears, the lion’s mane and the black stripes on the
ass’s back—it cannot leave unexplained. It is the same noble instinct
that created the fables on the origin of things, and that encourages the
grand discoveries of the truths of natural history: the instinct that
impels us to understand aright all that lies around us.

It may be affirmed that among the Semites this impulse to explain the
origins of things maintained its longest existence as a living power,
productive of stories. Even on the subjects on which the Biblical
accounts gave information, men did not rest satisfied with these
accounts, but allowed free and unlimited scope to stories.[570] A large
part, indeed almost the whole, of the Arabian answers to questions
concerning the Origins, is a Postislamic product of popular story. All
that the Arabs learned on the subject from tradition or from stories
still in process of formation was collected in works entitled Kutub
al-awâʾil, or ‘Libri Principiorum.’ The best known and widest circulated
of these, is the Kitâb al-awâʾil, written by Jelâl al-Dîn al-Suyûṭî, a
voluminous writer of the tenth Mohammedan century, a part of which was
published by Professor Richard Gosche, with an instructive introduction
on literary history.[571] In former times it was so extensively
circulated in the East that a revised version was also prepared, which
was everywhere copied even before the clean copy (tabyîḍ) was made.[572]
But several hundred years before al-Suyûṭî, an Andalusian scholar, Tâj
al-Dîn b. Ḥammûyâ al-Sarachshî (born A.H. 576) had written a work in
eight volumes on the Origins of Things; and I believe that this work, of
which the classic historian of the Moors in Spain[573] gives an account,
is the most extensive of its kind. In the above-quoted work, Gosche
maintains the view that the whole Sêpher tôledôth, which is familiar to
us as one of the original elements of which the composite Book of
Genesis consists, was mainly concerned with these ‘Origins,’ and is the
Hebrew representative of the copious Awâʾil literature of the Arabs. But
we cannot admit this, when we consider that this book of sources, to
judge from its known fragments, has rather a genealogical character,
and, though containing the myths of civilisation, does not embrace the
cosmogony, which is of a decidedly later origin. Therefore, if we must
at any price find an analogy in Arabic literature to the Sêpher
tôledôth, we ought rather to look to the many works composing the
copious genealogical literature of the Arabs, called Kutub

§ 3. In regard to the Hebrew myths of civilisation we must pay attention
to another circumstance; to do which we must again go back to what has
been said above on the phases of development of the myths. In
determining the amount of mythical matter which was worked out in any
period of development of human civilisation, we must not, as was fully
explained above, start from the materials and the elements employed in
the myths in question, so much as from the direction or tendency of the
myth and the general ideas which prevail in it. But yet this view
requires some qualification, insofar as the designation of some human
occupation is employed in the phraseology of the myth. I mention this
with especial reference to the name Ḳayin (Cain), which denotes
Smith.[575] It is obvious that this manufacture must have already
existed in society before such a name could come to be employed in a
myth. But, on the other hand, the myth of the war of the Sun with the
Cloud or the Wind cannot have so recent an origin. We must accordingly
concede to the Myth of Civilisation an influence upon the form of the
mythic matter—an influence which not only produced an alteration in the
tendency of the myth, but also introduced new names and figures, which,
as is evident from the linguistic meaning of the names themselves, arose
at the stage of conscious civilisation. The story of the murder of Abel
belongs, no doubt, to the primitive myths which were already formed at
the nomadic stage; a solar name must have been given to his murderer,
just as in the dialectic variant of Hebhel (Abel), namely, Yâbhâl
(Jabal), his father Lemekh (Lemech) is named as the murderer. Later, at
the stage of the Myth of Civilisation, the murderer of Abel is called
Ḳayin (Cain), the smith and inventor of agricultural implements, whose
name is indeed also a solar appellation, but one that already belonged
to the Myth of Civilisation. The same case occurs in the story of Jacob.
Originally, in the nomadic myth, Jacob’s hostile brother was called
Edôm, the Red, the Sun. For this name the Myth of Civilisation
substituted ʿÊsâv (if we explain this as the Worker, the Accomplisher;
see p. 139);—again a name which is essentially solar, but could arise
only with the Myth of Civilisation.

In this wise the Myth of Civilisation, starting from the general ideas
of the agriculturist, opened a wider circle of vision in the notions
held of the Sun, and with the new enlarged circle created new names for
the Sun, which then drove into obscurity some older appellations
belonging to the primitive form of the myth.

§ 4. Before we conclude our diagnosis of the Myth of Civilisation, we
will cast a momentary glance at the forms in which this group of myths
shows itself in other Semitic nations. The founder of civilisation in
the Assyrian and Babylonian myth is the Oannes of Berosus. ‘_During the
daytime_ Oannes held intercourse with men, taught them sciences and
arts, the building of cities and temples, laws and the introduction of
the measurement of planes; further, he showed them how to sow and reap:
in a word, he instructed them in everything necessary to social life, so
that after his time they had nothing new to learn.’ In a word, Oannes is
the teacher of civilisation and inventor of all art and sciences, all
law and order. That this founder of civilisation has a solar character,
like similar heroes in all other nations, is shown in the very next
words of Berosus: ‘_But when the Sun set, Oannes fell into the sea,
where he used to pass the night_.’ Here evidently only the Sun can be
meant, who in the evening dips into the sea, and comes forth again in
the morning and passes the day on the dry land in the company of men. He
is half fish half man, and in this respect identical with the
Canaanitish Dâgôn, whose name denotes ‘Fish.’ Dâgôn also is, with the
Assyrians as well as with the Canaanites, the god of fertility of the
soil and founder of civilisation. He is ‘Inventor of the plough,
distributor of grain, protector of the cornfield;’ and in Assyria we
find him represented with his head covered by a _horned_ cap.[576] The
combination of the two characters is to be explained, not by supposing
that the idea of the god of fertility was connected with that of the
rapid propagation of the fish, but by the solar meaning given in
mythology to the fish. It must not be overlooked that in this connexion
the fish is always spoken of as _rising out of the water_—like the Sun,
who, having passed the night in the water, issues forth again in the

We see the same also in the extant Phenician myth of civilisation, which
is narrated by the Sanchuniathon of Philo Herennius. Perverted and
spoiled as the stories of the Phenicians may have been by the pen of the
Greek author, who contemplated Phenician mythology through the medium of
the Greek cosmogony, corrupted and Hellenised as the proper names
especially are, yet these pieces of information are undoubtedly based on
real stories which were current among the Phenicians. It is a pity to
lavish on them so much profound thought and symbolising combination as
has been done by Bunsen, Movers and many other scholars; but, on the
other hand, it is an equal mistake to condemn the entire mass as a
useless forgery and declare it unworthy of attention in investigating
Phenician antiquity. The real task is rather to penetrate the
bewildering labyrinth of misunderstandings to the simple and original.
The confirmation given in the last few years by the cuneiform
inscriptions to the _Babylonica_, which are referred to the reports of
Berosus, ought to moderate any extreme scepticism on the subject of the
Phenician affairs which are quoted from Sanchuniathon, Mochus and

The Phenician Cosmogony of Philo Herennius says that Chrysoros, who as
the Opener, Navigator, and Smith has already appeared to us (pp. 98–9)
to have a Solar character, was the progenitor of Ἄγρος or Ἀγροτής and
Ἀγρύηρος, and says of these, ‘From them are derived the agriculturists
and those who hunt with dogs. These latter are also called Ἀλῆται, or
Wanderers to and fro. From them are derived Ἄμυνος and Μάγος, who taught
men how to found villages and feed herds.’ This is only the Myth of
Civilisation of the agriculturist again, which everywhere brings the
commencement of agriculture, the foundation of cities and civilisation,
into connexion with the Sun. As from Cain is descended Enoch, whose name
is attached to the first city in the world, so from Chrysoros, the
Phenician Cain, are derived those who first adapted their places of
sojourn to the requirements of settled dwellings. In a word, the
genealogy only asserts that the Sun occasions the choice of fixed
dwellings and consequently of agricultural life. But the fact that the
hunting and nomadic life[577] is introduced together with the origin of
agriculture, and that the first commencement of the one is put into
combination with the founders of the other, occasions some difficulty,
which cannot be simply denied and put aside. Now it is certainly
possible that the Myth of Civilisation among the Phenicians, in whose
neighbourhood alongside of agricultural life nomadic life also was in
full force—for their view extended over all Palestine and the valley of
the Jordan—referred the origin even of the latter mode of life to the
Sun, as the founder of all social life. But it is also possible that
what Philo asserts on a Phenician authority concerning nomads and
hunters is founded on a misunderstanding of the original information.
For the sons of Chrysoros, the Sun, were evidently described as hunters
and wanderers. Now _Hunter_ and _Wanderer_ are, as we have seen,
attributes of the Sun, who shoots his rays at the monster of the storm,
and is ‘a fugitive and a vagabond,’ engaged in a migration from east to
west. Cain is an exile and wanderer, but not a nomad. But through
misunderstanding the Solar hunter and wanderer may have been converted
into the founder of the hunting and nomadic life. Even Bunsen, though
starting from a different point of view and influenced by other
considerations, designated this very passage as a perversion of the
Phenician account, perpetrated by Philo and perfectly in accord with the
system followed by him.[578] The original Phenician account must, no
doubt, have been different.

§ 5. Although Cain and Esau cannot possibly have been incorporated with
the old Hebrew mythology till the myth of the origin of civilisation was
unfolded, yet they retain the mischievous and hostile character which
the nomadic myth always assigns to solar figures. This fact illustrates
the general observation which I made above (see p. 81) with especial
reference to the Hebrews and Arabs—that in many nations the
consciousness of an advance in passing on to the agricultural life is
never aroused, or only very late, and that they rather regard this
advance as retrogression and look back on the nomadic state as a more
perfect one. Among the Hebrews, accordingly, the heroes of civilising
agriculture, with the exception of Noah, take a position in the myth far
less influential than similar heroes in other nations. The sympathetic
light in which Noah was regarded is closely connected with his position
in the story of the Deluge, which was added at a very late period to the
Hebrew series of stories.

To understand this fact, however, we must cast another glance at the
oldest stage of Hebrew Religion, at which religion had not yet fully
shaken itself free from mythology, but was closely united with it, and
only beginning to have a separate form. Whatever be the psychological
factors that produce the religious tendency in man—an attitude of the
soul which can no longer be treated as congenital,—it must be regarded
as established and certain that the psychological process of the origin
of religion, a process influenced only in its most advanced stages by
ethical and esthetic forces, is in the first instance developed out of
the older mental activity which resulted in the creation of myths. After
the exhaustion of the mental activity that forms myths, which is
equivalent to the disappearance both of mythical productiveness and of
vivid understanding of myths, men have no longer any consciousness of
what may be called the etymology of the myth. Then the mythical figures
begin to be individualised; and parallel with this process runs the
linguistic phenomenon that polyonymy disappears and all the phases of
meaning previously expressed by separate names are combined in one or a
few. The various synonyms for Sun, Darkness, etc., which existed in the
myth, lose their significance; the different names for these natural
phenomena, in each of which one feature or element of them was expressed
in language, succumb to one single name, which then comprises in itself
all their features and elements. The names Helios and Shemesh take the
place of all other designations created in myths for the phenomenon of
the Sun. These other designations, e.g. on Hebrew ground Jephthah,
Asher, Edom and others, forfeit the signification which they originally
had when myths were formed, and instead thereof are individualised.
These names become personal names, and the stories of which they are the
subjects become events of society. Thus from physical stories arise
stories of gods and heroes; thus the nomenclature of the Sun and the
Darkness produces a host of names of gods and heroes. For the personages
who are thus imagined are powerful celestials, and the forgotten
processes of which the myth spoke preserve for some time their heavenly
scene of action.

This process of transformation of myths is inevitable, because bound up
with the laws of development of the human mind and human speech; at a
certain stage of the development of mind and language, the myth must
become theology. But the process is gradual, so that the commencing
stages of theological development do not break loose at once from the
mythical consciousness, and the latter loses its colour gradually before
it disappears altogether. A stage of this kind, at which Myth is turning
into Religion, is most clearly exhibited by the Myth of Civilisation.
Some bit of divine nature or peculiar personality always cleaves to the
hero of civilisation; and some such myths actually live long unimpaired
after the greater number have been metamorphosed into theology or
religion. Thus, for instance, among the Hebrews the origin of religion
is to be traced in its germ as far back as the nomadic age. Even at that
stage, though of course towards the end of it, we observe the Hebrew
myth of the beneficent sky of night and rain turning into religion. For
a searching investigation of the religion of the nomadic Hebrews proves
the object of their veneration to have been the dark overcast sky,
connected (where it is not distinctly declared) with mythical figures of
undoubtedly nocturnal character. I must briefly refer to what was
indicated above (pp. 72, 73) of the worship of the night-sky and the
rain among the Arabs. The religious stage of the nomadic Hebrews is
still to be recognised in the reminiscences, transmitted by theocratic
historians, of that age, which was to them a forty years’ wandering in
the desert preceding the conquest of Palestine. To the same stock, as
sources for the reconstruction of this religious stage, belong also some
accounts contained in the Prophetical books; and they cannot but be
considered historically credible—of course in the sense in which such
reminiscences must be critically estimated as sources of history. For it
is certain that such recollections lived on a very long time in the
nations of antiquity, and that, if the special tendency of the reporter
be stripped off, they may yield objective matter of history.

The most important datum of this kind is the question of the Prophet of
Tekoa, which refers to a great expanse of history—a passage which has
spurred many learned men to attempt ingenious interpretations.[579]

Did ye offer unto me sacrifices and offerings in the desert forty years,
O house of Israel? Did ye bear the huts [read Sukkôth] of your king, and
Kiyyûn (Chiun) your idol, the star [read kôkhâbh], your god whom ye had
made to yourselves? (Amos V. 25, 26.)

It is evident from this important passage that the nomadic Hebrews
worshipped their god or gods by huts, and that one among the objects of
their worship was a Star, let alone what star Kiyyûn may be, whether
identical with the Arabic keyvân, or some other. Thus, so far as we can
infer from the Prophet’s word, their divine worship was paid to the
night-sky. The nomad looks on the night-sky as a pasture where the
herdsman (for the mythical figures of the night-sky are mostly regarded
by him as herdsmen) lets his cattle feed; and it is easy to conceive
that at the theological stage he venerates in huts the mythical figure
now converted into a god, ascribing to him the same dwelling which he
occupies on high in the sky. The most important feast of the nomadic
Hebrews was the Feast of Sukkôth, or Tabernacles, which probably stands
in close connexion with these Sukkôth of a god, and at the agricultural
stage became a Harvest-feast. But even at that stage the connexion of
the feast with nomadic life and the past nomadism of the nation itself,
lived long in its memory (see Lev. XXIII. 43). That which they
worshipped in the huts was not the Sun,[580] the bright sky of day, but
kôkhâbh, a Star, doubtless no particular star, but only the starry
heaven in general. For the rain, the most beneficent element to the
nomad, was identified with the stars, i.e. with the sky at night. In the
view of the ancient Arabs there were also Hyades in the starry heaven;
we meet in poetry with the expression marâbîʿ al-nujûm ‘spring rain of
the stars’ (_Muʿallaḳâ_ of Lebîd, v. 4). A familiar phrase in the speech
of the nomadic Arabs is ‘the stars have brought rain.’[581] Moḥammed
forbids the Moslims to express their common idea of the origin of the
rain by their usual phrase muṭirnâ binauʾ kaḏâ ‘we have received rain
from such and such a star,’ though he allows the connexion of the rain
with the stars, and only insists on the recognition of Allâh as first
cause, while the nauʾ is the immediate origin.[582] Similarly the
Mohammedan Arabs were forbidden to call the rainbow the bow of the
Thunder-god Ḳozaḥ.[583] The dew, also, has a connexion with the anwâʾ
‘stars’ (plural of nauʾ). It is not without interest to find this view
in a Jewish-Arabic writer of the middle ages.[584] The worship of the
kôkhâbh ‘star’ by the Hebrew nomads must therefore have a special
connexion with the rain. Ancient mankind did not distinguish between the
cloudless sky which grows dark at night, and the sky gloomy with clouds
and rain by day (see supra, p. 42). He notices the darkness only, not
the various times of day or night at which it occurs. Hence a sunless
sky in general is treated as bringing rain. To show what connexion he
imagined to subsist between the _huts_ (sukkôth) and the rainy sky, I
will quote a verse of a hymn to Jahveh, attributed to David, and said to
have been sung on his deliverance from the power of Saul:

He made darkness round about him into _huts_ (Sukkôth), collections of
water, clouds of the sky. (2 Sam. XXII. 12.)

The various reading for the expression chashrath mayim ‘collections of
water,’ which is preserved in Ps. XVIII. 12, where this hymn is given in
a somewhat corrupt and less original form, deserves attention
nevertheless. The words are cheshekhath mayim ‘darkness of water’ or
‘rain-bringing darkness.’

The more we study the information preserved to us on the religion of the
nomadic Hebrews, the stronger is our conviction that it consisted in a
veneration of the sky of clouds and rain, and was developed immediately
from the elements of the nomadic myth. We read that in the desert God
went before the Hebrews _as_ a pillar of cloud by day and _as_ a pillar
of fire by night, and showed them the way (Ex. XIII. 21);[585] that he
_as a pillar of cloud_ came between the pursued Hebrews and the pursuing
Egyptians (Ex. XIV. 19, 20) by night (for the day breaks soon after, Ex.
XIV. 24); that he appeared to Aaron and Miriam in the pillar of cloud
(Num. XII. 5); that, as the later psalmists, preserving the theological
phraseology of ancient times, say (Ps. XCIX. 7), he speaks with his
Prophet as a pillar of cloud. But what need is there to enumerate all
the passages which speak of the God of the wandering Hebrews in
connexion with the pillar of cloud, and describe his turning away as the
retreat of the cloud, or to show that the cloud was retained in the
popular tradition of a later monotheistical age as kebhôd Yahwe ‘the
glory of Jahveh?’[586] It at least appears from them that the nomadic
Hebrews attached their religious veneration to the Cloud; of which one
of the latest relics is preserved in the name ʿAnanyâ (Ananias), i.e.
‘Cloud-God,’ and another in the phrase that God ‘rides upon a cloud.’
Another feature of the nomadic religion is expressed in al-Damîrî’s
words that ‘the ancient Arabs paid divine honours to a white lamb, and
when the wolf came and devoured the lamb, they chose another lamb to
receive the same honours.’[587] From what was said above (p. 165) with
reference to Rachel, it is not difficult to perceive that this white
lamb is only a bright cloud like a lamb. This deification of clouds is
also found elsewhere. The people of Bonny on the west coast of Africa
comprise their idea of the Deity in the name Shûr or the cloudy
sky;[588] and if the learned Italian Assyriologist Felix Finzi[589] is
right, we find among the chief gods of the Assyrians the Cloud, which
looks like a relic of the ancient time, when instead of the solar powers
the Assyrians deemed those of the dark sky worthy of their worship. This
scholar wishes to explain the Assyrian divine name Anu as etymologically
identical with the Hebrew ʿÂnân ‘cloud’ which certainly well suits the
two epithets of the deity, ‘Lord of Darkness’ and ‘Gatherer of
Shades.’[590] In this case, however, the identity of Anu with the Oannes
of Berosus could not be maintained, as the solar character of Oannes is
undoubted; but this identification rests on a very slender base, and
leads to no better understanding either of Anu or of Oannes.

With the worship of the Clouds is naturally united that of the Rain,
which we find deified by many primitive nations. We find this, for
instance, in the Akra people of the Gold Coast of West Africa. They
express the question ‘Will it rain?’ by the words ‘Will God come?’[591]
Among the heathen of the tribe of Baghirmi in Central Africa, with whom
Dr. Nachtigall, lately returned from that region, has made us
acquainted, the name Deity is identical with the designation of
Storm.[592] In the language of the Wamasai in Eastern Africa the
feminine noun Aï (with the article Engaï) has the two significations God
and Rain.[593] This deification of rain and storm is moreover identical
with Serpent-worship, wherever the latter occurs. For the adoration of
the Serpent and Dragon is derived from the mythical conception which
regarded rain as a ‘fluid serpent’ (see supra, p. 186); and wherever it
is met with at a more advanced stage of civilisation it is a residuum
from that stage at which men knew no more beneficent power than the dark
overcast sky, the rain, the dragon that opposes the sun Bêl. The
Egyptian and Indian theological ideas of the serpent are examples of
such residua of the ancient nomadic views. Where a solar worship has
grown up, either the old conception of the beneficent serpent continues
to exist alongside of the new views, without being understood or
harmonised with these, or else the defeat of the Serpent by the victory
of the Sun becomes a feature of the new religion, and the Serpent
appears as a hostile figure. So, for instance, in Persia and elsewhere.
Max Müller actually opposes the very method of Comparative Mythology
which he himself introduced and maintained so brilliantly, when he
declares ‘There is an Aryan, there is a Semitic, there is a Turanian,
there is an African serpent, and who but an evolutionist would dare to
say that all these conceptions came from one and the same original
source, that they are all held together by one traditional chain?’[594]
No doubt this single chain of tradition is a perfectly unscientific
assumption, but none the less does the same original source serve as
origin of serpent-worship everywhere, namely, the old mythical
conception; and the varieties of view that we meet are to be classified
not according to ethnological races, but by historical stages of
civilisation. Certainly we shall at length have to cease seeking a
motive for the worship of the Serpent where the symbolical school have
persistently sought it even to the most recent times—in the ‘Conception
of the deep wisdom of the serpent and of the mystic powers which are
said to belong to its nature.’ The Serpent-worship as a form of religion
is a further development of the mythical expressions which describe the
rain as a serpent, made when these expressions had become
unintelligible; in the same way as the worship of crocodiles, cats,
etc., are traced back to a solar myth, the meaning of which had been
forgotten.[595] The apparently mutually contradictory significations
which are attached to the serpent in the myth and the worship must be
traced back, not to opposite views held by different races, but to
varying modes of understanding the myth, which might all emanate from
the idea of the serpent. How often in the mythology of one and the same
people we find the same object employed for the apperception of most
different, or even opposite, things!

The adoration of the Serpent is also demonstrable of the Hebrews when
nomadising in the desert; for only in this sense can the Brazen Serpent
be understood, the adoration of which was commenced by the Hebrews of
the desert and continued to the latest times (Num. XXI. 9, 2 Kings
XVIII. 4). It also deserves notice that that Hebrew tribe which had from
the earliest times the care of religious affairs and provided the
worship called itself ‘Sons of the Serpent,’ Benê Lêvî[596] (see supra,
p. 183), and that it was these who fell upon their compatriots when on
the exodus from Egypt they were about to introduce a solar element into
their religion by the adoration of the Golden Calf.[597] It was the Sons
of Levi, the priests of the ancient religion of the nomads, who defended
conservatism, and would not allow the solar bull-worship to raise its

Accordingly, the tribal designation ‘Sons of the Serpent’ belongs to the
long list of such names which are derived from animals.[599] Lubbock and
Tylor, especially, have put this species of tribal nomenclature into
connexion with the so-called Totemism; but in any case it is natural to
assume that the original relation of the animal to the origin of the
tribe or nation which claims it as its ancestor is purely mythological.

§ 6. Thus, then, the most ancient religion of the Hebrews in the desert
was derived immediately from the myths of the nomads. To complete the
above exposition, it is now only needful to refer to the traces of Lunar
worship, which were treated in a previous chapter (pp. 158–160).

Not till after the entrance into Palestine, i.e. after the transition
from nomadic wanderings in the desert to a settled agricultural life,
does Solar worship appear among the Hebrews, chiefly in the northern
part of the land; but even there it is only introduced in imitation of
the rites of the neighbouring Canaanitish tribes, which, having been
long settled in Palestine as agriculturists, had formed a complete solar
ritual. The Hebrews brought no such system into the conquered land; on
the contrary, their religion was, as we have seen, of a purely nomadic
character, having its centre in the adoration of the dark sky of night.
That it was so is evident also from the fact that the solar worship
employed by the Egyptians had no attraction for the people of Israel
during their residence in that country. Accordingly in this point the
Hebrews were radically different from other tribes that had immigrated
into Egypt, which are generally comprised under the common name Hyksôs.
For in some of these tribes a fully developed solar form of religion,
including even the wildest excesses of the service of Moloch, is found
to have been adopted even as early as their residence in Egypt.[600]

The objects of the adoration of the nomadic Hebrews were the cloudy sky
and the rainy sky.[601] But not only was direct worship addressed to the
Cloud and the Rain; their will was also regarded as a revelation of
destiny, and consulted. At first any nomad would look to the Cloud and
the Serpent, to learn what the gods wished; but at a later time such
knowledge generally becomes the property of certain persons—perhaps
originally a sort of Rain-makers, like the Mganga in Eastern Africa. The
persons among the Hebrews who understood this revelation and could exert
influence by magic on the higher powers were the meʿônenîm and
menacḥashîm, the ‘Observers of Clouds and Serpents,’ as mentioned
regularly together (Deut. XVIII. 10). In the same book of law in which
the adoration of the seʿîrîm is strictly prohibited, it is also
forbidden to observe clouds and serpents (Lev. XIX. 26). I am well aware
that the connexion of these two verbs with the words for cloud and
serpent is denied by some authorities of note;[602] but the objections
raised in reference to the first at least lead to the establishment of
nothing more tenable.

Still there is another question which ought to come under our notice
here, the answer to which shall form the conclusion of this chapter.
When the nomad Hebrew’s Myth of the victory of the night-sky over the
day-sky, or of the unjust violence to which the dark sky falls a victim,
was converted into a nomadic Religion, in which the mythical figures
were individualised and adored as great powers; was not adoration then
addressed to the _names_ which had been assigned to the night-sky in the
myth of the nomads? In other words, were not the deities themselves
called Abram, Jacob, etc., just as among the Aryans the mythical figures
when converted into gods were called by the same names as they had in
the myth? For it was mainly the appellations becoming unintelligible
that occasioned the process of transformation, and so it would be
expected that in the resulting religion these names would occupy the
centre. It is, indeed, the consequence which we should necessarily infer
_a priori_ from all that has been said. We should infer that those names
of the sky of night and rain, of which the myth of the nomad was chiefly
composed, at the theological stage became names of theological meaning.
Yet this does not appear at all clearly in the Old Testament books. The
reason is, that most of the historical books belonging to the Bible are
coloured by a theocratic conception, and as literary works are advanced
even beyond that stage of the national mind at which the mythical
figures were converted into _Ancestors_. For not only religion, but
history also, is formed out of myths at a certain stage of their
development. But the mythical names really belonged first to theological
nomenclature before they became historical, as names of Ancestors. This
is proved by the fact, which has been mentioned already for another
purpose, on which Dozy, in his book on Jewish-Arabic Religious History,
has with excellent tact laid emphasis,[603] that none of these mythical
names occurs as a human name in the whole course of ancient history, and
even in modern history not till late,[604] any more than an Indian would
be named Sûrya, Ushas or Dahanâ, or a Roman Jupiter or Saturn, or a
Greek Herakles or Aphrodite. This proves that the mythical names of the
Hebrew nomads possessed a super-human significance before they became
historical names.

Yet there is still a fact belonging to the latest age which shows that
the memory of a former connexion of theological ideas with the names
Abram and Jacob had not even then altogether vanished. The great Prophet
of the Hebrew people in the Babylonian Captivity, whose name is unknown
to us only that we may admire the more his noble soaring spirit, cries
in a prayer to Jahveh:

       For thou [Jahveh] art our Father;
       Abraham knew us not,
       And Israel [Jacob] acknowledged us not;
       Thou, Jahveh, art our Father,
       Our Redeemer, whose name was from eternity.—Is. LXIII. 16.

It is obvious that here the names of Abraham and Jacob are _opposed_ to
that of Jahveh. Therefore it is Jahveh, not Abraham; Jahveh, not Jacob!
Jahveh is the omniscient redeemer and protector of the people Israel;
the others take no care of it. Can we read in this opposition of names
anything else but that the writer wishes to contrast the idea of a God
recognised as the only true with the memory of something different,
which ages ago passed for divine, but is unworthy of adoration now, when
the Prophet brings forward the _omniscience_ of Jahveh as an
irrefragable argument for the exclusiveness of his divinity? I think
not. And it is not stated without a purpose that Jahveh is the redeemer
of the Hebrew nation ‘from eternity’ (mêʿôlâm), i.e. even from that age
in which to the popular mind Abraham and Jacob towered over the range of
humanity into the sphere of the gods. We ought further to notice the
change of the names Abhrâm and Yaʿaḳôbh into Abhrâhâm and Yisrâʾêl (Gen.
XVII. 5; XXXII. 29 [28]). The motive alleged for the change of Abhrâm
‘High Father’ is, that the historical character of the patriarch as
Ancestor may be brought into the foreground: ‘for I have made thee
father of multitudes of nations.’ To Jacob the later _ethnographical_
name of the people is given. Thus the memory of that to which the
ancient Hebrews had paid divine honours was to be suppressed as a
thought of something divine but hostile to Jahveh; and its place was to
be occupied by the memory of the _Ancestors_ of the nation, in which
character the Patriarchs are warmly commended to the people by this very
prophet (LI. 1, 2). We must next explain what was the impulse that drove
the Hebrews to form out of the nomenclature of their ancient myth the
names of their ancestors, or in other words to translate a considerable
portion of their mythological phraseology into ethnological.


Footnote 548:

  An interesting Arabic parallel to this occurs in Yâḳût, III. 496.
  Thaḳîf and al-Nachaʿ, who with their herds were migrating together,
  determine to separate: ‘So one said to the other: Assuredly this land
  can never support both me and thee. If thou goest to the west, then I
  will go to the east; and if I go to the west, then do thou go to the
  east. Then said Thaḳîf, Well, I will choose the west. Then said
  al-Nachaʿ, Then I go to the east.’ _Ibid._, p. 498, occurs an equally
  curious arrangement between two nomad tribes.

Footnote 549:

  _De vita solit._ I. 10. Inventores artium quarundam post mortem
  divinitatis honore cultos audivimus, grate quidem potius quam pie.
  Nulla enim est pietas hominis qua Deus offenditur, sed erga memoriam
  de humano genere bene meritorum inconsulta gratitudo mortalium,
  humanis honoribus non contenta, usque ad sacrilegas processit
  ineptias. Hinc Apollinem cithara, hinc eundem ipsum atque Aesculapium
  medicina, Saturnum, Liberumque et Cererem agricultura, Vulcanum
  fabrica deos fecit.

Footnote 550:

  _Ausland_, 1875, p. 219 _et seq._

Footnote 551:

  Sir G. Wilkinson on _Herodotus_, II. 79, note 5.

Footnote 552:

  Even Herder compared together these two sources of information on the
  story of Jemshîd, in the Appendix to vol. I. of his writings on
  Philosophy and History.

Footnote 553:

  _Geschichte der Amerikanischen Urreligionen_, Basle 1867, p. 423. This
  myth of civilisation is given also by Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, I.
  318 _et seq._

Footnote 554:

  See Dr. Robert Hartmann, _Die Nigritier: eine
  anthropologisch-ethnologische Monographie_, Berlin 1876, Thl. I. p.

Footnote 555:

  Brinton, _Myths of the New World_, New York 1868, p. 130.

Footnote 556:

  Otto Henne-Am-Rhyn, _Die deutsche Volkssage, etc._, p. 281 _et seq._

Footnote 557:

  _Ibid._, p. 285, the author says on the other hand: ‘The blind sister
  is of course always the invisible new moon, the half-black and
  half-white the half moon, the quite white the full moon.’

Footnote 558:

  See Hellwald, _Ueber Gynäkokratie im alten Amerika_, third art. in
  _Ausland_ for 1871, no. 44, p. 1158. In the language of the Algonkins
  the ideas Night, Death, Cold, Sleep, Water, and Moon are expressed by
  one and the same word.

Footnote 559:

  _A vogul föld és nép, Reguly Antal hagyományaiból_, Pest 1864, p. 139.

Footnote 560:

  In the Hottentot story it is the Hare (on his solar significance see
  supra p. 118) that is represented as the origin of death, in
  opposition to the Moon (Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, II.

Footnote 561:

  See the article ‘Une genèse vogule,’ in Ujfalvy’s _Revue de
  Philologie_, Paris 1874, livr. 1. The original text and a Hungarian
  translation are given by P. Hunfalvy in his lately quoted work, p.

Footnote 562:

  _Ausland_, 1875, p. 951 _et seqq._

Footnote 563:

  Whitney, _Language and the Study of Language_, London 1867, p. 346.

Footnote 564:

  _Amerikanische Urreligionen_, p. 305.

Footnote 565:

  Waitz, l.c. I. 464 _note_. Among other examples Waitz quotes this: ‘In
  Mexico Huitzlipochtli, was born of a woman who took to her bosom a
  feather-ball is a solar designation, is not easily determined.’ In
  connexion with it I will only mention that Shakspeare in one passage
  calls the sun a ‘burning crest.’

   But even this night,—whose black contagious breath
   Already smokes about the burning crest
   Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun,—
   Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire.—_King John_, V. 4.

Footnote 566:

  Manṭiḳ al-ṭeyr, ed. Garcin de Tassy, p. 58 (from a communication of my
  friend Dr. W. Bacher).

Footnote 567:

  By the Red the Sun is surely unquestionably to be understood, and not,
  as Max Müller says (_Introduction to the Science of Religion_, p. 64),
  the Earth.

Footnote 568:

  It should at the same time be noticed that in Arabic, in which, as in
  Hebrew, men are usually called banû Adam, the expression banû Ḥawwâʾa
  (sons of Eve) also occurs; _e.g._ in a verse of the Kumeyt (_Aġânî_,
  XV. 124; wa-cheynu banî Ḥawwâʾa), in a poem of Abû-l-ʿAlâ al-Maʿarrî,
  I. 96. 1, of al-Murtaḍî in the _Keshkùl_ of al-ʿÂmilî, p. 169.

Footnote 569:

  _Ursprung der menschlichen Sprache und Vernunft_, II. 42.

Footnote 570:

  See Excursus M.

Footnote 571:

  _Die Kitâb al awâʾil der Araber_, Halle 1867; congratulatory article
  on occasion of the meeting of the German Oriental Society at Halle.

Footnote 572:

  I know this work (entitled Muḥâḍarat al-awâʾil wa-musâmarat
  al-awâchir) from a manuscript of it in the public Viceregal Library at
  Cairo. In the catalogue of the year 1289, p. 92 _antepenult_, it is
  erroneously entered with the title Muchtaṣar al-awâʾil wal-awâchir.

Footnote 573:

  al-Maḳḳarî, _Analectes de l’historie et de la littérature des Arabes
  d’Espagne_, II. 69. The awâʾil are there called uṣûl al-ashyâ.

Footnote 574:

  A general view of this literature can now be obtained from Ibn
  al-Nedîm’s _Fihrist_.

Footnote 575:

  The name Yissâ-sekhâr (Issachar) must also fall under our
  consideration here, if we treat it as a Solar name (Day-labourer). See
  supra, p. 177.

Footnote 576:

  See Duncker, _Geschichte des Alterthums_, 1874, I. 206, 266.

Footnote 577:

  Can the Semitic ôhel ‘Tent of the Nomads’ be concealed in the word

Footnote 578:

  _Egypt’s Place in Universal History_, IV. 223.

Footnote 579:

  Besides German scholars, Dutch orientalists and historians of religion
  especially have written very ably on the passage in Amos; the latest
  of whom, Tiele, in his _Vergelijkende Geschiedenis_, pp. 539 _et
  seq._, mentions in a note the most prominent Dutch labours on the

Footnote 580:

  No weight must be attached to the word malkekhem ‘your king,’ in which
  many have tried to find a datum for the high antiquity of the worship
  of Moloch by the Hebrews; for the suffix shows that the word cannot be
  taken as Môlekh, the name of a god. And the worship of that God
  appears everywhere as one borrowed from the Canaanites.

Footnote 581:

  _E.g._ in the following fragment of a poem: ‘We lived in Chaffân in
  company with a people, may God give them rain by the constellation of
  the Fishes (saḳâhum Allâh min al-nauʾ nauʾ al-simâkeyn), then may a
  constellation give them abundant water (farawwâhum nauʾ), [a
  constellation] whose shining spreads light abroad’ (in Freytag,
  _Darstellung der arabischen Verskunst_, p. 253).

Footnote 582:

  See Lane in the _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1849, III. 97. Krehl,
  _Vorislamische Religion der Araber_, p. 9.

Footnote 583:

  _Yâḳût_, IV. 85. 19. _Tâj al-ʿârûs_, II. 209.

Footnote 584:

  Saʿadia, who translates Job XXXVIII. 28, eglê ṭâl ‘store-houses of
  dew,’ by the Arabic anwâʾ ‘stars,’ Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 21.

Footnote 585:

  See Num. XIV. 14, where before the two pillars are mentioned it is
  only said that the _cloud_ stood over them.

Footnote 586:

  For Hebraists I note that I take the בְּ be in beʿammûd ʿânân as _Beth

Footnote 587:

  _Ḥayât al-ḥaywân_, II. 52.

Footnote 588:

  Bastian, _Geographische und ethnographische Bilder_, p. 169, and some
  passages in books of African travel quoted by Waitz, _Anthropologie
  der Naturvölker_, II. 169.

Footnote 589:

  _Ricerche per lo studio dell’ antichità assira_, Turin 1872, p. 467.

Footnote 590:

  Tiele, _Vergelijkende Geschiedenis_, p. 301, however, calls this last
  epithet ‘much too general to draw any conclusion from.’

Footnote 591:

  Lazarus Geiger, _Ursprung und Entwickelung der menschlichen Sprach und
  Vernunft_, I. 346.

Footnote 592:

  In Petermann’s _Geogr. Mittheilungen_, 1874, XX. 330, pt. 9.

Footnote 593:

  K. Andree, _Forschungsreisen etc._, II. 362.

Footnote 594:

  _The Academy_, 1874, p. 548, col. 2.

Footnote 595:

  See Excursus D.

Footnote 596:

  Accordingly this appellation belongs to the same category as those
  which are noticed above, p. 175. In genealogical notes elsewhere also
  the Serpent occurs as ancestor; I need only mention the case which
  stands nearest to our subject in prehistoric Arabia—that of al-Afʿa b.
  al-Afʿa, ‘the Viper,’ head of a branch of the people of Jurhum, Ibn
  ʿAbdûn, p. 71 _et seq._

Footnote 597:

  On the solar significance of the Bull-worship see Kuenen, _Religion of
  Israel_, I. 236 _et seq._

Footnote 598:

  I believe the historical narrative in Ex. XXXII. 26–29 is to be taken
  in this sense. It is solar worship that is forcing its way into the
  strictly nomadic religion of the Hebrews, and the Levites are
  guardians of the nomadic religion.

Footnote 599:

  See Bastian in the _Zeitschr. für Völkerpsychologie_, 1868, V. 153.

Footnote 600:

  Ebers, _Aegypten und die Bücher Moses_, I. 245 _et seq._

Footnote 601:

  On the adoration of the night-sky a passage of the Midrâsh should be
  consulted (Mechiltâ, ed. Friedmann, fol. 68 a), in which the
  possibility of a demûth chôshekh ‘an idol of Darkness,’ is assumed.

Footnote 602:

  Most recently by Ewald, _Die Lehre der Bibel von Gott_, I. 234 _et
  seq._ On the purpose and importance of the interpretation of winds and
  clouds among the Babylonians, see Lenormant, _La divination et la
  science des présages chez les Chaldéens_, Paris 1875, pp. 64–68.

Footnote 603:

  _De Izraelieten te Mekka_, Haarlem 1864, p. 29.

Footnote 604:

  See my remark in the _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._, 1874, XXVIII. 309.


                              CHAPTER VII.
                          OF THE HEBREW MYTH._

§ 1. The nomadic stage of the Hebrew tribes reached its end at the
moment when a large part of them gained a land for themselves on the
right bank of the river Yardên (Jordan); and that is the true beginning
of the History of the Hebrews. Nomadism holds in itself nothing
essential to the world’s history. Hence the nomadic age of most great
nations fades away into the vague, and there are at most separate and
unimportant reminiscences by each tribe of its ‘days of battle,’ which
give the historian any fixed points for the construction of his picture.
There is scarcely any other nomad people that has had greater
vicissitudes in its changeful life than the Arabic tribes: yet they
scarcely afford any fixed points when we try to survey their history.
For it is not tied to any definite limited soil; no geographical unity
runs throughout it. A true national history is inseparable from one
country, which in peace presents the conditions necessary for the
development of civilisation, and in war offers an object for the
enthusiasm of assailants and defenders. There can be no history without
a definite land to which the events of history cling. The nomad cares
less for a particular territory than for his goods and chattels, when he
goes to war.[605] The Desert, and the roamer who roves over its broad
surface, have no history proper. Only isolated vague memories, such as
can attach themselves to a great geographical territory, are at our
command as points of support for the history of the Hebrew nomads. Their
proper history begins with the conquest of Canaan. This conquest was by
no means, as is still often assumed, a program of political
reorganisation, long nourished in the mind of the people. On the
contrary, the fact that we find the tribes on coming from Egypt (whence
it cannot be seriously doubted that they came) engaged in roaming about
on the left side of the Jordan before they entered Palestine, proves
that the Hebrews did not dream of the prospect of exchanging their
nomadic life for one in towns. In case they had any such intention, a
way from Egypt to Palestine was always open to the people, independently
of the route by sea, which could scarcely be thought of from the want of
means and adequate preparation. They would have traversed the northern
part of the desert al-Tîh, aiming directly at Hebron, on nearly the same
track as that taken by the Patriarch’s family according to the Biblical
narrative in going from Canaan to Egypt. The theocratic historian
himself finds a difficulty here, and ascribes to Moses strategic reasons
for adopting another course: ‘And Elôhîm led them not by the [regular]
road to the land of the Philistines, because it is near; for, thought
Elôhîm, [there is danger] lest the people should repent when they see
war, and return to Egypt’ (Ex. XIII. 17).

But the fact is really that on leaving Egypt the people wished to
continue in their old mode of life, roving from desert to desert,
seeking out one pasture after another; they were indifferent to the
cultivated side of the Jordan, and chose by preference the wild eastern
side, that is to this day the scene of that restless Beduin life which
runs continuously from the bank of the Euphrates to the Sherra
mountains. Nomadism is the most conservative life imaginable. For
hundreds and thousands of years this plain has been occupied by the same
tribes, alternately binding themselves for mutual support against a
common foe—often even in modern times the townsmen, and quarrelling
among themselves on the slightest provocation. A perfectly new tribe
entering from other parts would have great difficulty in holding its
ground there; and there is no wonder that the nomadic Hebrews in the
desert east of the Jordan were driven by constant struggles further and
further to the north, and, having at last discovered their
self-protection to be impossible there, resolved to cross the Jordan and
try their fortune in the towns. Another circumstance pressed this
decision upon them. The further they pushed northwards, the nearer they
came to the great northern power which stopped further advance. Great
kingdoms whose territories are bounded by deserts have never left these
deserts and their inhabitants alone, but have always been diligently
engaged in the subjection of the desert tribes: it was so ages ago, and
is so still. The wars of the Grand Turk against the Beduin-tribes in
Syria, Palestine and Arabia, those of the North-African powers against
the nomadic tribes which form their boundaries, are historical
continuations of political events of the very oldest times. The remark
of Manetho, the Egyptian priest and historian, is therefore very good:
‘According to the agreement they travelled from Egypt through the desert
to Syria with their whole households and possessions, not less than
240,000 souls. But in fear of the Empire of the Assyrians—for these were
then masters of Asia—they built a city in the land now called Judea,’

Here comes that remarkable turning-point in the life of the Hebrew
people—the abandonment of nomadic life and transition to the civilised
life of towns. The passage of the Jordan marks this turning-point. That
river is still the boundary-line of two stages of civilisation,
nomad-life and town-life. Not the entire mass of the nation submitted to
these changes; we know that a large portion of it, remaining at a
half-nomadic stage, declared itself averse to the removal, and preferred
to stay on the left bank of the Jordan, which is the Nomad’s paradise—a
plain blessed with splendid pasture and fine woods, of which the Bedawî
even now says ‘Thou wilt find no land like Belḳâ.’ The Biblical document
gives the exact name of the portion of the people which resisted the
transition to town-life; they are described as the sons of Reuben, the
sons of Gad, and a part of the tribe of Manasseh. We have no right to
decide how much historical truth there is in the contract between the
two sections of the nation, by which the larger only gave its consent to
the practice of cattle-breeding east of the Jordan by the smaller on
condition that the latter would render all possible service to their
martial brethren at the conquest (Num. XXXII). Enough that after many
long-protracted struggles with the people of the land the advancing
Hebrews got a large part of Canaan into their power. The details and the
chronology of these wars lie outside my present scheme. The history of
the civilisation of the Hebrews in Canaan has here to be considered only
on one side—with reference to the history of Religion. In the previous
chapter we left the nomadic people wandering in the desert, and
worshipping those beneficent powers which provide the nomad with his
conditions of life and protect him from the scorching heat so hostile to
wanderers—the Rain, his mother the Cloud, and the luminous smile of the
cloud, the Lightning. The commencement of religion does not kill off the
whole myth at one blow. For the mental activity required for the
creation and propagation of myths does not cease when polyonomy
vanishes, but only has its full vivaciousness abridged by that process
of language. But the process goes on very gradually; on domains not yet
fully attacked by it, accordingly, the telling of myths continues for
long. One part may remain when another has been converted into religion.
Now the law described in Chapter IV. would require, that, after
settlement in towns and adoption of agricultural life, the part of the
Hebrew myth which was not yet turned into religion should be subject to
a development corresponding to the transition from nomadic to
agricultural life, by which the solar figures, the victors over Darkness
and Storm, take up the position of honour and sympathy always accorded
to them by the agriculturist.

§ 2. Here, however, we have to notice a peculiarity of Hebrew
development resulting from the occupation of Canaan.

Politically, the Hebrew nation on settling in Canaan had power to
annihilate a few small tribes which before the occupation had held the
middle of the land. But they brought with them a minimum of civilisation
and mental endowments, and intellectually had nothing to oppose to the
long-established civilisation of the old inhabitants,[607] and
especially of the neighbouring Phenicians, who even then were the
ancient occupiers of a great historical position. In mercantile and
industrial respects, especially, they were very dependent on that
nation, which was the chief bearer of the commerce and industry of
antiquity.[608] How should the Hebrews have risen above such dependence?
for the Phenicians exerted a powerful intellectual influence not only
upon the mentally inferior tribes of Canaan, but also upon the western
nations with which they held intercourse; as in recent times Ewald has
again strongly asserted.[609] Notwithstanding the contradiction of some
scholars who depreciate Phenician civilisation,[610] this seems to be
tolerably well established.

There is a phenomenon which has been repeated countless times in the
history of the world. A conquered people intellectually superior to its
conquerors may, any political dependence notwithstanding, enforce its
intellectual preeminence by assimilating to itself the nation which has
succeeded to its dominion. The political victor has no power to
incorporate the mind of the subjugated, if the latter possesses a higher
civilisation than his own. For example, the Hyksôs, who were strong
enough to annihilate the rule of the Egyptians in the Delta, could found
no independent civilisation in the conquered land, but made the Egyptian
culture entirely their own. And when the Aztecs, or more strictly the
second horde of the Chichimecs (Northmen), coming from Aztlan and
California, overwhelmed Anahuac in the twelfth century, and subjugated
the Toltecs, a people which had already attained a certain degree of
civilisation, it was again the conquered that imparted their culture to
the conquerors. All the elements of civilisation—arts, manners, rights,
usages, writing, etc.—which the Spanish conquerors found existing among
the Aztecs, had been received by them from the conquered Toltecs, to
whose intellectual influence they were forced to accommodate themselves,
not having anything more potent of their own to impart.[611] The same is
seen in China, first in the tenth and again in the seventeenth century.
The victorious Khitem dynasty, as later the Manchu dynasty, which still
holds the sceptre of the Middle Kingdom, could only accept and advance
the native civilisation and the peculiarities of the old Chinese nation.
And who can help thinking of the often-quoted instance of the Franks as
conquerors of Gaul? And the relation of the Normans to the population of
France conquered by them is most curious. The conquerors lost their
mother-tongue in favour of the French, took to themselves French
institutions, laws and customs, and actually transplanted subsequently
the French language to England.[612] The same phenomenon is also
encountered on the domain of Religion.[613] For the Phenicians, to whom
we recur, it was the easier to establish their system, as they came as
conquerors to places where they found a population intellectually
inferior to themselves. When by the foundation of Carthage they gained
an establishment in Northern Africa, they exerted an influence on the
Libyans which almost suppressed everything native. ‘Phenician
civilisation prevailed in Libya just as Greek in Asia Minor and Syria
after Alexander’s campaigns, if not with equal force. At the courts of
the nomad Sheikhs Phenician was spoken and written, and the civilised
native tribes took the Phenician alphabet for their languages; but it
was neither the spirit of the Phenicians nor the policy of Carthage to
Phenicise them entirely.’[614] But this very Phenician language, which
as bearer of a higher civilisation suppressed the language of
surrounding tribes and the civilisation connected with them, had in its
turn to step into the background. A civilisation of superior force and
intensity, the Arabian, assailed it, and put the Arabic language of the
conquerors of North Africa in the place of that of the Carthaginian
colonies. Renan is wrong in asserting, ‘L’arabe n’absorba que les
dialectes qui lui étaient congénères, tels que le syriaque, le chaldéen,
le samaritain. Partout ailleurs, il ne put effacer les idiomes
établis.’[615] We will not here enter on an enquiry, to what extent
Arabic in the middle ages and in modern times has supplanted other
idioms. But two considerations must be suggested in answer to Renan’s

The first is, that it is difficult to see what power a relationship of
language like that between Arabic and Phenician can possess to cause the
weaker civilisation connected with one of the languages in question to
be supplanted by the stronger civilisation belonging to the other; when
the relationship is so remote as to be clearly understood only by
linguists, and neither known to ordinary people speaking either tongue,
nor even instinctively felt by the popular mind (if any such instinct
can be allowed in psychology). Indeed Semitic philologists themselves,
even with the knowledge of one or more of the Semitic dialects besides
their mother-tongue, arrived comparatively late at acknowledgment of
this relationship.[616] It is easy to understand how within the bounds
of the Arabic tongue the Northern dialect supplanted the Southern, when
the Northern tribes, especially that of Kureysh, gained the political
and social hegemony over Arabia, and their dialect was written down and
introduced into literature. Here, to say nothing of political and
religious causes, the extraordinary similarity of the two shades of the
Arabic language, of which the commonest Arab could not but be conscious,
made the suppression of the one in favour of the other easy; we have
frequent opportunities of observing the same in the dialects of European
languages. But it is not so easy to conceive that a relationship in
language which is only to be discovered by learned research can promote
the process of suppression of dialects. To the Arab, Syriac is as
foreign as French or any perfectly strange tongue. Botrus al-Bustâni, an
eminent savant at Beyrût, the compiler of a dictionary of his native
language and active editor of several Arabic journals, had no fewer
difficulties to overcome when he devoted himself to the study of the
Syriac language in the Maronite convents of Lebanon, than when he
learned English by intercourse with Dr. Van Dijk at the American
Protestant Mission; perhaps even greater, as in the latter case
mouth-to-mouth intercourse removed many difficulties. A Maronite priest
at Damascus assured me that the acquisition of the Italian language gave
him but few hard nuts to crack, whilst in the language of his Syriac
Church he could not get further than the elements which were
indispensable to his office. The Fin found no special difficulty in
becoming Swedish, because Swedish is a Teutonic and Finnish a Ugrian
language. In Hungary, during a long subjection to the Turks, Turkish had
no appreciable effect on the language, except in lending a few words,
although Hungarian and Turkish belong to one and the same group of
languages. Hence when one language ousts another, it is not their
relationship, but solely the superiority of the one people in intellect
and matters of culture that determines the result.

The second answer to Renan is that it is historically untrue that Arabic
could conquer only cognate idioms, but elsewhere had no power to oust
the native tongues. Where is the Coptic now? a once powerful language
having no connexion with Arabic, the vernacular use of which in Egypt
was totally annihilated by the Arabic. The dialects of the Negro
countries are beginning to give place more and more to the Arabic, and
their ultimate defeat in the contest with that language will be hastened
by the advances of the power of the Viceroy over the equatorial regions.

