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Astronomical Myth in the Biblical David

Astronomical Myth in the Biblical David

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Published by hari18
Astronomical Myths in the Biblical Stories of David, Solomon and Jesus
Astronomical Myths in the Biblical Stories of David, Solomon and Jesus

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Published by: hari18 on Jan 09, 2011
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05/06/2012

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1
Astronomical Myth in the Biblical David and the Virgin-born Jesus
K. Chandra Hari
 
1. Introduction
The historicity of David, Solomon and Jesus is under debate since a very long time. We read in thegospel of Luke that –“Jesus was the son of Virgin Mary engaged to a man named Joseph, adescendant of King David”.Biblical descriptions of the kingdoms of David and Solomon have notmet with any supporting archaeological evidence in the excavations in and around Jerusalem.Archaeological findings do not credit Jerusalem with any importance (material culture is of asurprisingly low level) in the 10
th
century BC (early part of Iron Age II) when these great kings weresupposed to have ushered in a Golden Age. David according to historians is possibly a legend of exploits much bigger than his life as is typical of legends and over the scores of centuries of itsgrowth it might have accumulated many myths around it. If at all there had been a truly historicalperson at the core of such legends, he stands hidden by the myths that envelope him. Almost similar is the position that we meet with the case of Solomon who succeeded David to for reign of 40 yearslike his father.Empires of David and Solomon according to scholars were impossibilities betweenEgypt and Assyria, both far more populated with more sophisticated people. Further, we may takenote that the Egyptian, Babylonian, Assyrian and Hittite peoples in the ancient Near East have leftthe material evidence of their empires in the form of tablets or papyri, art and inscriptions onbuildings and monuments but the empire of David and Solomon is not mentioned in any suchancient near eastern source. According to Israel Finkelstein and Neil Asher Silberman
1
, Bible is theeffort of a group of defeated and dispossessed people of seventh century BCE to create an epic thatunited the people of Judah under Josiah who was the heir to the Omride dynasty of 9
th
-10
th
centuryBCE. David and Solomon as such were basically portrayals that reflect the age of Josiah whosought a united kingdom, territorial expansion, military conquests and the centralization of cult andpolitics in Jerusalem. Josiah challenged the Pharaoh and met with death while Jerusalem gotdestroyed and Jews had to be on exile from which they returned after the Persian conquest of Palestine in 539 BCE. Various biblical stories like the Moses’s challenge of the Pharaoh, Abraham's journey from Mesopotamia to Canaan, Conquest of Canaan and return to the promised land etchave their seeds in Josiah’s campaign and the return of the exiles in 6
th
century BCE. We may onthe basis of the findings of archaeologists conclude that:1. Bible began to be compiled about the 6th Century BCE by scribes on the basis of writtenrecords and, when these did not go back far enough, on national myths.2. The records date back to the 10
th
century BCE when corroboration begins to appear in therecords of other countries. The Assyrians palace inscriptions that refer to the Middle Eastcampaigns contain names of the Israelite and Judean kings of the Omride dynastymentioned in the Bible.
 chandrahari@hotmail.com 
1
The Bible Unearthed,
New 
York: The
 
Free Press
 
23. Absence of archaeological or textual evidence from non-biblical sources place questionmarks on the very existence of David and Solomon and their empires.
4.
 
According to a report that quoted Professor Zeev Herzog, a veteran Israeli archaeologist, thescholarly community was almost entirely in agreement on the dubious historicity of the earlypart of the Bible. "It's difficult for the public to accept this," he wrote, "but it is clear to scholarsthat the Israelites did not dwell in Egypt, that they didn't wander the desert, that they didn'tconquer the Holy Land and divide it among 12 tribes, and that the kingdom under David andSolomon, described in the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom."5. Some of the cities referred to as assaulted in 12th century BCE probably did not exist thenand it appears that the description of Jericho as surrounded by wall is only an imagination.In the light of these revelations of archaeologists the biblical story denuded of the humbugsocio-political commentary and history of the near east may yield for us at least a few naturalor astronomical myths of the 10
th
century BC when David and Solomon were supposed tohave their reign.
2. Astronomy in Ancient Myths
Over the last few decades, a number of works
2
,
3
,
4
have appeared that tend to explain the origin andcontents of many myths and legends as representing some of the ancient astronomicalobservations. Researchers such as Dr. Edwin C. Krupp
5
have suggested allegorical incorporation of celestial entities like the sun, moon, planets, and the
 
