The King of the North and the King of the South
Who Are They?
Introduction to the gods
To learn who these two kings are that are referred to in Daniel 11, we go back to the beginning—back to the time just after the flood. I know the following may be difficult for some to read, but if you want to know the truth about the identity of just who exactly these two kings are, then we must start here.
To understand Daniel we go back in time to just after the flood of Noah, to ancient history. We are now going to be quoting from Alexander Hislop’s Two Babylons extensively.
The Two Babylons
The Child in Assyria
Now, this Ninus, or “Son,” borne in the arms of the Babylonian Madonna, is so described as very clearly to identify him with Nimrod. “Ninus, king of the Assyrians,” says Trogus Pompeius, epitomized by Justin, “first of all changed the contented moderation of the ancient manners, incited by a new passion, the desire of conquest. He was the first who carried on war against his neighbors, and he conquered all nations from Assyria to Lybia, as they were yet unacquainted with the arts of war.”
The name, “Assyrians,” as has already been noticed, has a wide latitude of meaning among the classic authors, taking in the Babylonians as well as the Assyrians proper.
This account points directly to Nimrod, and can apply to no other. The account of Diodorus Siculus entirely agrees with it, and adds another trait that goes still further to determine the identity. That account is as follows: “Ninus, the most ancient of the Assyrian kings mentioned in history, performed great actions. Being naturally of a warlike disposition, and ambitious of glory that results from valor, he armed a considerable number of young men that were brave and vigorous like himself, trained them up a long time in laborious exercises and hardships, and by that means accustomed them to bear the fatigues of war, and to face dangers with intrepidity.” As Diodorus makes Ninus “the most ancient of the Assyrian kings,” and represents him as beginning those wars which raised his power to an extraordinary height by bringing the people of Babylonia under subjection to him, while as yet the city of Babylon was not in existence, this shows that he occupied the very position of Nimrod, of whom the Scriptural account is, that he first “began to be mighty on the earth,” and that the “beginning of his kingdom was Babylon.”
As the Babel builders, when their speech was confounded, were scattered abroad on the face of the earth, and therefore deserted both the city and the tower which they had commenced to build, Babylon as a city, could not properly be said to exist till Nimrod, by establishing his power there, made it the foundation and starting-point of his greatness. In this respect, then, the story of Ninus and of Nimrod exactly harmonize. The way, too, in which Ninus gained his power is the very way in which Nimrod erected his. There can be no doubt that it was by inuring his followers to the toils and dangers of the chase, that he gradually formed them to the use of arms, and so prepared them for aiding him in establishing his dominions; just as Ninus, by training his companions for a long time “in laborious exercises and hardships,” qualified them for making him the first of the Assyrian kings.
The conclusions deduced from these testimonies of ancient history are greatly strengthened by many additional considerations. In Genesis 10:11, we find a passage, which, when its meaning is properly understood, casts a very steady light on the subject. That passage, as given in the authorized version, runs thus: “Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh.” This speaks of it as something remarkable, that Asshur went out of the land of Shinar, while yet the human race in general went forth from the same land. It goes upon the supposition that Asshur had some sort of divine right to that land, and that he had been, in a manner, expelled from it by Nimrod, while no divine right is elsewhere hinted at in the context, or seems capable of proof.
Moreover, it represents Asshur as setting up in the IMMEDIATE NEIGHBORHOOD of Nimrod as mighty a kingdom as Nimrod himself, Asshur building four cities, one of which is emphatically said to have been “great” (v. 12); while Nimrod, on this interpretation, built just the same number of cities, of which none is specially characterized as “great.” Now, it is in the last degree improbable that Nimrod would have quietly borne so mighty a rival so near him. To obviate such difficulties as these, it has been proposed to render the words, “out of that land he (Nimrod) went forth into Asshur, or Assyria.” But then, according to ordinary usage of grammar, the word in the original should have been “Ashurah,” with the sign of motion to a place affixed to it, whereas it is simply Asshur, without any such sign of motion affixed. I am persuaded that the whole perplexity that commentators have hitherto felt in considering this passage, has arisen from supposing that there is a proper name in the passage, where in reality no proper name exists. Asshur is the passive participle of a verb, which, in its Chaldee sense, signifies “to make strong,” and, consequently, signifies “being strengthened,” or “made strong.” Read thus, the whole passage is natural and easy (v. 10), “And the beginning of his (Nimrod’s) kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh.”
