Friday, July 04, 2014

"to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights" - Giza, Sinai, Jerusalem, and Mt. Ararat


Giza, Sinai, Jerusalem, and Mt. Ararat

The Great Pyramid of Giza was built in about 2550 BC. It was 550 years before Abraham's departure from Ur in Mesopotamia. And descendants of Abraham came to settle down in Jerusalem, as King David took over Jerusalem and transferred the capital of his kingdom from Hebron to Jerusalem around 1000 BC.

However the following map suggests something more significant.

There is a possibility that ancient Egyptians knew locations of Mt. Ararat and Mt.
Umm Shumar/Mt. Catherine (the highest mountain in Sinai Peninsula). So, they chose Giza as the location to build Great Pyramids in.  The distance between Mt. Ararat and Giza is almost equal to the distance from Mt. Ararat to Mt. Umm Shumar/Mt. Catherine.  Accordingly they built Great Pyramids in Giza around 2550 BC.

Then David or other ancient Hebrew leaders chose Jerusalem as their capital around 1000 BC.  The distance between Jerusalem and Gaza is almost equal to the distance from Jerusalem to Mt. Umm Shumar/Mt. Catherine.     

Remember that the Old Testament refers to Mt. Ararat.
The name "Ararat" is mentioned four times in the Bible's original manuscripts (Gen. 8:4; 2 Kings 19:37; Isaiah 37:38; Jer. 51:27). This was the name of a country. On one of its mountains Noah’s ark rested after the Flood subsided (Gen. 8:4). Most researchers believe that the "mountains" mentioned were probably the Kurdish range of South Armenia in Turkey. In the King James Bible, 2 Kings 19:37 and Isa. 37:38 translate the word "Ararat" as "Armenia." However, other versions, including the New King James Version, simply say "land of Ararat."
But it does not mention Giza and Great Pyramids.  It is a big mystery.
Pyramids are not mentioned as such in the canonical Scriptures. However, the Apocrypha (approved as canonical by Catholics and Coptics) does mention pyramids in 1 Maccabees 13:28-38 in connection with seven pyramids built by Simon Maccabeus as monuments to his parents. 
Pre-Alexandrian Jews would not have used the word pyramid. However, in the Old Testament, we do see the word migdol (Strong’s, H4024). This word is translated “tower” and could represent any large monolith, obelisk or pyramid. Migdol is the Hebrew word used to describe the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:4, and it is translated similarly in Ezekiel 29:10 and 30:6. In describing a “pyramid,” this is the word the Hebrews would have most likely used. Furthermore, Migdol is a place name in Exodus 14:2, Numbers 33:7, Jeremiah 44:1, and Jeremiah 46:14 and could mean that a tower or monument was located there.
Though there is misunderstanding as to whether Hebrews worked to build pyramids in Egypt (they could not as the Great Pyramids were built 500 years before the era of Abraham), some people today think that the Bible does not mention Pyramids as Hebrews had not lived near Giza in their days in Egypt.
That's right, the Bible does not say that Jewish slaves built the Pyramids. In fact the pyramids were thousands of years old at the time of Moses and would have been old even at the time of Abraham.  
At the time of Moses, the art of pyramid building was long forgotten and the Egyptians buried their dead Pharohs in tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
This in no way proves or disproves the Exodus. I do not find it surprising that the pyramids were not mentioned. I would point out that the Temple of Karnak, the Temple of Ramses, and other architectural wonders were also not mentioned. Neither was the pantheon of Egyptian gods. Why is that?  
My personal opinion is that the Exodus took place at an earlier date than the generally accepted time frame of Seti and Ramses. I think that it took place during the reign of Akhenaten. So, the area around Giza is not mentioned because all the action is taking place at Amarna. Amarna was utterly destroyed and very little remains.  
I think that one of the reasons that archaeology has been unable to verify the events in the Bible is that the timeline that is being applied is wrong and archaeologists are looking in the wrong places for the evidence.  
An earlier Exodus would also explain why archaeology has been unable to find artifacts dating from the reign of King David and King Solomon. These two kings of Israel were highly influential to say the least, and yet their existance has not been verified by scientific evidence. None of the artifacts in Israel seem to match the assumed timeline.
The reason why the Bible does not mention the Great Pyramids of Giza must be religious one.  As the Old Testament mentions the Tower of Babel in a very negative way, Hebrews did not respect pyramids  in Egypt.  Or ancient Israelites must have known that pyramids were religious structures for ancient Egyptians.  For them to refer to pyramids must have meant for them to pay respect to the Egyptian religion.  As pyramids were not built to show respect to the God of Israelites, they most probably avoided mentioning them in the Bible on purpose.

