TruthVid's 100 Proofs that the Israelites were White, Part 70: 95, Israelite and Greek Culture were the Same

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TruthVid's 100 Proofs that the Israelites were White, Part 70

Here we shall depart from our Biblical proofs in order to discuss the similarities which the Hebrews had with ancient Greek culture. This will demonstrate that Hebrews and Greeks held many common beliefs, even if one side is from a pagan perspective. While we shall not get to it in this presentation, next we shall discuss the similarities between the Hebrew language and the languages of Europe. Those similarities go far beyond the fact that the nations of Europe use a Hebrew/Phoenician alphabet, as many of the most basic words are so similar in sound and meaning that they must be directly related.

95) Israelite and Greek Culture were the Same.

There were many parallels between ancient Hebrew and Greek religious beliefs and customs that cannot be explained if the cultures were not related. Here we shall revisit material I had compiled for a June, 2010 presentation titled Greek Culture is Hebrew. The focus here is on the Tragic Poets, namely Aeschylus and Euripides, both of whom wrote in the 5th century BC. Aeschylus is esteemed to have been born in 525 BC, and Euripides in 480 BC, which makes him a contemporary with Herodotus.

The son as a supplanter of the father: from Aeschylus, Prometheus Bound, from line 755:

Io: What! Shall Zeus one day be hurled from his own dominion?

Prometheus: Thou wouldst rejoice, I trow, to see that happen.

Io: How should I not, since 'tis at the hand of Zeus I suffer ill?

Prometheus: Then thou mayest assure thyself that these things are so.

Io: By whom shall he be despoiled of the sceptre of his sovereignty?

Prometheus: By himself and his own empty-headed purposes.

Io: In what wise? Oh tell me, if there be no harm in telling.

Prometheus: He shall make a marriage that shall one day cause him ruth.

Io: With one divine of birth or with a mortal? If it may be told, speak out.

Prometheus: Why ask with whom? Of this I may not speak.

Io: Is it by his consort that he shall be dethroned?

Prometheus: Aye, since she shall bear a son mightier than his sire.

Here we see that the Greeks had held a belief that their God Zeus, who held a sceptre of sovereignty over men, would be replaced by his own son. In the 2nd Psalm we have a prophecy of Yahweh God appointing His Own Son to be ruler over the nations, where we read: “6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. 7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. 10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.”

So in the Bible, the Son would receive the sceptre of His Father’s sovereignty, as it is attested in the 2nd Psalm. Where Prometheus said that same thing would happen to Zeus, there are differences with Scripture, but the concept is the same. Even more deeply, Prometheus attests that Zeus would make a marriage which would cause him ruth, which is remorse or sorrow. Likewise Yahweh had married Israel, and in the person of Christ He was compelled to die on behalf of his wife.

Metaphors and idioms: To kick against the pricks: from line 324 of Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus:

Therefore take me as thy teacher and kick not against the pricks...

Again in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon from line 1621:

Bonds and the pangs of hunger are the far best mediciners of wisdom for the instruction even of old age. Hast eyes and lackest understanding? Kick not against the pricks lest thou strike to thy heart.

Paul of Tarsus used this same idiom to describe vain resistance where he said in Acts 26:14: “And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.”

Metaphors and idioms: Eyes to see and ears to hear. Once again, in Aeschylus’ Prometheus Bound, from line 447:

First of all, though they had eyes to see, they saw to no avail; they had ears, but understood not; but, like to shapes in dreams, throughout their length of days, without purpose they wrought all things in confusion.

Isaiah 6:9: “And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. ”

Jeremiah 5:21: “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not: ”

Ezekiel 12:2: “2 Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.”

The relationship between Dorians and Persians: From Aeschylus, The Persians, line 176, where the poet puts these words into the mouth of Atossa, the mother of Xerxes the Persian king as he goes off to invade Greece in war:

I have ever been haunted by many a dream at night since my son, having fitted forth his armament, departed hence with intent to lay waste the land of the Ionians. But never yet have I beheld so distinct a vision as yesternight. I will describe it unto thee.

