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Chapter 08

Joseph Wheless

                16 page printout, page 146 - 161
                          CHAPTER VIII

       THE HEBREW HEATHEN RELIGION. SEX WORSHIP AND IDOLS

     THE first that we know of the Hebrew Yahveh, after the fabled
Flood of Noah and the fabulous Tower of Babel, is his appearance to
the Chaldean heathen Abram at Haran, telling him to move on west to
the land of Canaan, which Yahveh then and there promised to give to
Abram and his descendants as an inheritance and possession forever
(Gen. xii, 1-3). With Abram we get our first Biblical initiation
into the religion of the Semitic peoples and knowledge of the forms
and ceremonies of their worship of El, Bel, or Baal, as the same
deity might be called in their closely allied vocabularies.

     In the Hebrew language, and throughout the Hebrew Scriptures,
there is no word meaning "religion." The nearest approximation to
the concept is the oft-repeated phrase "the fear of Yahveh." This
priest-inspired fear was the only basis for the hated Yahveh --
cult which the priests strove to impose on the Baal-worshipping
Israelites, who "feared Yahveh, and served their own gods" (2 Kings
xvii, 33, 39), and "did not believe in Yahveh their God" (xvii,
14).

     It is important to fully understand this common Semitic
religion and its forms of worship, which we shall see continued
unchanged all through Bible times down to the end of the Hebrew
record. The Hebrew Scriptures, in this respect, are certainly a
revelation, in a sense all too little known to the casual reader or
hearer of the Word of God.

                    PHALLISM, OR SEX-WORSHIP

     The first notion of a supreme creator among early peoples was
the great and glorious sun, giving light and heat and life; all
early peoples, including the Hebrews, worshipped the sun, the
beautiful, visible, shining agency of creation, as they did to the
end, and as some primitive peoples do to this day.

     Life was a wonderful thing to them, and creation the great
miracle. Man discovered in himself the power to reproduce this
miracle of creation, to recreate life; and the organ of procreation
became from the earliest times an object of veneration and of
worship, as the human representative of the divine Creator and
Life-giver. The woman, too, or "womb-man" (as the derivation of the
Anglo-Saxon word suggests), was an indispensable cooperator in this
work of wonder, and almost equal veneration was paid to the organ
by which she participated in the creative work and brought forth
life. "Eve" was "Life" from the beginning of the human species.
"And the man called his wife's name Havvah [Eve], because she was
the mother of all living (Gen. iii, 20).

     Hence, the human organs of life, symbolized as the "staff of
life" and the "door of life," through which life entered and
issued, were all through ancient history, Biblical and profane, and
are at present among many peoples, sacred objects of worship.' Not
only was it the soul of the Semitic religion, but of the religions
of Egypt, [The Encyclopedia Biblica speaks of "the special
sacredness of the generative organs," and says: "The organ of it in

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man could by the primitive Semites be taken as symbolizing the
deity" (Vol. III, col. 3453).] India, Greece, Rome, all Europe, and
all primitive America. Its emblems have been unearthed in Missouri.

     We have many early Biblical illustrations of this ancient,
Hebraic, Semitic, universal phallic worship. All the ancient
monuments, as well as Hebrew Scripture, testify to the same
customs. In Genesis, of the reputed sons of Shem, son of Noah, one
was Asshur (Gen. x, 22). This phallic name signifies, more or less,
happy, fortunate, upright, erect -- unus cui membrum erectus est,
vel fascinum ipsum. Asshur went forth, we are told, out of that
land, "and builded Nineveh," and founded the great kingdom of
Assyria, which perpetuates his name, for its name in Assyrian, and
in the Bible, is Asshur. Asshur, or Asher, as the triune God was
called in their mythology, became deified; he represented the
virile agency of creation, and was the special divinity of the
Assyrians. His divine consort, Ishtar or Ashtoreth, was the deified
personification of the female principle of creation. The idolic
symbol under which they were worshipped was the Asherah,
representing the creative union of Bel, or Baal, and Ashtoreth, and
typifying "happiness."

                      THE PRIMITIVE TRINITY

     The Assyrians, no less than the Egyptians, the Hindus, the
Canaanites, the Israelites, the Christians, and many other
religious peoples, had and have their Trinity, purely phallic in
origin and significance. The phallus was noted to be not alone
efficient in the work of procreation; its creative labors were
shared by two coefficients, the two testes, or tests of efficient
manhood. Hence these were likewise honored, personified, and
deified, with distinctive names: the right one, supposed to be
prepotent in the generation of a man-child, was named Anu, or On --
that is, "strength, power"; the left, or female-producing test was
called Hoa or Hea. When Jacob's youngest son was born, his mother
Rachel with her dying breath "called his name Ben-oni [son of
strength]: but his father called him Benjamin [son of my right
hand] (Gen xxxv, 18). Thus Anu and Hea completed the Assyrian, and
Hebrew, Trinity, side by side with Asshur. This triad of the
miracle of human procreation was represented by the triune symbol
of the phallic cross in its most primitive, and natural, form:

  HE-A-NU
     S    a universal religious symbol, perpetuated under many
     S    variations of form, but always with the identical
     H    phallic significance. Its most conspicuous adaptations
     U
     R

to-day are the sacred cross of Christ, and the Christian temple
with its towering steeple and lateral transepts.

     The Assyrian supreme masculine creator, Bel, was manifested in
this male triad of Asshur-Anu-Hea, with the female creative
consort, Ashtoreth, the whole symbolized and worshipped under the
Symbolic Asherah. Bel, Ashtoreth, and the Asherah were integrally 

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part and parcel of the fervent worship of the Hebrews in the land
of Canaan, just as they had been in the land of Chaldea whence they
came, and so continued to be from first to last, as their
Scriptures vividly show.

     The Assyrian Asshur was not the only one of the name to whom
the Hebrew Scriptures introduce us. One of the sons of Jacob and of
his wife Leah was given the name of his old Semitic ancestor; "and
she called his name Asher, for, she said, "Happy am I" (Gen. xxx,
13); and this Asher gave his phallic name to one of the twelve
tribes of Israel.

