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I'm aware that this video is going to be controversial and will, at the very least, make some of my viewers uncomfortable. It is not my intention to undermine anyone's religious beliefs but simply to investigate a surprisingly deep and bizarre rabbit hole which I stumbled upon some time ago. You are welcome to disagree. My sources, the vast majority of which are drawn from the ancient Hebrew Bible, also known as the Tanakh, are listed in this video's description. All right. Listen closely and try to guess what I'm describing. It has a long snout and smoke pours from its nostrils. It breathes fire. It has wings and can fly. It dwells inside of a mountain, hoarding its gold and treasure. Lastly, it eats livestock and yes, you heard this right, female virgins too. Well, did you guess Yahweh? If you guessed the God of the Israelites, known by the sacred name, Yahweh, as described in the Hebrew Bible, you'd be absolutely correct.
Of course, these too are the stereotypical and practically universal descriptors of the mythical creature known as a dragon. But perhaps this connection between the two should not be so surprising. Dragons have appeared in virtually every major culture across the world and are so old that scholars genuinely have no idea when or where the dragon first originated. Perhaps most relevantly, dragons have a tendency to be worshiped as gods. Archeological evidence strongly suggests that the ancient Chinese worshiped dragons, known as Long, as far back as 5000 years BC. In Mesoamerica, carvings of Quetzalcoatl, the Aztec god of wind, air and learning actually predated the Aztecs by over 2,000 years. And for the Australian Aboriginals, one of the most isolated and ancient people on Earth, their creator god is known as the Rainbow Serpent,
yet another variation of the dragon. In the Pyramid Texts, which are the oldest known corpus of ancient Egyptian religious writings, lies one of the first literary descriptions of this incredible creature. They describe a giant serpent deity known as Denwen whose body was made of fire and whose flames were so powerful, they ignited a massive blaze that nearly obliterated all the other gods of the Egyptian pantheon. This list can go on but we're here today to focus on the God of the ancient Israelites, Yahweh. Yahweh is painted as a vengeful, divine warrior who more often than not, violently annihilates his enemies. More than that, the Hebrew Bible uses a set of specific imageries repeatedly to describe his physical presence on Earth, ultimately leaving us with an undeniable image of none other than an incredibly powerful dragon. I'm able to present scriptural evidence of each and every feature that I listed during our guessing game
and more and it's going to get very weird, especially if you are familiar with an Abrahamic religion, such as Judaism, Christianity or Islam. We'll begin our journey with the snout or nostrils of Yahweh. A peculiar mystery which led me to stumble upon this rabbit hole in the first place. In the various English versions of Bible, the Hebrew word apayim, is typically translated as a fanciful synonym of face or anger. Modern scholars, however, deem this translation as inaccurate. Why? Because out of the nine verses that describe Yahweh with this word, all of them specifically reference its elongation and length, which makes absolutely no sense when describing Yahweh's face or anger. These length references are completely omitted in most translations, likely because the translators found the descriptor to be nonsensical. But in the original Hebrew, they indeed remain.
Moreover, there are other forms of this word with the same meaning identified throughout the Bible, many of which are used to further describe this feature of Yahweh. So, what does apayim actually mean? With overwhelming agreement from Biblical scholars, the word literally translates to nostrils. This leaves us with the perplexing mystery as to why Yahweh's apparently long nostrils were so important that they were mentioned so many times throughout multiple generations of scripture. To explain, scholars assume that in ancient Israel, Yahweh may have been seen as a beast with lengthy, protruding nostrils. For example, an alligator, a bull or of course, a dragon. This list of potential candidates can quickly be narrowed down though by looking at a few key verses. Deuteronomy chapter 32 verse 22 states the following, "For a fire is kindled in my nostrils and shall burn to the lowest hell.
