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: 57

[64:1] Judges, xiv.

[65:1] Judges, xv.

[66:1] Judges, xvi.

[66:2] Perhaps that of Izdubar. See chapter xi.

[66:3] Hebrew Mythology, p. 248.

[66:4] Manual of Mythology, p. 248. The Age of Fable, p. 200.

[67:1] Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 200.

[67:2] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 249.

[67:3] Roman Antiquities, p. 124; and Montfaucon, vol. i. plate cxxvi.

[67:4] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 249.

[67:5] See Ibid. Greek and Italian Mythology, p. 129, and Montfaucon, vol. i. plate cxxv. and cxxvi.

[67:6] Manual of Mythology, p. 247.

[67:7] "It has many heads, one being immortal, as the storm must constantly supply new clouds while the vapors are driven off by the Sun into space. Hence the story went that although Herakles could burn away its mortal heads, as the Sun burns up the clouds, still he can but hide away the mist or vapor itself, which at its appointed time must again darken the sky." (Cox: Aryan Mytho., vol. ii. p. 48.)

[67:8] See Manual of Mytho., p. 250.

[68:1] Steinthal: The Legend of Samson, p. 398. See, also, Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 240, and Volney: Researches in Anc't History, p. 42.

[68:2] Ibid.

[68:3] Quoted by Count de Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 42, note.

[68:4] Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 42.

[69:1] See Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 251.

"The slaughter of the Centaurs by Hercules is the conquest and dispersion of the vapors by the Sun as he rises in the heaven." (Cox: Aryan Mythology, vol. ii. p. 47.)

[69:2] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 257.

[69:3] Shamgar also slew six hundred Philistines with an ox goad. (See Judges, iii. 31.)

"It is scarcely necessary to say that these weapons are the heritage of all the Solar heroes, that they are found in the hands of Phebus and Herakles, of Œdipus, Achilleus, Philoktetes, of Siguard, Rustem, Indra, Isfendujar, of Telephos, Meleagros, Theseus, Kadmos, Bellerophon, and all other slayers of noxious and fearful things." (Rev. Geo. Cox: Tales of Ancient Greece, p. xxvii.)

[69:4] See Volney: Researches in Ancient History, p. 41. Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 239; Montfaucon: L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 213, and Murray: Manual of Mythology, pp. 259-262.

It is evident that Herodotus, the Grecian historian, was somewhat of a skeptic, for he says: "The Grecians say that 'When Hercules arrived in Egypt, the Egyptians, having crowned him with a garland, led him in procession, as designing to sacrifice him to Jupiter, and that for some time he remained quiet, but when they began the preparatory ceremonies upon him at the altar, he set about defending himself and slew every one of them.' Now, since Hercules was but one, and, besides, a mere man, as they confess, how is it possible that he should slay many thousands?" (Herodotus, book ii. ch. 45).

[69:5] Murray: Manual of Mythology, p. 263.

[70:1] Volney: Researches in Anc't History, pp. 41, 42.

In Bell's "Pantheon of the Gods and Demi-Gods of Antiquity," we read, under the head of Ammon or Hammon (the name of the Egyptian Jupiter, worshiped under the figure of a Ram), that: "Bacchus having subdued Asia, and passing with his army through the deserts of Africa, was in great want of water; but Jupiter, his father, assuming the shape of a Ram, led him to a fountain, where he refreshed himself and his army; in requital of which favor, Bacchus built there a temple to Jupiter, under the title of Ammon."

[70:2] Cadiz (ancient Gades), being situated near the mouth of the Mediterranean. The first author who mentions the Pillars of Hercules is Pindar, and he places them there. (Chambers's Encyclo. "Hercules.")

[70:3] Volney's Researches, p. 41. See also Tylor: Primitive Culture, vol. i. p. 357.

[70:4] See Chambers's Encyclopædia, Art. "Hercules." Cory's Ancient Fragments, p. 36, note; and Bulfinch: The Age of Fable, p. 201.

[70:5] Chambers's Encyclo., art. "Hercules."

[70:6] Vol. i. plate cxxvii.

[71:1] Monumental Christianity, p. 399.

[71:2] Œd. Jud. p. 360, in Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 239.

[71:3] "Rien de plus connu dans la fable que ses amours avec Omphale et Iole."—L'Antiquité Expliquée, vol. i. p. 224.

