YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Discussion about the Hebrew Bible, Septuagint, pseudepigrapha, Philo, Josephus, Talmud, Dead Sea Scrolls, archaeology, etc.
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yakovzutolmai
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YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Post by yakovzutolmai »

Recent thoughts about the evolution of Jewish religion have led me back to the strange story of the worship of a donkey's head in the Jewish temple. I understand this is an inconclusive story. The proof of it is not sufficient, but then there are scriptural reasons to be suspicious of its truth.

I have also recently read about Osiris and Set who, in an earlier tradition, were viewed either as two faces or two aspects of the same divine essence of the solar deity. I have long thought that Yam and Hadad of Canaan were seasonal versions of each other, and together they are Cronus. I also see enough parallels between the Canaanite and Egyptian pairs to be comfortable believing there's a common origin (for example, Yam is called "River Judge" which we could also apply to Osiris). I've even been toying with the idea that Atum of Heliopolis (probably connected to Adam and Adam Kadmon) might derive from Atar-Min, where Atar is a prototype of Yam and Min of Thoth (or Amun/Ammon).

Either way, it occurred to me that YHWH could have emerged during the bronze age tribal period as a composite deity. An attempt to recognize the esoteric unity between these deities, while also honoring the cult adherents from both Egyptian and Canaanite cultures. I was also somewhat inspired by the idea of the tetramorph as perhaps a representation of multiple idol heads within the Jerusalem temple (though it seems scholars connect it directly to the Babylonian lameh). I no longer can see YHWH as a sort of tetramorph, but that he emerges as a composite also helps explain his emergence as a monolatric deity.

Just as Atum, if derived from Atar and Min, represents bronze age civilization reconciling divergent cults because of their common origin and similar esoteric meaning, so could YHWH represent a later and similar attempt to appeal to different cultures by invoking esoteric sameness.

So YHWH is: Yam Hadad Vav Hamor
  • Yam is the Canaanite sea god and even in Hebrew it is literally the word for sea.
  • Hadad is Baal Hadad, and again in Hebrew the exact word is used for thunder.
  • Vav is pictographically a hook, in Hebrew in particular its associated with a shepherd's crook. I'm stretching a bit, but this could easily be used by proto-Hebraic people to reference Osiris.
  • Hamor means donkey, and the donkey - whether or not a donkey idol ever appeared in the temple - is particularly important to post-Hyksos invasion Canaanites as an emblem for Set. Balaam and his ass, and his knowledge of the name of god are quite interesting in this light.
What this god accomplishes is that it fits the needs of various worshippers. The Levite priests, if we accept the connection to Leviathan, are priests of Yam. The Golden Calf is associated with Hadad, the Aaronite priests. The former Hyksos will worship Set, the donkey. Egyptian influence on religious practice will honor Osiris.

Each sect can see in YHWH their god. Especially since there are signs that ancient peoples saw more unity between Osiris and Set. The pair are faces of Ra, and Amun-Ra is a reemphasis of Min within Atum. Atar is very much a Yam or Cronus. The Carthaginians seemed to have used Hammon in the place of Yam or Cronus. Therefore, we can safely say these deities were seen by the ancients as different names or versions of the same entity.

Within these cults we also observe an impulse for esoteric monotheism which is seen for example in the Aten cult.

This is sort of a crass interpretation of the Tetragrammaton given the endless speculation around it, but the ancient Hebrew supports the same spellings and meanings.

What this means is that the Israelite confederacy has an official cult which reconciles different priestly groups and allows subjects to directly worship a particular god such as Baal Hadad, by paying tribute to YHWH.

If Atum was an earlier, Egyptian attempt to reconcile Canaanite and Egyptian cults, then YHWH may have emerged as simply a form of Atum. Shasu or Midianite nomads influenced by Heliopolis could have been the ones to invent him.

This also does in fact make Adam and YHWH equivalent, which greatly simplifies a lot of the mystical speculation.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Post by yakovzutolmai »

Further thoughts. Shechem being taken from the "Sons of Hamor", I'm inclined to think that Northern Israel WAS the refuge of the Hyksos after they left Egypt, and they worshipped Seth.
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MrMacSon
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Re: the Donkey Head God

Post by MrMacSon »

yakovzutolmai wrote: Sun Feb 27, 2022 4:19 pm ...to the strange story of the worship of a donkey's head in the Jewish temple ...
M David Litwa covers this well in his recently published book, The Evil Creator: Origins of an Early Christian Idea, Oxford University Press.

Here's a YouTube in which he discusses the idea (mostly at the beginning; I think the discussion expands beyond the narrow point, though it is a fairly elaborate story) -

yakovzutolmai
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Re: the Donkey Head God

Post by yakovzutolmai »

MrMacSon wrote: Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:55 am
Thanks.

Saw part of this but will watch the entire thing. The post-Christian Sethians of course played up some of this.

Set was a dog, not a donkey. But the Hyksos seem to have ridden donkeys in the pre-camel era, and adopted Set and the donkey as emblems. And famous Shechem (called Asshur-al-arabi by some) was first home of Hamor.