And it shall consume the earth with her increase and set ablaze the foundations of the mountains." And then we have the description of Yahweh in Psalms. "Smoke went up from His nostrils and devouring fire from out of His mouth. Coals flamed forth from Him." Very interestingly, this description of the God of the Israelites is exactly paralleled by the Book of Job's depiction of the monstrous creature Leviathan, which is generally accepted to be an actual biblical dragon. "Out of his mouth go burning torches and sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils go smoke, as out of a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals and a flame goes out of his mouth." Moving along, but still relevant to our discussion of Yahweh's nostrils, there is evidence of ancient discourse on whether Yahweh could actually intervene in the world unless his long nostrils, as a metaphor for his physical presence, could reach the site of intervention.
This directly challenges the idea of the omnipresence and omnipotence of the Israelite God and implies that Yahweh may actually be a physical being with limitations. This is found in Psalms chapter 10. "The wicked says, from the height of His nostrils, He, Yahweh will not seek us." What the wicked is implying is that when Yahweh is not physically near their location, mankind can get away with sinful acts without punishment. Of course, the wicked's assumption is immediately rejected by the writer in Psalms but this contrarian opinion must have been prominent enough for the writer to mention it. Before we proceed to the next argument, on the possibility of Yahweh's physical nature, might this be why he required a massive portable tent known as the tabernacle as recorded in Exodus? For 440 years, this building-sized tent was the supposed earthly dwelling place of Yahweh,
where offerings of prepared meals as well as sacrificed livestock were given on a daily basis. And a thick smoke was known to appear at the door when it was opened. Of course, the true purpose of the tabernacle continues to be hotly debated and is beyond the scope of this video. Next is the curious existence of Yahweh's wings. Apart from the many references of Yahweh flying around the sky found throughout the old scriptures, there are six striking depictions of a winged Yahweh within the Book of Psalms. Each mention implies the protective nature of his massive wingspan, which quickly leads us to consider that the wings of Yahweh are metaphorical. Portraying him as a mother bird, as opposed to being a literal physical feature. There are major problems with this theory though. First, imagery and artistic depictions of a bird protecting its young are, as of today, unknown to exist in Syro-Palestinian art from the Iron Age up until the Persian Period.
The only similar images found were of vultures with outstretched wings but never were they pictured protecting their young. A mother bird metaphor, therefore, is highly unlikely as that idea and image simply wasn't part of the culture when Psalms was written. Also worth mentioning is that a mother bird metaphor would be a uniquely feminine image of Yahweh, which is practically unheard of in the Hebrew Bible where he is otherwise described in hypermasculine terms with the Earth itself being his feminine complement. Wings however, were consistently present in depictions of ancient Eastern gods, many of whom were also known to fly and some even breathing fire. Such as the lesser deity, Anzu of Mesopotamian religions. Secondly, in Psalm 91:4, we see a mention of Yahweh's feathers. "He will cover you with His pinions and under His wings you will find refuge."
Pinions are the flight feathers of a wing. We may not immediately connotate feathers with the image of a dragon but the fact is that many ancient depictions of winged dragons included feathered wings, up until the medieval era. It is here where this rabbit hole really takes a questionable turn. In our investigation of the nostrils, I briefly mentioned Yahweh's massive tent, the tabernacle, where he received prepared food and sacrificed livestock on a daily basis. Of course, this is far from the only instance Yahweh accepted edible offerings. In chapter 31 of the Book of Numbers, Yahweh commands the prophet Moses and his army of 12,000 men to take revenge against the Midianites and wage bloody war on their people. For readability's sake, we'll use the New Living Translation, but you'll find that regardless of your version of the Bible, the explicit details of this passage are exactly the same.
After murdering every Midianite man and their leaders, pillaging their city and capturing all the women and children, Moses commands his troops to, "Kill all the boys and all the women who have had intercourse with a man." It's passages like these that remind you how brutal the older scriptures really were. Moving on though, Moses and his men divide their plunder and give a portion of it to Yahweh, which includes 32 Midianite virgins who are never heard from again. I am not kidding, you can read the verse yourself. It says, quote, "Half of the plunder was given to the fighting men. It totaled 337,500 sheep and goats, of which 675 were the Lord's share. 36,000 cattle, of which 72 were the Lord's share. 30,500 donkeys, of which 61 were the Lord's share, and 16,000 virgin girls, of whom 32 were the Lord's share."
