The Oracles of Balaam
One of the oldest texts with allusions to planetary triangles or phoenix are in the Bible (OT, Numbers 24), in the Oracles of Balaam, the Pagan seer. The Church links his prophecies to the coming of Christ, but our study of the 854-year cycles identifies 860 BCE, the era of Elijah and Elisha. On the peak of Mount Peor, the spirit of God came upon Balaam and gave voice to his oracles (1):
Prostrate, but with eyes open:
How fine your tents are, O Jacob
Your dwellings, O Israel
Like far-stretched valleys,
Like gardens beside a river,
Like aloes planted by the LORD,
Like cedars beside a stream.
Water shall flow from their buckets,
And their seed shall have abundant water;
Their king shall be taller than Agag...
If we accept his invitation and prostrate before the divine vision, and really open our eyes, the fine tents of Jacob are like the above fiery triangle, and the valleys of Israel like the watery triangle which is indeed as far-stretched as the wings of the Phoenix – or Star of David in perspective over Bethlehem. Their fusion into a hexagram is suggested by the fertility of the gardens with “watery” aloes and “fiery” cedars. This brings the "seed" to life and a king could grow even taller than the cruel Agag. And to confirm this oracle, another follows:
A s t a r has come forth from Jacob,
A c o m e t has risen from Israel,
And has shattered the temples of Moab,
and the skulls of all the sons of Seth..."
This is one of the many examples from Antiquity that may have inspired the ambiguities of Chrétien de Troyes. Some will dismiss our interpretation as far-stretched as well, but it is meant to make this quest more interactive! Especially Jewish and Christian theologists are targeted because the oracle cuts to the core of their faith! The above University of Chicago translation follows the German scholar Ideler (2) who uses the Aramaic schebet for “comet” although the word is ambiguous. The Catholics translate "staff" and the Protestants “scepter” (Martin Luther, King James). It is significant for our study that we find Kepler's star in these oracles! Burke-Gaffney S.J. fails to address this, but he relies on Ideler to dismiss the triangles of Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in 6 BCE as allegedly too close to the Sun to be visible for the Magi. Kepler's fusion of both terms to a cometary star does not identify a comet, but rather a star which "phenomenizes" as suddenly as a comet – like the planetary hexagram – because it was unknown in Kepler's time that many comets return in predictable orbits. But we have shown in our study of the Star of Bethlehem that the same triangles appeared in 860 BCE, and suggest with the Phoenix Myth that John the Baptist may have been a reincarnation of the prophet Elisah, and Jesus of his disciple Elisha.
However, we propose that the oracle of Balaam relates to 860 BCE because the shattered temples of Moab take us to the Book of Kings and wars against Moab, where Elijah slays 450 evil prophets after another divine oracle with water-fire magic (1 K.18:38-39):
...the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the
burnt-offering (i.e. of Elijah) and the wood, the
stones and the dust, and licked up the water
that was in the trench. So when all the people
saw it, they fell upon their faces and said,
`The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God"...
In the following chapter (19:16), God tells Elijah to anoint his successor Elisha whom he finds (19:19) "plowing behind twelve yoke of oxen, he being with the twelfth." This could be a reference to his birth under the 12th sign: Pisces! In the "Second Book of Kings" (2:8-15), Elisha follows Elijah through the Jordan, and the latter is translated during much water and fire magic to heaven, after which Elisha succeeds him with "double his spirit". Then, during the "War between Israel and Moab" (3:15-27) Elisha asks for a minstrel and "the power of the LORD came upon him" and he miraculously made water, which led to the defeat of the Moabites.
Archeologists date the rule of king Ahab to 874-853 BCE, which would cover the year of Elisha's birth. Hence, the appearance of the phoenix on March 20, 860 BCE, may suggest that his birth was announced, like Christ’s, by a planetary hexagram in Pisces. The oldest image of an Israelite in history (and hexagram) is also from this period! The detail of the "Black Obelisk" (at left) is from the British Museum and shows King Jehu paying tribute to King Shalmaneser III of Assyria (859-824 BCE). The bas-relief of black limestone has a six-pointed star (detail at right), and a large bird (above Shalmaneser) that could be the phoenix. The Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – AD 17/18) offers some support in Metamorphoses [15:391]: "There is one bird which reproduces and renews itself: the Assyrians gave this bird his name—the Phoenix". Furthermore, we learn here what Balaam's prostrating really means: Modern historians identify the two crouching figures at left as Jehu of Bit Omri, an Israelite, and the one that's barely visible above him as Sua of Gilzanu, a Persian – two kings of very different cultures. Unless it was mandatory for submissive kings to wear identical ceremonial caps, belts and clothes, as shown in the enlargements below, we may be dealing with a mistaken identity! It seems to be the same man, an Assyrian interpreter, who crouches in both scenes before his king Shalmaneser who holds a staff that depicts a bird. Hence, King Jehu would be standing behind the interpreter with his staff and a six-pointed star.