A beginning naturally implies something to succeed, and here we find it (v. 11): “Out of that land he went forth, being made strong, or when he had been made strong (Ashur), and builded Nineveh,” and c. Now, this exactly agrees with the statement in the ancient history of Justin: “Ninus strengthened the greatness of his acquired dominion by continued possession. Having subdued, therefore, his neighbors, when, by an accession of forces, being still further strengthened, he went forth against other tribes, and every new victory paved the way for another, he subdued all the peoples of the East.” Thus, then, Nimrod, or Ninus, was the builder of Nineveh; and the origin of the name of that city, as “the habitation of Ninus,” is accounted for, and light is thereby, at the same time, cast on the fact, that the name of the chief part of the ruins of Nineveh is Nimroud at this day.
Nin-neveh, “The habitation of Ninus.”
Now, assuming that Ninus is Nimrod, the way in which that assumption explains what is otherwise inexplicable in the statements of ancient history greatly confirms the truth of that assumption itself. Ninus is said to have been the son of Belus or Bel, and Bel is said to have been the founder of Babylon. If Ninus was in reality the first king of Babylon, how could Belus or Bel, his father, be said to be the founder of it? Both might very well be, as will appear if we consider who was Bel, and what we can trace of his doings. If Ninus was Nimrod, who was the historical Bel? He must have been Cush; for “Cush begat Nimrod” (Genesis 10:8); and Cush is generally represented as having been a ringleader in the great apostasy. But again, Cush, as the son of Ham, was Her-mes or Mercury; for Hermes is just an Egyptian synonym for the “son of Ham.”
See GREGORIUS TURONENSIS, De rerum Franc. Gregory attributes to Cush what was said more generally to have befallen his son; but his statement shows the belief in his day, which is amply confirmed from other sources, that Cush had a pre-eminent share in leading mankind away from the true worship of God.
The composition of Her-mes is, first, from “Her,” which, in Chaldee, is synonymous with Ham, or Khem, “the burnt one.” As “her” also, like Ham, signified “The hot or burning one,” this name formed a foundation for covertly identifying Ham with the “Sun,” and so deifying the great patriarch, after whose name the land of Egypt was called, in connection with the sun. Khem, or Ham, in his own name was openly worshipped in later ages in the land of Ham (BUNSEN); but this would have been too daring at first. By means of “Her,” the synonym, however, the way was paved for this. “Her” is the name of Horus, who is identified with the sun (BUNSEN), which shows the real etymology of the name to be from the verb to which I have traced it. Then, secondly, “Mes,” is from Mesheh (or, without the last radical, which is omissible), Mesh, “to draw forth.”
In Egyptian, we have Ms in the sense of “to bring forth” (BUNSEN, Hieroglyphical Signs), which is evidently a different form of the same word. In the passive sense, also, we find Ms used (BUNSEN, Vocabulary). The radical meaning of Mesheh in Stockii Lexicon, is given in Latin “Extraxit,” and our English word “extraction,” as applied to birth or descent, shows that there is a connection between the generic meaning of this word and birth. This derivation will be found to explain the meaning of the names of the Egyptian kings, Ramesses and Thothmes, the former evidently being “The son of Ra,” or the Sun; the latter in like manner, being “The son of Thoth.” For the very same reason Her-mes is the “Son of Her, or Ham,” the burnt one—that is, Cush.