This is the great struggle for existence on the domain of Mind—a
struggle which the Hebrews, with the small amount of culture that they
brought to Canaan, could not sustain, nor even attempt, against the
settled population and the neighbouring powerful Canaanites of the
coast. On this a basis could be found for a hypothesis which has never
had any other foundation of the least firmness. It is now revived by
Professor J.G. Müller of Basle.[617] The Hebrews, we are told,
originally spoke a different language not connected with that of Canaan;
but, not being able to bring it into general use in their new country,
gave it up, and took over from the Canaanites the language that we call
Hebrew, which really possesses a far more palpable similarity to all
known relics of the old idioms of Canaan than is the case with languages
which though connected, are intrinsically distinct. And assuredly the
consideration of the lately found Moabitish monument, the column of
victory of King Mesha, which shows us a form of language perfectly
intelligible by the aid of the Hebrew grammar and the Hebrew lexicon,
and an historical style indistinguishable from that of the Hebrews,
involuntarily suggests the thought that we ought to speak rather of
identity than of connexion of languages. Even the Phenician language,
though not, as many erroneously suppose, absolutely identical with
Hebrew, nor even so near to it as the more Southern language of Moab,
exhibits a far closer relationship with the latter than is generally
found between different languages of the same family.[618] Phenician was
certainly not an idiom unintelligible to the Hebrews; and indeed a
Hebrew prophet even calls his mother-tongue the ‘language of Canaan’
(sephath Kenaʿan, Is. XIX. 18). The idea that the Hebrews changed their
language in Canaan possesses, indeed, no high degree of probability,
especially in so extreme and violent a form as is given to it by J.G.
Müller—least of all for us, inasmuch as the nomadic myth of the Hebrews,
which was created quite independently of Canaan, never contains any but
Hebrew names. But in matters of culture and manners, in which the
Hebrews, only just working their way up out of the nomadic stage, still
held a very primitive position at their entrance into Canaan, they were
most certainly influenced by the conquered original inhabitants and by
their powerful neighbours. These influences were immediately perceptible
in the form given to Religion and to social and political institutions.
The Hebrews did not possess sufficient resistant force of mind to work
the solar elements of _their own_ myth into a religion suitable to an
agricultural people, and had no strength to repel the Canaanitish Solar
religion, which must have been already long growing into completeness
from an old Canaanitish Solar myth; they could not accept the challenge,
but yielded. With general notions of religion they also adopted its
forms and institutes—the Temples, which bear the same relation to the
Sukkôth used for Divine worship as the fixed house of the townsman to
the hut of the nomad; the High places;[619] the sacred Trees and Woods;
the Human Sacrifices; the Priesthood, whose relation to the Sons of Levi
among the nomads again resembles that of a powerful dynasty to the
family of a Bedawî Sheikh; the Ritual of Sacrifice, and much besides.
With the religion and religious institutions of the Canaanites, their
religious terminology was also naturalised among the Hebrews. The
Phenician title of the Priest, Kôhên—Κοίης (Hellenised from Κοίην)
ἱερεὺς Καβείρων ὁ καθαίρων φονέα· ὁι δὲ κοής (Hesychius)—became among
the Hebrews also the official name of the public sacrificers; and the
fact that a derivative verb was formed from it proves it to have become
completely naturalised in ordinary speech.[620] The extant monuments of
the sacrificial ritual of the Phenicians, viz., the so-called
Sacrificial Tablet of Marseilles, discovered in 1845, and the
Carthaginian Sacrificial documents published more recently by
Davis,[621] place before our eyes much the same as we have in part of
the Book of Leviticus; and it is to be assumed that, although, after the
profound investigations of Graf[622] and Zunz,[623] the Post-Captivity
origin of that book is impressed with increasing urgency on our
conviction, still the Sacrificial laws contained in it are only a
codification of older regulations which arose and were in force in
sacerdotal circles at the time of the Hebrew dominion in Canaan, but
were not, and ought not to be, known to the people, as they referred
only to priestly functions. It would be inconceivable that a regular
sacrificial worship could exist without such arrangements and fixed
ritual. Among the Carthaginians the contents of these sacrificial
tables, with the ordinances and apportionments to be found on them, had
_canonical_ validity, and were not occasional or arbitrary orders. That
this is so, is to be inferred from the fact that the sacrificial tariff
discovered by Davis in the ruins of Carthage exhibits only an abridged
edition of the Marseilles Tablet, which also was derived from

Not only religious, but also social and political institutions were
introduced from the Phenicians into the public life of the Hebrews. How
else could a nation passing suddenly without political experience from
nomadic to civil life produce those institutions without which a nation
can neither constitute itself as a state nor continue to exist? Thus we
find among the Hebrews from the beginning the Shôpheṭîm (Judges), who
are known as Suffetes of the Carthaginians from Livy and the
Inscriptions. It must be assumed that, although this institution is not
distinctly proved to have existed in the mother-country, its root is to
be sought there; which harmonises well with the highly developed civic
constitution of the Phenicians. To draw an inference from the
institutions of the colonies to those of the mother-country must here,
as in other cases also, be treated as perfectly justifiable. Let it be
remembered that we should have no knowledge even of the elaborate system
of priests and sacrifices among the Phenicians, but for two remarkable
monuments of antiquity: the Tablets of Marseilles and of Carthage. On
one of the most important elements of Phenician religious life,
therefore, information is only to be found in the colonies; and the same
must certainly be true of social and political questions. In the present
case it is sure to be allowable, as the official name Shôphêṭ is found
in a Greek translation used of Tyre and Sidon. It must not indeed be
supposed that the Shôpheṭîm of the Hebrews can be placed exactly beside
the Phenician Suffetes. Whilst the latter is a permanent dignity and a
fixed institution, the Shôpheṭîm of the Hebrews are not so much
officials as a sort of _duces ex virtute_, ‘who might come and go
without any alteration in the legal bases of the state,’ as Ewald
says.[625] But if we have to allow that the Hebrew Shôpheṭîm are not
holders of so fixed an office as their namesakes in Phenicia, but were
only guerilla-chiefs in times of pressure of war, yet Phenician
influence cannot be denied, when we see that, just when the nomadic
tribal divisions were beginning to grow very loose and to make way for
town-life, these chiefs were called by a name identical with the
official name of certain Phenician dignitaries of rather different
character. It is evident from this that the Hebrews regarded their
provisional chiefs as equivalents of these Phenician officers of state;
they apperceived them, so to speak, by an idea derived from Phenicia.
But, on the other hand, this view of the influence of the Shôpheṭîm
rests on the picture of their actions given in the ‘Book of Judges.’ Now
it must not be forgotten that many of these Judges’ names are mythical
(as Samson, Jephthah, Gideon), used to fill up a period which to
posterity was a mere blank with no historical contents, except the bare
fact of a continuous contest with the Philistines. This historical
frame, as we shall soon see, is filled with myths, which, when
reinterpreted in a national sense, yield a supply of national heroes,
who then can be introduced as Shôpheṭîm. But the harmonising of national
stories was not pushed to a sufficient degree of continuity to form a
foundation for a fixed historical picture. It is therefore better, in
forming our judgment on the dignity of the so-called Judges, to allow
ourselves to be determined more by the name Shôpheṭîm itself than by the
nature of the nationalised myths attached to it. Grätz[626] has quite
recently renewed the attempt to render doubtful the existence of the
Shôpheṭîm-institution among the Hebrews, and especially combated any
connexion of the Shôpheṭîm with the Punic Suffetes; and in this the
judgment of the most competent professional authorities is on his side.
But, not to speak of his view of the Shôpheṭîm as representatives of an
institution, he sets up a linguistic conjecture which arouses many a
doubt. For it requires strong etymological imagination to deny to the
Hebrew word shâphaṭ the signification _judicare_. Sober Biblical
students and philologists will not be imposed on by the passages quoted
by Grätz in justification and support of his conjecture. Not to mention
other passages, compare only the words of Is. I. 17, 23 with the
passages of Scripture which, Grätz says, speak of rushing up to the aid
of ‘oppressed or injured persons, widows and orphans.’ The word rîbh is
not calculated to support this conjecture. But, that the Shôpheṭîm,
though not hereditary nor even paid officers of state (as no one would
pretend they were), were yet certainly heads of the state, appointed by
the voice of the people, is proved by the mere fact that the Shôphêṭ was
regarded in the same light as the Melekh, as a species of the same
genus. So e.g. in Judges IX. 6, 16, where the instalment of a Shôphêṭ is
denoted by hamlîkh, and Judges XVII. 6, XVIII. 1, XXI. 25, where the
interregnum between one Shôphêṭ and the next is described as a time ‘in
which no melekh (king) reigned over Israel, and every one could do what
was right in his own eyes.’ And the consideration of the word Shôphêṭ
itself leads to the conviction that the office was an institution
suggested by Phenician custom. For it is found in no other Semitic
language in the same signification as in these two dialects of
Canaan.[627] The Samaritan, in which Shâphâṭ is also found,[628]
scarcely requires separate mention. So the Hebrews, as was so often the
case, must have borrowed the term shôphêṭ, together with the
corresponding institution, from their cultivated neighbours; for it
cannot be assumed that the expression for an idea implying so advanced a
stage of civilisation as Judge had its origin in the primeval age of
ethnological community between Hebrews and Canaanites. And later, when
the Hebrews began to appreciate the institution of Kingship, as existing
in many neighbouring nations,[629] and wished to be ruled by kings, the
theocratic historian himself describes this innovation as borrowed,
making the people say to the prophet Samuel, ‘Give us a King to judge
us, as all the nations [have a king], that we also may be like all the
nations, and that our king may judge us and go out before us and fight
our battles’ (1 Sam. VIII. 5, 20). Even concerning the political
subjection of the tribes of Canaan, it has long been perceived that this
was by no means so complete as is commonly supposed, but that the
Canaanitish element in the centre of the Hebrew dominion was powerful
enough[630] to nourish exterior religious or civilising influences. A
somewhat later didactic poet exclaims, ‘They did not destroy the nations
which Jahveh told them [to destroy]; but mixed with the nations and
learned their works’ (Ps. CVI. 34 _seq._). To this time belongs the
naturalisation of theological terms and consequently of theological
conceptions, for the independent working out of which the Hebrews had
not passed through the necessary historical experience and continuous
religious stages, but in which the history of the religion of the
Canaanites found its natural result. At the time when the nomadic nation
of the Hebrews entered Canaan, it first, so to speak, produced out of
the ancient myth the first elements of a religion; we cannot speak of a
_system_ of religion existing in that age. In the Canaanitish peoples,
on the other hand, a systematical religion had already been formed. Even
independently of the preponderating spiritual influence of the native
population, it was particularly natural to the Hebrews to attach
themselves to their system, as community of language familiarised them
with much of the religious terminology of the Canaanites. Ever since the
Hebrews had by their own efforts begun to have any religious ideas, they
called every power which they regarded as divine Êl and Shadday ‘the
Powerful;’ and as these Powers (which they also called Elôhîm, i.e. ‘the
Worshipped’ or ‘the Feared’) were seen by them on the dark sky, Êl was
also called ʿElyôn ‘the Highest’ (a synonym of Abh-râm). To the Hebrews
these names were not yet exclusively theological, _termini technici_ of
religion. Religion itself had not yet grown so stiff and fixed as to
have taken from such names their appellative character: and that of
Elôhîm and ʿElyôn continued to the latest times. But with the Canaanites
even at that early age these ancient Semitic expressions had been
already employed long enough in a theological sense to take the step
which converted them into a religious terminology. Many synonyms of the
terms in question are found among the Phenicians as religious terms, and
among the Hebrews (when the words are equally native there) in a
completely appellative sense, e.g. Baʿal ‘Lord,’ Kabbîr ‘Great,

This community of language greatly promoted the introduction of
Canaanitish religion among the Hebrews. Although the above-mentioned
names impressed the Hebrews differently, being not yet limited to a
specially religious signification, yet the knowledge of their meaning as
words, which was native to the Hebrews, promoted the acquisition of the
ritual attached to them by the Canaanites. Thus it came to pass that
besides Êl, Elôhîm, ʿElyôn, Shadday, even Baʿal received worship from
the Hebrews in Canaan, of which the Biblical documents often speak (and
he is not likely to have been the only divine person borrowed from the
Phenicians), and that those names which had previously begun to assume a
religious sense were, by intellectual as well as practical intercourse
with the Canaanites, filled with the force they had to the Canaanites.
It is therefore the exact opposite of the real state of things to call
the Elôhîm-idea specially Hebrew, and make Jahveism Canaanitish, as some
Dutch theologians do. It is equally impossible to suppose the names
themselves to have been unknown till then to the Hebrews, as J.G. Müller
infers in connexion with his ethnological hypothesis.[631] The names, as
component parts of the language, are the property of Canaanites and
Hebrews alike; only their theological employment and the worship founded
upon them are to be regarded as Canaanitish. But it is especially this
employment of the names which has to be considered in relation to the
History of Civilisation.

Thus we see how the Hebrews in Canaan learned much as to religion as
well as to politics from the conquered neighbouring aborigines. The
religious ideas produced on the nomadic stage from the nomadic mythology
were wiped away, and only a few relics of the old nomadic religion
remained to a late age, either actual residues or mere memories.
Spiritually poor, the nation was handed over to the powerful influence
of the already formed culture of Canaan, and thus condemned to mere
receptivity. Accordingly, they never had an opportunity of further
developing their myths on the agricultural stage and converting them
into elements of a religion. Hence comes the remarkable fact that from
this point the myths of the Hebrews cease to grow, in the way in which
those of the Aryan nations grew. Only a small cycle of myths of the Sun
and of Civilisation were formed at this time; and the regular advance of
the Mythical to the Religious was arrested by that religious influence
which pressed in with full force from outside. The most complete and
rounded-off solar myth extant in Hebrew is that of Shimshôn (Samson), a
cycle of mythical conceptions fully comparable with the Greek myth of
Herakles. But Samson never got so far as to be admitted, like Herakles,
into the society of the gods. Those who say that mythologies have
converted Samson to a _deus solaris_ make a malicious perversion of the
truth, merely because they set themselves against any mythological
investigation on Semitic ground.[632] Whilst the Hebrews were thus
taking in from the Canaanites things quite new to them, by which the
regular further growth of their own was arrested, a considerable portion
of their own store of legends must naturally have been starved out. For
whatever ceases to grow, falls into slow decay, and at last disappears
and leaves no sign behind. Here is discovered the origin of the
defectiveness and fragmentary nature which strikes us in reconstructing
the old Hebrew myths, when compared with the richness and variety of the
Aryan myths among those nations which have passed through all stages of
civilisation regularly and without obstruction or perverting influence
from foreign forces.

The Myth is converted either into Religion or into History; the figures
of the myth become either Gods and god-born Heroes, or Ancestors of the
nation to which the myth belonged. What part of the myth cannot be
converted, or has not been converted, into religion, and what has ceased
to be religious without ceasing to exist in the popular mind, is
converted into history; for all that remains in the human consciousness
as a living portion of it must have a distinct impress; no meaningless
vegetating is possible. Nothing is without an impressed form; when an
old impress has lost its meaning, a new one is made. It is these new
impressions that keep the elements of the ancient myth alive in the mind
of the people far beyond the mythical age. Among the Hebrews this new
force worked more powerfully than elsewhere in changing the form and
impress of the still living elements of the myth, converting almost all
myth into history.[633] This result was attained with the cooperation of
an important factor in the History of Civilisation, which also
determined the _direction_ which the myth should take in being
transformed into history. We must now consider this factor.

§ 3. Though the Hebrews were intellectually dependent on the older
inhabitants of Canaan, and had to take up a receptive position towards
them in matters of civilisation and religion, it was nevertheless
inevitable that a strong antagonism should grow up between the two
sides. The Hebrews edged themselves in like an unbidden guest into the
midst of the Canaanitish system of tribes. As they could gain their
political position in that system only by conquest and repression, so
also they could maintain, protect, and confirm it only by continuous
defensive wars. We find Philistines, Moabites, and Edomites the constant
deadly foes of the existence of the Hebrew state, and the history of
Israel in Canaan is filled up with incessant struggles of greater or
less magnitude, in which the Hebrews, themselves scarcely settled in a
home, were forced to engage against the repressed old inhabitants on the
one hand, and the menaced neighbouring peoples on the other. Moreover,
the nomadic characteristic, still preserved by the Hebrews, of
faithfully maintaining the memory of their national individuality, could
not be entirely obscured by their new spiritual life, which was only
borrowed from strangers, especially as the constant wars in which they
were necessarily involved against those strangers were calculated to
heighten and confirm it. Indeed, the spirit of tribe and race, the
repelling and exclusive tendency which characterised the Canaanitish
peoples,[634] nourished in the Hebrews the desire to insist on the
enforcement and development of individuality on their side too. This
exclusiveness, this consciousness of individual peculiarity which lived
in the mind of the people, could not now find expression in religion.
When even modern Biblical criticism, coming into the inheritance of a
conception which obtained acceptance from religious animosity, still
continues to insist on the ‘National God of the Hebrews,’ it commits a
decided error, at least in reference to the age of which we are now
speaking, and especially with regard to the Elôhîm. The consciousness of
national peculiarity could not, at this stage of religion among the
Hebrews, find any expression on the domain of religion. Yet it must
perforce gain expression somewhere, and could not do so anywhere except
on a domain on which the most original impress of their own mind was
still visible—in the myths, insofar as they were not yet swept away by
foreign influence.

The awaking of National Consciousness plays a very prominent part in the
history of the development of the Myth. From the moment when in ancient
times this idea began to fill the soul of a great national community, it
seized on and transformed the whole material of which its mythology was
made. The fact that this noble consciousness gives a distinct direction
of its own to everything that fills the human soul, is another proof of
its power to transform the spiritual life. In modern times the kindling
of national self-consciousness, advanced by the arousing of spiritual
opposition to foreign influences which had previously repressed national
individuality, causes the production of documents to prove the awakening
of this national opposition, documents which belong to the best part of
literature and intellectual labour. Similarly, in ancient times before
literature, this consciousness of opposition impressed its image
especially on the myth, and made that subservient to its purpose. And on
considering the relation of the myth to the idea of nationality, we see
on many sides, how closely and inseparably the two are connected
together, how the idea operates to transform the myth, and how it needs
the myth as a support; for the myth, going back to the earliest times,
confers on the new idea something like an historical title, and gives a
broad basis to the intenseness of its force by furnishing a
justification of it. Hence it comes to pass that nations which have
preserved no great stock of original myths on which the awakened
national consciousness could fall back, instinctively create similar
stories, and this even in relatively modern times, in which a system of
religion hardened into crystal on every side, combined with the
corresponding stage of intellectual development, would leave no room for
the revival of mythical activity. Of this there are two noteworthy
instances, one in the middle ages (the twelfth or thirteenth century),
the other in this century. The Cymry of Wales, becoming alive to the
opposition in nationality between themselves and the English, felt the
need of finding a justification of this opposition in the oldest
prehistoric times. It was then first suggested to them that they were
descendants of the ancient renowned Celtic nation; and to keep alive
this Celtic national pride they introduced an institution of New Druids,
a sort of secret society like the Freemasons. The New Druids, like the
old ones, taught a sort of national religion, which however, the people
having long become Christian and preserved no independent national
traditions, they had mostly to invent themselves. Thus arose the
so-called Celtic mythology of the god Hu and the goddess Ceridolu, etc.,
mere poetical fictions, which never lived in popular belief.[635] The
other instance is furnished by the Hungarian national literature of the
time when, to revive the ‘ancient glory,’ Andrew Horváth and Michael
Vörösmarty created new myths, mythic figures and a national epic, in
place of the mere fragments remaining of the old Hungarian cycle of
myths, with the view of reviving national feeling and consciousness in
their fellow countrymen. And a few of these new creations have in a
course of a few decads of years penetrated so deep into the national
mind as to be treated as something primitive and aboriginal; so e.g.
Hadúr, the god of war, etc.[636]

Far more organic and natural is the effect produced by the national
sentiment and national opposition on the form of the myth wherever
copious mythic materials exist, which it can influence and transform.
The entire contents of the myths—the mythological figures and all that
is told of them—are apperceived by the national movement and receive
from it a new interpretation. This may be seen clearly in the case of
the old Persian myth, mentioned briefly above (pp. 15, 16), where I
showed that all that it told of the contests and mutual relations of the
Sun and Night was, at the stage of the rising national consciousness,
converted into contests between Îrân and Tûrân—the heroes of mythology
became national heroes, the victorious Sun became a victorious helper
and saviour of the nation, and the malicious intriguing Darkness the
cunning hero of the hostile people. This national interpretation of the
myth is only another side of the process which resulted in
individualising the mythical figures and created personalities of
theological significance. I have already insisted on the fact that
another set of the mythical figures when converted into individuals
assume an historical character. This comes to pass in various ways:
either the myth which is turned into history first passes through the
stage of religion, and then becomes history; or secondly, the historical
transformation is effected in immediate sequence upon the old
mythological stage; or lastly, the mythological figures assume a meaning
which is at the same time both religious and historical, like the Greek
Heroes. On the development of the Hebrew myth also the awakening of the
national spirit exercised a great influence. The consciousness of
national individuality gave a new direction to all the ideas of the
Hebrews, and so also to their mythology. Among the Greeks and Indians
the chief figures of mythology—not to speak of occasional
localisation—preserved a cosmopolitan character; for Zeus, Indra, and
others have no special national character. But the figures of the Hebrew
myths at this period became the national progenitors of the Hebrew
people, and the mythology itself the national primeval history of the
Hebrews before their settlement in the land of Canaan. Abhrâm, the ‘High
Father,’ is converted into Abhrâhâm, the abh hamôn gôyîm, ‘Father of a
mass of Nations,’ and at the same time into hâ-ʿIbhrî, ‘the Hebrew’
(Gen. XVII. 4, 5, XIV. 13); and all other figures of the myth are made
to subserve the national idea. On the one hand, they are eager to have
documentary proof of their nation’s noble origin and glorious past; on
the other, they nourish a feeling of opposition towards other
nationalities, on which they cast shame. The nation of Edom receives
Esau as ancestor: and the reminiscence of nomadic conceptions which
draws their sympathy towards Jacob, the persecuted brother, and turns
with antipathy away from the red solar hunter, is again revived in the
service of the formation of a national myth which paints Esau in the
most repulsive colours. The old mythological incest of Lot’s daughters
is made the cause of the origin of two Canaanitish tribes, the Ammonites
and the Moabites.[637] The Philistines also are dragged through this
story-making process of national antagonism. The primeval heavenly
‘Father-King’ Abimelek, who conceives a warm love for the wife of the
Morning-sky and thinks to carry her off, is made a king of the
Philistines, and Shechem, the Early Morning, the seducer of Dinah, is
converted into a prince of the Hivvites. In the story of Dinah, as given
in Genesis, we have an especially eloquent testimony to the national
animosity to which this conversion of the myth owes its origin. This
aspect of the story has been very fully proved by a Dutch scholar, Dr.
Oort. It exhibits in the people newly awakened to national
self-consciousness a tendency to abominate all connexion with the
Canaanites, and introduces as representatives or types of this tendency
the brothers Simeon and Levi, the zealots for the purity of the Hebrew
family.[638] Thus we see that the national treatment of the myth is not
merely of the nature of narrative, but at the same time also instructive
or didactic. Ham, the unworthy son who reveals the nakedness of the
solar hero, is regarded as the denier of his father and made the
ancestor of all the Canaanites, and visited by his father’s curse. ‘And
Noah awoke from his wine and learned what his youngest son had done to
him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan, let him be a slave of slaves to his
brethren. And he said, Blessed be Jahveh, the God of Shem, and let
Canaan be a slave to them’ (Gen. IX. 24–26). We see that the national
passion turns especially on Canaan: for the story makes the offended
father curse, not the offender Ham, but Canaan, who is in the
ethnographical genealogy only his grandson. It is impossible to be blind
to the factors which are concealed behind such a conception. In the case
of Esau too, the national story makes him choose his wives from the
daughters of Canaan, to whom Isaac, the patriarch of the Hebrews, and
Rebekah the mother of the tribe, strongly object (Gen. XXVII. 46,
XXVIII. 1, 6, 8); so much so that the mother would rather die than that
her favourite son Jacob should also take one of them to wife, and the
father repeatedly urges on him to have nothing to do with that people.
On this very occasion it is mentioned with emphasis that Esau is
identical with Edom, or according to another version is the father of
Edom (Gen. XXXVI. 1, 43).

The national pride of a people roused to a consciousness of its worth
must be strengthened by the memories of national heroes, and find
nourishment and life in such memories; and this impulse works with a
revived force even in later times, in which historical reminiscences of
the olden time are beginning to fade. The Hebrew people found heroes
even in some mythical figures; they were turned into Hebrew national
heroes, and their celestial contest became a national war against the
Philistines, and was removed to the age of the Shôpheṭîm or Judges,
which was in memory connected with the hardest struggles and fiercest
wars against the Philistines. The blinded Shimshôn, Samson, the setting
sun robbed of his locks and his eyesight, is brought forward as a victim
of the perfidious cunning of the Canaanites. The Goat Yâʿêl (Jael), and
the Lightning Bârâḳ, the Smasher Gideʿôn, mere mythical expressions
(clearly exhibited as such by Steinthal), are sent to battle against the
Philistines; and the attractive part of the handsome ruddy sharp-eyed
youth who slays the monster of darkness by throwing stones, is assigned
as a piece of biography to the historical hero-king David, who slays the
Philistine giant Goliath in single combat, and delivers the Hebrew
people from their dangerous enemy.[639] From the last example we see
that, besides mythical figures becoming historic personages in the
service of the national idea, historical figures also may receive
biographical features proper to mythic heroes. Not only are the figures
of the myth converted into historical ones by assigning to them a part
in historical events, but events of mythology are shifted into
historical times by fastening them on to historical persons.

The entire materials of legend are clothed in a national garb. The
Hebrews in Canaan retained the nomadic tribe-divisions. Every tribe was
provided with an ancestor, and every one of these ancestors was made a
son of Jacob, who was at the same time identified with Israel. The
twelve stars of the nightly sky descended upon the new people of Canaan,
and took on themselves the duties of Eponymi. The history of each of
these fathers of tribes became the tribe’s historical reminiscence. The
national passion, the revived consciousness of individuality, blew the
glimmering sparks of story-building into a clear flame, and determined
the direction or tendency of the stories. The history of this epoch
suggests a motive for the prevailingly _national_ development of the
Hebrew materials of legend. Hence it comes to pass that the
individualised figures of the Hebrew myth appear as national ancestors
and fathers of tribes, some as fathers of the Hebrew people with a
negative spirit of exclusiveness towards everything foreign, some as
fathers of the hostile tribes, combating the ancestors of the Hebrews.
Thus the ancestors reflect in a dim primitive age their own fortunes and
relation to the tribes of Canaan. The same psychological process which
in later time caused the Agadic interpreters to declare the principle:
maʿasê âbhôth sîmân lebhânîm ‘the deeds of the Patriarchs are types for
their descendants,’[640] was, inverted, the creative cause of the
legends of the fathers and their doings.

In such wise did the Hebrew people find expression for the consciousness
of their individuality, which they might easily have utterly lost in
their spiritual dependence upon their neighbours; namely, in a new
interpretation of their ancient myths. When they were becoming quite
Canaanitish through what they borrowed from others in religion and
culture, their whole soul was again electrified, and a new spirit
aroused by the feeling of self-dependence confirmed by severe contests.
What it could not put into the religion, which it was powerless to
create of itself, it put into a glorious series of poetical legends.
These expressed both the national consciousness on the one hand, and the
national passionateness on the other; and it may be assumed that with
the progress of animosities the tone of the legends increased in
bitterness. I adduced above the development of the Persian national
legend as an instance showing how a national legend grows out of a myth.
At the close of this chapter I will again revert to the same region of
legend, to show how national animosity can operate in transforming old
materials down to the latest times, in which new legends can scarcely be
still created. Firdôsî gives the national legends of the contests with
Tûrân, formed from the myths. But the lately roused antagonism of the
Persians to the Arabs, who had become the dominant power and were
extinguishing Iranism, also finds expression in the form which he
imparts to the legends. On reading his description of the behaviour of
the Arabian ambassadors at the court of Ferîdûn, we observe that the
legend here takes a tone of hostility to the Arabs, and criticises the
dark side of the Arabian national character; and the sufferings of Irej,
the ancestor of the Iranians, are intended to be a type of the
subjugation and vicissitudes of the Iranian race. Selm himself (the Shem
of the Shâhnâmeh in relation to Îrân and Tûrân) is represented as
malicious, passionate, and intriguing.[641]


Footnote 605:

  Palgrave gives an excellent picture of this state, in his _Central and
  Eastern Arabia_, I. 34: ‘The Bedouin does not fight for his home, he
  has none; nor for his country, that is anywhere; nor for his honour,
  he never heard of it; nor for his religion, he owns and cares for
  none. His only object in war is ... the desire to get such a one’s
  horse or camel into his own possession, etc.’

Footnote 606:

  Josephus, _Contra Apionem_, I. 14.

Footnote 607:

  See Duncker, _Geschichte des Alterthums_, 1874, I. 253.

Footnote 608:

  In Ezek. XXVII. 17, the wares, the export of which made the Hebrews
  dependent on the Phenicians, are enumerated in detail.

Footnote 609:

  _Die Vorurtheile über das alte und neue Morgenland_, in _Abhandl. der
  königl. Gesellsch. der Wissensch._, Gottingen 1872, XVII. 98.

Footnote 610:

  So _e.g._ Jas. Fergusson, _Rude Stone Monuments_, p. 38; Mommsen,
  _History of Rome_, 1868, II. 18 _et seq._

Footnote 611:

  Lenormant, _Essai sur la propagation de l’Alphabet phénicien dans
  l’ancien monde_, ed. 2, Paris 1875, I. p. 25.

Footnote 612:

  W.D. Whitney, _Language and the Study of Language_, London 1867, p.
  169; cf. F. von Hellwald, _Culturgeschichte_, p. 154.

Footnote 613:

  Hellwald, _ibid._, p. 482.

Footnote 614:

  Movers, _Die Phönizier_, II. 2. 439 _et seq._

Footnote 615:

  _Histoire générale des langues sémitiques_, p. 200.

Footnote 616:

  See my _Studien über Tanchûm Jeruschalmi_, Leipzig 1870, p. 12.

Footnote 617:

  _Die Semiten in ihrem Verhâltniss zu Chamiten und Japheiten_, Basel
  1872, p. 134.

Footnote 618:

  This question will be found very satisfactorily discussed in Stade’s
  article ‘_Erneute Prüfung des zwischen dem Phönicischen und
  Hebräischen bestehenden Verwandtschaftsverhältnisses_,’ in the
  _Morgenländische Forschungen_, Leipzig 1875, pp. 169–232.

Footnote 619:

  See Merx, _Archiv. f. wissensch. Erforsch. d. A. T._ pt. 1. 1867, p.

Footnote 620:

  In late Aramaised Hebrew we find the feminine kehantâ (= kôheneth) for
  a Priest’s Wife, equivalent to êsheth kôhên; see Levy, _Chald.
  Wörterb._ I. 356 _a_. It comes thence to be used in a general
  signification, of an honest, irreproachable woman, in opposition to
  pundâḳîth, properly an innkeeper, in _Mishnâ Yebhâmôth_, XVI. 7.

Footnote 621:

  See Ernst Meier’s essay on the former in _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1865,
  XIX., and Nathan Davis, _Carthage and her remains_, London 1861.

Footnote 622:

  _Die geschichtlichen Bücher des A. T._, Leipzig 1866.

Footnote 623:

  _Bibelkritisches_, in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1873, XXVII. 682–89,
  especially the theses 22–26. Zunz appears to have laboured
  independently of Graf, but arrives at almost the same results.

Footnote 624:

  Bargés, who has earned great credit for his elucidation of the
  Marseilles table in several writings, disputes the authenticity of the
  inscription discovered by Davis (_Examen d’une nouvelle inscription
  phénicienne découverte récemment dans les ruines de Carthage et
  analogue à celle de Marseille._ Paris 1868).

Footnote 625:

  _History of Israel_, II. 360.

Footnote 626:

  _Geschichte der Juden_, Leipzig 1874, I. 407 _et seq._

Footnote 627:

  See Stade’s exhaustive exposition in the _Morgenländische
  Forschungen_, p. 197. But I cannot share the opinion of my respected
  friend, that the Hebrews could borrow nothing from the Phenicians
  because the two nations passed through a completely distinct religious
  and political development.

Footnote 628:

  _Shefaṭ-ʿAdad_ in Nabatean, quoted by Ernst Meier in _Zeitsch. d. D.
  M. G._ 1873, XVII. 609, is also problematical.

Footnote 629:

  Duncker, _Geschichte des Alterthums_, I. 371.

Footnote 630:

  The data belonging to this subject are lucidly brought together in
  Kuenen’s _Religion of Israel_, I. 182.

Footnote 631:

  _Semiten, Chamiten und Japhetiten_, p. 160 _et seq._

Footnote 632:

  Equally exaggerated on the other side, however, is Tiele’s view
  (_Vergelijk. Geschied._, p. 182), treating the story of Samson as
  borrowed from the Canaanites. See also Duncker, _l.c._ II. 65.

Footnote 633:

  This fact, moreover, refutes Buckle’s thesis (assuming the very
  opposite course of development), which makes history to be the
  earlier, and to be subsequently degraded to ‘a mythology full of
  marvels.’ This thesis has been estimated at its true value by Hermann
  Cohen in an article entitled _Die dichterische Phantasie und der
  Mechanismus des Bewusstseins_, in the _Zeitsch. für Völkerpsychologie
  etc._, 1869, VI. 186–193.

Footnote 634:

  Mommsen, _l.c._ book III. chap 1.

Footnote 635:

  Holtzmann, _Deutsche Mythologie_, p. 28.

Footnote 636:

  Paul Gyulai, _Vörösmarty élete_ [Life of Vörösmarty], Pest 1866, p. 49
  _et seq._

Footnote 637:

  See Excursus N.

Footnote 638:

  _Godgeleerde Bijdragen_, 1866, p. 983 _et seq._ With him Kuenen
  agrees, _The Religion of Israel_, I. 311 _et seq._

Footnote 639:

  Like the Hungarian national hero Nicolas Toldi, who overcomes the
  Czech (Bohemian) hero in single combat.

Footnote 640:

  Compare _Genesis rabbâ_, § 48.

Footnote 641:

  See _Shâhnâmeh_ (ed. Mohl), p. 124. vv. 121–29 and pp. 139–40, etc.


                             CHAPTER VIII.

§ 1. We have seen a new feeling aroused in the breast of the Hebrews,
and gaining such force and intensity as to fill their souls with a new
thought and impart spiritual significance and direction to their
political life.

In the history of the world there sometimes appear nations endowed with
very small power of influencing the outside world, and whose
intellectual mission is quite subjective, or, if we prefer so to call
it, negative, insofar as their entire historical life is taken up by the
realisation of the endeavour not to fall victims to some foreign
intellect bearing down upon them from the outside, but to preserve their
individual being, their peculiarity, their nationality, not merely in an
ethnological but in an historical sense also.

The Hebrew nation was preserved from the state of intellectual passivity
by the aroused consciousness of national individuality. The
consciousness of individuality awoke, and as soon as it was fully
roused, there began that section of the life of the nation which was
distinguished by a peculiar productiveness on the domain of ideas. The
influences received from outside could be neither extinguished nor
cancelled, seeing that to them was mainly due the formation of the mind
of the nation; but the national consciousness had now introduced a new
condition of further civilisation, which caused these foreign elements
to be dealt with in a peculiar and independent way. No doubt a long time
was needed to allow the results of this national reaction to strike root
in the soul of the nation; but we shall see that a true Hebraism was
formed by slow progress out of Canaanism, until at last the choicest and
noblest minds of the nation seized upon the idea which gave full
expression to the principle of nationality and freed it from the last
traces of Canaanitish influence.

§ 2. The consequences of the national reaction are exhibited in the
first representatives of the house of David, in the history of the
Hebrew nation and in the desire of political unity to put an end to the
old disunion and give strength against the Canaanites. The religious and
political centralisation, which forms the program of David and Solomon,
was the first and most forcible expression of the roused national
spirit. I will leave the political arrangements on one side; for
although they certainly come within the range of the general description
which I have to give of the character of the period, yet the nature of
these studies urges me more to consider the forces which act on the
history of religion. With reference to this I must prefix some almost
self-evident remarks on the relation of Polytheism to Monotheism:
self-evident I say, yet even now still doubted and disputed, because on
this subject even the least prejudiced inquirers on questions of
antiquity and the history of ancient civilisation still use words in
accordance with the old traditional system.[642] The idea that a
Monotheistic instinct is inherent in a certain race or certain nations
is refuted by historical facts so far as relates to the Semites, the
consideration of whose psychological condition had suggested the
opinion, and has also been exhibited as generally untenable by
Steinthal’s and Max Müller’s psychological criticism of the meaning of
instinct. But equally untrue is the idea of an original Monotheism,
which later in history dissolved into Polytheism. This idea, which
moreover identified the original monotheism with that of the Bible,
prevailed almost universally in former times. Recently Rougemont, a
French ethnologist, has endeavoured, in his work ‘Le Peuple Primitif’
(1855), to find a basis for it by supposing Polytheism to have sprung
out of the original Monotheism through the medium of Pantheism by reason
of a superfluity of religious life and over-richness in poetical
inspiration.[643] Of course many theological systems endeavour to
maintain this position; but also scholars who are but little influenced
by theological prepossessions sometimes support it in their special
provinces of study, having recourse to methods of deduction inspired
mainly by an obsolete mysticism. So, for example, the sound scholar
François Lenormant assumes that in Egypt Polytheism grew out of an
original Monotheism by the process expressed in the following words:
‘L’idée de Dieu se confondit avec les manifestations de sa puissance;
ses attributs et ses qualités furent personnifiés en une foule d’agents
secondaires distribués dans une ordre hiérarchique, concourant à
l’organisation générale du monde et à la conservation des êtres.’[644]
This is the old story of the separation of the notion of a single god,
given by an alleged primeval revelation, into its parts and factors!
Another renowned investigator of Assyrian and Babylonian antiquity,
Jules Oppert, also, speaks of a common monotheistic groundwork of all
human religion.[645] But from the nature of the case, and in accordance
with the laws of development of the human mind which can be deduced from
experience, the fact is the very reverse. The history of the development
of religion, modified of course in accordance with our more educated
conception of its origin, appears in the main to be what old Hume
asserted of it in his ‘Natural History of Religion:’ ‘It seems certain,
that, according to the natural progress of human thought, the ignorant
multitude must first entertain some groveling and familiar notion of
superior powers, before they stretch their conception to that perfect
Being, who bestowed order on the whole frame of nature. We may as
reasonably imagine, that men inhabited palaces before huts and cottages,
or studied geometry before agriculture, as assert that the Deity
appeared to them a pure spirit, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent,
before he was apprehended to be a powerful though limited being, with
human passions and appetites, limbs and organs. _The mind rises
gradually from inferior to superior._’[646] This becomes still surer
when we remember that religion begins where mythology, from the elements
of which theistic religion takes its rise, ceases to live. For as these
elements are always very numerous, it is not possible but that every
religion must begin with a multitude of divine figures, i.e. with
Polytheism. For it is impossible to point to any mythology which has to
do with only one single name; yet from such a one alone could a
monotheistic religion spring directly. Accordingly Polytheism is the
historical _prius_ of Monotheism, which can never exhibit itself except
as historically evolved out of Polytheism. The brilliant company of
Olympian gods is therefore older than the first stirring of monotheistic
feeling among the Greeks. Those who invert the historical order transfer
to the religious condition of primitive humanity that which is only
postulated by their own mind, and ascribe to the primeval man a
religious tendency which in themselves was the result of laborious
abstract speculations.

But all the contents of the human mind, like those of the material
world, are subject to a constant evolution, or progressive change of
form into something more perfect; and so Polytheism has an inherent
tendency to further development, being indeed itself the result of a
similar development of mythology. This tendency paves the way for the
approach of Monotheism; for this it is to which the polytheistic stages
of religion tend in their further development. We may see in the human
mind, equally on a large and on a small scale, the inclination to the
unification of whatever is similar in kind though hitherto divided into
many individuals; abstraction and formation of general ideas are the
climax of his power of thought. So is it in politics, and so also in the
conception of nature.

The same unifying mental action, operating on the development of
religion, creates in Polytheism an active tendency towards Monotheism.
Even in those ethnological races for whom, in contradistinction to the
Semitic race, Renan vindicates a polytheistic instinct, this tendency is
active; and in any sphere which exhibits a complete and finished chain
of religious evolution, we always find at the beginning Polytheism and
at the end the Unitarian idea of God, whether in the form of Pantheistic
Monism or of abstract personal Monotheism; whether coupled with the
ideas of the Transcendency, or that of the Immanency, of God; whether
excited by religious contemplation and absorption as with the Hebrew
prophets, or by philosophical speculation as with the Greek sages. A
mode of transition from Polytheism to Monotheism is found in the
religious system which, while assuming a multitude of gods,
distinguishes one of them as the most powerful, as the ruler not only of
the world, but of the company of gods also. This system, to which
Homer’s conception of Zeus as πατὴρ ἀνδρῶν τε θεῶν τε belongs, possesses
quite as much of Monotheism as of Polytheism, and expresses powerfully
the monotheistic inclination concealed in Polytheism. Max Müller justly
makes a distinction between Monotheism and Henotheism. A penetrating
investigation of the Greek and the Indian literatures, the chief
representatives of what Renan calls the polytheistic instinct, would
prove the gradual formation of strata of monotheistic transformation,
which attached themselves to Aryan polytheism and drew it in the
monotheistic direction. Classical philologians have not neglected the
study of the religious spirit on this subject, which prevails in the
Greek tragedians and historians, not to mention the philosophical

We have noted two kinds of impulse which usually promote a monotheistic
revolution from Polytheism: religious absorption and contemplation on
the one hand, and philosophical speculation on the other. Another
powerful force must be mentioned in this connexion—the form of political
institutions. This also exercises no small influence on the formation of
the idea of God. If man has ascribed to the Deity the attribute of might
and sovereignty, which is very natural to him, he will then apply to the
gods the idea of power which he has gained by experience of human
rulers, and will estimate their power according to the quality which he
perceives every day in his earthly sovereigns; for the picture of these
forms his sole conception of beings endowed with might and dominion.
Only in the Immortals, he extends into infinity whatever he observes in
his earthly rulers as something finite; since that which excites
religious feeling in man is the impulse ‘to advance beyond what is given
him, beyond what he finds existing, and to push forward from the limited
to the illimitable and absolutely perfect.’ But this advance beyond what
we have here is more than ‘in itself a valuation of what we have, a
measuring of it against the infinite,’ as Steinthal admirably describes
it in his fine lecture on ‘Myth and Religion.’[647] It also connects the
valuation of the infinite, and the quality attributed to it, with what
we have here and know from daily experience. Hence the tendency of
religious ideas is directly dependent on the ideas which are embodied in
political and social life. Thus it was said by so early a writer as
Aristotle, ‘that all men say that the gods are under regal rule, because
they themselves, some even now, and others in ancient times, have been
so ruled; for men conceive not only the forms but the lives also of the
gods as similar to their own.’[648] And similarly Schelling says,
briefly, ‘It seems hardly necessary to point out how closely magisterial
power, legislature, morals, and even occupations are bound up with
conceptions of the gods in all nations.’[649] What, for instance, are
the inhabitants of the Hellenic Olympus? A powerful and conscious
Aristocracy, at the head of which stands the most powerful among
them—not all-powerful, for he is dependent on a mightier Fate, which
prevents his accomplishing all that his will has determined, and even on
the surrounding aristocracy of the other gods, who once bound their
powerful ruler! He owes his dominion to this very aristocracy: when Zeus
had gained the victory over the Titans, says Hesiod,[650] the gods
offered him the supreme rule (ὤτρυνον βασιλεύεμεν ἠδὲ ἀνάσσειν), and
when he had entered upon it, he distributed offices and dignities among
his electors (ὁ δὲ τοῖσιν ἐῢ διεδάσσατο τιμάς). Are these different
circumstances from those of the aristocratic republics of Greece?—is the
relation of Zeus to the subordinate gods unlike that of the εἵς κοίρανος
to the members of the aristocracy who are subject to his command, but
yet possess a considerable influence over him? Turning from the
classical Hellenes to the boisterous Bedâwî, of Arabia, we discover a
conception of God under the very same point of view. A great
investigator of Arabia observes: ‘Nor did I ever meet, among the genuine
nomade tribes, with any individual who took a more spiritual view,
whether of the Deity, of the soul of man, or of any other disembodied
being soever. _God is for them a chief_ [a Nomad Sheikh!] ..., somewhat
more powerful of course than their own headman, or even than Ṭelâl
himself, but in other respects of much the same style and
character.’[651] If we turn our thoughts to a religious system of most
recent origin, our experience is still the same. To the inhabitants of
the Salt-Lake City in America, God is the President of immortal beings.
‘The employment of familiar political ideas, or application of political
figures to theocratic ends, as in speaking of the Presidency of God,
colonies, eligibility, race, is a natural and obvious device.’[652]
This, however, must rather be referred to apperception than to

In a despotic state the conception of God must take a different
direction, because the apperception of the notion of dominion and power
is essentially different. This may be observed not only in nations of
high culture, but even in tribes living in a state of nature, on a
comparison of their religious and political conditions; though in the
latter case we have not the means of pursuing the analogy with the same
certainty. But, by way of illustration, I will refer to a comparison of
the political condition of the Negro tribes which incline to a
monotheistic view of religion with those of the polytheistic
Polynesians.[653] Molina, too, found in Chili that the god Pillan’s
government of the world agrees exactly with the Araucanian political
system, and concludes with the observation, ‘These ideas are certainly
very rude; but it must be acknowledged that the Araucanians are not the
only people who have regulated the things of heaven by those of the
earth.’[654] But we will now stay on the firmer ground of civilised
nations. Let us take, for instance, the great Assyrian empire. One
powerful ruler, endowed with unlimited authority, at whose commands
great and small, high-born and slave, bend the knee, to whose arbitrary
will almost the whole of Western Asia is subject, guides the destinies
of his colossal empire, independent of men. After him follow the
Viceroys of the separate provinces, Satraps, and a host of officials of
court and state with accurately defined powers and in distinct order of
rank. Whoever honours them and is obedient to them, only honours in them
the King of kings, and exhibits his obedience to the all-powerful lord.
Thus it was at the flourishing period of this immense empire; and to
this political system corresponds exactly the religious idea, which grew
up parallel with the growth of the empire from small beginnings. At the
head of many subordinate gods stands the ‘God of gods,’ to whom all the
sacrifices and expressions of homage offered to the subordinate, so to
speak, satrap-gods, are indirectly presented. He is adored in the
temples built in honour of his subordinates (see supra, p. 122). He is
the ‘God of Armies,’ just as the King of kings is ‘Lord of Armies.’ In a
word, we have to do with a form of religion that combines absolute
monarchy with Polytheism. And is it surprising, considering the
influence exercised by the mighty Assyrian empire on Western Asia, the
nations of which it surpassed in manners and culture, that this form of
religion became the prevailing tone of theology throughout the region?

Thus, while political division promotes in religion Polytheism,
political unity and centralisation help the monotheistic development to
break forth. As, when the political system is centralised, individuals
only contribute to form a united political organism, and lose their
personality in special functions which make each different from the
other, so the idea of one common god arises and prevails over the many
local deities, who are then subordinated to the former as their supreme

In the Hebrew nation likewise it was the political centralisation which
established itself in the epoch distinguished by the names of David and
Solomon, which at the same time conduced to the confirmation of
Monotheism. It cannot be known for certain what sort of worship it was
that was practised at various places in the land beside the so-called
‘Ark of the Covenant’ (arôn hab-berîth), before David removed the Ark to
the political centre, and Solomon erected the magnificent Temple, of
which the Books of Kings and the Chronicles give so elaborate an
architectural description. But it must be assumed that the monotheistic
working-out of the Elôhîm-idea in the Hebrew nation coincided with the
centralising movement, that is with the period when the king directed
the religious sentiment of the whole people to Jerusalem. This religious
development again became powerful and was greatly encouraged by the
newly strengthened National spirit, the influence of which on the
spiritual life of the people was traced in the preceding chapter. For
since the Hebrew nation was conscious of occupying a position of strict
alienation from the tribes among and near which it dwelt, the exclusive
tendency and negative character of this consciousness clung also to its
conception of God, and thus it formed the idea of One God, who was the
divine opposite to the gods of the nations, corresponding to the idea of
the Hebrew nation as a nation opposed to the other nations. So long as
the nation had no living consciousness of its national separation, and
had not advanced to the point of saying ‘I am something quite different
from you,’ no reason was forthcoming why the Hebrews should hold a
negative position towards the objects of worship of other peoples; and
they were, in fact, quite dependent on the latter, and receptive in
temper. But having once risen to a consciousness of their own
individuality, they regarded their own God exclusively as the Existing
one, and denied the existence of the gods of nations towards which it
acknowledged a national opposition. The germs of this religious
development, so favourable to Monotheism, are bound up with the rise of
a strong national consciousness; but the latter would not alone avail to
create Monotheism at one blow; it only stimulates and encourages, but
has need of other psychical and historical coefficients. Eduard
Hartmann, who, in his recent work on the Philosophy of Religion, justly
insists on the influence of the idea of nationality upon the growth of
Monotheism, calls attention to another stage in the relation of the
nation to the gods of strange peoples—that at which the strange gods are
looked on as _usurpers_. Speaking of the three phases of development of
Hebrew monotheism, he says:[655] ‘With the increase of national feeling,
their pride in their God was heightened. From the moment when they
raised him to the position of sole creator of heaven and earth, they
could not but regard the dominion of other gods on the earth created by
Jehovah as usurped, and could only hope for the honour of their own God
that ultimately the peoples would turn to him and adore him as the
highest God, the only creator of the world. But then the progressive
development of Monotheism went further, to the point of not merely
regarding the strange gods as usurpers beside Jehovah, but of declaring
them to be _false_ gods.’ What is the exact meaning of this view of
_usurping_ gods in the growth of Monotheism? In the growth of religions
there is no stage at which certain divine persons are acknowledged as
powerful and influential on the fate of the world or of a nation, and
yet treated as possessing _illegitimate_ power and _influence_. Their
power might be unjustly exercised, but never illegitimate. The existence
of gods is identified with their legitimacy. The conquest of some gods
by others, which is told in theogonies and mythologies, is not explained
by supposing one of the contending powers to have usurped his power, but
by regarding the conquered as weaker than the conquering one.

This monotheistic development was very gradual, and passed through many
stages in unfolding itself out of Polytheism. People spoke of the ‘God
of the Elôhîms of Israel’ (Êl elôhê Yisrâʾêl), without giving any
account as to who these Elôhîms were and what were their names. Whatever
may be said, the plural form Elôhîm itself, the interpretation of which
as _pluralis majestatis_ belongs to the stage of pure Monotheism,
decidedly indicates that a plural conception was inherent in this word.
Such expressions, created by polytheistic imagination, were retained at
the monotheistic stages. Like the myth, they lost their original
signification, and were used by zealous monotheists without any idea of
the Polytheism which had created them and been expressed by them. This
Monotheism comes to light in the monotheistic turn which was given to
the name Elôhîm; and the stronger the national life, and the intenser
the national sentiment grew, so much more eagerly did the people grasp
this Elôhîm-idea as a national one, entirely ignoring the fact that the
name was not its exclusive property. At the conclusion of the national
development the Elohistic monotheism attained perfection; but from the
very beginning the mind of the nation lived in the conviction that
‘Elôhîm was not like the Elôhîms of the nations.’ The monotheistic turn
given to the word is distinctly impressed on the form hâ-Elôhîm = ὁ
Θεός, which is related to Elôhîm exactly as among Mohammedans Allâh to
Ilâh. An important part in the encouragement of this monotheistic
development was played by the Levitical priesthood, which conducted the
centralised worship; as also by those inspired men of action who
appeared as teachers and monitors in the early days of the monarchy,
precursors of the later great Prophets, harbingers of the epoch of the
_Prophètes écrivains_, as Renan correctly calls them.[656] The later
Prophets, although when writing history they depict these precursors as
completely imbued with their own intentions, did not ignore their
position as precursors. Elijah and Samuel were prototypes of prophecy,
in whose lives and actions the prophetic historian of a later time
unfolded his own program; but even they are endowed with infirmities
foreign to later Jahveism; and these faults are characterised as such. A
prophet of the Postexilian period, in which a history of the growth of
Jahveism as reconciled with the law (tôrâ), with Moses as law-giving
prophet at the head, was already brought into notice, regarded Elijah as
the precursor of the ‘great and dreadful day of Jahveh.’ Malachi, namely
(III. 22, 23 [IV. 4, 5]), one of the chief representatives of the
reconciliation effected between the two opposites, Sacerdotalism and
Jahveism, exhorts the people to remember the Tôrâ of Moses, and in the
same breath speaks of Elijah, the chief member of the old school of
prophecy, as precursor of the great day of Jahveh. These are two
reminiscences, valuable in a religious sense to the prophet of the
Postexilian period.[657] However gradual may have been the full
development of Monotheism among the Hebrews, on a consideration of the
chronology it is impossible to deny that it had a far more rapid course
there than elsewhere. This rapidity of revolution is expressed very
significantly in the monotheistic turn given to the word Elôhîm, which
looks as if (to use mathematical language) the separate Elôahs had been
added up and put in a bracket to represent a Divine Unity, adequate to
the sudden national unity produced out of political divisions only just

Thus the awakened idea of Nationality left its impress also on the
domain of religion. But it is now quite intelligible that the religious
expression thereby introduced, possessed an obvious defect, inasmuch as
it bore on its front a contradiction which no mere National sentiment
could get rid of, the word Elôhîm being common to the Hebrews and the
Canaanites. This contradiction gave the first stimulus to the creation
of the word ‘Jahveh,’ the specially Hebrew term. The origin of this
Divine name may therefore be most probably assigned to this period, as a
necessary result of the religious element of the idea of Nationality. An
agricultural people could very easily grasp the idea of God as an idea
of ‘him who makes to be, who produces;’ and it is not impossible that
this appellation had its first origin at the time of the formation of a
myth of civilisation, and passed from a primitive solar to a later
religious significance. But during this whole period Jahveh remained a
mere word, a _flatus oris_, an Elôhîm connected with the nation. No
deeper meaning, distinguishing Jahveh from the Canaanitish Elôhîm, was
as yet attached to the word; that belongs to a later age, that of the
Prophets. Moreover, the name itself did not at first force its way deep
into the soul of the whole people, but remained as something external,—a
Divine name, identical with hâ-Elôhîm, and implying no more. Fights,
such as the Prophets fought, first created the Jahveh-religion in
opposition to Elohism. Accordingly, it will be best to lay no stress on
the existence of the Name before the point at which it obtains a
religious significance and begins to be filled with its lofty

§ 3. At the same time with the monotheistic idea there arose a multitude
of religious views, which necessarily had an influence on the
development of the myths into history. And insofar as the Hebraisation
of the Elôhîm-idea confirmed, and even became the centre of the
consciousness of nationality, the conversion of the myths into national
history, of which the previous chapter treated, naturally received a
peculiarly religious tone.