It goes on, though. "Moses and Eleazar the priest received the gold from all the military commanders, all kinds of jewelry and crafted objects. In all, the gold that the generals and captains presented as a gift to the Lord weighed about 420 pounds." Okay, there's a lot of details here so, let's talk about the livestock first. The majority of dragons in folklore are carnivores, meaning they eat meat. That one's obvious. But, realistically, what could Yahweh possibly want with 32 virgins and 420 pounds of gold? Well, it is an interesting revelation that for many of the cultures that worshiped dragons in the past, the preferred sacrificial offerings were indeed virgin girls. The Aztecs sacrificed a virgin girl to the feathered serpent God, Quetzalcoatl, twice a year in their 18-month calendar.
In Japanese Shinto tradition, the eight-headed dragon, Orochi, demanded the sacrifice of the virgin daughters of two minor deities every seven years. And perhaps you've heard of "George and the Dragon". This classical folktale, which is confirmed to predate Christianity, tells of a dragon that demanded a sheep and a maiden aka a female virgin sacrifice every day. Why this idea is so prevalent and consistent across cultures and time remains unknown. However, in European folklore, the pure, untainted blood of virgins is sometimes implied to be equal in value to gold and is often used in a manner of currency. For example, as a means of exchange with the dragon or appeasement. Collecting and hoarding gold is, of course, a stereotype of dragons that remains portrayed in popular media to this day. Though it is indeed ancient, as well as a consistent trait found across the world.
For instance, the typical dragon in medieval Christian folklore guarded a mountainous cavern or castle filled to the brim with treasure. This same trope is also found thousands of years prior across the globe in the classical Chinese mythology of the which translates to hidden treasure dragon, a guardian of precious metals and jewels who dwells in volcanic mountains. If you're not familiar with the 10 Commandments, the second and relevant commandment to our next argument is, "Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image", which prohibits the creation and worship of idols. In some interpretations, the chief concern is not necessarily the worship of just any image, but rather whether one is pursuing a false god as opposed to the true God. This little tidbit may explain why Yahweh actually does permit one idol.
This lone idol known as Nehushtan, depicts none other than a so-called fiery serpent. And, more than just permitting the idol, he essentially forces the Israelites to make and worship it by threatening their lives. This odd event occurs in the Book of Numbers chapter 21. During their long journey to the land of Edom, the Israelites struggle with hunger and dehydration in the wilderness and complain to Yahweh. "Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?" Annoyed by their grumbling, "Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people and they bit the people and much people of Israel died." In the throes of desperation, the survivors begged the prophet Moses to pray to Yahweh and end their torment. Moses obliged. "And Yahweh said unto Moses, make thee a fiery serpent and set it upon a pole and it shall come to pass
that every one that is bitten shall live when he sees it. And Moses made a serpent of copper and set it upon the pole and it came to pass that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked unto the serpent of copper, he lived." Later on, in the second book of Kings, this idol is given a name, Nehushtan, which translates to The Great Serpent. The King Hezekiah before ordering Nehushtan to be destroyed, states that, "For unto those days the children of Israel did offer to it." Which in no uncertain terms means that the idol was worshiped. Why would Yahweh order the creation of a copper idol of a fiery serpent that would certainly be worshiped, especially as it prevented death? As it was the only idol he ever permitted, might we assume that this fiery serpent was a likeness of his own? Another question remains, why copper?
Well, in several verses throughout the old scripture it's actually implied that Yahweh dwells in mountains of copper. This is explicitly stated in the Book of Zechariah, as well as implied by mentioning his origins in the mountainous Arabah and Sinai regions which were well known for copper mining in ancient times. Though it may seem like a tangent, I bring this up because I'm sure you know which mythical creature makes its home in the mountains and has a love for valuable metals. Copper, interestingly, is the very metal that allowed humans to progress from the Stone Age into the Bronze Age, around 10,000 years ago. The introduction of copper tools and technology changed the history of humans forever. Most immediately in warfare. Coincidentally, multiple studies suggest that long before being worshiped by the Israelites, Yahweh was actually the Canaanite god of Metallurgy.
