Evidence of Stone Age Cultic Phallic Symbols Found in Israel
By: Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu
Signs of the agricultural revolution in the Stone Age were found in northern Israel. Archaeologists discovered remains of an ancient village, along with sexual symbols.
Plans to build a new railway line in the north have lead to the discovery of an ancient Stone Age settlement with evidence of flint and stone tools and cultic sexual symbols.
Prior to work on the rail line to Karmiel, east of Haifa, the Israel Antiquities Authority excavated the Ahihud Junction and unearthed remains and artifacts from the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period and the Early Chalcolithic period, dating from the seventh to the fifth millennium BCE.
“For the first time in the country, entire buildings and extensive habitation levels were exposed from these early periods, in which the rich material culture of the local residents was discovered,” said excavation directors Drs. Yitzhak Paz and Yaakov Vardi
They found remains of a village and “a large number of pottery vessels indicative of a highly developed pottery industry, flint tools, stone objects, as well as a number of unique artistic artifacts, among them a phallic figurine and a palette on which female genitals are schematically etched – these symbols also represented the fertility of the earth.”…
A preliminary analysis of the animal bones discovered at the site shows that pigs were a principal staple in the diet of the inhabitants.
Despite the biblical tribal origins stories, the evidence points to the Israelites as emerging from the native Canaanite/Amorite population, which had been engaged in phallic worship for millennia and whose predecessors did not have a taboo against pigs, obviously.
Biblical Phallic References
In any event, there are many elements of phallic worship within the Bible as well, although they are shrouded by language subtleties both in the original Hebrew and more modern languages. (See, e.g., Gen 24:2, 9; 47:29) For example, at Genesis 24:2-3, 9 we read:
And Abraham said to his servant, the oldest of his house, who had charge of all that he had, “Put your hand under my thigh: And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth…”…
So the servant put his hand under the thigh of Abraham his master, and swore to him concerning this matter.
The Hebrew word generally translated as “thigh” or “loins” is ירך yarek, which can be defined as “outer thigh” but also refers to the “seat of procreative power,” referring to the male genitalia.
Testifying in Antiquity
In antiquity, important oaths were sworn by men shaking each other’s penises, which is what we are looking at with the stories of Abraham, et al., giving testimony or testifying by holding each other’s “thighs.” In this regard, the words “testify,” “testament” or “testimony,” etc., come from the Latin root testis, which means “one who gives evidence” and “a testicle.”
As Barbara G. Walker states in The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets (793-4):
As Goddess-dominated religions made the yoni their holiest symbol, so God-dominated religions adored the phallus. Patriarchal Semites worshipped their own genitals, and swore binding oaths by placing a hand on each other’s private parts, a habit still common among the Arabs. Words like testament, testify and testimony still attest to the oaths sworn on the testicles.
Abraham’s servant swore by placing his hand “under the thigh” of his master (Genesis 24:9) because “thigh” was a common euphemism for “penis,” used in superstitious fear of mentioning the divine organ directly. Myths of male pseudo-birth–like Zeus’s fatherhood of Dionysus–made the offspring come forth from the father’s “thigh.” But the meaning was “penis”…
Another Middle-Eastern euphemism for “penis” was “knee,” genu, so often mentioned that some people came to believe the knee was the source of seminal fluid….
The Bible calls Jacob’s penis the “sinew that shrank,” lying “upon the hollow of the thigh.” Scholars have tried to interpret this limp penis as something else: a severed tendon, or a certain thigh muscle, which Jews were forbidden to eat (Genesis 32:32). But medieval translators frankly recognized the phallic meaning of the “sinew.” They said the god-man’s blighting touch on Jacob’s shrunken member was “to cool the fires of concupiscence.”
Biblical patriarchs worried inordinately about the vulnerability of the penis and avoided direct mention of it, lest evil spirits be drawn to it. Old Testament laws reveal a special fear of women’s power over the penis. God’s commandment was that a woman who grabs a man’s genitals must have her hand cut off, even if she does it do defend her husband against an enemy (Deuteronomy 25:11-12).
Deuteronomy 25:11-12 states:
When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand; your eye shall have no pity.
The Hebrew word here for “private parts” is מבשים mabush, which is rendered by the King James Bible as “secrets” and is defined by Strong’s (H4016) as literally meaning “that excites shame.” This term is used only once in the Old Testament, and yarek is preferred to indicate “loins.”
Israel’s Male Cult Prostitutes
As might be the case with this Stone Age culture that evidently included fertility cult/sex worship practices, the Israelites kept sacred harlots of both genders, the male cult prostitutes called קדשים qadeshim, the “holy ones,” the singular of which is קדש qadesh, from the root קדש qadash meaning “consecrate, sanctify, prepare, dedicate, be hallowed, be holy, be sanctified, be separate.”
For example, at 2 Kings 23:4-7 we read:
And the king commanded Hilki’ah, the high priest, and the priests of the second order, and the keepers of the threshold, to bring out of the temple of the LORD all the vessels made for Ba’al, for Ashe’rah, and for all the host of heaven; he burned them outside Jerusalem in the fields of the Kidron, and carried their ashes to Bethel.
And he deposed the idolatrous priests whom the kings of Judah had ordained to burn incense in the high places at the cities of Judah and round about Jerusalem; those also who burned incense to Ba’al, to the sun, and the moon, and the constellations, and all the host of the heavens….
And he broke down the houses of the male cult prostitutes which were in the house of the LORD, where the women wove hangings for the Ashe’rah.
As we can see, as part of their “whoring after” deities besides the tribal god Yahweh, the Israelites, like their Canaanitish predecessors, engaged in typical phallic cult worship found widespread around the Mediterranean and Middle East.
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