Here we see the germ of that theocratic character which people take a
pleasure in introducing into the earliest history of the Hebrews, but
which unquestionably presupposes a high development of the Elôhîm-idea.
The theocratic system is a league between the religious and the national
ideas. As the myths were transformed in the preceding period into
national history, so now in this Elohistic time, their interpretation in
a national sense is supplemented by a theocratic aim, which again
imprints a new stamp on the old mythology, and exhibits the thoughts and
feelings of the Hebrews in richer measure than before. Those legendary
figures which at the time of National aspiration became Patriarchs or
forefathers of the Hebrew nation, now enter the service of the
theocratic or religious idea, and become pious servants and favourites
of God. Mythical events and contests which in the national period were
converted into national history of primeval times, now take a liturgical
or religious turn. Not till now could the question, why Abraham was
willing to kill Isaac, arise distinctly in the mind. And the answer was
at hand: he did it at the command of Elôhîm—he _sacrificed_, for he was
Elôhîm’s faithful servant, capable of sacrifice. The other Patriarchs
also become pious, God-fearing individuals; their adventures and lives
become types of Elohistic piety, as they had previously been made types
of the history of the nation. The political idea also, _i.e._ the
conviction that it was necessary for the Hebrew nation to possess the
territory which they called their own, is carried back to the
patriarchal age in the repeated promises of Elôhîm to the Patriarchs
that their descendants should possess themselves of the land of Canaan.
This was the highest, the religious sanction of the National idea; and
this conception the most prominent factor in the production of the
direction imparted at this time to the stories of the Patriarchs. The
national legends had only aimed at proving by documents the noble
ancestry of the Hebrew nation and the high antiquity of their antagonism
to the nations who subsequently were their enemies; and endeavoured to
demonstrate that the national character and the national preeminence of
the Hebrews were founded in the earliest times, and could be fully
justified from the history of their ancestors. In this later religious
and theocratic epoch, on the other hand, there is infused into the
legends a tendency to transform the ancestors into _religious_
prototypes and individuals in whom the ancient preference of Elôhîm for
the Hebrew nation could be exhibited, and the truth established that
this preference of Elôhîm was a primeval distinction which
advantageously marked off the Hebrews from the other nations of Canaan.

This accordingly determines the form impressed on the myths, which had
already suffered several modifications, by the rise of a religious and
theocratic course of ideas; and I deem it unnecessary to exhibit in
detail every portion of the matter constituting the Hebrew legendary
lore in which this stratum of development is observable. Scarcely any
part of the stories of the Patriarchs is free from this new force of
development, and we should have to reproduce them all in their fullest
extent to give a collection of examples of what has been said. It must,
however, be added, that this impulse to the further development of the
legends is not confined to those relating to Canaan. The same impulse
draws the history of the Hebrews in Egypt also into the sphere of its
operation. For, independently of the fact, that the conception of the
residence of the Hebrews in the land of the Pharaohs receives a
theocratic modification, the later mutual relation of the Hebrew and the
Egyptian nations is prefigured in the patriarchal story, and gains a
prototype in the relation of Abraham to Pharaoh. A famine in Canaan
obliges Abraham to move into Egypt; and this journey is made the reason
why ‘Jahveh plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues’ (Gen. XII.
17), until ‘Pharaoh gave an order to some men concerning him, and they
escorted away Abraham and his wife, and all who belonged to him’ (v.
20). This foreshadowing of later historical events and the insertion of
them into the body of old stories is, as we see, an important factor in
the development of Hebrew stories. Each epoch works into the old
legendary matter whatever preeminently occupies the mind of the age, in
such a manner as to indicate the intellectual attitude and tendency of
the later time.

§ 4. There is still another feature of the development of legends to be
mentioned—one which is closely bound up with an important alteration of
the political institutions of the Hebrew nation. This feature, though
nearly connected with the National transformation of the legends,
historically belongs to the age with which we have to do in this
chapter. This stage of development of the legends may best be termed the
_Differentiation_ of the National Legends.

The political and religious centralisation, which formed the program of
the first two representatives of the Davidical dynasty, and which bound
the highest power in the state to one city, Jerusalem, as a geographical
centre, and to one family, as the visible representative of that power,
did not meet with unmixed applause everywhere. Jerusalem lies close to
the southern limit of the Hebrew territory. If the South came to the
front, the northern parts of the kingdom might be deprived of all
influence on affairs of state and religion. The inhabitants of the
northern district were practically condemned to be only bearers of the
burdens, imposed on the subjects of the kingdom through the luxury
growing up in the centre of monarchy and of religion; for very little
enjoyment of, or pride in, this splendour could fall to their share. And
then the religious centralisation took all importance and influence from
the sanctuaries and places of assembly in the North, which before the
centralisation were spread over the whole kingdom in due proportion.
Nothing, therefore, could be more natural than the reaction in the
North, which spread after the death of Solomon under his weak successor,
and ended with the division of the kingdom. The history of this division
and the circumstances connected with it are sufficiently well known from
the Old Testament narrative (1 Kings XII.), in which no essential
element is devoid of historical credibility. All of it is a natural
consequence of the then condition of the Hebrew kingdom. Now it is very
intelligible that in the northern district, the centralising and
theocratic spirit, which was at bottom the reason of the political
secession, could not find an entrance, and that therefore the northern
district remained at the Elohistic stage as it was before an advance had
been made to pure Monotheism—in relation to religion scarcely yet
separated from Canaanism, but with respect to nationality sharing the
common Hebrew sentiment. Accordingly, in the spiritual development of
the Northern kingdom, the theocratic interpretation of the past ages of
the nation, excited by the centralising movement, is not merely treated
as unimportant, but positively does not appear at all. This, of course,
is true not only of the spiritual condition of the northern Hebrews
after the secession, but of their spiritual life during the whole period
of the formation of the theocratic spirit in the South. For the very
fact that the Northerns possessed little knowledge of and no inclination
for this tendency, then all-powerful in the commonwealth, gave an
impetus to the secessionistic aspirations, which under the strong rule
of Solomon had no opportunity of declaring themselves, but burst out all
the more forcibly and persistently at the commencement of a feebler
reign. But while the theocratic spirit, so peculiar to the Southern
kingdom, forms a distinction between the characters of the North and of
the South, intense national consciousness and national opposition to the
Canaanites is common to both. This feeling grew up equally in both of
them. But even in respect to this, the political separation naturally
produced its consequences. Nationality is very closely tied to political
unity. The abstract idea of nationality becomes illusory if there is no
united state in which it appears in a concrete form. The consciousness
of national oneness is enfeebled, if the political state does not
coincide with the nation in a single idea. Hence we see how eager
nations divided into separate political states are for a struggle for
union, when once their national consciousness wakes out of sleep. On the
other hand, in states formed by a union of peoples of various
nationalities, we observe a certainly justifiable endeavour, on the part
of the strongest and therefore ruling nationality, to inoculate the
weaker ones with its own national sentiment, and thereby produce a
common feeling of unity.

The political separation of the Northern region from the centralised
Hebrew state, produced a remarkable and very important alteration in the
sense of nationality hitherto worked out in common. The political
opposition between North and South encouraged also the recognition of a
difference in their common genealogy. As the general Hebrew idea of
nationality found nourishment in the store of legends, so also the
consciousness of this secondary difference sought justification in the
mythology. This sense of difference came to light more clearly in the
northern Hebrews than in the southern. The former wrote the name Joseph
on their banner, and derived themselves directly from that son of the
common ancestor, and in opposition to the southerns laid more and more
stress on this special feature of their origin; moreover, it was not so
much Joseph that concerned them as Ephraim, who is named a son of
Joseph. We must not forget that this name Ephraim has only a secondary
origin. For when the national purpose of the story was once drafted in
the mind of the people, it was developed in details in a most
independent fashion. The biography of the ancestors was worked out
exhaustively; that to which the existing legendary matter offered no
suggestion or occasion was supplied by the restless activity of the
popular sentiment. In various places in Canaan sepulchral caves had been
pointed out from the earliest times—or rather caves which were employed
for sepulture; for it is pretty certain that they were originally
intended rather for the living than for the dead. Now could anything be
simpler than to imagine the bones of ancestors to have been placed
there, and to bind to these places the sacred piety which was felt by an
enthusiastic nation for venerated progenitors? It is generally known
that such an origin of traditions relating to graves is not uncommon in
the history of civilisation and religion. Saints’ graves have as many
interpretations fastened on them as feast-days and popular festivals.
Hebron was a place suitable for this treatment, and so popular tradition
placed there the bones of the Patriarchs and their wives, and attached
the general national piety to the place. Accordingly King David acted in
sympathy with the lately aroused national enthusiasm, when he chose
Hebron for his residence (2 Sam. II. 1, 11). And the popular belief
concerning the graves of the Patriarchs was so firmly fixed in the soul
of the nation as to become in later generations a meeting-point of the
piety of three religions towards their sacred antiquity. Mohammedans,
Jews, and Christians vie with each other in the adorations which they
lavish on the ‘Double Cave’ at Hebron. Mohammedans, who place the
prophet Ibrâhîm al-Chalîl higher than either Jews or Christians, have
done more for the authenticity of the graves of the Patriarchs at Hebron
than either of the older religions, from which they received the
tradition concerning them. I know of no literary work emanating from
Christians or Jews, written in defence of the authenticity of this cave.
Conviction was left to faith and piety rather than to historical
certainty. But it was a Mohammedan—not even an Arab, but a Persian—that
undertook this task. ʿAlî b. Jaʿfar al-Râzî wrote a book entitled
al-musfir lil-ḳulûb ʿan ṣiḥḥat ḳabr Ibrâhîm Isḥâḳ wa-Yaʿḳûb ‘Enlightener
of hearts concerning the correctness of the grave of Abraham, Isaac and
Jacob.’ Ibn Baṭûṭâ of Maġreb (North-Western Africa), a great Mohammedan
traveller, who made a pilgrimage to al-Chalîl (Hebron), quotes largely
from this book on occasion of his description of the Graves of the
Patriarchs.[658] But popular tradition has preserved far more
recollections of graves of Patriarchs and Prophets than Scripture, and
Mohammedan tradition considerably more than Jewish. This testifies
eloquently how incomplete stories are felt to be as long as they can
tell only of events and persons without connecting everything with a
definite locality. Popular tradition always feels the want of
topographical completion, as long as it can give no distinct account of
the places where the events of which it speaks took place, where its
favourite heroes lived and worked, where they were cradled and where
they slept their last sleep. This impulse was felt in ancient times, and
produced the localisation of myths. Accordingly, the Mohammedan popular
tradition knows of the grave of Adam on the mountain Abû Ḳubeys,[659] of
that of Eve at Jeddâ, of that of Cain and Abel at Ṣâliḥîyyâ, a suburb of
Damascus, of that of Seth in the valley of Yahfûfâ in Antilibanus,[660]
and of those of some of Jacob’s sons, as of Reuben at Jahrân, a place in
the south of Arabia,[661] of Asher and Naphtali at Kafarmandâ, between
ʿAkkâ (Acre) and Tiberias. Even Zipporah, the wife of Moses, was a
person sufficiently interesting to popular tradition to have a grave
assigned to her;[662] just as Mohammedan tradition asserts the grave of
Ham to be in the district of Damascus,[663] and that of the forefather
of the Canaanites to be at Chörbet râs Kenʿan near Hebron,[664] and also
shows that of Uriah at the edge of the desert beyond the Jordan.[665]
The Mohammedans took interest also in the grave of Aaron, and it was
from them that the Jews received the local tradition relating to
it.[666] But it also happens not unfrequently, that popular tradition
allows one and the same patriarch or prophet to be buried at several
places, often far distant from each other. Various countries take a
pride in possessing the last remains of venerated persons, and vie with
each other for this privilege. Even so established a tradition as that
which placed the graves of the Patriarchs at Hebron, and was especially
firm with regard to Abraham (al-Chalîl), is not so irremovable but that
it could be localised somewhere else also. The district of Damascus has
its tradition of Abraham, and the village of Berze its cave with
Abraham’s grave.[667] The most noteworthy instance of the kind is the
grave of Moses himself. It is well known that the Bible has nothing
definite to say of the place of interment of this prophet; and hence in
the Jewish popular tradition the prevailing idea is that it is
impossible to discover the place where rest the bones of the Prophet
with whom the origin of religion is so closely connected—the very same
thing as the Sunnite Mohammedans assert of the grave of ʿAlî.[668] ‘And
he (Jahveh) buried him[669] in the valley in the land of Moab, opposite
Beth-Peor, and _no man has known his grave up to the present day_’
(Deut. XXXIV. 6). The little Pesiḳtâ thinks the purpose of this was
‘that the Israelites might not pay divine honours to his grave, and
raise a sanctuary at it, and also that the heathen should not desecrate
the place by idolatry and abominations.’ It is at least certain that, as
appears from the Biblical words just cited, the grave of Moses was
imagined to be in the valley and beyond the Jordan; for the Prophet had
never crossed the river. It may also probably have been in the region
thus indicated in the Bible, that, according to an assertion in the
older Midrâsh on Deuteronomy, a Roman Emperor—a royal precursor of the
Palestine Exploration Society—sent explorers to find the grave, in vain:
‘The government of the Imperial house sent people out with the order, Go
and see where Moses’ grave is. So they went and searched above, and they
saw something below; so they went down again, and saw it above. So they
divided themselves, and again those above saw it below and those below
saw it above.’[670] Islâm, however, possesses the grave of Moses at
several places. The best known place is the hill Nebî Mûsa, a very
beautiful eminence in a romantic situation, well worth visiting by a
slight but fatiguing détour from the road from Jerusalem to the Dead
Sea; not much visited by pilgrims now on account of its inconvenient
position. Here, in the centre of a ruined compound, is to be seen the
grave of the Prophet, a great sarcophagus, the carpet covering which
bears an inscription informing us of its venerable contents. Thus this
grave is not in the valley, but on a hill; not beyond the Jordan, but on
the Jerusalem side. But also an old mosque at Damascus was said, at all
events six hundred years ago, to contain the sepulchral monument of
Moses;[671] and his grave is also said to be on a hill called Hôreb,
three days’ journey from Moḳḳa.[672]

For Aaron’s burial-place Mohammedan tradition has assigned two places,
one about where it would be looked for according to the Biblical
account,[673] and the other, which is chiefly visited as Aaron’s Grave,
on the hill Ohod.[674] This last position has been brought into
connexion with a legend of Moses and Aaron staying in the Hedjaz.[675]
An Arabic savant, ʿAbd-al-Ġanî al-Nâbulsî, finds an occasion, in his
book of Travels, to notice the circumstance that the grave of the same
Patriarch is shown at numerous places.[676] Sometimes an inscription is
found at _every one_ of these burial-places. But such inscriptions are
not made with _mala fides_ by mere deceivers of the people. They are
only the written expression of what lives in popular belief; and when
inscriptions occur at various places referring to the grave of the same
prophet, the reason is that the local popular tradition of each of those
places happened to be reduced to writing.[677] An interesting example of
this is the grave of the Prophet of the nation of ʿAd, the disappearance
of which—an unsolved ethnological riddle—occasioned the rise of the
Mohammedan legend of the prophet Hûd. The grave of this prophet is shown
both at Damascus[678] and in the region of Ẓafâr in the south of Arabia,
the scene of his activity. Ibn Baṭûṭâ, who visited both tombs, reports
that both were marked with an inscription in the following words: ‘This
is the grave of Hûd, son of ʿÂbir: the most excellent prayers and
greetings for him!’[679]

The grave of Rachel is also marked out by tradition, which puts it in
the neighbourhood of Ephrâth, subsequently and still called Bêth-lechem
(Beth-lehem). This sepulchre is to the present day the object of
pilgrimage to the adherents of three religions. The myth calls Joseph
the son of Rachel, and we know of Ephrayîm (Ephraim) as son of Joseph.
Now the name Ephrayîm seems to belong to the period of the
differentiation of the national legends, and to be a secondary form to
Ephrâth, which passes for the burial-place of his ancestress. For we
find also the derivative noun Ephrâthî, _i.e._ ‘belonging to Ephrâth,’
in the two senses ‘a man from the place Ephrâth’ and ‘a descendant of
Ephraim;’ and Ephraim himself is called Ephrâthâ in a passage in the
Psalms.[680] The prophet Samuel and his ancestors are also said to have
been Ephrâthî-men (1 Sam. I. 1).[681] This identity between the name of
the burial-place of Joseph’s mother and the name of his son is probably
not accidental, but produced under the influence of the national
tendencies of the North; and the reaction of the spirit of the South may
have suppressed the old name of the place and substituted the modern
Bêth-lechem. Now in my view the name Ephrayîm was originally not a
personal but a national name. After the separation the Northern Hebrews
called themselves ‘those belonging to Ephrâth.’ For the word Ephrayîm
has the form of a plural of a so-called _relative_ adjective (Arabic
_nisbâ_), derived from Ephrâth by throwing off the feminine formative
syllable _ath_ and attaching the new formative syllable directly to the
base of the word. Of this Semitic mode of formation the Arabic gives a
good instance; there the feminine ending of the proper name (_t_) is
regularly cast off in forming the _nisbâ_, and the relative termination
is attached to the body of the word: e.g. from Baṣrat^{un} not Baṣratî
but Baṣrî, ‘a man of Basrâ.’ In Hebrew, the feminine termination is cast
off when it appears in the shortened form _â_; _e.g._ Yehûdâ (Judah),
whence Yehûdî; Timnâ, whence Timnî. But an instance occurs in which even
the termination _th_ is cast off before the formation of the relative.
Instead of Kerêthî, the form generally used in the phrase hak-Kerêthî
wehap-Pelêthî ‘the Kerethites and the Pelethites,’ the form Kârî is
found (2 Sam. XX. 23 Kethîbh); the _th_[682] being discarded, and the
vowel of the first syllable lengthened by way of compensation
(_productio suppletoria_). I assume the same formation in the present
case (though the regular _Ephrâthî_ is also used), the termination of
the relative adjective being attached directly to the base Ephr, after
the rejection of the _th_. We know further that the idiom of the
Northern part of the region covered by the Hebrew language contained
much that is generally called Aramaism. The Aramaic relative adjectives
are formed in _ay_, and they are occasionally met with in Hebrew
also;[683] Ephray, forming the plural Ephrayîm, is an instance. This
latter form accordingly signifies ‘those belonging to Ephrâth,’ and is
the national name of the Hebrews of the North, used afterwards as a
designation of their ancestor. Many instances of a similar proceeding
occur in the Biblical genealogies.

Thus the Northern Hebrews possess national memories connecting them with
Joseph-Ephraim. It is therefore quite natural that, as the national
difference which parted the Northern from the Southern people became
more evident, vivid and acknowledged, the mind of the former was more
occupied with the cycle of stories about the person and adventures of
Joseph. The existing mass of stories offered abundant opportunity for
this, and more productive matter could scarcely be imagined than the
story of the hatred of the brethren towards Joseph, the Patriarch of the
North. The Northerns consequently seized this portion of the Patriarchal
history, and worked it out in the interest of their national separatism,
always contriving to let the supremacy of Joseph above Judah clearly
appear. They take pleasure in representing Judah crouching in the dust
before Joseph the ruler, and owing his life entirely to the will of the
generous brother, towards whom he had formerly borne such bitter
ill-will. Joseph is brought forward with satisfaction and pride as the
brother whom the aged father treated with the greatest favour and
distinction, and whose life alone was able to revive his fainting
spirits; while Joseph’s mother was the only woman whom the Patriarch
really loved, whereas the Southerns were descended partly from the ugly
Leah, Judah’s mother, who became Jacob’s wife only by deceit and craft,
and partly from slaves.

National stories are created by the awaking consciousness of opposition;
and, as we have seen, they transfer to primeval times the national
spirit of opposition, which is an affair of the present, and ascribe a
reflex of it to the respective ancestors. This is the spirit of the
stories of Joseph, worked out by the Northern in opposition to the
Southern Hebrews. The enmity of the two Hebrew kingdoms is transferred
to the earliest times, and prefigured in the picture of the relation
between Joseph and his brethren. The chief portions of this mass of
Northern stories which were reduced to writing at a later time, and thus
fixed in a definite form, were contained in the ancient document
distinguished by most critics as the ‘Book of Uprightness’ (Sêpher

I must here refer to a very ingenious theory concerning the matter in
hand, which was propounded not long ago by A. Bernstein.[685] He
imagines the differentiation of the mass of Hebrew stories to have been
such that the story of Abraham, the Patriarch of Hebron, belongs to the
Southern kingdom, whilst that of Jacob, the Patriarch of Beth-el, was
produced by the political tendencies of the Northern realm. Before these
more recent stories he supposes the oldest of the Patriarchal stories,
which was connected with the worship at Beer-sheba, to have existed, but
to have been afterwards obscured by the later legend about Abraham.
Bernstein leaves these stories of political tendency to fight it out
together, and entangles them in the antagonism between North and South,
until at last after the disappearance of the opposition they become
common property and are blended together. Although from what has been
said there appears to be no question but that in the treatment of the
legendary matter, the political situation was no insignificant factor,
yet it is impossible to set up the three Patriarchs as products of mere
political tendencies. For we have proved that the origin of their names
goes back to the very earliest age when myths were first created. No
doubt this or that feature in the _tout ensemble_ of the story took a
different character according as it was handed down by the inhabitants
of the Northern or of the Southern kingdom; and sensible interpreters
have long paid particular attention to these differences. But the names
are not later _inventions_ or fictions; they are primeval, and among the
oldest elements of the Hebrew language; and, similarly, the most
prominent features of the stories, derived from the ancient myth, are
free from all that national or political tendency which attached itself
in much later times to the ancient material.

§ 5. In general the Northern kingdom, in which no theocratic tendency
seized on and transformed the existing mass of stories, held the
legends, which were guided in a national direction, firmer, and felt
more affection for them. Besides the Patriarchal stories, those which
fill up the age of the Judges (Shôpheṭîm) gave the most scope to
national pride. There the stories of the true Hebrew national heroes and
their heroic battles with the Philistines are found. In respect to
theocracy this whole age has little importance, and the stories were
utterly incapable of a theocratic transformation. For the very aim of
Hebrew theocracy was, first to prefigure the theocratic destiny of the
Hebrews in the history of the primeval age, and then to show in as
favourable a light as possible the beneficent revolution brought on by
the house of David. But for this purpose it was essential that this
period of theocratic movement should contrast advantageously with an
untheocratic time, unfavourable to any such movement, and that the
spirit of David’s rule should be the very opposite of the preceding
administrations. Consequently, the stories of the Judges suffered no
theocratic transformation. But transformation and development constitute
the very life of Legend, which, if not accommodated to the new current
of feeling, is abandoned, and ceases to live; having in its old form no
meaning to a new age.

There are unequivocal testimonies which prove that to the theocratic
mind the stories of the Judges were utterly dead, and were consequently
neglected by it. Two of these testimonies deserve especial mention. The
Book of Chronicles (dibhrê hay-yâmîm), which we have been long
accustomed to regard as a history written in a strictly sacerdotal
spirit, enumerating by name all the priests, Levites, singers and
door-keepers of the central sanctuary of Jerusalem, utters not a
syllable respecting the entire period of the Judges, but commences the
history proper at the death of Saul and accession of David. And another
part of the Canon, the Book of Ruth, the object of which is to connect
David’s genealogy with an idyl, and which expresses the moderate
theocratic ideas of the restoration, while the matter of its narrative
occupies no determinate chronological position, indicates this very
chronological vagueness by the words wa-yehî bîmê shephôt
hash-shôpheṭîm, ‘it was in the days when the Judges ruled,’ _i.e._ it
was once in the olden time (Ruth I. 1). The ‘Judges’ time' here denotes
an indeterminate period, whose chronology is effaced. That period, in
fact, does labour under an indefiniteness which almost baffles the
chronologist, and the Biblical Canon itself could only be drawn up by
leaving an excessively lax connexion between the three periods—the
occupation of Canaan by the Hebrews, the monarchy after David, and the
untheocratic period lying between the two.

But the Northern spirit was strongly attracted to the period of the
Judges and the stories belonging to it, since it felt itself to be the
continuator of the homogeneous spirit of the history of the times before
David; and thus literature is indebted to an author belonging to the
Northern kingdom for the ground-work of the Book of Judges.[686] Thus
then was accomplished the division of the mass of legends of the


Footnote 642:

  Hartung, in the first part of his _Religion und Mythologie der
  Griechen_, contradicts himself again and again on this subject. At
  first he makes monotheism precede all development of religion (p. 3),
  then he sees nothing religious at all in monotheism (p. 28), and next
  the growth of religion proceeds from polytheism to monotheism, not the
  reverse way (p. 32).

Footnote 643:

  Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_, I. 363 _note_.

Footnote 644:

  _La Magie chez les Chaldéens_, p. 72.

Footnote 645:

  _Annales de la Philosophie chrétienne_, an 1858, p. 260.

Footnote 646:

  _Essays, Moral, Political and Literary_, ed. Green and Grose, vol. II.
  p. 311; compare Buckle’s _History of Civilisation in England_, in 3
  vols. vol. I. p. 251; Pfleiderer, _Die Religion und ihre Geschichte_,
  II. 17. Before Hume the view that Polytheism was a degradation of a
  previous Monotheism was generally admitted. But Hume’s exposition did
  not put an end to this radically false idea. Creuzer’s great work,
  _Symbolik und Mythologie der alten Völker, besonders der Griechen_, is
  based on this false assumption, and Schelling’s Philosophy of Religion
  starts from the same premiss. And many able English scholars still
  speak again and again of the degradation of the primeval Monotheism
  into Polytheism. Not only one-sided theologians start from this axiom;
  Gladstone’s mythological system, in his _Studies on Homer and the
  Homeric Age_, and _Juventus Mundi_ is founded upon it, all progress in
  history, philology and mythology notwithstanding.

Footnote 647:

  In Virchow and Holtzendorff’s _Sammlung gemeinverständlicher
  wissenschaftlicher Vorträge_, 1870, Heft 97, p. 20.

Footnote 648:

  _Polit._ I. 1. 7: καὶ τοὺς θεοὺς δὲ διὰ τοῦτο πάντες φασὶ
  βασιλεύεσθαι, ὅτι καὶ αὐτοι, οἱ μὲν ἔτι καὶ νῦν, οἱ δὲ τὸ ἀρχαῖον
  ἐβασιλεύοντο· ὥσπερ δὲ καὶ τὰ εἴδη ἑαυτοῖς ἀφομοιοῦσιν οἱ ἄνθρωποι,
  οὕτω καὶ τοὺς βίους τῶν θεῶν. Waitz, _Anthropologie der Naturvölker_,
  I. 466, says: ‘Considering the multitude of superhuman beings, it is
  certainly very natural to follow the analogy of human relations, which
  is often carried out with great consistency, and to assume gradations
  of power among them, one being regarded as the first and highest of
  all. But this idea may easily be rendered unfruitful through the very
  analogy which suggested it, because in human society the power and
  repute of individuals are frequently changing.’ But even this fact is
  not unfruitful with regard to religion; for on this analogy a world of
  gods with a head liable to change may be imagined.

Footnote 649:

  Schelling’s _Sämmtliche Werke_ (Cotta’s edition, 1856), II. Abth. I,
  52 (_Einleitung in die Philosophie der Mythologie_).

Footnote 650:

  _Theogon._ vv. 882–85.

Footnote 651:

  Palgrave, _Central and Eastern Arabia_, I. 33.

Footnote 652:

  Von Holtzendorff in the _Zeitsch. für Völkerpsychologie etc._, 1868,
  V. 378.

Footnote 653:

  Waitz, _l.c._ II. 126 _et seq._ and especially pp. 167, 439, on the
  religion and politics of the Negroes, and Gerland in the sixth volume
  of the same work (_passim_) on similar institutions among the

Footnote 654:

  In Tylor, _Primitive Culture_, II. 306.

Footnote 655:

  _Die Religion der Zukunft_, Berlin 1874, p. 102.

Footnote 656:

  _Histoire générale etc._, p. 131.

Footnote 657:

  Thus this much-discussed verse contains no prophecy, but a
  recollection of the phases of the growth of religion in past times.

Footnote 658:

  _Voyages d’Ibn Batoutah_, I. 115 _et seq._ The jealousy with which the
  Mohammedans for a long time forbad Christians and Jews to visit the
  graves of the Patriarchs only began at the year 664 A.H. ‘L’an 664
  Bibars défendit aux chrétiens et aux juifs d’entrer dans le temple de
  Hébron; avant cette époque ils y allaient librement, moyennant une
  rétribution’ (Quatremère, _Mémoire géogr. et hist. sur l’Égypte_,
  Paris 1841, II. 224).

Footnote 659:

  Ibn Ḳuteybâ, _Handbuch der Geschichte_, ed. Wüstenfeld, p. 10.

Footnote 660:

  Burton and Drake, _Unexplored Syria_, London 1872, I. 33.

Footnote 661:

  Yâḳût, _Muʿjam_, IV. 291. 11 _et seq_.

Footnote 662:

  _Ibid._, p. 438. 16.

Footnote 663:

  Burton and Drake, _l.c._ p. 35.

Footnote 664:

  Rosen in _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, XI. 59.

Footnote 665:

  Yâḳût, III. 720. 3.

Footnote 666:

  Zunz, _Geogr. Literatur der Juden_, no. 109, _Gesammelte Schriften_,
  I. 191.

Footnote 667:

  Alfred von Kremer, _Mittelsyrien und Damaskus_, Vienna 1853, p. 118.

Footnote 668:

  al-Damîrî, _Ḥayât al-ḥaywân_, I. 59: ‘ʿAlî is the earliest Imâm whose
  burial-place is not known. It is said that before his death he ordered
  it to be kept secret, knowing that the sons of Umayya would attain to
  power, and that his grave would not then be safe from desecration.
  Nevertheless, his grave is shown at various places.’

Footnote 669:

  Or ‘And _they_ buried him’ (LXX. ἔθαψαν), as it is understood by many
  excellent scholars.—TR.

Footnote 670:

  Siphrê debhê Rabh, ed. M. Friedmann, Vienna 1864, § 357 and note 42 of
  the editor.

Footnote 671:

  Yâḳût, II. 589. 21.

Footnote 672:

  Sepp, _Jerusalem und das Heilige Land_, II. 245.

Footnote 673:

  _Ṭûr Hârûn_, Yâḳût, III. 559; Ḳazwînî, I. 168; see Burckhardt in
  Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 392.

Footnote 674:

  _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1862, XVI. 688.

Footnote 675:

  Burton, _Personal Narrative etc._, 1st ed. II. 117, or 2nd ed. I. 331.

Footnote 676:

  _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G., l.c._ p. 656. On duplicates in Mohammedan and
  Christian traditions about graves, see Sepp’s article on Samaria and
  Sichem, (_Ausland_, 1875, pp. 470–72).

Footnote 677:

  A _mala fides_ should not be assumed even in the case of inscriptions
  like those mentioned by Procopius, _De Bello Vandalico_, V. 2. 13; see
  Munk’s _Palestina_, German translation by Levy, p. 193, note 5. They
  are everywhere old legendary popular traditions, which in later time
  become fixed by an inscription. From such inscriptions we must
  distinguish fictitious sepulchral monuments, in which the intention to
  delude is manifest, _e.g._ the inscription on the graves of Eldad and
  Medad, on which see Zunz, _l.c._ no. 43, p. 167. On Jewish accounts of
  the burial-places of the ancients Zunz, _l.c._ pp. 182 and 210, should
  be consulted.

Footnote 678:

  Sepp, _l.c._, II. 269.

Footnote 679:

  _Voyages_, I. 205, II. 203. A brief list of graves of prophets which
  are shown at Tiberias and some other places is given in Yâḳût, III.

Footnote 680:

  See Gesenius, _Thesaurus_, p. 141.

Footnote 681:

  If this means that he belonged to the tribe of Ephraim, it is easy to
  understand why the author of the Chronicle (1 Chr. IV. 18 _et seq._)
  claims him for the tribe of Levi, when we consider the generally
  acknowledged Levitical tendency of that late book of history. It would
  appear to one holding Levitical sentiments impossible that a man who
  is said to have often offered sacrifices (1 Sam. IX. 13), and to have
  served in the sanctuary of Shiloh under the High-priest Eli, should
  have been anything but a Levite.

Footnote 682:

  Consequently the discarded ת th must be regarded as an inflexion, and
  shows us that the word has no connexion with Crete.

Footnote 683:

  Ewald, _Ausführl. Lehrb. d. hebr. Sprache_, § 164. c; _Grammar_
  transl. Nicholson, § 343 end.

Footnote 684:

  Aug. Knobel, _Die Bücher Numeri, Deuteronomium und Josua_, p. 544. On
  the Northern origin of this book most candid Biblical critics are

Footnote 685:

  _Ursprung der Sagen von Abraham, Isak und Jakob_. Kritische
  Untersuchung von A. Bernstein. Berlin 1871.

Footnote 686:

  As the drawing up of the Canon belongs to an age in which the
  antagonism between North and South had ceased to exist, the literary
  products of the North which were still preserved from old times
  obtained a place in it, though always brought into harmony with the
  all-pervading theocratic character by occasional interpolated
  modifications of sentiment.


                              CHAPTER IX.

§ 1. The most brilliant point in the history of Hebrew Religion is
distinguished by an ingenious original idea, imported by the Hebrews
into the development of religion—a single thought, yet in itself
sufficient to secure for that short history a permanent place on the
pages of universal history. The idea of JAHVEH is what I allude to.[687]

To the question, when this idea was born, the sublimity of which exerted
so powerful and irresistible an influence over the noblest minds, it can
only be answered that we labour in vain if we try to find the exact
point of time of its origin. As the Nile, to which those who have been
cradled on its banks ascribe a great magic force, cannot be easily
traced to its source, so with the idea of Jahveh: we do not see it
spring into life, we only see it after its creation, and observe how it
works and kindles new spiritual life in the souls of those who
acknowledge it. The Mohammedan idea of Allâh is the only one which may
perhaps vie with the sublimity of that of Jahveh; yet even that is far
from occupying so lofty an eminence of religious thought as the idea of

If, translating the word Jahveh into a modern European language, we say
that he is the one who ‘Brings to be,’ produces and works out Being, we
do not in the most distant manner indicate the fulness of meaning which
is embodied in that religious technical term. To appreciate it, a
sympathising soul must be absorbed in all that the Prophets bring into
connexion with the expression Jahveh. Shall I translate all that these
inspired men declare of Jahveh? I should have to interpret the entire
prophetic literature of the Hebrews, and yet should produce only a pale
reflex of all the splendour which envelops Jahveh with glory in the
speeches of the Prophets.

I have mentioned the Mohammedan idea of Allâh. Although etymologically
identical with Elôhîm, that name may afford a parallel to the Hebrew
idea of Jahveh, not only in its essence and meaning, but also in its
history. It was not unknown as a technical religious expression to the
Arabs before the time of Moḥammed. To the Preislamite or heathen system
of Arabic theology, which had its centre in the sanctuary at Mekka, the
Divine name Allâh was familiar. But with what a new meaning did the
preaching of the epileptic huckster of Mekka inform it! Through the
gospel of the Arabian Prophet Allâh became something quite new. Yet even
in this respect Jahveh appears still grander. For, while the Mohammedan
idea of God clings close to the etymological signification of the word
Allâh, insisting primarily on might and unlimited omnipotence, in the
Hebrew Prophets’ idea of Jahveh the name becomes a mere accident and
accessory, and the true meaning presses with its full weight in a
direction quite distinct from the signification and etymology of the
word, which was formed in an earlier age. I have already declared my
opinion as to the period in which the Divine name Jahveh may have
emerged into notice among the people (p. 272), and the impulse which
produced it. We can also demonstrate the existence of the name after
that period from many proper names which are compounded with the name
Jahveh, either full or abbreviated (into Jâhû or Jâ), that name forming
either the first or the second member of the compound. From the fact
that such names occur in the Northern as well as in the Southern
kingdom, it is also evident that the name Jahveh itself had been formed
before the separation.[688] On the other hand, we ought not to infer too
much from the early occurrence of such names in the canonical books.
For, in the first place, not every Jô- at the beginning of proper names
is an abbreviation of the Divine name; if our knowledge of the ancient
forms of Hebrew speech could be extended, this Jô- would probably in
many cases be degraded into the first syllable of a verb, as has been
shown by M. Levy to be probably the case in the name Yôʾêl (Joel);[689]
secondly, it must be remembered that there is a possibility that many of
these names received a Jahveistic colouring only from the theocratic
writers. The possibility of this is seen in the fact that even the name
Yôsêph, in which the first syllable has nothing to do with Yahveh, once
occurs in the form Yehôsêph (Ps. LXXXI. 6 [6]),[690] and still more
clearly in the conversion of the name Hôshêaʿ into Yehôshûaʿ (Joshua),
which the Biblical narrator certainly refers to a very high antiquity
(Num. XIII. 16).[691] But at all events, we must not seek the origin of
the name Jahveh outside the Hebrew circle, and endeavour to explain it
from foreign elements, as those did who used to see in Jov-is a namesake
of Jahveh,[692] and even went to China to find the origin;[693] and as
is still done by some in the interest of Egyptian antiquity, who find in
the Egyptian _nuk pu nuk_, ‘ego qui ego,’ the prototype of the Hebrew
Ehye asher ehye ‘I am who I am.’ But the identification of the Egyptian
with the Hebrew formula was recently justly attacked by Tiele,[694] who,
however, at the same time, has a private hypothesis of his own on the
origin of this idea of God. After proving it to be neither Egyptian, nor
Canaanitish, nor Aryan, he refers its origin to the Kenites; supposing
the Hebrews to have borrowed the idea of Jahveh from that desert tribe,
then to have forgotten it in Canaan, and subsequently to have made it
their own again, when the Prophets had revived its use.

But whatever be the origin of the word Jahveh as a technical term of
theology, the living and working idea of Jahveh was first introduced
into the circle of Hebrew thought by the Prophets. For this reason I
have not discussed Jahveism till now; which will be approved by all who
see that we cannot speak of ideas as existing and living until they
appear as factors in the history of human thought. What means the
_existence_ of an idea (as I would say to those who fancy the
Jahveh-idea to have been originally the property of a separate caste),
if it lives in the brain or the heart of a few individuals, without
exercising any force or influence on the world beyond? Could we say of
electricity that it exists in nature, if we did not see it interfere as
a factor in the life of nature? So the Jahveistic idea must be held to
commence its life only when it begins to act upon the spiritual life of
the nation. To have caused this is one of the most perennial leaves in
the crown of glory won by the Prophets.

I cannot imagine that any of my readers are ignorant of the nature of
the labours of the Hebrew Prophets, and therefore we need not here
specially characterise their work. By Prophets we do not of course mean
those soothsayers, or as they were called Seers (chôze, rôʾe), whom we
meet with in the period preceding that of the Prophets, and also
later[695]—to whom the young man could apply in confident expectation of
finding lost property, when his father had sent him to look for his lost
asses; nor do we mean those wonder-workers whose occupation was to
suspend and interrupt the regular order of nature for special purposes
and for a certain time; nor those who, before the priesthood had become
a closed institution, occasionally attended to the sacrifices offered to
Elôhîm. We mean those men who, when the people had exhausted all the
inspiration which they could derive from the idea of Elôhîm, came
forward as new representatives of the idealism, the inspiration and the
waning conception of nationality, which they now announced in a still
higher degree, and as preachers of the ideal in a nation in which ‘from
the sole of the foot up to the head there was no soundness, but wounds,
and stripes, and raw sores, which were not pressed out nor bound up nor
softened with ointment,’ whose ‘princes’—themselves ‘rulers of Sodom’
over a ‘people of Gomorrah’—‘were dissolute, partners of thieves, all
loving bribes and running after rewards, who judged not the orphan nor
let the cause of widows come unto them;’ ‘who built up Zion with blood
and Jerusalem with iniquity,’ in which ‘the heads judged for bribes, and
the priests taught for hire, and the prophets practised magic for
silver,’ and which ‘drew down guilt with cords of lies and sin as with
the rope of a cart;’ and who ‘called evil good and good evil, made
darkness light and light darkness, made the bitter sweet and the sweet
bitter’ (Is. I. 6, 10, 23, Mic. III. 10, 11, Is. V. 18, 20).

Into such a depth of immorality and carelessness was the Hebrew nation
plunged by an institution which had grown up out of the Hierarchy.
Centralisation of worship, formality, lip-service and a so-called piety
quite mechanical, which are incapable of promoting either high idealism
or morality of thought, and indeed discourage both, but which are well
able to kill the most elevated soul, to cover the warmest temperament
with a thick crust of ice, and to blunt the noblest heart,—these grew up
at the bidding and after the pattern of the priests. A rude service of
sacrifices, which brought down the idea of God more and more to the
level of the senses, converted Mount Zion into a shambles, while the
shameless practices of sacerdotal speculators turned the central
sanctuary of Jerusalem, in the words of Isaiah, the noblest hater of
that corrupt caste, into a ‘den of robbers.’

The Prophets knew their enemies, and perceived the roots of all the
prevailing evil which gave life to the flourishing tree of immorality.
They determined to dig up the tree and to clear away its roots. In the
very front row stood the priesthood and the bloody service, upon which
they turned with all the inextinguishable fanaticism of their noble
passion. But the matter could not end here. The national enthusiasm
which had been aroused in an earlier period, proved to be but a
transient straw-fire; no noble element of that enthusiasm remained to
help a new elevation of sentiment. For, independently of the corruptions
of the priesthood, the political tendencies of the nation were such as
to aid in slowly but surely undermining the idea of nationality. A tiny
people, jammed in between great powers on the north and south, and
itself nourishing vain desires of political power far above its
capabilities and sufficient to wear it out, torn asunder as it was by
internal dissensions,—such a people was constantly driven to seek
alliance with those great powers. But these alliances soon put out the
national fire which had blazed up for a short time in the temper of the
people. The consciousness of being thrown on the protection of strangers
kills the feeling of independent individuality. Moreover foreign, and
especially Canaanitish, manners, were more and more naturalised at the
courts of Hebrew kings; the kings connected themselves by marriage with
adjacent courts, and the ladies obtained increased liberty for foreign
habits in the midst of the Hebrews. The Canaanitish worships were again
received in the capital, and soon obliterated whatever power and
stimulus the Hebraised idea of Elôhîm still possessed in the direction
of national elevation. It is an historical fact that the decline of
nations begins when, instead of developing the elements and powers
inherent in themselves, they carelessly throw up their own
characteristics and yield themselves up without resistance to possibly
more refined but foreign influences. What Cicero’s father said of the
Hellenised Romans is very instructive on this point, that the better a
Roman knew Greek the less he was worth.[696]

The Prophets were not philosophers of culture; they did not start from
great principles abstracted from the study of experience, in pondering
the course of the world; but conviction and enthusiasm lived in them.
They were bad politicians, but unsurpassable representatives of the idea
of Nationality. An experienced statesman of that age would have
refrained from censuring the alliance with foreign powers; that was the
only chance left to the Hebrew nation of adding a few hours of existence
to those already counted. But the Prophets lash this political
experiment at every step, and say that only the moral awakening of the
nation can bring about a possibility of saving its political existence.
‘Ephraim delights in wind and pursues east-wind, while he daily
perpetrates more lies and oppression, and they make covenant with
Assyria, and oil is carried to Egypt,’ says Hosea (XII. 2 [2]), to the
Northern kingdom. At the very last hour Jeremiah (II. 18) treats
fraternisation with the foreigners as equivalent to abandoning Jahveh:
‘What hast thou to do with the road to Egypt to drink of the water of
the Shîchôr [Nile]? and what hast thou to do with the road to Assyria to
drink of the water of the River [Euphrates]?’ They were the purest and
most ideal representatives of national individuality and independence.
We are here especially interested in one point relating to the history
of Religion—the Prophets’ mode of dealing with the two Divine names
Elôhîm and Jahveh.

§ 2. It is well known that the Hebrew idea of God finds expression in
the canonical Biblical literature in two distinct ways: in the direction
of Elôhîm and in that of Jahveh. Each grasps the idea of God, and tries
to use it for the instruction of the people, in its peculiar fashion.
The Jahveistic school, which is identical with Prophetism, is opposed to
the Elohistic, and avoids the employment of Elôhîm as a proper name of
God; it treats Elôhîm as merely a universal generic name for Deity, but
not as the proper name of the One God. We can easily convince ourselves
of this by contemplating the collections of speeches of the Prophets,
and the fundamental part of Deuteronomy, which stands nearer to the
prophetic spirit than any other part of the Pentateuch. Here we have
prevailingly only ‘Jehovah my (thy, our, Israel’s) Elôhîm,’ but these
expressions are often abandoned for the simple hâ-Elôhîm, which is
regarded as a proper name completely covering the name Jahveh.[697] But
in prophetical books in which the Elohistic appellations occur here and
there as proper names of the Deity, these cannot from their rare
occurrence serve as a counterpoise to the extensive use of the name
Jahveh. Their use can only be regarded as a reference to the past, in
presence of the then modern view of the Deity. The immediate question,
which still remains open after the results gained by the critical
school, in establishing the mutual relation of the two Divine names, may
be formulated thus: Whence comes it and what is the reason that the
Prophets occupy a position of repulsion towards the theological validity
of the idea of Elôhîm?

This antipathy is easily explicable and quite natural from the religious
and national position of the Prophets. We have already seen that the
idea of Elôhîm, if not actually borrowed, was at least confirmed by
outside influences, and that the Hebrews held it in common with the
Canaanites. And the consequences of its not having grown up in Hebrew
soil were exhibited in its further development, when, after the idea of
nationality had spent its short-lived flames, the Hebraised idea of God,
allied with the equally borrowed sacerdotal institution, generated those
immoral religious practices which are characteristic of the Canaanitish
decadence. Moreover, the fact that this theological conception was
originally borrowed and not native, was the very thing calculated to
make it offensive to the Prophets; and their antipathy to it caused them
to tie their religious view of the world, their moral convictions, nay
their whole God-loving soul, to a name which had hitherto remained in
the background, but which was now brought forward by their genius to the
front rank, and became the bearer of all that they thought and felt
concerning God.

In this sense, the Prophets were creators of Jahveism. The word Jahveh
had previously been a meaningless breath, a _flatus oris_, as I said
before. Now first it became an active power, as the expression of
opposition to the existing evil, the centre of the new aspiration
preached by the Prophets. Consequently, it is not the word and its
meaning that have the chief import here, but the civilising power
associated with the word, its force working on minds. This is not the
only instance in which a watchword has had an influence far beyond that
which was natural to it as a mere word; so that its original
signification has become a matter of indifference. In the word Jahveh
the National feature is the essential one.

§ 3. In connexion with this we must not forget that the Prophets have a
very living conception of a Creator when they speak of Jahveh, and that
most of the words existing in Hebrew for the idea of Creating, are
employed most frequently by the Prophets and especially by the
Babylonian Isaiah. Great stress is laid on the ‘Creation of Israel.’
Jahveh is the Creator of the Hebrew people. It is also undeniable that
the Prophets occupied themselves with finding a metaphysical definition
of the idea of Jahveh, and discovered a precisely expressed definition
in the well-known Ehye asher ehye, ‘I am he who I am.’ They lay stress
on the _unchangeableness_ of Jahveh: he is eternally unchangeable. But
it must, on the other hand, be borne in mind that the recognition of
Jahveh cannot have started from this sort of metaphysical speculation,
which does not, on this or on any other subject, naturally spring up
till a later stage of development of the original idea. The metaphysical
foundation of the idea of Jahveh must be subject to this rule, and
therefore the sentence Ehye asher ehye ‘I am who I am,’ must be assigned
to a later time, when Jahveism was already fully formed. Thus then it is
the Prophet Malachi, living late after the Captivity, who expresses the
sense of this formula in more ordinary language by the words ‘For I
Jahveh change not’ (III. 6). Another expression of the same idea is used
frequently by the Babylonian Prophet—the words anî hû ‘I am He,’ where
the pronoun hû does not refer back to anything mentioned before (Is.
XLIII. 10, XLVI. 4, XLVIII. 12). The second of these passages especially
shows that the formula anî hû expresses most emphatically the eternal
unchangeableness of Jahveh:

              Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob,
              And all the remnant of the house of Israel,
              Ye that are carried from the belly,
              Or lifted up from the womb,
              Even to old age _I am He_.

And so the last passage has ‘I am He, I am the first, I am the last.’

We have this anî hû in a fuller form in the Song of Moses (Deut. XXXII.
39), as anî anî hû, and the former is probably an abbreviation of the
latter. But the latter is itself grammatically only a mode of expressing
by pronouns what Ehye asher ehye expresses by verbs.[698] Now the Song
of Moses and the Blessing of Moses, which is connected with it, are
easily proved by an examination of their contents to move in much the
same prophetical circle of ideas, except indeed that these ideas are
already mingled with views which prevailed later, at the time of the
compromise. To mention a few examples: the assertion that Jahveh made
and established Israel (vv. 6, 15), but that Israel forgot him that made
him (v. 18), the exhortation to the people to remember the days of old
(v. 7), and the reference to the Tôrâ appointed by Moses (XXXIII. 4),
vividly recall the speeches of the second Isaiah (XLIV. 2, LI. 13, XLVI.
9 etc.) and Malachi (III. 22 [IV. 4]). Besides these passages, Deut.
XXXII. 2 may be compared with Is. LV. 10 and Job XXIX. 22 _et seq._; v.
16 (where the idols are called zârîm ‘strangers’) with Jer. II. 25, III.
13, Is. XLIII. 12; v. 17 with Jer. XXIII. 23 (in both which the strange
gods are called ‘gods from near’). If the reading êsh dâth in the
Blessing of Moses v. 2 is correct, the word dâth points to a society
accessible to Persian words; and the passage in Deut. XXXII. 39, where
the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead is mentioned as a
recognised article of faith,[699] confirms this impression. Thus also
the anî anî hû[700] which occurs in this passage, compared with anî hû
which is used by the second Isaiah, is a proof that metaphysical
speculation on the idea of Jahveh arose only in the latest period of the
development of Prophetism.

§ 4. In the time of the earlier Prophets, however, the chief weight of
the Jahveistic confession was given to national and moral ideas.

The assertion which it is usual to insist upon, that Jahveh was the
National God of the Hebrews, is therefore true in a certain degree. It
is not true that the Prophets could conceive as the Familiar spirit of a
handful of Hebrews that infinite Idea towards which their deepest desire
and love was directed, which was to them the impersonation of that pure
holiness which is the end of the Prophets’ ethics, and which in their
eyes represents the infinite sublimity after which the prophetic spirit
nobly strove. But it is true that in the view of the Prophets, the
Hebrews were the first to understand Jahveh, and that the extension of
this understanding over all mankind is the ideal of Prophetism as it
affects the world’s history. If any one questions this cosmopolitan side
of the Jahveistic theology, he will probably be cured of his error by
impartially reading the speeches of the Prophets of all the various
phases of prophecy; _e.g._ for the earlier time Is. II. 2–4, words which
are almost literally repeated by Micah IV—a proof how deeply rooted in
the mind of the Prophets was the conviction there expressed,—and for a
later age, Is. LXVI. 18, 19. This great Prophet of the Captivity
addresses mankind in general: ‘Hearken to me, ye islands, and attend, ye
nations from afar’ (Is. XLIX. 1); and another Prophet of Israel in
Babylonia, who speaks of a common festival of all mankind, knows of no
Canaanites in the house of Jahveh (Zech. XIV. 16, 17). This cosmopolitan
character of Jahveism is most precisely defined by a somewhat earlier
Prophet, Zephaniah (III. 9, 10). No doubt it is true that in recognition
of Jahveh the Prophets regard the Hebrew nation as the centre, and Mount
Zion as the source of the streams of water which is henceforth to fill
the whole earth ‘as water covers the bed of the sea’ (Is. XI. 9); and
also that they treat Jahveh’s love of mankind as if the lion’s share of
it would accrue to his own people. But on the other side it is equally
true that, after the extension of the idea of Jahveh over the world,
which the Prophets lay down as the ultimate and highest aim of spiritual
effort, the prophetical view regards all nations of the earth, even
Egypt and Assyria, as equal before Jahveh, the common God of them all.
‘In that day shall Israel be third in alliance with Egypt and Assyria, a
blessing in the middle of the earth, whom Jahveh of hosts has blessed,
saying Blessed be my people Egypt, and the work of my hands Assyria, and
mine inheritance Israel’ (Is. XIX. 24, 25). It is, therefore, especially
in reference to the then present time, at which ideals were only
beginning to be framed by this free outlook to the future, that the
distinctively National character of the idea of Jahveh is emphasised.
This is very natural, since it was by national impulses that the
Prophets were roused into enthusiasm for Jahveh; for that enthusiasm, as
I have previously urged, was produced by an intense antipathy to the
foreign elements which confronted them chiefly in the idea of Elôhîm,
common to Israel and Canaan, and including all the abominations of the
Canaanitish worship, and all the laxity of manners introduced from
foreign parts into the higher ranks of society. With the Canaanites
dissolute forms of worship were results naturally developed out of the
previous history of their religion, and could be traced backwards to
their origin in Mythology. Being such, they could not have so ruinous an
influence on morals and character as among the Hebrews, who seized on
the immorality as such, without having had any share in the previous
historical stages which led to it. If for _unbelief_ we substitute
_absence of historical preparation_, the correct observation made by
Constant on Roman Polytheism is applicable to this case also: that
indecent rites may be practised by a religious nation without detriment
to purity of heart; but if unbelief takes hold of the nation, such rites
are the cause and the pretext for the most revolting corruption.[701]

The idea of Jahveh, therefore, according to the intention of the
Prophets, was to stimulate a return to National enthusiasm; and the zeal
against the spreading vice and immorality is directed more against the
foreign character of the vice than against the immorality itself. ‘O
house of Jacob,’ says Isaiah (II. 5–7), in close contact with the speech
in which he anticipates the moral redemption of mankind through beating
their swords into scythes and their spears into ploughshares, ‘come ye!
we will walk in the light of Jahveh. For thou hast forsaken thine own
people, O house of Jacob, because they (_i.e._ the members of that
house) are full of divination[702] and soothsayers, like the
Philistines, and join hands (_i.e._ contract friendship) with the
children of strangers, and their land was filled with silver and gold,
and there was no end of their treasures, and their land was filled with
horses and there was no end of their chariots.’ In these words we see
unequivocally how the ‘light of Jahveh’ is contrasted with foreign
customs. It ought to be observed that in Deuteronomy, the book which
stands nearer than any other part of the Pentateuch to the Prophets’
views on the world and religion, the collecting of much silver and gold
and horses[703] is censured (XVII. 16 _sq._), in fear lest the people
should be denationalised thereby and inclined towards the ‘foreign,’
which in Deuteronomy always means Egypt.