And what might be the ancient symbol of Canaanite smelters? A copper serpent, mounted on a staff. But returning to that awful punishment in the wilderness, why did Yahweh specifically send fiery serpents? And just what made them so fiery? Note that the term used by Yahweh was actually the Hebrew word saraph, which means to burn. Yet in five of the seven instances where it is used in the Hebrew Bible, it is a noun that inarguably refers to a serpent or snake. This is an example of ancient wordplay and thus saraph is generally accepted to mean fiery serpent. But what about the two exceptions? We'll dive into this mystery next. In English versions of the Bible, five of the seven instances of the word saraph are translated to fiery serpent or something very similar. The two exceptions are in Isaiah chapter six.
Both use the plural form, seraphim and leave it untranslated. This passage is actually somewhat well-known and perhaps some of you may already be familiar with the image of this angelic creature. "Above Him stood the seraphim. Each one had six wings. With two he covered his face and with two he covered his feet and with two he did fly." Because we can reliably substitute seraphim with fiery serpents, we can go on to make another connection. The verse specifies that they have wings and feet. A fiery, flying serpent with wings and feet sounds a lot less like a snake and more like, a dragon. This isn't the only time seraphim are stated to have the ability to fly. Two distinct times within the Book of Isaiah, there is mention of a saraph paired with the Hebrew adjective for flying, typically translating to flying serpent in most English versions of the Bible.
Written in the eighth century BC, the Book of Isaiah may have been one of the earliest written records of these small draconic creatures in the Sinai and Arabian deserts, but it actually wasn't the only record of their existence. There are several non-biblical references to flying serpents made around the same time and location as the Book of Isaiah. In the seventh century BC, the king of Assyria documented yellow flying serpents that threatened his troops in the desert during a war campaign against Egypt. And in the fifth century BC, the Greek historian Herodotus wrote about winged serpents that could fly and would frequently attack Egypt. Herodotus also noted that, "These winged serpents are nowhere to be seen except in Arabia." Both of these accounts are considered reliable and remain debated in the scholarly community as to what creatures these texts are actually describing as,
of course, it seems a bit fantastical. Egypt is actually an incredibly important connection because it is believed that reference to Seraphim might extend as far back as the third millennium BC in the form of the Egyptian Pharaoh's Uraeus, a symbol which conveyed the ruler's divine authority. Egyptian iconography has depicted two and four winged versions of the Uraeus. And ancient amulets of the multiple winged Uraeus have been found as far away as Palestine. Yet another connection exists. The ancient Egyptian noun srf describes a type of snake, often depicted with wings and connotated with warmth and heat. Indeed, this Egyptian term, srf, is theorized to be the predecessor of the Hebrew word saraph, as they sound remarkably similar and both describe the same fiery, flying serpentine creature, one which seemed to exist in the Sinai and Arabian deserts
up until 2,000 years ago. Biblical scholars note that there is an essential relationship between Yahweh and the seraphim. The seraphim are considered by all Abrahamic religions to be high ranking angels, or even the highest of all as in Christian tradition. Moreover, seraphim are said to fly around the throne of Yahweh in intense worship and act immediately and aggressively on his command. Flying seraphim in particular are involved in prophecies of his vengeance. And not long after commanding the Israelites never to worship false idols, Yahweh orders his followers to build and worship a likeness of a saraph, which is essentially a holy flying, fiery reptile made of the very copper that Yahweh himself is closely associated with. All this does paint an unexpected picture of Yahweh, the God of Israel, who may or may not be in command of an army of small dragons.