I dreamed that two women in fair vesture, one apparelled in Persian garb, the other in Dorian attire, appeared before mine eyes; both in stature far more striking than the women of our time, in beauty flawless, sisters of the selfsame race.

Aeschylus, who was a veteran warrior of the battle of Marathon in 490 BC, wrote only a few years after the wars with the Persians. He did not consider the Ionians to be related to the Persians, but here in the mouth of his character he professed that the Dorians and Persians were “sister” races. We have already discussed in these presentations of the 100 Proofs the letter which Areus, king of the Lacedemonians, who was also a Dorian, had sent to Onias, the High Priest in Judaea. In that letter, the king had professed that the Dorians were derived from the stock of Abraham as well as the Judaeans. We have also explained that the Dorians were Israelites who departed from the Levant circa 1100 BC and migrated into the Peloponnese through Crete. But here it is evident that they must have known their relationship to the tribes even further east, as we see in Scripture that Persians were also Shemites, like the Israelites. Here, Aeschylus considered Dorians and Persians to be related, but not Dorians and Ionians or Ionians and Persians. Rather, in Scripture the Ionians were Japhethites.

The Spirits of the dead in the afterlife: from Aeschylus, The Persians, line 640: Here Atossa the queen mother is lamenting the Persian loss of the Battle of Salamis, and while she stands at the tomb of her dead husband, Darius the father of Xerxes, his spirit is conjured and she has a conversation with him. Lines such as these appear in the story:

O Earth, and ye rulers of them that dwell in the nether world, vouchsafe, I implore, that the glorious spirit, the god of the Persians, whom Susa bore, may quit his abode. Send to the upper world him whose like Persian earth ne'er yet entombed.... O Aidoneus, Aidoneus, thou who conveyest shades [the spirits of men] to the upper air, suffer our divine lord Darian [Darius] to come forth!

This is reminiscent of 1 Samuel Chapter 28, where Saul has the spirit of Samuel conjured up from among the dead, and he has a conversation with him. Similar events are depicted in even earlier Greek writing, for example where Odysseus visited Hades and spoke to the spirits of the dead, Achilles, Elpenor and others, in Odyssey, Book 11.

Resurrection from the dead: the ancient Greeks also expressed the concept of resurrection from the dead. In a play written by Euripides and titled Alcestis, the entire play is about death and resurrection. The heroine, Alcestis, chooses to die in place of her husband Admetus, whom The Fates decreed must die, unless another volunteer was to take his place. Heracles then decided to reward Alcestis for her loyalty and sacrifice, and descending into Hades and defeating Death, he brought her back from the grave and restored her to her husband. The ancient Babylonians also had stories about the dead returning from the Netherworld.

The punishment of stoning: This is found in Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes, from line 196. There the poet puts these words into the mouth of Eteocles, the king of Thebes:

Now if there be one who shall refuse obedience to my authority – man or woman or whatsoever is betwixt – sentence of death shall be passed upon him, and he shall in no wise escape destruction by stoning at the people's hand.

So stoning was a method of capital punishment among the Thebans, according to the poet. Yet stoning is again mentioned as a punishment used among the Argives, at Agamemnon line 1616 where it portrays the people as having said to Aegisthus:

I tell thee in the hour of justice thou thyself – be sure of that – shalt not escape the people's curses and death by stoning at their hand.

The destroying angel: From Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, from line 1080, the poet puts these words into the mouth of Cassandra:

Apollo, Apollo! God of the Ways, my destroyer!

Here the name Apollo is derived from a participle form of ἀπόλλυμι, which is to destroy. But here Apollo is also called “god of the ways”, as he was seen to be a protector on journeys, and indeed another meaning of ἀπόλλυμι as used by Greek writers was to be driven off, and this is the word translated as lost in Matthew chapter 15, in reference to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel”. The Hebrew Old Testament makes mention quite often of a destroyer, sometimes described as an angel. In Revelation 9:11 the Greek word Ἀπολλύων or Apollyon was used as a name in that same sense.