[71:4] The Legend of Samson, p. 404.

[71:5] Vol. i. plate cxxvii.

[71:6] "Samson was remarkable for his long hair. The meaning of this trait in the original myth is easy to guess, and appears also from representations of the Sun-god amongst other peoples. These long hairs are the rays of the Sun." (Bible for Learners, i. 416.)

"The beauty of the sun's rays is signified by the golden locks of Phoibos, over which no razor has ever passed; by the flowing hair which streams from the head of Kephalos, and falls over the shoulders of Perseus and Bellerophon." (Cox: Aryan Mytho., vol. i. p. 107.)

[72:1] Hebrew Mytho., pp. 137, 138.

[72:2] Cox: Aryan Myths, vol. i. p. 84.

[72:3] Tales of Ancient Greece, p. xxix.

[72:4] The Legend of Samson, p. 408.

[72:5] Cox: Aryan Mytho., vol. ii. p. 72.

[73:1] The Legend of Samson, p. 406.

[73:2] See Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 237. Goldzhier: Hebrew Mythology, p. 22. The Religion of Israel, p. 61. The Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 418. Volney's Ruins, p. 41, and Stanley: History of the Jewish Church, where he says: "His name, which Josephus interprets in the sense of 'strong,' was still more characteristic. He was 'the Sunny'—the bright and beaming, though wayward, likeness of the great luminary."

[73:3] Higgins: Anacalypsis, vol. i. p. 237, and Volney's Researches, p. 43, note.

[73:5] The Religion of Israel, p. 61. "The yellow hair of Apollo was a symbol of the solar rays." (Inman: Ancient Faiths, vol. ii. p. 679.)

[73:6] Bible for Learners, vol. i. p. 414.

[73:7] Ibid. p. 422.

[73:8] Williams' Hinduism, pp. 108 and 167.

[74:1] Vol. v. p. 270.

[74:2] Maurice: Indian Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 155.

[74:3] Steinthal: The Legend of Samson, p. 386.

[74:4] Buckley: Cities of the World, 41, 42.

[74:5] Smith: Assyrian Discoveries, p. 167, and Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 174.

[74:6] Assyrian Discoveries, p. 205, and Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 174.

[74:7] Chaldean Account of Genesis, p. 310.

[74:8] Ibid. pp. 193, 194, 174.

[75:1] See Tacitus: Annals, book ii. ch. lix.

[75:2] Knight: Anct. Art and Mytho., p. 92.

[75:3] See Tales of Ancient Greece, p. 153.

[76:1] See Mallet's Northern Antiquities, pp. 94, 417, and 514.

[76:2] See Cox: Aryan Mythology.

[76:3] See vol. i. of Aryan Mythology, by Rev. G. W. Cox.

"Besides the fabulous Hercules, the son of Jupiter and Alcmena, there was, in ancient times, no warlike nation who did not boast of its own particular Hercules." (Arthur Murphy, Translator of Tacitus.)

[Pg 77]



In the book of Jonah, containing four chapters, we are told the word of the Lord came unto Jonah, saying: "Arise, go to Ninevah, that great city, and cry against it, for their wickedness is come up against me."

Instead of obeying this command Jonah sought to flee "from the presence of the Lord," by going to Tarshish. For this purpose he went to Joppa, and there took ship for Tarshish. But the Lord sent a great wind, and there was a mighty tempest, so that the ship was likely to be broken.

The mariners being afraid, they cried every one unto his God; and casting lots—that they might know which of them was the cause of the storm—the lot fell upon Jonah, showing him to be the guilty man.

The mariners then said unto him; "What shall we do unto thee?" Jonah in reply said, "Take me up and cast me forth into the sea, for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you." So they took up Jonah, and cast him into the sea, and the sea ceased raging.

And the Lord prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah, and Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights. Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord out of the fish's belly. And the Lord spake unto the fish, and it vomited out Jonah upon the dry land.

The Lord again spake unto Jonah and said:

"Go unto Ninevah and preach unto it." So Jonah arose and went unto Ninevah, according to the command of the Lord, and preached unto it.