I really do think the Hyksos are our people of Hamor at Shechem, though not perhaps entirely the whole tribe of Israelites.

And having YHWH as a composite god allows for the donkey-god to be part of his identity. Although, en toto, YHWH is more comparable to Aten.
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Re: the Donkey Head God

Post by yakovzutolmai »

MrMacSon wrote: Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:55 am
M David Litwa covers this well in his recently published book, The Evil Creator: Origins of an Early Christian Idea, Oxford University Press.
The Evil Creator is a Marcionite concept, in my opinion. I think Marcionite beliefs derive from the two powers in heaven controversy, and post-Assyrian or Syrian oriented Jews whose belief in Enoch as Asshur-like power behind the gods predates YHWH as the Septuagint's Monotheos after the Greek model. The Neo-Assyrian framework would come after YHWH as a composite god, but YHWH even as a bronze age composite for Canaanite nomads is essential the solar Shamash. Thus, Neo-Assyrian theology finds nothing special about YHWH and perhaps sees him as some variety of Dagon. The true hidden power of Assyria becomes the Enoch/Metatron who, through Marcionite influence, reframes Christian/Gnostic beliefs.

Since Sethianism and Marcionitism appear close together in history, perhaps this is a cross-cultural reaction-counterreaction as they fight over the evolution of Judaism.

The quaint, compromise deity YHVH of the bronze age is forgotten entirely.
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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

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ConfusedEnoch
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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Post by ConfusedEnoch »

How does that explain the existence of archaic versions of this name far before the creation of the Tetragrammaton?

The Shasu have YHW and the Ugaritic Baal Cycle has a certain YW as the proper name of river god Yam.

If the substantial hypothesis that the Shasu of Edom and Arabian peninsula are the originators of the name Yahweh is true then we must conclude that Yahweh is the nomadic serpentine river god Yam.
The only reason he has functions similar to the storm god Ba'al Hadad or the Father figure Toru' El the Heavenly Bull ("Golden calf of Moloch" as a reference to the Golden Age of Taurus as seen in Greek mythology) is because of the monolatrous culture the Shasu adhered to which gradually grew into what we now call "Monotheism"; but which would more accurately be described as "Amalgamation of all existing gods into one".
Judges 5:4-5 “When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
yakovzutolmai
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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Post by yakovzutolmai »

ConfusedEnoch wrote: Wed Apr 06, 2022 4:08 am How does that explain the existence of archaic versions of this name far before the creation of the Tetragrammaton?

The Shasu have YHW and the Ugaritic Baal Cycle has a certain YW as the proper name of river god Yam.

If the substantial hypothesis that the Shasu of Edom and Arabian peninsula are the originators of the name Yahweh is true then we must conclude that Yahweh is the nomadic serpentine river god Yam.
The only reason he has functions similar to the storm god Ba'al Hadad or the Father figure Toru' El the Heavenly Bull ("Golden calf of Moloch" as a reference to the Golden Age of Taurus as seen in Greek mythology) is because of the monolatrous culture the Shasu adhered to which gradually grew into what we now call "Monotheism"; but which would more accurately be described as "Amalgamation of all existing gods into one".
Judges 5:4-5 “When you, Lord, went out from Seir,
when you marched from the land of Edom,
the earth shook, the heavens poured,
the clouds poured down water.
The Shasu YHW would have been a miscast Tetragrammaton. The Canaanite dyad merged with the Egyptian dyad at Mt. Seir. Not by Edomites, though they would later settle there.

I used to argue that Yahweh was Yam, but was corrected and convinced there was more to the god. Yahweh appears, in his earliest formal expressions, as a solar/bull god. Not exactly the serpentine sea god.

I am arguing that YHVH is not the amalgamation of all gods, but that Yam/Hadad were seen as a dyad, as were Osiris/Seth. So, the Shasu simply combined the two dyads, noticing their parallels.

You would describe YHVH as a supreme solar Ur-God. Not at the exclusion of other gods. By Ur-God I mean a kind of Cronus after you amalgamate his parts. An Adam Kadmon, firstborn of Uranos.
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ConfusedEnoch
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Re: YHWH Tetramorph? Yam Hadad Vav/Crook(Osiris) Hamor/Donkey(Set)

Post by ConfusedEnoch »

Like I said, Yahweh's function as Ultimate god is directly derived from the archaic Canaanite and Northerin Israelite beliefs in the mountain (usually Mt. Hermon) god El/Ba'al, who is first and foremost a Solar Bull God, equivalent to all other Mediterranean storm father deities (Shemesh the Solar Bull, Cronus/Helios).

What that means is that "Yahweh"'s name has nothing to do with Hadad/El because those gods existed prior to Yahweh becoming a more prominent Jewish figure. The name "Yaw" was originally the name applied to the serpentine river god offspring of El, as seen in the Ugaritic Ba'al Cycle which is undoubtedly older than the "earliest formal usage of the tetragrammaton". So his name is only connected to Yam, and not El, even though he has taken the mantle (and role) of the Ultimate deity.
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