The blood of the innocent: from Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, from about line 36 we read:

… Heaven's will under pledge, declared that those beneath the earth complain in bitter anger and are wroth against their slayers… For what redemption is there for blood once fallen on the earth?

To that we shall compare Genesis chapter 4: “9 And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother's keeper? 10 And he said, What hast thou done? the voice of thy brother's blood crieth unto me from the ground.” Then again, from Revelation chapter 6: “9 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10 And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?”

The struggle between sons and bastards is described in Euripides’ Hippolytus, lines 962-963 where we read:

… the bastard is always an enemy to the true-born.

To this we must compare to Hebrews 12:8: “But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.” We may also compare Galatians 4:29: “But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.” Of course, there is the murder of Cain and Abel, and the persecution of Christ by Cain’s descendants.

The kinsman avenger of blood: from Aeschylus, The Libation Bearers, from line 269 we read:

Of a surety the mighty oracle of Loxias will not abandon me, charging me to brave this peril to the end, and, with loud utterance, proclaiming afflictions chilling my warm heart's blood, if I avenge not my father on the guilty; bidding me, infuriated by the loss of my possessions, slay them in requital even as they slew…. And of other assaults of the Avenging Spirits he spake, destined to be brought to pass from a father's blood; for the darkling bolt of the infernal powers, who are stirred by slain victims of kindred race calling for vengeance…”

This is a precise parallel to that same Hebrew next-of-kin blood avenger that we see described in Numbers Chapter 35 and elsewhere: when a man is slain his next-of-kin are obliged to see that his slayer is brought to justice. But Orestes travailed over avenging his father, having been placed in a difficult situation because it was his own mother and her lover who had killed him, and he was therefore obligated to slay his own mother, for which he would also suffer.

The mourning of the dead, professional mourners: There were evidently a caste of professional wailing women in Greece, Israel and Persia. So we read in Aeschylus’ The Libation Bearers, from line 424:

Upon my breast I did beat an Arian dirge, even after the wont of a Cissian wailing-woman.

At the time, Aria was a district of Persia and it gives us the name Iran today. Cissia was an area of Susiana, which was the capital district of Persia. To this we should compare Jeremiah 9:17-18: “Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Consider ye, and call for the mourning women, that they may come; and send for cunning women, that they may come: 18 And let them make haste, and take up a wailing for us, that our eyes may run down with tears, and our eyelids gush out with waters.” So this is a direct reference to the Persian custom of professional wailing women, which Jeremiah attests that the Hebrews also shared, and here we see the Greeks were also aware of it. Flavius Josephus mentions the custom at Wars 3.9.5.

The mourning of the dead, Black garments worn in mourning: This is found in Euripides, Alcestis, from line 425, in the mouth of Admetus king of Pherae in Thessaly:

I command all the Thessalians in my realm to join in the mourning for my wife: let them cut their hair and wear black apparel.

Sackcloth was worn by Hebrews in mourning the dead, and that too was black, which is evident in Revelation 6:12: “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood.”

The mourning of the dead, cutting the hair: We have just seen a reference to this in Aeschylus, but there are others in Euripides, in Helen, near lines 1085 and 1121. In this play, after the Trojan War Menelaus found Helen in Egypt, from where he sought to rescue her as she was held by a king named Theoclymenus. So first, from line 1085 in the words of Helen to her husband:

Stay here. If he acts violently against you, this tomb – and your own sword – will protect you. I shall go into the house, cut my hair, change my white robe for a black one, and bloody my cheeks with my nails.

So Helen would pretend as if she were mourning that her husband was dead, if she had to do so in order to save him. Then further on, from line 1121:

Many Greeks died by the sword and from great boulders hurled at them: and they have grim death as their companion. In sorrow for them their luckless wives cut off their long hair, and from their houses bridal love is gone.