However, it could be argued that the sculptor made this up, or that it was fashionable to depict all Assyrian rulers as Sargon the Great and submissive kings like cartoon characters. We should add that this unique obelisk was created around 643 BCE and discovered in Nimrud, northern Iraq, where it was erected in 625 BCE as a public monument. Good thing it's at the British Museum or Islamic fanatics would have destroyed it by now! According to the Old Testament, King Jehu was anointed by the prophet Elisha and went on a rampage to kill the descendants of king Ahab. How Christian children are taught this ghastly tale in Bible class could explain the popularity of the Brothers Grimm and the grim state of world affairs today!
If you regard any of the above as an insult to your intelligence, keep in mind that it is the nature of our quest to question everything and always raise all reasonable doubts. Please consider that this ancient obelisk adds a new dimension to our controversial hypothesis, which is not only supported by data from the Jet Propulsion Lab (Pasadena, USA) and planetarium software like Starry Night Pro 6, but also by the Christian gospels. If seen in this light, the parallels are so numerous that a few examples suffice to show that the mission of Jesus may have been, or was meant to be, a more "evolved" repetition of Elisha's with the new message of "peace and love", and also starting out at the Jordan river:
According to the New Testament, John the Baptist preaches at the shores of the Jordan, and proclaims Get the Lord's way ready! (Mt.3: 3), "I am baptizing you in water... He will baptize you in the Holy Spirit and in fire." (Mt.3:11) Later, when Jesus arrives from Galilee and follows John into the Jordan, just as Elisha had followed Elijah before the "chariot of fire" came down from heaven, he is baptized and "went right out of the water, and the heavens opened, and he saw the Spirit of God come down like a dove and light upon him." (Mt.3:16-17)
In addition to these similarities, both are said to have had miraculous powers over water: In his first miracle, Elisha purifies the wells of Jericho (2 K.2:19-31) and Jesus changes water into wine (Jn.2:1-11). Later, Elisha makes an iron ax head float on water (2 K.6:6), and more dramatically, Jesus walks on it (Mt.14:22-26). Like Jesus, Elisha heals the sick, raises the dead, and achieves a miraculous "Multiplication": A man brings Elisha "twenty barley loaves" to feed a hundred men and "they ate and left some over according to the LORD." (2 K.4:42-44). More dramatically, Christ feeds five thousand with "five loaves and two fish" (Mt.14:19) and the leftovers "filled twelve baskets", and later, he feeds four thousand with seven loaves and fish, and the leftovers "filled seven baskets." (Mt.15:34-48). No wonder some Jews regard these repeat performances as a bit over the top! Who wouldn't?
Linked to Elisha's death is even a mysterious resurrection: During funeral services, a band of marauding Moabites appeared and the mourners threw the dead man "into the grave of Elisha" and fled in fear. But when he touched the bones of Elisha, he revived and arose and stood on his feet. (2K 13:20-21) Could this man have been Elisha, resurrected, but was not recognized by his friends like Jesus at his grave?
That Matthew's Gospel proclaimed a cosmic succession is also apparent when John the Baptist is compared to Elijah, the teacher of Elisha. According to the gospel, Jesus said to his disciples: For up to the time of John all the Prophets and the Law itself prophesied about it, and, if you are ready to accept the idea, he is himself Elijah who was to come (Mt.11:13-14). After the Transfiguration the disciples ask Jesus again: Then why do the scribes say that Elijah has to come first? He answers: Elijah does come and is to reform everything, but I tell you, Elijah has come already, and they would not recognize him... Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist" (Mt.17:10-13). This may have been reinforced in Matthew (27:46-49), following Mark (15:34-35), when Jesus cries out on the cross: Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani? Some bystanders remark He is invoking Elijah, and even: Leave him alone. Let's see if Elisha comes to his rescue. The writer of the gospel insists that the last words were misunderstood, that Jesus called on God – but isn't Eli Elijah or Elisha for short? (See note 3)
Walter Evans-Wentz (1878-1965), an anthropologist and expert on Eastern traditions, writes that the concept of reincarnation was quite common during the first centuries of Christianity, at least until Origen and Tertullian, and that it was finally suppressed at the Fifth Council in 563 CE (4):
"As an examination of... `De Principiis' proves, Origen himself believed in the doctrine. But the theologians who created the Greek canons of the Fifth Council disagreed with Origen's views, and condemned Origen for believing, among other things called by them heresies, that Jesus Christ will be reincarnated and suffer on earth a second time...