Make of that what you will. If we were to go ahead and assume that the God, Yahweh was indeed a dragon, we'd have some difficult philosophical questions to answer. Does this invalidate the Abrahamic religions which evolved from the Hebrew scriptures? Have Jews, Christians and Muslims been worshiping a false god for thousands of years? In my humble opinion, the answer to both is not necessarily. It would just require a significant amount of reinterpretation of the Hebrew scripture. Something not many people know unless they study the history of Abrahamic religions is that there is actually implication of at least two distinct Gods in the Hebrew Bible. One being Yahweh and the other being El. It's true that in many cases, the names seem to be used interchangeably but scholars have noted that there may actually be evidence that separates them as deities, specifically in the older scriptures.
In all instances, El is the most supreme, he is the God of Gods. For sure, the two names become completely interchangeable around the era of Moses, where Yahweh introduces himself. "I am Yahweh. I've revealed myself to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as El Shaddai, but was not known to them by my name, Yahweh." But before this era, during the time of the prophet Abraham and proto-Israelite religion, El and Yahweh were almost definitely worshiped as separate deities. With Yahweh being merely one of the gods of El's council. In Deuteronomy, we can actually find a rare example of this, a glimpse into that long forgotten, ancient belief. "When the Most High, El, gave to the nations their inheritance, when he separated humanity, he fixed the boundaries of the peoples according to the number of divine beings. For Yahweh's portion is his people,
Jacob and his allotted heritage." Note that this verse can widely vary in its many translations, especially due to its polytheistic implications. For example, the phrase, "The number of divine beings" has been alternatively translated to the angels of God, the number in his heavenly court, as well as the number of El's children. We can put this debate to rest though because the Hebrew word in question is Elohim, which is a plural noun signifying multiple gods. In this context, scholars see them as a council of gods, with El being the Most High. At the end of the verse, El divides the world and gives Yahweh the nation of Israel. This little detail changes everything. The God of the Israelites was never the God of all of existence. Yahweh was a lesser deity who served under El. There are other subtle references to this
so-called council of El. Psalm 82 speaks of an assembly of El. Psalm 29 encourages the sons of El to worship Yahweh, which implies that Yahweh's ranking in the council was high. Finally, in Psalm 89, we once again have scriptural evidence and explicit mention that Yahweh is a high-ranker of the many sons of El: "For who in the heavens can be compared to Yahweh? Who can be likened to Yahweh among the sons of El?" Again, this is the closest translation to the original Hebrew. El is, in fact, much, much older than the biblical Yahweh. El was the supreme god of the ancient and polytheistic Canaanite religion. With El's first mention dating as far back as 2000 BC. In all likelihood, El was the god worshiped by the original prophet Abraham, not Yahweh. Even the name Israel translates to may El persevere.
If Yahweh was actually a dragon, he was perhaps one of many powerful dragons to guide the people of Earth and essentially act as surrogates of the almighty creator, El. It makes sense that in the vast universe El would have better things to do than be so deeply involved in the characteristically imperfect world of humans. So he sent his servants to Earth to act in his name. This may be why Yahweh originated as an entirely different deity, only to become synonymous with the name El with the passing of time. Of course, now we're getting a bit fantastical, so why not explore some apocrypha while we're at it? In the Second Book of Enoch, which holds two thousand year old apocalyptic visions originally written in ancient Greek, there is an account of a mysterious species of heavenly beings that is stated to exist alongside thousands of seraphim. These creatures are described by the writer as, "Flying elements of the sun.
With feet and tails in the form of a lion and a crocodile's head. Their size is 900 measures, their wings are like those of angels, each has twelve." So, my question is this, if these massive, flying reptilian creatures who harness the power of the sun have wings like angels, but aren't angels, what exactly are they? The name given to this heavenly beast is chalkydri. Which is a compound of the ancient Greek root words for serpent and copper. What do you think of the dragon theory? Could Yahweh have been a physical being that ruled over the Israelites for hundreds of years? Did El and Yahweh once coexist as separate deities? And what might be the implications if these theories were actually true? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. I'm Mr. Mythos.
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