So in both places the poet described women cutting their hair in grief or disgrace while mourning for their dead husbands. The “shorn hair of mourning” is mentioned again in Alcestis, at line 511.

So in Isaiah chapter 3, where the prophet described the vanity of the women of Israel in their sin, Yahweh announced their forthcoming punishment and said: “24 And it shall come to pass, that instead of sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and burning instead of beauty. 25 Thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war.” So we see that the women, prophesied to lose their men in war, would also be shorn in mourning. In Jeremiah chapter 7 there is a similar announcement: “29 Cut off thine hair, O Jerusalem, and cast it away, and take up a lamentation on high places; for the LORD hath rejected and forsaken the generation of his wrath.” We may also compare 1 Corinthians 11:6: “For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.”

Cleansing of sin with either blood or baptism: This is found in Aeschylus, Eumenides, at lines 448-452:

It is the law that he who is defiled by shedding blood shall be debarred all speech until the blood of a suckling victim shall have besprinkled him by the ministrations of one empowered to purify from murder. Long since, at other houses, have I been thus purified both by victims and flowing streams.

Here we see that the Greeks believed that one may be cleansed of the sin of murder either by baptism (“flowing streams”) or by the blood of sacrifice . To this we may compare Hebrews 9:13: “For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh…” In the Bible, “one empowered to purify from murder” would be a Levitical priest, and more specifically the high priest, so we see that the Greeks also thought such a task could be accomplished only by certain individuals. But of course, the cleansing of sins with baptism is found only in the New Testament, in the baptism of John, where in the Old Testament the sins of the children of Israel could only be cleansed with the blood of sacrifice.

Dancing in honor of a god: this is found in Euripides’ Bacchae, from line 206. Bacchae is a play about the feast of Bacchus, another name for Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and revelry. The poet puts these words into the mouth of the character Teiresias:

Will someone say that in preparing to dance with my head crowned with ivy I show no respect for my old age? No, for the god has not distinguished old from young where dancing is concerned: he wants to receive joint honor from everyone and to be magnified by all without exception.

In Euripides’ Phoenician Women, at line 655 we read where it speaks of Dionysius and calls him:

… the Bacchic god worshipped in dancing by maids and matrons of Thebes in their ecstasy.

So here we see that dancing is directly connected with the worship of a pagan god. Likewise, in the Bible we find a similar reference in Exodus chapter 32: “4 And he received them at their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool, after he had made it a molten calf: and they said, These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. 5 And when Aaron saw it, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation, and said, To morrow is a feast to the Lord. 6 And they rose up early on the morrow, and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play.” Then further on in the chapter: “19 And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses' anger waxed hot, and he cast the tables out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.”

Later in Scripture, dancing was accepted in honor of Yahweh, for example in the 149th Psalm: “1 Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 4 For the LORD taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation.” So the pagan gods were honored by dancing, in both the Greek literature and in Scripture, and Yahweh God was also honored by dancing.

The despite of luxury is reflected in Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, lines 70-75:

The man who judged the goddesses (so runs the story men tell) came from Phrygia to Lacedaemon dressed in gaily colored clothing and gleaming with gold jewelry, the luxury of barbarians.

The reference is to the story of Alexandros, or Paris, where he had been chosen to judge between Athena, Aphrodite and Hera for their beauty and it became a curse to him which set off the chain of events that caused the Trojan War.

In Joshua 7:21 it can be seen that Israelites also despised such luxuries, where we read in the words of Achan: “When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it.” Achan was punished with death for his covetousness.

The warrior prince and son as the light of the nation: In Euripides’ Iphigenia at Aulis, from line 1060, the Centaurs make an announcement to Thetis, the mother of Achilles with Peleus, the king of Phthia. So we read:

Loud was their cry: 'O daughter of Nereus, Chiron, the prophet who well knows the song of Phoebus says that you will bear a son who will be a light to Thessaly!