     A few more instances of identity with other Semitic peoples
may be noted briefly. Of the offspring of the reputed triplet sons
of Noah set out in Genesis x, from Cush came the Ethiopians; from
Mizraim the Philistines and the Egyptians; from Canaan the
Canaanites; from Shem the Hebrews, the Assyrians, the Ishmaelites
or Arabians, the Elamites, etc. From Lot, by his own daughters,
sprang the Moabites, and Ammorites (Gen. xix, 30-37). Thus we see
connected all the Semitic peoples, and with identical origin,
traditions, deities, religion, and worship.

                         PHALLIC EMBLEMS

     The universality of the phallus worship and the peculiar
significance and sanctity of its emblems, especially the cross, the
triangle, the spire. and the oval, are indicated in the
universality of the use of these sacred emblems in nearly all lands
and among nearly all peoples, both ancient and modern. The
Christian emblem, the cross of Christ, is simply the ancient
conventional emblem of the phallus and testes, and of the phallus
in conjunction with the female "door of life," represented in every
land and age, and especially in almost every hieroglyphic Egyptian
record, where the "ankh" -- cross (cross and oval) is the emblem of
life. This is exemplified in the name of Tut-ankh-amen, or "Life-
image of Amen." The cross, in diverse forms, but with always the
same phallic significance of "life," antedates Christianity by
ages, and is found on the ancient religious monuments of many far-
scattered peoples, even in prehistoric America.

     Another favorite Hebrew and universal emblem is the triangle,
the perfect representation of the pubic hairs on man and woman. The
famous six-pointed star of David, the national emblem of Israel,
and always to-day blazoned on the banners of Zion, is formed by
superimposing the male on the female pubic triangle, and is of very
sacred significance. The pyramids of Egypt, as of Central America,
are faced by four triangles, representing in Egypt the "four great
gods"' purely phallic and very sacred.

     Of like origin and significance are the Jewish manner of
holding the hands in priestly blessing, the oval windows of Gothic
churches, the heaven-pointing spires of Christian temples; all
purely phallic devices, though to-day seemingly formal or
conventional, as the pagan phallic origins are forgotten. We shall
now observe some other phallic devices of universal heathen, and
Hebrew, usage, out of the Scriptures.

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                THE PATRIARCHAL PHALLIC IDOLATRY

     Abraham, the Chaldean of Ur, and the patriarchal family and
tribes which he is said to have established were, in common with
all their Semitic kindred, Semitic idolaters; he and his
descendants worshipped phallic idols; and they retained and
worshipped these same common Semitic idols through all their
history down to the times of the last of the prophets, as the
Hebrew Bible makes amply evident. We shall make some review of this
phallic cult, so that the interested reader may appreciate what was
this Hebrew religion and its God, now taken over by the Christian
religion.

                THE PHALLIC SYMBOLS OF SCRIPTURE

     Principal among the idols or images of their Yahveh were,
throughout Hebrew history, the phallic objects of worship mentioned
a thousand times in the sacred pages under the euphemistic and
misleading terms "Pillar" and "grove." These so popular and
venerated emblems were nothing more or less than the phallic
reproductions of the erect male organ of procreation, the symbolic
"staff of life, and the receptive and fecund female "door of life,"
to euphemize them ourselves. In the English translations the term
"pillar" is used for the representation called in Hebrew
"mazzebah," of the male organ; and "grove" for the "asherah" or
female organ of reproduction. For public and outdoor worship these
images were of large size and bold design, often actual, sometimes
conventional or symbolic, representations of the sex-organs.
Smaller idols of the same nature, more for household worship, were
images of Yahveh, the peculiarly sacred alias of the Hebraic El,
with an enormous phallus, or male organ, erect in situ. The names
given to these household images were "ephods" and "teraphim," words
constantly occurring together throughout the Hebrew Bible to as
late as Hosea iii, 4. These phallic idols were used for worship,
and for the purposes of divination or oracular consultation with
the God Yahveh, in seeking his advice and receiving his awful
decrees.

     Thus the religion and worship of the Hebrews and their Semitic
neighbors were frankly and purely phallic. I shall illustrate this
fact by a few instances from among hundreds in the Hebrew
Scriptures. And first of the "pillars" and "groves" of almost
universal worship.

              THE "PILLARS" OR MAZZEBAHS OF YAHVEH

     The first mentioned mazzebah, or "pillar," as it is
deceptively rendered in the English translation, is the one piously
set up by Jacob at the place where be dreamed of the ladder
(Genesis xxviii); that he "took the stone he had put for his
pillows, and set it up for a pillar [mazzebah], and poured oil upon
the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el -- the
house of God (xxviii, 18, 19); and he said: "This stone, which I
have set up for a mazzebah, shall be God's house" (xxviii, 22). The
same or a similar incident is recorded of Jacob at Padan-aram, when
his name was changed to Israel (xxxv, 14). Now, Beth-el was a very
sacred "high place" and holy shrine throughout Hebrew history. It
was a center of phallic idol worship, and as such was railed 

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against by the later prophets, who were trying to reform the
religion of Israel. They "cried against the altar in Beth-el" (1
Kings xiii, 4, 32); and Amos quotes Yahveh as commanding: "Seek not
Beth-el. ... Beth-el shall come to nought" (Amos v, 5); and Josiah,
as one of his "reforms" in abolishing the phallic heathen practices
of the Chosen, destroyed this holy phallic altar of Beth-el (2
Kings xxiii, 15), and burned the bones of its prophets and priests
upon the polluted altar. This proves that the very sacred Beth-el
was, from its beginning to its end, a place of heathen phallic
Baal-Yahveh-worship, and somewhat discounts the eulogies heard upon
it from modern Christian pulpits. Jeremiah declared: "The house of
Israel was ashamed of Beth-el their confidence" (Jer. xlviii, 13).