Now, Hermes was the great original prophet of idolatry; for he was recognized by the pagans as the author of their religious rites, and the interpreter of the gods. The distinguished Gesenius identifies him with the Babylonian Nebo, as the prophetic god; and a statement of Hyginus shows that he was known as the grand agent in that movement which produced the division of tongues. His words are these: “For many ages men lived under the government of Jove [evidently not the Roman Jupiter, but the Jehovah of the Hebrews], without cities and without laws, and all speaking one language. But after that Mercury interpreted the speeches of men (whence an interpreter is called Hermeneutes), the same individual distributed the nations. Then discord began.”
HYGINUS, Fab. Phoroneus is represented as king at this time.
Here there is a manifest enigma. How could Mercury or Hermes have any need to interpret the speeches of mankind when they “all spake one language?” To find out the meaning of this, we must go to the language of the Mysteries. Peresh, in Chaldee, signifies “to interpret”; but was pronounced by old Egyptians and by Greeks, and often by the Chaldees themselves, in the same way as “Peres,” to “divide.” Mercury, then, or Hermes, or Cush, “the son of Ham,” was the “DIVIDER of the speeches of men.” He, it would seem, had been the ringleader in the scheme for building the great city and tower of Babel; and, as the well known title of Hermes,—“the interpreter of the gods,” would indicate, had encouraged them, in the name of God, to proceed in their presumptuous enterprise, and so had caused the language of men to be divided, and themselves to be scattered abroad on the face of the earth.
Now look at the name of Belus or Bel, given to the father of Ninus, or Nimrod, in connection with this. While the Greek name Belus represented both the Baal and Bel of the Chaldees, these were nevertheless two entirely distinct titles. These titles were both alike often given to the same god, but they had totally different meanings. Baal, as we have already seen, signified “The Lord”; but Bel signified “The Confounder.” When, then, we read that Belus, the father of Ninus, was he that built or founded Babylon, can there be a doubt, in what sense it was that the title of Belus was given to him? It must have been in the sense of Bel the “Confounder.” And to this meaning of the name of the Babylonian Bel, there is a very distinct allusion in Jeremiah 1:2, where it is said “Bel is confounded,” that is, “The Confounder is brought to confusion.” That Cush was known to Pagan antiquity under the very character of Bel, “The Confounder,” a statement of Ovid very clearly proves. The statement to which I refer is that in which Janus “the god of gods,” from whom all the other gods had their origin, is made to say of himself: “The ancients…called me Chaos.”
Janus was so called in the most ancient hymns of the Salii. (MACROB, Saturn.)
Now, first this decisively shows that Chaos was known not merely as a state of confusion, but as the “god of Confusion.” But, secondly, who that is at all acquainted with the laws of Chaldaic pronunciation, does not know that Chaos is just one of the established forms of the name of Chus or Cush? Then, look at the symbol of Janus, whom “the ancients called Chaos,” and it will be seen how exactly it tallies with the doings of Cush, when he is identified with Bel, “The Confounder.” That symbol is a club; and the name of “a club” in Chaldee comes from the very word which signifies “to break in pieces, or scatter abroad.”
The name of Cush is also Khus, for ‘sh’ frequently passes in Chaldee into s; and Khus, in pronunciation, legitimately becomes Khawos, or, without the digamma, Khaos.
From Sir WM. BETHAM’S Etruscan Literature and Antiquities Investigated, 1842. The Etruscan name on the reverse of a medal—Bel-athri, “Lord of spies,” is probably given to Janus, in allusion to his well known title “Janus Tuens,” which may be rendered “Janus the Seer,” or “All-seeing Janus.”
In Proverbs 25:18, a maul or club is “Mephaitz.” In Jeremiah 51:20, the same word, without the Jod, is evidently used for a club (though, in our version, it is rendered battle-axe); for the use of it is not to cut asunder, but to “break in pieces.” See the whole passage.