Many scholars hold the utterly incorrect view that the idea of Jahveh
was, even from the Egyptian age before the Exodus, the property of a few
_élites_, either Levitical priests or Prophets; a sort of esoteric
religion, into which no uninitiated could pry, and from which Prophetism
grew up. If this view were as correct as it is impossible, considering
the circumstances of the development of Hebrew religion, we should still
have to consider the first appearance of the idea of Jahveh quite
independently of any such secret society. And it must also be borne in
mind that Egypt was to the Hebrews a ‘House of slaves’ (bêth ʿabhâdîm),
as the Bible says (Ex. XIII. 3 etc.), not a Theological College. In
Egypt they appropriated very few religious ideas. Were it otherwise, we
should assuredly not have to wait till after the Babylonian Captivity to
find the belief in immortality among them. It is also a special
characteristic of the Prophetic Jahveism, that it insists that this idea
was destined to be universally recognised in the Hebrew nation itself;
and this contributes to the sublimity of the prophetic conception. In
contrast to the secret society cautiously locking up its mystic
knowledge, how grand looks a free corporation, whose hopes are
concentrated on the idea that at that time ‘I [Jahveh] will pour out my
spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and daughters will prophesy, and
upon your slaves and handmaids I will pour out my spirit in those days;’
‘and all thy sons will be disciples of Jahveh;’ ‘and they shall all know
me, from the least to the greatest of them,’ etc. (Joel III. 1 _sq._ [28
_sq._], Is. LIV. 13, Jer. XXXI. 34).

It is almost self-evident that to the national enthusiasm of the
Prophets the political difference between the Northern and the Southern
Hebrews scarcely exists. The Prophets extended their influence over the
North as well as over the South; and Hosea especially addresses his
exhortation to both kingdoms, mentioning Judah in the first division of
his verses constructed in parallelism, and Ephraim in the second. The
Prophets even announce the reunion of the two sections of the Hebrew
state.[704] The Northern kingdom was naturally much farther removed from
the religious ideas of the Prophets than the Southern. The hierarchy of
Jerusalem, which grew out of a sort of theocratic system, might at least
exhibit some appreciation of the preaching of Jahveism; some trace of
monotheistic Elohism still existed there, but was quite foreign to the
North. The persecution of the Prophets was accordingly much more violent
and indiscriminate in the Ephraimite country than in the South, where
however it was not absent. The story of the Prophet Elijah (Êlîyâhû ‘My
God is Jahveh’), as given in the Book of Kings, is intended to depict
the furious persecution of the preachers of Jahveh. Elijah is a typical
Jahveist, placed by the prophetical writer who conceived him at a time
before true Prophetism was in existence among the Hebrews. As the
Prophet painted the character of the ‘Servant of Jahveh’ (ʿebhed Yahve)
for the future, as a type of human perfection, so Elijah serves for a
similar type in the past. The representatives of Jahveism succeeded in
making the person of Elijah so popular as to attract to himself various
remnants of ancient myths, as we saw in a previous chapter. But at
bottom Elijah is nothing but a type of the persecutions to which
Jahveism was exposed in the Northern kingdom on the part of the rulers
and priests. The prophetical historians, fond as they are of painting
historical personages of the Hebrew nation in colours borrowed from the
ideal of Jahveism, are also no less addicted to drawing up descriptions
of lives which are typical of Prophetism. Such a life is that of the
prophet Samuel, who is regarded as founder of the Schools of the
Prophets, and consequently of Prophetism itself. The portraiture of his
character, as opponent of an untheocratic monarchy, of the king who
showed himself deficient in national feeling by sparing the Amalekite
chief, and of a corrupt priesthood, is only a program of Hebrew
Prophetism, clothed in a biographical dress and expressing the Prophets’
sentiments in speeches. When the inevitable catastrophe came, and the
Northern kingdom fell first, and the subsequent overthrow of the
Southern kingdom put an end to all Hebrew independence, the Jahveists,
the most earnest representatives of the idea of Hebrew nationality,
accompanied the people into captivity. Then first began the time when
the Jahveistic ideas bloomed most freely and were taken up with greatest
enthusiasm. In the Captivity prophetic thoughts soared to their highest
point in the speeches of that immortal prophet whose name is unknown,
the so-called Second Isaiah. But we find there also representatives of
the sacerdotal formal religion—not, indeed, of the coarse sacerdotalism
of Jerusalem, for that was impossible without the central temple, bloody
offerings, and political independence—but of a certain direction of
religious thought. For, at the very time when idealistic Jahveism had
worked itself up to the doctrine of the ‘historical vocation of the
people,’ these were exciting the people’s hopes by visions, speaking of
the architectural proportions of the new temple that was to be built,
and drawing up arrangements for priests and sacrifices. Yet even this
school was considerably penetrated by Jahveism; it tacitly appropriated
the positive teaching of the Prophets, without, however, entirely giving
up the positive part of the sacerdotal system. Thus, far from the Temple
of Jerusalem, on the banks of the Chaboras, a compromise was effected
between the Prophetic and the Sacerdotal schools. This held sway over
the hearts of the Hebrews in the Captivity, and formed the mental and
religious basis of the Hebrew commonwealth at its restoration. It finds
its first expression in the Book of Ezekiel, which announces itself, and
probably correctly, as produced in the Captivity.[705] The first
beginnings of this compromise appeared before the destruction of the
Kingdom of Judah, under a king who had equal respect for Priests and
Prophets, and allowed himself to be influenced in religious matters by
both equally. The mark of this tendency to sink all differences between
Sacerdotalism and Prophetism is impressed on the Book of Deuteronomy,
which appeared at that time. This cannot be called a defeat of the
prophetical tendencies. It is not the destiny of ideals to be realised
in their native form and natural regardlessness of social and physical
obstacles; they are victorious if they succeed in forcing an entrance
into their former opponents’ sphere of view, and modifying that in their
own way. Now from the nature of the case, where a compromise is made,
especially a compromise like the one before us, not settled and
concluded by regular negotiation, but consisting of an unconsciously
performed balancing of opposing energies, such a settlement is very
fluctuating, and leaves open the possibility of a gradual leaning
towards one or the other of the two opposite principles. We discover
this fluctuation in the self-effected compromise when we contemplate two
books of the Pentateuch, between the composition of which lies the whole
catastrophe of the Captivity, the first throes and afterpains of which
urged the completion of the compromise by bringing home the necessity of
the cooperation of all the spiritual factors of human life: Leviticus
and Deuteronomy. Both these books combine together sacerdotal worship
and Jahveism; neither of them gives a direct negative to either of these
originally contrary factors. In both books we find both elements
represented, only with the difference that Leviticus sounds an eminently
sacerdotal, and Deuteronomy a prevailing prophetic and Jahveistic tone.
Both stand on the level of Jahveism, without however disdaining
sacerdotal worship and sacrifice. In the prophetical Books of Haggai,
Zechariah, and Malachi, and in the postexilian interpolations occurring
in that of the Babylonian Isaiah, the various stages of the compromise
may also be studied. Observe, for instance, the endeavour of Haggai (II.
11–15) to employ the sacerdotal Law (tôrâ) in a Jahveistic sense by a
moral application; Zechariah’s address to the High Priest (III. 3–7), in
which he speaks of a purification of the restored priesthood; and
especially the exhortation to the priests contained in the Book of
Malachi, which enable us to form a picture of a priesthood formed on
Jahveistic principles as conceived by the Prophet of the Restoration, in
contrast to the priesthood of the age before the Captivity, which was
the object of the passionate hatred of the Prophets.

§ 5. We have lingered over the general description of the Jahveism of
the Prophets longer than the symmetry of these investigations would
justify. There is now something to be said on the relation of Jahveism
to the Mythology of the Hebrews.

It is to be observed on this subject that pure Jahveism, as preached by
those Prophets who first formulated that ideal, had a long struggle with
the conservative leanings of the people and their rulers, and that in
the period before the Captivity it could not become a religious element
fitted to penetrate all strata of society. Jahveism could therefore
exercise but little influence on the narration of myths, _i.e._ on the
mode in which myths were propagated in the mouth of the people; for only
a new conception which penetrates the whole people can possibly
determine and give a direction to the transformation of a myth.
Moreover, Mythology was not a subject with which the Prophets felt much
sympathy. Within the frame of the Puritanical Monotheism which they
taught there was no suitable place for myths. Hence, also, the Prophets
take so little notice of the myths of their nation (a very little is
brought in by Hosea, chap. XII.); their frequent allusions to the story
of the destruction of Sodom and ʿAmôrâ (Gomorrah), are accounted for by
the obvious parallel which they drew between those ancient cities,
proverbial for their vice, and Jerusalem and Shômerôn (Samaria),
together with the respective fate of each. The silence of the Prophets
is no proof, although many wish to use it as such, that in their times
the stories of the Patriarchs were not yet in existence; sufficient
answer is afforded by the few cases in which reference is made to those
stories. Their silence is much rather a proof of the power which the
idea of Jahveh exerted over their souls, so filling them, that by its
side the forms of Patriarchs and Heroes shrivel into insignificant
persons, and the narrated events are so dwarfed that no religious
elevation can be derived from them. This also explains the tone of irony
assumed by the Prophet when he has occasion to allude to Patriarchs and
their stories. Thus, for example, Hosea in reference to Jacob, whom he
describes as deceiving his brother, as fighting against God, as
subservient to women (XII. 4, 5, 13 [3, 4, 12]), and the Babylonian
Isaiah in reference to Abraham, whose smallness in comparison with
Jahveh he expresses (LXIII. 16). I pointed out above (pp. 229, 230),
that this apparent degradation of Abraham is only directed against the
remembrance of the Patriarch’s divinity, and that in another passage
(LI. 1 _sq._) Abraham and Sarah are referred to as the ancestors of the
Hebrew nation. To keep alive the consciousness of derivation from
special ancestors was obviously not out of keeping with the National
tendency of Jahveism, but rather an essential means of promoting it. In
this sense the Babylonian Prophet’s address should be understood:
‘Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness and seek Jahveh! Look
to the Rock, whence ye were hewn, and to the Well-hole, from which ye
were dug: look to Abraham your father, and to Sarah that bore you!’ (Is.
LI. 1 _sq._) In the same sense Malachi also refers to the Patriarchal
age, saying, ‘Is not Esau Jacob’s brother? and I love Jacob, and I have
hated Esau’ (I. 2 _sq._). Therefore, also, there are special forms by
which the Prophets address the nation, such as ‘House of Jacob,’ which
is excessively frequent, and ‘House of Isaac’ (Amos VII. 16). These
forms were intended to remind them of their proper ancestry, and to keep
alive the consciousness of their national peculiarity, and thus it came
about that the names of ancestors were identified with the nation
itself. The words Jacob and Abraham are names of the Hebrew people, in
Micah VII. 20 and Is. XXIX. 22, among the earlier representatives of
Prophetism: ‘Thus saith Jahveh, who redeemed Abraham, concerning the
house of Jacob;’ ‘Thou givest truth to Jacob and favour to Abraham,’
_i.e._ to the Hebrew nation.

The prevailing idea, therefore, emphasised by the Prophet, is that of
derivation from ancestors other than those of heathen nations. The
details of the Patriarchal history are devoid of interest for him, and
personages without the character of ancestors still more so.
Consequently even Moses remains in the background. Not even Hosea gives
his name, though he says, ‘By a prophet Jahveh brought Israel up from
Egypt, and by a prophet he was preserved’ (XII. 14 [13]). Only in very
few passages, in one early prophet, Micah (VI. 4),[706] and one of the
later period, the Babylonian Isaiah (LXIII. 11 _sq._), is the
deliverance from Egypt mentioned coupled with the name of Moses. To the
Exodus itself frequent reference is made, and the story of it does
admirable service to the view of the theocratical vocation of the
nation. But it is not till after the Captivity that the Legislator
himself is brought into the foreground, in consequence of the compromise
between Jahveism and the formal legality of the priesthood (Mal. III. 22
[IV. 4]).[706] Whatever of the truly mythical still lived in the memory
of the people received from Jahveism a complete monotheistic
transformation. Jahveh is made the conqueror of the Dragon of the Storm
and of the Monsters of Darkness (see p. 27). Notice the numerous
questions in the theodicy in the Book of Job, which Jahveh puts in
opposition to the explanation of physical phenomena given by mythology:
‘Hath the rain a father, or who begot the drops of dew? Out of whose
womb came the ice, and the hoar-frost of the sky, who bore it?’ (Job
XXXVIII. 28 _sq._). Such are the questions asked by the Jahveistic
monotheist. Removed to this new sphere, all the myths are at once beset
with denials; the monotheist’s whole interpretation of nature and idea
of causality lead to One only—to Jahveh; at this stage the myth is
utterly overthrown. But the fact that a nation which in its primeval age
formed myths, at a late period of its existence witnessed the growth of
the direct negation of mythical ideas in its midst, is no reason for
treating the former existence of myths as questionable.[707]

But Jahveism acknowledged the duty of reforming the subject-matter of
legends, whenever a religious practice condemned by the Jahveists was
supported by legendary authority. Such a practice was Human Sacrifice,
which found support and justification in the story of the sacrifice of
Isaac. Here, therefore, Jahveism interfered, in the manner which we had
occasion to describe in the chapter on the method of investigating myths
(p. 45). In this passage, even in the form in which we have it after the
last revision, the will of Jahveh was manifestly introduced into the
second half with a polemical purpose to oppose that of Elôhîm who in the
first half demanded the sacrifice. But the case is quite different in
what modern Biblical critics call the Jahveistic portions of the
Pentateuch. As it is not the object of this book to write the history of
the composition of the Biblical _Literature_, I cannot enter into an
exposition of my views on the redaction to writing and piecing together
of those literary fragments which compose the Pentateuch, including a
full justification of those views. I will only briefly remark, that all
the legendary literature which we now have in the Pentateuch is already
more or less penetrated by Jahveism, and that only in the legal portion
are a few remnants of strictly Elohistic legislation preserved. The
literary form given to the mass of stories is itself the result of the
compromise between the older and the Jahveistic religious tendency. Just
as there are two books of law, Deuteronomy and Leviticus (to the latter
of which a few passages of law in Exodus and Numbers must be added),
both of which represent the compromise between the Sacerdotal and the
Prophetical tendencies, the sacerdotal view giving the fundamental tone
to the one, and the prophetical to the other, so is it also with the
mass of stories. Even what are called Elohistic documents are strictly
speaking Jahveistic in character, only that the name Elôhîm is admitted
to be appropriate to the ancient Patriarchal age, and Jahveism is
introduced as an historical event, dating from Moses. In opposition to
this, another work represents the more thorough-going Jahveism. Now when
the Jahveistic school came to terms with the popular religious views,
and these were penetrated by the fundamental truths taught by the
Prophets, the Jahveists did not disdain to get hold of the legendary
matter and work it up according to their own principles. If the
Patriarchs were really models of religious life, they must also have
been strict Jahveists; and, therefore, these so-called Jahveistic
documents describe the Patriarchs as living on completely Jahveistic
ground, Eve, Lemech, and Noah as calling the Deity Jahveh, and Cain and
Abel as offering sacrifices to Jahveh. As early as the time of Seth
commences the general adoration of Jahveh. The historic Israel is of
course to the Jahveistic writers more than to any others a ḳehal Yahve,
ʿadath Yahve, ‘congregation, community of Jahveh.’ With this principle
accords all else that the exegetical school has brought together to
characterise the Jahveistic narrator.[708] Moreover, in the Jahveistic
writings more than in any others particular attention is paid to what is
popular and national;[709] and, as would be expected from the strictly
national character of Jahveism, they are distinguished by a greater and
more eager zeal. I will pick out and draw attention to some terms
belonging to the peculiar circle of ideas of the Prophets, in order to
indicate the closer mutual relationship of the so-called Jahveistic
documents: viz. debhar Yahve ‘Word of Jahveh,’ and neʾûm Yahve ‘speech
of Jahveh.’[710] To anyone acquainted with the Prophetic literature it
is needless to dwell on the specifically prophetic character of these
two technical expressions. I call them _technical_ expressions with
special reference to debhar Yahve. For dâbhâr was used by the Prophets,
especially those of the later times, of the speech which they proclaimed
in the name of Jahveh (and in direct polemical opposition to another
technical expression, massâ, Jer. XXIII. 33 _sq._, which nevertheless
occurs again in later Prophets), just as the sacerdotal school which had
entered on good terms with Jahveism, when they laid stress on accordance
with the Law, called instruction in the Law tôrâ. Tôrâ and Dâbhâr bear
the same relation to one another as Kôhên and Nâbhî (Priest and
Prophet). Jeremiah (XVIII. 18) says, ‘They said, Come, we will devise
devices against Jeremiah; for the Tôrâ will not be lost from the Priest,
counsel from the wise, the Dâbhâr (word) from the Prophet: come, we will
wound him on the tongue, and not attend to any of his words (debhârâv).’
The same opposition of Tôrâ and Dâbhâr is found also in the words of a
prophet of the Restoration, Zechariah VII. 12: ‘They made their heart
adamant, lest they should hear the Tôrâ and the Debhârîm which Jahveh of
Hosts sent with his spirit by the agency of the former prophets.’[711]

How deeply the prophetic spirit after this compromise penetrated all
other schools is observable in the profounder piety which thenceforth
characterises Elohistic writings. We see this, for example, in the
Elohistic Psalms, composed by religious singers not yet accustomed to
the Prophets’ name Jahveh, but who now wrote to the glory and honour of
Elôhîm those sublime Songs which to this day kindle the devotion of
those who wish to raise their souls in prayer to God. In them a spirit
taught by the Prophets has penetrated the representatives of Elohism.
For as regards its outward manifestation in the choice of Divine names,
Elohism continues to exist even in the age of the Captivity: we meet
with strictly Elohistic narratives in the accounts of the Creation and
the Deluge composed at Babylon.

But we must refer to a comparatively late period the working-out of this
tendency to a compromise, in which the sacerdotal view had as much share
as the prophetical—a tendency which joined together in a higher unity,
as Teaching (tôrâ), the Statute (chuḳḳâ) and the Prophetic word of
Jahveh (dâbhâr). Consequently, the writing down of the traditions
conceived in this spirit must also be assigned to a much later age than
is usually done. However, we cannot speak here of any exact number of
years, but only indicate in general terms periods of various classes of
culture. Accurate dates can only be reached by more advanced historical
knowledge on the domain of Biblical Antiquity. Perhaps this will be
promoted by the constantly increasing certainty of the information to be
gathered from the historical texts of the Cuneiform Inscriptions with
reference to the History of Civilisation. But from the facts recognised
in recent times it may with confidence be inferred that the literary
activity of the Hebrews belongs in large part to the epoch of the
Captivity. It should also be mentioned in this connexion that Knobel
insists that the affairs of the interior of Asia were well known to his
Jehovist.[712] Such knowledge cannot be the result of the contact
established by the invasion. It demands closer and more friendly
relations, which would make it possible to learn such facts.

All this takes us into the epoch of the Captivity. That remarkable age
enriched the Hebrews’ sphere of thought with many things, to which we
will give our attention in the following chapter.


Footnote 687:

  With respect to the originality and the specifically Hebrew character
  of the notion of Jahveh, I consider the most correct assertion yet
  made to be what Ewald declared in reference to the alleged Phenician
  Divine name Jah; for when we examine the passages and the data on
  which Movers’ and Bunsen’s opposite view is based, their apocryphal
  nature strikes us at the first glance. This is especially true (to
  mention one case only) of the passage of Lydus, _De mens._ IV. 38. 14:
  Οἱ Χαλδαῖοι τὸν θεὸν ΙΑΩ λέγουσιν ... τῇ Φοινίκων γλώσσῃ καὶ ΣΑΒΑΩΘ δὲ
  πολλαχοῦ λέγεται κτλ (See Bunsen, _Egypt’s Place in Universal
  History_, vol. IV. p. 193). As to the occurrence of the name Jahveh in
  the Assyrian theology there is not yet sufficient certainty. Eberhard
  Schrader, who refers to it, imagines the name to be borrowed from the
  Hebrew (_Die Keilinschriften und das Alte Testament_, p. 4).

Footnote 688:

  To this may be added that the Moabite Stone speaks of the vessels of
  Jahveh which king Mesha carried off as plunder from the Northern
  kingdom (line 18). Kuenen goes too far in finding a connexion between
  the worship of Jahveh in the Northern kingdom and the figures of bulls
  (_Religion of Israel_, I. 74 _et seq._)

Footnote 689:

  In the article _Ueber die nabathäischen Inschriften von Petra, Hauran
  u.s.w._, in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1860, XIV. 410.

Footnote 690:

  This must not be placed in the same category with cases in which the
  insertion of [ ] can be explained phonologically (Ewald,
  _Ausführliches Lehrb. der hebr. Spr_. § 192. _c_; _Böttcher_, I. 286).
  See the Agadic explanation of this, which I have quoted in the
  _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1872, XXVI. 769.

Footnote 691:

  The changes of name mentioned in 2 Kings XXIII. 34, XXIV. 17, should
  also be considered here. It is not probable that these changes were
  ordered by the Kings of Egypt and of Babylon; for in that case the
  names received in exchange would have been quite different, Egyptian
  and Babylonian respectively in form (compare Dan. I. 7). The change of
  Elyâḳîm into Yehôyâḳîm is especially noticeable, for it is a direct
  alteration of an Elohistic into a Jahveistic name. Such a change is
  usually the simple consequence of a religious revolution, as is seen
  in other cases. Thus, e.g. King Amenophis IV., when he directs his
  fanaticism against the worship of Ammon, and places that of Aten in
  the foreground, changes his Ammonic name into _Shu en Aten_, ‘the
  light of the solar orb.’ See Brugsch, _L’histoire d’Égypte_ (1st ed.),
  I. 119, and Lenormant, _Premières civilisations_, I. 211. Of Moḥammed
  also we are told that he altered those portions of his followers’
  names which savoured of idolatry, substituting monotheistic terms;
  thus one ʿAbd ʿAmr had his name changed to ʿAbd al-Raḥmân (Wüstenfeld,
  _Register zu den genealogischen Tabellen_, p. 27). The pious
  philologian al-Aṣmaʿî always calls the heathen Arabic poet
  Imru-l-Ḳeys, Imru Allâh, changing the name of the heathen god Ḳeys
  into the monotheistic Allâh (Guidi on Ibn Hishâmi’s _Commentary etc._,
  Leipzig 1874, p. XXI.).

Footnote 692:

  As Pope in the Universal Prayer: ‘Father of all: ... Jehovah, Jove, or

Footnote 693:

  For instance Strauss, in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1869, XXIII. 473.
  But not only Jahveh, but even Elôhîm was brought from China. The glory
  of publishing this eccentric idea to the world belongs to M. Adolphe
  Saïsset, who wrote a whole book, entitled _Dieu et son homonyme_,
  Paris 1867, to prove very thoroughly that the Elôhîm of Genesis was
  really—the Emperor of China! The book is 317 octavo pages long.

Footnote 694:

  _Vergelijkende Geschiedenis_, pp. 555, 561.

Footnote 695:

  To this group belongs, on Arabian ground (besides the well-known
  ʿarrâf and kâhin), the muḥaddath ‘the well-informed;’ on whom see De
  Sacy’s _Commentary on Ḥarîrî_, 2nd ed., p. 686.

Footnote 696:

  Mommsen, _History of Rome_, edition of 1868, III. 446 _et seq._

Footnote 697:

  This is meant only as a general assertion, and is the general
  impression left by the Prophetical books. There are, in this as in
  other respects, various grades perceptible between the different
  Prophets. The prophetical Jahveistic idea is not so powerful and
  exclusive in all as in the Babylonian Isaiah.

Footnote 698:

  ‘I am I’ (hû being equivalent to the verb _to be_)='I am who I

Footnote 699:

  See Kuenen, _Religion of Israel_, III. 41.

Footnote 700:

  Bunsen must be named as the writer who lays the most stress on the
  importance of this anî anî hû, bringing this formula into connexion
  with the metaphysical definition of the idea of Jahveh (_God in
  History_, I. p. 74 _et seq._). Lessing’s ‘Nur euer Er heisst Er’ (only
  _your_ He is called He, _Nathan der Weise_, I. 4) is with justice
  adduced by Bunsen.

Footnote 701:

  B. Constant de Rebecque, _Du Polythéisme Romain_, II. 102, quoted by
  Buckle, _Civilisation_, II. 303.

Footnote 702:

  It is best to read with Gesenius miḳḳesem for miḳḳedem.

Footnote 703:

  Hosea XIV. 4 [3] must also be noted, where the alliance with Assyria
  is condemned in the words ‘Asshur will not save us; we shall not ride
  on horses.’ See also Zech. IX. 10, X. 5, Micah V. 9 [10].

Footnote 704:

  See Ezek. XXXVII. 15–28.

Footnote 705:

  See on the other side Zunz in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1873, p.
  688, thesis 14 _et seq._

Footnote 706:

  These two passages (Mic. VI. 4 and Mal. III. 22 [IV. 4]) appears not
  to have been noticed by Michel Nicolas in his '_Etudes critiques sur
  la Bible_,' Paris 1862, I. 351, where he says of Moses, ‘Son nom ne se
  trouve que deux fois dans les écrits des prophètes qui sont parvenus
  jusqu'à nous—(_Esaie_, LXIII. 12; _Jér._ XV. 1).’

Footnote 707:

  I have given particular prominence to this on account of the opposite
  view taken by Max Müller in his _Chips_, I. 361 _et seq._

Footnote 708:

  His fondness for humanising God by anthropomorphic expressions is the
  only feature, the reasons for which are not patent.

Footnote 709:

  See Knobel, _Die Bücher Numeri, Deuteronomium und Josua_, pp. 539,

Footnote 710:

  See Knobel, _Die Bücher etc._, p. 529.

Footnote 711:

  The relative clause is dependent upon _Debharîm_ only.

Footnote 712:

  See Knobel, _Die Bücher etc._, p. 579.


                               CHAPTER X.

If we limit the term _Myth_ to those old sentences which the ancients
used in speaking of physical changes and phenomena, then the period with
which we have to do in this chapter lies outside the history of the
Hebrew Myth; for the latter ceased to have any further growth to
chronicle as the influence of Prophetism extended. Now, in place of the
free life, organic development and gradual transformation of the myth,
we have it in a final and canonical literary form, which we had to use
as the only accessible source for discovering the original, and as a
handle to guide us in the analytical treatment of its development. But
it is not to be supposed that the parts of the Old Testament which we
use as sources of knowledge on the Hebrew Myth contain the entire stock
of the mythical treasures of the Hebrews, which these very fragments
prove to have been very various. It must rather be assumed that in the
period separating the final elaboration of these myths from their
ultimate reduction to writing, a large portion of the stock was lost;
which seems particularly likely, when it is considered how little
importance the new religious school attached to this aspect of the
Hebrew mind. Some remnants of unwritten stories have been preserved in
Tradition; but the Tradition, again, has come down to us in a form which
makes it difficult to discriminate the truly traditional from what
belongs only to individuals (see _supra_, pp. 32, 33).

Thus the history of the Hebrew Myth after the rise of the Prophets can
only be treated as a portion of the history of literature; _i.e._ it
endeavours to discover the influences to which the stories were
subjected during their reduction to writing. And at the outset we
excluded all such investigations from the circle of our present studies.

But after the cessation of Hebrew independence the cycle of Hebrew
stories received from another quarter an addition, which, though neither
touching the domain of Mythology proper, nor working with elements
already furnished by the Hebrew Myth, nevertheless is attached so
closely to those stories which were formed by transformation of the old
myths, that it ought not to be passed over in silence when we are
considering the cycle of Hebrew stories.

We have already had occasion to observe the receptive tendency of the
Hebrew mind, which was manifested in its contact with Canaanitish
civilisation. At the first assault made by a mind superior to itself, it
willingly opened its gates, and even when struggling for its national
character and individuality it did not spurn the intellectual property
of its antagonists. In the formation of the thought of Jahveh, and
especially of the central idea of that thought, we discovered a
productive genius for the first time aroused in the Hebrew people. But
Jahveism came upon a nation too far gone in political impotence and
dissension to be kindled even by such a spark to spiritual action. It
found the nation at the very threshold of that political division which
not long afterwards it had to lament beside the streams of Babylon.
There the prophetic idea lived on, and indeed reached its zenith in the
Babylonian Isaiah. But hieratic influences also continued to operate;
and the best that the people could effect was the compromise between
Jahveism and the sacerdotal tendencies represented by Ezekiel. This
compromise found expression at the restoration of the State, and gave
its tone and colour to the larger portion of the Biblical literature.

The receptive tendency of the Hebrews manifested itself again
prominently during the Babylonian Captivity. Here first they gained an
opportunity of forming for themselves a complete and harmonious
conception of the world. The influence of Canaanitish civilisation could
not then be particularly powerful on the Hebrews; for that civilisation,
the highest point of which was attained by the Phenicians, was quite
dwarfed by the mental activity exhibited in the monuments of the
Babylonian and Assyrian Empire, which we are now able to admire in all
their grandeur. There the Hebrews found more to receive than some few
civil, political, and religious institutions. The extensive and manifold
literature which they found there could not but act on a receptive mind
as a powerful stimulus; for it is not to be imagined that the nation
when dragged into captivity lived so long in the Babylonian-Assyrian
Empire without gaining any knowledge of its intellectual treasures.
Schrader’s latest publications on Assyrian poetry have enabled us to
establish a striking similarity between both the course of ideas and the
poetical form of a considerable portion of the Old Testament, especially
of the Psalms, and those of this newly-discovered Assyrian poetry.[713]
It would be a great mistake to account for this similarity by reference
to a common Semitic origin in primeval times; for we can only resort to
that in cases which do not go beyond the most primitive elements of
intellectual life and ideas of the world, or designations of things of
the external world. Conceptions of a higher and more complicated kind,
as well as esthetic points, can certainly not be carried off into the
mists of a prehistoric age. It is much better to keep to more real and
tangible ground, and to suppose those points of contact between Hebrew
and Assyrian poetry which are revealed by Schrader’s, Lenormant’s, and
George Smith’s publications, to form part of the contributions made by
the highly civilised Babylonians and Assyrians to the Hebrews in the
course of the important period of the Captivity.

We see from this that the intellect of Babylon and Assyria exerted a
more than passing influence on that of the Hebrews, not merely touching
it, but entering deep into it and leaving its own impress upon it. The
Assyrian poetry of the kind just mentioned stands in the same relation
to that of the Hebrews as does the plain narrative of King Mesha’s
Inscription and of some Phenician votive tablets to the narrative texts
of the Hebrews, and as does the sacrificial Tablet of Marseilles to the
Hebrews’ beginnings of a sacerdotal constitution. The Babylonian and
Assyrian influence is of course much more extensive, pregnant and

The most prominent monument of this important influence is presented to
us in the Biblical story of the Deluge. It was attempted long ago to
discover points of contact between the respective narratives of the
universal flood by the guidance of Berosus; but the only possible result
of these endeavours was to encourage the old theory of an idea common to
all mankind, which expressed itself in the story of a great general
flood. To be sure, no obvious reason appears why this idea should force
itself unbidden upon the reflexion of ancient humanity. For, with all
that we know of the oldest subjects of the thought of mankind from the
unquestioned results of Comparative Mythology, we must ask why the idea
of an all-destroying flood, or even of a partial one confined to a
limited territory, should necessarily occupy the foreground in the
oldest picture of the world? In point of fact, a great number of nations
are found destitute of any story of a flood. For instance, the oldest
Greek mythology has no such idea; it cannot be proved to have been known
to the Greeks earlier than the sixth century B.C. Whether it is
indigenous and of high antiquity in India has also been doubted by
distinguished scholars.[714]

On the other hand, the Cuneiform original of the Assyrian story of the
Deluge, discovered by George Smith, has so much similarity, or we may
rather say congruity, with the form of the story preserved in the Bible,
even with respect to the raven and the dove,[715] that we are entitled
to express an opinion _a priori_ on these two narratives, to the effect
that they point to a greater community of formation than would be the
case if the community dated from the primeval Semitic age. For in that
case, supposing the elements of the Deluge-story to have been so fully
developed in the earliest Semitic age as we find them in the Bible and
the Cuneiform Inscriptions, we must find something similar in all other
Semitic nations also. It would be almost unaccountable why nothing can
be traced among the Phenicians that could be placed side by side with
this Deluge-story, and would be the more extraordinary if the conception
of such a story took place in the age when the North-Semitic tribes were
still living together.

The conclusion is accordingly almost irresistible, that the Hebrews
borrowed this whole story of the Deluge from the Babylonians, and
propagated it in a form resembling the Babylonian original, even in its
details and mode of expression. Moreover, Babylon is the district most
of all suited to the working-out of a story of Deluge; for it is certain
from Von Bohlen’s and Tuch’s demonstrations, that such fully developed
stories of floods can only occur in nations which have in their
territory rivers liable to great overflows. Consequently the region of
the great twin streams of Mesopotamia is the most likely cradle for an
elaborate Deluge story.[716] A.H. Sayce, one of the most eminent English
Assyriologists, in the _Theological Review_ of July 1873, propounds the
view that the Biblical account of the Deluge consists of two narratives:
the older being Elohistic and based on a Hebrew Deluge-story, the other
being placed by its side by a Jahveistic narrator in the Babylonian
Captivity, and being identical with the Babylonian story preserved in
the document consulted by George Smith.[717] Now, independently of the
doubt as to the existence of an exclusively Hebrew Deluge-story, and of
the fact that identity with the Babylonian stories has been proved of
the Elohistic account also,[718] even Sayce’s conception of the matter
quite suffices to establish the view that the Hebrews in Babylonia at
least amplified, if they did not actually construct, the Biblical story
of the Deluge. It cannot be true, as Max Duncker[719] lately wrote,
‘that these stories present to us an _ancient_ and _common_ possession
of the Semitic tribes of the Euphrates and Tigris country.’ We cannot
assume that in those primeval, prehistoric times when the Semitic
tribes, or at least the Northern group of that race, lived all together
before the separation, it matters not where, they formed in common
stories which presuppose a high and advanced view of the world, like the
Cosmogonies and the story of the Deluge connected therewith. At that
earliest stage of human life, man labours with far simpler apperceptions
than those which are requisite to form such stories. The myth in its
very earliest mould, in which it is connected with the formation of
language, occupies him first. But at all events, the Babylonian story
received in its Hebrew transformation a purification in a monotheistic
sense; or as Duncker himself appropriately adds, ‘the account of the
Deluge lies before us in a purer and more dignified shape in the
writings of the Hebrews.’

I showed in a previous section that Noah is one of those Solar figures
of which the Biblical source has still preserved some mythical features.
There is no intrinsic reason why the story of the Deluge should be
particularly tacked on to the person of Noah; the Assyrian tablets give
Hasisadra as the name of the man saved from the flood. If the connexion
of Noah with the Deluge were to be maintained at all hazards, it would
be best to argue that ancient mythical traditions called him (as well as
Adam) the progenitor of the human race; the other Solar figures
generally assume a position hostile to the nation. The harmonising
tendency, which I have already had occasion to notice, might then easily
make use of Noah as hero for the story of the Deluge learned at Babylon,
since here was an excellent opportunity to establish his title as
ancestor of the human race. But it may be taken for granted that this
use was made of Noah’s name, not only at the later period when the
Deluge-story was inserted in the great mass of traditional stories, but
as soon as ever the Babylonian story was borrowed by the Hebrews. This
is guaranteed by the Prophet of the Captivity, who calls the Deluge mê
Nôach ‘the water of Noah.’ ‘For like the water of Noah is this (thy
distress) unto me, of which (water) I swore against the water of Noah
coming again over the earth [Gen. VIII. 21 _et seq._]: so do I swear
against being wroth with thee and rebuking thee’ (Is. LIV. 9). In
Babylon, also, the Hebrews appear to have received an impulse to work
out such a history of Creation, intricate and plastically jointed, as is
contained in the opening passages of Genesis. I do not mean that the
cosmogony of the Babylonians was the original from which that of the
Bible was copied, for in this particular matter of cosmogonies the
construction of the Biblical account exhibits great individuality. But
the tendency of the mind to inquire after the first beginning of both
the physical and the moral order of the world was first fully roused
during the residence at Babylon, so far advanced in speculations of this
nature. I am confirmed in this assumption by the Babylonian story of
Creation, lately discovered and edited by George Smith, which, as
presented by that learned pioneer, shows great accordance with the
corresponding account in Genesis.[720] It is at all events an element of
the subject in hand which cannot be left unnoticed, that the notion of
the bôrê and yôṣêr ‘Creator’ (the terms used in the cosmogony in
Genesis), as an integral part of the idea of God, are first brought into
common usage by the Prophets of the Captivity, especially the Babylonian
Isaiah, who is particularly fond of the expression bôrê.[721] The older
Prophets also know Jahveh as Creator of the world; but it is
self-evident that they do not so strongly emphasise the idea, or refer
to it so frequently, as for instance the Isaiah of the Captivity. Amos
IV. 13, for example, says, ‘For lo, he that formeth mountains and
createth wind, and declareth to man what is his meditation, that maketh
the dawn winged and walketh on the high places of the earth—his name is
Jahveh the God of Hosts.’ This passage stands in no relation whatever to
the cosmogony of Genesis; indeed, in speaking of the dawn as gifted with
wings (see _supra_, p. 116), it refers rather to the mythical
conceptions of antiquity, as also the older Isaiah frequently does. The
Prophet of the Captivity, on the other hand, refers to the ideas of the
cosmogony in Genesis, as is clear in Is. XL. 26, XLV. 7 (where he speaks
of the Creator of light and darkness), XLII. 5, XLV. 18, especially this
last passage, which refers to the banishment of the tôhû through the act
of creation. By the story of creation the celebration of the Sabbath was
established on entirely new grounds. Whilst in the older conception
(which finds expression in the Decalogue in Deuteronomy V. 15) the
Sabbath has a purely theocratic significance, and is intended to remind
the Hebrews of their miraculous deliverance from Egyptian slavery after
long servitude, the later version of the Decalogue (Ex. XX. 11)
justifies it by referring to the history of the Creation, in which after
six days of work the Creator took rest.

We cannot here enter into the question of the geographical position of
the ʿÊden of the Bible, nor even inquire whether the original of the
idea of Eden is found in the corresponding feature of Iranian tradition;
but it may be assumed that the Biblical account of Eden also arose at
Babylon. It may indeed be generally presumed that the Biblical accounts
of the Cosmogony and the origin of all things had not, like the matter
of the old mythology, lived a long life of perhaps many thousand years
in the mouths of successive generations, before the first beginnings of
literary record were reached. On the contrary, we find in these parts of
the Bible so artistic a perfection of description, such a harmonious
roundness of narrative, that we are justified in presuming that they
were not preceded by the oral concatenations of a long life of
tradition, but are rather sublime imaginations which were written down
soon after they were conceived in the educated circles of the nation, so
as to become the common property of the whole people. There was in this
a double stimulus received from the Babylonians: first, to meditate on
the earliest things—the origin of the world, man, and other things of a
general nature—and secondly, to produce writings on these things. The
Prophets of the Hebrews at Babylon unquestionably exercised a great
influence on the production of these narratives, and gladly admitted
whatever tended to promote the deepening of the idea of Jahveh, as
elements in their religions conception of the world. For the Prophet did
not occupy a position towards the masses like the member of a
corporation which opposes the people; he grew up out of the people, and
raised himself above them by his individual power of thought. Yet it is
easily intelligible that the Prophet, while gladly appropriating the
idea of Jahveh as bôrê ‘Creator,’ would not set much store by the petty
details of the cosmogonic imagination. The second Isaiah, the Prophet of
Babylon _par excellence_, goes so far as to exhort his people, ‘Record
ye not beginnings, and antiquities contemplate ye not’ (Is. XLIII. 18);
still he does not go into open opposition to this mental tendency, and
sees nothing dangerous in it—the less so, as he has himself
unconsciously adopted its conclusions and often employed them in his
masterly addresses.

Thus also the story of the Garden of Eden, as a supplement to the
history of the Creation, was written down at Babylon, and therefore not
long after the previous stories. A reference to the passage in Gen. II.
14, where the first three of the four rivers of the garden of Eden have
their geographical position accurately defined, but the fourth is only
mentioned by the words, ‘And the fourth river is Perâth (Euphrates),’ is
of itself sufficient to show that those for whom the story was written
must have known the Euphrates as their own river, requiring no further
designation, and consequently that this must have been written on its
banks. Now, although the expression ‘Garden of Eden’ occurs also before
the Captivity (Joel II. 3), yet the Prophets of the Captivity make the
first reference to that character and quality of Eden which is
conspicuous in Genesis. In Joel’s words only the general idea of a
‘pleasure-garden’ appears to be connected with the name Eden. But in
Ezekiel (especially frequently in Chap. XXXI.) we find the appellation
‘Garden of God’ used to designate Eden more fully; and in the
parallelism of the members of the verse the Babylonian Isaiah (LI. 3)
puts the ‘Garden of Jahveh’ in the succeeding member to correspond to
‘Eden’ in the preceding:

             He makes her desert like _Eden_,
             And her dry land like the _Garden of Jahveh_.

It is also evident from the same Prophet’s words (Is. XLIII. 27), ‘Thy
first father sinned,’ that he connected the story of the Fall with Eden,
or at least that he knew the story. The mention of the doctrine of the
Fall takes us to a domain which has a close connexion with the subject
of this chapter. I refer to the ideas of dogmatic religion pervading the
stories formed during the Captivity, which subsequently, while the canon
of Scripture was being drawn up, were admitted even into those parts of
Scripture whose matter dated from an earlier period, came into full life
in the second Hebrew commonwealth, and continued to live in the later
Jewish Synagogue. Through the growth of Persian power and Persian
influence in Western Asia, where there existed many states in a
condition of vassalage to Babylon, the Iranian views of religion could
not but exert a great influence on the parent-state also, even before
Babylon was quite overwhelmed by them through its conquest by Cyrus at
the end of the Captivity of the Hebrews. Opportunity was therefore not
wanting to the Hebrews to become well acquainted with the main ideas of
Iranian theology; and desire was also present, as their minds were then
intent upon obtaining clear views on the origin of the physical and
moral order of the world, and on the chief questions concerning the
‘Origins.’ This influence of the Iranians on the Hebrews was exhibited
not only in relation to matter, but also to forms. For there is great
probability in favour of the idea, that the first suggestion to codify
the sacerdotal laws of sacrifice, purification and others, came to the
Hebrews from the example of the Persians.[722] One portion of these
ideas has found a place in the Babylonian sections of Genesis—that which
belonged to the cosmogony; others were not expressed in the Canon at
all, but lived in tradition, until tradition itself was fixed in
writing. This question, which would at last shed light on the details of
Iranian influence on the narratives of the Pentateuch, is perversely
enough not grappled with at its starting-point by many persons who
labour with nervous eagerness to discover in the Iranian writings every
letter of the Jewish Agâdâ, even in cases in which such a proceeding is
utterly unjustifiable, and borrowing can only be suggested through the
wildest guesswork. Equally perverse is the unhistorical assumption,
which point-blank denies the very possibility of the Hebrews having
borrowed anything from the Persians, ‘among whom they never lived.’[723]
Professor Spiegel, by referring to an acquaintance of Abraham with
Zarathustra, has spirited the question off into the atmosphere of so
distant a time that it is impossible with any regard for critical
history to build upon his foundation,[724] and preferable even to adopt
Volney’s forgotten theory,[725] which makes the influence of Magism on
the Hebrews begin with the destruction of the Northern kingdom. Others,
by assuming an influence exerted by the Semites on the Iranians, and by
a mistaken reverence for Hebrew antiquity, have cut away the ground from
any scientific investigation of the question.[726] It is a mistaken, and
anything but the right sort of reverence, when we would rather leave
unknown or misunderstood a region of literature which we all love and
venerate, and to which we owe most of our moral and religious ideals,
than trace its elements and analyse their psychological and literary
history, so as to understand the object of our love. Has Homer lost his
attractiveness since we have subjected him to critical analysis, or the
divine Plato forfeited any of his divinity since we have discovered some
of the sources of his ideas? For the fact of Originality is not the only
criterion of the admirable. Not only that which is cast in one piece
from top to toe, is one whole: an alien substance which becomes a
civilising agent to that in which it rests, and a patchwork which has
turned out a harmonious whole, are not less admirable or perfect. Julius
Braun says very justly,[727] ‘There is another and indeed the highest
kind of originality, which is not the beginning but the result of
historical growth—the originality of mature age. We have this, when an
individual or a nation has gathered up all existing means of culture,
and then still possesses power to pass on beyond them and deal freely
with all elements received from the past.’

Thus, then, it was quite possible for many Iranian elements to be
received into the system of the literature and cosmic conceptions of the
Hebrews; and we do nothing towards saving the honour of the Hebrew
nationality by using force to make the Iranians pupils of the Hebrews.
Karl Twesten saw the truth as to their mutual relation; and I quote his
words, to show the impression made by the coincidences of Iranian and
Hebrew antiquity on a sober-minded historian who considers the question
free from any previous pledges to either side. ‘It cannot be pleaded
that the Iranians may have borrowed from the Hebrews or drawn from the
same source. For, on the one hand, these things are there an essential
part of a system, whereas the Pentateuch makes no further use of them;
and, on the other, they existed in times and places where, even if the
possibility of a very early formation of these stories be conceded, the
Hebrew theology could not possibly have any influence. The Israelites
were so little known, and so rarely in contact with other nations, and
the priesthoods of antiquity so exclusive, and oriental Îrân so distant,
that no early influence of Mosaic doctrines on the theories of the Zend
books is even conceivable. But Iranian influences on the nations of
Western Asia are probable and inevitable, from the time when the Medes
and Persians became the dominant powers.’[728]

Such, in general terms, were the causes which yielded an increase of
matter to the Hebrew store of legends during the Captivity. Through the
revision and literary elaboration of the old legends in the period of
the Captivity also, many Babylonian features naturally entered into the
picture. I may mention Nöldeke’s plausible idea (in his
_Untersuchungen_), that the years and cycles of years in the Patriarchal
history point to Babylon and are connected with astronomical systems.
The last systematic revision of the Table of Nations (Gen. X.) may also
be referred to the same time and influence. The preparation of such a
survey of all known nations of the earth seems to have been possible in
that ancient time only in an empire which through its wide-spread
dominion had an extensive circle of view open to it in relation to
geography and ethnology, and would be almost impossible within the
limits of the kingdom of Judah. Although we have at the present day good
reasons for treating as a mere fable the more extravagant ideas that
were long current, and gave rise to many lamentable prejudices, of the
utter seclusion of the Hebrews in Canaan, yet their view can hardly have
reached to such a distance, and, if it did, cannot have taken in such
special points, as are met with in the Table of Nations. But we should
exaggerate the possible influence of the connexion with the Phenicians,
if with Tuch[729] we were to derive from it the ethnographical
information requisite to produce that Table. And we should be applying
the measure of modern expeditions to David’s and Solomon’s navigation—to
which Mauch attributes a colonisation of Africa by Jews in connexion
with the discovery of Ophir—if we were to suppose that navigation to
have yielded this same geographical and ethnographical knowledge as its
scientific result.

The attention of the Hebrews could not be directed to ethnographical
problems on so large a scale before their residence among the confusion
of nationalities in the empire of Babylon and Assyria. That period is
also the first at which interest could be felt in another
problem—Biblical answer to which is avowedly given at Babylon. I mean
the story of the Confusion of Tongues at Babel (Babylon) in Genesis XI.

It is not difficult to understand that the Hebrews, who in Canaan, a
country of such linguistic uniformity, had no occasion to pay attention
to the fact of the variety of tongues, on entering the Babylonian empire
with its varying languages were naturally led to ask the question to
which the eleventh chapter of Genesis offers a reply. Why, even earlier
than this the Northern empire was a nation whose tongue they did not
understand (Deut. XXVIII. 49),[730] ‘a nation from afar, an ancient
nation, a nation from of old, a nation whose language thou knowest not,
neither understandest what they say’ (Jer. V. 15). Whilst even in
Hesiod’s time men were already called by the Greeks μέροπες ‘speaking
variously’ (_Works and Days_, 109, 142), to the ancient Hebrew ‘the
whole earth was of one language and of one speech.’ Now, as the impulse
to ask this question arose in Babylon, the place where such a problem
must force itself most irresistibly on the attention, so Babylon was
found to be also the scene of the solution of the problem. It is so
natural to place the origin of an event or a phenomenon at the place
where it has first occurred to us or we have first perceived it. But, in
fact, we find the story of the building of the Tower taking its place
among the latest Cuneiform discoveries.[731] That the origin of the
Table of Nations hangs together with the story of the origin of the
diversity of languages is evident, not only from the inner connexion
between the respective problems, but also from the fact that the Table
of Nations always distinguishes the various races ‘after their families,
_after their tongues_, in their countries, in their nations’ (Gen. X. 5,
20, 31).

The attempted etymology of Bâbhel from bâlal ‘to mix,’ which is tacked
on to the story, is quite secondary; it is impossible to approve the
notion that this etymology was itself the cause of the invention of the
story that languages had their origin at Babylon. On the contrary, the
essential part of the story is the origin at Babylon; the etymology is a
secondary point, by which it was attempted to leave no part unexplained.
People in antiquity, and even in modern times those who are more
affected by a word than a thought, were fond of finding in the word a
sort of reflexion of the corresponding thing. Indeed, many component
parts of ancient stories owe their existence only to such false
etymologies. Dido’s ox-hides and their connexion with the founding of
Carthage are only based on the Greek _byrsa_, a misunderstood modified
pronunciation of the Semitic _bîrethâ_ ‘fortress, citadel.’ The shining
Apollo, born of light, is said to be born in Delos or Lycia, because the
terms Apollon _Dêlios_ and _Lykêgenês_ were not understood. The
Phenician origin of the Irish, asserted in clerical chronicles of the
middle ages, only rests on a false derivation of the Irish word _fena_,
pl. _fion_, ‘beautiful, agreeable.’ Even the savage tribes of America
are misled by a false etymology to call the Michabo, the Kadmos of the
Red Indians (from _michi_ ‘great’ and _wabos_ ‘white’), a White
Hare.[732] Falsely interpreted names of towns most frequently cause the
invention of fables. How fanciful the operation of popular etymology is
in the case of local names is observable in many such names when
translated into another language. By the lake of Gennesereth lies
Hippos, the district surrounding which was called Hippene. This word in
Phenician denoted a harbour, and is found not only in Carthaginian
territory as the name of the See of St. Jerome, but also as the name of
places in Spain. The Hebrew chôph ‘shore,’ and the local names Yâphô
(Jaffa) and Ḥaifâ, are unquestionably related to it. But the Greeks
regarded it from a Grecian point of view, and thought it meant
Horse-town. Did not they call ships sea-horses, and attribute horses to
the Sea-god? Then, the Arabs directly translated this ἵππος Hippos into
ḳalʿat al-Ḥuṣân: ḥuṣân being _horse_ in modern Arabic.[733] The Persian
town Rey was made the subject of a fable, which I mention here partly
because it exhibits some similarity with the subject of the ‘Tower of
Babel.’ The Persian chroniclers relate,[734] that the old king Keykâvûs
had a chariot constructed, by which, after various preparations, he
intended to ascend to heaven. But God commanded the wind to carry the
king into the clouds. Arrived there, he was dashed down again, and fell
into the sea of Gurgân. Keychosrau, son of Shâwush, coming to that
coast, employed the same chariot to convey him to Babylon. When he came
to the locality of the modern Rey, people said, bireyy âmed Keychosrau,
‘on a chariot came Keychosrau.’ He caused a city to be built at this
place, which was called Rey, because a chariot is so called in

Granting all this, it is generally only accessory features added to the
main stem of the story that owe their origin to a mistaken attempt at
etymologising. The existence and first origin of an entire story can
scarcely be produced by an unsatisfactory etymology. With regard to the
Hebrew stories, in which etymologising plays a considerable part, the
same rule is, generally speaking, to be observed. There also the story
is enriched in details by etymological attempts suggested later. But it
is not brought into life in the first instance by this factor. On the
contrary, as a connexion must be discovered between the name and the
circumstances of its bearer, and the original mythical relation between
them has been long lost to memory, features quite foreign to the name
itself, but characteristic of the story, are sometimes brought into
etymological connexion with the name and fitted on to the story. From
this source emanates the striking insufficiency of many of these
etymological explanations, _e.g._ of the interpretation of Abhrâhâm by
Abh hâmôn ‘Father of a multitude,’ and Nôach (Noah) by nicham ‘to
comfort.’ In the Hebrew Myth of Civilisation, Noah is the most prominent
founder of agriculture and inventor of agricultural implements;
consequently it is he that procures comfort for men against the curse
imposed on the soil. This feature is not etymologically expressed in the
name Noah; but the later formation of the story about him invented a
false etymology, in order to connect it with the name. The case is the
same with the story of the Languages, in which Bâbhel is derived from
bâlal ‘to mix.’ The etymology relates quite as frequently to a very
subordinate feature in the story, as for instance in the interpretation
of most of the names of Jacob’s sons in Gen. XXIX, XXX, or in the
derivation of the name Ḳayin (Cain) from ḳânâ ‘to gain.’ Sometimes,
lastly, the etymon is given correctly, while its original relation to
the person bearing the name is lost with the loss of the mythical
consciousness. In such cases there frequently arises a new feature of
the story. Thus, for instance, it is quite correctly affirmed that
Yiṣchâḳ (Isaac) comes from ṣâchaḳ ‘to laugh:’ but it is no longer
understood that the word designates the ‘Laughing one’ (the Sun), and so
the laughter of the aged mother to whom the birth of a son is announced
beforehand, or the laughter of other people on hearing the announcement,
is introduced. In the etymology of the name Yaʿaḳôbh (Jacob) both the
etymon and that to which it refers (ʿâḳêbh ‘heel’) are correctly
preserved, not however without the introduction of a foreign
etymological element (ʿiḳḳêbh ‘to cheat’), which became prominent in the
subsequent development of the story. The same phenomenon also appears on
the domain of the Arabian stories, a region of Semitism which has still
to be explored for mythological questions. I have no doubt that the
genealogical tables of the Arabs contain names which will be discovered
by sound etymology to be Solar designations. This seems to me, for
example, to be the case with Hâshim. The story that he and his
twin-brother ʿAbd Shams were born with their foreheads joined together,
or with the forehead of one joined to the hand of the other,[736]
resembles the myths of the birth of Jacob and Esau, and of that of Perez
and Zerah.[737] It was worked out with an object during the later
dynastic rivalry between the Hâshimites and Ummayads (descendants of
ʿAbd Shams). But Hâshim is ‘the Breaker,’ thus answering perfectly to
Pereṣ (Perez) or Gideʿôn. When the mythical consciousness was lost, a
story bearing an obviously apocryphal character was fabricated to give
it an etymology. It is this. On occasion of a famine resulting from a
bad harvest, Hâshim went to Syria, where he had a quantity of bread
baked. This he put into large sacks, loaded his camels with it, and took
it to Mekka. There _hashama_, _i.e._ he broke up the bread into bits,
sent for butchers, and distributed it among the people of Mekka.
Therefore, it is said, he was called Hâshim, ‘the Breaker.’[738] We have
here the very same process in the history of etymology which we had
occasion to observe in the etymological explanation of Biblical names.
Thus, as is obvious in the above-quoted Hebrew examples, it must be
admitted that the later etymological conception frequently forced itself
into the foreground so much as to obtain recognition as a portion of the
narrative.[739] But no entire story, such as that of the Confusion of
Tongues at Babel, can be proved to have been formed upon no other basis
than an indifferent etymology. So we may with confidence hold to the
above-suggested occasion for the origin of this story of the variety of
languages. There is good ground for hoping that before very long the
recently discovered mythical texts of the Assyrian and Babylonian
literature will pour an increasing flood of light on the question
discussed in this chapter. The richness of the stores contained in the
two latest works of the meritorious scholar George Smith—‘Assyrian
Discoveries: an account of exploration and discoveries’ (1876), and ‘The
Chaldean Account of Genesis’ (1876)—allow us to entertain the best hopes
of this result. It is greatly to be desired that an unprejudiced
conception of the matter of Hebrew mythic stories may be promoted by
these discoveries. But to attain to the result of true freedom from old
errors, it is essential to put away all fears, and to be guided solely
and simply by the interests of the Holiest of Holies, namely, scientific
truth, in forming a judgment on the priority or simultaneous origin of
such stories in different nations.