Tertullian, contemporary with Origen, in his `de Anima' considers whether or not the doctrine of re-birth can be regarded as Christian in view of the declaration by Jesus Christ that John the Baptist was Elias (or Elijah), the old Jewish prophet, come again...
In the “Pistis Sophia”, an ancient Gnostic-Christian work, which contains what are alleged to be some of Christ's esoteric teachings to his disciples, it is clearly stated that John the Baptist was the reincarnation of Elias (i.e. Elisha). The same work further expounds the doctrine of re-birth as a teaching of Jesus Christ which applies not to particular personages only, like Elias, but as a universal law governing the lives of all mankind."
More research needs to be done, especially in view of the newly discovered Gospel of Judas! It is quite possible that the Magi legend is true and they became teachers of Jesus because thirty years of his life are unaccounted for! Right after his birth there seems to be only one brief mention at age twelve – all other years are missing from the Gospels which is rather strange. The first Christians may have been unable to reconcile the story of the Magi with their negative depiction in the Book of Daniel and wanted to avoid an alienation of their Jewish brothers and sisters. On the other hand, some Magi may have been close to the first Christians, Simon Magus for example. Even if Jesus was neither initiated by Magi nor in India, the Platonic concept of the "transmigration of souls" could have opened the door to Eastern traditions, to the belief in the reincarnation of Jesus and in the Elijah-John and Elisha-Jesus successions. This is supported by the so-called "oracles" of Matthew, the authentic title of the gospel that introduces the Magi (Mt.2:2) who could have been Babylonians or Persians from Media, and Zoroastrian priests. Many scholars have mentioned that Judaism and Christianity contain Zoroastrian elements of which the symbolism of the "prince of darkness" and "children of light" is but one example. Why did the philosophers in Athens slander St Paul a 'magpie', a bird that's spotted black and white? According to the Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics, even a famous Roman historian (Tacitus?) labeled Christianity "an Eastern superstition". This could explain why some Catholics downplay these Eastern aspects by referring to the Magi as kings from the three continents, including a black African.
An interesting symbolism – until DNA-tests of their relics prove otherwise. The Magi are allegedly enshrined in the cathedral of Cologne (Germany) where they are worshipped as the Holy Three Kings (Heiligen Drei Könige). Inspired by Albertus Magnus, a medieval alchemist in Cologne, we'll use this fission to attempt a bit of 'alchemy' ourselves: The fusion of three different elements to their essence – like the three planets of the hexagram. If successful, we'll try to join the three broken pieces of Chrétien's Magic Sword – and the three grail symbols into the real grail. That leading Christian theologians in the Middle Ages, including popes, practiced alchemy is historically established, but rarely brought up today. Similar to the Voodoo cult, where only a few fanatical witch doctors would stick pins into dolls, most alchemists in the Middle Ages were serious scientists and philosphers who did not waste their time trying to turn lead into gold. Hence, we hope that pope Sylvester II and Thomas Aquinas, both active alchemists, will help us solve part of these riddles, especially the Trinitarian mystery. But don't rely too much on the internet when you follow up on this because monks don't illuminate manuscripts anymore. They are "under orders" to enrich the Wikipedias around the globe with a Catholic point of view. Many other interest groups, such as the Scientologists, got wise as well and are promoting their interests!
Before we develop our theories any further, we should repeat that this website is dedicated to the search of the "Holy Grail" which is why we try to always remain free from external doctrines and influences. When we interpret religious texts, like the Oracles of Balaam, we take an unorthodox and controversial position as a motivation for visitors to join our "quest". It's also more fun to be controversial! We know, of course, that Jewish and Christian theologians have studied the scriptures for millenniums and we don't want to disrespect their wisdom, traditions, and beliefs. We are merely "outsiders" and our attacks of traditional concepts are similar to the jousts of medieval knights! Like them, we rely on courage when we lack knowledge, and our "weapons" are theories like the 854-year cycles that offer some playroom for new ideas.