He who caused the confusion of tongues was he who “broke” the previously united earth (Genesis 11:1) “in pieces,” and “scattered” the fragments abroad. How significant, then, as a symbol, is the club, as commemorating the work of Cush, as Bel, the “Confounder?” And that significance will be all the more apparent when the reader turns to the Hebrew of Genesis 11:9, and finds that the very word from which a club derives its name is that which is employed when it is said, that in consequence of the confusion of tongues, the children of men were “scattered abroad on the face of all the earth.” The word there used for scattering abroad is Hephaitz, which, in the Greek form becomes Hephaizt, and hence the origin of the well known but little understood name of Hephaistos, as applied to Vulcan, “The father of the gods.”
There are many instances of a similar change. Thus Botzra becomes in Greek, Bostra; and Mitzraim, Mestraim.
Vulcan, in the classical Pantheon, had not commonly so high a place, but in Egypt Hephaistos, or Vulcan, was called “Father of the gods.” (AMMIANUS MARCELLINUS)
Hephaistos is the name of the ringleader in the first rebellion, as “The Scatterer abroad,” as Bel is the name of the same individual as the “Confounder of tongues.” Here, then, the reader may see the real origin of Vulcan’s Hammer, which is just another name for the club of Janus or Chaos, “The god of Confusion”; and to this, as breaking the earth in pieces, there is a covert allusion in Jeremiah 1:23, where Babylon, as identified with its primeval god, is thus apostrophized: “How is the hammer of the whole earth cut asunder and broken!” Now, as the tower-building was the first act of open rebellion after the flood, and Cush, as Bel, was the ringleader in it, he was, of course, the first to whom the name Merodach, “The great Rebel,” must have been given, and, therefore, according to the usual parallelism of the prophetic language, we find both names of the Babylonian god referred to together, when the judgment on Babylon is predicted: “Bel is confounded: Merodach is broken in pieces.” (Jeremiah 1:2)
Merodach comes from Mered, to rebel; and Dakh, the demonstrative pronoun affixed, which makes it emphatic, signifying “That” or “The great.”
The judgment comes upon the Babylonian god according to what he had done. As Bel, he had “confounded” the whole earth, therefore he is “confounded.” As Merodach, by the rebellion he had stirred up, he had “broken” the united world in pieces; therefore he himself is “broken in pieces.”
So much for the historical character of Bel, as identified with Janus or Chaos, the god of confusion, with his symbolical club.
While the names Bel and Hephaistos had the origin above referred to, they were not inappropriate names also, though in a different sense, for the war-gods descending from Cush, from whom Babylon derived its glory among the nations. The warlike deified kings of the line of Cush gloried in their power to carry confusion among their enemies, to scatter their armies, and to “break the earth in pieces” by their resistless power. To this, no doubt, as well as to the acts of the primeval Bel, there is allusion in the inspired denunciations of Jeremiah on Babylon. The physical sense also of these names was embodied in the club given to the Grecian Hercules—the very club of Janus—when, in a character quite different from that of the original Hercules, he was set up as the great reformer of the world, by mere physical force. When two-headed Janus with the club is represented, the two-fold representation was probably intended to represent old Cush, and young Cush or Nimrod, as combined. But the two-fold representation with other attributes, had reference also to another “Father of the gods,” afterwards to be noticed, who had specially to do with water.
Proceeding, then, on these deductions, it is not difficult to see how it might be said that Bel or Belus, the father of Ninus, founded Babylon, while, nevertheless, Ninus or Nimrod was properly the builder of it. Now, though Bel or Cush, as being specially concerned in laying the first foundations of Babylon, might be looked upon as the first king, as in some of the copies of “Eusebius’ Chronicle” he is represented, yet it is evident, from both sacred history and profane, that he could never have reigned as king of the Babylonian monarchy, properly so called; and accordingly, in the Armenian version of the “Chronicle of Eusebius,” which bears the undisputed palm for correctness and authority, his name is entirely omitted in the list of Assyrian kings, and that of Ninus stands first, in such terms as exactly correspond with the Scriptural account of Nimrod. Thus, then, looking at the fact that Ninus is currently made by antiquity the son of Belus, or Bel, when we have seen that the historical Bel is Cush, the identity of Ninus and Nimrod is still further confirmed.