Rather we may think that pyramids must have been a symbol of their religious enemies.  So, Israelites and even Christ Jesus and His followers avoided mentioning Egyptian pyramids.  Indeed, their ancestors who lived with or before Moses had been slaves of the kingdom of Egypt.  Israelites had been slaves under Great Pyramids.  So, to show respect to their ancestors, Israelites and early Christians never mentioned pyramids of Egypt though they depicted the Tower of the Babel.    

Nonetheless, deliberately or not, Jerusalem can be linked with Giza and Mt. Ararat as the above figure shows.  We had better assume that Jerusalem was chosen by King David to make his kingdom situated at the center of the ancient world surrounded by Mt. Ararat, Giza, and the highest mountain in Sinai, Mt. Catherine.

But how could David know the wider positional relation 3000 years ago or around 1000 BC?  Of course, some useful scientific skills must have been at his hand, since the scientifically meritorious Great Pyramids were built 1500 years before the era of King David.

Anyway, Mt. Ararat is related to Noah who experienced the Great Flood that must have occurred before King Khufu and other ancient Egyptian kings built their pyramids.

*** *** *** ***

Gen 7:4 For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights; and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.
Gen 7:5 And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him.

Monday, June 30, 2014

"What sign shewest thou then" - King James and Shakespeare in 1605 and 1611

Tokyo Haneda Airport

King James and Shakespeare in 1605 and 1611

(Updated on July 1, 2014)

It has a significant meaning that the Authorized Version of the Bible,  sponsored by James VI and I (1566-1625), was produced while Shakespeare was active in his creative work.

So, there might have been some linkage between William Shakespeare (1564-1616) and the King James Version of the Bible.
Shakespeare: General Q & A 
Is it true that Shakespeare worked on the King James Bible? 
Some believe that Psalm 46 may have been translated by Shakespeare. The King James version of the Bible was printed in 1611, when Shakespeare was 46 years old. It is a faint possibility, but no one knows for sure. James C. Humes notes that "The 46th word from the top of the 46th Psalm is "Shake" ("The earth doth shake."), and the 46th word from the bottom is "spear" ("God cutteth forth a spear")" (164).
Specifically, the 46th Psalms are as follows:
Psa 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Psa 46:2 Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
Psa 46:3 Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.
Psa 46:4 There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High.
Psa 46:5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.
Psa 46:6 The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
Psa 46:8 Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth.
Psa 46:9 He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire.
Psa 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Psa 46:11 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
But what was the relationship between King James and William Shakespeare?
Shakespeare's Relationship with King James I

William Shakespeare wrote Macbeth in order to win the approval of King James of England and used the king's favor to generate wealth and prosperity for himself. William Shakespeare was known for challenging himself to write plays using different techniques and approaches. In the infancy of the 1600s, between 1603 and 1606, Shakespeare wrote one of his most famous and most adapted tragedies with Macbeth. By 1608, he was expanding his play company to a second theatre. (Frye 15) Commonly referred to as "The Scottish Play," Macbeth tells the story of a thane who through the machinations of a trio of witches ascends to the throne in Scotland via a series of murders and deceptions. The play was used to propel Shakespeare from a playwright from Stratford to the king's personal performer, rendering Shakespeare wealthy and allowing him to expand from the Globe to other theatres and spread the knowledge of his plays across England. (Frye 14) At the time the play was written, King James VI of Scotland had recently succeeded Queen Elizabeth I as reigning monarch of England and Ireland, becoming James I of England. Many of the themes and ideas that are presented in Macbeth seem to suggest that Shakespeare took several creative liberties with the history of England at the time and tailored the play specifically to flatter King James. At a time when performing a play that even hinted at corruption in the crown would have resulted in not only the death of the theatre company but of the playwright himself, it is understandable that Shakespeare would write a play for a court performance complimentary to the ruler of Great Britain. (Project Muse) This action won the acclaim of the king, and gave Shakespeare and his troupe (formerly Lord Chamberlain's Men) resources previously unimaginable. (Greenblatt 335) In 1603, Shakespeare's troupe changed their name to The King's Company. They received much more money, thus earning them more costumes and props on top of the gifts they were receiving from the King. Performances before James were four times as frequent as they had been before Elizabeth. (Frye 15)

As the translation of the Bible started in 1604 following King's order , Shakespeare could have a chance to be asked by King James to translate some passages of Psalms.