Could the ancient sages have known of oral traditions that go back to earlier stages of our evolution? Plato's Timaeus implies something like that! Until DNA-research has unlocked our genetic memory to reveal our origins, we remain captives of the superstitions of Antiquity and the Judeo-Christian religions in our Western civilisation. Due to current events, we should include Islam because Muhammad's Qur'an (Koran) is an ambitious fusion of Judeo-Christian and Arabian beliefs to unite all peoples of faith! Apparently, these religions evolved originally from the human need for a belief system to cope with the unknown, from thunder and lightening to the flooding of the Nile. Some individuals evolved faster and began to study nature, and when they noticed some cyclical patters they impressed the others with predictions. Originally, when to plant and harvest, and later to announce lunar and solar eclipses, which bettered their social standing. They probably appeased the ignorant by deferring to some "higher power" or "divine intervention" which raised their status even higher as it implied a personal relationship with the "above". That's probably when the threat of the "end times" was first used for the good of the faithful, to keep them united and make them follow commandments. But when these pre-historic tribal chiefs were consumed by political problems and warfare, they had to delegate the spiritual leadership to elders. One of their first acts of wisdom was the introduction of animal sacrifices – to provide them with good nutrition. A culinary practice that survived in Judaism until early Christianity – even Mary took young Jesus to Jerusalem (Luke 2:24) and sacrificed a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons as required by OT prophecies, and which are quite a delicacy! The religious context is difficult to understand for us today because we underestimate the psychological impact of rituals that lasted thousands of years. One residue, aside from the many cults, may be our enjoyment of smoky backyard barbeques, which may be genetic memory from the cave age.
It seems that our ancestors believed in their superstitions so strongly that they changed history to make them come true! Some traces seem to remain in our religions and could explain why Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, which according to Matthew (21:4) was to fulfill the prophecy of Zechariah (9:9). It is more difficult to determine if Jesus used similar dramatics when he fulfilled Malachi's prophecy (3:23-4) by saying that John the Baptist was Elijah, born again, "but they would not recognize him"? The Church interprets it in Messianic terms, but if we remain objective we can't exclude that Jesus really considered himself the prophet Elisha, come again, as believed by some early "church fathers". Why else did he always insist that he was the "Son of Man", even when relating to his father in heaven? And finally, we must ask if Judas really committed a sin when he fulfilled a "divine prophecy" to betray Jesus? If we think about it, only pious Jews have a right to condemn him – because if Judas had disobeyed God there would be no Christianity!
Although incomprehensible today, we must consider that we are dealing with a phenomenon that may find a natural explanation some day in the future, one that might even be reconciled with intelligent design. It seems to have been noticed by wise men in different cultures as soon as our evolution became a conscious experience, as one lecturer proposed in the 1980s (5). This phenomenon could relate to DNA-memory and may have the force to trigger "reincarnations" or "spiritual rebirths" of highly evolved individuals (6). This would have even greater consequences: If two Jewish prophets were born again as John and Jesus – Jesus would not have been the expected Messiah! Something Christians and Jews would reject unanimously because both religions would have misunderstood the mission of Jesus and John. According to Malachi 4:5-6, the Jews are still waiting for the Messiah by reserving an empty chair and a glass of wine for Elijah at ceremonies! But if Jesus really said that Elijah had returned as John the Baptist, other mysteries would finally have a simple explanation. The DNA of all human beings could be connected in the subconscious and therefore confused with heaven. Some day, it may lead to a revision of such religious concepts as eternal life, the resurrection and second coming.
If we evaluate the interpretation of the grail mystery by Chretien and Wolfram in this light, there is a major problem to resolve: It could mean that Loyola realized that the Elisha-Jesus succession continued in Catalonia. If this conjecture has any validity, the loss of information about this event could be explained with the extensive work of the Maurists and Bollandists. What they failed to eliminate were the manuscripts of Pujades who preserved some of this information in a few hidden 'time-capsules'. Although a knight like Perceval is an unlikely candidate for an Elisha-Jesus succession, let's not forget that the Gospels ignore the life of Jesus for about thirty years. To compare the 'King of the Grail' with the 'King of the Jews' is nevertheless a most adventurous project and should not be easily accessible on this website. Meanwhile, we can spend more time with potential DNA-messages and the 854-year cycles, especially the latter's historical and meteorological parallels, because we insult the faithful by raising doubts about the "supernatural" and some "extra-terrestial" influences without hard evidence to back it up. That's why we must apologize because we are still far too ignorant to understand the mysteries we dare to challenge – another good reason for you to get involved in our "quest" and contribute your insights! Please send your comments and criticism to firstname.lastname@example.org and help us take our search for the Holy Grail to a higher level!