In Scripture, the king of Babylon was mocked by Yahweh because he thought himself to be a light-bearer, hence the term Lucifer in Isaiah chapter 14. But of course, it was later announced that Christ came into the world as the true light of His people.

Gods appearing as men: in Euripides’ Bacchae, at lines 4-5, the poet puts these words into the mouth of Dionysus:

I have exchanged my divine form for a mortal one and have come to the waters of Dirce and Ismenus.

The rivers are in the area of Thebes in Greece. Seeing this in Greek poetry, we can better understand what the common people imagined to have transpired at Acts chapter 14: “11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. 12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.” From a Hebrew perspective, men sent from God would have been perceived to be angels, and not gods.

There are many parallels with Scripture found in Euripides, Phoenician Women, from line 931, where the death of Menoeceus the son of Creon is demanded to save the city:

This boy must be slaughtered in the chamber where the earthborn snake, guardian of Dirce's waters, came to birth: he must give the earth a libation of blood because of the ancient grudge of Ares against Cadmus: Ares is now avenging the death of the earthborn snake [offspring of Ares, I did not recollect this in the podcast - WRF]. If you do this, you will have Ares as your ally. And if the ground receives offspring in place of offspring and mortal blood for blood, Earth will be propitious to you, Earth who once sent forth the gold-helmeted harvest of the Sown Men [the Spartans who were said to have sprung from the teeth of the dead serpent after they were sown by Cadmus, and the Theban aristocracy were claimed to have descended from them - WRF]. One of this race must die, one begotten from the jaw of the snake. You are one of the last remaining members of the Sown Men here, of pure lineage on your mother's and father's side. (And so are your children. Haemon's coming marriage prevents him from being slaughtered, for he is not a man unwed. Even if he has not yet experienced the bed of love, still he has a wife.) This colt, sacrificial animal for the city, will rescue his fatherland by his death. Sorry is the homecoming he will give Adrastus and the Argives, casting black death upon their eyes, and glorious he will make Thebes. Of these two fates choose one: save your son or your city.”

Among the many parallels with the Hebrew scriptures we find here are the following:

  • Kinsman vengeance, as a descendant of the murderer must die to avenge the murder.

  • The idea of a cognizant “earthbound serpent”.

  • A race amongst the Dorians believed to have been sprung from the Serpent, hence the name “Sparta”, from a verb meaning to sow.

  • Ares the god of war and Cadmus the Phoenician founder of Thebes are at enmity. The serpent is associated with Ares throughout this story, and Ares is the Greek god of war. Cadmus was also said to be the brother of Europa, and we see the Phoenician settlement of Europe as it was told in myth.

  • Propitiation by shedding of blood.

  • Human sacrifice in order to appease a god.

  • The death of one for the sake of a nation.

  • The father's sacrificing of a son on behalf of his nation.

  • The law that a man cannot go into battle who has recently married (one year in Deuteronomy).

All of these things are elements of Scripture found in the customs or laws of the Israelites. In the same play, in lines 656-657 we see Ares, the god of war, associated with the serpent once again, and the place spoken of is Thebes:

In that place was the deadly serpent of Ares, fierce-tempered guardian: over the watery eddies and fresh streams he kept watch with gazing eye that ever moved.

Laws emanate from God: in Euripides’ Ion, around line 440, the poet puts the following words into the mouth of the title character:

I must rebuke Apollo, what is wrong with him? Ravishing unwedded girls and abandoning them? Begetting children and then sitting idly while they die? Do not act this way! Since you have power, pursue goodness! Any mortal who is base is punished by the gods. So how is it right that you who prescribe laws for mortals should yourselves be guilty of lawlessness?

Among the Greeks, the gods were seen as lawgivers and punishers of the disobedient, just as the Hebrews received their law from God ad were punished for being disobedient. But there are also parallels to Genesis chapter 6 here, as there are throughout the Greek myths. These sins which the Greeks had thought were committed by gods, the prophets of Israel had assigned to the fallen angels.