It is well known that Kronos, or Saturn, was Rhea’s husband; but it is not so well known who was Kronos himself. Traced back to his original, that divinity is proved to have been the first king of Babylon. Theophilus of Antioch shows that Kronos in the east was worshipped under the names of Bel and Bal; and from Eusebius we learn that the first of the Assyrian kings, whose name was Belus, was also by the Assyrians called Kronos. As the genuine copies of Eusebius do not admit of any Belus, as an actual king of Assyria, prior to Ninus, king of the Babylonians, and distinct from him, that shows that Ninus, the first king of Babylon, was Kronos. But, further, we find that Kronos was king of the Cyclops, who were his brethren, and who derived that name from him, and that the Cyclops were known as “the inventors of tower-building.”
The scholiast upon EURIPIDES, Orest, says that “the Cyclops were so called from Cyclops their king.” By this scholiast the Cyclops are regarded as a Thracian nation, for the Thracians had localized the tradition, and applied it to themselves; but the following statement of the scholiast on the Prometheus of Aeschylus, shows that they stood in such a relation to Kronos as proves that he was their king: “The Cyclops…were the brethren of Kronos, the father of Jupiter.”
The king of the Cyclops, “the inventors of tower-building,” occupied a position exactly correspondent to that of Rhea, who “first erected (towers) in cities.” If, therefore, Rhea, the wife of Kronos, was the goddess of fortifications, Kronos or Saturn, the husband of Rhea, that is, Ninus or Nimrod, the first king of Babylon, must have been Ala mahozin, “the god of fortifications.”
The name Kronos itself goes not a little to confirm the argument. Kronos signifies “The Horned one.” As a horn is a well known Oriental emblem for power or might, Kronos, “The Horned one,” was, according to the mystic system, just a synonym for the Scriptural epithet applied to Nimrod—viz., Gheber, “The mighty one” (Genesis 10:8), “He began to be mighty on the earth.” The name Kronos, as the classical reader is well aware, is applied to Saturn as the “Father of the gods.” We have already had another “father of the gods” brought under our notice, even Cush in his character of Bel the Confounder, or Hephaistos, “The Scatterer abroad”; and it is easy to understand how, when the deification of mortals began, and the “mighty” Son of Cush was deified, the father, especially considering the part which he seems to have had in concocting the whole idolatrous system, would have to be deified too, and of course, in his character as the Father of the “Mighty one,” and of all the “immortals” that succeeded him. But, in point of fact, we shall find, in the course of our inquiry, that Nimrod was the actual Father of the gods, as being the first of deified mortals; and that, therefore, it is in exact accordance with historical fact that Kronos, the Horned, or Mighty one, is, in the classic Pantheon, known by that title.
The meaning of this name Kronos, “The Horned one,” as applied to Nimrod, fully explains the origin of the remarkable symbol, so frequently occurring among the Nineveh sculptures, the gigantic HORNED man-bull, as representing the great divinities in Assyria. The same word that signified a bull, signified also a ruler or prince.
The name for a bull or ruler, is in Hebrew without points, Shur, which in Chaldee becomes Tur. From Tur, in the sense of a bull, comes the Latin Taurus; and from the same word, in the sense of a ruler, Turannus, which originally had no evil meaning. Thus, in these well known classical words, we have evidence of the operation of the very principle which caused the deified Assyrian kings to be represented under the form of the man-bull.
