Bible Myths and their Parallels in other Religions Being a Comparison of the Old and New Testament Myths and Miracles with those of the Heathen Nations of Antiquity Considering also their Origin and Meaning
Page: 30The job was superintended by one of the seven who were saved from the flood.[36:6] He was a giant called Xelhua, surnamed "the Architect."[36:7]
Xelhua ordered bricks to be made in the province of Tlamanalco, at the foot of the Sierra of Cocotl, and to be conveyed to Cholula, where the tower was to be built. For this purpose, he placed a file of men reaching from the Sierra to Cholula, who passed the bricks from hand to hand.[36:8] The gods beheld with wrath this edifice,—the top of which was nearing the clouds,—and were much irritated at the daring attempt of Xelhua. They therefore hurled fire from Heaven upon the pyramid, which threw it down, and killed many of the workmen. The work was then discontinued,[36:9] as each family interested in the building of the tower, received a language of their own,[36:10] and the builders could not understand each other.
Dr. Delitzsch must have been astonished upon coming across this legend; for he says:
"Actually the Mexicans had a legend of a tower-building as well as of a flood. Xelhua, one of the seven giants rescued from the flood, built the great pyramid of Cholula, in order to reach heaven, until the gods, angry at his audacity, threw fire upon the building and broke it down, whereupon every separate family received a language of its own."[37:1]
The ancient Mexicans pointed to the ruins of a tower at Cholula as evidence of the truth of their story. This tower was seen by Humboldt and Lord Kingsborough, and described by them.[37:2]
We may say then, with Dr. Kalisch, that:
"Most of the ancient nations possessed myths concerning impious giants who attempted to storm heaven, either to share it with the immortal gods, or to expel them from it. In some of these fables the confusion of tongues is represented as the punishment inflicted by the deities for such wickedness."[37:3]
[33:1] Genesis xi. 1-9.
[33:2] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 268.
[34:1] Ibid. p. 268. See also Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 90.
[34:4] Quoted by Rev. S. Baring-Gould: Legends of the Patriarchs, p. 147. See also Smith: Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 48, and Volney's Researches in Ancient History, pp. 130, 131.
[34:5] Jewish Antiquities, book 1, ch. iv. p. 30.
[35:1] "Diodorus states that the great tower of the temple of Belus was used by the Chaldeans as an observatory." (Smith's Bible Dictionary, art. "Babel.")
[35:2] The Hindoos had a sacred Mount Meru, the abode of the gods. This mountain was supposed to consist of seven stages, increasing in sanctity as they ascended. Many of the Hindoo temples, or rather altars, were "studied transcripts of the sacred Mount Meru;" that is, they were built, like the tower of Babel, in seven stages. Within the upper dwelt Brahm. (See Squire's Serpent Symbol, p. 107.) Herodotus tells us that the upper stage of the tower of Babel was the abode of the god Belus.
[35:3] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 269. See also Bunsen: The Angel Messiah, p. 106.
[35:4] Rawlinson's Herodotus, vol. ii. p. 484.
[35:5] Legends of the Patriarchs, pp. 148, 149.
[36:1] Ibid. p. 148. The ancient Scandinavians had a legend of a somewhat similar tree. "The Mundane Tree," called Yggdrasill, was in the centre of the earth; its branches covered over the surface of the earth, and its top reached to the highest heaven. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities.)
[36:2] Encyclopædia Britannica, art. "Babel."
[36:3] Esthonia is one of the three Baltic, or so-called, provinces of Russia.
[36:4] Encyclopædia Britannica, art. "Babel."
[36:5] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. ii. p. 27.
[36:7] Humboldt: American Researches, vol. i. p. 96.
[36:10] The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 272.
[37:1] Quoted by Bishop Colenso: The Pentateuch Examined, vol. iv. p. 272.
[37:2] Humboldt: American Researches, vol. i. p. 97. Lord Kingsborough: Mexican Antiquities.
[37:3] Com. on Old Test. vol. i. p. 196.
THE TRIAL OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH.
The story of the trial of Abraham's faith—when he is ordered by the Lord to sacrifice his only son Isaac—is to be found in Genesis xxii. 1-19, and is as follows:
"And it came to pass . . . that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him: 'Abraham,' and he said: 'Behold, here I am.' And he (God) said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah, and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of.'