constellations in the ancient myths of Hercules,Gilgimesh Mithra, and many others. Esoteric contents, social religion and the nature worshipinherent in the Biblical compilation of myths make it a daunting task to decipher the astronomicalelement. Recent studies
6
, on the Bible against the backdrop of the Dead Sea scrolls and other archaeological findings tend to establish Jesus as a historical personality, a philosopher of theEssenes Sect and political revolutionary. An archaeological finding have given no corroboration of the tradition of Twelve Apostles and was probably a future incorporation much like the motifs of Virgin, the star of Bethlehem, and the symbolism of the zodiacal sign of Pisces in the portrayal of Jesus. Scholars have credited the Biblical narrative with zodiacal symbolism as early as 1795
7
 when Dupuis termed it as the story of Sun and the 12 zodiac signs and also explored the
2
Giorgio de Santillana and Hertha von Dechend, Hamlet's Mill, Boston: Gambit Inc., 1969:
3
Eberhard Zangger,
The Flood From Heaven: Deciphering the Atlantis Legend 
, Great Britain:Sidgwick & Jackson Limited 1992.
4
Harald A. T. Reiche, "The Language of Archaic Astronomy: A Clue to the Atlantis Myth?"
Technology Review 
, Vol. 80, Number 2, December 1977, pp. 84-100. Reprinted in
 Astronomy of The Ancients
, edited by Brecher and Feirtag (Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press 1979). Second edition
5
Dr. Edwin C. Krupp,
Beyond The Blue Horizon: Myths and Legends of the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Planets
, New York: HarperCollins 1991, pp. 124-148
6
Dominic Crossan,
The Historical Jesus: The Life of A Mediterranean Jewish Peasant 
, (New York:Harper, San Francisco 1991).
Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography 
, (New York: Harper Collins1994), p. 108.
7
Charles François Dupuis,
Origine de tous les Cultus
, (Paris 1795)
 
3contribution of solar and lunar zodiacs in giving rise to the myths and legends worldwide.Archaeological investigations that took place since his days have established the prevalence of Zodiac in and around Palestine. As regards the incorporation of calendar myths in the biblicalnarrative different opinions exists and is in itself a topic research as to which of the gospels were firstwrote and by whom
8
. The zodiacal cult of Mithras and the ideas of Zodiac and precession of theequinoxes probably had its spread towards west and the Greeks around the time of the finalcompilation of the Bible and as the story of Jesus and his teachings were probably reworked to gainthe grandeur of an equal amount of knowledge of heavens as other contemporary religions/sects.
III. Astronomical Myths of the Bible
Many attempts have taken place to correlate David, Jesus and other biblical characters with zodiacalsigns and their associated symbolism. Leaving aside all such studies and controversies, here thefocus is onto two critical prophecies of which we find a description in the Bible and which are of extreme significance to the historians as well as the faithful believers of the narrative.1. Luke 19.30-35 speaks of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on an ass on which hitherto no one hadsat and an echo of the same can be found in the second book of Samuel 16.1 that speaks of a couple of saddled asses for the King David to ride over. Jesus chose to ride over an assinto Jerusalem to style himself as the Messiah spoken of in the prophecy that we see at theBook of Zechariah 9.9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on an ass
9
 It is apparent that the King riding over the ass is a custom dating back to the supposed timesof David and Solomon viz., the 10
th
century BCE.2. The second of the prophecies that we shall consider here and has played a role in thebiblical portrayal of Jesus belongs to the Book of Isaiah: 7:13-14:
 And he said, “Hear then. O house of David! Is it too little for you to weary men, that you weary my God also? Therefore, the Lord himself will give you a sign, Behold, a young woman (virgin) shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman’u-el 
”.According to Laurence Gardner, the Semitic word translated as ‘virgin’ is
almah
– which actuallymeans no more than ‘a young woman’. What then is the source of the popular interpretation of thevirgin birth of Jesus? We can find it in the place name
Bethleh-em
, the house of David – Hebrewword
bethulah
means a physical virgin and the place name had it’s origin from the fact that manySun-Gods were considered as born of Virgin, the zodiacal sign Virgo. David itself belonged to
Bethleh-em as Sun, the Virgin born.
8
Burton L. Mack,
The Lost Gospel: The Book of Q & Christian Origins
, (New York: Harper, SanFrancisco 1993), see especially Chapter 11 "Mythmaking and the Christ," pp. 207-225. Also,
WhoWrote The New Testament: The Making of The Christian Myth
, (New York: Harper, San Francisco1995).
9
The Holy Bible, Thomas Nelson & Sons, New York (1952) pp.743 - 744

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Michael Knight added this note
Always using "science" to explain Biblical facts. Well, its written in the Bible, so I believe it more than I believe you, Chandra. And if someone were truly looking for evidence without a biased heart to begin with, then one would find it. I pray you find faith in true Biblical facts one day. Stop doing the work of the devil.

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