Hence the “Horned bull” signified “The Mighty Prince,” thereby pointing back to the first of those “Mighty ones,” who, under the name of Guebres, Gabrs, or Cabiri, occupied so conspicuous a place in the ancient world, and to whom the deified Assyrian monarchs covertly traced back the origin of their greatness and might. This explains the reason why the Bacchus of the Greeks was represented as wearing horns, and why he was frequently addressed by the epithet “Bull-horned,” as one of the high titles of his dignity. Even in comparatively recent times, Togrul Begh, the leader of the Seljukian Turks, who came from the neighborhood of the Euphrates, was in a similar manner represented with three horns growing out of his head, as the emblem of his sovereignty.
This, also, in a remarkable way accounts for the origin of one of the divinities worshipped by our Pagan Anglo-Saxon ancestors under the name of Zernebogus. This Zernebogus was “the black, malevolent, ill-omened divinity,” in other words, the exact counterpart of the popular idea of the Devil, as supposed to be black, and equipped with horns and hoofs. This name analyzed casts a very singular light on the source from whence has come the popular superstition in regard to the grand Adversary. The name Zer-Nebo-Gus is almost pure Chaldee, and seems to unfold itself as denoting “The seed of the prophet Cush.” We have seen reason already to conclude that, under the name Bel, as distinguished from Baal, Cush was the great soothsayer or false prophet worshipped at Babylon. But independent inquirers have been led to the conclusion that Bel and Nebo were just two different titles for the same god, and that a prophetic god.
Thus does Kitto comment on the words of Isaiah 46:1 “Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth,” with reference to the latter name: “The word seems to come from Nibba, to deliver an oracle, or to prophesy; and hence would mean an ‘oracle,’ and may thus, as Calmet suggests (‘Commentaire Literal’), be no more than another name for Bel himself, or a characterizing epithet applied to him; it being not unusual to repeat the same thing, in the same verse, in equivalent terms.” “Zer-Nebo-Gus,” the great “seed of the prophet Cush,” was, of course, Nimrod; for Cush was Nimrod’s father. Turn now to Layard, and see how this land of ours and Assyria are thus brought into intimate connection. In a woodcut, first we find “the Assyrian Hercules,” that is “Nimrod the giant,” as he is called in the Septuagint version of Genesis, without club, spear, or weapons of any kind, attacking a bull.
Having overcome it, he sets the bull’s horns on his head, as a trophy of victory and a symbol of power; and thenceforth the hero is represented, not only with the horns and hoofs above, but from the middle downwards, with the legs and cloven feet of the bull. Thus equipped he is represented as turning next to encounter a lion. This, in all likelihood, is intended to commemorate some event in the life of him who first began to be mighty in the chase and in war, and who, according to all ancient traditions, was remarkable also for bodily power, as being the leader of the Giants that rebelled against heaven. Now Nimrod, as the son of Cush, was black, in other words, was a Negro. “Can the Ethiopian change his skin?” is in the original, “Can the Cushite” do so?
Keeping this, then, in mind, it will be seen that in that figure disentombed from Nineveh, we have both the prototype of the Anglo-Saxon Zer-Nebo-Gus, “the seed of the prophet Cush,” and the real original of the black Adversary of mankind, with horns and hoofs. It was in a different character from that of the Adversary that Nimrod was originally worshipped; but among a people of a fair complexion, as the Anglo-Saxons, it was inevitable that, if worshipped at all, it must generally be simply as an object of fear; and so Kronos, “The Horned one,” who wore the “horns,” as the emblem both of his physical might and sovereign power, has come to be, in popular superstition, the recognized representative of the Devil.
There was another way in which Nimrod’s power was symbolized besides by the “horn.” A synonym for Gheber, “The mighty one,” was “Abir,” while “Aber” also signified a “wing.” Nimrod, as Head and Captain of those men of war, by whom he surrounded himself, and who were the instruments of establishing his power, was “Baal-aberin,” “Lord of the mighty ones.” But “Baal-abirin” (pronounced nearly in the same way) signified “The winged one,” and therefore in symbol he was represented, not only as a horned bull, but as at once a horned and winged bull—as showing not merely that he was mighty himself, but that he had mighty ones under his command, who were ever ready to carry his will into effect, and to put down all opposition to his power; and to shadow forth the vast extent of his might, he was represented with great and wide-expanding wings.