The guardian angel: this is found in Euripides’ Ion, line 1269:

My guardian spirit did me a good turn before I came to Athens…

So we read, in Matthew chapter 18: “10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

The time of purification following childbirth: from Euripides, Electra, line 654, where she asks an old man to announce the birth of her son to Clytemnestra, the widow and murderer of Agamemnon. Electra was also a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, and like her brother Orestes she also felt compelled to avenge her father’s murder against her mother. So after she tells him to go announce the birth of her grandson, hoping to lure her mother, the old man asks how long it had been since the birth and she responds:

Ten days ago, the time a woman who has given birth keeps pure.

To this we must compare Leviticus chapter 12: “1 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean. 3 And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised. 4 And she shall then continue in the blood of her purifying three and thirty days; she shall touch no hallowed thing, nor come into the sanctuary, until the days of her purifying be fulfilled. 5 But if she bear a maid child, then she shall be unclean two weeks, as in her separation: and she shall continue in the blood of her purifying threescore and six days.” The Greeks just shortened the time, but clearly upheld the same tradition.

Rocks calling out as witnesses: this we find in Euripides, Hippolytus, 979-980, where in the case of a certain event, Hippolytus declared that

… the Skironian rocks near the sea shall deny that I am a scourge to evildoers!

To this we must compare words of Christ in Luke chapter 19: “39 And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. 40 And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out.”

Human Sacrifice:

The theme of several Greek Tragic poems, including Iphigenia Among the Taurians, Iphigenia at Aulis, and Hecuba, all of them written by Euripides, also all describe incidents of human sacrifice. First, Agamemnon sacrificed his own daughter, Iphigenia, in exchange for propitious weather that his armies may sail to Troy. So he sent for her to come to Aulis under a false pretense, and her sacrifice is also mentioned in the Iliad. Clytemnestra despised her husband for the act, but nevertheless, the father was not accounted a murderer, and the mother was when she killed her husband. The title of Iphigenia Among the Taurians reflects a later tale that she was taken up by Artemis at the last minute, and that a deer was sacrificed in her stead. The ending of Iphigenia at Aulis is missing, so we will never know if Euripides remained consistent in his accounts.

The parallels between Iphigenia Among the Taurians and the sacrifice of Isaac are several. In the sacrifice of Isaac, Yahweh sought to exhibit the faith of Abraham, who complied with the demand that he sacrifice his son. Yahweh substituted a ram in place of Isaac, and Abraham was credited for his faith. Isaac, a willing victim on account of his respect for his father, was also credited. Likewise, Iphigenia was portrayed as a willing victim once she arrived at Aulis and learned the truth, so she was credited and saved by the same goddess to whom she would have been sacrificed. So it is almost as if the sacrifice of Isaac was a model for Euripides’ account of Iphigenia.

The sacrifice of her daughter Polyxena which is described in Euripides’ Hecuba has multiple versions and conflicting accounts. The girl was sacrificed on the tomb of Achilles by the victorious Greeks as they defeated the Trojans. In Euripides’ version, Polyxena was supposedly betrothed to Achilles, but also complicit in his death, and the ghost of Achilles demanded her sacrifice. All of that is immaterial to Scripture, except perhaps for the act of avenging a kinsman which the spirit of Achilles demanded of his fellow Greeks.

One more act of human sacrifice which is pertinent to parallels between Greek and Hebrew is the play Children of Heracles by Euripides, at lines 579 and 591-592, where a certain unnamed maiden about to be sacrificed in order to help save her brothers laments her maidenhood. In one place she states “you see that I am sacrificing my chance of marriage” and in another “these deeds I have as treasures to replace children and the days of my maidenhood” and this compares to the account of Judges 11:37, where Jephthah's daughter says of her impending sacrifice: “And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows.”

There are probably many other parallels in Hebrew and Greek culture, but these which we have offered are far too numerous to be mere coincidences.

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