Footnote 713:

  See Supplement to the Augsburg _Allgemeine Zeitung_ of June 19, 1874.

Footnote 714:

  I will here cite a passage of Ibn Chaldûn, although not decisive on
  questions like the present: ‘Know that the Persians and Indians know
  nothing of the Ṭûfân (deluge); some Persians say that it took place
  only at Babylon.’ (History, vol. II.) Edward Thomas, in the _Academy_,
  1875, p. 401, quotes a passage of al-Bîrûnî, in which it is said that
  the Indians, Chinese and Persians have no story of a Deluge, but that
  some say that the Persians know of a partial deluge. Burnouf believed
  the idea of a Deluge to be originally foreign to Indian mythology, and
  to have been borrowed, probably from Chaldaic sources (_Bhâgavata
  Purâṇa_, III. XXXI., LI.). A. Weber (in the _Indische Studien_, Heft
  2, and on occasion of a critique of Nêve’s writings on the Indian
  story of the Deluge, in the _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1851, V. 526)
  declares himself in favour of the indigenousness of the Indian story,
  in opposition to Lassen and Roth, who agree with Burnouf.

Footnote 715:

  The similarities and differences of the respective stories of the
  Deluge are lucidly placed side by side by George Smith in _The
  Chaldean Account of Genesis_, p. 286 _et seq._

Footnote 716:

  Tuch, _Commentar über die Genesis_, 1st ed. 1838, p. 149; 2nd ed.
  1871, p. 47.

Footnote 717:

  _Academy_, 1873, no. 77. col. 292.

Footnote 718:

  See _Westminster Review_, April 1875, p. 486.

Footnote 719:

  _Geschichte des Alterthums_, 4th ed. 1874, I. 186.

Footnote 720:

  _The Chaldean Account of Genesis_, pp. 60–112.

Footnote 721:

  Consult also Dr. Jacob Auerbach’s article _Ueber den ersten Vers der
  Genesis_ in Geiger’s _Zeitsch. für Wissenschaft und Leben_, 1863, Bd.
  II. p. 253, who, I now see, comes very near to these ideas, but does
  not express them fully or clearly.

Footnote 722:

  This view is expounded by Kuenen in his _Religion of Israel_, II. 156.

Footnote 723:

  This appears to be Bunsen’s opinion: _God in History_, I. 101.

Footnote 724:

  See Max Müller’s essay _Genesis and the Zend-Avesta_ (_Chips_, I. 143
  _et seqq._). The Dutch scholar Tiele occupies nearly the same position
  as Spiegel on this question, which he discusses fully in his book _De
  Godsdienst van Zarathustra_, Haarlem 1864, p. 302 _et seq._

Footnote 725:

  _Les Ruines_, XX. 13. System.

Footnote 726:

  I must mention a third view on the concurrence of the Hebrew with the
  Aryan story of the primeval age; it is that which was first declared
  by Ewald in his _History of Israel_, I. 224 _et seqq._, and is adopted
  by Lassen and Weber among the Germans, and by Burnouf and (with some
  hesitation) Renan among the French. In this view the coincidences in
  the respective primitive stories are to be accounted for by common
  prehistoric traditions which the Aryans and the Semites formed in
  their original common dwelling-place concerning primeval history.
  Renan speaks shortly on the subject in his _Histoire gén. des Langues
  sémitiques_, pp. 480 _et seq._

Footnote 727:

  _Naturgeschichte der Sage_, I. 8.

Footnote 728:

  _Die religiösen, politischen und socialen Ideen der Asiatischen
  Culturvölker, etc._, edited by M. Lazarus, Berlin 1872, p. 590.

Footnote 729:

  _Commentar zur Genesis_, 1st ed. 1838, p. 200; 2nd ed. 1871, p. 157.

Footnote 730:

  It should be observed that in the postexilian imitation of this sermon
  of castigations (now called in the Synagogue tôkhâchâ) in Lev. XXVI.
  14–43, the circumstance that the people would be carried off by an
  enemy ‘whose language they understood not’ is omitted. Other points in
  the tôkhâchâ of Leviticus indicate that it was imagined by one who had
  a knowledge of the Captivity; so e.g. the especial accentuation of
  residence in the land of an enemy, as in vv. 32, 36, 38, 39.

Footnote 731:

  George Smith, _The Chaldean Account of Genesis_, pp. 158 _et seqq._

Footnote 732:

  Fiske, _Myths and Myth makers_, pp. 71, 154. See Tylor, _Primitive
  Culture_, I. 357 _et seq._

Footnote 733:

  From Sepp’s _Jerusalem und das heilige Land_, II. 157.

Footnote 734:

  In Yâḳût, _Geogr. Dictionary_, II. 893. The explanation of the name
  Thakîf in Yâḳût, III. 498, quite reminds one of the Old Testament way
  of giving etymologies of names.

Footnote 735:

  See some useful quotations in L. Löw’s _Beiträge zur jüd.
  Alterthumskunde_, Szegedin 1875, II. 388; and very interesting
  references in Pott’s _Wilhelm von Humboldt und die
  Sprachwissenschaft_, Berlin 1876, p. CIX. _et seq._

Footnote 736:

  _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1853, VII. p. 28.

Footnote 737:

  See supra, pp. 133, 183.

Footnote 738:

  Ibn Dureyd, _Kitâb al-Ishtîḳâḳ_, ed. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen 1853, p. 9.

Footnote 739:

  See Ewald, _History of Israel_, I. 19 _et seq._



                            A. (_Page 30._)
                         _Agadic Etymologies._

In another direction also the Agâdâ is wont to supply the omissions of
the Scripture. In passages where the Bible itself gives no reason for
the choice or origin of a name, the Agâdâ quite independently gives its
own etymological reason: this peculiarity occurs excessively often (e.g.
in the etymology of the name Miriam in the Midrâsh to the Song of Songs,
II. 12, that of the names of the two mid wives Shiphrah and Puah, who in
addition are identified with Jochebed and Miriam, in the Talmûd Bab. tr.
Sôṭâ, fol. 11. b, etc.).[740] Here I will bring forward out of a great
number of instances one which affords an opportunity of exhibiting an
interesting coincidence between the Jewish and the Mohammedan Agâdâ, and
affords a proof how extensive and how far-reaching into the smallest
detail are the loans taken by the Mohammedan from the Rabbinical
theologians, and on the other hand how independently and how completely
in an Arabian spirit these borrowed treasures were worked up.

In Gen. XLVI. 21, Benjamin’s sons are enumerated without any
etymological observations. The Agâdâ supplies the deficiency, and puts
every one of the names of Joseph’s nephews into connexion with
Benjamin’s melancholy remembrance of his lost brother. The
interpretations in question are contained in the Talmûd and Midrâsh; and
they are found in a different, but probably the most original form in
the Targûm Jerus. on the passage; and it is sufficient to refer to this.
According to this, Benjamin named his ten sons ʿal perishûthâ de-Yôsêph
achôhî ‘for the separation from his brother Joseph:’ thus Belaʿ,
‘because Joseph was devoured-away (i.e. _torn away_) from him,’
de-ithbelaʿ minnêh: Bekher, ‘because Joseph was his mother’s
first-born,’ bukhrâ de-immêh: Ashbêl, ‘from the captivity into which
Joseph fell,’ de-halakh be-shibhyâthâ: Gêrâ, ‘because Joseph had to live
as a stranger in a foreign land,’ de-ithgar be-arʿâ nukhrâʾâ: Naʿamân,
‘because Joseph was charming and dear to him,’ da-hawâ nâʿîm we-yaḳḳîr:
Êchî, ‘because he was his brother (achôhî):’ Rôsh, because he was the
most excellent in his father’s house: Muppîm, because he was sold to the
land Môph (Egypt): Chuppîm, because Benjamin had exactly reached the age
of eighteen years, that of maturity for marriage (chuppâh) in men:[741]
Ard, from yârad ‘to go down,’ because Joseph had to go down to Egypt.

The Arabic pendant to this Agâdâ I found in a book Zahr al-kimâm fî
ḳiṣṣat Yûsuf ʿaleyhi al-salâm, by the learned Mâlikite ʿOmar b. Ibrâhîm
al-Ausî al-Anṣârî. It is the same book as Ḥâjî Chalfâ quotes (V. 381,
no. 11386) by the name Majâlis ḳiṣṣat Yûsuf,[742] although the
commencement given by him does not agree with the initial words of our
Codex (No. 7 of the Supplement, in the Leipzig University Library). The
book is divided into seventeen majâlis, or sessions—an arrangement not
uncommon in Arabic works of a hortatory character or touching on
religious knowledge. Each mejlis contains a portion of the life of
Joseph, always introduced by a verse of the Ḳorân, and abundantly mixed
with poems and other episodes and intermezzos. It is an instructive
source for the legend of Joseph among the Mohammedans. It would take us
too far from the subject if I were to give a full characterisation of
the book. I will therefore only mention that it betrays a close relation
to the Jewish legend, and that the author generally gives frequent
occasion for the conjecture that the Bible and the Jewish tradition were
not strange to him or to the sources from which he drew. But everything
appears here curiously altered. For example, the cry of Isaac when
deceived, ‘The voice is the voice of Jacob, but the hands are the hands
of Esau’ (Gen. XXVII. 22), is there given (fol. 5 _recto_) thus: al-lams
lams ʿAysau w-al-rîḥ rîḥ Yaʿḳûb ‘the touch is the touch of Esau, but the
smell is the smell of Jacob’ (see Gen. XXVII. 27). The passage with
which we have to do here occurs fol. 149 _recto_.

The scene is the brothers’ dinner in Joseph’s house. Each sits beside
his full brother; Benjamin alone has none, and begins to weep bitterly.
Then Joseph approaches him, and after a long dialogue makes himself
known to Benjamin as his full brother, and talks with him. Afterwards
Joseph asks him, ‘Youth, hast thou a wife?’ ‘Yes,’ replies Benjamin.
‘And children?’ ‘I have three sons.’ ‘What name gavest thou to the
eldest?’ ‘Ḏîb (Wolf).’ ‘And why didst thou choose this name?’ ‘Because
my brothers were of opinion that a wolf had devoured my brother, and I
wished to have a memento of the catastrophe.’ ‘And what didst thou call
the second?’ ‘I named him Dam (Blood).’ ‘And wherefore?’ ‘Because my
brothers brought a coat dipped in blood, and I wished to preserve the
memory of it.’ ‘And what is thy third son’s name?’ ‘Yûsuf, that my
brother’s name may not be forgotten.’

But even names whose etymology occurs in the Bible itself are provided
by the Agâdâ with new etymological explanations: so e.g. Yiṣchâḳ, is
explained by yâṣâ or yêṣê chôḳ ‘A statute has gone or will go

                             B. (Page 34.)
                  _A Hermeneutical Law of the Agâdâ._

The hermeneutic principle to which we have referred in the text,
although not so well known to the Agadists as it was in other circles
(for they have nowhere expressly declared it), is to be traced
throughout their whole conception of Scripture. It is the principle that
_the intensity of the sense of a word increases with the enlargement of
its from_. This law was also set up by the Greek etymologists, and
applied even to the point of pedantry by one of the oldest grammarians,
Tryphon.[744] With the Arabic grammarians it controls the entire
grammatical field: ziyâdet al-lafẓ (al-binâ) tadullu ʿala ziyâdet
al-maʿna ‘the increase of the word (the form) points to increase of the
meaning.’ In Agadic exegesis also it is often accepted as a valid rule
of Scriptural interpretation. In the case of reduplicated forms
especially, the reduplicated indicates a fuller concept than the
unreduplicated: e.g. lêbhâbh compared with lêbh (both denoting ‘heart’)
is treated as signifying a ‘double heart,’ comprising the good and the
evil impulse (yêṣer ṭôbh and yêṣer hâraʿ: Sifrê on Deuter. VI. 5. § 32).
So also in shephîphôn compared with shephî, the doubled _ph_ is supposed
to point to an enlargement of the signification.

But this word shephîphôn contains besides the reduplication of a radical
letter an affix _ôn_. This affix is also generally brought into
connexion with an enlargement of the signification, exactly as is done
by the interpreters of the Ḳorân with the corresponding Arabic affix
_ân_.[745] An example from the Agâdâ is as follows: in Berêshîth rabbâ,
sect. 97, Yôsê b. Chalaphtâ says, 'The labours of bread-winning are
double as laborious as the labours of child-birth, for of these it is
said "With pain (beʿeṣebh) thou shalt bear children" (Gen. III. 16),
while of those it is said, "With painfulness (beʿiṣṣâbhôn) thou shalt
enjoy it [its fruits] all the days of thy life"' (_ib._ v. 17). Hence
the _ôn_ affixed to ʿeṣeb is taken to indicate a doubling of the pain;
just as the _ôn_ added to shephî in shephîphôn denoted lameness in both

                            C. (_Page 100_.)
                     _Pools and Whips of the Sun._

There is no doubt that the ancient idea which associates Pools with the
rising and the setting sun was based on the conception that the rising
sun emerged from water and the setting sun sank into water. In later
times, when the original mythical circumstances had lost their
clearness, the conception of the Sun’s Pools underwent a considerable
modification. On this subject we must notice two different conceptions,
both of which sound quite mythical, which are preserved in the Jewish
and Arabic tradition. One of these supposed that the Sun exhibited such
an eagerness for the performance of his work, that the whole world would
be set on fire if its consequences were not moderated by various means
for cooling down the heat; and these means are the Pools of the Sun. In
the Midrâsh on Ecclesiastes, I. 6, it is said: ‘It is reported in the
name of Rabbi Nâthân that the ball of the Sun is fixed in a reservoir
with a pool of water before him; when he is about to go forth he is full
of fire, and God weakens his force by that water, that he may not burn
up the whole world.’ A similar account is found in the Shôchêr ṭôbh on
Ps. XIX. 8, and in the same Midrâsh on v. 8 the Talmudic theory of the
_upper waters_ (mayîm hâ-ʿelyônîm, which are said to be above the
heaven) is brought into connexion with this idea. Another conception is
diametrically opposite to this. According to this view, the Sun at first
resists the performance of his business, and is only moved to do it by
force and violent measures. In the Midrâsh Êkhâ rabbâ, Introduction, §
25, the Sun himself complains that he will not go out till he has been
struck with sixty whips, and received the command ‘Go out, and let thy
light shine.’ Among the Arabs the poet Umayyâ b. Abî-ṣ-Ṣalt discourses
at length on the compulsion which must be exerted on the Sun before he
is willing to bestow the benefit of his light and warmth on mortals:

 W-ash-shamsu taṭlaʿu kulla âchiri leylatin * ḥamrâʾa maṭlaʿu launihâ
     Taʾba falâ tabdû lanâ fî raslihâ * illâ muʿaḏḏabatan wa-illâ
 ‘The Sun rises at the close of every night * commencing red in colour,
    slowly advancing.
   He refuses, and appears not to us during his delay * until he is
      chastised, until he is whipped.’[746]

According to the tradition of ʿIkrimâ seven thousand angels are daily
occupied with keeping the Sun in order.[747] The first conception also
is represented in Mohammedan tradition. A sentence of tradition quoted
by al-Suyûṭî (Tashnîf al-samʿ bi-taʿdîd al-sabʿ)[748] says that the Sun
is pelted every day with snow and ice by seven angels, that his heat may
not destroy the earth. This mode of cooling is the Mohammedan equivalent
for the Pool of the Sun. Mohammedan tradition speaks, moreover, also of
a Pool of the Moon.[749]

                            D. (_Page 100._)
                    _Solar Myth and Animal-Worship._

The Egyptian animal-worship, indeed animal-worship in general, can only
be traced back to mythical conceptions, which, when the myth passed into
theology and the true understanding of it became rare and then ceased
altogether, gained a new meaning quite different from the original.
Animal-worship is accordingly one of the sources for the discovery of
mythological facts. This is especially the case with the Egyptian
animal-worship, which, as Plutarch (_De Iside et Osiride_, c. VIII.)
says of the religion of the Egyptians, is founded _par excellence_ on
αἰτία φυσική, since the same impulse which is reflected in the
figurative portion of the Hieroglyphic system of writing led the
Egyptians to employ animals in mythology with equal profuseness. Thus,
e.g. the often discussed Cat-worship of the Egyptians is traced back to
one point of their Solar myth. The old Egyptian myth unquestionably
called the Sun the Cat; of which a clear trace is left in the XVIIth
chapter of the Book of the Dead.[750] Like the Sun, says Horapollo, the
pupil of the cat’s eye grows larger with the advance of day, till at
noon it is quite round; after which it gradually decreases again. The
Egyptian myth imagined a great cat behind the Sun, which is the pupil of
the cat’s eye. In the later Edda (I. 96, Gylf. 24) also Freya is said to
drive out with two cats to draw her car. In the above-quoted chapter of
the Book of the Dead, which Brugsch, who cites the passage of Horapollo,
analyses in an interesting essay,[751] it is frequently said that the
cat is frightened by a scorpion which approaches on the vault of heaven,
intending to block the way of the cat and cover its body with dirt.
Brugsch identifies the scorpion with _Sin_; but to me it seems more
probable that we have here an echo of the old myth of the Cat, i.e. a
Solar myth, in which the Sun does battle against the Dragon or
serpentine monster that obscures or devours him. Instead of the mythical
expression, that Darkness covers up the Sun, it is said here that ‘The
Dragon of storms or night covers the Cat’s body with dirt.’

I mention here this important argument affecting the origin of
animal-worship, not on account of the Cat, but in order to point to an
element of the Egyptian animal-worship which hangs together with the
mythical mode of regarding the Sun which has been more fully worked out
in the text—that he sinks into the water in the evening, so as to come
to land again in the morning. It is well known that in many parts of
Egypt the Crocodile enjoyed divine honours. Now this worship appears to
be connected with the fact that in the above respect the Crocodile is,
so to speak, a mythological hieroglyph of the Sun, and doubtless figured
in the Solar myth as a designation of the Sun. The Crocodile passes the
greater part of the day on the dry land, and the night in the water.
Herodotus (II. 68) says, τὸ πολλὸν τῆς ἡμέρης δίατριβει ἐν τῷ ξηρῷ, τὴν
δὲ νύκτα πᾶσαν ἐν τῷ ποταμῷ. Plutarch shows admirable tact, especially
in his sober intelligence in relation to the mythical use made of living
creatures that abide in the water or grow up out of it, and consequently
understands the relation of the Lotus-flower to the Sun in this sense:
οὕτως ἀνατολὴν ἡλίου γράφουσι τὴν ἐξ ὑγρῶν ἡλίου γινομένην ἄναψιν
αἰνιττόμενοι (_De Iside et Osiride_, c. XI.). Yet in treating of the
Crocodile he strangely heaps hypothesis upon hypothesis (_ibid._ c.
LXXV.), and exhibits superior insight only in so far as he endeavours to
find in the nature of the Crocodile the origin of the worship paid to
it, whereas Diodorus is satisfied with the utilitarian explanation that
the Crocodile keeps robbers at a distance from the Nile (I. 89). But on
this point he does not, as on many others, hit the nail on the head.

The reverse of the Crocodile-worship is that of the Ichneumon in the
country now called Fayûm. According to the classical reporters, this
animal was sacred to Buto, who was identified with the Leto of the
Greeks. Now Max Müller (_Chips etc._ II. p. 80) has convincingly proved
Leto or Latona to be one of the names of the Night. The Ichneumon,
accordingly, is likewise a mythical designation of the Night in its
relation to the Sun (Cat, Crocodile); for the special characteristic of
the Ichneumon, with which the worship paid to it is connected, is its
peculiar hostility to cats and crocodiles.

The part played by the Cow also in animal-worship must be traced back to
the Solar myth as its primary origin. It is well known that one of the
very commonest appellations of the Sun in mythology is this—the Cow. The
Sun’s rays are described as the Cow’s milk; especially in the Vedas this
is one of the most familiar conceptions. The worship of the Scarabeus
among the Egyptians must also be based on a close connexion with the
Solar myth, although the point of attachment to that mythological group
is not obvious in this case to us, who are so far removed from the
mythical mind. However, even Plutarch[752] endeavours to discover some
point of similarity which might serve as _tertium comparationis_, and
finds it in the Scarabeus’ mode of generation.

The animal-worship was not based upon any experience of the usefulness
or hurtfulness of the animals, but always stands in close connexion with
the Solar myth, of which it is only a theological and liturgical
development. This is most conspicuously evident from the fact that,
besides real existing animals, there were also imaginary ones that
received divine honours, and played a very prominent part, as, for
example, the Phenix. But this word also is only an ancient mythical
designation of the Sun. The Phenix is ‘a winged animal with red and
golden feathers;’[753] a description of the Sun from the mythical point
of view, as must be sufficiently obvious from what was expounded on p.
116. The Phenix comes every five hundred years—at the end of each great
Solar period. When the myth-creating stage had been overpassed, and the
name Phenix disappeared from the inventory of names of the Sun, the
word, surviving the myth itself, and the remains of a misunderstood
mythical conception attached to the word, might produce the superstition
of the real existence of the bird Phenix. And it is these very remains
that permit and render possible the reconstruction of the mythical
significance.[754] Even religious usages may have their source in the
ancient mythical circle of ideas. From Herodotus we learn that the
Egyptians were forbidden to sacrifice or eat the Cow, but that the Ox
was not so protected.[755] This is closely connected with mythical
ideas. To the Cow, whose milk and horns are the mythical representatives
of the rays, whether of the Sun or of the Moon, extensive divine
veneration could more naturally be paid than to the Ox, who less
perfectly exhibits what the myth tells of the Sun, inasmuch as he has
not the milk; and the veneration would naturally carry with it the idea,
that it was forbidden either to kill or to eat of the sacred animal.

                            E. (_Page 109._)
                          _The Sun as a Well._

To the mythical conception discussed in the text, which regards the Sun
as an Eye, must be added another parallel view, that of the Sun as a
_Well_. Language and myth here show remarkable uniformity, which helps
the identification. Many languages have the same name for Well and Eye,
as if they followed the mathematical law that when two things are each
equal to a third, they are equal to each other. So it is in Semitic
(ʿayin, ʿayn, etc.); in Persian tsheshm and tsheshmeh; in Chinese ian,
which word denotes both _well_ and _eye_. The thirty-four wells near
Bunarbashi, which was formerly believed to be the site of the Homeric
Ilion, are called by the people, using a round number, ‘the forty
_eyes_.’ For the Sun is not only a seeing eye, but also a flowing well.
It is possible that the _weeping eye_, which is actually a flowing well
(see Jer. VIII. 23 [IX. 1] we-ʿênay meḳôr dimʿâ ‘would that my eyes were
a fountain of tears’), may serve to mediate between the two senses.
Heinrich Heine, in his ‘Nordsee-cyclus’ (‘_Nachts in der Kajüte_’) says:

               From those heavenly eyes above me,
               Light and trembling sparks are falling...
               O ye heavenly eyes above me!
               Weep yourselves into my spirit,
               That my spirit may run over
               With those tears so sweet and starry.[756]

Freya, an acknowledged solar figure, whose car is drawn by cats, weeps
_golden tears_ for her lost husband.[757] Here the tears of the Sun’s
eye are his golden rays.

The Sun being a Well, the light of his rays is the moisture that flows
from the well. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead the Sun is called râ pu
num âtef nuteru ‘the Sun, _the primitive water_, the father of the
gods.’[758] Lucretius (_De Rerum Natura_, V. 282) calls the Sun

         Largus item _liquidi_ fons _luminis_, aetherius, Sol,
         _Inrigat_ assidue coelum candore recenti,

‘who fructifies the heaven with ever-new brilliancy.’ The same view
prevails also on Semitic ground. In Hebrew and Arabic the root nâhar
denotes equally ‘to flow’ and ‘to shine.’ Nâhâr (Heb.), nahar (Ar.), is
‘a river,’ nahâr (Ar.) ‘the brightness of the sun by day.’ In
ʿAbd-al-Raḥmân al-Asadî’s poem in defence of the tribe of Asad against a
satire of Ibn Mayyâdâ of the tribe of Murr, the setting of the Sun is
called inṣibâbuhâ[759] ‘his pouring himself out,’ his condition when he
has poured forth all his rays:

 If the Sun’s rays belonged to one tribe, * then his shining-forth and
    his concealment would belong to us;
 But he belongs to God, who holds command over him; * to His power belong
    both his rising and his effusion of himself.

 Walau anna ḳarna-sh-shamsi kâna li-maʿsharin * lakâna lanâ ishrâḳuhâ
 Walâkinnahâ lillâhi yamliku amrahâ * li-ḳudratihi iṣʿaduhâ wanṣibâbuhâ.

The poet Ṭarafâ, to express the idea that the Sun _lends_ or _spends_
his rays, uses the verb to ‘give to drink’ (saḳat-hu iyât ush-shamsi,
Muʿallaḳâ, v. 9.), and the same idiom is used of the light of the stars.
The word kaukab, which in Semitic generally denotes _star_, also
signifies a well-spring, e.g. ‘and may no well-spring (kaukab) irrigate
the pasture’ (_Aġânî_, XI. 126. 15). Compare a passage in the
introduction to the Commentary on the Ḳorân called al-Kashshâf by
Zamachsharî (de Sacy, _Anthologie gramm. ar._ p. 120. 8, text), where
the two significations of the word occur close together. To this place
belongs also a sentence delivered by Rabbi Ami in the Babylonian Talmûd,
Taʿanîth, fol. 7 b. He explains the words al-kappayîm kissâôr in Job
XXXVI. 32, thus: ‘On account of the sin of their hands he (God) holds
back the rain,’ as by ‘light’ rain must be meant (ên ôr ellâ mâṭâr), and
gives the same interpretation of the word ôr ‘light’ in another passage,
Job XXXVII. 11, ‘he also loads the cloud with moisture, _spreads abroad
the cloud of his rain_’ (yâphîṣ ʿanan ôrô). But of what fluid the rays
of the heavenly bodies are composed is not fixed and determined by the
myth. In the Vendidad, XXI. 26, 32, 34, ‘the Sun, moon, and stars are
rich in _Milk_.’ No less frequent is the idea that the heavenly bodies
_make water_.[760] This latter view of the Sun’s rays as a liquid is
remarkably reflected in the Hungarian language; and I will therefore
note some facts relating to the subject, which will be interesting to
the investigators of Comparative Mythology. It is especially noteworthy
that in old Hungarian the word hugy, which in the modern language means
only ‘urine,’ was employed for ‘star.’ In the Legend of St. Francis, an
ancient document of the Hungarian language, the Latin _stellarum cursus_
is translated _hugoknak folyása_ 'the flowing of the _hugyok_.' To the
same root belong probably some proper names also, collected by Rev. Aron
Szilády (_Magyar Nyelvőr_, I. 223), e.g. Hugdi, Hugod, Hugus (which
should be read Hugydi, Hugyad, Hugyos), which must surely signify
‘shining,’ _fényes_. The same view of light as a fluid is also preserved
in the later language, in which with sugár ‘ray’ the verb ömlik ‘to pour
itself out’ is employed, as in many other languages.

                            F. (_Page 113._)
                           _Cain in Arabic._

The names of the first brothers in the Biblical legend of the
Mohammedans are Hâbil and Ḳâbil. Even D’Herbelot (_Bibliothèque
Orientale_, S.V. Cabil) explains: Ḳâbil, ‘Receiver,’ as an Arabic
diversion of the etymon with which the Hebrew text supplies the name,
viz. kânîthî, ‘I have gained or received a man for Jahveh.’ Still we
must doubt whether the name Ḳâbil has any etymological foot-hold in this
group. Nor can it, as Chwolson supposes, be traced to a transcriber’s
error which had been propagated so as to become fixed.[761] It is
founded on a peculiar fancy of the Arabs for putting together pairs of
names. This process may be observed to take place in one of two modes.
First, the Arabs are fond of employing in groups of names various
derivatives of the same root: e.g. they call the two angels of the grave
Munkar and Nekir; the two armies in the story of Alexander Munsik and
Nâsik, a sort of Yâjûj and Mâjûj;[762] and in the story of Joseph the
two Midianites who lifted Joseph out of the pit are Bashshâr and
Bushrâ.[763] To the same category belong Shiddîd and Shaddâd, the two
sons of ʿÂd; Mâlik and Milkân, the sons of Kinânâ.[764] This fancy
passed from legend into actual life, where it often decided the names to
be given to children, e.g. Ḥasan and Ḥuseyn the two sons of ʿAlî, and
larger groups, as the three brothers Nabîh, Munabbih, and Nabahân
(_Aġânî_, VI. 101), Amîn, Maʾmûn, and Mustaʾmin the three sons of the
Khalif Hârûn ar-Rashîd. The practice is observable not only in the names
of contemporaries, but also in genealogical series of names both of
prehistoric and of historic times: e.g. Huzâl b. Huzeyl b. Huzeylâ, a
man belonging to the ʿAdites (_Commentaire historique sur le poëme d’Ibn
Abdoun par Ibn Badroun_, ed. Dozy, Leyden 1848, p. 67. 1 text); the
Thamûdite Ḳudâr b. Ḳudeyrâ (Ḥarîrî, _Mak._ p. 201); Sâṭirûn b. Asṭîrûn
al-Jarmaḳî, builder of the fortress Ḥaḍr, the conquest of which is bound
up with a story full of terrific tragedy (Yâḳût, II. 284. 12), etc. An
interesting example of such grouping of nouns in modern popular rhetoric
occurs in Burton’s _Personal Narrative of a Pilgrimage to Mecca and
Medina_ (II. 146 of the ed. in two vols.). Secondly, in pairing names,
the Arabs are fond of allowing _assonance_ to prevail. So we have Rahâm
and Rayâm, Hârût and Mârût, Hâwil and Ḳâwil, (see Bacher, _ibid._),
Yâjûj and Mâjûj for the Biblical Gôg and Mâgôg. From the last instance
it is evident that the inclination to form assonant pairs of names is
not foreign to the Hebrews; another Hebrew instance is Eldâd and Mêdâd,
and from Talmudical literature Chillêḳ and Billêḳ. The assonance occurs
not only at the end of the words, the initial syllable being
indifferent, but also inversely in the first syllable, the end of the
word being indifferent. An instance of the latter is found in the names
of the orthodox survivors of the ʿAd and Thamûd peoples in the
Mohammedan legend, Jâbalḳ and Jâbars (or Jâbarṣ, see Yâḳût, II. 2; but
certainly not Jabulka and Jabulsa, as Justi writes in the _Ausland_ for
1875, p. 306). Moreover, this love of assonance natural to Arabic
writers extends beyond the proper sphere of Arabic legends to foreign
parts. An instance is found in the Romance of _ʿAntar_, XXIX. 72. 10,
where two Franks, brothers, slain by ʿAntar, are called Saubert and
Taubert. No doubt the writer had heard of Frankish names ending in
_bert_; he had already mentioned a king Jaubert. The tendency to form
such assonant names is so prevalent that the correct sounds of one of
the two are unhesitatingly corrupted for the sake of assonance. This was
the case with Yâjûj and Mâjûj; another well-known instance is the pair
of names Soliman and Doliman for Suleyman and Dânishmand. The Biblical
Saul is called in the Mohammedan legend Ṭâlût, for the sake of assonance
with Jâlût (Goliath).[765] It is also noteworthy that the first species
of assonance is to be observed not only in personal names, but also in
geographical proper names, e.g. Kadâ and Kudeyy, two hills near Mekka
(Yâḳût, IV. 245. 15), Achshan and Chusheyn, also hills (_ibid._ I. 164.
12, and see the proverbs referring to them in al-Meydânî, I. 14. 2);
Sharaf and Shureyf, localities in Nejd (Ibn Dureyd, 127. 15.)

This phonological tendency produced also the name Ḳâbil as an assonant
with Hâbil. The name Ḳayîn ‘Cain’ was originally pronounced by the Arabs
in its Hebrew form, which was particularly easy, because Ḳayn is an old
Arabic proper name.[766] Through the force of assonance Ḳayîn was
changed in the mouth of the people into Ḳâbil, and this form made its
way at a later time into literature and became general. Masʿûdî still
knows the name Ḳayin, and expressly condemns the form Ḳâbil as incorrect
(_Les Prairies d’or_, I. 62); and he quotes a verse from which it
appears that the Biblical etymology from ḳânâ, which is equally
applicable to the Arabic language, is known to him:

 Waḳtanayâ-l-ibna fa-summiya Ḳâyina * wa-ʿâyanâ nashʿahu mâ ʿâyanâ
 Fa-shabba Hâbilu fa-shabba Ḳâyin * wa-lam yakun beynahumâ tabâyun.

 They (Adam and Eve) gained the son; so he was called Ḳâyin, * and they
    saw his growth as they saw it.
 So Hâbil grew up, and Ḳâyin grew up, * and there was no dispute between

The same is also evident from the fact that Mohammedan tradition makes
Ḳâbil live at a place Ḳaneynâ near Damascus (Yâḳût, II. 588. 11), which
can only be explained from its phonetic resemblance to Ḳâyin. Moreover,
the connexion in which Abulfaraj (_Historia Dynastiarum_, p. 8) puts the
invention of musical instruments with the daughters of Cain,[767]
affords evidence for the former employment of the Biblical form of the
name by the Arabs, since this tradition depends upon the Arabic word
ḳaynâ ‘female singer.’

In the Oriental Christian Book of Adam, which Dillmann has translated,
the word Ḳayin is interpreted ‘Hater;’ ‘for he hated his sister in his
mother’s womb, and therefore Adam named him Ḳayin.’ Dillmann justly
conjectures that this idea is suggested by a derivation of the name from
ḳinnê ‘to be jealous of some one.’[768]

                            G. (_Page 116._)
                   _Grammatical Note on Joel II. 2._

I reserved the justification of the use which I made of the verse Joel
II. 2 for a short excursus here. It is well known that in the Semitic
languages the passive participle is frequently used instead of the
active, similarly to the English _possessed of_ instead of _possessing_,
and the German _Bedienter_ for _Bedienender_. In Arabic (in which the
native grammarians call this usage mafʿûl bimaʿna-l-fâʿil) ḥijâb mastûr
‘the _concealed_ curtain,’ is said for ‘the _concealing_,’ sâtir (Ḳorân,
XVII. 47; compare al-Ḥarîrî, 2nd ed., p. 528. 17) etc., in Aramaic achîd
ʿâmartâ ‘the conqueror of the world,’ for âchêd; râphûḳâ ‘digger,’ for
râphêḳ (Talm. Babyl. Sôtâ, 9 b.); in Samaritan kethûbhâ ‘the writer,’
(Le Long, _Bibl. sacra_, p. 117; de Sacy, _Mémoire sur la version arabe
des livres de Moïse_, in the _Mém. de l’Acad. des Inscriptions_, 1808,
p. 16); in later Hebrew lâḳûach ‘buyer’ instead of lôḳêach kephûy ṭôbhâ
‘one who conceals the good he has received,’ hence ‘unthankful’ (see
_supra_, p. 193), instead of kôphe; dôbh chaṭûph ‘a tearing bear,’ for
chôṭêph (Targ. II. Gen. XLIX. 27). So also frequently in Biblical
Hebrew, e.g. aha cherebh ‘holding swords’ for ôchazê, Song of Songs,
III. 8); ʿerûkh milchâmâ ‘arranging battle’ for ʿôrêkh (Joel II. 5,
compare Jer. VI. 23, L. 42, where the verb ʿ-r-kh, when used of drawing
up the lines for battle, is followed by the preposition le; this,
however, can be omitted, as in kôhên meshûach milchâmâ ‘a priest
anointed for war,’ in the Mishna). I put in the same category the
shachar pârûs in the verse now being considered, where in my opinion the
passive pârûs stands for the active pôrês.

But to understand my explanation of the verse it must also be noticed
that verbs which are regularly employed with a certain noun as subject
or object in Hebrew can dispense with the noun, which then is implicitly
included in the verb: a very natural proceeding. If I say, for instance,
‘he clapped,’ the verb contains in itself the notion ‘his hands.’ It is
an elliptic, or rather pregnant construction where a noun is omitted,
similar to that which is used to express motion by a verb not in itself
implying motion;[769] e.g. Num. XX. 26, we-Aharôn yêʾâsêph ûmêth shâm
‘Aaron _was gathered_ [to his fathers or his people] and died there.’
The words ‘and died there,’ render superfluous the complement el ʿammâw
‘to his peoples,’ which is added in v. 24. Similarly with s-ph-ḳ ‘to
clap’ the object kappayîm ‘the hands’ can be omitted (Job XXXIV. 37;
perhaps also Is. II. 6), etc. In the same list I put the pârûs or pôrês
of our passage: kenâphayîm ‘the wings’ or kenâphâw ‘its wings’ being
omitted. The expression ‘the spreading dawn’ is intelligible by itself,
as ‘the dawn that spreads out its wings.’ But the fact that the
complementary object after pârûs could be omitted proves how general was
the conception of the Bird of the Dawn with outstretched wings, which
found this mode of expression.

                            H. (_Page 153._)

The Hungarian language shows how speech wavers in determining the colour
of the rising Sun. The Hungarian word for Dawn, hajnal, is
etymologically related to hó, which means _snow_. Therefore, the former
must have originally denoted ‘the white;’[770] and hajnalpir, ‘the
morning Redness,’ is literally ‘the Redness of the White.’ And the
conception of the _redness_ of the dawn has overcome that which must
have prevailed when the expression hajnal came into use, but which is
now only recognisable by the help of grammatical analysis. This is
evident also from the fact that in the district of Érmellék people of
red complexion are derisively called _hajnal_ (i.e. like the _red dawn_,
but strictly the _white dawn_).[771]

                            I. (_Page 155._)
                _The Sun growing Pale and the Moon Red._

Although, as we have seen, mythology ascribes a reddish as well as a
white colour to the Sun, yet it must be observed that this is so only at
the earliest stage of the myth. A later period prefers to connect the
Sun with the conception of a reddish or yellow colour, leaving the white
to the Moon, as more appropriate. Lâbhân, ‘the white,’ has not fixed
itself in the language as a name of the Sun, whereas its feminine
Lebhânâ has, as a name of the Moon. The conception of colour which the
myth attaches to Sun and Moon is well illustrated by a passage in which
it is said that both Sun and Moon lose their natural colour through
shame, viz., Is. XXIV. 23 wechâpherâ hal-lebhânâ û-bhôshâ ha-chammâ,
‘The moon turns red and the sun pale, for Jahveh of hosts rules on Mount
Zion and in Jerusalem.’ The distribution of the expressions for _shame_,
bôsh and châphar, which elsewhere also stand in parallelism, is here not
arranged haphazard, since the Sun and the Moon are spoken of—objects
which are imagined to be provided with distinct colours of their own—but
must correspond to the natural colours of each. Of _men_ both verbs are
employed without distinction; but ‘making white’ is the prevalent
expression for _putting to shame_, so that in a later age, ‘to make
white the face of a neighbour’ became a fixed formula in that sense
(ham-malbîn penê chabhêrô or achwâr appê, Bâbhâ Meṣîʿâ fol. 58 b;
compare Levy, _Chald. Wörterb._ I. 245 a; II. 173 a), and drove the
‘causing to blush red’ out of the field. The word bôsh for ‘to be
ashamed’ is moreover even in the earlier times commoner than ch-ph-r.
The former denotes ‘to grow white,’ and belongs etymologically to the
same group as the Arabic bâḍ, whence abyad ‘white;’ the latter belongs
to the group of the Arabic ḥ-m-r (with a change of the labials _p_ and
_m_), whence aḥmar ‘red.’ Accordingly, the expression that the Sun bôshâ
‘turns white,’ and the Moon châpherâ ‘turns red’ presupposes the idea of
a reddish sun (Edôm) and a white moon (lebhânâ).

The same relation between the colours of the Sun and the Moon is also
assumed by the old Persian poet Asadî in his ‘Rivalry between Day and
Night,’ a poem to which we had occasion to refer on p. 95. In it Day
says to Night:[772] ‘Although the Sun walks yellow, yet he is better
than the Moon; although a gold-piece is yellow, yet it is better than a
silver groat.’

                            K. (_Page 155._)
                          _Colour of the Sun._

The following is a literal translation of a passage in the Talmûd, which
shows what speculations there were in a late age on the colour of the
Sun, and how, even when the technical terms of language were far
advanced towards settlement, people were by no means clear what idea of
colour was to be attached to the Sun. The passage occurs in the tract
Bâbhâ Bathrâ, fol. 84 a. of the Babylonian Talmûd. To enable the reader
to understand it, I need only premise that it is a discussion on a word
expressing colour, namely, shechamtîth. In the Mishnâ to which this
extract of the Talmûd refers, the following words occur:

Shechamtîth we-nimṣâʾath lebhânâ, lebhânâ we-nimṣâʾath shechamtîth
shenêhem yekhôlîn lachazôr bâhen, ‘When the buyer and the seller have
come to terms about wheat, which is to have the colour shechamtîth, and
the seller delivers white, or _vice versa_, then they can both annul the
sale.’ Now in the Talmûd it is taken for granted that this colour-word
is derived from chammâ ‘sun,’ and means ‘sun-coloured.’

Râbh Pâpâ says, ‘As it is said [that the seller delivers] _white_ [as
the opposite to what was required], it is manifest that the sun is _red_
(sûmaḳtî); and in fact it is red at rising and setting; and it is only
the fault of our vision, which is not powerful enough, that we do not
see it the whole day long of this colour. _Question_: It is said [of one
species of leprosy], _A colour deeper than that of the skin_ (Lev. XIII.
several times), that is the colour of the _sun_, which appears deeper
than that of the shade, whereas the passage manifestly speaks of the
_white_ colour of leprosy? [so that the colour of the sun would be
white.] _Answer_: Both is true of the colour of leprosy: it resembles
the sun-colour insofar as this is deeper than the shade [and this
passage speaks of a species of leprosy in which the colour is deeper
than that of the skin]; but it fails to resemble the sun-colour insofar
as the latter is red while it is itself white. But the putting of the
question [which took for granted the white colour of the sun] assumed
the idea that the [originally white] sun takes a red tint at rising and
setting only because at rising it passes by the roses of the Garden of
Eden, and at setting passes the gates of Gêhinnôm [Hell, and in each
case the red tint of the object passed is reflected on the sun itself].
Some assume the inverse condition [and suppose that the colours which
lie at the opposite side of the heaven—at rising that of Hell, and at
setting that of the roses of Paradise—are reflected on the sun].’

                            L. (_Page 189._)
       _Transformation of Foreign Stories in Mohammedan Legends._

The Mohammedan legends and popular traditions present instances of
borrowing stories which in some foreign cycle of legends are connected
with favourite heroes of that cycle, by substituting for the foreign
heroes those who are well known in Mohammedan tradition. In this manner
many Iranian local traditions and stories were changed and interpreted
in a Mohammedan sense after the subjection of the mind of Îrân to the
dominion of Islâm. This phenomenon meets us at every step in the history
of the religions and stories of the East and West. I will here limit
myself to the quotation of a single instance. The mountain Demâwend in
the region of Reyy plays an important part in the old Iranian story of
the war of the great king Ferîdûn with Zohak Buyurasp; to this mountain
the conqueror of the demons chained the inhuman monster and made it
powerless for evil. Now the Mohammedan cycle of legends borrowed
Suleymân (Solomon) from the Jews, and invested him with the
characteristics which the Agâdâ narrates of the great king of the
Hebrews; which characteristics, by the way, themselves point strongly to
the influence of the Iranian story of Ferîdûn. Among these is especially
to be reckoned the subjection of the demons by the mysterious ring,
which passed from the Agâdâ into the Ḳorân (Sûr. XXI. v. 82) and into
Islamite tradition. When Demâwend had become Mohammedan ground, it had
to divest itself of memories of the old fabled Iranian king. ‘The common
people believe,’ it is said in Yâḳût, II. 607, ‘that Suleymân son of
Dâʾûd chained to this mountain one of the rebellious Satans named Ṣachr,
the Traitor; others believe that Ferîdûn chained Buyurasp to it, and
that the smoke which is seen to issue from a cavern in it is his
breath.’ We learn, moreover, from this note that the original story
still possessed vitality alongside of the transformation. The
preservation of old national memories was promoted partly by the
intellectual movement excited in Îrân by the ‘King’s Book’ (Shâh-nâmeh),
partly by national historians of a remarkable type, who were at the same
time proficient in Arabic philology and interested in the preservation
of old memories of their own nation.[773] Appropriation and
transformation of Greek myths are probably rarer. The case quoted in the
text is an instance of such appropriation, in which the place of the
less-known personages of the Greek myth is occupied by the more familiar
ones of Nimrod and his family. There are, however, also cases in which
the name is changed, although the abandoned one is quite as familiar as
that newly imported into the legend. An instance of this, from Yâḳût’s
_Geographical Dictionary_, IV. 351. 16 _sq._, is as follows. The writer
is speaking of a place called al-Lajûn west of the Jordan, and says: ‘In
the middle of the village of al-Lajûn is a round rock with a dome
(ḳubbâ) over it, which is believed to have been a place of prayer of
Abraham. Beneath the rock is a well with abundant water. It is narrated
that on his journey to Egypt Abraham came with his flocks to this place,
where there was insufficient water, and the villagers begged him to go
on farther, as there was too little water even for themselves; but
Abraham struck his staff against the rock, and water flowed copiously
from it. The rock exists to this day.’ No further examination is needed
to show that this Mohammedan legend is only a transformation of the
Biblical one of Moses striking the rock and providing water for his
thirsty people. Yet Ibrâhim has been substituted for Mûsa, a name
equally familiar to Mohammedan legends.

This miracle of making water gush out by striking a hard substance with
a staff is, moreover, a very favourite one in legends, and is repeated
on other occasions, notably in the legend of King Solomon. It is said
that the well at Lînâ, a watering station in the land of Negd in Arabia,
was dug by demons in the service of Suleymân. For he once, having left
Jerusalem on a journey to Yemen, passed by Lînâ, when his company were
seized with terrible thirst, and could find no water. Then one of the
demons laughed. ‘What makes you laugh so?’ asked Suleymân. The demon
replied, ‘I am laughing at your people being so thirsty, when they are
standing over a whole sea of water.’ So Suleymân ordered them to strike
with their sticks, and water immediately gushed out. (Yâḳût, _ibid._ p.
375. 22 _sq._)

                            M. (_Page 212._)
                             _The Origins._

As an example of this, I may mention that, in opposition to the Biblical
Myth of Civilisation, which brings the planting of the vine into
connexion with Noah, the Rabbinical Agâdâ makes even Adam enjoy the
fruit of the vine, which was the forbidden fruit of Paradise.[774] The
Mohammedan legend names the Canaanitish king Daramshil, contemporary
with Noah, as the first wine-drinker, saying that he was the first who
pressed and drank wine: auwal man-iʿtaṣar-al-chamr washaribahâ.[775] I
also observe in passing that a feature of the Noah-legend of the Arabs
which is mentioned in my article quoted below, viz. longevity, seems to
have a connexion with the old Solar myth. Long life distinguishes the
posterity of Adam in Genesis, and reaches its maximum in Methuselah. The
longevity which in the popular belief, especially in Italy, is ascribed
to the Cuckoo (A. de Gubernatis, p. 519) is accounted for by its solar
character in the myth. Noah’s longevity passed into a by-word in Arabic:
ʿumr Nûḥ ‘the length of life of Noah.’ In the writings of the poet Ruʾbâ
we find—

 Faḳultu lau ʿummirtu ʿumra-l-ḥisli * au ʿumra Nûḥin zaman-al-fiṭaḥli,

‘I said, If I were made to live the lifetime of the lizard or the
lifetime of Noah at the time of the flood.’[776] Marzûḳ al-Mekkî says,
in a poem to Moḥammed al-Amîn: Faʿish ʿumra Nûḥin fî surûrin
wa-ġibṭatin, ‘Live the lifetime of Noah in joy and comfort’ (Aġânî, XV.
67. 4); and similarly Abû-l-ʿAlâ (Saḳṭ al-zand, I. 65. v. 4.):

 Fakun fî-l-mulki yâ cheyra-l-barâyâ * Suleymânan fakun fî-l-ʿumri Nûḥâ.

‘Then be in the government, O best of created beings, a Solomon, and be
in length of life a Noah.’ And we also find in Ḥâfiẓ:[777]

 Come, hand me here the gold-dust, victorious for ever; be it poured,
 That gives us Ḳârûn’s treasures rich _and Noah’s age_ for our reward.

But a collateral reason for Noah being made a special example of
longevity may be found in the South-Semitic signification of the verb
nôch. In Ethiopic Noah is called Nôch, and the verb denotes _longus
fuit_. And in an Ethiopic poem (in Dillmann’s _Chrestomath. Aethiop._,
111. no. 13. v. 1) it is said of Methuselah’s longevity, ôzawahabkô
_nûch_ mawâʿel la-Matûsâlâ.

                            N. (_Page 254._)
      _Influence of National Passion on Genealogical Statements._

The same tendency which among the Hebrews caused the origin of the
Ammonites and Moabites to be referred to the incestuous intercourse of
Lot’s daughters with their father, produced exactly the same result many
centuries later in a different yet related sphere. It is known to
students of the history of the civilisation of Islâm that the best
Persians, despite their subjection to the sceptre of Islâm, strove long
and actively against Arabisation, which they regarded as quite unworthy
of the Persian nation, to them the more talented of the two. This
reaction caused the publication of many literary documents; and produced
especially one very curious and not yet fully appreciated movement,
which originated in the circle of the Shuʿûbîyyâ.[778] In order to
appear as a member of the great family of Islâm of equal birth with the
Arabs, the Persians took care to weave their own early history into the
legends of that religion. This was managed in two ways. _First_, they
were anxious to trace their genealogy to a son of Abraham, so as to
possess a counterpoise to the Arabs and their father Ishmael. Thus it
was managed to refer the non-Arabs to Isaac, with a collateral intention
of representing this descent as nobler than that from Ishmael.[779] And
we also meet with an allegation, in the Kitâb al-ʿayn, that Abraham had
another son besides Isaac and Ishmael, named Farrûch, from whom the
non-Arabs (al-ʿajam) descend.[780] _Secondly_, the genealogical sacred
history is perverted in a sense hostile to the Arabs. Thus, for
instance, Ishmael is not allowed to be the son whom Abraham is about to
sacrifice to Allâh, but Isaac the ancestor of the non-Arabs, as the
Hebrew tradition has it[781]; and the story of the well Zemzem is put
into connexion with Sâbûr the Persian king and with other
reminiscences.[782] In the _Commentaire historique sur le poëme d’Ibn
Abdoun par Ibn Badroun_, published by Prof. Dozy, page 7 of the Arabic
text, we find various assertions relative to the derivation of the
Persians. The majority of these genealogies trace the Persians back by
various ways to Sâm b. Nûḥ (Shem, son of Noah); one derives them from
Joseph, son of Jacob. The ethnological derivation of a nation from Sâm
in the view of the Arabs certainly involves no idea of special
excellence in the nation concerned; for even the enigmatical Nasnâs of
the Arabic fables, a sort of monstrous half-men, half-birds (apes are
also called so in vulgar Arabic), are allowed to have a Semitic
genealogy.[783] But, at all events, no hostile intention lurks in the
pedigree from Sâm. Thus the above genealogies, while possessing no
tendency directly hostile to the Persians, are far from placing that
nation in the foreground, and allow an unexpressed idea of the eminence
of the Arabian nation to shine through. The case is very different with
another derivation propounded in the same passage. This makes the
Persians to belong to the descendants of Lot, their ancestors being the
fruit of his incest with his two daughters. The Samaritans say the same
of the Druses.[784] I believe this genealogy is based on intention
only—like the identical story told by the ancient Hebrews of Ammon and
Moab. A local tradition, existing at Jeyrûd, a village to the north of
Damascus, on the road to Palmyra, speaks of _a tribe of the people of
Lot_ as having dwelt on the ground now covered by a salt lake (Memlaḥa
or Mellâḥa), whose city was destroyed by the wrath of God.[785] This
story perhaps originated in some war of the later Mohammedan population
against the older inhabitants or against Beduins who had taken up an
abode there. It must also be observed that Mohammedan writers exhibit a
prevailing tendency to remove far to the north, to Ḥamâ and Ḥaleb
(Aleppo) in Syria, the muʾtafikâ or maḳlûbâ, i.e. the Sodom of the
Bible. This follows from Yâḳût, III. 59, 124. In the particular case
just mentioned, no doubt the existence of the salt lake cooperated in
the creation of the local tradition (in the language of the Talmûd the
notion of the Yam ḥam-melach ‘Sea of salt’ is greatly generalised and
becomes almost a figure of rhetoric; see the passages in the Tôsâphôth
on Pesâchîm, fol. 28 a. init. ʿAbhôdath); on the lake Yammune on the
north of Lebanon, see Seetzen’s _Reisen_, I. 229, 302, II. 338, referred
to by Ewald, _History of Israel_, I. 314. Similarly a later Arabic local
tradition localised an episode of the Sodom-story on the transjordanic
shore of the Dead Sea. For it is evident that the story of the
conversion of Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt is the source of the
following popular tradition noted by Palmer (_Desert of the Exodus_, p.
483). Not far from the Dead Sea, in the former country of Moab, at a
place called El-Yehûdîyyâ ‘the Jewess,’ there is a great black mass of
basalt, said to have been originally a woman, who was thus changed into
stone as a punishment for having denied the ‘certainty of death’—a
somewhat obscure expression.


