Ezekiel 8 – End is Come & Dushara

I just can’t understand how people can believe in a statue?  So this Dushara was a fertility god like a lot of them.  What kind of god was…

Ezekiel 8 And End is Come

Asherah is generally considered identical with the Ugaritic goddess Athirat

1 And it came to pass in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day of the month, as I sat in mine house, and the elders of Judah sat before me, that the hand of the Lord GOD fell there upon me.

8:1-11:25 – the vision contained in these four chapters vividly depicts the departure of the divine glory from the corrupted temple.

“Elders of Judah sat before me” – they also had freedom of movement, assembly and worship.  A year and two months after his inaugural vision and preaching the prophet commanded a hearing.  Some have seen in such meetings the beginnings of the synagogue form of worship.

2 Then I beheld, and lo a likeness as the appearance of fire: from the appearance of his loin’s even downward, fire; and from his loins even upward, as the appearance of brightness, as the color of amber.

3 And he put forth the form of a hand, and took me by a lock of mine head; and the spirit lifted me up between the earth and the heaven, and brought me in the visions of God to Jerusalem, to the door of the inner gate that looketh toward the north; where was the seat of the image of jealousy, which provoketh to jealousy.

“Image…which provoketh to jealousy” – any idol in the temple provoked the Lord to jealousy, but this one seems to be a statue of Asherah, the Canaanite goddess of fertility, which Josiah had removed some 30 years previously.

4 And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel was there, according to the vision that I saw in the plain.

5 Then said he unto me, Son of man, lift up thine eyes now the way toward the north. So I lifted up mine eyes the way toward the north, and behold northward at the gate of the altar this image of jealousy in the entry.

6 He said furthermore unto me, Son of man, seest thou what they do? Even the great abominations that the house of Israel committeth here, that I should go far off from my sanctuary? But turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations.

Asherah is identified as the wife or consort of the Sumerian god Anu and Ugaritic El,[1] the oldest deities of their respective pantheons.[2][3] This role gave her a similarly high rank in the Ugaritic pantheon.
7 And he brought me to the door of the court; and when I looked, behold a hole in the wall.

8 Then said he unto me, Son of man, dig now in the wall: and when I had digged in the wall, behold a door.

9 And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here.

10 So I went in and saw; and behold every form of creeping things, and abominable beasts, and all the idols of the house of Israel, portrayed upon the wall round about.

11 And there stood before them seventy men of the ancients of the house of Israel, and in the midst of them stood Jaazaniah the son of Shaphan, with every man his censer in his hand; and a thick cloud of incense went up.

“Jaazaniah” – not the same person as in 11:1.  Ironically, the name means “The Lord hears,” and the irony is sharpened by the quotation in v. 12.

12 Then said he unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen what the ancients of the house of Israel do in the dark, every man in the chambers of his imagery? For they say, The LORD seeth us not; the LORD hath forsaken the earth.

13 He said also unto me, Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations that they do.

The site is situated on the gateway on the road linking North and South of Israel, about 30 Km south-east of Haifa. The archeologists uncovered 26 layers of ancient cities, starting before the bronze age (4000 B.C.) until the Greeks (4th B.C.).

14 Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD’S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz.

“Tammuz” – the only Biblical reference to this Babylonian fertility god.  The women of Jerusalem were bewailing his dying, which they felt caused the annual wilting of vegetation.  Weeping was done in an attempt to resurrect the cycle of nature.  According to some interpreters, he is alluded to in Dan 11:37.

15 Then said he unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Turn thee yet again, and thou shalt see greater abominations than these.

16 And he brought me into the inner court of the LORD’S house, and, behold, at the door of the temple of the LORD, between the porch and the altar, were about five and twenty men, with their backs toward the temple of the LORD, and their faces toward the east; and they worshipped the sun toward the east.

“With their backs toward the temple” – almost all ancient temples were oriented toward the east.  Worshipping the sun as it rose required one to turn his back to the temple.  Sun worship was particularly emphasized in Egypt.

17 Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.

“They put the branch to their nose” – a ceremonial gesture in nature worship, not documented elsewhere in the Bible.

18 Therefore will I also deal in fury: mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity: and though they cry in mine ears with a loud voice, yet will I not hear them.

Dushara

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The bust of Dushara weighs some 2,100 lbs. and was uncovered at the base of the Temenos Gate.

ushara also transliterated as Dusares, a deity in the ancient Middle East worshipped by the Nabataeans at Petra and Madain Saleh (of which city he was the patron). He was mothered by Manat the goddess of fate.

Dushara represents the taboo in both god and the messiah, beyond all towns and countries, outside the inside out of orthodox monotheism, Hebrew, Christian and Islamic. Dushara is the Lord of Shara, or Seir, the mountain range of Edom in Genesis.

In Greek times, he was associated with Zeus because he was the chief of the Nabataean pantheon as well as with Dionysus. His sanctuary at Petra contained a great temple in which a large cubical stone was the centerpiece.

Dushara became the aniconic high God of Edom, worshipped as stone baetyls (or houses of God beth-el), just as Jacob, seeing God, erected the stone at Bethel.

Dushara continued to be worshipped as the Arabian high god in Nabataean and came to have an iconic form as a man with flowing hair, associated with Dionysus as fertility God of Gaia and also assumed the form of a man-god – a fertility messiah whose tragic mask conferred immortality on the bearer, just as Jesus’ passion was supposed to lead to his resurrection.

Dushara

A shrine to Dusares has been discovered in the harbor of Pozzuoli in Italy. Ancient Puteoli was an important harbor for trade to the Near East, and a Nabataean presence is detected there in the mid-1st century B.C.

The cult continued in some capacity well into the Roman period and possibly as late as the Islamic period.

This deity was mentioned by the 9th century B.C. historian Hisham Ibn Al-Kalbi, who wrote in The Book of Idols (Kitab al-Asnām) that: “The Banū al-Hārith ibn-Yashkur ibn-Mubashshir of the ʻAzd had an idol called Dū Sharā.”

 

 

…Tammuz?