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Ha Alma

Latest update, 14 Aug 2012. Changes or additions are in bold.

On page 213 of Worlds in Collision (MacMillan 1950) Velikovsky says:

Isaiah appeared before King Ahaz and offered him a sign, on the earth or "in the height above." Ahaz refused: "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord" (7:12).

This sign from the Lord was intended to give Ahaz the courage to resist an ultimatim to throw open the gates of Jerusalem to the kings of Aram (Damascus) and Israel (Samaria).

Velikovsky goes on to discuss selected aspects of upcoming devastations, (that he attributes to inter-planetary encounters) which are detailed in subsequent passages of Isaiah. He does not, however, address Isaiah's rejoinder to Ahaz's rejection of God's offer for a sign, to wit:

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Isaiah 7:14 KJV)

Keep in mind that even though mainstream Christianity holds this passage in high regard as a distant prophecy of the birth of Jesus it is also of importance to develop an understanding of what the very short term prophecy to Ahaz meant.

Isaiah had just relayed an offer from God to Ahaz regarding a "keep the faith" sign which Ahaz would be compelled to admit was outside the control of men. (It is doubtful that he would take Isaiah's word that such and such young lady was indeed a virgin, nor that he would be willing to wait months for the confirmation. He needed to know right away.) Ahaz had been given two categories to choose from: (1) a sign in the depths below or (2) a sign in the heights above. Choices from the first category could include things like: an earthquake at the fourth hour on friday; the ground splitting wide open a safe distance away on command; the dead sea drying up abruptly; etc. From the second category he could have his pick from things like: fire falling from heaven; an explosion on the moon; or a tornado standing still over some specified location for a specified time; etc.

My view of verse 7:14 is that God decided to give Ahaz a sign from category two, from the height above. (Velikovsky apparently was pushing that view too. He places the phrase "in the height above" in quotes.) I say this in part because the middle part of verse 7:14 should properly be translated as:

Behold The Virgin shall conceive,...

not

Behold a virgin shall conceive, ...

The Hebrew word 'ALMAH translated as "virgin" is immediately preceeded by the definite article HA. We have HA'ALMAH. "The Virgin" is a better translation.

I suggest that the sign intended for Ahaz, concerned something in the heavens, known unambiguously to both Isaiah and Ahaz as "The Virgin."

If so, what was "The Virgin" of Isaiah's day? This is a rhetorical question.

In his book "The Hebrew Goddess" (1978) Raphael Patai makes the following statements which are very parallel with Velikovsky's version of how the ancient world perceived Venus for a thousand years or so starting with the Exodus. (He does not mention Velikovsky.)

On the goddess of love and war:

Her name varied from culture to culture--Inanna in Sumer, Ishtar in Akkad, Anath in Canaan--yet her character remained the same for centuries, even millennia. The life domains in which she primarily manifested herself were love and war, and her personality exhibited everywhere the same four basic traits of chasity and promiscuity, motherliness and bloodthirstiness. (p. 154) The oldest of them was Inanna ... That she was regarded a virgin is evident from the two epithets which accompany her name: ... "the maid Inanna" and "the pure Inanna." Yet throughout Sumerian history she was the goddess primarily responsible for sexual love, procreation, and fertility, ... (p. 154) In the Babylonian Ishtar, however a certain shift occurred in the balance between the virginal and promiscuous poles of her character: her virginal aspect was underplayed, while her promiscuity was emphasized... (p. 155) One of her titles was "sweet-voiced mistress of the gods." Yet she was also "the most awesome of the goddesses," Ishtar of the battlefield," clad in divine fire, carrying the melammu-headwear, who would rain fire on the enemies." (pp. 155-156) In astrology, the Iranians themselves regarded her as the personification of the planet VENUS. (p. 157) [emphasis added]

On the Jewish Kabbalistic Matronit:

The same four traits of chastity and promiscuity, motherliness and bloodthirstiness, characterize the Matronit, the daughter-goddess of Kabbalistic literature. (p. 158) ... the prototype [of the Matronit] was the Sumerian Inanna, whose features can be clearly recognized in the Babylonian Ishtar, the Canaanite Anath, and the Persian Anahita. (p. 177)

A related matter; on the Queen of heaven:

... Nevertheless, it is from Biblical sources that we know the names of the three goddesses who were worshiped by the ancient Hebrews down to the days of the Babylonian exile: Asherah, Astarte, and the Queen of heaven, who was probably identical with [the Canaanite] Anath. (p. 19) [For Queen of Heaven See Jeremiah 7:18.]

I contend that the planet Venus was Isaiah's Virgin.

If Venus was the virgin, what/who was Immanuel?

We read:

Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. ... (Isaiah 7:15)

If one chooses to look at this verse from an astronomical viewpoint (and I do) it could be considered as describing the movements of a smaller planetary body (the child) passing through the manna tail of the comet Venus, i.e., eating butter and honey.

Refusing the evil and choosing the good, in the astronomical sense, would refer to the object settling into an orbit which removes it from any more close encounters with the earth-moon system. This object may have been Mars, which Velikovsky says became especially prominent to earth-bound observers starting in 747 BC. (See WiC pp. 238-239)

We probably will have to rule out Mars as the offspring because "the son" was apparently a newcomer to in the heavens and not an adoptee. If we do in fact rule out Mars, then some explanation would be in order as to what happened to the virgin's son.

In Greek mythology a goddess known as The Virgin (Venus?) acquired that title because it was said that she repeatedly became pregnant but never gave birth. It would seem that her offspring were still born so to speak. The author of this page seems to recall the idea that the mother was given to eating her offspring. (Reference to follow.) Astronomically, this scenario might correspond to aborted planetary fissions, or fission events followed by re-capture of the product bodies. (This could correspond to the product bodies failing to have escape velocity.) If we assume that a Venus fission product actually escaped its mother's apron strings, it would be worthwhile to search ancient astronomical records for evidence of a visible extra minor planet in the solar system, at least for a while (few years?, decades?, centuries?), following Isaiah's prophecy to Ahaz. If one should be known, then comes the question as to what finally happened to it.

Related Pages

Isaiah 7:14: Translation Issues - Dennis Bratcher

Send comments/questions to Bob Fritzius at fritzius@bellsouth.net
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