Footnote 740:

  I have referred to this in _Zeitschr. d. D. M. G._ 1870, XXIV. 207.

Footnote 741:

  According to Rabbinical views, Âbhôth V, Mishnâ 21.

Footnote 742:

  The author refers on p. 127 _recto_ to his earlier work, _Biġyat
  al-mutaʿallim wa-fâʾidat al-mutakallim_. Ḥâjî Chalfâ does not know
  this book of the author’s.

Footnote 743:

  Berêsh. r. sect. 53; see Beer, _Leben Abraham’s_, p. 168, note 506.

Footnote 744:

  See Steinthal, _Geschichte der Sprachwissenschaft bei Griechen und
  Römern_, p. 342.

Footnote 745:

  See on raḥmân and raḥîm al-Beyḍâwî’s _Comm. in Coranum_, ed.
  Fleischer, 5. 11.

Footnote 746:

  _Kitâb al-aġânî_, IV. 191. My translation differs from Sprenger’s.

Footnote 747:

  Sprenger, _Leben Mohammed’s_, I. 112.

Footnote 748:

  MS. of the Leipzig University Library, Cod. Ref. no. 357.

Footnote 749:

  See Sprenger, _ibid._ p. 111.

Footnote 750:

  See Lenormant, _Premières Civilisations_, I. 359.

Footnote 751:

  _Aegyptische Studien_, in the _Zeitsch. der D. M. G._, X. 683.

Footnote 752:

  _De Iside et Osiride_, c. LXXIV.

Footnote 753:

  Herod. II. 73: τὰ μὲν αὐτοῦ χρυσόκομα τῶν πτερῶν, τὰ δὲ, ἐρυθρά.

Footnote 754:

  On other animals, rather fantastic than mythological, belonging to
  Egyptian antiquity, see Chabas, _Études sur l’antiquité historique_,
  Paris 1873, pp. 399–403.

Footnote 755:

  Herod. II. 41: Τοὺς μέν νυν καθαροὺς βοῦς τοὺς ἔρσενας καὶ τοὺς
  μόσχους οἰ πάντες Αἰγύπτιοι θύουσι· τὰς δὲ θηλέας οὔ σφι ἔξεστι θύειν,
  ἀλλὰ ἱραί εἰσι τῆς Ἴσιος.

Footnote 756:

  E.A. Bowring’s translation of the _Book of Songs_, where the ‘Nordsee’
  is rendered ‘Baltic’!

Footnote 757:

  Later Edda, I. 90, Gylf. 35.

Footnote 758:

  Lepsius, _Aelteste Texte des Todtenbuchs_, Berlin 1867, p. 42.

Footnote 759:

  _Aġânî_ II. 118. 7.

Footnote 760:

  See especially Schwartz, _Sonne, Mond und Sterne_, p. 30 sq.

Footnote 761:

  See Gutschmid in _Zeitschr. d. D.M.G._ 1861, XV. 86.

Footnote 762:

  See W. Bacher’s Nizâmî’s _Leben und Werke_, p. 21.

Footnote 763:

  MS. of the Leipzig University Library, Suppl. 7. fol. 30 _recto_.

Footnote 764:

  Yâḳût. III. 92; Krehl, _Vorislam. Religion des Araber_, p. 12 etc. See
  also Ewald, _History of Israel_, I. 272. note 4.

Footnote 765:

  See Frankel’s _Monatsschrift für jüd. Geschichte_, II. 273. See on
  assonance of names, _Zeitschr. d. D.M.G._ XXI. 593.

Footnote 766:

  E.g. Ḥamâsâ, p. 221; compare _Zeitsch. d. D.M.G._, 1849, III. 177.

Footnote 767:

  See Gutschmid, l.c. p. 87.

Footnote 768:

  In Ewald’s _Jahrb. für bibl. Wissenschaft_, 1853, V. 139. note 53.

Footnote 769:

  _Gesenius, Hebrew Grammar_, edited by Rödiger, § 141; Ewald,
  _Ausführl. Lehrb. der. Heb. Spr._ § 282. c.

Footnote 770:

  Paul Hunfalvy in the monthly magazine _Magyar Nyelvőr_, 1874, III.

Footnote 771:

  Ibid., 1873, II. 179.

Footnote 772:

  Rückert, l.c., p. 62. v. 18.

Footnote 773:

  Such as Ḥamzâ al-Iẓfahânî; compare Yâḳût, I. 292–3, 791. 20; III. 925,
  629. 18 _sq._, IV. 683. 10. and my _Beiträge zur Geschichte der
  Sprachgelehrsamkeit bei den Arabern_, Vienna 1871–3, no. I. p. 45 and
  no. III. p. 26.

Footnote 774:

  Leviticus rabbâ, sect. 12: ôthô hâ-ʿêṣ sheâkhal mimmennû Âdâm
  hâ-rîshôn ʿanâbhîm hâyâh.

Footnote 775:

  Ibn Iyyâs, in the book Badâʿi al-zuhûr fî waḳâʿi al-duhûr, Cairo 1865,
  p. 83: see my article _Zur Geschichte der Etymologie des Namens Nûḥ_
  in _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1870, XXIV. 209.

Footnote 776:

  Ibn al-Sikkît, p. 19, al-Jauharî, s. v. fṭḥl. On the proverbial
  longevity of the lizard see Kâmil, ed. W. Wright, p. 197. 18;
  al-Damîrî, II. 34; al-Jauharî, s. v. ḥsl; Burckhardt’s _Reisen in
  Syrien_, note by Gesenius in the German translation, p. 1077.

Footnote 777:

  Rosenzweig, III. 465.

Footnote 778:

  See A. von Kremer, _Culturgeschichtliche Streifzüge auf dem Gebiete
  des Islams_, Leipzig 1873.

Footnote 779:

  See Kitâb alʿikd, MSS. of the Imperial Hofbibliothek, Vienna, A.F.,
  no. 84, vol. I. pp. 188 _sq._ The data bearing on this subject I have
  collected and published in a essay on the Nationality-question in
  Islâm, written in Hungarian, Buda-Pest 1873.

Footnote 780:

  See al-Nawawî’s _Commentary on Muslim’s Collection of Traditions_, ed.
  Cairo, I. 124.

Footnote 781:

  Compare al-Damîrî Ḥayât al-ḥaywân, II. 316 _sq._

Footnote 782:

  Al-Masʿûdî, _Les Prairies d’or_, II. 148 _sq._; al-Kazwînî, ed.
  Wüstenfeld, I. 199; Yâḳût, Muʿjam, II. 941.

Footnote 783:

  Al-Maḳrîzî, _History of the Copts_, ed. Wüstenfeld, Göttingen 1847, p.

Footnote 784:

  Petermann, _Reisen im Orient_, I. 147.

Footnote 785:

  Kremer, _Mittelsyrien und Damaskus_, p. 194.



                      TWO ESSAYS BY H. STEINTHAL,





                         THE LEGEND OF SAMSON.

                    _THE ORIGINAL FORM OF THE LEGEND
                            OF PROMETHEUS_:


                            By H. STEINTHAL.


The soundness of a new discovery is attested in various ways, but
especially by the circumstance that the new thought is no sooner uttered
in speech than it is seized upon and worked out by others besides its
author; for the thought in question is thus proved to be really the
subject which the intellect of the time is best prepared to take up, and
which will lead on the Past to the Future. This is found to be the case
with Comparative Mythology, Kuhn’s new creation. When a large number of
Vedic Hymns—text, translation, and commentary—first appeared in Europe
through the instrumentality of a German, Rosen (too early lost to
science), Kuhn saw at once not only that they were written in a more
ancient language than the classical Sanskrit, but, what was more
important, that they opened up a source of mythological views which
flowed from a more distant and primeval antiquity than is known to us
anywhere else, and that this was the common source of the more important
myths and figures of gods of the Aryan nations. He then demonstrated
this, in successive essays on Erinnys, Despoina and Athenê, the
Kentaurs, Minos, Orpheus, Hermes, and on Wuotan (Odin) in the German
mythology, by proving the identity of their names and myths with
corresponding ones in the Vedas. Kuhn’s acuteness and skilful
combinations thus established the fact, of the highest importance to
primeval history, that the heathen Aryan nations possessed a belief in
gods, the outlines of which dated from the age of their original unity.
But Kuhn saw also that two further facts followed from the first, one
more important, the other more interesting. By the former I mean the
fact, that the Vedic myths still exist in so primitive a form as to
point to the ground of their own origin, and thus themselves to furnish
their own certain interpretation. The latter is the fact that all
Saga-poetry, whether epic or dramatic, artistic or popular, stands in
connexion with the oldest myths; and further, that the mythological
faith and worship, so far from being extinct even among the civilised
Christian nations of Europe, still lives on in the rural classes of the
population in spirit and practice, as superstition or sometimes as jest,
though of course not without frequent transformations and
disfigurements. This last point, however, had already been discovered by
the genius of Jacob Grimm, who only wanted the support of the Vedas to
become the founder of Comparative Mythology, as he was of Historical
Grammar. But this support was necessary to elevate Comparative Mythology
into a science based on method, and to give sufficient certainty to the
interpretation of myths and gods. The greatest genius—fully entering
into the spirit of the ancient Greeks and Germans, and endowed with a
lively sympathy with nature—could, without the guarantee of the Vedas,
never have produced anything higher than unproved conjectures. It would
have remained impossible to demonstrate the original identity of
different gods, had not the Vedas given us the connecting terms. And the
sense of the myths and gods could only have been vaguely and uncertainly
guessed at, had not the language of the Vedas, with a happy transparency
both of grammar and of psychology, furnished the means of tracing the
development of ideas from the most primitive impressions received by the

Starting from the same fundamental idea as Kuhn, Roth proved, about the
same time, that the heroes of the New-Persian epos are only old mythic
figures of the religion of Zoroaster, which are equivalent in names and
functions to certain Vedic gods. In the _Oxford Essays_ of 1855, Max
Müller gave a sketch of Comparative Mythology, drawn in a certain
poetical spirit which is quite in harmony with the subject. He
endeavoured, very justly, to exhibit the essential connexion between the
poetical and the mythic aspect, and to show that all formation of myths
was simply poetic invention. Kuhn’s idea was immediately and generally
accepted and worked out by all those who were engaged on the
Vedas—Benfey, Weber, and others. Mannhardt has frequently elucidated
German myths with penetrating thoroughness from Vedic-Indian ones.

Thus Kuhn’s idea has with rare rapidity become a secure common property
of science. In the book, the title of which is given at the head of this
article, he now gives an unsurpassable model of careful method in this
field of investigation. When the weight of every argument is tested with
such accuracy and the conscientiousness of a judge, and exhibited so
unvarnished and so entirely free from special pleading, and the
conclusion is drawn with such cautiousness, as here, not only scientific
but also moral recognition is the writer’s due.

We will first attempt to realise the result attained, and then proceed
to a psychological analysis of it. I shall, however, here strictly
confine myself to the one mythical feature which forms the foundation of
_Prometheus_. Kuhn’s book contains, besides, an extraordinary multitude
of mythological facts, grouped together as belonging to the subject
mentioned in his title.

In the earliest times Fire must have been given to man by nature: there
was a burning here or there, and man came to know fire and its effects
by experience. At the same time he learned also how to keep it in, and
very soon he may also have learned how to produce it. He took certain
kinds of wood, bored a stick of the one into a stick or disk of the
other, and turned the former round and round in the latter till it
produced flame. Kuhn has shown elaborately that the Aryan nations’
oldest fire-instrument was formed in this way, and that the rotation of
the boring-stick was effected by a thread or cord wound round it and
pulled to and fro.[786] But man knew also of another sort of fire, that
in the sky. Up there burned the fire of the Sun’s disk; from thence the
fire of the Lightning darted down. The primitive man, in his simplicity,
believed the heavenly fire to be like the earthly; its effects were the
same, and it went out from time to time like the earthly fire.
Therefore, Must not its origin also have been similar? must it not after
every extinction have been kindled again in like manner? There was no
want of the necessary wood in the sky. In the sky was seen the great
Ash-tree of the world,—in a configuration of clouds which is still in
North Germany called the _Wetterbaum_, the _storm-tree_.[787] It was
supposed, before men believed in gods of human form, that the lightning
fell down from this Ash-tree, against which a branch twined round it had
rubbed till the fire was produced, as had been observed in forests on
earth. The men thought that the earthly fire had its origin in the sky,
and was only heavenly fire that had fallen down. They saw how it fell
down in the lightning; they recognised in the lightning a divine eagle,
hawk, or woodpecker;[788] and many a bird which now flies about in the
atmosphere of earth is a fallen flash of lightning, proved to be such
either by its colour or by some other circumstance. The wood, too, which
when rubbed turns to fire, is similarly a transformed lightning-bird.
This is seen sometimes in the fiery-red colour of the fruit, _e.g._ of
the mountain-ash (rowan),[789] sometimes in the thorns or in the pinnate
leaves of the plant, in which the claws and feathers of the
lightning-bird are still recognisable. The rubbing merely revokes this
transformation: the igneous creature is enabled to take up again its
original form.

Originally the bird was probably regarded as being itself the lightning,
because inversely the lightning was treated as a bird. Afterwards it was
thought that the bird which was at first perched upon the heavenly Ash
that produced the fire brought the fire down from the tree to the earth.

But further, Is not Life, too, a fire, burning in the body?—and Death
the extinction of the flame? And as fire is kindled by boring with a
stick in the hole of a plate of wood, so human life is produced in the
womb. And what happens now and always here on earth, happened up there
in the Ash-tree of the world at the original creation of man. That Ash
produced, first Fire, and then Man, who is also fire. Indeed, strictly
speaking, this is still going on: the Soul is a lightning-bird that has
come down to earth, and the birds that bear down the fire—such as the
Stork[790]—still bring us children too, just as they brought the first
man down to earth: in short, the Fire-god is also the Man-god.

Then, at a later stage of the development of ideas, when the divine
powers were imagined as personages in human form, the wonderful element
of Fire, which drew to itself the attention of men no less by its
mysteriousness than by its usefulness, was undoubtedly one of the first
divine figures to be personified. Now one of the oldest words for fire
was _agni-s_, Lat. _igni-s_. According to Benfey it comes from the root
_ag_ ‘to shine,’ by means of the suffix _ni_; _s_ is the sign of the
nominative. Therefore Agni is the Shining one, the Fire; but in the
earliest times the word designated not the element Fire, but the god
Fire. He, the god Agni, had his abode in the wood, and was allured forth
by the turning.

Agni was fire and light in general, both the absolute element in general
and also every special and separate manifestation of it: such as the
brilliant sky, the shining sun, the lightning, fire burning here for us,
the first man and progenitor of mankind. But alongside of this, the
peculiar conception of the Lightning-Bird still continued. That also was
converted into a personal divine or heroic figure, which brought fire
and man to the earth in the lightning. Sometimes Agni himself was called
a ‘golden-winged bird,’ even in the Vedic Hymns; and sometimes the bird
was made into a special god or hero distinct from Agni, bearing a name
taken from one of Agni’s various epithets. Thus Picus, originally only
the woodpecker, was in the belief of the Latins the Fire-Bird. He was
Lightning and Man; and it was said later that the first king of Latium
was Picus, for the first man and father of mankind frequently appears in
localised stories as the first king of the locality. Picus is shown to
be a Lightning-Bird and Lightning-Man, not only by his name and story,
but also by the manner of his worship: since he was regarded as the
protecting deity of women in childbed and of infants.[791]

Less obviously, but not less certainly, a Lightning-Bird was preserved
at Argos in Phoroneus. He, and not Prometheus, was said in the
Peloponnesian story to have given fire to men; and in his honour a holy
flame was kept burning on an altar at Argos. He was at the same time
regarded as father of the human race. Having been originally a bird
sitting on the celestial Ash-tree, he was made a hero, son of the nymph
Melia, ‘the Ash.’ Now his name is Grecised from the Sanskrit
_bhuraṇyu-s_, an epithet of the Fire-god Agni, denoting ‘rapid, darting,
flying,’ thus picturing Agni as a bird. The name Phoroneus,
_bhuraṇyu-s_, is in root (_bhar_ = φερ) and signification, though not in
grammatical form, equivalent to the word φερόμενος.[792]

It was not possible to stop with the mere conversion of the bird into a
person. When the divine beings were once thought of as persons, they
were also allowed to appear and act as such. So men no longer imagined
the fire in the sky to be self-originated on the World’s Tree, but
regarded it as produced by gods, who acted similarly to men on earth,
and revived the extinct flame of the sun hidden behind a mountain of
clouds in the morning or during a storm, by driving a bolt into the
sun’s disk or into the cloud.

These are mythic conceptions of the very earliest age, but they contain
in themselves a motive to further development, to give completeness to
the relations subsisting among them, or binding them to the natural
phenomenon that they represent. Thus true myths arise.

Now, the most striking peculiarity of fire was obviously the necessity
of constantly kindling it again afresh, because when lighted it must go
out again sooner or later. This aspect was exhibited in the following
very simple myth. Agni vanished from the earth; he had hidden himself in
a cave. Mâtariśvan brings him back to men. This myth is easily
understood. The existence of the god Agni is assumed to be absolute and
uninterrupted: but Fire is often not present; consequently the god must
have hidden himself. Where, then, can he be? Afar off, it is sometimes
said, quite generally; another time it is said, In the sky—which seems
to be regarded as his proper home—or with the gods. But sometimes he is
not there either, as at night or in a storm. Where is he, then? Why,
where he is found; in the hollow of the cloud, from which he soon shines
forth: in the hole of the disk in which the stick is turned round and
round. Then, who finds him there, and brings him back to men? He who
makes the fire appear, or flame up, and thereby restores to men the god
who had withdrawn from them: that is, the Borer, or the Lightning which
bores into the cloud as the stick into the wooden disk; it is
Mâtariśvan, says the myth. This is a divine or semi-divine being, of
whom but little is known. He seems to be a figure which has never been
fully crystallised;[793] regarded as a divine person, he fetches back
the Fire-God to men.

Then the following terminology was introduced. The boring, by which man
kindled fire and the sun when extinguished was lighted up again, was
called _manthana_, from the root _math_ (_math-nâ-mi_ or _manth-â-mi_,
‘I shake, rub, or produce by rubbing’). In German, the corresponding
word is _mangeln_, ‘to roll,’[794] _Mangelholz_, used in North Germany;
_manth_ here becomes _mang_, as _hinter_ is pronounced _hinger_, and
_unter unger_. The boring-stick was probably originally called _matha_,
from which _mathin_, ‘a twirling-stick,’ differs only in its suffix.
Very soon, however, _matha_ appears to have been restricted to another
signification,[795] and then the fire-generating wooden stick was
designated by a term formed from the same root with the preposition
_pra_ prefixed, which only gave a shade of difference to the meaning,
_pramantha_. But the fetching of the god Agni by Mâtariśvan (the
personified _pramantha_) is also designated by the same verb _mathnâmi,
manthâmi_, as the proper earthly boring. Now this verb, especially when
compounded with the preposition _pra_, gained the signification ‘to tear
off, snatch to oneself, rob.’ Thus the fetching of Agni became a robbery
of the fire, and the _pramantha_ a fire-robber. The gods had intended,
for some reason or other, to withhold fire from men; a benefactor of
mankind stole it from the gods. This robbery was called _pramâtha_;
_pramâthyu-s_ is ‘he who loves boring or robbery,’ a Borer or a Robber.
From the latter word, according to the peculiarities of Greek phonology,
is formed Προμηθεύ-ς, Prometheus. He is therefore a Fire-God, very like
Hephaestos, whose functions he often assumes. Mâtariśvan, who is quite
synonymous with him in meaning, derives his name still more directly
from the Fire-God; for mâtariśvan is originally a mere epithet of Agni;
for the boring-stick itself bursts into flame, and in so doing reveals
itself as Agni. Originally a mere epithet, mâtariśvan was subsequently
separated from Agni and made into a distinct person; but, as already
observed, without clearly-defined characteristics. Prometheus is the
fire-generator, and as such the creator of the human race.[796] This
relation to men explains the affection for them which prompts him to
give them fire against the will of Zeus. He hid the spark of fire in a
stem of Narthex,—one of the kinds of wood which were used for the
production of fire, and were regarded as transformed fire.

Fire on earth was the Fire-God descended from heaven; the first man was
only the same god in another form; consequently the first men—the
representatives and benefactors of the human race—the first kings—the
founders of the great sacerdotal families among the priest-ridden
Indians—all were designated by attributes of the Fire-God. The family of
the Aṅgiras-es acknowledges its descent from _Aṅgiras_. But Agni himself
is often called by this name; and indeed these two names, Agni and
Aṅgiras, come from the same root _ag_ or _aṅg_, and have the same
meaning—‘shining.’ Thus, in the mythical view Fire existed in three
forms: first, as actual fire, i.e. as the Fire-God; secondly, as
generator, rubber, fetcher, and robber, of fire, i.e. as Pramantha,
Mâtariśvan, Prometheus; and thirdly, as those for whom it exists, and to
whom it is given, i.e. as men. After the Fire-God has come down from
heaven as man, he as man or as god fetches himself as god or divine
element to earth, and presents himself as element to himself as man.

In the view of primitive man the mediating term between heaven and earth
lay in the Lightning. In the lightning he saw the Fire—the god, the
man—fall from heaven. _Bhṛgu_,[797] originally _bhargu_, from the root
_bharg_, from which the Latin _fulgeo, fulgur_, and the Greek φλέγω also
come, signifies ‘the Shining,’ ‘the Lightning;’ German _blitz_, which
latter word comes from the identical German root (Old High German
_plih_, Middle High German _blic_).[798] Bhṛgu was said to be the
ancestor of the Bhṛgu-s, a sacerdotal family. To them, as
representatives of the human race born from the lightning, Mâtariśvan is
said to have given the fire. But as the Bhṛgu-s are the lightning, and
consequently the Fire-God himself, the myth could be so turned round as
to make Mâtariśvan fetch the god from the Bhṛgu-s as divine beings, or
to make the Bhṛgu-s go after the traces of Agni, find him in the hole,
take him among men, and cause him to display his fire.

It is also told of the above-mentioned Aṅgiras that _they_ found Agni
hidden in the cave. They are, indeed, only the same god broken into
fragments: the fire separated into individual cases of burning, flame
flashing at various places.

Thus there is a mythical identity, on the one hand, between Prometheus
and Mâtariśvan as fire-god and fire-fetcher, and on the other, between
Prometheus and the Bhṛgu-s in the same capacities, except that the
latter are also representatives of mankind. And their relation to
Prometheus can be authenticated in Greek myths as well. Bhṛgu is
Lightning in his very name. His son _Ćyavana_ ‘the Fallen’ (from _ćyu_
‘to fall’[799]) is the Lightning again. Hephaestos, also, is well known
to have fallen down. The name Iapetos appears most likely to express the
notion of ‘the Fallen’; only he is not the son, but the father, of
Prometheus. Prometheus created men of clay, and the earth which he used
for the purpose was shown near Panopeus in Phokis, the seat of the
Phlegyans; the Phlegyans, therefore, considered themselves the first
men: they are the Bhṛgu-s, Grecised regularly. The Indians had,
moreover, other ideas connected with the Bhṛgu-s which closely coincide
with those held by the Greeks concerning the Phlegyans; especially the
conception that Bhṛgu, the ancestor of the Bhṛgu-s, like Phlegyas that
of the Phlegyans, was hurled into Tartaros for pride and insurrection
against the gods. The same characteristics, pride and opposition to
Zeus, as well as the punishment, are also found in Prometheus, who is
identical with the other two.

The identity of the Indian Mâtariśvan with the Greek Prometheus, and the
explanation of the latter thereby gained, are accordingly based on such
a coincidence of several mythical features and so similar a combination
of these features, as cannot possibly be the work of chance; as well as
on several interpretations of names, which are intrinsically more or
less certain. If we knew more of the Indian Mâtariśvan, or if the word
_pramâthyu-s_, corresponding to the Greek Prometheus, could be
authenticated in the Vedas, then the certainty of all that has been said
above of the Greek Titan would force itself upon us. In compensation for
what has not yet been found, and is perhaps lost for ever, it may be
serviceable to learn about a host of divine beings described in the epic
poems of the Indians, who have some connexion with the Fire-God and are
called _Pramatha_-s or _Pramâtha_-s; they appear to be only the one
original Pramâtha or Pramâthyu-s broken up into fragments.

This is, in Kuhn’s profound exposition, the simplest and the pure form
of the Story of Prometheus. Later, in Greece, it was brought into
relation to other stories in Hesiod’s poetry; and again, with peculiar
profundity, into new combinations by Aeschylos. Prometheus received his
higher mental signification mainly through the fact that the Greek verb
μανθάν-ω, with which the name of the Titan was correctly assumed to be
connected, had taken a more mental meaning than the Sanskrit _mathnâ-mi_
or _manthâ-mi_. The two verbs are obviously originally absolutely
identical; only the nasalisation of the root _math_ is effected
differently in each language. We might suppose that the meaning ‘to
learn,’ which the root μαθ has in Greek, had grown out of the
fundamental sense ‘to shake’; for learning is a shaking up, a movement,
of the mind to and fro. Yet such a mode of conception might be scarcely
possible to the mind of the primeval age in which that signification
must have grown up; the primitive act of learning was not such violent
exertion as ours in modern times, but rather a simple _hearing_, a
mental _reception_. Now as the Sanskrit word _mathnâmi_ grew into the
meaning ‘to take’ (as has been observed), it is more probable that the
notion of _learning_ was formed by the Greeks from this (‘snatching to
oneself, taking’[800]), as Kuhn supposes. Then the physical sense of μαθ
was lost altogether to the Greeks; it was, indeed, still known that
Prometheus was a fire-_taker_, but not that the name indicated this. So
they attempted to understand his name in a strictly mental sense, and
remodelled the nature of the Titan accordingly.

Accordingly, the answer to the question of the nature of the etymology
of the name Prometheus must be this: Prometheus comes from a root _pra_
+ _math_, which had the same meaning as the simple verb μανθάνω. But the
formation of the name from the verb is older than the appearance of any
specific Hellenism; for Prometheus was not formed by the Greeks. With
the verb _mathnâ-mi_ the name _pramâthyu-s_, without any verb
_pramathnâ-mi_, was also delivered to them; and so there were in Greek
μανθάνω and Προμηθεύς, but not προμανθάνω. The knowledge of the mutual
connexion of the two former words continued vivid in the language; and
when the sense of μανθάνω was spiritualised, the same change came over
that of Prometheus also. Besides this, the preposition προ was
understood, according to the usual Greek analogy, as ‘beforehand’; and
the verb προμανθάνω was then formed on Greek ground. Thus Prometheus
came finally to denote to the Greeks ‘the Fore-learner, the Provident.’
I shall have more to say presently on this development. Let us pause for
a while here, and attempt the psychological analysis of the simpler form
of the myth exhibited above.

The following definitions must be given in advance:

Every simple act of the soul and every simple occurrence in the soul
shall be termed a _Motion_, that we may have a general word to embrace
all psychological data and designate, so to speak, a psychical atom.

Simple Motions _combine_ together for very various reasons and in
various ways, which I need not enumerate here; e.g. a colour, a form,
and a matter. Thus they form a _Combination_ of motions, e.g. ‘a black
round disk.’

Simple Motions, or single Combinations of them, in case they are not
distinct or distinguished from other simple motions or single
combinations on account of the similarity or equality of their contents,
_coalesce_ with the latter into one motion or combination of motions, as
the case may be. For instance, to one who has not a clear sight, or has
no sense of colour, or is looking at too great a distance, two colours
that are but little different will appear one and the same. If one sees
a ribbon today, and tomorrow sees at the same place another scarcely
differing from it in colour, length, and breadth, one will suppose it to
be the same. Thus, Coalescence produces a loss of contents (for in the
place of two or more motions only one remains, whereas distinction
brings an enrichment of contents), but the loss is compensated by the
force of the motion.

Not simple motions, but certainly combinations, can be _interlaced_
(_sich verflechten_) with one another. Interlacing of combinations
occurs when certain motions belonging to two or more combinations
coalesce, whilst the other motions belonging to them remain apart. The
interlacing of the combinations approximates more or less to a
coalescence of them in proportion to the number and value of the motions
that coalesce. On this more accurate definitions may be given presently.
Here I will only allude to a frequently occurring instance: two words of
similar sound in a foreign language are easily interlaced, even to the
point of perfect coalescence, i.e. they are confounded with each other.
So also two persons closely resembling each other. The coalescing
members of the combinations here so greatly exceed in number and force
those that remain separated, that there is no consciousness of the

When something presents itself to the mind to be perceived, estimated,
or in the most general sense received, a certain procedure or
negotiation takes place between this something on the one side, and
certain older ideas, through the instrumentality of which the reception
is to be effected, on the other. This procedure is _Apperception_: it is
obviously far from a primary occurrence in the consciousness; it depends
upon Coalescences, Interlacings, and Combinations of all sorts.[801]

                  *       *       *       *       *

The primitive man saw fire on the earth and in the sky; or, to express
it more precisely, he saw something burning, shining. From the
conception of burning things the idea of Burning or Shining was
extracted. The difference between Conception (_Anschauung_) and Idea
(_Vorstellung_) must now be carefully noted.[802] The former is an
undivided sum-total of many elements, corresponding to the object or
occurrence presented to the senses. The thought of it is expressed in
language by a plurality of ideas, every one of which corresponds to one
single element of the conception; so that the ideas are equal in number
to the separate elements which are recognised and distinguished in the
conception. Thus, to a single conception corresponds a combination of
many separate ideas. The two combinations of ideas concerning the
heavenly fire and concerning the earthly, contained elements (ideas)
which coalesced together; and thus they became interlaced with one
another. The conceptions of the two fires (as aggregate unities, in
opposition to the ideas, into which they are broken up by the analysis
of their elements) would not, indeed, easily coalesce; for as such
aggregates they appear to the observer too different from each other.
But when the conceptions are converted into combinations of ideas, which
conversion is effected by language, then the related elements in the two
combinations come into prominence and coalesce, and thus produce an
interlacing of the combinations. But it must not be imagined that in
this interlacing only those elements are affected which coalesce, and
those which do not remain entirely unaffected by them; on the contrary,
while the one set of elements press on towards coalescence, they are
held back by their connexion with the others. The coalescence is
therefore not quite perfect. Now, when on the one side even the
not-distinguished elements are protected against the coalescence to
which they incline, on the other the distinct elements which keep the
two combinations asunder are themselves drawn in to the inclination
towards coalescence. Thus the mutual relations of the combinations as
aggregates are disturbed by their interlacing; they do not become
identical, and yet are not severed: they become analogous.

The one is analogous to the other, the one gives the measure by which
the other is measured: the one is the more powerful, the ruling, that
which gives the means of apperception; the other the weaker, the ruled,
the apperceived. How is this relation divided between the combinations
of ideas of the earthly and the heavenly fire?

No doubt the heavenly fire is by far the greater and more effective, and
therefore also the more penetrating into the soul of man. Man soon
recognises the Sun as the source of the daylight and the origin of
growth, and consequently as the giver of all wealth and all joy; and
learning, on the one hand, what the sun procures him, he also
experiences, on the other, by night and in winter, what it is to be
deprived of it. At its rising and setting, but most impressively in the
thunderstorm, the sun surprises him by the grandest sights. Thus it
might be thought that the heavenly fire must give the measure for the
apprehension of the earthly, and therefore for that of fire in general.
But the matter demands more careful consideration.

Only the more powerful combination of ideas can give the measure and be
the organ of apperception. Now a physical occurrence which works more
powerfully, i.e. with greater force, upon our senses, will indeed arouse
stronger feelings; but we cannot speak of stronger sensations. For
instance, the vibrations of the air produce in the organ of hearing both
the sensation of a tone and a feeling of pleasure or pain. Stronger
commotions of air produce stronger and more painful feelings in the ear,
but not stronger sensations, only sensations of louder, stronger tones.
In memory we distinguish louder and softer tones merely in defining
their contents, without meaning that the memory of the one is stronger
than that of the other. The sensation of a louder tone is not a louder
sensation. Therefore, from the mere fact that the sun is brighter and
speaks louder to men in the thunder than the earthly fire, no greater
power in human consciousness accrues to men’s ideas of the heavenly

The more important and impressive idea, too, is not necessarily also the
more powerful; for this quality also, importance and force of
impression, works in the first instance only on the feeling, not on the
course of ideas also at the same time. A number or a name may be very
important to us, and yet we forget it very soon.

Therefore the power which an idea can exert on the consciousness, e.g.
in an apperception, essentially depends on conditions which flow simply
from the nature of our consciousness. I hope that the following
exposition will meet with assent. Power, or influence on the
consciousness, is obtained by a combination of ideas through the number
of its elements, through familiarity with it as an aggregate, and yet
more through accurate acquaintance with its separate elements by
themselves and in their relations both to one another and to elements
belonging to other combinations, and through the number and variety of
such relations. Greater clearness in our consciousness of something is
only another mode of expression for more manifold distinction of the
elements contained in it; and this implies increase of knowledge, but
also sharp definiteness and thoroughness.

There is a curious contrast between feeling and theory. In the latter
clearness, careful assortment, delicate distinction, and reference, give
preponderance; whereas it is the masses of unclearness that work most
powerfully on the former.

We will measure by this principle the force of the ideas concerning the
heavenly and of those concerning the earthly fire. The latter must be
much more numerous, clear, definite, and certain, as man has the earthly
fire nearer, and works in company with it, and work is a copious source
of knowledge. The earthly fire is the only one that he knows; a heavenly
fire he only infers. The earthly fire enlightens the darkness of his
night, which surrounds him as soon as ever it goes out; by it he learns
the operation of warmth: this first leads him to seek the cause of the
brightness and warmth of the day in the place where he sees something
similar to his fire—in the sun; especially as, when he sees no sun,
darkness and cold prevail just as when there is no fire. It is then the
knowledge of the earthly fire that helps him to apprehend the kosmic
fire; from the former he transfers his ideas to the latter. He
experiences the former only; he constructs or images to himself the
latter. Therefore, in the theoretical consciousness the ideas of the
earthly fire are the more powerful and creative, and they give the
measure; those of the heavenly are formed in conformity to them. The
feeling, on the contrary, is more powerfully affected by the heavenly
than by the earthly fire, because that is grander in its activity,
mysterious in its appearance and disappearance, and independent of man.
It surprises, stirs, and troubles the mind in a higher degree, and
excites a more lively attention.

Now the power exerted by ideas upon the feeling is certainly not without
influence even on their theoretical connexion and distinction, on their
prominence and their formation. Further, much as man may have to do with
fire, often as he may kindle it and put it out, variously as he may
employ it, still he never fully understands it as to its appearance,
mode of working, and essence. Now it always seems that the great must be
the generator of the small, the strong the point of departure for the
weak, the worthy and impressive more original than the mean and
ineffective. If therefore, on the one hand, the ideas of the celestial
fire are formed by analogy with those of the terrestrial, on the other
hand, the latter are complemented by being put into connexion with the
former. First of all the question is asked, What is there above?—and the
answer is, The same as here below. But then comes the question, Whence
comes this that is here below, and what is it?—and the answer is, It
comes from above, and is the same as what is above. There above is the
great, the self-subsisting, the adorable; it has descended to earth to
do us good. Thus the idea of the heavenly is attained through the
earthly; but the origin of the latter removed to the upper regions.

Thus it comes to pass that, although the ideas of the earthly fire are
prior in psychological perception and give rise to those of the
heavenly, still man holds the heavenly fire to be the original and
creative one, from which the other is derived. He is so overpowered by
the grandeur, wonder, and unapproachableness of the celestial element,
that he regards the fire which he kindles for himself as fallen down
from on high and given to him.

Man receives certain visual sensations of the Sun; and he converts these
into a conception, or an object, by apperceiving them with the ideas
that he has of fire. Thus he makes of them a fiery wheel. The ideas of
this wheel are partly the same as those of the earthly fire, partly
different; for they are distinct in the elements of place, size, effect,
and dependence or independence. Thus arises an interlacing of the two
combinations of ideas, as has been already observed. The disturbance
produced among the ideas by this relation impels to a double
apperception of the two combinations, first on the part of what is alike
in them, and next on the part of what is different. The first
apperception results in the comprehension of the two combinations as
fire; the other in the separate conceptions of a divine and an earthly
fire. This latter separation contradicts the first comprehension; and
this contradiction is composed by a new process of apperception, in
which both the likeness and the difference are regarded as the
consequence of the relation of originality or derivation, in which the
earthly fire stands to the divine. They are both really the same,
namely, the god Agni, who lives above and descends to men.

For the separation of the combination of ideas of the celestial fire
from that of the terrestrial, is not sufficiently supported to offer an
effectual opposition to the coalescence to which the most essential
elements tend. All the difference that declares itself here resolves
itself ultimately into one point only; for the differences of nearness
and distance, of greatness and smallness, and whatever else may be added
to these, all unite in the one point of the independence of the
celestial fire and the dependence of the terrestrial. But this point is
very weak. For even the terrestrial fire is observed by man to be not
dependent on him, and seems to him to be even less so than it is in
fact. The primitive man does not think he actually generates the fire by
boring: he regards his action as scarcely more than a petition to the
fire to appear. And if the fire then does appear, it does so as a free
and kindly being that has an independent existence. Where, then, could
it live in its own character, if not on high? It lives there for itself
and for ever; here it comes down out of kindness.

Having thus discovered the psychological foundation for the fact that
the primitive man regarded the fire as a god, we will endeavour to make
clear to ourselves also the first forms of mythical conceptions.

We must imagine the primitive man placed as he was freely in the midst
of nature. He saw the sky, the sun, clouds, and in the storm the
lightning, and likewise heard thunder. He saw, he heard:—this means only
‘he received sense-impressions.’ These may no doubt have formed
themselves into an image; still the image was not yet an object placed
before his mind,—not yet a conception. When we see something strange to
us, we ask, What is it? Yet we see clear, and have a definite image of
the thing; then what more can we have to ask about it? We want to know
also the purpose, origin, and regulation of what we have seen, so as to
be able to find a place for it in the series of things previously known,
or, if there is no suitable place, at least to find out its relation to
that series. Nothing less will satisfy us; then it is no longer an
isolated image, but a conception, an object; then we have apperceived
it. It remains therefore for the mind to convert the image into an
object through apperception. But certain means are demanded by the mind
for all its creations, _i.e._ for everything that it makes its own by
thought. The sensations—all that is presented by the senses: tones,
colours, touch—are merely matter which the mind appropriates to itself.
The means whereby this appropriation is rendered possible are not
delivered to it by the organs, nor yet innate in it and ready for use.
On the contrary, as in trade and commerce possession is multiplied by
possession, so also the mind enriches itself every time by means of that
which has been already gained; every acquisition is made a means towards
its own enlargement. Thus then the primitive man apperceived the descent
of the lightning and the sun’s rays by means of that which his mind
already possessed. But I must insist on the necessity of caution. In
speaking here of the ‘descent of the lightning and the sun’s rays,’ I
have presented and apperceived a certain physical occurrence in the way
in which we are now wont to do in conversation. But that is not the way
in which the primitive man spoke; and we have still to enquire how he
did speak. For him there was as yet no sun, no lightning, no ray; of all
these he knew nothing. He saw at first only _something shining_, in
various forms and movements. But he had not set himself the task of
working further with his mind at this presentment of the senses: his
consciousness passively received motions, out of which mythical ideas
grew up. He apperceived unconsciously, and of course with the ideas that
he already had; his mind built with the materials that it possessed.
What, then, was likely to be the result of his building?

Which, of all the creatures known to man, passed through the sky like
the sun, darted down and cut through the air like the lightning and the
ray of light? Only the Bird. This comparison of the bird with the
manifestations of light, was made immediately and unconsciously. Among
the ideas about the bird, motion through the air was the most prominent;
so when this motion was perceived, the aggregate of ideas about the bird
was instantly ready to operate as a means towards the apperception that
‘What moves in the air is a bird.’ It comes down from the heavenly tree.
Thus then the Fire-god Agni, as god of the lightning, is invoked as a
fiery, golden-winged bird. The bird in general is next individualised
into an eagle or falcon—a strong, swift bird, that darts down with might
and majesty.

This apperception was one of the simplest, and was made unconsciously,
as has been said. The idea of motion through the air presented by the
lightning, and the same idea derived from the combination of ideas of
the bird, coalesced and became one. The mere smallness of man’s
knowledge of the lightning caused the entire combination of ideas of the
lightning to be drawn into that of the bird, whereby the latter
combination was enriched so far as to admit the existence of a most
wonderful divine bird beside the earthly ones. Thus no conscious
comparison between lightning and bird took place; but immediate
coalescence of the two was effected by the single conception of the
lightning-bird, in which men were not conscious of any dualism. What we
call lightning, was to the primitive man a bird, not lightning at all.

But also conversely, what we call a bird of this or that kind—eagle,
vulture, or woodpecker—was to him lightning. The original meaning of the
name φλεγύας, given by the Greeks to a kind of eagle or vulture—which,
as has been noticed, has a connexion with _Blitz_, the Phlegyans and the
Bhṛgu-s—was not ‘a bird as swift as lightning,’ but ‘lightning’ itself.

Thus, then, a multitude of mythical conceptions exhibit the lightning as
some kind of bird, or a bird in general. So Phoroneus, ‘the quickly
descending’ (p. 368), is in origin only an epithet of the powerful bird,
and the Sabine goddess Feronia presents the corresponding feminine form;
and numerous superstitions are founded on the recognition of lightning
in a bird.

Still there is a difference between lightning and a bird flying; and
this did not escape the notice of the primitive man. Nevertheless, so
far from this difference having power to cancel, when once accomplished,
the coalescence of the ideas of lightning and bird, and the unconscious
apperception of the former through the latter; the difference itself was
rather apperceived only in conformity with this coalescence. The
difference was without any reflexion explained thus: when the bird has
once descended flashing with lightning, it flashes no more; it is now
only a lightning that has become weakened and earthly. Or it may also be
said: the bird is not itself the lightning, it has brought the lightning

But where, then, has the lightning gone? It has shone for a moment, and
vanished. It shone as if it were fire (_fulgeo_ = φλέγω). Or perhaps it
hit and fired something—then, whether it be bird or no, it is clearly
fire. We must figure it to ourselves thus. In the sky, at the farthest
limits of the space which the eye can reach, the primitive man saw
light, radiance, brightness, in an overpowering degree; there he saw the
sun and stars. He knew only the things on earth; only ideas of earthly
things formed the possessions of his mind; and on the dark earth he knew
nothing similar to those things of the upper world, except fire; only by
his idea of this could he apperceive those. Now fire darts down from
above before his very eyes. Now all is explained: the earthly fire comes
from above, and the upper fire, having descended, conceals itself at
once, by a transformation, in the body from which he extracts fire—in

But now the relations are becoming more complicated; and already they
are so far complicated that the original idea of the Lightning-Bird
cannot be retained in its simplicity. Alongside of it the idea of the
deity, or of the divine essence, has been everywhere developed; and the
fire, the lightning, the golden-winged bird, has become the god Agni.
Now the ideas of fire also take a new and less simple form.

The flame breaks forth from the wood: consequently, it must have been in
it for a long time. The boring and rubbing in a certain way move Agni to
appear: such action is therefore loved by the god, he allows himself to
be drawn forth by it. If he loves it, it cannot be indifferent to the
man who yields himself to the god in fear and thankfulness. It is a holy
action. The pieces of wood which he stirs hold the god concealed. All
appears divine to him, and his consciousness tarries in a world of gods.
For the slight separation which he can make between the fire on high and
that below, consists merely in the distinction between essence and
manifestation. But wherever the god manifests himself, why there he is
for certain. Consequently, during the holy act of kindling fire the two
combinations of ideas of the God-Fire and of the earthly fire coalesce
completely; there only remain ideas of one fire. But it was the ideas of
the divine fire that completely absorbed those of the earthly.
Unresisted, they exert an exclusive power over the consciousness and
entirely fill it. Man is removed in spirit from the earth into the world
of gods. He has forgotten everything sensuous and earthly, and sees and
touches only gods and divine things. And every perception received from
his senses is directly laid hold of by the ideas respecting the world of
gods of which his consciousness is full, and has a place and
significance assigned to it among them. The pieces of wood are no longer
wood; the borer, the really active piece that draws the god forth, is a
divine being that fetches the god. The god is concealed in the hole of
the disk, but this is transformed in conception into a locality in the
country of the gods—a hollow, in which the god is found. It is an
occurrence that took place among the gods: the divine Pramantha fetches
Agni out of the hollow.

The flaring of the flame, however, brings the consciousness back to the
earth: Pramantha has brought the god to earth. We must realise the
revolution effected in the consciousness by the fire breaking out. The
combination of ideas concerning the earthly fire, which had coalesced
with the other combination concerning the divine fire, is, by the
present perception, again introduced into the consciousness as a special
power, and its coalescence with the other conception is thereby
cancelled. Against the sensuous impression of the present actual fire
the circle of ideas of the divine one cannot maintain its supremacy. It
retires and leaves the foreground of the consciousness to the circle of
ideas of the earthly fire. But all this appeared to the primitive man
not a psychological, but a real procedure; not a shifting of ideas, but
an actual shifting of the imagined reality. When attention was shifted
from the one circle of ideas to the other, guided by the idea of fire,
which bound the two together, then it appeared to the primitive man as
if the actual fire had removed from the one into the other, and had come
from heaven to earth; and the already-begun fancy that the god Pramantha
had fetched Agni, is accordingly carried on to the further point of
saying that he put him among men.

Man soon observed in the sky on an enlarged, divine scale, the identical
process which he had learned when producing fire by rotation. Agni
dwells in the bright, clear, light sky. But the sky is overcast and
darkened by a thunder-cloud: Agni has concealed himself; he has hidden
himself in the hollow of the cloud. He breaks forth from it, being
fetched by a divine Pramantha, Mâtariśvan, the Lightning. The lightning
bores into the cloud as the earthly borer into the wooden disk:
Prometheus, or Bhṛgu and his descendants the Bhṛgu-s, fetch the god from
his hiding-place. They go down to the earth with him and take him to

The primitive man does not ask, Where does the fire come from? what
becomes of the fire that has fallen from heaven? Before he asks this,
and without his asking, he sees, and the lightning tells him, that the
fire comes from heaven, and the wood tells him that the lightning (Agni)
is concealed in the wood. Neither does the primitive man ask, Where does
man come from? He sees it, and practises it.[803] The birth of man is a
generating of fire. When the primitive man sees a tree, he does not ask,
What is it? but by the sight of the tree present before him the
combination of ideas respecting trees which is already formed in his
mind is without his observation recalled into his consciousness; and
this combination appropriates to itself the present sight, the
perception coalescing with the combination of ideas through the
similarity of their contents: and thereby what is seen is apperceived as
a tree. Similarly, when the primitive man figures to himself the act of
copulation, it is the combination of ideas of producing fire by rubbing
that enters into his consciousness on account of the similarity of the
movement, and gives him an apperception of that act. The similarity of
the two acts seems to the primitive man greater than to us. On the one
hand, the production of fire is to him a religion and a divine energy;
on the other, man is already regarded by him as a fire-creature,
lightning-born quite as much as a bird. The two combinations of ideas do
not, indeed, coalesce; but yet are greatly interlaced with each other in
some of their essential elements. The opposition between the partial
difference which separates the combinations and the partial similarity
which unites them, leads to a solution in a double and reciprocal
apperception: first, that the divine rubber, Pramantha or Prometheus,
created man, or that lightning, Bhṛgu, Yama, or the lightning-bird
Picus, was the first man; secondly and conversely, that the production
of the flame by rubbing is the production of the Fire-God Agni, and that
the wood is the cradle of the new-born god. Thus Agni remains always the
‘new-born’ and the ‘youngest,’ as he is called in the Vedas; and
Dionysos, also a fire-god, appears as λικνίτης, a god in a cradle.

The primitive man was convinced that man was fire. Indeed, his wonder at
his own lightning-nature was aroused every time that he produced the
god; and when sacerdotal families had gained the exclusive privilege of
kindling fire, these families traced their origin to Bhṛgu or Agni, and
called themselves Bhṛgu-s, Aṅgiras-es, etc. For they continued to do
just what their ancestor, the Lightning, had done before them.

This is, as far as I can give it, the psychological explanation of the
original forms of the stories of the Descent of the Fire. The
superstition attached to these stories, in ancient as well as in modern
times, would be more fittingly considered separately. The peculiar
formation of the character of Prometheus among the Greeks however, may
still engage our attention a little longer.

Prometheus is a god and yet a Titan also. He is the greatest benefactor
of the human race. Yet in all other cases the mythical idea is that
whoever does good to man is also friendly to God, and that only those
who do harm to man rebel also against God. For the elucidation of this
most peculiar and contradictory position, the following points seem to
me worth pondering.

All the forces and occurrences of nature show two sides; one beneficial
to man, and one hostile to him. So also the myth almost always discovers
in the one and the same natural event, a good and a bad god. The bad god
is hostile at once to men and gods. The development of a myth frequently
takes the course of converting one of the epithets of the god who
represents some process of nature, into a good god, and another into a
bad god. The course to be followed in such a case is frequently
determined by the nature or significance of the epithets themselves. Now
it is certain that Hephaestos and Prometheus are identical in their
origin, as indeed is shown in the story of the birth of Athene, in which
the head of Zeus is cleft by either one or the other of them. But both
Hephaestos and Prometheus are Agni in different forms. We have seen what
Prometheus signifies. Somewhat of the physical signification must have
still clung to this name even when it came upon Greek ground.
Hephaestos, on the other hand, possessed from its very origin the finest
signification of Agni; for it probably represents Agni as a home-god,
guardian of the family, as a god of the hearth. And Hephaestos was still
worshiped by the Greeks as a hearth-god. It surely seems natural, then,
that the ideas of the beneficent action of fire should fasten themselves
to him. But, on the other side, to make Prometheus, the Fire-stealer, an
actual enemy of the gods, was impossible, for the very reason that he
had been a benefactor of men by giving them fire, and was also the
creator of men. Thus, he, as a god, became the champion of mankind
against the injustice of the gods. It must be added that, perhaps even
in the age of the unity of the Aryan race, the Fire-god, in his capacity
as god (creator) of mankind, was also a god of Thought, who among
primeval circumstances could scarcely be anything else but a god of
Prudence, or foreseeing caution—an idea which gave the Romans their
Minerva, but which might very naturally be attached to a god of fire,
since prudence is exhibited nowhere more plainly than in the use of
fire. At all events, even in the Vedas, Agni has the epithet _pramati_,
which would yield something like προμῆτι-ς in Greek. Epic story made
Pramati an independent personage, a son of Ćyavana (_supra_, p. 373),
the ‘Fallen,’ who is a son of Bhṛgu, the Lightning. Thus in sense, if
not in name, the Indian Pramati is equivalent to Prometheus.

Prometheus is Fire-god, Man-god, God of human energy in thought. In this
capacity he comes into collision with the supreme god. So he appears in
Hesiod, and also in Aeschylus, except that the latter was able to give a
far deeper meaning to the guilt of Prometheus, to his entire relation to
Zeus, and therefore also to his ultimate reconciliation.

Thus then in Prometheus is comprised the whole essence of heathenism:
deification of Man and Nature. He was the most characteristic figure of
that mode of conception which created gods in the image of man. But the
opposite mode of conception, according to which man was created like one
single god, and was expected to make himself like God in life, produced
a figure opposed to that of Prometheus—Moses. I speak here not of the
historical, but of the mythical Moses; and I hope that the reader will
be inclined to distinguish the two as clearly as we distinguish the
historical and the legendary Charlemagne. Now the mythical Moses may be
compared in meaning with Prometheus. Prometheus ascended to heaven and
fetched down fire from the altar of Zeus for men. Moses also went up and
brought back the Tables of his God with the fundamental laws of all
common human moral life; for this act Moses could not come into conflict
with God. But the original heathen myth respecting Moses was different.
Moses struck water out of the rock with his staff: the staff is the
lightning, the rock the cloud, the water the rain. Kuhn has shown at
length what a close connexion subsists between the procuring of water,
wine, honey, mead, and soma, and the bringing down of fire,[804] (like
the connexion between rain and lightning), and that they are so to
speak, mythical synonyms. And this water did cause a difference between
Moses and God. Now the reconciliation is brought about by Aeschylus by
making both Prometheus and Zeus purify themselves and bind themselves by
moral elements. But the monotheistic spirit of the Prophet transfigured
the entire myth, and put in the place of the water and the fire the Word
of God; and then no reconciliation was needed, for God spoke with Moses
as his servant and messenger. Yet alongside of this monotheistic myth of
Moses who brings down the Word of God, there remained also the old
heathen one, which said that he brought water. It was a correct feeling,
or a lingering consciousness which had been retained, that declared that
Moses had sinned in the matter of the water, although it was no longer
known in what the sin consisted.[805] Therefore I interpret and clear up
the obscured remembrance or suspicion of the author of the Book of
Numbers, by saying that, forasmuch as Moses strikes water out of the
rock with his staff, he is a heathen god, a Mâtariśvan, a Pramantha, and
therefore in opposition to the one true God, and must die; but forasmuch
as he gives the Word of God to men, he is the Prophet without his equal.