     Again, following the hot family quarrel between Jacob and
Laban over the stealing of Laban's phallic gods (teraphim) by
Rachel, as an emblem of peace, "Jacob took a stone, and set it up
for a mazzebah. ... And Laban said, This heap is a witness between
me and thee this day"; and he called it Mizpab, "for he said,
Yahveh watch between me and thee when we are absent one from
another" (Gen. xxxi, 5, 48, 49). This mazzebah was a representative
of the sacred phallus, for which a tall or pointed stone, or even
a heap of stones, was used when nothing else was available.

     When Rachel died, in pious grief "Jacob set up a pillar
[mazzebah] upon her grave: that is the mazzebah of Rachel's grave
unto this day" (Gen. xxxv, 20). Moses, when he came down from
flaming Sinai, where he is said to have received the fearful law of
Yahveh, straightway, in celebration, "builded an altar under the
hill, and twelve mazzeboth [plural], according to the twelve tribes
of Israel" (Ex. xxiv, 4). This proves that Moses did not receive
the law there, for, but a few verses before, that law expressly
declares: "Thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down
their mazzeboth" (xxiii, 24). But this evidently means the
mazzeboth of the other peoples, the seven nations named in verse
23, not those of Yahveh, which were not then prohibited, as Moses'
act in erecting the twelve pillars (mazzeboth) would indicate.

     So all through the Hebrew Scriptures occurs mention of this
popular phallic practice as perfectly proper and orthodox. A
thousand years later the raptured vision of the great prophet
Isaiah foresaw the glory of Yahveh in the heathen lands, and this
is his ideal of the supreme emblem of that glory: "In that day
shall there be an altar to Yahveh in the midst of the land of
Egypt, and a mazzebah at the border thereof to Yahveh" (Isa. xix,
19). This is a further proof that there was yet no "law" of Yahveh
condemning this phallic cult of the mazzebah, which Yahveh is
quoted as having so fearfully denounced through Moses: "Neither
shalt thou set thee up any mazzebah; which Yahveh thy God hateth"
(Deut. xvi, 22). Hosea speaks of the "goodly mazzeboth" (Hos. x,
1); and laments that the Chosen shall be deprived of them (iii, 4).

     These phallic "pillars" or mazzeboth were regarded as the
actual abiding-place of the deity who "put his name" on them; he
verily lived in the stone, and it became sentient and possessed of
faculties of sight, hearing, understanding, protecting. We have
noticed the mazzebah which Jacob set up "for God's house" (Gen.
xxviii, 22); and the mazzebah and stone heap which Jacob and Laban 

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set up as a "witness" and "watch tower" between them, saying "this
heap be witness and this pillar [mazzebah] be witness," to keep
them from harming each other (Gen. xxxi, 45-52). And Joshua set up
a great stone, and said unto all the people: "Behold, this stone
shall be a witness unto us; for it hath heard all the words of
Yahveh which he spake unto us" (Josh. xxiv, 26, 27). Samuel set up
a "stone of help" (Ebenezer; I Sam. vii, 12). The superstition that
deity, or spirits, or jinn resided in the sacred stones was almost
universal among ancient peoples, and persists to-day among low
tribes from Alaska to equatorial Africa.

     And not only did the deity reside in the stones, but "stone"
or "rock" was, and yet is, a favorite appellation of the Deity:
Jacob calls Yahveh "stone of Israel"; Moses "the rock of our
salvation," "the rock that begat me," "he is a rock"; and so says
Samuel; and David says: "Yahveh is my rock; Elohim is my rock; my
high tower, in whom I trust." Jesus says: "On this rock will I
build my church," etc. All these inspired allusions are purely
phallic in terms and in signification; and so is our "Rock of Ages,
cleft for me." There could be no clearer evidence that the phallus,
and the stone representation of it, were regarded religiously as
the emblem of deity.

                    THIS "GROVES" OR ASHERAHS

     The "grove" (asherah) or graven representation of the female
"door of life" also makes a very early scriptural appearance, and
runs hand in hand or, in phallic parlance, "linga in yoni" with the
mazzebah, through the whole Hebrew Bible. In Genesis xxi, 33 it is
recorded: 'And Abraham planted a grove [asherah] in Beersheba, and
called there on the name of Yahveh, the everlasting God [El]." To
use the deceptive euphemism "planted a grove," as if it meant the
commendable horticultural work of setting out trees, instead of the
actual "erected an asherah," or visual phallic image of the female
"door of life" penetrated by the male "staff of life," is another
instance of "pious fraud" on the part of the Bible translators.

     The idea of planting a grove of trees, besides being actually
false, is negatived by so many expressions in sundry passages even
in the English version of the Bible that the attempt to hide it
becomes absurd. A few instances suffice to illustrate this: "And
Ahab served Baal, and made a grove" (1 Kings xvi, 33); under
Jehoahaz "there remained a grove in Samaria" (2 Kings xiii, 6); the
children of Israel "set them up images and groves in every high
hill, and under every green tree" (2 Kings, xvii, 10); the Prophet
Ahijah had already declared: "Yahveh shall smite Israel ... because
they have made their groves, provoking Yahveh to anger" (1 Kings
xiv, 15). A grove of trees could not be planted under a tree, nor
would such innocent and useful work of forestation provoke the Lord
Yahveh to anger to the extent of smiting his chosen Israel. In
every one of the passages cited, and in scores of others, the word
used in the Hebrew Scriptures is asherah or the plural asherim,
which was the name in Hebrew for the Semitic object of phallic
idol-worship representing the conjunction of male and female sex-
organs.

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     The proof in the concrete is close at hand and easy of
verification. In the entrance hall of the Mercantile Library at St.
Louis (where this is written), is an ancient stone slab from the
walls of the Assyrian palace at Nippur. It is the Semitic, the
Hebrew Scripture, asherah. The slab is so sawn, for removal from
its original place, as to split the principal object, the female
"door of life," vertically into two parts; but one half of it is
very plainly shown. The oval vulva is here represented, with a
fanciful fan-shaped clitoris within its upper arched point, divided
into seven whorls representing the days of the week; around the
edge of the vulva are thirteen conventionalized tufts of the pubic
hairs of the mons veneris, representing the thirteen "periods" of
a woman in a year; while penetrating erect within the female "yoni"
is the male "linga" or phallus. Besides this phallic asherah altar
stands the winged genius of the shrine; in his outstretched hand he
holds the usual offering of the pine-cone, emblematic of fecundity,
and in his other hand be holds the conventional bag fined with like
emblems, for votive offerings to this phallic Assyrian,
Canaanitish, and Hebrew divinity.

     It is this selfsame phallic device, the asherah, which, not in
wall-carvings but in practical altar-form, filled the holy temple
of Solomon at Jerusalem, for the worship of Ashtoreth, Baal, and
Yahveh, and there remained in constant and fervid orthodox Hebrew
worship until Josiah "cleansed the temple," and brought "forth out
of the temple of Yahveh all the vessels that were made for Baal,
and for the grove [asherah], and for all the host of heaven" (2
Kings xxiii, 4). The Encyclopedia Biblica says: "The Asherah-post
was esteemed divine -- a fetish, or a cultus-god -- as no one
doubts that it was in Old Testament times" (Vol. I, col. 332).

              YAHVEH'S PHALLIC EPHODS AND TERAPHIM

     Besides the mazzebahs and asherahs which abounded in orthodox
Hebrew worship, the ephods and teraphim, before described as being
smaller household idols of Yahveh with great standing phalli, were
popular objects of the worship of Yahveh, very potent for conjuring
and oracular prophecy.

     The first mention of "teraphim" is in the interesting passage
in Genesis xxxi, concerning Jacob and his pagan father-in-law
Laban, and involving the modest Rachel, Jacob's wife and Laban's
daughter. Inspiration tells us that "Rachel had stolen the teraphim
that were her father's" (Gen. xxxi, 19); and Laban was very wroth
and asked Jacob (xxxi, 30): "Wherefore hast thou stolen my gods
[elohim]." But Jacob protested and said: "With whomsoever thou
findest thy gods, let him not live. ... For Jacob knew not that
Rachel had stolen them" (xxxi, 32). Laban searched through all the
household tents, and finally came into Rachel's tent. "Now, Rachel
had taken the teraphim," says verse 34, "and sat upon them." The
manner in which these idols were ornamented, with the erect male
phallus, is suggestive of the form and manner of devotion that
Rachel was engaged in, "sitting on" the gods, and explains the
naive excuse which she gave to her father for not rising politely
when he came into her tent (xxxi, 35). Laban "searched, but found
not the teraphim" (xxxi, 35).

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     Gideon, the man of the gods, "made an ephod [of gold] and put
it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a
whoring after it" (Judges viii, 27). This phallic idol was, at the
time, expressly recognized as entirely proper and orthodox in the
worship of Yahveh, who was personified by the image. The people had
requested Gideon to set himself up as king and rule over them; but
Gideon replied, "I will not rule over you; Yahveh shall rule over
you." He called on the people for all their golden ornaments, and
of these be made the golden ephod. The ephod was thus Yahveh or his
idol. It was evidently the writer or editor of the Book of Judges,
centuries later, who used the opprobrious term "went a whoring
after" this sacred statue of Yahveh, which he says "became a snare
unto Gideon and to his house" (Judges viii, 27).

     In Judges xvii and xviii is the account of the idols of Micah
the Ephraimite, which became famous: "The man Micah had an house of
gods, and made an ephod, and teraphim, and consecrated one of his
sons, who became his priest" (xvii, 5). Afterwards he secured a
Levite for this office, and said: "Now know I that Yahveh will do
me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest" (xvii, 13). And the
Danites came and consulted the ephod, or phallic image of Yahveh,
in regard to their expedition against Laish; and they said to the
Levite priest: "Ask counsel, we pray thee, of the gods [Elohim]"
whether they should be successful, and the priest consulted the
idol and reported: "Go in peace: before Yahveh is your way wherein
ye go" (xviii, 1-6), again proving that Yahveh was worshipped and
consulted through ephod idols. And when they had captured the city,
and changed its name to Dan, and dwelt there, "they set them up
Micah's graven image. ... an the time that the house of the gods
[beth-ha-elohim] was in Shiloh" (xviii, 31) -- and there it
remained and was worshipped "until the day of the captivity of the
land" (xviii, 30), several hundred years later. This also proves
that the Book of Judges was not written until after "the captivity
of the land."

     When David was on a foray against Saul, and had no weapon, he
went to Ahimelech, the high priest (miscalled Abiathar by Jesus
Christ in Mark ii, 26), in the house of Yahveh and got the sword of
Goliath, which was "wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod" (1 Sam.
xxi, 9) or phallic statue of Yahveh. Once when Saul sought for
David to kill him, the fair Michal, Saul's daughter and David's
first wife, who "loved him," put one of her big phallic teraphim in
the nuptial bed and covered it, while David, who was consequently
supposed to be in the bed asleep, escaped (I Sam. xix, 13).

     That these teraphim were idols used in divination or in
oracular consultation with Yahveh is plain from the passage of the
prophet Zechariah: "For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the
diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams" (Zech. x, 2).
The Authorized Version in English uses the word "idols"; but the
Hebrew and the Revised Version, more honestly, both use the word
"teraphim."

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                    THE SACRED DICE OF YAHVEH

     The pious Hebrews had another sacred device, common to the
heathen peoples of those regions, which is said to have been 
revealed by Yahveh himself to Moses on Sinai. This was the sacred
oracular dice, urim and thummim, by which Yahveh revealed his holy
will to his Chosen, and which the priest must carry in his
"breastplate of judgment ... before Yahveh continually" (Ex.
xxviii, 30). These oracular dice or "lots" were "cast" before
Yahveh, and answered yes or no just as the Assyrian "tablets of
destiny" did before Marduk, or Bel.

     Some random instances of the use of these sacred dice may be
cited. Moses dedicated first Aaron (Ex. xxviii, 30), and later
Joshua (Num. xxvii, 21), to use the urim and thummim; later still,
he consecrated the sons of Levi, the Levites, for this office in
perpetuity (Deut. xxxiii, 8). Joshua used these dice as lots to
detect Achan for his theft at the taking of Ai (Josh. vii). Samuel
used them to select Saul to be king (I Sam. xxiii, 9). Saul said
unto Yahveh: "Shew the right; cast lots between me and Jonathan my
son"' to detect the person who had eaten during a battle with the
Philistines, and the lot fell upon Jonathan, who then confessed (I
Sam. xiv, 41-43). Sometimes this device failed, as in 1 Samuel
xxviii, 6; for, "when Saul enquired of Yahveh, Yahveh answered him
not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets" (the three
methods of divination or fortune-telling used to secure the will of
Yahveh); it was then that Saul made his visit to the witch of
En-dor, to consult the shade of Samuel.

     The pious King David "enquired of Yahveh" several times
through the dice urim and thummim and by the phallic ephod of
Yahveh. When he wished to know whether be should attack Saul, "he
said to Abiathar the priest, Bring hither the ephod," and David
inquired of it, saying: "O Yahveh God of Israel, I beseech thee,
tell thy servant," and Yahveh replied to the satisfaction of David
(1 Sam. xxiii, 9-12).

     As late as the prophets Ezra (Ezra ii, 63) and Nehemiah (Neb.
vii, 65), questions were not decided "till there stood up a priest
with Urim and with Thummim," to consult Yahveh for the answer --
just like Greek oracle-mongers and Roman augurs. The superstitious
and idolatrous Hebrews used these consecrated dice to decide even
law-suits and legal controversies, a practice instituted on Sinai
in Exodus xxviii, 30, and followed with the express approval of the
Wisest Man, in two of his Proverbs. For Solomon says: "The lot is
cast into the lap; but the whole disposing thereof is of Yahveh"
(Prov. xvi, 33); and again he records this maxim of legal practice:
"The lot causeth contentions to cease, and parteth between the
mighty" (Prov. xviii, 18). As if the God of all wisdom would reveal
himself and his will through such superstitious and childish
devices, a sort of acrimonious craps-shooting. Dreams, dice, and
prophets -- certainly a convincing triad for revelation of the
oracles of God! And witches, and wizards, and necromancers, and
charmers, and dealers with familiar spirits, to assist!

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                  OTHER HEATHEN RITES OF YAHVEH

     Besides all the phallic worship and idolatrous practices above
noticed, which were throughout their history associated with the
cult of Yahveh, as a sort of special Hebraic Super-El or Baal, the
Chosen People never even for a season gave up the common heathen
idolatry into which they were born and bred and with which they
were everywhere surrounded among their kindred peoples. We remember
that Aaron made the golden calf at the very foot of Sinai while
Moses was with the new-found god Yahveh (if he ever was); and Aaron
proclaimed to the people, then but three months out of Egypt:
"These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land
of Egypt." The golden calf was perhaps a reproduction of the sacred
bull Apis of Egypt, though it is said that it was the symbol of
Baal, derived from the Canaanites, and changed by the Hebrews into
"a representation of Yahv'e" (Encyc. Bib., Vol. 1, col. 632). The
Chosen People had known no other gods or forms of worship than
those of Egypt for 430 years, and were common Chaldean idolaters
before that time; and ever after leaving Egypt they followed the
practices of their kindred peoples among whom they lived, and
refused to pay any very particular attention to the new "jealous
God" Yahveh.

     Moses himself, in addition to the "twelve mazzeboth" which he
set up just after receiving a "law" against them, also made the
famous brazen image of the fiery serpent, which healed the plague-
stricken Israelites, and was preserved and worshipped as a god by
them until it was finally destroyed by King Hezekiah; "for unto
those days the children of Israel did burn incense to it" (2 Kings
xviii, 4).

     Gideon, as we have seen, also encouraged idolatry; his
nickname was Jerubbaal, showing his dedication to the Canaanite-
Hebrew Baal. The holy King David worshipped Baal religiously, and
as the custom was in Baal-worship, danced the Baal-dance in public
and naked, "with all his might" before the holy Ark of the Covenant
of Yahveh; and his wife Michal, "looked through a window and saw
king David leaping and dancing before Yahveh; and she despised him
in her heart" (2 Sam. vi, 14-16). Absalom "reared up for himself a
mazzebah [phallic "pillar"]. ... for he said, I have no son to keep
my name in remembrance: and he called the mazzebah after his own
name" (2 Sam. xviii, 18). The wise Solomon, it is recorded, "loved
Yahveh: ... only he sacrificed and burnt incense in high places" (1
Kings iii, 3); the bamah or "high place" being the popular shrine
of Baal-worship throughout Israel. King Solomon also "loved many
strange women" of all the heathen peoples; and impartially he built
a phallic temple for Yahveh and "an high place for Chemosh, the
abomination of Moab ... and for Molech, the abomination of the
children of Ammon," and went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the
Zidonians; "and likewise did he for all his strange wives, which
burnt incense and sacrificed unto their gods" (I Kings xi, 1-8).
Jeroboam, the first secessionist king over Israel, made two golden
calves and set them up, one in Bethel and the other in Dan, saying,
as did Aaron: "Behold thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out
of the land of Egypt" (1 Kings xii, 28).

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     These heathenish practices were not confined to sundry "bad
kings" who backslided from Yahveh; they were universal and constant
throughout the rank and file of the Chosen, part and parcel of the
orthodox worship of Yahveh: "For they also built them high places,
and mazzeboth, and asherim, on every high hill, and under every
green tree. And there were also sodomites in the land: they did
according to all the abominations of the nations which Yahveh cast
out before the children of Israel" (I Kings xiv, 23, 24) -- only
Yahveh never did cast them out; they stayed there until the Chosen
were themselves carried into captivity.

     The Books of Kings and Chronicles, and of the prophets are
filled with these records of continuous idolatry under the
successive kings of Israel and Judah, to the end of the national
record. Even under the few, scattered "good kings" (i.e., Yahveh
devotees), who made some reforms, it is always related, as of
Joash: "But the high places were not taken away: the people still
sacrificed and burnt incense in the high places" (2 Kings xii, 3).
Asa "took away the sodomites out of the land, and removed all the
idols that his fathers had made"; he also removed his mother
Maachah "from being queen, because she had made an asherah" -- "but
the high places were not removed" (1 Kings xv, 12-14). The kings,
however zealous for Yahveh they are reported, never once attempted
to disturb the public idol worship of the people. Although the few
"good kings" held personally, maybe, only to Yahveh, and some
prophets thundered against other idols and other idolatry in favor
of the "jealous God" Yahveh, the universal idol-worship of the
Chosen People was never interrupted. Elijah, prophet of El-Yahveh,
murdered the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 "prophets of the groves"
(1 Kings xviii), and wailed, in his solitude: "I, even I only, am
left," of all the prophets of Yahveh. Later Jehu massacred every
worshipper of Baal, although he continued the worship of the two
golden calves of Yahveh in Bethel and Dan (2 Kings x). Still the
idol-worship throve, and the Chosen People "did not believe in
Yahveh their God."

     This recital of instances must end; and will be brought to a
close with some panoramic views of idolatry throughout the history
of the Chosen People. In 2 Kings xvii this striking picture is
presented:

          "And the children of Israel ... built them high places in
     all their cities, from the tower of the watchmen to the fenced
     city. And they set them up mazzeboth and asherim in every high
     hill, and under every green tree: And there they burnt incense
     in all the high places [bamoth]; ... and wrought wicked things
     to provoke Yahveh to anger: For they served idols, whereof
     Yahveh had said unto them, Ye shall not do this thing. ...
     Notwithstanding they ... did not believe in Yahveh their God.
     ... And they ... made them molten images, even two calves, and
     made asheroth, and worshipped all the host of heaven, and
     served Baal. And they caused their sons and daughters to pass
     through the fire [to Moloch], and used divination and
     enchantments."

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     This picture is drawn just at the close of the national
existence, in the year in which the Children were first carried 
away into captivity. It is declared: "Yet Yahveh testified unto
Israel and unto Judah, by the hand of every prophet, and of every
seer, saying, Keep my commandments and my statutes, according to
all the law which I commanded your fathers. ... Notwithstanding
they would not hear, like to their fathers, who believed not in
Yahveh their God" (2 Kings xvii, 13, 14).

     This clearly proves that the few prophets; who "raved" against
the "gods of the nations," which were also the gods of the Chosen
People, were but as "a voice crying in the wilderness" against the
popular religion, and were wholly without effect upon the prevalent
popular practices, from Moses to the conquest by the Assyrians. The
prophet Hosea (Hos. iii, 4), in bewailing the desolation coming
upon his country, either bewailed or exulted in -- it does not
clearly appear which -- the destruction of the national religion:
"For the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king,
and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without a
mazzebah, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." This
indicates the prevalence and entire orthodoxy of these national
customs and objects of popular worship.

                    THE TEMPLE AN IDOL HOUSE

     Just before the captivity we find the "good King" Josiah, he
who "found" the Book of the Law, making a crusade against the
idols. Solomon's great temple to Yahveh was the consecrated shrine
of Hebrew idolatry and sex-worship. Josiah brought forth "out of
the temple of Yahveh all the vessels that were made for Baal, and
for the asherah, and for all the host of heaven. ... And he brought
out the asherah from the house of Yahveh. And he brake down the
houses of the sodomites, that were by the house of Yahveh, where
the women wove hangings for the asherah".(2 Kings xxiii, 6, 7).
"And he put down the idolatrous priests, whom the kings of Judah
had ordained to burn incense in the high places in the cities of
Judah, and in the places round about Jerusalem; them also that
burned incense unto Baal, to the sun, and to the moon, and to the
planets, and to all the [starry] host of heaven" (xxiii, 5).

     This is a graphic description of the polytheistic and phallic
idolatry of the Hebrews, identical in every respect with that of
all the other Semitic peoples among whom they lived. These records
demonstrate that the Hebrew people never at any time before the
return from captivity, knew or worshipped any such God as we are
taught in modern Sunday schools was the "one true god" of Israel;
but that they worshipped exactly the same El or Baal, and the same
Elohim, or gods, as all the neighboring heathen nations. It is
preposterous to pretend that the Hebrews as a nation were not
heathen or pagan, like all their kindred and neighbors. We shall
presently study the Hebrew "revelation" of their Yahveh at close
range.

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                  THE TEMPLE HARLOTS OF YAHVEH

     There remain several aspects of Hebrew phallic worship which
we shall briefly notice. One feature common to all the ancient 
religions was the consecrated women, or priestess-prostitutes, who
were always in attendance in the temples and at the asherah
("groves"), to participate in the worship with the true believers
who had the price of oblation. Their earnings in this sacred
calling went into the "treasury of Yahveh," and were a large part
of its legitimate income. True, the "law" prescribed: "There shall
be no whore [qadeshah] of the daughters of Israel, nor a sodomite
[qadesh] of the sons of Israel. Thou shalt not bring the hire of a
whore, or the price of a dog, into the house of Yahveh thy God for
any vow" (Deut. xxiii, 17, 18). But, this "law" was ex post facto,
and totally unobserved, for the practice prevailed even in the holy
temple of Solomon. The Hebrew word "qadesh," the name for the
consecrated devotees of phallism, is exactly the same word as that
for "holy" or "consecrated" or "sanctified"; it is used in the "ten
commandments": "Wherefore Yahveh blessed the sabbath day and
hallowed [qadesh-u] it" (Ex. xx, 11); and in the inscription on the
golden crown of Aaron: "Holiness [godesh] to Yahveh" (Ex. xxxix,
30); and wherever this idea is expressed.

     The first Bible mention of this cult is some five hundred
years before the time of Moses, when the fair young widow Tamar,
despairing of getting the man so often promised her, dressed
herself in the garb of a "qadeshah" or temple-harlot, with a veil
over her face, and went and "sat in an open place" where she knew
that her father-in-law Judah would pass by; and Judah came by, and
fell into her trap, with interesting sequel, related in Genesis
xxxviii. Later Moses, in instituting the religious observances of
the Chosen People, thought it amiss that Hebrew young women and
young men should engage in this religious prostitution, and hence
the "law" above quoted, prohibiting them from acting the role of
temple-prostitutes. So these sacred offices were usually filled by
"the stranger within thy gate," and particularly by the Moabitish
maidens and young men. While yet in the midst of their wanderings
in the wilderness, "the people began to commit whoredom with the
daughters of Moab, ... and bowed down to their gods. And Israel
joined himself unto Baal-peor" (Num. xxv, 1-3); that is, to "Baal
the hymen-breaker," so named because Moabitish maidens were wont to
break their hymens on the idol-phallus before becoming qadeshoth,
or religious prostitutes. As to the qadeshuth, or official
sodomites, who abounded among the Chosen People, as attested by
many scriptural passages, the less said about these detestable
attendants of the worship of Yahveh, the better.

     When Solomon erected the temple of Yahveh, built from plans
drawn by Yahveh himself (1 Chron. xxviii, 19), he made arrangements
for the comfort of these consecrated temple-attendants, and for the
convenience of the phallic worshippers. It is recorded: "And
against the wall of the house he built chambers round about. ...
both of the temple and of the oracle; even ... for the most holy
place" (1 Kings vi, 5, 16). These side-chambers (tselaoth), the
small size of which is stated (vi, 6, 10), were the habitations of
the qadeshoth and the qadeshuth. When the holy temple needed
repairs, the "good King" Jehoash told the priests to use "all the 

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money of the qadashim [translated dedicated things] that is brought
into the house of Yahveh" (2 Kings xii, 4) for the work of repairs;
but the priests stole it and did not make the repairs (xii, 6).
These chambers were broken down by Josiah: "And he brake down the
houses of the sodomites, that were in the house of Yahveh, where
the women wove hangings for the asherah" (2 Kings xxiii, 7).
Notwithstanding, so profitable a form of worship continued unabated
in Israel, as in the rest of the heathen world.

                         PHALLUS HOMAGE

     Of another phallic practice of the Hebrew religion, of
universal sanctity among them and their Semitic neighbors, we have
frequent testimony, from first to last, in their Scriptures. This
was the solemn phallic form of oath prevalent among them. As the
phallus was the object of most sacred reverence in Israel, as
everywhere else, the most solemn oaths and vows were taken upon it;
the form of ceremony being for the person to be obligated to take
in his hand the member of the person to whom he swore
(euphemistically translated "put hand under the thigh"), and
register thus his oath. As stated by a recent authority, "In
exceptional cases the hand might be placed under the thigh of the
person imposing the oath (Gen. xxiv, 2; Deut. lxvii, 29), as a sign
of regard for the mystery of generation, whose source was God."
[New Stand. Bible Dict., p. 630, art. Oath. The Encyclopedia
Biblica says: "'Thigh' refers to the generative organ" (Vol. III,
col. 3453, art. Oath). Josephus, Antiq., 1, 16, 1, describes how
the ceremony was performed.] Thus, Father Abraham called his
majordomo, and said to him: "Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my
thigh: and I will make thee swear by Yahveh. ... And the servant
put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swear to
him concerning that matter" (Gen. xxiv, 2, 9). So Jacob, when he
came to die in Egypt, called his son Joseph to him, and said: "Put,
I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh; ... bury me not, I pray thee,
in Egypt. ... And he swear unto him" (Gen. xlvii, 29-31).

     This phallic practice was not confined to the ancient
patriarchs; it prevailed throughout Bible history. When Solomon was
crowned king over all Israel, the ceremony of taking the oath of
allegiance is related in 1 Chronicles xxix, 24: "And all the
princes, and the mighty men, and all the sons likewise of king
David, gave the hand under Solomon." In other words, the spectacle
was presented of all the mighty men of Israel lined up as at a
Presidential New Year's reception, and filing by before the Wise
King; as each came up he would take the royal phallus in his good
sword hand, and with low obeisance pronounce upon it the solemn
oath of fealty. In Lamentations, the weeping prophet bewails the
dire distress of the Chosen People, and declares: "We have given
the hand to the Egyptians, and to the Assyrians, to be satisfied
with bread" (Lam. v, 6) -- taken the phallic oath of fealty to
those foreign nations in return for protection and provisions.
Other instances might be cited, but these suffice to show the time-
honored practice, in private and in public, of all Israel. In
modern times we evidence the solemnity of an official or judicial
oath by putting the hand on the Bible, as a sacred thing, and
kissing it. It is much the same in effect as the older custom, and
very little different as a matter of taste.

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                     SANCTITY OF THE PHALLUS

     The sanctity attached by the Hebrew religion to the male
organs of generation is clearly recognized by various passages of
the law. These phallic organs must not be profanely touched or
injured, and the injury or loss of any part of them wrought an
excommunication from the worship of Yahveh. In Deuteronomy xxv, 11,
12, the rigorous law enacts that when two of the Chosen are engaged
in a street fight together, "and the wife of the one draweth near
for to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smiteth him,
and putteth forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets: Then
thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall not pity her." In
chapter xxiii, 1, excommunication is pronounced against the
unfortunate one: "He that is wounded in the stones, or hath his
privy member cut off, shall not enter into the congregation of
Yahveh." These two barbarous laws discredit the theory that a true
and merciful God had anything to do with their enactment, or with
the barbarous "Scriptures" which attribute them to him. But the One
True Church of Yahveh to-day still holds to this phallic
prohibition; and while it pretends to deny to its asexual ministers
the natural exercise of these organs, its canons decree that its
consecrated ones, from Yahveh's Vicar down, must be "perfect in all
their parts"; and before the ceremonial "laying on of hands," it
exacts a private and thorough examination, to satisfy Yahveh's and
Peter's phallic requirements.

                 THE SUPERSTITION OF WITCHCRAFT

     A brief reference to some other superstitions of the Hebrew
Bible religion may be permitted. Witches, wizards, familiar
spirits, and demons were as plentiful and popular as angels and
devils in modem Christianity -- and as real. Yahveh, on Sinai,
enacted (Ex. xxii, 18): "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live."
When Saul was king, after the death of Samuel, be became virtuous
for a while, and "banished those that had familiar spirits, and the
wizards, out of the land," on pain of death. This of course proves
the existence of such unrealities. The Philistines came up against
Saul, and he was very much afraid, and inquired of Yahveh what to
do about it; but, as we have seen, "Yahveh answered him not,
neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets. Then said Saul
unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit,
that I may go to her, and enquire of her" (1 Sam. xxviii, 6, 7). A
witch was as good an oracle of Yahveh as another, or better, to
judge by the results. And they told Saul: "Behold, there is a woman
that hath a familiar spirit, at En-dor"; and Saul disguised himself
and went to her by night, and he said to her: "I pray thee, divine
unto me by the familiar spirit, and bring me him up, whom I shall
name unto thee"; proving that the soul is immortal, and that
witches can call up the dead from Sheol to earth. And Saul ordered
her: "Bring me up Samuel." After some bargaining, the witch of En-
dor consented; and when the spirit was on her, she cried out: "I
saw gods [elohim] ascending out of the earth." Then Samuel came up,
and, talking as well as ever, said: "Why hast thou disquieted me,
to bring me up?" This is recorded as inspired truth in the "Holy
Word of God." It is a ridiculous superstition; but it proves that
the Chosen People of Yahveh reverenced and believed in witches;
that the witches had the same supernatural powers as their Yahveh, 

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and could also, through Yahveh, prophesy the future, -- "as Yahveh
spake by me" (I Sam. xxviii, 17); and that the great El was, in
their conception, nothing other or better than a sort of chief
spirit among the many elohim (gods or spirits) which peopled their
perfervid superstitious imaginations. Indeed, Yahveh is frequently
called, "El, elohe of spirits," as in Numbers xvi, 22 and xxvii,
16; and in Joshua xxii, 22, "El elohim," the "God of gods, or
spirits." Elsewhere he is "the El above all elohim.," the "God
above all gods or spirits"; and Paul calls him expressly "the
Father of spirits" (Heb. xxii, 9).

     Hundreds of years after Saul, old Isaiah vapoured about the
"familiar spirits" and the "wizards that peep, and that mutter"
(Isa. viii, 19); and others of the inspired holy prophets share the
same superstition. Yahveh is "jealous" of these competitors; and in
Deuteronomy makes a sweeping prohibition of them all: "There shall
not be found among you any one ... that useth divination, one that
practiseth augury, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer, or a charmer, or
a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer"
(Deut. xviii, 10, 11): all their practices were reserved for the
priests and prophets of Yahveh alone. To cite but one other out of
many instances, Manasseh, King of Judah, "used enchantments, and
used witchcraft, and dealt with a familiar spirit, and with
wizards" (2 Chron. xxxiii, 6). These superstitious beliefs and
practices existed all through Bible times.

                 THE BIBLE A GREAT "DREAM BOOK"

     As for dreams, it is idle to examine into any of them; the
whole Bible, Old and New Testaments, is little more than a
superstitious "dream-book," from Abram's dream that he should
sacrifice his only son Isaac, to the apocalyptic nightmares of John
on Patmos. One of these latter was indeed a vision unique in
Scripture: "Behold, there appeared a great wonder in heaven, a
woman" (Rev. xii, 1).

     Most of the principal inspired events in the Hebrew Scriptures
were dreamed -- all its miraculous happenings were of such stuff as
dreams are made of. Abraham dreamed the promise and the covenant,
as did Jacob at the ladder; Joseph was a "Baal of dreams." Yahveh
himself prescribes dreams as the preferred medium of revelation of
his awful will: "If there be a prophet among you, I, Yahveh, will
make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in
a dream" (Num. xii, 6). David dreamed, Solomon dreamed, Ezekiel
dreamed, Daniel was the premier dreamer of them all. Jeremiah
derides the whole horde of self-styled prophets gadding about the
land crying: "I have dreamed, I have dreamed," and who prophesy
[Heb., rave] lies (Jer. xxiii, 25, 26). That Jesus Christ was
"conceived by the Holy Ghost" is an admitted dream (Matt. i, 20).
The book of the Revelation is all a dream.

     The superstition that dreams were sent by gods as a revelation
of their will was not limited to the Hebrew "revelation" of Yahveh;
it pervaded antiquity, and prevails yet among low-civilized tribes.
Zeus lay awake all one night on high Olympus devising trouble for
the Greeks:

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     "At last, this counsel seemed the best, -- to send
      A treacherous Dream to Agamemnon, son
      Of Atreus. Then he called a Dream, and thus
      Addressing it with winged words, he said:
      Go, fatal Vision, to the Grecian fleet,
      And, entering Agamemnon's tent, declare
      Faithfully what I bid thee. ... At his head the Dream
      Took station in the form of Neleus' son. ... In such a shape
      The Heaven-sent Dream to Agamemnon spake ...
      He spake, and disappearing, left the King
      Musing on things that never were to be"
                         (Iliad, Bk. ii, 1-47).

This false dream from Jove for the undoing of the Greek hero has a
counterpart in the "lying spirit" sent by Yahveh falsely to "entice
Ahab king of Israel, that he may ... fall at Ramoth-gilead" (2 
Chron. xviii, 18-22).

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                        IS IT GOD'S WORD?
                               by
                         Joseph Wheless
                              1926

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