« EdellinenJatka »
been his design particularly to notice idolatry, and the true worship of God; the first introduced by Ham, the latter established by the patriarch Shem: therefore as Mitsraim, the son of Ham, settled in Egypt, I shall begin the inquiry concerning idolatrous worship, with the Egyptians,
I have, in another place, said, that the mythology of the heathens had its origin in Egypt, that from thence it passed to the Hebrews, then to the Phænicians, and the Cretans, and lastly to the Greeks and Romans, from whom it spread over Europe. I shall, therefore, make a few remarks concerning the Egyptian mythology, and show that it was an application of the names, circumstances, and transactions, related in the ancient part of scripture, to the theology of the day; which, in its origin, no doubt, was as pure as the scripture. But in aftertime, we must be allowed, that it became perverted, and the nations fell into idolatry, by worshipping those things, which, in that representative state of the church, were originally significative of the passions and affections in man. This was confirmed by the prophet, when he was shown in the chamber of imagery, clean and unclean beasts, which sig. nified the good and evil affections of the Jews.
Apis appears to have been one of the ancient Egyptian idols, in the form of a cow ; many writers have said, that it was applied to Joseph ; I am of the same opinion; but with regard to the origin of the name Apis, I have not
met with any writer who has satisfied me on that subject. It must be granted, that the very ancient Hebrew was the language of Egypt, which only took that name from the time of Eber. It is therefore reasonable to conclude, that Apis must be originally Hebrew. Accordingly, I find it derived from DD, pas, 6 embroidery of various colors, embroidered garments, such as were worn by the priests, to typify, as Parkhurst justly observes, the various glories and graces irradiating from the divine light. Joseph had an embroidered coat, and married the daughter of the priest of On. It is obvious, that the priesthood was conferred on Joseph, 1 Chron. y. 1. 2. for the birth-right was given to him, consequently the priesthood. Now after he had done such wonders for the Egyptians, by preserving them from the direful effect of a seven years famine, and Pharaoh had honored him by arraying him in vestments of fine linen, with a gold chain about his neck, saying, 6 without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt;" calling him, Zaphnath-paaneah, the preacher, or manifester, of hidden things : it is not strange that the Egyptians should call him Apis, from the nature of his office as a priest, wearing embroidered garments. We may also remark, that as the Egyptians had experienced the greatest possible good from Joseph's wisdom, in laying up corn during the years of plenty, they could not have chosen a more significant figure to represent him, than their Apis, or cow, because of its priority to all other amimals, as to its usefulness to man.
This also had reference to the fat and lean kine, as a primary reason why they represented him by a cow. We find again that he is compared to the “glory of the firstling of the bullock,” Deut. xxxiii. 17.-Suidas, in Serapis, says, that “ Apis being dead, had a temple built for him, wherein a bullock was kept."
Serapis was an idol of Egypt in aftertime. It has been thought by many writers, that this word was applied to an object differing in every respect from Apis ; but we shall find that it was originally applied to the same person, viz. to Joseph..
The word Serapis is evidently Hebrew; it is a compound of 70 ser, “to rule, to regulate—a prince; and of Do pas, the official department, or supreme head of the church ;' literally, the ruler of the priestly office, the primate, or archbishop of Egypt, and therefore called ser-apis.
Vossius is of opinion, that Serapis was Joseph, which he shows from ancient authority. The image had a bushel on its head, to remind posterity that Joseph saved the country by providing corn for their support. These things were done first, only as an honorary commemoration for signal services, as is the custom at this day, in erecting monuments to departed heroes, and great men.
Bochart has made some ingenious observations concerning the origin of the fabulous metamorphoses of the Egyptian gods. “ The Egyptian fable, that Isis was changed into a swallow, from the Hebrew D90 Sis, “a swallow.' Anubis was said to have the head of a dog, because
31 Nobeach, means to bark. Jupiter, the supreme of the gods, was said to have turned himself into a ram, because 7 El, a name of god,' and 998 Ayil, “a ram, are nearly alike. Bacchus, who was called by the Egyptians Osiris, was said to be changed into a goat, for no other reason than that you Sangar, which means "a goat,' also means Osiris. Juno was represented by an ox, because noonwy, Ashteroth, one of the names of Juno, and also Astarte means “a herd of oxen.? 99*
* Hist. de Animal. Sacris. Part 11. 1. 1. c. 10. fol. 62.
But the religion of the ancient Egyptians, after the flood, consisted in the worship of the serpent, which species of idolatry was handed down to them by Ham, and which was, no doubt, the universal worship of the Antediluvians. According to Pliny,* the Egyptians had a great many inferior deities, which they supposed to have a power over nature : as Jupiter, or spirit : Vulcan, or fire ; Ceres, or the earth ; Oceanus, or the sea ; Minerva, or the air. They also had their terrestrial deities, or deified men, some of whom had the vanity to assume the names of their celestial gods. Thus, Chronus, Saturn, Jupiter, Neptune, Juno, Vulcan, Vesta, Hermes, Orus, Venus, Pan, Apollo, Typhon, Mars, &c. whose souls they believed to have a habitation in the celestial sphere, as appears from Plutarch,t who informs us that they supposed the soul of Isis was translated to Southes, i. e. Sirius, or the Dog Star, the soul of Orus to the constellation Orion, and the soul of Typhon to Ursa Major, or the Great Bear. But although they had such a number of gods, the Niolic serpent was the grand idol, and stood at the head of all their deities. This appears to be confirmed, when Moses was brought before Pharaoh, and was commanded to cast down his rod, which became a serpent. The Magicians also did the same with their enchantments. Thus, by introducing their supreme idol, he showed them the folly and vanity of their worship, for the serpent of Moses devoured both.I
* Nat. Hist. lib. X. c. 66.
† P, 362.
| From this circumstance the writers of the mythology have invented the Caduceus of Mercury, around which they entwined the figures of two serpents, and Mercury was by them supposed to be the messenger of the gods. So in like manner Aaron was THE WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT MOABITES, AND MIDIANITES
Was much the same as that of the Egyptians. That they worshipped their departed men, and offered sacrifi- vya ces to them, is on record in scripture. Chemosh and Baal-Peor, were the idols of Moab; and the psalmist : says, “they joined themselves unto Baal-Peor, and ate the sacrifices of the dead,” viz. the sacrifices offered up to their idols, or departed men whom they worshipped.
These idols were both applied to signify the sensuali passions ; Peor in Hebrew, means to open, used by them to signify the bringing forth young. Jerome says, BaalPeor, was the same as the Greek and Roman Priapus, and that Chemosh was worshipped in Nebo, having the same application. The Greek Kwuos, was called by the Romans Comus, the god of wantonness and lascivious feasting. Both these idols were serpent-idols, representing the sensual principle in man; and as those people understood this animal to be the most subtle and sensual beast in nature ; they used it in an obscene way to signify the generation of the human race.
THE WORSHIP OF THE AMMONITES
Had something in it more plausible than most of the idolatrous professions of the east.
the messenger from Moses to Pharaoh, by the command of God. And as the date of the mythology is many hundreds of years later than the departure of the Hebrews from Egypt, it must appear evident, that the account of this transaction was copied by them, from the ancient part of the Bible.