                        _THE LEGEND OF SAMSON._

                            By H. STEINTHAL.

When an author can presume that his readers share his views on things in
general, and also accept like principles respecting the special sphere
to which his subject belongs, it may be fitting to descend from the
general to the particular. But when, as is now more frequently the case,
no such assumption can be made, the opposite course, from the particular
to the general, is preferable for the sake of both the matter and the
manner of the investigation itself. I shall therefore adopt it.

I shall, therefore, at the outset leave out of the question what view it
is possible to hold respecting the growth of the people of Israel, and
especially of their monotheism. I shall not proceed on the assumption
that any particular view is proved true, but try whether, after the
consideration of our subject in its details, any result affecting
general questions is reached. I also for the present leave undetermined
the value of the Biblical Books as sources of history, the period of the
composition of the separate books, and even their relative age—i.e. the
earlier or later compilation of one with reference to others. For all
these are still disputed points; and I desire not to build upon any
unproved assumption, but to see how much can be contributed to the
solution of the questions that arise. Even the question, whether, and
how far, we are justified in treating the history of Samson in the Bible
as legend,[806] may be left to be answered only from the result of the
following enquiry. If, on comparing these stories with other nations’
stories, similarities are discovered alongside of much that is
dissimilar, nothing shall, in the first instance, be decided about the
cause and significance of such similarities, but new investigation shall
be made on the subject.

                               THE FOXES.

I pass over the narrative of the birth of Samson for the present,
intending to come to it only after the contemplation of his actions. The
reason for this arrangement will then become apparent. I therefore
commence with Samson’s first action.

It is narrated (Judges XIV.) that Samson was attacked by a lion when on
the way to see his bride, and killed him. When he went by the same road
to his wedding, he looked at the carcase of the lion, and found a swarm
of bees and honey in it. This occurrence suggested the following riddle,
which he put forth at the wedding-feast: ‘Out of the Eater came forth
Meat, and out of the Strong [Wild] came forth Sweetness.’ By his bride’s
treachery the riddle was solved: ‘What is sweeter than honey? and what
stronger than a lion?’

Samson’s riddle is still a riddle even to us now. It has never yet been
solved, as far as I know; certainly not in the Bible itself, for the
answer there given is a still greater riddle than the riddle itself,
which seems not to have been observed. Only look closely at the
pretended solution. It looks as if the question had been: ‘What is the
sweetest, and what the strongest?’ But the actual problem was: ‘Out of
the wild eater comes sweet food;’ how that came to pass, was the
question—and still is a question. For even the story of the slain lion
and the honey found in his carcase cannot contain the solution, because
it involves a physical impossibility. Bees do not build in dead flesh;
their wax and honey would be spoiled by putrefaction. In no such wise
can honey come out of the lion. Besides, Samson would be very foolish to
base a riddle on a mere personal experience known to no one; it would
then be absolutely insoluble. We cannot credit the original narrative
with so gross an ineptitude. Then what is the position of the affair?

It is certain that a riddle like the one in question was in circulation
among the ancient Hebrews, and that Samson was believed to have proposed
it. It is equally certain that its solution lay in the words transmitted
from antiquity: ‘What is sweeter than honey, what stronger than a lion?’
But it is not only to us at the present day that this solution is as
obscure as the riddle itself; it was quite as unintelligible to the
latest elaborator of the Book of Judges. So he attempted a solution on
his own responsibility. He had two data in his possession: the riddle,
and the story of the lion-killing. Well, he concluded, Samson must have
found honey in the carcase of this lion. What he had wrongly inferred,
he narrated as a fact which ought to yield the solution of the riddle.
But we must guess better. If it is certain that Samson cannot have found
honey in the lion’s carcase, yet, on the other hand, the pretended
solution at least proves that by the strong eater the lion is to be
understood, and by the sweet food the honey. And if this was solution
sufficient for the legend, it follows that at the time when the riddle
arose some connexion between lion and honey was so definitely and
clearly present to the consciousness of every individual, because held
by the mind of the entire people, that it came into prominence as soon
as ever lion and honey were named together: somewhat as among us when we
speak of bear and honey together, though with reference to something
else.[807] But there must have been some known connexion which made it
evident how honey came out of the lion. It is our task now to discover
this connexion if we are to attempt the solution of the riddle—one which
is more than thirty centuries old, and the unriddling of which has been
forgotten for some twenty-five. Can there be any other riddle of equal
interest? In the following remarks I endeavour to solve it.

When once we know that the Eater in the riddle is the Lion, of course it
is natural to think of the lion killed by Samson; and the compiler of
the Book of Judges would not have fancied that the honey was in its
carcase, but for an obscure memory that this particular lion had
something to do with it. Now to us this lion is not a real but a
mythological one, i.e. a symbol. And we know the meaning of the symbol.
Herakles also, it is well known, begins his labours by killing a lion.
The Assyrians and Lydians, both of them Semitic nations, worshipped a
Sun-god named Sandan or Sandon; he also is imagined to be a lion-killer,
and frequently figured struggling with the lion or standing upon the
slain lion. The lion is found as the animal of Apollon on the Lycian
monuments as well as at Patara.[808] Hence, it becomes clear that the
lion was accepted by the Semitic nations as a symbol of the summer heat.
The reason of the symbol was undoubtedly the light colour, the colour of
fire, the mane, which recalled Apollon’s golden locks, and also the
power and rage of the wild beast. The hair represents the burning rays.
So we have here to do with the sign of the Lion in the zodiac, in which
the sun is during the dog-days. At this season the sky is occupied by
Orion, the powerful huntsman—of whom I shall presently have a few words
to say—and Sirius, who in Arabic is designated ‘the Hairy’ in reference
to his rays.

‘Samson, Herakles, or Sandon kills the lion,’ means therefore, ‘He is
the beneficent saving power that protects the earth against the burning
heat of summer.’ Samson is the kind Aristaeos who delivers the island of
Keos from the lion,[809] the protector of bees and hives of honey, which
is the most abundant when the sun is in the Lion. Thus sweet food comes
out of the strong eater.

Very possibly and probably, however, there was a superstition to the
effect that bees are generated out of the lion’s carcase, in the same
way as they are believed by some nations to spring from an ox’s
carcase.[810] But such a superstition must have some basis, and no other
basis is easily conceivable but the mythological one which I have
mentioned. What was true in symbol, that the Lion produced honey, was
taken as true in fact. For I must insist on the fact that, according to
the literal meaning of the Hebrew, no mere taking of the honey from
outside a lion’s skeleton is meant, but its being actually produced by
the lion.

However, when we try to clear up to our own minds what has been said, we
stumble upon a difficulty. It is after all the Sun that produces the
summer-heat; Apollon sends the destructive shafts. Therefore, if the
Sun-god does battle against the summer-heat, he is fighting against
himself; if he kills it, he kills himself. No doubt he does. The
Phenicians, Assyrians, and Lydians attributed suicide to their Sun-god;
for they could only understand the sun’s mitigation of its own heat as
suicide. If the Sun stands highest in the summer, and its rays burn with
their devouring glow, then, they thought, the god must burn himself; yet
does not die, but only gains a new youth in the character of the Phenix,
and appears as a gentler autumn-sun. Herakles also burns himself, but
rises out of the flames to Olympos.

This is the contradiction usual in the heathen gods. As physical forces
they are both salutary and injurious to man. To do good and to save,
therefore, they must work against themselves. The contradiction is
blunted when each side of the physical force is personified in a
separate god; or when, though only one divine person is imagined, the
two modes of operation—the beneficent and the pernicious—are
distinguished by separate symbols. The symbols then become more and more
independent, and are ultimately themselves regarded as gods; and whereas
originally the god worked against himself, now the one symbol fights
against the other symbol, one god against the other god, or the god with
the symbol. So the Lion represents as a symbol the hostile aspect of the
Sun-god, and the latter must kill him lest he should be burned himself.

Samson also unites both aspects in himself. The Hebrew story makes him
operate even on the pernicious side, but against the foe. To the foe he
is the scathing Sun-god. This is the sense of the story of the Foxes,
which Samson caught and sent into the Philistines’ fields with
firebrands fastened to their tails, to burn the crops. Like the lion,
the fox is an animal that indicated the solar heat; being well suited
for this both by its colour and by its long-haired tail. At the festival
of Ceres at Rome, a fox-hunt through the Circus was held, in which
burning torches were bound to the foxes’ tails: ‘a symbolical reminder
of the damage done to the fields by mildew, called the “red fox”
(_robigo_), which was exorcised in various ways at this momentous season
(the last third of April). It is the time of the Dog-star, at which the
mildew was most to be feared; if at that time great solar heat follows
too close upon the hoar-frost or dew of the cold nights, this mischief
rages like a burning fox through the corn-fields. On the twenty-fifth of
April were celebrated the Robigalia, at which prayers were addressed to
Mars and Robigo together, and to Robigus and Flora together, for
protection against devastation. In the grove of Robigus young dogs of
red colour were offered in expiation on the same day.’[811] Ovid’s story
of the fox which was rolled in straw and hay for punishment, and ran
into the corn with the straw burning and set it on fire,[812] is a mere
invention to account for the above-mentioned ceremonial fox-hunt; still
it has for its basis, though in the disguise of a story, the original
mythical conception of the divine Fire-fox that burns up the corn.

The stories of Samson hitherto discussed seem to me so similar to the
Eastern and Western ones that I have compared, their interpretation so
certain, and their sense so essential to the character of the Sun-god,
that I am of opinion that even the coincidence of collateral points
cannot be treated as accidental. The Bible says that Samson killed the
lion with his bare hands: ‘there was nothing in his hand.’ But Herakles
also kills the Nemean lion without his arrows, by strangling him with
his arms. This feature, too, is probably significant. The Greek myth
says that the reason why Herakles could not use any weapons was because
the lion’s hide was invulnerable; but this is pure invention. The truth
seems to me to be, that the weapons possessed by the Sun-god are
actually his only in so far as his symbol is the lion; for they consist
of the force and efficacy of the Sun. Now when the Sun itself is to be
killed, that cannot be done with the very weapons which are its
strength. The god is forced to catch the burning rays in his own arms;
he must extinguish the Sun’s heat by embracing the Sun, i.e. by
strangling or rending the lion.

The following point is less clear, but surely not without significance.
The Philistines avenge the destruction of their cornfields, vineyards,
and olives by Samson, by burning his bride and her father. This causes
Samson to inflict a great defeat on his enemies; but after the victory
he flies and hides in a cavern.[813] What means this behaviour, for
which no motive is assigned? What had Samson to fear in any case, but
especially after such a victory? But let it be remembered that Apollon
flies after killing the dragon; so also Indra after killing Vṛtra,
according to the Indian legend in the Vedas; and that even Êl, the
Semitic supreme god, has to fly. Thus Samson’s retreat, mentioned, but
not very clearly expressed because not understood, by the Biblical
narrator, appears to indicate this often-recurring flight of the Sun-god
after victory. In the tempestuous phenomena, in which two powers of
nature seemed to be contending together, men felt the presence of the
good god; but after his victory, when all was quiet again, he seemed to
have I withdrawn and gone to a distance.

But if on the last-mentioned point the story is seen to be shrouded in
much obscurity, this is the case in even a higher degree with the two
next-following deeds of Ṣamson.

                         2. THE ASS’S JAWBONE.

We come to Samson’s heroism displayed with the ass’s jawbone. There is
much difficulty here, and it will be impossible to be certain as to the
interpretation. But it must be noticed at the outset that the story
belongs strictly to a certain locality. Its field of action is a
district between the Philistine and the Israelite territories, which was
called ‘Jawbone,’ or perhaps in full, ‘Ass’s Jawbone,’ and doubtless
received this name from the peculiar conformation of the mountains.
Pointed rocks probably formed a curved line, and thus presented the
figure of a jawbone with teeth. Between these teeth of rock there may
have been a cauldron-shaped depression, which had the appearance of an
empty place for a tooth; and just there a spring, no doubt a well-known
and perhaps a particularly healing one, must have risen.[814] So,
although the story wishes to derive the name from Samson’s feats, the
truth is rather that the name and the territorial conditions produced
the transformation of the story.

Now I must first remind the reader of the tongue of land in Lakonia
close to the promontory of Maleae, which stretches out into the Lakonian
gulf opposite the island Kythera: it bears the very same name as the
place where Samson performed his feat, Onugnathos (‘Ass’s Jawbone’). The
name is certainly only the Greek translation of an original Phenician
name. From Strabo[815] we learn little or nothing of this peninsula.
Pausanias[816] reports that there had been on it a temple of Athene
without image and without roof. Now this Athene was probably identical
with a modification of the Astarte of Sidon, Athene Onka, who was
worshipped at Thebes also. And it may be significant, that there was in
that temple a monument to Menelaos’ steersman, who was called Kinados
(‘Fox’). At all events _Onugnathos_ proves a myth, known also to the
Phenicians, of which an ass’s jawbone was an essential part.

But the ass, like the fox, was in many nations sacred to the evil
Sun-god, Moloch or Typhon, on account of his red colour, from which his
name in Hebrew is taken. The Greeks say that in the country of the
Hyperboreans, hecatombs of asses were offered to Apollon. But he was
also ascribed to Silenos, the demon of springs, on account of his
wantonness; and this may perhaps furnish the explanation of the
celebrated spring at this place, which has its rise in the Jawbone.
Perhaps formerly there was at this spring, which was called ‘Spring of
the Crier,’[817] a sanctuary where the priests of the Sun-god gave out
oracles, as those of Sandon, the Lydian Sun-god, did at a spring in the
neighbourhood of Kolophon. And the ass is a prophetic animal: I need
only refer to Balaam’s ass.

To ancient tradition must undoubtedly be ascribed the exclamation which
Samson is said to have uttered on this occasion: ‘With an ass’s jawbone
a heap, two heaps—with an ass’s jawbone I slew a thousand men.’[818] Now
Bertheau conjectures[819] that this short verse had originally ‘_at_ the
place called _Ass’s Jawbone_ I slew,’ and that the story of Samson
gaining a victory with an ass’s jawbone arose solely from false
interpretation of it; and no doubt the Hebrew preposition _be_ can
denote ‘in, at’ quite as well as ‘with.’ The same scholar observes
further, that according to the story the rocks called ‘Jawbone
Hill’[820] are, themselves, the very ass’s jawbone that was thrown away
by Samson after his victory; for only so is it intelligible that a
spring should gush out of the cast-away jawbone, as the story goes on to
relate.[821] To this I must add, that the throwing of the jawbone seems
to me the most essential and original feature in the whole story, from
which the name and origin of the locality, and the victory with the
jawbone also, were developed. For surely the jawbone cannot be anything
but the Lightning, just as in Aryan mythology the head of an ass, or
still more that of a horse, denotes a storm-cloud, and a tooth,
especially the tusk of a boar, signifies the lightning.[822] Here then
we have a thunder-bolt thrown down in the lightning—the instrument with
which the Sun-god conquered, and at the same time formed the locality.

I have two more observations to make here. We nowhere find Samson armed
with the weapons which we see almost everywhere else in the hands both
of the Greek and of the Oriental Herakles—the mortar-club (pestle) or
the bow and arrows. The club had the appearance of a mortar with the
pestle in it, or of a tooth in its cavity; and in Hebrew one word[823]
denoted both a mortar and the cavity of a tooth.[824] The second remark
relates to the Spring. The Bible tells that Samson, wearied out by the
murderous contest, at length sank down, faint with thirst, and prayed to
God, saying ‘Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy
servant, and now I shall die for thirst and fall into the hand of the
uncircumcised!’ upon which God made the spring burst forth. This might
be a fiction, in which Samson was depicted under human conditions; and
the story of the spring given to relieve Hagar and Ishmael might in that
case serve as a model for it. But perhaps the following combination will
not be found too far-fetched. The Solar hero wages war with the mischief
done to nature by an excess of heat. Thus the battle of Herakles with
Antaeos is only the form localised in the deserts of Libya, of the story
of the contest against the stifling heat, against the simoom which gains
its strength from the sandy soil, as Movers, who also sees in the
Erymanthean boar only a variant of Antaeos, has ingeniously explained.
In Tingis, i.e. Tangier, the grave of Antaeos was shown, _with a spring
beside it_. A similar legend among the Hebrews might perhaps assume in
time the above strictly Jahveistic form. In that case the national
instinct of Israel would have retained only the spirit and sense of the
old story, while putting off all the heathen form and substituting a
Jahveistic one for it. This would require no reflexion indeed, but
undoubtedly much creative power of popular imagination. The fact, that
in the Hebrew story the spring is put into combination with the jawbone,
would seem to me, connecting it with my conception of the latter as
Lightning, to indicate that the spring is the Rain, which breaks forth
from the cloud with the lightning.

                           3. SAMSON AT GAZA.

It is related[825] that to escape out of the Philistine town of Gaza by
night, Samson pulled up the city-gates with their posts and bars, and
carried them to the top of the hill opposite the city of Hebron; which
seems an utterly senseless practical joke, though quite in keeping with
Samson’s overweening jovial character. It will probably be difficult to
make out with any certainty what is the foundation of this legend. It
seems probable to me, however, that we have to do here with a disfigured
myth, of the same import as that of the descent of Herakles into the
nether-world,[826] which originally declared that Samson broke open the
gates of the well-bolted (πυλάρτης) Hades. As in the Greek story of
Herakles the fight at the _gate_ of the nether-world, ἐν πύλῳ ἐν
νεκύεσσι, was transformed into a fight at Pylos,[827] by a mere play on
words; so in the Hebrew story, instead of the gates of the nether-world
or of death (shaʿarê mâweth), those of the city called the Strong (Gaza,
or properly ʿAzzâ) might be named. The cause for which Samson went down
into the nether-world was forgotten, and a new motive was invented by
the legend for his visit to Gaza, in keeping with the licentiousness of
his character. The fact that he starts at midnight, and does not sleep
till morning, is certainly not without significance, but contains a
remembrance of the circumstance that the deed took place in the
darkness, i.e. in the nether-world. And the feature of the story which
tells that Samson carries the gates to the top of a hill, must have been
suggested by some local peculiarity in the form of the rock. But very
probably the recollection of a myth which made the Solar hero bring
something up from the nether-world had also some influence on the story.

                          4. SAMSON'S AMOURS.

The circumstance that Samson is so addicted to sexual pleasure, has its
origin in the remembrance that the Solar god is the god of fruitfulness
and procreation. Thus in Lydia Herakles (Sandon) is associated with
Omphale the Birth-goddess, and in Assyria the effeminate Ninyas with
Semiramis; whilst among the Phenicians, Melkart pursues Dido-Anna.

The beloved of the god is the goddess of parturition and of love. She
is, in general terms, Nature, which is fructified by the solar heat,
conceives and bears; or is specially identified with the Moon, or even
with the Earth, but more frequently with Water—originally rain, and
subsequently the sea and rivers also, and finally (the rain being
regarded as mead or wine) the vine, caressed by the sun. Thus Venus
rises out of the sea; and Semitic goddesses have fish-ponds dedicated to
them. Iole, whom Herakles woos, is the daughter of Eurytos, the
‘Copiously Flowing.’ Of the three Philistine women whom Samson
approaches, only one—the one who brings about his ruin—is named. Her
name, Delîlâ, denotes, according to Gesenius, _infirma_, _desiderio
confecta_, i.e. the ‘Longing, Languishing,’ and according to Bertheau
the ‘Tender;’ at all events, it refers to love. She lives in the
‘Vine-Valley,’[828] and consequently appears to represent the vine
itself, which the Sun-god is so zealous in wooing; indeed, even the name
Delîlâ might denote a Branch, a Vine-shoot. Deianeira, also, is the
daughter of Oeneus the ‘Wine-man,’ or, as others say, of Dionysos.
Orion, who stands so near to the Sun-god, woos the daughter of Oenipion
the ‘Vine.’ But even supposing—what is very possible—that Delîlâ
originally denoted a Palm-branch, we know that the palm was sacred to

But yet another combination appears admissible. Delîlâ may also signify
the ‘Relaxed, Vanishing,’ as a Moon-goddess. This goddess is indeed
originally a chaste virgin; but in Tyre and Assyria she also assumes the
character of Birth-goddess, and is variously served by strict chastity,
by sacrifice of children, and by prostitution of virginity.

The coalescence of the chaste and cruel goddess with the luxurious one
is exhibited in Semiramis, who is said to have killed her husband and
all her numerous lovers. This might have given to the story of Samson
its present form, which represents his ruin as brought about by a woman.
But this leads to the following point.

                            5. SAMSON’S END.

Looking back, we find that we may probably regard as certain the
proposed interpretation of the killing of the lion, of the foxes
carrying firebrands, and of Samson’s sexual passion: while the deeds
with the jawbone and the gates must be termed uncertain. Now Samson’s
end brings us back into perfect clearness; it refers again to the Solar
god. If the hair is the symbol of the growth of nature in summer, then
the cutting off of the hair must be the disappearance of the productive
power of Nature in winter. Samson is blinded at the same time, like
Orion: this again has the same meaning, the cessation of the power of
the Sun. Again, Samson and the other Sun-gods are forced to endure being
bound: and this too indicates the tied-up power of the Sun in winter.

The final act, Samson’s death, reminds us clearly and decisively of the
Phenician Herakles, as Sun-god, who died at the winter solstice in the
furthest West, where his two Pillars are set up to mark the end of his
wanderings. Samson also dies at the two Pillars, but in his case they
are not the Pillars of the World, but are only set up in the middle of a
great banqueting-hall. A feast was being held in honour of Dagon, the
Fish-god; the sun was in the sign of the Waterman; Samson, the Sun-god,


The above comparison and interpretation of all Samson’s deeds and the
manner of his end has yielded so clear and decided a result, that the
answer to the question, ‘Who or what was Samson originally?’ has
necessarily been already anticipated. I therefore now only combine
together what has been discovered, and say: Samson was originally a
Sun-god, or his vicegerent a Solar hero—the Sun being conceived as the
representative of the force of Heat in nature, whether vivifying and
salutary, or scorching and destructive.

To this result we are brought, finally, by the name of our hero. For
Samson, or more accurately Shimshôn, is an obvious derivative from the
Hebrew word for ‘Sun.’[830] As from dâg ‘fish’ Dâg-ôn,[831] the name of
the Fish-god of the Philistines, is formed, so from shemesh ‘sun’ we
have Shimsh-ôn, the Sun-god.

Now, to recur to Samson’s hair, our thoughts turn most naturally to
Apollon’s locks. But this comparison appears to me not quite accurate.
For Apollon’s locks are connected with his arrows, and are, like them, a
figure of his rays. But Samson is not the shining god, but the warming
and productive god. His hair, like the hair and beard of Zeus, Kronos,
Aristaeos, and Asklepios, is a figure of increase and luxuriant fulness.
In winter, when nature appears to have lost all strength, the god of
growing young life has lost his hair. In the spring the hair grows
again, and nature returns to life again. Of this original conception the
Biblical story still preserves a trace. Samson’s hair, after being cut
off, grows again, and his strength comes back with it.[832]

This Sun-god was, moreover, regarded as the beneficent power that
destroyed all powers and influences injurious to man and to life in
general,—the chivalrous hero, who wandered over the earth from the east
to the furthest west, everywhere ready to strike a blow to deliver the
earth from the creatures of Typhon, the Hydra, etc., the defender and
king of cities, leader of emigrants and protector of colonies—in short,
as _Herakles_.

This character of the Herakles-Melkart of the Phenicians appears in
Samson in greatly shrunken proportions. The Hebrews sent no colonies to
Mount Atlas; the supernatural monsters become a natural lion; and
Samson’s strength was required only against the Philistines. It is also
seen, moreover, from the above comparison, not only that it is correct,
but also how far it is correct, to call Samson the Hebrew Herakles. The
one as well as the other is a martial Sun-god. And this makes it clear
also that we are equally justified in classing Samson with Perseus and
Bellerophon, with Indra and Siegfried,—in short, with all the
mythological beings and legendary heroes whose nature is related to sun,
light, and especially warmth, like Orion, Seirios, Aristaeos, and
Kronos. In mythology, as in language, there are synonyms; e.g. Apollon
and Helios, Herakles and Perseus; indeed, the two latter are both
synonymous with Apollon. Now two words belonging to different languages,
though similar in meaning, still scarcely ever call up absolutely the
same conception, but are a little different from one another as
synonyms. So also mythological beings and names in two nations,
especially where the difference is so great as it is between the Hebrews
and the Greeks, and between the Semites and the Aryans in general, are
probably never perfectly identical, but never more than synonyms.
Therefore we must not indulge the caprice of trying to make Samson as
similar as possible to Herakles: for instance, there is not the
slightest reason to assign to Samson twelve labours, and the less so as
that number even in the case of Herakles is only derived from a late age
and forms too contracted a sphere. And, on the other hand, in finding
analogies to Samson, we are nowise compelled to rest satisfied with
Herakles. But now we must look closer into Samson’s birth and the
position ascribed to him in the Biblical narrative.

                   7. SAMSON'S BIRTH AND NAZIRITISM.

The birth of the hero of a legend is always the last circumstance to be
invented concerning him, when his life and character are already
settled; just as an author writes his preface only after the completion
of his book. This comparison is here particularly apposite, since the
narrative of the appearance of the angel who announces to the parents of
Samson after a long period of childlessness, the birth of a son who is
to be dedicated to God,[833] is not invented by popular imagination, but
produced by the writer.

This introduction to the history of Samson is capable of two
comparisons. It may be put side by side with the birth of Samuel,[834]
or with the law of Naziritism.[835] In either case several differences
appear. Samuel is not described by the Biblical narrator as a Nazirite
(nâzîr). But from this it does not follow that at the time of the
composition of the Book of Samuel this word had not yet come into use,
but only that in the signification which it then had, it did not seem
appropriate to Samuel as he was then fancied. Samuel was called one Lent
to God.[836] In consequence of this, he lived in the Tabernacle, waiting
on the High Priest and Judge Eli; he wore a priest’s dress, and, as is
stated with great emphasis, no razor came upon his head.[837] The latter
is said of Samson also. The expression ‘Lent to God,’ seems not to have
been a technical word or fixed designation, but only an etymological
interpretation of the name Samuel. The life in the Tabernacle and the
priest’s dress were certainly not essential to the position of a
Nazirite any more than to that of a Prophet, and are also out of accord
with the narrative of Samuel’s later life; they must be only a later

The narrative of Samuel’s dedication is perfectly simple, concerned only
with universal human conditions and feelings, deeply and fervently
religious. Deeply troubled and vexed at her childlessness, the wife
prays God for a son, vowing, if only her prayer be answered, to dedicate
the child to God for all the days of his life. With the impulse of true
piety, after the fulfilment of her prayer, she performs a voluntary vow,
to which she is compelled by no law. This story is older than that of
Samson, who becomes a Nazirite, not in fulfilment of a vow, but by
reason of a Divine command.

The term Nazirite is first found used by the prophet Amos,[838] who
couples together the Nazirite and the Prophet; but he makes no mention
of the hair, only of the prohibition of wine. But it does not follow
from this fact that in the time of Amos the Nazirite did employ the
razor on his head. Samson’s parents received a command to dedicate their
son: he was to be a Nazirite from his mother’s womb to the day of his
death. But to the prohibition to shave off the hair and to drink wine
was added a prohibition to eat anything unclean; this was a later
addition. The written law on the subject was the latest and also the
severest and most fully developed; for it adds to the previous
prohibitions another against defilement by dead bodies. On the other
side, however, the Law knows nothing of any life-long Nazirites, who
were to live like Samuel all their days in the Temple before God; for,
in the later view represented by the Law, only the Priest, the son of
Aaron, lived in the Temple; he was then the truly dedicated person, and
wine was denied him not absolutely, but at the time of his service in
the Temple.[839] And the Law had no need expressly to forbid the
Nazirite to touch unclean food, since it was already forbidden to every
Israelite. But to defile himself by the touch of a corpse, even of that
of his father or mother, brother or sister, was forbidden to the

Thus we discover three or four stages in the development of Naziritism
among the Israelites, exhibited, (1) by the passage in the prophet Amos,
(2) by the narrative of the birth of Samuel, (3) by that of the birth of
Samson, and lastly, (4) by the Law. Before the time of Amos there were
Nazirites—that is, as appears from their being classed next to Prophets,
people who by a voluntary resolve consecrated their lives to God and the
establishment of religion in the nation, and as a symbol of their
resolve denied themselves the use of wine and did not cut their hair.
There might be many prophets living as Nazirites because such a mode of
life seemed to them appropriate to their intercourse with God. At the
time of the construction of the narrative of Samuel’s birth the
Nazirite’s abstinence was regarded as something intrinsically
meritorious, rewarded by the special favour of God. Hence arose the idea
that Samuel, a man whom tradition allowed to have possessed
extraordinary greatness, had been a Nazirite, not only at a mature age,
but from his very birth, although tradition did not call him such, but
represented him only as a Prophet and Judge. It was supposed that
Naziritism from birth had qualified him for his subsequent greatness. At
the time when the narrator of the birth of Samson lived, this idea was
probably so firmly established, that God could be imagined to bestow his
special favour on an individual only by means of Naziritism, which was
demanded at his very birth as a condition of that favour. Naziritism,
which to Amos had been only a peculiar mode of working for the cause of
the religion and morality of the nation, was degraded by the above
process into a personal mode of life which was thought to be especially
well-pleasing to God. And then any one could adopt it at any moment, and
keep it up for a certain time only, longer or shorter; and the Law then
prescribed the conduct of such as took a vow to live as Nazirites for a
certain period.

But how does the author of this narrative of Samson’s birth stand in
relation to the subsequent popular legends? and what do these legends
know of Samson’s Naziritism? Little, not to say Nothing. The
contradiction cannot be obliterated, and seems to have been observed by
the narrator of the birth himself. He was the first who called Samson a
Nazirite. If even his mother was to observe abstinence during her
pregnancy, it seemed to follow as a matter of course that Samson himself
as a Nazirite ought to pass his life in no less abstinence. But the
legends reported the fact to be the reverse. The narrator observed this.
So when Samson’s father prayed earnestly that the angel who had appeared
to his wife and given her a rule of conduct, might appear to him also
and say how they should do unto the child, the angel gave no answer, but
only repeated the rule for the mother. Thus the narrator did not venture
to allow a degree of abstinence to be prescribed for Samson, which in
the legends he never practised.

There is, however, one feature of the Nazirite which is known even to
the legends: the uncut hair. The legend knows for certain that Samson’s
hair is the seat of his strength. But in the legend the hair is not
represented as a mere ideal sign of divine consecration, but as the real
source of strength. And therefore Samson, having trifled away his hair
and thereby lost his strength, gets his strength back as soon as his
hair has begun to grow again. Thus the loss of the hair is not in the
legend a symbol of a falling away from God, nor the weakness that
attends it produced through being deserted by God; but the hair itself
is the strength, and to cut it off is the same thing as to curtail the
strength, as we have already seen.

There must, at all events, have been a time in Israel when hair and
fulness of physical energy formed one identical idea: it was the heathen
time. When the people had gained a knowledge of the true God, the old
legend had to be modified. Then the uncut hair was treated as a
consecration of its possessor to the service of Jahveh. But the
modification was not fully carried out: one heathen feature remained
unaltered—the idea that with the growth of Samson’s hair his strength
also grew up again.


The very distinctness and clearness with which it has been found
possible to invest the conception and interpretation of Samson as a hero
of heathen mythology, proves the justice and certainty of such an
interpretation. And the justice of the mythical conception of Samson’s
deeds may be demonstrated also by another consideration. The difference
between Samson’s position and that of the other Judges makes it obvious
enough that his history is mere legend through and through. All the
other Judges, Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, fight at the head either of a
large force or of a small and picked company: Samson always appears
alone, and beats hundreds and thousands alone, and this too without
arms. If the other Judges receive Divine apparitions by which they are
impelled to action for the deliverance of their people, yet they act
with perfectly human forces and means, in human fashion: Samson acts
with supernatural force, and is a miracle from beginning to end. In
spite of this, Samson’s action is not only destitute of any proper
result, but also—what is more significant and far worse—devoid of even
the consciousness of any aim, devoid of plan or idea. He—Samson the
Nazirite consecrated to God!—looks for wives and mistresses among his
own and his people’s enemies.[841] He teases, irritates, injures his
enemies, and kills many of them. But there appears nowhere the
consciousness of any mission which he had to fulfil for the good of his
native land against his enemies. He is inspired by no idea of Jahveh,
driven forward by no impatience of a shameful yoke. He is roused only by
pleasures of the senses and the caprice of insolence. Samson is utterly
immoral. He is exactly an old heathen god, and therefore immoral, like
all idols. Idols must be so, for they are only personifications of the
forces and occurrences of nature; now nature as such is indifferent
towards morality, and consequently, though not moral, still not immoral
either; but when the mechanical force of nature is pictured as a person,
and removed into the conditions of ethical life, it cannot but appear
absolutely immoral. This is what all heathendom does, that of Greece not

If, on the one hand, Samson wants all the qualities necessary to an
historical hero, he is on the other, viewed from the esthetic point, a
most admirable phenomenon, quite unique in Hebrew literature. It is
really wonderful with what tact, and what firm and delicate esthetic
feeling, the gigantic, Herculean, Samson is delineated in the Hebrew
legend. His behaviour evinces nothing uncouth or vulgar, a fault from
which even the Greek Herakles is not free. Herakles, though adored as a
god, has to put up with being scorned and derided for his greediness; he
is a standing character in the Greek comedy, and a butt against which
all jests are levelled. Samson, on the contrary, is himself the jester
and scoffer, who adds the jest of insult to the injury he does his
enemies. A native merriness encircles him; and in the very hour of
death, at his self-prepared destruction, he maintains his humour, which
here assumes a sarcastic tone.

                  *       *       *       *       *

We have now to take in hand two more considerations of a general
character, which will determine the true import of the preceding
detached ones and set them on a firm basis. We must first enquire: What
means the above demonstrated accordance of the Hebrew legend with the
legends of other nations?—what is to be inferred from it? The answer to
this will assign the cause of the accordance. And then the field for the
development of the legend of Samson in the popular mind, and the
connexion of the legend with the progress of religions life in the
course of centuries, must be more fully discussed.


In the preceding comparisons, I have in the first instance proved
Samson’s relationship to the Semitic Sun-gods. The Hebrews being Semites
themselves, and living in the midst of Semitic nations, there can be no
doubt that the similarity of the Story of Samson to those of the Semitic
Sun-god is founded on original identity. But, on the other hand, the
Hebrew form of the story exhibits sufficient peculiarity to negative the
idea of its being simply borrowed from other Semitic nations. Samson is
not exactly the Tyrian Melkart, nor the Assyrian and Lydian Sandon, but
a peculiar modification of the conception which lies at the base of both
of them. It is, moreover, quite inconceivable that myths and stories
heard from strangers could yield materials for tales about a national
hero such as Samson. If we knew the Semitic myths and stories more
completely, there would probably be not a single feature in the story of
Samson left without some mythical conception of the Semites
corresponding to it; yet every feature would have undergone a peculiar
Hebrew modification. In the absence of such knowledge, we were obliged
to proceed to a comparison with Greek and Roman legends. Now how are we
to understand the similarities discovered there?

In the abstract, three cases may be assumed as possible. First, there
may have been borrowing; and if so, we should probably be inclined
without hesitation to assume that the Greeks borrowed from the
Phenicians and the Semitic nations of Asia Minor. Secondly, there may
have existed an original similarity in certain mythical conceptions
between Semites and Aryans, whether by reason of original historical
unity, or because both races had, independently of one another, hit upon
the same conception. Then thirdly, a combination of borrowing and unity
is conceivable, by which the Greeks regained by borrowing some element
which had been lost out of their memory, or obtained by borrowing from
strangers an idea synonymous with a preexisting native one. Which of
these possibilities is the reality, cannot be decided all at once with
reference to Herakles in general; but even after some result has been
reached respecting that hero’s personality, the above enquiry must be
instituted afresh concerning every one of his acts.

Now as to the general aspect of Herakles, I think we have at the present
day advanced far enough to be able summarily to reject as absurd the
idea that the Greeks had borrowed him from the Phenicians. The hero
exhibits so decidedly the character of the Aryan Sun-god and Solar hero,
and moreover appears in so specifically Greek a form, that there can be
no doubt but that in him we see the peculiar Greek modification of a
possession held in common by all the Aryans.

The fact, however, of Herakles being originally Greek, does not exclude
the possibility that the Greeks, if they heard of a Semitic god whom
they believed to be their Herakles, might claim the deeds of the foreign
god as belonging to their own hero. This was a perfectly natural and
simple process in the mind, such as may occur now to any one of us.
Suppose that some one tells us news of a certain person whom we think we
know, because we know a person of the same name and position living at
the same place; then we shall immediately attribute what is told us of
the stranger to the one known to us. Thus the Greeks could, and could
not but, ascribe unconsciously to their Herakles what were really
Semitic stories of Solar heroes.

Accordingly, it seems to me beyond doubt, that the Greeks borrowed the
killing of the lion from the Semitic god. For the Lion is a mythical
symbol that recurs among all Semitic nations, whereas he is scarcely
ever, if ever, found in the original Aryan mythology. In the original
seats of the Aryan races there can scarcely have been any lions.
Moreover, it is only after the seventh century B.C. that Herakles was
figured with the lion’s hide. His original arms were those of Apollon,
the bow and arrows.

We touch here on a characteristic distinction between the Semitic and
the Aryan Sun-god. The former kills a lion, the latter a dragon. The
Lion is a symbol of solar heat; the Dragon was originally a symbol of
winter, rain, mist, marshy vapours. The Semitic god has to combat
chiefly with the burning sun, the Aryan with clouds. In India, no doubt,
Indra does battle with the ‘Scorcher,’ ‘the Drought’ (_śushṇa_); but
this is surely a later, peculiarly Indian, accretion. On the other side,
however, as we shall see further on, the Semites were not ignorant of
the Cloud-Dragon. The distinction just indicated, therefore, must be
understood as meaning only that here the one, there the other, of the
two characteristics is the more widely spread and important; or that the
one or the other is the more fully developed.

With this may be combined another interesting feature. The Semitic
Sun-god represents chiefly the procreative warmth and the scorching
heat; the Aryan rather the illuminating light and the fire, which latter
however, in connexion with the rain, is no doubt regarded as productive
of fertility. The two races also appear in general to be similarly
distinguished: the Semite has greater heat, the Aryan more light; the
former is more passionate, the latter more sanguine. But this is not a
suitable place to follow out this train of thought.

As to the foxes with fire-brands, that feature is probably also
borrowed. Among all the Aryan nations, it is only the Latins, as far as
I know, with whom this feature assumes any prominence; and with them it
appears only in the form of sport, derived from a legend already
enfeebled, and scarcely at all in religious rites; for in the latter we
find the red dog with the same signification; and the dog also is
Semitic. It is possible that the fox is also preserved in the Fox of
Teumessos;[843] but the latter belongs to Boeotia, where much Phenician
influence is visible.

If the adventure with the gates of Gaza is correctly interpreted above,
the corresponding descent of Herakles into the nether-world can still
scarcely be regarded as borrowed. The interpretation of the adventure at
Gaza, however, is not certain enough to build any further theories upon,
any more than the story of the ass’s jawbone, which moreover is very
different from the boar’s tusks.


We have convinced ourselves that the mythical mode of looking at things
indicates a distinct stage in the development of the intellectual life
of nations. The substance, which is looked at in the myth, is very
various, and by no means bound to a polytheistic system. Without
offending the dignity of Monotheism, it must be affirmed that not only
Genesis, but also the narrative portion of the other Books of Moses, of
Joshua and Judges, and isolated passages in all other books of the Old
and the New Testament, are mythical. The primeval history comprised in
the first ten chapters of Genesis, sublime above the cosmogonies and
theogonies of all other nations, contains also sublimer myths.

But these Israelite myths, in the form in which we have them now, are
framed throughout on a monotheistic principle. This form is for the most
part not the original one, but a conversion out of a polytheistic form.
My exposition of the legend of Samson might be considered to have
sufficed to prove the existence of a primeval heathenism among the
Hebrews, which of course rested on a Semitic foundation. But this
conclusion may be further confirmed by the following considerations.

I believe myself justified _a priori_, i.e. by reflections of a general
nature, in relying on the concession, that the notion of Revelation, in
the sense that at a definite point of time and by a special Divine
contrivance, Monotheism was taught to a whole nation, and immediately
handed down by them in the sharpest, fullest, and most elaborated
antagonism to all heathen ideas, is philosophically untenable, since it
is in accordance neither with psychology nor with history. This leads
directly and necessarily to the assumption, that the Israelites freed
themselves gradually from their inherited Semitic heathenism, and passed
over to a Monotheism which increased in purity with time.

In opposition to these ideas, some have very recently renewed the
attempt to establish Monotheism as the belief of primeval mankind, from
which the nations passed into Polytheism, either, as some assume,
through a growing dulness of spirit (a Fall), or, as others think,
through the very opposite process, a higher development of mind; whilst
the Israelites preserved the old original Monotheism, which is reckoned
to their credit by the first, and to their blame by the latter,
theorists. It suffices here to remark that this primitive Monotheism is
absolutely incapable of proof from history, that at the outset it turns
history upside down, and especially that it is conjoined to a very loose
and mean notion of the nature of Monotheism. Moreover, the Semitic race
did not possess Monotheism as an inheritance from its birth.[844]

Now if history is unable to prove Monotheism to have existed from the
beginning in the Semitic race, even the monotheistic literature of the
Israelites contains evidence on the other side, exhibiting a mythical
Polytheism that extended from high antiquity down into those writings.
For this Polytheism, as was natural, impressed on the language a stamp
so distinct as to be still recognisable in various views and phrases
belonging to the Prophets and sacred poets.

I will begin with the Book of Job. We need not here discuss the age of
the composition of this wonderful poem. No one will now think of placing
it before Solomon’s time; and Schlottmann’s view, that it was produced
at the end of Solomon’s reign or under his successor, has probably but
few adherents. Now in this poem occur many personifications, which,
although mainly based on lively poetical views and forming simply the
poet’s language, often also betray the existence of decidedly mythical
persons. Although the author was undoubtedly a monotheist and a
Jahveist, yet in his ideas of the world heathenism was still not far
removed from him. This appears precisely in the passages in which he
tries to portray the omnipotence of Jahveh; for there he sometimes slips
into expressions which look as if intended to picture the power of Indra
and Zeus or Apollon. So e.g. (XXVI. 11–13): ‘The pillars of heaven
tremble, and are frightened at his rebuke; by his strength he shakes the
sea, and by his wisdom he crushes Rahabh; by his breath he brightens the
heaven, his hand pierces the flying Dragon.’ To understand these words
in the poet’s own sense, I think we must make very delicate
distinctions. He appears to me to occupy a position in the middle
between the pure Heathenism of a Vedic bard, and Prophetism, and no
doubt nearer to the latter than to the former; yet a position from which
the myth still almost looked like a myth, and was not a mere poetic
figure. I must explain my meaning more fully.

Ewald’s view, that Rahabh was originally a name of Egypt, and then
became the mythological designation of a sea-monster, is an exact
inversion of the fact, and requires no refutation—especially as it has
been already answered.[845] _Rahabh_, etymologically denoting the Noisy,
Defiant, was originally the name and description of the Storm-Dragon. In
the storm it was believed that Jahveh was fighting with a monster that
threatened to devour the sun and the light of the sky. I should claim
this well-known myth of Indra for the Semitic race, were it supported
only by the above verses, and should consequently regard it as a
primeval feature of the mythical aspect of nature, common to Semites and
Aryans, even if we were not so fortunate as we are, through Tuch’s and
Osiander’s investigations, in finding the same myth repeated among the
Arabs and Edomites, who have the divine person Ḳuzaḥ, a Cloud-god, who
shoots arrows from his bow.[846] Here it is clear at the same time that
the Bow is the Rainbow, and the Arrow the Lightning.[847] I see no
reason for the supposition that the Storm-monster was fettered to the
sky. But I think we may gather from Is. XXVII. 1, that the Semitic
Storm-Dragon[848] was imagined in three forms: coiled up (ʿaḳallâthôn),
i.e. the Cloud; flying (bârîach), i.e. the Lightning, or the dragon
flying from the lightning, and lastly stretching himself, extended
(Tannîn), i.e. streaming Rain. By the downpour of the rain the sea in
heaven produced a sea on earth, and the tannîn was removed from the sky
into the ocean. As a sea-serpent he is called Rahabh, the Noisy.

Of this nothing was known even to Isaiah, and no later Prophet or
Psalmist understood this mythical view; these names of mythical beings
had been imperceptibly converted into names of hostile nations, having
been probably first used to designate great and notorious beasts living
in the territories of the nations. Thus in Ps. LXXXVII. 4, Rahabh
indisputably stands for Egypt; and two passages in Ezekiel (XXIX. 3, and
XXXII. 2), exhibit clearly the supposed transition, since Pharaoh, that
is Egypt, is in the latter compared to the Tannîn, that is the
Crocodile, and in the former actually addressed as such. Thus the Tannîn
or Rahabh became first any kind of sea-monster, then specially the
crocodile, and finally Egypt. Similarly it is said in Ps. LXVIII. 31
[30], ‘Rebuke the beast of the sedge,’[849] i.e., the crocodile, meaning

But there is a general connexion between this dragging down of mythical
beings into the life on earth and the conversion of mythical actions in
heaven into terrestrial history. Passages are not wanting in which a
wavering between the mythic signification and that of legendary history,
or the absorption of the former in the latter, is evident. Thus it is
said in Ps. LXXXIX. 10–12 [9–11], ‘Thou rulest the pride (elevation) of
the sea; when it raises its waves, thou stillest them; thou treadest
under foot Rahabh as one that is slain; with the arm of thy might thou
scatterest thy enemies. Thine is the heaven, thine also the earth, etc.’
Here the parallel to Rahabh in the preceding member is gêʾûth
‘elevation, pride, defiance,’ and in the succeeding one ‘thy enemies.’
The writer’s general attention is directed to physical phenomena, which
yielded to him the old heathen conception of Rahabh; but Rahabh had
already gained a historical signification, and consequently suggested in
the following member an historical reference.

This appears still more beautifully, and in a way which lays open to us
the origin of the legendary history, in the following passage, Ps.
LXXIV. 12–17: ‘But God my king, from the olden time working deliverances
in the middle of the earth. Thou cleavest with thy might the sea,
breakest the heads of the Tannîns over the water. Thou crushest the
heads of Livyâthân, givest him for food to beasts of the desert. Thou
splittest open (i.e. makest to burst forth) spring and stream; thou
driest mighty rivers. Thine is the day, thine also the night, thou hast
appointed light and sun. Thou settest all the borders of the earth;
summer and winter, thou formest them.’ Here, again, we have a picture of
the natural world, and one taken from the mythical point of view. God
cleaves the cloud with the lightning, and by that act kills the upper
Dragon above the water, so that the rivers of rain stream down out of
cloud-rocks. But this mythical act, which is repeated for ever in every
thunderstorm, had been converted first into a single act, performed once
in ancient time (miḳḳedem), and subsequently into a cleaving of the sea
at the Exodus out of Egypt. It is this which the poet intends to depict
in these six verses, which he probably took from an ancient song. Thus
he sings of Israel’s passage through the sea and the desert in words
which were intended to picture the Semitic Storm-myth; and thus we see
how the latter was transformed into the former. This transformation was
facilitated on the part of the language by the circumstances that in the
verses just quoted the verbs may be understood as well as in a preterite
as in a present sense (‘thou cleavest’ or ‘thou cleavedst’), and that
ḳedem denotes either ‘past time, antiquity,’ or ‘the beginning of all

The case is exactly the same with the Prophet, Is. LIX. 9, 10: ‘Awake,
awake, put on strength, O arm of Jahveh; awake, as in the days of the
beginning (ḳedem), in the generations of olden times (ʿôlâmîm)! Is it
not thou that dost (or ‘didst’) cut Rahabh, that piercest (or
‘piercedst’) Tannîn? is it not thou that didst dry the sea, the water of
the great abyss, that didst make the depths of the sea a way for the
ransomed to pass over?’ Here also it is clear how the Prophet’s
consciousness passed imperceptibly from the myth into the legend, or, if
you prefer to call it so, history.

From these passages it appears that the conversion of the legend into
history was already so firmly fixed in the minds of men, that, when they
began with depicting nature, and in so doing had recourse to the
stereotyped expressions that originally had a mythical meaning, they
were involuntarily drawn into historical contemplation. This is not the
case with the writer of Job: he remains within the mythical
contemplation of nature. So full of life are the mythical pictures in
his writings that we must suppose them to have been to him more than a
mere matter of constructive fancy. The Pillars of Heaven are not to him
mere mountains poetically described, but also convey a full-toned echo
of the Pillars of Hercules that supported the heaven.[850] The stars and
constellations are to him still actually living beings. In his work
Rahabh cannot signify Egypt, but is still really the Sea-serpent. It is
true that in other passages of the Prophets and Psalms Jahveh walks over
the water of the clouds, which is by Habakkuk (III. 15), in a chapter
containing many references to mythology, actually called ‘Sea’ (yâm):
but only the writer of Job still speaks of the ‘heights of the
sea,’[851] which in mythology are the clouds; even Amos, one of the
earliest Prophets, substitutes for it ‘the heights of the earth’ (IV.
13). Isaiah mentions the ‘heights of the clouds,’[852] a decidedly
mythical phrase; but the Prophet appears in that passage to have
intentionally adopted heathen conceptions, as the words are put into a
heathen mouth. Amos (V. 8) names the constellations Orion and the
Pleiades, but he knows only that Jahveh ‘made’ them; whereas the writer
of Job (XXXVIII. 31) speaks of their fetters. From the speech which he
puts into the mouth of Jahveh it may probably be inferred that he
regarded the mythical acts as acts that took place at the Creation.
Thus, as I have already remarked, he takes a middle position between
pure myth as such and myth transformed into legendary history.
Altogether, he never directs his attention to History and the revelation
of God in history: to his mind God is only a wise creator and upholder
of Nature, and within this nature lies Man, i.e. the individual whom God
created thus, and whose destiny he determines in wisdom and grace. The
poet of Job does not possess the world-embracing glance of the Prophet.

Still, though in his mythology he stands nearer to heathenism than the
Prophets, and his mind falls short of the breadth and greatness of the
prophetic soul, he may yet be a contemporary of theirs, only one who
lived in a retired circle, and had, so to speak, a one-sided education.
And his whole phraseology possesses a somewhat sensuous and
materialistical character, which becomes strikingly obvious on the
comparison of certain expressions and certain passages expressing the
same thought. Orion is in Job still really the fettered Giant (Kesîl
‘the Strong,’ not ‘the Fool’); but Isaiah (XIII. 10) forms from this
word the plural kesîlîm, ‘the bright-shining stars.’ Then the word had
ceased to be a proper name, which it was still in Job. Similarly Tannîn
is here a proper name; but later it denotes a great sea-animal in
general (e.g. in Ps. LXXIV. 13, quoted above), and therefore can have a
plural. See also Is. XIX. 13, 14: ‘The princes of Zoan are become fools,
the princes of Noph are deceived; the heads of her tribes have led Egypt
astray. Jahveh pours into their midst a spirit of perverseness, and they
lead Egypt astray in all her action, like a drunken man tumbling into
his vomit;’ and compare with this Job XII. 24: ‘[God] taketh away the
heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and leads them astray in
a pathless waste; they grope in darkness without light, and he leads
them astray like a drunken man.’ Here we have not, as in Isaiah, the
abstract ‘Spirit (rûach) of perverseness,’ but the concrete ‘Heart’
(lêbh); and the ‘Going astray’ also is depicted more sensuously.[853]

Now that we have thus learnt that the Storm-myth existed among the
Hebrews and the Semites in a form similar to that which it had among the
Aryans, to such an extent that it indelibly permeated their views of
nature and their language, we have not only gained a greatly increased
justification for regarding the story of Samson as a myth, but we can
now venture also on other mythological combinations and interpretations,
which taken singly possess but little security and may pass for mere
conjectures, but which almost certainly have a general mythic character.
Thus we may find in the Bible a copious source of knowledge of Semitic
Mythology. While only calling to memory in general terms the numerous
accordances with Semitic mythology contained in the Bible, which Movers
has in many cases made quite certain, I will here select a few
narratives which seem to have a connexion with the above discussed

I have before[854] pointed to the fact that myths of a Sun-god are
embodied in the life of Moses. Now all of these correspond to
wide-spread Aryan myths of the Sun-god or Solar hero. Immediately after
his birth Moses is put into a chest and placed on the water. A similar
fate befalls nearly all the Solar heroes: e.g. Perseus, and heroes of
the German legends. As Moses sees a burning bush which does not burn
away, so the grove of Feronia[855] is in flames without burning away. I
have already shown[856] that the staff by which Moses performs his
miracles is the Pramantha. Like Moses, Dionysos strikes fountains of
wine and water out of the rock.[857] Moses, by throwing a piece of wood
into bitter water makes it sweet (Ex. XV. 25). This must be the same as
the churning of the Amṛta, Soma, Nectar, the divine mead. Moses has no
dragon to kill, but he kills an Egyptian, and immediately flies, like
all Solar heroes;[858] and like Apollon, Herakles and Siegfried, he
becomes a servant. And the sea, over which Moses stretches out his hand
with the staff, and which he divides, so that the waters stand up on
either side like walls while he passes through, must surely have been
originally the Sea of Clouds;[859] and I have consequently little
inclination to look for the spot of the earth where, and the conditions
under which, the passage might have taken place. A German story presents
a perfectly similar feature.[860] The conception of the Cloud as sea,
rock and wall, recurs very frequently in mythology. Moses feeds the
Israelites with quails. By means of a quail Iolaos wakes the dead
Melkart from death. And the quail appears to have had a close connexion
with Apollon and Diana; for Ὀρτυγία is an old name of Delos, the island
of Apollon; and the nurse of Apollon and Diana, and even Diana herself,
are called by the same name. Moses causes manna, sweet as honey, to be
rained down with the dew; this again reminds us of the nectar and the
mead of the gods.