There is a Hindoo fable, very much resembling this, to be found in the Somadeva Bhatta, of a person by the name of Saktideva who was swallowed by a huge fish, and finally came out unhurt. The story is as follows:

"There was once a king's daughter who would marry no one [Pg 78]but the man who had seen the Golden City—of legendary fame—and Saktideva was in love with her; so he went travelling about the world seeking some one who could tell him where this Golden City was. In the course of his journeys he embarked on board a ship bound for the Island of Utsthala, where lived the King of the Fishermen, who, Saktideva hoped, would set him on his way. On the voyage there arose a great storm and the ship went to pieces, and a great fish swallowed Saktideva whole. Then, driven by the force of fate, the fish went to the Island of Utsthala, and there the servants of the King of the Fishermen caught it, and the king, wondering at its size, had it cut open, and Saktideva came out unhurt."[78:1]

In Grecian fable, Hercules is said to have been swallowed by a whale, at a place called Joppa, and to have lain three days in his entrails.

Bernard de Montfaucon, speaking of Jonah being swallowed by a whale, and describing a piece of Grecian sculpture representing Hercules standing by a huge sea monster, says:

"Some ancients relate to the effect that Hercules was also swallowed by the whale that was watching Hesione, that he remained three days in his belly, and that he came out bald-pated after his sojourn there."[78:2]

Bouchet, in his "Hist. d'Animal," tells us that:

"The great fish which swallowed up Jonah, although it be called a whale (Matt. xii. 40), yet it was not a whale, properly so called, but a Dog-fish, called Carcharias. Therefore in the Grecian fable Hercules is said to have been swallowed up of a Dag, and to have lain three days in his entrails."[78:3]

Godfrey Higgins says, on this subject:

"The story of Jonas swallowed up by a whale, is nothing but part of the fiction of Hercules, described in the Heracleid or Labors of Hercules, of whom the same story was told, and who was swallowed up at the very same place, Joppa, and for the same period of time, three days. Lycophron says that Hercules was three nights in the belly of a fish."[78:4]

We have still another similar story in that of "Arion the Musician," who, being thrown overboard, was caught on the back of a Dolphin and landed safe on shore. The story is related in "Tales of Ancient Greece," as follows:

Arion was a Corinthian harper who had travelled in Sicily and

[Pg 79]

Italy, and had accumulated great wealth. Being desirous of again seeing his native city, he set sail from Taras for Corinth. The sailors in the ship, having seen the large boxes full of money which Arion had brought with him into the ship, made up their minds to kill him and take his gold and silver. So one day when he was sitting on the bow of the ship, and looking down on the dark blue sea, three or four of the sailors came to him and said they were going to kill him. Now Arion knew they said this because they wanted his money; so he promised to give them all he had if they would spare his life. But they would not. Then he asked them to let him jump into the sea. When they had given him leave to do this, Arion took one last look at the bright and sunny sky, and then leaped into the sea, and the sailors saw him no more. But Arion was not drowned in the sea, for a great fish called a dolphin was swimming by the ship when Arion leaped over; and it caught him on its back and swam away with him towards Corinth. So presently the fish came close to the shore and left Arion on the beach, and swam away again into the deep sea.[79:1]

There is also a Persian legend to the effect that Jemshid was devoured by a great monster waiting for him at the bottom of the sea, but afterwards rises again out of the sea, like Jonah in the Hebrew, and Hercules in the Phenician myth.[79:2] This legend was also found in the myths of the New World.[79:3]

It was urged, many years ago, by Rosenmüller—an eminent German divine and professor of theology—and other critics, that the miracle recorded in the book of Jonah is not to be regarded as an historical fact, "but only as an allegory, founded on the Phenician myth of Hercules rescuing Hesione from the sea monster by leaping himself into its jaws, and for three days and three nights continuing to tear its entrails."[79:4]

That the story is an allegory, and that it, as well as that of Saktideva, Hercules and the rest, are simply different versions of the same myth, the significance of which is the alternate swallowing up and casting forth of Day, or the Sun, by Night, is now all but universally admitted by scholars. The Day, or the Sun, is swallowed up by Night, to be set free again at dawn, and from time to time suffers a like but shorter durance in the maw of the eclipse and the storm-cloud.[79:5]

Professor Goldzhier says:

[Pg 80]

"The most prominent mythical characteristic of the story of Jonah is his celebrated abode in the sea in the belly of a whale. This trait is eminently Solar. . . . As on occasion of the storm the storm-dragon or the storm-serpent swallows the Sun, so when he sets, he (Jonah, as a personification of the Sun) 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