King James might really have an idea to have Shakespeare take part in the great project of producing the King James' Version of the Bible, since the king loved literature and talent of writers and poets so much.
Under James, the "Golden Age" of Elizabethan literature and drama continued, with writers such as William Shakespeare, John Donne, Ben Jonson, and Sir Francis Bacon contributing to a flourishing literary culture.[3] James himself was a talented scholar, the author of works such as Daemonologie (1597), True Law of Free Monarchies (1598), and Basilikon Doron (1599). He sponsored the translation of the Bible that was named after him: the Authorised King James Version.[4] Sir Anthony Weldon claimed that James had been termed "the wisest fool in Christendom", an epithet associated with his character ever since.[5] Since the latter half of the twentieth century, however, historians have revised James's reputation and have treated him as a serious and thoughtful monarch.

William Shakespeare

James VI and I

In addition, other paragraphs in Psalms that contain "shake" or "spear" are as follows:
Psalms 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, 
Psalms 35:3 Draw out also the spear, and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. 
Psalms 69:23 Let their eyes be darkened, that they see not; and make their loins continually to shake
Psalms 72:16 There shall be an handful of corn in the earth upon the top of the mountains; the fruit thereof shall shake like Lebanon: and they of the city shall flourish like grass of the earth. 
Note that  with a focus on Psalms 22:7 including "shake"and 35:3 including "spear" the sum of the title numbers of each of the paragraphs is 11 (11 = 2 + 2 + 7 and also 11 = 3 + 5 + 3),  and the "shake" appears as the 16th word in  Psalms 22:7, while the word "spear" is the fifth word in Psalms 35:3.

As the King James version of the Bible was first printed in 1611, this 11 can be regraded as a sign to direct readers' attentions to these two verses.

(In 1605, it must have been planned that the new Bible was to be published in 1611, which Shakespeare must have known.)

As the translation work started in 1604 and continued till 1611, Shakespeare must have been engaged in the translation of these Psalms in 1605.  Or actually he must have written these paragraphs in 1605.

We could infer that Shakespeare was doing translation of the Psalms for the King James Version in 1605 though this new English Bible was first printed in 1611.  And then Shakespeare died in 1616. 

Psalms 22:7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake (16th) the head, saying,

Psalms 35:3 Draw out also the spear (5th), and stop the way against them that persecute me: say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

That is, Shakespeare in 1605!

These two verses tell that Shakespeare translated the Psalms in 1605 for the King James Version of the Bible that was most probably expected at the time to be delivered in 1611.

Finally, the contents of Psalms 22:7 and 35:3 really seem to fit the possible mind set of Shakespeare who must have had a sense of danger that he might have been persecuted as a Catholic in the worst case.

Incidentally, Shakespeare was probably exactly 46 years old when the Authorised King James Version was published in 1611.

APPENDIX 1: Psalms 16

Psalm 16 has only 11 paragraphs, namely from 16:1 to 16:11.  It really tells that the translator, probably Shakespeare, indicated the numbers of Psalms were important with some implications.

The fact that Psalms 16:11 is the last paragraph of Psalms 16 means that the King James Bible was first released in 1611 or expected to be released first in 1611 when the Psalms 16 was being translated.

Psa 16:11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

This verse implies that the new Bible is completed in 1611 to its "fullness" with the "hand" of Shakespeare taking part of the great and holy project.

Psalms 16:5, representing the year 1605 when Shakespeare actually translated Psalms, is also meaningful in this context.

Psa 16:5 The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup: thou maintainest my lot.

This really tells that Psalms is "portion" of Shakespeare's "inheritance, cup, and lot."