Thus we see that almost all the acts of Moses correspond to those of the
Sun-gods. We have here not only similar mythical features, but features
which in both cases unite to form one and the same cycle.

The Book of Judges, as well as the Books of Moses, exhibits ancient
elements preserved from the heathen times, also in conformity with Aryan
myths. So Shamgar (Judges III. 31), who slew six hundred Philistines
with an ox-goad, is only Samson in another form. And his name points to
the Sun-god; for it seems to me to denote ‘He that circles about in the
sky.’ We must pay attention to the fact that Barak denotes ‘Lightning,’
even though Barcas is a Carthaginian name. With Barak is associated
Deborah, the ‘Bee.’ Now if rain and dew are treated as Honey, then the
Bee must stand for the rain-cloud. A third name occurs in this
connexion—Jael (Yâʿel), the ‘Wild Goat,’ which is also a symbol of the
Cloud. The Melissae (bees) and the goat Amalthea among the Greeks take
each others’ places. Lastly, the manner in which Sisera is killed, by a
hammer and nail, reminds one of the God of Lightning. The mode in which
David kills Goliath reminds us of Thor’s battle with Hrungnir, in which
he throws his hammer into Hrungnir’s forehead.

The germ of these various agreements ought in fact probably to be
referred to an original identity in the mythical views of the Semites
and Aryans, who were not separated till later. The Fire and (connected
therewith) the Sun, and then the Storm also, may well have led to the
formation of the same myths by the two races while they still lived
together. The separation of the races then produced distinct
developments out of the common germ, which developments, however,
naturally had many points of agreement.

                    POPULAR IDEAS OF THE LATER AGE.

It results from the preceding historical investigation that the oldest
Hebrews were heathens, and that elements belonging to heathen mythology
are even present in the Bible. To gain a clearer idea of the nature of
this fact, I will refer to a precisely similar case—the relation of our
age to the old German heathen times.

The Germans had originally gods, worship, myths and legends—in short, a
heathen faith, of their own. But for more than a thousand years all the
German tribes have been Christian. Nevertheless, heathen practices still
survive among them everywhere and in most various forms; and are so
closely interwoven with Christian practices as to be almost
ineradicable. I will only select a few instances. The old German gods
still live in the names of the days of the week.[861] Churches and
convents were founded at places which had been heathen sanctuaries;
Christian feasts were fixed on days sacred to heathen deities, and thus
the heathen name ‘Easter’ has maintained its existence as a designation
for the highest Christian feast. Heathenism is preserved chiefly in the
popular legends both of the hills and of the lowlands, in popular
customs, usages, games and superstitions; all which has been lately
collected in special books and periodicals. Kuhn’s collections made in
North Germany and Westphalia are of especial scientific value. The gods,
however, have been converted into devils and monsters, the goddesses
into night-hags and witches. But religious stories, Christian legends,
are also often utterly heathen; there are deeds and occurrences
belonging to gods and heroes, which are attributed to the Saints and to
Christ himself. Thus the killing of the Dragon, which is known as a myth
to all the Aryan nations, is ascribed to Saint George. The office of the
god Thor, who pursued and bound giants, is filled in Christian Norway by
Saint Olave. Christ and Saint Peter wander about unrecognised in human
form, to reward virtue and punish vice, as the heathen gods did before
them. Mary, especially, had a multitude of lovely and charming features
ascribed to her, which under heathenism were attributes of Freyja,
Holda, and Bertha. A great number of flowers, plants and insects, the
older names of which referred to Freyja and Venus, are called after
Mary, e.g. Maiden-hair (i.e. the Virgin Mary’s hair), otherwise Capillus
Veneris;[862] and Holda who sends snow becomes Mary: Notre Dame aux
neiges, Maria ad nives. In short, ‘now Christian substance appears
disguised in a heathen form, now heathen substance in Christian form,’
as Jacob Grimm says, in whose _Deutsche Mythologie_ the reader will find
much relating to this mixture of old heathen and Christian ideas in the
spirit of the ‘simple folk that have a craving for myths.’

With the Hebrews it must have been much the same as with the Germans. We
know that no less time than the entire period from Moses to Ezra—a
thousand years of all manner of struggles and of the exercise of the
greatest intellectual and moral forces—was requisite to develop the
faith in One God, and make it a common and permanent possession of the
people, pervading the whole spiritual consciousness.

But the fact that the Germans’ monotheism was brought to them from
outside, while that of the Israelites sprang up among themselves, must
surely have been favourable to the preservation of heathen
characteristics among the latter. Whilst in Germany a systematised
Christianity, fully conscious of the issues involved, contended against
Heathendom; among the Hebrews, Monotheism unfolded all its inevitable
consequences only by degrees, gradually gaining a knowledge both of
itself and of the antagonism in which it was implicated towards all
phases of the heathen faith, worship and life. The Germans knew that
their ancestors were heathens; they endeavoured as far as possible to
break with their heathen past; and yet, knowingly or unknowingly, they
retained a great deal of heathenism; and the pride of the Old German
popular poetry, the _Nibelungen_, has a primeval myth for its subject.
But the contrast between the heathen and the modern age was not at all
firmly fixed in the mind of the Israelites, precisely because the
transition was gradual. Only exceptionally do we find any reminiscence
of the old heathenism, which is put back into the most ancient times. As
far as the people were able to trace their history backwards, that is,
to their supposed ancestor Abraham, they put back the faith in Jahveh;
or indeed still farther, to Adam. The only true God Jahveh was soon
treated as the only one worshiped in the beginning, from whom mankind
fell away, intentionally defying him. Abraham alone remained faithful,
and therefore Jahveh elected Abraham’s descendants to be his people.
Thus the Israelite fancied the faith in Jahveh to be the primitive and
inalienable possession of his people, which had been only temporarily
weakened, but never really lost. Even to other nations the knowledge of
Jahveh could never be wanting; for they worshiped false, non-existent,
gods from folly and malice, and the Israelite took for granted that they
must know all that he knew. Now if even the Christian of the middle
ages, although he knew that his ancestors were heathen, nevertheless
often described them as acting like Christians, because he had no
knowledge of heathendom, and no power of imagining a past age, except in
the likeness of his own; how much more would the monotheistic Israelite
picture his past ages, in which he acknowledged no heathenism at all, in
a Jahveistic light? His whole history was unconsciously transformed. The
heathen myths, which must have something in them, else they could not be
told at all, were converted into events of the earth, closely coalescing
with historical facts, what the heathen gods were said to have done was
ascribed to Jahveh himself or one of his human ministers. The old
Semitic gods, if not utterly forgotten, were made by the Hebrew into men
of the primeval age, powerful heroes, or Patriarchs. I can invoke the
authority of Ewald and Bunsen, for the assertion that no Biblical name
before Abraham has any historical significance, and that of Movers for
saying that Abraham is only the ancient national god of the Semites, El,
who was also their first king or their ancestor, and that Israel,
Abraham’s grandson, was the Semitic Herakles Palaemon. The Israelite
knew no longer how his forerunners had lived and thought in those ages,
while they were still heathen; and he flooded his past history with the
light which shone for him, but was of recent origin. He unconsciously
falsified the facts of the history, because he did not care particularly
for facts. Everything heathen received a Jahveistic sense, the heathen
form a Jahveistic significance, the heathen substance a Jahveistic form.
Only under these conditions could the past history of Israel be made
intelligible to the mind of the people.

And then, when priests and prophets came to reduce the popular stories
to writing, they could certainly only complete what the populace had
already begun. They also were not historians or investigators at all;
instead of transporting themselves into a past age, they raised the past
age to the light of the present. No doubt they were more consistent and
more inventive than the populace; for they wrote with an intelligence
which marks and attempts to explain inconsistencies; and even in the
interest of a certain political or religious object. The heathenism,
which they could not understand, seemed to them impossible; they
discovered everywhere at least Jahveistic motives.

Thus, I think, the Biblical narrative of Samson was an old heathen
story, transformed by a Jahveistic colouring, given to it first by the
Israelitish populace, and subsequently by the author of the narrative. I
have endeavoured, by the aid of parallel instances, to trace the mode of
this transformation and to recover the original form and meaning of the
old story.


We must now attempt to realise the psychological relations and processes
upon which is based the preservation and transformation of heathen ideas
within the range of Monotheism, the fact of which has been exhibited

We require here to see clearly, at least in broad outline, what
relations ideas of recent growth, especially on religion and morals,
bear to older representations. For from this it will then be easy to
make the application to the special case before us, the relation of the
monotheistic Jahveistic ideas to the older heathen representations among
the Israelites. The story of Samson will then present only a special
instance of this relation.

Among the ideas and thoughts, either of a nation or of an individual, a
certain harmony prevails, which is in its nature not logical but
psychological, not based on the law of Contradiction, but yielding that
law as a specially rigorous result; in itself, however, much broader and
more delicate, and indeed through its very breadth losing in stringency.
The laws of logic have a double basis, a metaphysical one on the
objective side, and a psychological on the subjective. That is, the
logical law must be observed, because, if it be not, there arises, on
the one hand, a disturbance of the metaphysical relation under which
things in their reality have to come into thought, and on the other, an
insoluble problem for our psychological function of Consciousness. Of
course, in logical error or offence against logical law, so far as it
actually occurs, there is nothing psychologically impossible. For
example, a logically improper association of two ideas in the mind is
possible—but only through the absence from the mind of the third factor,
which logically makes it an error: if it were present, it would
infallibly have prevented the improper association. That which is
logically wrong is thus incapable of being thought. No one can think
that 7 + 4 = 12. We may certainly make such a false reckoning, if we
happen not completely to spread before us the contents of the numbers in
this succession: then such an association of ideas, such a summation of
the series, may be formed. But as soon as the set of numbers is fully
counted out, our passage from 7 + 4 to 12 is stopped, and no effort
would avail to connect them as equals. That which in the logical sphere
is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ takes, in the psychological, the form of
‘complete’ or ‘incomplete.’ Accordingly, if without knowing logic men
can think right, and tell right thinking from wrong, it is because, when
once the elements of a case are all clearly present to the mind, wrong
thinking is psychologically impossible. This impossibility in the first
instance only forces us to drop the wrong combination; but this is the
first inducement to search for the right one. But, supposing no free
movement of search and a total absence of reflection, then we shall
simply have such range of combination as may be compatible with the
psychological conditions; and, provided the necessary factors are all
clear in the mind, this can be no other than the right one, viz., that
which accords with the aggregate view of things.

This congruity among the ideas of particular nations or individuals is
no doubt tantamount in the end to an avoidance of logical contradiction;
and into this we might in all cases resolve such concord, could we
exactly trace all the threads or intermediate members. But where the
most we can do is to _feel_ such threads of connexion, the congruity
takes the shape of some Characteristic pervading the circles of
ideas—some common stamp.

According to this, we ought to be able to discover in the mind of every
nation a system of ideas intrinsically bound together and never
self-contradictory. And this will so far prove to be the fact, that a
certain national type will be everywhere present. But it is possible for
contradictions to occur in the national life; for, if only they do not
clash against one another in the consciousness, the contradictory ideas
do not operate with their force of contradiction. Even every individual
doubtless bears about with him unconsciously many ideas in harshest
contradiction; contradictions, however, they are, in virtue not of any
objective force proper to the ideas in themselves, but of an act of
judgment which sets them forth as mutually contradictory. The
contradictions are often hidden very deep, and only brought to light by
a methodical search. When, however, new ideas, proclaimed everywhere in
the streets, conflict with the old ones, the contradiction is at once
brought to the light of day. What will be the result?

A conflict will arise, without doubt: will it be one with physical
weapons? Such a conflict, though it may be inevitable, and though it has
often given occasion for the exhibition of high and noble virtue, is
nevertheless of no value to the real cause, the true victory, the
victory of truth; and the chief point gained by the physical victory has
generally been only the conviction of its worthlessness.

The conflict within the mind, where Ideas _en masse_ confront Ideas in
rank and file,—this forms the substance of the History of Mankind: a
Conflict of Souls.

Mind rules and moulds, Matter is ruled and moulded: this relation
repeats itself within the consciousness. Whatever consciousness owes to
impressions of sense, serves as material to be moulded by mental
activity. For the purpose of this moulding, the mind, impelled partly by
this material itself and partly by its own nature, forms
representations, notions, forms i.e. modes of apprehension, and ideas,
namely, the general conceptions of genera and species, the metaphysical
categories, and the moral ideas. In accordance with the moral ideas are
formed principles of action, judgments on the acts of others, even of
God, insofar as man believes himself acquainted with the acts of God.
Conversely, acts are declared to be or not to be God’s, insofar as they
do or do not accord with the moral standard and the conception of God.
In accordance with the general class-conceptions the world of things
divides itself before the view: and while by certain esthetic and moral
ideas these things are brought under a rule of valuation, in
metaphysical aspects they are put into a causal relation. Finally,
religious ideas form the foundation and the summit of all these curious
constructions of a world and judgments passed on a world.

Accordingly, the conflict shows itself in two forms. Sometimes a certain
domain of materials, in which new relations and connexions have become
prominent, requires a new form of thought to dominate it; sometimes a
new form of thought strives to supplant the old one, and to reshape, in
accordance with its new laws, the matter which had been shaped by the
former one. An example will make this clear. The thought ‘God’ forms the
apex of the pyramid of ideas; it possesses the highest and widest
dominion—for this very reason unfortunately often the weakest—and
therefore shapes every province of consciousness in accordance with what
it contains. Now, let an altered character come over the contents of one
of these domains, say of the ideas concerning our relation to our
fellow-men, or concerning causality in nature; then that domain can no
longer tolerate to be ruled and moulded by the thought previously
connoted in the word ‘God,’ standing as it now does in contradiction to
that thought. It sets up the sway of a new form of thought, which fits
its new contents, because growing out of them; there arises a new
conception of God, a new Theology. But the old Theology has still its
seat in all the other provinces of consciousness; so that, before any
further advance, the new Idea has still to bring all these other
provinces under its sway, to dissolve the shape given them by the old
principle, and replace it by one which is congenial with itself. This
may, nay must, produce a long conflict, which demands much labour. Of
many a concept the intension will have to be entirely cancelled,—of all
to be at least remodelled. Yet with many ideas the association has
through long habit become quite fixed. Severed they must be, the new God
requires it; but it can only be done very gradually. A thousand
forbidden combinations find lurking-places and remain; they maintain
themselves in contradiction to the new order of things, and perhaps half
accommodate themselves to it in order to avoid a shock.

Imperfectly as I have expounded the point in question, I hope,
nevertheless, that what I have said will suffice for the present
purpose. What it wants in transparency and clearness may yet be added by
the application of the general remarks to the particular case.

There existed for a long time, as I have remarked, monotheistic and
heathen ideas in the national mind of the Israelites side by side—the
former being the newer, the latter the older. But yet the former were
the ruling ideas, and always gaining strength and clearness and coming
to the brightest foreground of the consciousness, whereas the latter
were constantly losing ground and clearness. Thus the nation lost the
true consciousness of its heathen past history and the understanding of
its former condition and experiences. For no nation as such possesses
that true sense for history, by which it would conceive of itself and
its present existence in conscious contrast to the past, and strive to
gain an objective view of the mind and nature of past ages. The
consciousness of a nation is only the active present age, and knows
nothing of history. Therefore, whenever a radical revolution, extending
over many important domains of ideas, has come over the nation, it no
longer understands its own past history which lies on the other side of
the revolution. Yet the old words, sayings and stories are transmitted
all the same, and they contain accounts of bygone events and conditions,
ancient ideas and ancient faith. But the stories which refer to obsolete
and forgotten states of things are unintelligible; the names and sayings
of forgotten gods, things and ideas are empty; typical figures and
phrases based on those legends and gods, though still living on the
lips, have become senseless. The nation always thinks that the word must
have an idea behind it. So what it does not understand, it converts into
what it does; it transforms the word until it can understand it. Thus
words and names have their forms altered: e.g. the French _écrevisse_
becomes in English _crawfish_, and the heathen god _Svantevit_ was
changed by the Christian Slavs into _Saint Vitus_, and the Parisians
converted _Mons Martis_ into _Montmartre_. And what was reported of
persons or beings represented like persons, that are no longer known, is
now told of persons whose acquaintance has been newly made. In Germany
it was told of the god Wuotan, that he was called Long-beard, and as
such fell asleep inside a mountain; now when Wuotan was utterly
forgotten, a new subject had to be found; and the legend was transferred
to the heroic kings Charles [the Great] and Frederick [Barbarossa].
Moreover, the myth that forms the groundwork of the poem of the
_Nibelungen_, which was originally told without mention of any definite
time or place, was assigned to a well-known locality, and its heroes
received the names of historical kings.

Every nation must of necessity act similarly; for the legends which it
tells must be its own legends, and reflect its own life and present
circumstances; if they have ceased to do so because its life has
changed, then they are changed in accordance with the change in the
life. Even the future beyond the grave is to the popular mind only the
present life somewhat gilded; then how is it likely that the past shall
be thought of as different from the present?

And precisely because these transformations and transferences are
necessary, they take place unconsciously and unintentionally. The mind
of the nation does not make them; they are an occurrence in that mind,
which makes itself by itself. The nation has subjects and predicates,
sounds and meanings, given to it in the legend. Now if the stream of
time carries off the subjects and meanings into the ocean of oblivion,
then by the psychological law the unattached predicates and sounds must
fasten themselves on to any other subjects and meanings by which they
can be supported. This takes place without any one intending it, and
without any one observing it.

The words, names and phrases which a nation uses have to be apperceived
in the moment when they are employed. This is true both of the hearer
and of the speaker. But the apperceptions are dependent on the
previously formed associations of ideas. Now if a German heard
‘Sinfluth,’ or if, when speaking, this word known to him by tradition
presented itself to his consciousness in the course of speech, then the
second part of the word, _Fluth_ ‘flood,’ found the idea with which it
was associated, and which was reproduced by being brought into
consciousness by the word; but the first part, _Sin_, stood in no
association and roused no idea. But by material relationship and partial
identity of sound, _Sin_ is associated with _Sünde_ ‘sin,’ and the
latter idea (that of sin or guilt) was at the same time associated with
the word _Sinfluth_ as a whole; thus then this idea of sinfulness was
strongly lifted into prominence on two sides, much more strongly and
quickly than the German _Sin_ itself. This latter was ultimately raised
into prominence only through its traditional combination with _Fluth_
‘flood,’ and this only as a sound; consequently in its advance it was
overtaken by _Sünde_ ‘sin,’ which was lifted into prominence partly
through it (_Sin_), and partly also through _Fluth_, and therefore with
double force. Consequently people spoke and thought _Sünd_, instead of
saying without thinking _Sin_; and this was the direct result of a
simple psychological process.[863] Similarly in all analogous cases.
Among the Ossetes of the Caucasus the Dies Martis, Tuesday, is
unconsciously converted into George’s Day; and the Dies Veneris, Friday,
into Mary’s Day. In many nations the gods form a circle limited to
twelve immortals; the thirteenth in a society was then a mortal, one
destined to die. Similarly, even at the present day, Christians fear
that out of thirteen one will die, referring it however to the company
of thirteen formed by Jesus and the twelve Apostles. Again, there was a
legend widely spread among Teutonic nations, of an Archer, who shot an
apple from his own little boy’s head, and answered the despot at whose
command he had done it, when asked about his other two arrows, that they
were intended for him, in case the first had killed the child. Who was
the Archer? Who was the Despot? where and what was the motive? All this
was forgotten; there only remained a dim echo of the legend of the shot.
But when Switzerland, a nation of archers, had shaken off the yoke of a
despot, all the features of the story recovered definite names, places,
time, and motive. As the stone flying through the air falls to the earth
by the law of attraction, so the old legend fell into the

Sometimes we forget something, but yet retain a small part of it in the
memory, as when we say, I have really forgotten his name; but I am sure
it begins with B. The same thing happens to nations. The name of Venus,
or Holda, was forgotten; but people were sure that she was a divine
woman. Now to the Christians of the middle ages ‘Divine Woman’ and
‘Mary’ were one single idea; consequently, the name Mary, unobserved,
took the place of the heathen goddesses in the numerous appellations and
legends which are now connected with Mary. Of Mars it was only
remembered that he was a warrior; so Tuesday, which was sacred to him,
could only become Saint George’s Day.

Similar was the history of the Israelites when they became monotheistic.
The heathen cosmogony, and the heathen idea of the activity of the gods
in physical occurrences, contradicted the new idea of the One Almighty
God, before whom Nature is nothing. But even though the idea that this
God alone created the world, had been long accepted and established, yet
there were still, preserved in stereotyped expressions of language, many
ideas which preserved from oblivion and ruin features of the old modes
of thought alongside of the new. They remain, so long as attention is
not drawn to the contradiction in which these separate words stand to
the new general system. When the clouds were no longer regarded as a
sea, as they once were, people ceased to understand the meaning of ‘the
heights of the sea;’ this expression no longer finds any organ of
apperception, because ‘Sea’ is no longer associated with the idea of the
clouds. Therefore, the expression is sustained only by its traditional
connexion with ‘heights.’ But ‘heights’ are very closely associated with
earth and with the idea of mountains; and thus with the Prophet
Amos[864] this association supplanted the older one—the living took the
place of the dead. We will now, in conclusion, return to Samson.

                13. HISTORY OF THE MYTH OF THE SUN-GOD.

We will now review the entire history of the old Semitic God of the Sun
or of Heat, as he was present to the national consciousness of Israel.

I wonder whether I am mistaken? I flatter myself that I know the
particle by which was expressed the greatest revolution ever experienced
in the development of the human mind, or rather by which the mind itself
was brought into existence. It is the particle ‘as’ in the verse[865]
‘And he [the Sun] is _as_ a bridegroom, coming out of his chamber; he
rejoices _as_ a hero to run his course.’ Nature appears to us _as_ a
man, _as_ mind, but is not man or mind. This is the birth of Mind, the
generation of Poetry. This ‘as’ is unknown not only to the Vedas, but
even to the Greeks. This does not mean that the Greeks had no poetry at
all, but only that there is an inherent defect in their poetry, which is
connected with the deepest foundation of their national mind. Helios,
driving along the celestial road with fiery steeds, is not poetry, but
only becomes poetical when we tacitly insert the ‘as’ of the Psalmist.
He to whom Helios is a conscious being is childlike, if not childish:
the Psalmist is poetical.

Now when such psalms were being spread abroad increasingly in Israel;
when Jahveh was acknowledged as the being that brings up the sun, the
stars and the rain-clouds, that builds the house and guards the city;
then the old Sun-god or Herakles was forgotten; that is, his divinity,
and that only, was forgotten. His deeds were still recounted; but deeds
demand an agent. And thus out of the god, who could exist no longer in
the presence of Jahveh, a man was made, who with Jahveh’s force to aid
him performed superhuman things, but in other respects lived among men
and within human conditions, worked quite as a man, and even enjoyed his
superhuman power only on human terms, namely the terms of Naziritism.

Deeds were reported of some one who had long hair. But who wore his hair
long, but the Nazirite consecrated to Jahveh? Deeds were told, which no
one could accomplish unless exceptionally endowed with strength by
Jahveh; and Jahveh would give such privilege only to the Nazirite
consecrated to him. Consequently, when Samson was no longer a god, he
must be a Nazirite. Nevertheless, he was distinguished beyond all other
Nazirites: he was so from his very birth, like Samuel, to whom with
Naziritism was granted Prophecy, a gift vouchsafed to others only later
in life and occasionally. The strictly mythical character, the allusion
to a religion of nature, was entirely lost from the stories about
Samson. Whatever happened to him took a purely human character.

There was also a dim memory of the same forgotten god, that he was
Melkart, i.e. ‘king or guardian of the city.’ Samson, now reduced to
humanity, could have been such a guardian only in a human sense, though
perhaps in an extraordinary degree. Now Israel preserved from the first
half of its political existence the memory of no other enemy so
dangerous, so difficult to withstand, and again in its subsequent
weakness so hateful, as the Philistines: against them Samson must have
fought. No other foe had laid on Israel so hard a yoke or such bitter
degradation as the Philistines: but Samson must have avenged this on
them. He must not only have conquered them, but likewise have given them
a taste of his great physical and intellectual superiority: the Nazirite
consecrated to Jahveh could scoff at the Philistines. Thus Samson was in
the end a Judge, Shôphêṭ; for in the age of the Judges, the wars with
the Philistines had begun, and after Eli and Samuel, Saul and David, or
even beside any of them, Samson could not have lived. These were not
deliberations, but unconscious impulses, which shaped the legend of
Samson in the national mind of Israel.

No feature of the Solar hero has suffered a more characteristic
conversion than his end, as is seen by a comparison with the
corresponding polytheistic legends. Orion is blinded by the father of
his lady-love, and Samson had his eyes put out. But Orion kindled the
light of his eyes again at the rays of Helios, whereas Samson remains
blind, and only prays to be endowed with strength to avenge the loss of
one of his two eyes.[866] It is true, his hair grows again and brings
back his strength: after the winter comes a new spring. But all in
vain—Samson dies, notwithstanding. He dies like Herakles: but there is
no Iolaos to wake him to a new life, no Athene and Apollon to lead him
to Olympos, no Zeus and Here to present to him Hebe, the personification
of the enjoyment of perpetual youth. Samson dies and remains dead; he
dies, and tears down with him his own pillars—the pillars on which he
had built the world—to find a grave beneath them. The heathen god is
dead, and draws his own world down with him into his own nothingness;
his battles were a play of shadows. Jahveh lives, ‘he hath established
the world by his wisdom,’ ‘he giveth rain, the autumn and the spring
showers, each in its season, and keepeth to us the prescribed weeks of
harvest,’ ‘cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night;’[867] he
lives, the Lord of the world, the King of the earth, and his hero is


Footnote 786:

  See W.K. Kelly, _Curiosities of Indo-European Tradition and
  Folk-lore_, London 1863, chap. II.—TR.

Footnote 787:

  See Kelly, _ibid._, p. 74.—TR.

Footnote 788:

  See Kelly, _ibid._, p. 83.—TR.

Footnote 789:

  See Kelly, _ibid._, 163–5—TR.

Footnote 790:

  See Kelly, _Curiosities etc._, p. 89.—TR.

Footnote 791:

  See Kelly, _Curiosities etc._, p. 83–85, 151.—TR.

Footnote 792:

  See Kelly, _ibid._, p. 83, 141–3.—TR.

Footnote 793:

  See Kelly, _Curiosities etc._, pp. 37, 43.—TR. The literal meaning of
  his name is _qui in matre tumescit vel praevalet_, i.e. a boring-stick
  like the lightning.

Footnote 794:

  In English _mangle_, substantive and verb. The verb _mangle_ ‘to tear’
  is probably the same, derived from the action of _boring_. To
  _mantle_—to winnow corn, to rave, to froth, may be from the same
  original root, represented by the Sanskrit, _math, manth_, in the
  sense ‘to shake.’ See Halliwell, _Dict. of Archaic and Provincial
  Words._ The Greek μόθος ‘tumult’ is connected with the same root by
  Gr. Curtius, _Grundzüge der griech. Etymologie_, No. 476.—TR.

Footnote 795:

  The penis. The Latin _mentula_, as Prof. Weber reminds me, is clearly
  the same.

Footnote 796:

  The boring-stick and the penis.

Footnote 797:

  ṛ in Sanskrit is pronounced as _r_ with a very short vowel, _e.g._
  like _ri_ in _merrily_.—TR.

Footnote 798:

  Halliwell, _l.c._, gives in provincial English _bliken_ ‘to shine,’
  _blickent_ ‘shining,’ and _blink_ ‘a spark of fire.’—TR.

Footnote 799:

  ć in Sanskrit is the English _ch_ in _church_.—TR.

Footnote 800:

  This is supported by the analogy of the French _apprendre_. It should
  also be noted that Plato, in defining the signification of μανθάνειν,
  says that it means πράγματός τινος _λαμβάνειν_ τὴν ἐπιστήμην (Euthyd.
  277. e.).

Footnote 801:

  On all this see my _Einleitung in die Psychologie und

Footnote 802:

  It is explained by Lazarus, _Leben der Seele_, II. p. 166, and by me
  in _Grammatik, Logik und Psychologie_, pp. 319–340, and in
  _Charakteristik der Typen des Sprachbaues_, pp. 78 _et seq._

Footnote 803:

  The male is the Pramantha, the female the ἐσχάρα (the lower piece of
  wood and the female pudenda).

Footnote 804:

   See Kelly, _Curiosities etc._, pp. 35–38, 137–150, 158.—TR.

Footnote 805:

  Num. XX. 12, XXVII. 13, 14.—TR.

Footnote 806:

   _Sage_, a ‘saying’ or legendary story, which may have no historical
  foundation, but be produced out of mythic matter. Where, as here, it
  is sharply distinguished from history, I render it _legend_; elsewhere
  _story_, which is generally the best English equivalent,
  notwithstanding its derivation from _historia_.—TR.

Footnote 807:

  The allusion is to the story of Bruin the bear and the honey, in
  Reynard the Fox: see _Reinhart_, v. 1533–1562, _Reinaert_, v. 601–706,
  in Jacob Grimm’s edition, Berlin 1834; and Goethe’s modern German
  version, canto 2.—TR.

Footnote 808:

  Welcker, _Griechische Götterlehre_, I. 478.

Footnote 809:

  Welcker, _ibid._, 490.

Footnote 810:

  Studer, _Buch der Richter_, p. 320: Sachs, _Beiträge zur Sprach- und
  Alterthumsforschung_, II. p. 92.

Footnote 811:

  Preller, _Römische Mythologie_, p. 437–8.

Footnote 812:

  Ovid, _Fasti_, IV. 679 _et seqq._

Footnote 813:

  Judges XV. 8.

Footnote 814:

  Judges XV. 15–19.

Footnote 815:

  VIII. 5. 1, p. 353.

Footnote 816:

  III. 22. 8.

Footnote 817:

  Judges XV. 19: ʿÊn haḳḳôrê.

Footnote 818:

  Judges XV. 16.

Footnote 819:

  _Buch der Richter_, p. 185.

Footnote 820:

  Judges XV. 17: Râmath Lechî.

Footnote 821:

  v. 19.

Footnote 822:

  Schwartz, _Ursprung der Mythologie_.

Footnote 823:

  Makhtêsh, v. 19.

Footnote 824:

  I formerly saw in the Jawbone the representative of the Harpe (toothed
  sickle), with which Herakles cuts off the heads of the Hydra, and
  which Kronos and Perseus also employ—the latter when he beheads
  Medusa. I have changed my view in favour of that here propounded,
  through consideration of the ‘throwing,’ which undoubtedly is
  significant. But complete certainty is unattainable. What meaning can
  be attached to the circumstance that the jawbone is called a ‘fresh’
  (new) one (v. 15)?

Footnote 825:

  Judges XVI. 1–3.

Footnote 826:

  Welcker, _Griech. Götterlehre_, II. 776; Preller, _Griech. Mythol._,
  II. 154, 167; Movers, _Phönizier_, I. 442.

Footnote 827:

  Welcker, _ibid._, II. 761.

Footnote 828:

  Judges XVI. 4: Nachal Sôrêḳ, _i.e._ Valley of the Vine.

Footnote 829:

  I formerly took Delîlâ, _i.e._ the ‘Worn out,’ to be a personification
  of Nature, worn out and no longer productive in the winter-season.
  Then the name Delîlâ might be compared with that of Aphrodite
  _Morpho_, supposing Movers (p. 586) to give the right interpretation
  of the latter, in discovering it to be the Syriac word for Fatigue,
  Flagging. Then Delîlâ would be the Winter-goddess, and might be a
  peculiar phase of Derketo, who was worshiped in conjunction with the
  barren Sea-god Dagon (see Stark, _Gaza_, p. 285). Pausanias (III, 15.
  8) relates that there was at Sparta an old temple with an image of
  Aphrodite to whom it belonged—_i.e._ Astarte, Semiramis, etc. This
  temple (alone of all the temples that Pausanias knew) had an upper
  story, in which was an image of Aphrodite Morpho. She was represented
  sitting, veiled, and with her feet bound. Pausanias himself interprets
  the fetters to indicate women’s attachment to their husbands; but this
  reading is not binding on us. I regard this Morpho as a picture of
  Nature fettered and mourning in winter. Similarly, and also at Sparta
  (_ibid._ 5) the bound Enyalios signifies the restrained solar heat of
  Mars. However, this interpretation of Delîlâ as Winter stands in no
  contradiction to what is said in the text. Moon-goddess, Love-goddess,
  Chaste goddess, and Winter, are only different aspects of the same
  mythological figure, to which a name capable of many interpretations
  is very suitable. Stark (_Gaza_, p. 292) is right in asserting the
  hostility of Herakles to the descendants of Poseidon, the gloomy
  sea-god, who according to Semitic conceptions I believe to have been
  also the Winter-god (Dagon). But Movers (p. 441) appears to be also
  right in showing how, besides combating the creatures of Typhon,
  Melkart-Herakles is also hostile to the evil Moon-goddess. For she is
  only the female figure corresponding to the male Moloch, Typhon and
  Mars. In the Greek myth the place of the Semitic Lunar Astarte is
  occupied by Hera, the adversary of Herakles. She is confounded both
  with Ashêrâ the goddess of Love, and with Astarte. Thus there was in
  Sparta an Aphrodite Hera (Paus. III. 13. 6). To her goats were
  sacrificed at Sparta, and only there, as to the Semitic Birth-goddess;
  and she was called ‘Goat-eater’ (Ἥρα αἰάγοφάγος, _ib._ 15. 7; Preller,
  _Griech. Myth._, p. 111; but I am of opinion that the goats have not
  the same meaning in her case as in that of Zeus). In the character of
  Astarte, as an evil Moon-goddess, a female Moloch or Mars, she appears
  when she sends the Nemean lion, the Solar heat, into the land, and on
  other occasions when she is put into connexion with the powers of evil
  (Preller, p. 109). The conception which unites opposite natural forces
  in the same divine person, which then appears under a modified form,
  could not be better expressed in architecture than it is in the
  above-mentioned temple of Aphrodite. The lower story is a temple of
  the Armed Aphrodite; the upper a temple of Aphrodite Morpho: thus the
  whole is a temple of the strict goddess, below of the Summer, above of
  the Winter. The fact that a deity of the Solar heat and the Fire is
  regarded as also a deity of the Sea, may be explained not only by the
  equal barrenness of the Desert—a sea of sand, and the Sea—a desert of
  water, but perhaps also by the opinion, attributed by Plutarch (_de
  Is. et Os._ c. 7) to the Egyptians, that the sea is not an independent
  element but only a morbid emanation from fire. To Morpho or Winter
  corresponds Hera, as one at variance with Zeus, or as a widow
  (Preller, p. 108). Thus then it will be clear that Delîlâ may be both
  the Birth-goddess (Ashêrâ) and the evil Moon-goddess (Astarte), or
  more accurately the Winter-goddess (Derketo). If Semiramis exhibits a
  combination of Ashêrâ with Astarte, then Delîlâ shows a similar
  combination of Ashêrâ with Derketo, who is only a modification of

Footnote 830:

  The derivation from the root _shmn_ is impossible, that from the root
  _shmm_ far-fetched. The simple derivation from shemes ‘sun’ appears to
  be rejected by Bertheau (_Buch der Richter_, p. 169) only ‘because the
  long narrative concerning Samson presents no reference to a name of
  any such signification’ (as ‘the Sunny,’ the Solar hero), and because,
  as he says, ‘we do not expect to find a name of this kind anywhere in
  Hebrew antiquity.’ But the matter appears to us now in a very
  different light, and the connexion with the Sun which Bertheau did not
  expect to find has now become clear.

Footnote 831:

  That Dagon really had the form of a fish, which Movers denies, surely
  appears certain from 1 Sam. V. 4 (see Stark, _Gaza_, p. 249). And it
  would be an excess of diplomatic accuracy, such as we are not
  justified in ascribing to the Hebrew writer, to suppose that his only
  reason for writing dâgôn was that the Hebrew dâgân ‘corn’ was
  pronounced Dâgôn in Phenician. Moreover, such a word as ‘Corn’ (dâgân)
  cannot well be a proper name. The formation of proper names of men and
  places by the termination _ôn_ is excessively common, and requires no
  citation of examples.

Footnote 832:

  Judges XVI, 22.

Footnote 833:

  Judges XIII.

Footnote 834:

  1 Sam. I.

Footnote 835:

  Num. VI. 1–21.

Footnote 836:

  1 Sam. I. 28.

Footnote 837:

  1 Sam. II. 11, 18, III. 3, I. 11.

Footnote 838:

  Amos II. 11, 12.

Footnote 839:

  Lev. X. 9.

Footnote 840:

  Num. VI. 6, 7.

Footnote 841:

  The circumstance that this was ‘of Jahveh’ (Judges XIV. 4) is a
  fiction interpolated into the legend by the systematising author.

Footnote 842:

  It will be seen from the above, that I am far from subscribing to the
  judgment on the heathen religions which has in recent times been
  widely diffused among philosophers and philologians. I agree
  essentially with the judgment of the natural mind, which always sees
  delusion and superstition in heathendom. But it does not follow from
  this that the heathens were absolutely immoral: they invested with
  their own morality gods who were intrinsically representations of
  nature only.

Footnote 843:

  See Preller, _Griech. Mythol._ II. 97; Gerhard, _Griech. Mythol._ §

Footnote 844:

  For this assertion I must for the present refer to what I have said in
  an article, _Zur Charakteristik der semitischen Völker_, in the
  _Zeitschr. für Völkerpsychologie etc._ Vol. I. p. 328 _et seqq._ In
  Liebner and others’ _Jahrbücher für deutsche Theologie_, V. p. 669 _et
  seqq._, there is a long article by Diestel, _Der Monotheismus des
  ältesten Heidenthums, vorzüglich bei den Semiten_. He also declares
  himself averse to the assumption of a primitive Monotheism, because it
  is destitute of all historical proof. He brings many points
  judiciously into the light, especially the absence of an accurate
  conception of Monotheism (p. 684). But when he objects to me, that in
  the above-quoted article (p. 330) I am too hard on the expression
  _Instinct_ used by Renan, inasmuch as it is to be understood as
  implying only an individual disposition of the religious mind, not a
  momentum of half-animal physical life. I must observe in reply, that I
  can scarcely imagine how else instinct can be understood but as a
  ‘half-animal momentum’; and even reason, taken as an instinct, is _eo
  ipso_ degraded to a momentum of half-animal physical life. And if
  Diestel here means by instinct a ‘disposition of the mind,’ I can see
  in such dispositions scarcely anything more than momenta of
  _half_-animal physical life. Moreover, I cannot admit any such
  ‘dispositions of the religious mind,’ which have the special object of
  their belief determined beforehand. A disposition to reasonableness in
  general, or to religiousness in general, does dwell in the human mind;
  but not a disposition so defined as to its object that a limited idea,
  such as Monotheism, could be _a priori_ inherent in it.

Footnote 845:

  By J. Olshausen in Hirzel’s _Hiob_, p. 60 note.—But Ewald says
  expressly (_Ijob_, 1854, p. 126) that Rahab is everywhere _a
  mythological name for a sea-monster_, even where it stands for

Footnote 846:

  See pp. 73, 169.

Footnote 847:

  See _Zeitsch. d. D. M. G._, 1849, III. p. 200 _et seq._

Footnote 848:

  Hebrew livyâthân, nâchâs; Sanskrit Vṛtra, Ahi.

Footnote 849:

  The literal and only possible translation of the first three words of
  the verse, geʿar chayyath ḳaneh, rendered correctly in the Septuagint
  and Vulgate; for which the English A.V. unaccountably substitutes
  ‘Rebuke the company of spearmen,’ while the Prayer-book version goes
  even further astray.—TR.

Footnote 850:

  Baʿal kûn, see Movers, I. 292.

Footnote 851:

  Job IX. 8; bâmothê yâm.—TR.

Footnote 852:

  Is. XIV. 14; bâmothê ʿâbh.—TR.

Footnote 853:

  It will be inferred from the above reasoning, that I should be
  inclined to assign an early age to the writer of the Book of Job. But
  I can find no reason for making him older than Amos; indeed, he may
  have lived into the lifetime of Isaiah. I must further remark that
  Schlottmann (_Das Buch Hiob verdeutscht und erläutert_, pp. 69–105,
  especially 101 _et seqq._) has expressed ideas similar to those
  propounded by me, though starting from assumptions utterly different
  in principle. To the passages of Job which he places side by side with
  corresponding ones of Amos (p. 109), the following may be added: Amos
  V. 8 and IX. 6, ‘who calleth to the water of the (Cloud-) Sea,’ and
  Job XXXVIII. 34, ‘wilt thou lift up thy voice to the Cloud?’

Footnote 854:

  _Prometheus_, p. 391.

Footnote 855:

  Kuhn, _Herabkunft des Feuers etc._, p. 30.

Footnote 856:

  P. 392.

Footnote 857:

  Preller, ib. I. 438; Kuhn, ib. p. 24, 243.

Footnote 858:

  See p. 399.

Footnote 859:

  See p. 425.

Footnote 860:

  Schwartz, _Ursprung der Mythologie_, p. 251.

Footnote 861:

  In English Tues-day, Wednes-day, Thurs-day, Fri-day, Satur-day, from
  Anglo-Saxon names of gods, Tiu or Teow, Wôden, Thunor, Frige,

Footnote 862:

  E.g. the Lady-bird, in German Marienkäfer; its Danish name, Marihöne,
  was, according to Grimm, anciently Freyjuhöna ‘Freyja’s hen.’ So
  Venus’ Looking-glass (Speculum Veneris) is also called Lady’s Glass;
  Pecten Veneris is Lady’s Comb. There are very numerous plants named
  after Our Lady, which were probably originally dedicated to Freyja or
  Venus, as Lady’s Mantle; Lady’s Thistle or Lady’s Milk (Carduus
  Marianus: ‘distinguished at once by the white veins on its leaves....
  A drop of the Virgin Mary’s milk was conceived to have produced these
  veins, as that of Juno was fabled to be the origin of the Milky Way.’
  Hooker and Arnott, _British Flora_, p. 231); Lady’s Smock (Cardamine);
  Lady’s Bower or Virgin’s Bower (Clematis); Lady’s Fingers (Anthyllis);
  Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes or Neottia); Lady’s Slipper

Footnote 863:

  As this German example will not be familiar to all English readers, it
  is necessary to give a few words of explanation. The great Deluge
  (Gen. VI.-VIII.) is called in modern German _Sünd-fluth_, which seems
  to be Sin-flood = Flood on account of sin. But in Old High German it
  is written Sin-vluot and Sint-vluot, which cannot be identical with
  the assumed meaning of the modern word, since _sin_ (peccatum) is in
  Old High German _sunta_. Moreover, _sin_ is a prefix well known to
  most of the Teutonic languages, denoting (1) always, (2) great. In the
  former sense we have it in the Old English _singrene_ ‘evergreen;’ in
  the latter in the Anglo-Saxon _sinhere_ ‘great army.’ Hence it is
  assumed that the word in German altered its pronunciation when the
  prefix _sin_ became obsolete, being then supposed to be intended for
  _Sünd-fluth_, as is shown in the text. See Grimm, _Deut. Gram._ II.
  554, Graff, _Althochd. Sprachschatz_, VI. 25, _Ettmüller, Lex.
  Anglosax._ p. 638, Vigfusson, _Icelandic English Dict._ s. v. Sí.
  Prof. Steinthal appears now (in a letter to the translator) to doubt
  whether this history of the word is tenable; but the assumption that
  it is so may at least be allowed, in order to retain this excellent
  example of the psychological progress.—TR.

Footnote 864:

  See _supra_, p. 426.

Footnote 865:

  Ps. XIX. 6 [5].

Footnote 866:

  Judges XVI. 28: ‘Give me strength only this once, O God, and I will
  avenge myself with _the vengeance of one of my two eyes_ on the
  Philistines.’ This is the only possible meaning of the very simple
  Hebrew words nekam achath mishshethê ʿênay, which were misunderstood
  by the LXX and Vulg.; and the German and English versions have merely
  followed the latter.—TR.

Footnote 867:

  Jer. X. 12, V. 24; Gen. VIII. 22.




Aaron, grave of, 280–282

ʿAbd Duhmân, 73

Abel a herdsman, 110;
  his grave (according to Mohammedan tradition) at Ṣâliḥiyyâ, suburb of
     Damascus, 280;
  figure of the Dark Sky, 111;
  Jabal another form of the same, 111–2

Abraham denotes the Heaven at Night, 32;
  myth of his sacrifice of Isaac, 45–47;
  his journey to Egypt on account of a famine, when Jahveh plagued
     Pharaoh—a type of the later residence in Egypt, 275;
  his grave at Hebron, 278–280;
  at Berze near Damascus, 280

Abram (‘High Father’) originally denoted Heaven, 91;
  changed into Abraham, 230

Abram and Jacob, mythical ideas connected with these names not quite
   obsolete, 229

Adam, grave of (according to Mohammedan tradition), on Mt. Abû Ḳu-beys,

Agâdâ contains mythology, 29–32;
  but must be used with caution, 32–34;
  a hermeneutic law of the A., that ‘the intensity of a word’s sense
     increases with the enlargement of its form,’ 339;
  etymologies in A., 337;
  given even in opposition to others in the Bible, 339

Agni, ‘fire’ and ‘God of fire,’ 367–8, 382, 386–9;
  hidden, and brought back by Mâtariśvan, 369–70

Agricultural civilisation, speculation on, 211–14

Agriculture, Fall of man connected with, 87

Agriculturists love the Day and the Sun, 58–60;
  refer the arts of civilisation to the Sun, 202

Akra (Gold Coast), people of, identify God with clouds, 224

ʿAlî b. Jaʿfar al-Razî wrote a book on the graves of the Patriarchs at
   Hebron, 279

Allâh, idea of, similar to that of Jahveh, 290–1

Amnon’s liaison with Tamar, its mythical element, 181–2

Ancestors, originally mythical figures, 229, 254, 257

Aṅgiras, mythical family of, connected with Agni, 371–2

Anschauung (_Conception_), 377

ʿAntar, the black hero, compared with the Night, 147–8

Apperception, 376

Aptûchos, of Cyrene, identical with Jephthah, 104

Arabian children educated in the tents of Bedâwî, 88

Arabs travel by night, 56;
  proud of Nomadism, 79 _et seqq._;
  their poetry always conveys the scenery of the desert, 84–8

Archer who shot an apple from his son’s head, a Teutonic legend, 442

Aryan gods, their names date from the original unity, proved by Kuhn,

Ascension to heaven, characteristic of Solar heroes, 127

Ash-tree of the world, in the sky, 366

Asher is the ‘Marching’ (the Sun), 120–2;
  his grave (according to Mohammedan tradition), at Kafarmandâ, 280

Ashêrâ, the ‘Marching,’ consort of Asher (and therefore the Moon),
   122–3, 158

Ass, called from his red colour, 181

Ass’s Jawbone, used as a weapon by Samson;
  originally name of a locality, 400;
  similar to Onugnathos in Lakonia, 400–1;
  denotes the Lightning, and is therefore thrown, 402

Assyria and Babylon exerted an intellectual influence on the Hebrews
   during the Captivity, 319

Assyrian poetry, very similar to the Hebrew Psalms, 318

Assyrians have gradations of authority among gods as among men, 267

Aztecs adopted Toltec civilisation, 236

Babel (Babylon), confusion of tongues at, story of, arose at Babylon,
   330–1, 335

Babylon and Assyria exerted an intellectual influence on the Hebrews
   during the Captivity, 319

Babylonian story of the Creation, very similar to the Hebrew, 323

Baghirmi, people in Central Africa, identify God with the Storm, 224

Balaam (Bilʿâm) as interpreted in the Agâdâ, 33–4

Barak, ‘Lightning,’ is made a national hero, 256;
  the Judge (Lightning), 430

Bedâwî, their Sun-worship, 72;
  they are regarded as the true Arabs, 82–4;
  they regard God as a great Chief or Sheykh, 266

Bedouins. See Bedâwî

Bel, in the Louvre, with ox-horns on his tiara, 179

Benjamin, ‘Son of the right side,’ 176;
  his sons’ names, their origin given in the Agâdâ on etymological
     grounds, 337;
  a similar story in Arabic, 339

Bernstein’s theory on the differentiation of the legends between North
   and South, 286

Bhṛgu-s, same as Phlegyans, Lightning, 372–3;
  the first man, 389

Bilhah, a Solar figure, loves or marries Jacob and Reuben, figures of
   Night, 171–3

Bird, denotes Lightning, 384

Black, the colour of Night, 146–9

Bochica, Solar hero of the Muyscas, author of civilisation, 204–5

Bunsen confounds religion and mythology, 12;
  does not admit any Hebrew mythology, 12–13

Cain, with Abel, 110–2;
  the ‘Smith,’ 113, and so in the Myth of Civilisation, 213–4, 217;
  Solar hero, 113–4, 126–7;
  his descendants Solar, 126 _et seqq._;
  progenitor of the human race, 210;
  grave of (according to Mohammedan tradition), at Ṣâliḥiyyâ, suburb of
     Damascus, 280;
  called in Arabic Ḳâbil in assonance to Hâbil, according to a frequent
     practice, 347–9;
  although the name Ḳâyin is also known, 349

Calabar legend of the first human pair, 87

Canaan is cursed for Ham’s fault, 255;
  his grave (according to Mohammedan tradition), near Hebron, 280

Cats draw Freyja’s car, 342

Cat-worship of the Egyptians, Solar, 342

Caves in Canaan, traditions relating to, 278

Cherub perhaps denotes the Covering Cloud, and is of Hebrew origin,

Chiun. See _Kiyyûn_

Chrysoros the ‘Opener,’ hero of the Myth of Civilisation, 216–7

Civilisation, Myth of, 198 _et seqq._
  refers the higher civilisation to the Sun, 200–6

Clouds, forms and names of, 163–5;
  clouds groaning, 164,
  weeping, 165;
  worshiped by nomadic Hebrews, 227;
  mythologically called ‘Heights of the Sea,’ 426, 443

Clouds and Serpents, Hebrew observers of, 227–8

Coalescence of psychological Motions or Combinations, 375

Colours only imperfectly distinguished and expressed in the mythic age,

Combination of psychological elements, 375

Comparative Mythology not limited by distinctions of race, 9

Conception (_Anschauung_), 377

Concubines in mythology are of opposite natures to their men, 158

Confusion of tongues at Babel (Babylon), story of, arose at Babylon,
   330–1, 335

Conquered impose their superior civilisation on their conquerors, 236–40

Cow in mythology denotes the Sun, 343–4

Creation, Hebrew story of, conceived at Babylon, 323–6;
  established the Sabbath on a new basis, 324;
  Babylonian story very similar, 323

Creator, idea of a, essential conception of Jahveh, 299

Crocodile, mythologically identical with the Sun, worshiped in Egypt,

Ćyavana, son of Bhṛgu, is Lightning, 372–3, 391

Dagon, ‘Fish,’ Solar god of civilisation, 215

Dan, the ‘Moving,’ the Sun, 123–4

Darkness expressed by words meaning ‘to Cover,’ 190–4

Darkness and Blackness associated, 147–9

David’s story has features belonging to the Solar Myth:
  redness, beautiful eyes, throws stones, 109;
  he kills Goliath as Thor kills Hrungnir, 430

Dawn and Sunset expressed by the same words, 43

Dawn flies, or is a bird, 116;
  the name denotes ‘moving,’ 120;
  it is in Aramaic ṣafrâ (Arab, aṣfar), ‘golden,’ 150–1;
  its colour saffron, 152;
  changes from red to white, 152;
  or from white to red, 153

Dawn (or the Sun) is called the ‘Uncoverer,’ 194

Day called ‘red,’ 146;
  ‘white,’ 153–4;
  loved by Agriculturists, 58, 60

Deborah, the ‘Bee,’ i.e. the Rain-cloud, 430

Delîlâ, loved by Samson, 405;
  meaning of her name, 405, 406 _note_

Deluge, Biblical story of the, 319;
  Assyrian very similar, 320;
  Hebrews must have borrowed it from Babylonians, 320–2;
  Greek, Indian, and Persian stories of, not very ancient, 319–20

Deuteronomy, expresses a compromise between Priests and Prophets with a
   leaning towards the Prophets, 307–8

Differentiation of Hebrew national legends after the political
   separation, 275–87

Dinah, the ‘Moving,’ i.e. the Sun, 123–5

Dionysus strikes wine and water out of the rock, as a Solar hero, 429;
  called Liknites, ‘in a cradle,’ 389

Divine names, Hebrew and Phenician, 246–7

Division of the kingdom, 275–7

Dragon (Serpent) denotes Rain, 224–6

Dragon of the Storm, Semitic, 423;
  and see _Rahabh_

Dual deities, male and female, among Semites, 16

Dualism in sexual connections, 182

Dualism, religious, occurs in savage tribes as well as in Îrân, 15

Dyu, _nom._ Dyaus, 67

Easter, heathen goddess, 431

Eden, story of, arose at Babylon, 324–6;
  ‘Garden of Eden’ denotes a pleasure-garden in Joel before the
     Captivity, 325, but has a fuller meaning to the Prophets of the
     Captivity, 325–6

Edom, the ‘Red,’ solar epithet, 209;
  subsequently called Esau, the ‘Worker,’ 214, 217