1. Complete Bible, University of Chicago, Illinois, 1947, p. 145
2. Ludwig Ideler, Historische Untersuchungen über die astronomischen Beobachtungen der Alten, (Berlin, 1806), p. 408. He writes "...schebet, eigentlich eine R u t h e, nach der aramäischen Bedeutung des Worts ein Komet."
3. Eyewitnesses, as pious and inspired as they probably were, are not reliable sources when miracles occurred. The most dramatic examples are in (Isa. 38:7-8), where God moved the sun ten degrees back, and in Joshua (10, 12-14) where God made the sun and moon stand still in the midst of heaven for about an entire day. Although Joshua was talking to God, he misunderstood because Earth and the moon would have had to stand still. Another example of a misinformed eyewitness can be found in 2 Kings 2:19-22 where Elisha "healed' the polluted waters of Jericho. It's a little-known fact that quicklime is applied every spring as lime plaster to whiten those picturesque houses around the Med to make them look nice, to keep them cool and the bugs away. It is also used to purify cisterns and wells, and for 4000 years as a mix with mortar. Quicklime is calcium oxide and any uninformed bystander would take its white crystals for salt! This writer learned about it in Spain when he found a dead rat in his well in Rabos. A neighbor was working in his vineyard and came over to help remove the carcass. He threw a handful of these crystals into the water and said that it would be safe to drink in about 20 minutes.
In another Biblical example, witnesses like the above overheard probably that some boys were attacked by a she-bear and remembered they had teased Elisha by calling him baldhead. Hence, they came up with a bloody lesson in 2 Kings 2:23-25 by claiming Elisah had "forty-two of the children torn to pieces" by bears. Those who take these parables literally have the consolation that the Jewish prophets were not born again as murderers – but as messengers of love and peace!
4. W.Y. Evans-Wentz, The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries, University Books, 1966, pp. 359-362. He studied as Walter Wentz religion, philosophy, and history at Stanford, followed by Celtic mythology at Oxford where he published his thesis as the above book in 1911. He met T.E. Lawrence (...of Arabia) at Oxford who advised him to travel to the Orient and change his German name. Wentz added his mother's surname to become W.Y. Evans-Wentz and spent most of his life in India and Tibet.
5. W.V. Chmielewski, Triangles in the Sky: From the Star of David to the Holy Grail, presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southern California Academy of Sciences, (California State University, San Bernadino), on May 3, 1986, and on April 25, 1987, at the Annual Meeting of the California Folklore Society, (UCLA, Los Angeles). Abstract: "Great conjunctions of Saturn, Jupiter, and Mars reoccur in 854-year cycles at the same position of the Zodiac, often forming triangles. Evidence from religion, mythology, and literature supports the new hypothesis that specific planetary triangles were fused by prophets and astrologers into esoteric hexagrams, and interpreted in different eras as the Star of David, Shield of Zeus, Phoenix, Star of Bethlehem, etc."
6. Consistent with the above, here is another idea that's a bit off-the-wall: Why not begin a search of DNA-memory with animal studies? Perhaps, brain waves are amplified by those "gut feelings" from the acids and gases in the intestines. Such "waves" could explain the spectacular sight when millions of small fish move in perfect synch in the oceans, and large flocks of birds like curtains in the sky. This link between animals is apparently "subconscious" and may have become dormant in early humans when their reasoning developed. These forces may be DNA memory and explain ESP phenomena, and could relate to some levels of dreaming. When a dog seems to be running in his sleep, he may be linked to dogs that are actually running at the time. This research might also reveal that some patients at mental institutions, those who remember past lives, are telling the truth. A great subject for a TV documentary – and an entertaining opportunity to interview "Napoleon" in person! Hence, we may even have to revise Darwinism some day, which is in the early stages of a work in progress!
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