The contents of the two paragraphs really fit the idea that Shakespeare translated Psalms for the King James Version.

APPENDIX 2: Shakespeare's State around 1605  

If we admit that Shakespeare was engaged in the translation work of Psalms for the King James Bible in 1605, what was situations around him at the time?
In 1597, he bought the second-largest house in Stratford, New Place, and in 1605, he invested in a share of the parish tithes in Stratford. 
The absence of his name from the 1605 cast list for Jonson's Volpone is taken by some scholars as a sign that his acting career was nearing its end.
Maybe Shakespeare was busy in his holy work in the translation work while becoming  a little more religious.

His works completed around 1605 are as follows:

1604-1606: Timon of Athens

1605: King Lear

1606: Macbeth

APPENDIX 3: Translators for the King James Version Bible

If 50 people are engaged in a big translation project while some others are invited for various contribution, it would be difficult to manage their work and practices completely.
The following accounts of the King James translators are taken from, The Translators Revived by Alexander McClure published in 1858.  
It is commonly reported that there were 54 translators selected to the translation, but only 47 actually participated in the work. Mr. McClure's book chronicles 51 translators. As you read the translator's rules, you will see that other principal and learned men of the kingdom were also invited to make their comments on the work at hand. 
The King James Bible translators were a collection of some of the world's best scholars. They approached this translation with the mindset that they were translating the very Word of God, not just some book. The King James Bible has been called "the monument of English prose" as well as "the only great work of art ever created by a committee."  
I.    The First Westminister Company--translated the historical books, beginning with Genesis and ending with the Second Book of Kings.
Dr. Lancelot Andrews
Dr. John Overall
Dr. Hadrian Saravia
Dr. Richard Clarke, Dr. John Laifield, Dr. Robert Tighe, Francis Burleigh, Geoffry King, Richard Thompson
Dr. William Bedwell 
II.    The Cambridge Company--translated Chronicles to the end of the Song of Songs.

Edward Lively, Dr. John Richardson, Dr. Lawrence Chaderton
Francis Dillingham, Dr. Roger Andrews, Thomas Harrison, Dr. Robert Spaulding, Dr. Andrew Bing 
III.    The Oxford Company--translated beginning of Isaiah to the end of the Old Testament.
Dr. John Harding, Dr. John Reynolds
Dr. Thomas Holland, Dr. Richard Kilby
Dr. Miles Smith, Dr. Richard Brett, Daniel Fairclough 
IV.    The Second Oxford Company--translated the four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, and the Revelation of St. John the Divine.
Dr. Thomas Ravis, Dr. George Abbot
Dr. Richard Eedes, Dr. Giles Tomson, Sir Henry Savile
Dr. John Peryn, Dr. Ralph Ravens, Dr. John Harmar 
V.    The Fifth Company of Translators at Westminster--translated all of the Epistles of the New Testament
Dr. William Barlow, Dr. John Spencer, Dr. Roger Fenton, Dr. Ralph Hutchinson, William Dakins, Michael Rabbet, [Thomas(?)] Sanderson

VI.    The Sixth Company of Translators at Cambridge translated the apocryphal books.
Dr. John Duport, Dr. William Brainthwaite, Dr. Jeremiah Radcliffe
Dr. Samuel Ward
Dr. Andrew Downes, John Bois
Dr. John Ward, Dr. John Aglionby, Dr. Leonard Hutten
Dr. Thomas Bilson, Dr. Richard Bancroft
Probably, King James must have asked William Shakespeare to contribute to translation of Psalms, since Shakespeare had great reputation at the time as a poet.  And, at the time, Shakespeare might regard himself as the 46th translator.  Indeed, "54 translators selected to the translation, but only 47 actually participated."  It meant that there was some confusion in an early stage of forming the translation committee.  Perhaps it was after 1605 that the committee came to have a fixed number of translators, that is 47.  Till then, it does not look so unnatural that Shakespeare regarded himself as the 46th translator.  It must be the reason why Shakespeare put his name in Psalms 46 in the magical way.

In the case, as Shakespeare would become 46 years old when the new Bible was published in 1611, he must have some special meaning in the number 46.

*** *** *** ***

Joh 6:30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
Joh 6:31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Joh 6:32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.