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: 47[58:1] Exodus xix.
[58:2] Exodus xxxi. 18.
[58:3] Exodus xxii. 19.
[58:4] Exodus xxxiv.
It was a common belief among ancient Pagan nations that the gods appeared and conversed with men. As an illustration we may cite the following, related by Herodotus, the Grecian historian, who, in speaking of Egypt and the Egyptians, says: "There is a large city called Chemmis, situated in the Thebaic district, near Neapolis, in which is a quadrangular temple dedicated to (the god) Perseus, son of (the Virgin) Danae; palm-trees grow round it, and the portico is of stone, very spacious, and over it are placed two large stone statues. In this inclosure is a temple, and in it is placed a statue of Perseus. The Chemmitæ (or inhabitants of Chemmis), affirm that Perseus has frequently appeared to them on earth, and frequently within the temple." (Herodotus, bk. ii. ch. 91.)
[59:1] Buddha, the founder of Buddhism, had TEN commandments. 1. Not to kill. 2. Not to steal. 3. To be chaste. 4 Not to bear false witness. 5. Not to lie. 6. Not to swear. 7. To avoid impure words. 8. To be disinterested. 9. Not to avenge one's-self. 10. Not to be superstitious. (See Huc's Travels, p. 328, vol. i.)
[59:2] Exodus xx. Dr. Oort says: "The original ten commandments probably ran as follows: I Yahwah am your God. Worship no other gods beside me. Make no image of a god. Commit no perjury. Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day. Honor your father and your mother. Commit no murder. Break not the marriage vow. Steal not. Bear no false witness. Covet not." (Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 18.)
[59:3] Bell's Pantheon, vol. i. p. 122. Higgins, vol. ii. p. 19. Cox: Aryan Mytho. vol. ii. p. 295.
[59:4] Müller: Origin of Religion, p. 130.
[59:5] See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. pp. 257, 258. This book, the Zend-Avesta, is similar, in many respects, to the Vedas of the Hindoos. This has led many to believe that Zoroaster was a Brahman; among these are Rawlinson (See Inman's Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 831) and Thomas Maurice. (See Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 219.)
The Persians themselves had a tradition that he came from some country to the East of them. That he was a foreigner is indicated by a passage in the Zend-Avesta which represents Ormuzd as saying to him: "Thou, O Zoroaster, by the promulgation of my law, shalt restore to me my former glory, which was pure light. Up! haste thee to the land of Iran, which thirsteth after the law, and say, thus said Ormuzd, &c." (See Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 263.)
[60:1] The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 301.
[60:2] "The deities of the Hindoo Pantheon dwell on the sacred Mount Meru; the gods of Persia ruled from Albordj; the Greek Jove thundered from Olympus, and the Scandinavian gods made Asgard awful with their presence. . . . Profane history is full of examples attesting the attachment to high places for purpose of sacrifice." (Squire: Serpent Symbols, p. 78.)
"The offerings of the Chinese to the deities were generally on the summits of high mountains, as they seemed to them to be nearer heaven, to the majesty of which they were to be offered." (Christmas's Mytho. p. 250, in Ibid.) "In the infancy of civilization, high places were chosen by the people to offer sacrifices to the gods. The first altars, the first temples, were erected on mountains." (Humboldt: American Researches.) The Himalayas are the "Heavenly mountains." In Sanscrit Himala, corresponding to the M. Gothic, Himins; Alem., Himil; Ger., Swed., and Dan., Himmel; Old Norse, Himin; Dutch, Hemel; Ang.-Sax., Heofon; Eng., Heaven. (See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, p. 42.)
[60:3] Bunsen's Egypt, quoted in Isis Unveiled, vol. ii. p. 367. Mrs. Child says: "The laws of Egypt were handed down from the earliest times, and regarded with the utmost veneration as a portion of religion. Their first legislator represented them as dictated by the gods themselves and framed expressly for the benefit of mankind by their secretary Thoth." (Prog. Relig. Ideas, vol. i. p. 173.)
[60:4] Quoted in Ibid.
[61:1] See Squire's Serpent Symbol, p. 175.
[61:2] Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 301.
SAMSON AND HIS EXPLOITS.
This Israelite hero is said to have been born at a time when the children of Israel were in the hands of the Philistines. His mother, who had been barren for a number of years, is entertained by an angel, who informs her that she shall conceive, and bear a son,[62:1] and that the child shall be a Nazarite unto God, from the womb, and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hands of the Philistines.
According to the prediction of the angel, "the woman bore a son, and called his name Samson; and the child grew, and the Lord blessed him."
"And Samson (after he had grown to man's estate), went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. And he came up and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines; now therefore get her for me to wife."
Samson's father and mother preferred that he should take a woman among the daughters of their own tribe, but Samson wished for the maid of the Philistines, "for," said he, "she pleaseth me well."
The parents, after coming to the conclusion that it was the will of the Lord, that he should marry the maid of the Philistines, consented.
"Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath, and, behold, a young lion roared against him (Samson). And the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him, and he rent him (the lion) as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand."