In the false dialectic framework that Jerry and I have discussed as for underlying Western Culture, we are led by our various institutions of learning to believe that the Hebrew patriarchs were of a significantly different nature than the supposedly 'secular' goy leaders that they are juxtaposed against throughout our historical legacy. Nothing could be further from the truth, including that the Heroic Age 'kings' of Homer can be accurately portrayed any different, for instance as being 'secular' - in the sense we think about it today that is. This because as discussed in the Introductory post, the Homeric works and Hesiod served the same function for the Greeks as the Judaic canon did as for presenting a unifying, national foundational narrative in an epic and sacralized form. In fact, both canons were regularly presented to their respective audiences in a chanted form, which I assume made it easier to remember. In this regard I will present some more excerpts from Professor Cyrus H. Gordon's The Common Background of Greek and Hebrew Civilization, discussing the correct manner in which these characters should be viewed. As I have already quoted, Gordon previously revealed that such as the ubiquitous 'Helen of Troy' motif found in the Hebrew (Sarah, Rebecca, etc.) and Ugaritic narratives did not exist in the wider region until the arrival of the so-called Indo-Europeans upon the scene. These same people also brought with them such as the chariot, which made its way to the usage of the Egyptians. From pg. 289: One of the chief themes in the Patriarchal Narratives is the preoccupation with leadership. A great issue is made over Abraham's heir. The text dramatises not only the birth of Isaac but also his triumph over Ishmael's rivalry. The same, mutatis mutandis, may be said of Jacob's triumph over Esau. This pervasive theme goes hand in hand with the fact that the text is royal epic, establishing the line founded by the first basileus [Greek for king - ed] of the Jews, Abraham. The royal prerogatives of the line are substantiated in the text not only by birth, but by blessings, birthright, and possession of the household goods. At first it seems strange to attribute to the Patriarchs the roles of aristocratic warriors and merchants, simultaneously. That this combination of roles is genuine, and not contrived, is borne out by the administrative texts from Ugarit, which list bdl.mrynm (400:III:6) "merchants of the chariot warriors" and similarly bdl.mdrglm (44:VI:17) "merchants of the m.warriors." However we interpret the syntactic relationship of the two nouns in each case, it is clear that commerce and the military elite could and did mix. It stands to reason that if the king had commercial agents to represent his interests throughout his commercial empire, his merchants would on serious occasions turn to him for protection against the threat of attack. ... In the next paragraph, Gordon unfortunately goes on to engage in some bizarre conceit to maintain the mythos (and probably his job) of the Judaic uniqueness, which has now been dealt a serious blow by the later archaeology in several ways. In any case, that Abraham and Jacob bought some land in Canaan, doesn't justify the later Conquest of the entire land, unless that is you really believe in divine Justification via Providence. But even this Conquest is rather dubious, its true nature being from other means: conversion by coercion, ethnic cleansing, and forced relocations - all administered by a foreign elite. From pp. 290-1: One of the differences between the Homeric heroes and the Hebrew Patriarchs is their contrasting methods of getting land. The Greek heroes acquired land by conquest. The Patriarchal Narratives depict the Fathers as purchasing land in Canaan. Genesis 23 tells of Abraham buying land from the Hittites around Hebron; Genesis 33:19 states that Jacob bought land around Shechem from the Sons of Hamor. We must shun one-sided approaches to complex questions. The near-sacrifice of Isaac is a case in point. The principal function of the story in epic saga may well be to remind the public to obey the behests of God, no matter how exacting they be. [To the benefit of the 'royalty' that is. - ed] If Abraham was ready to sacrifice his son and heir, we should certainly withhold nothing that God [or the king - ed] wants from us. But this application of the story does not explain all the factors inherent in the story itself. Just as God saved Isaac in the nick of time and provided a ram to substitute for him on the altar, Artemis saved Iphigeneia at Aulis be snatching her away and putting a stag in her place on the altar (Cypria, Loeb edition, pp. 494-5). This parallel shows that the essential elements of the story are East Mediterranean with relexes in both Greece and Israel. Students of Scripture have long observed that the Isaac saga is smaller in scope and in detail than sagas of either his father Abraham or of his son Jacob. It is quite likely that his original saga has ben trimmed down for good reasons. Scripture makes it clear that unlike the conceptions of Abraham and of Jacob, Isaac was conceived through divine agency. Like the Mycenaean Greek heroes, Isaac could claim paternity at two levels; the human and the divine. His human father, through whom he obtained his specific position in his people's history, was Abraham; but his superhuman quality was derived from the deity that visited Sarah. This is of a piece with the dual paternity of Homeric heroes [such as Castor and Pollux who I have discussed in my posts - ed], who hold the office of their human father, but are supermen [sic] because of their divine fathers. Normative Judaism has divested itself of this ancient approach to the paternity of heroes, in spite of the tell-tale text in Genesis. Midrash does not hesitate to call Moses half-god and half-man, 1 but it too fails to pick up the thread of the nativity of Isaac, probably because the puritanic trend set in early enough to nip the Isaac midrashim in the bud. It is in every way conceivable that some of the original Isaac Cycle surviced to re-echo in Christianity. Jesus derives his human office of Messianic King from Joseph, but his divine quality from his Divine Father [Vespasian and Julius Caesar ]. Moreover, the Church tradition that connects the sacrifice of Isaac with the sacrifice of Christ apparently rests on sound exegesis, for the sacrifice of Isaac would have meant not only the sacrifice of Abraham's son but of God's. 1 See L. Ginzberg, Legends of the Jews III, 1911, p. 481. Actually the apotheosis of Moses is promised in Exodus 7: 1, where Yahweh says to him: "Behold I am making you a god (Elohim) vis-a-vis Pharaoh." Cf. Mark 9:4. The alternative interpretation for the last sentence is that since the near-sacrifice of Isaac was self-serving propaganda for the thinly veiled 'royals', the latter sacrifice was just of the same artifice. After discussing other bloody comparisons Gordon returns to the 'heroes' on pp. 295-6: The Hebrew heroes of the Conquest received inalienable land grants, in perpetuity, for their heirs, in exchange for which they owed continued military service to the nation. Leviticus 25 makes the theory of real-estate quite clear ['Real' in this sense means 'royal' - and still does, you Tea Party pilgrims and ousiacs. - ed] God owned the Land and the People. the Hebrews (as slaves of God because of His taking them out of Egypt) were entrusted with his Land as His tenants. They were at the same time to be the landed warrior and administrative ruling class. All this is basically paralleled in Greece [and far beyond, where you also got your inalienable land reassigned to someone else if you displeased the king - ed] where the aristocracy had inalienable land and where the subjected natives were reduced to servitude. The warrior class, who became the landed aristocracy, were called the gibbore hayil; from them came the leadership of the nation. Aristocrats (among Hebrews and Greeks) often had harems that included women of common or even servile origin, as well as well-born aristocratic ladies. Normally, the successors would be chosen from the sons born by ladies; but on occasion those born by servile or common wives achieved the ascendancy. In the latter case, tradition could dwell on the phenomenon as "worthy of saga." 1 1 Note that Gideon is a gibbore hayil, although his becoming Judge is the more worthy of saga because he was the youngest in a family belonging to a poor clan in the tribe of Manasseh (Judges 6: 12, 15). This type of elevation is not from the dregs of society, but from the lower rungs on the ladder of aristocracy. [Akin to the English 'gentry' class. Which is the basis for the contextual deception over the current usage of the term 'Gentile' as opposed to 'goyim'. - ed] More to follow.