This is according to a peculiar Oriental idiom, of which there are many examples. Thus, Baal-aph, “lord of wrath,” signifies “an angry man”; Baal-lashon, “lord of tongue,” “an eloquent man”; Baal-hatsim, “lord of arrows,” “an archer”; and in like manner, Baal-aberin, “lord of wings,” signifies “winged one.”
To this mode of representing the mighty kings of Babylon and Assyria, who imitated Nimrod and his successors, there is manifest allusion in Isaiah 8:6-8 “Forasmuch as this people refuseth the waters of Shiloah that go softly, and rejoice in Rezin and Remaliah’s son; now therefore, behold, the Lord bringeth up upon them the waters of the river, strong and mighty, even the king of Assyria, and all his glory; and he shall come up over all his banks. And he shall pass through Judah; he shall overflow and go over; he shall reach even unto the neck; and the STRETCHING OUT OF HIS WINGS shall FILL the breadth of thy land, O Immanuel.” When we look at such figures, with their great extent of expanded wing, as symbolizing an Assyrian king, what a vividness and force does it give to the inspired language of the prophet!
And how clear is it, also, that the stretching forth of the Assyrian monarch’s WINGS, that was to “fill the breadth of Immanuel’s land,” has that very symbolic meaning to which I have referred—viz., the overspreading of the land by his “mighty ones,” or hosts of armed men, that the king of Babylon was to bring with him in his overflowing invasion! The knowledge of the way in which the Assyrian monarchs were represented, and of the meaning of that representation, gives additional force to the story of the dream of Cyrus the Great, as told by Herodotus. Cyrus, says the historian, dreamt that he saw the son of one of his princes, who was at the time in a distant province, with two great “wings on his shoulders, the one of which overshadowed Asia, and the other Europe,” from which he immediately concluded that he was organizing rebellion against him. The symbols of the Babylonians, whose capital Cyrus had taken, and to whose power he had succeeded, were entirely familiar to him; and if the “wings” were the symbols of sovereign power, and the possession of them implied the lordship over the might, or the armies of the empire, it is easy to see how very naturally any suspicions of disloyalty affecting the individual in question might take shape in the manner related, in the dreams of him who might harbor these suspicions.
Now, the understanding of this equivocal sense of “Baal-aberin” can alone explain the remarkable statement of Aristophanes, that at the beginning of the world “the birds” were first created, and then after their creation, came the “race of the blessed immortal gods.” This has been regarded as either an atheistical or nonsensical utterance on the part of the poet, but, with the true key applied to the language, it is found to contain an important historical fact. Let it only be borne in mind that “the birds”—that is, the “winged ones”—symbolized “the Lords of the mighty ones,” and then the meaning is clear, viz., that men first “began to be mighty on the earth”; and then, that the “Lords” or Leaders of “these mighty ones” were deified.
The knowledge of the mystic sense of this symbol accounts also for the origin of the story of Perseus, the son of Jupiter, miraculously born of Danae, who did such wondrous things, and who passed from country to country on wings divinely bestowed on him. This equally casts light on the symbolic myths in regard to Bellerophon, and the feats which he performed on his winged horse, and their ultimate disastrous issue; how high he mounted in the air, and how terrible was his fall; and of Icarus, the son of Daedalus, who, flying on wax-cemented wings over the Icarian Sea, had his wings melted off through his too near approach to the sun, and so gave his name to the sea where he was supposed to have fallen. The fables all referred to those who trode, or were supposed to have trodden, in the steps of Nimrod, the first “Lord of the mighty ones,” and who in that character was symbolized as equipped with wings.