Skip to main content

Full text of "A comparison of Egyptian symbols with those of the Hebrews"

See other formats

<3xaJt <PiJUx <Plcaxl 





"The eymbols of the Egyptians are like unto those of the Hebrews." 

(Clement of Alexandria, Stromaiu, V.) 




NEW yokk : 










The origin of the science of symbols is lost in the 
distance of time, and seems to be connected with the 
cradle of humanity — the oldest religions were governed 
by it ; the arts of design, architecture, statuary, and 
painting were born under its influence, and primitive 
writing was one of its applications. 

Did symbols exist in spoken, before being translated 
into written, language? Were primitive words the 
source of symbols? are the questions on which these 
researches are based. 

The first men, in order to express abstract ideas, bor- 
rowed images from surrounding nature; by a surprising 
intuition, they attached to each race and species of 
animals, to plants, and the elements, ideas of beauty or 
ugliness, of good or evil, of affection or hatred, of purity 
or uncleanness, of truth or error. 

Those fathers of the human race did not compare, but 
they named their ideas from corresponding objects in the 
material world; thus, if they wished to say, the king 
of ;m obedient people, they did not, compare nim to a 
l»i governing a submissive hive, but they called him bee; 
il they desired to say filial piety, they did not compare 
it to the stork feeding its family, but they called ii stork} 
to express power, they called it bull f the power of man, 
the arm; strength of soul, lion; the soul aspiring to 
heaven, tin- hawk that, sails in the clouds and looks stead- 
fastly at the sun. 

Primitive writing, tin; image of primitive speech, was 


entirely composed of symbolic characters, as demon- 
strated by the examples of China and Mexico, and the 
symbols we have just cited in Egyptian writing. 1 

If the principle, we have thus assumed, is true, the 
speech of the first people must have left profound traces 
of its ambiguities in the most ancient known lan- 
guages; doubtless, in the lapse of time, figurative ex- 
pressions passed from tropes to abstractions. The 
descendants of the patriarchs, in pronouncing the word 
bee, and attaching the idea of a king to it, no longer 
thought of the insect living in a monarchical state, 
hence arose a change in pronunciation, at first scarcely 
perceptible, but which, degenerating from tongue to 
tongue, finally destroyed every trace of symbolism; a 
dead poetry disinherited the living poetry of preceding 
ages ; comparisons were instituted, and rhetoric took 
the place of symbols. 

This theory results from the following facts : Hora- 
pollo teaches the principle of Egyptian symbology when 
he says that the hawk is the symbol of the soul ; for in 
the Egyptian tongue, the name of the Hawk is Baieth, 
signifying soul and heart — Bai, soul, and eth, heart. 
(Horap. I. 7.) 

Thus, in Egypt, symbology rested on the fact that 
the name of a symbol contained the idea or ideas sym- 
bolized, since the Hawk borrowed its significance from 
the two roots of its name. To us, the testimony of 
Horapollo appears positive ; is it indisputable ? 

The knowledge of symbols employed by Champollion, 
and by the learned of the present day, to decipher 
Egyptian writings, depends almost entirely on Hora- 
pollo; the Rosetta-stone showed the use of those char- 
acters mingled with alphabetic writing, by partly con- 
firming the text of the Egyptian hterogrammat. 

"Hitherto," says Champollion, "I have recognized in 
the hieroglyphic texts, but thirty of the seventy physical 
objectfs indicated by Horapollo in his first book, as sym- 
bolic signs of certain ideas; and of these thirty, there 

1 According to Champollion, the Egyptians apparently first used 
figurative and symbolic characters. (Precis. 358.) M. Lepsius also 
thinks that Egyptian writing was, at first, entirely figurative (An- 
nates de V Institut de correspondancc arckeologique, torn. IX., p. 24 


are but thirteen — to wit, the reversed crescent, the beetle, 
the vulture, the hinder parts of the lion, the three vases, the 
hare, the Ibis, the inkstand, the reed, the /W/, the Egyp- 
tian goose, the ^eaof c/ zAe Hoopoe, and the 6ee, which, 
in reality, appear to have the meaning he attributes to 
them. But the greater part of the symbolic images, 
indicated by him throughout his first book, and that 
part of the second which seems the most authentic, 
may be found in sculptured or painted pictures, either 
on the walls of the Temples, Palaces, and tombs, or in 
manuscripts, on the winding-sheets and coffins of mum- 
mies, on amulets, etc." (Precis. 348.) 

M. Champollion, whether reading manuscripts or in 
examining other remains, has no hesitation in giving to 
symbolic forms the signification ascribed to them by 
Horapollo. The descriptive notice of Egyptian monu- 
ments, in the Paris museum, displays the faith of the 
learned Frenchman in the Egyptian writer. Horapollo 
could not, then, have been mistaken in announcing as a 
fact known in his day, that certain signs had certain 
significations, because the name contained the signifi- 
cation. A meaning may be invented for a symbol, 
or it may be distorted from that it really possesses; 
but that an Egyptian writer should suppose so ex- 
traordinary a principle as that of homonomy, and that 
that principle should be false, is more than we can 
admit. This reasoning has appeared conclusive to several 
learned men who have studied Egyptian writing; among 
the first of whom, Zoega, author of a celebrated Treatise 
on Obelisks, recognized it in principle. 

" The nomenclature exhibited by Zoega, in his Treat- 
ise on Obelisks," says Doctor Dujardin, "admitted a 
phonetic employmenl of the hieroglyphic signs, in which 
the characters of the sacred, writings performed a pari 
analogous to the figures composing a rebus. Eorapollo, 
on whose authority Zoega admitted this fifth mode of 

expression, gives us only a single example; he shows us 

the Hawk employed, not figuratively, to represent the 

bird of that name, not as a trope to express the idea of 

elevation, not enigmatically to recall the idea of the god 
Borus, but phonetically to designate the Soul. The two 
names of Hawk ami Soul, sounding the same to the ear, 
these two things, though widely different, being homo- 


nyms, as soon as the figure of the hawk was used to 
designate the name only of that bird, it will be admitted 
that from that use might result the expression of the 
idea soul." 

"This last mode of expression has been pointed out 
by Origny, in his Researches on Ancient Egypt, and by 
Zoega, in his Treatise on Obelisks, as likely to present, 
if actually made use of, an almost insurmountable ob- 
stacle to the interpretation of a great number of hiero- 
glyphic pictures. Every tongue becoming altered by 
the lapse of ages, it is presumable that the Egyptian 
could not pass through thousands of years without some 
changes, without, perhaps, considerable modification ; 
now, in such a labor, the primitive ambiguities are 
effaced and disappear, while new ones appear in their 
places. The form and natural qualities of objects do not 
change; thus modes of expression, founded on that form 
and those qualities, may be expected to present the same 
results at different and extremely distant periods of time ; 
but names change with time, so that a given figure, 
which, on account of its name, might symbolize a certain 
idea at a certain time, might at a future period, by the 
changes it had undergone, express a very different idea 
from that intended by the writer." 1 

We admit both the principle and the result deduced 
from it by Mr. Dujardin, adding, that symbology origi- 
nated in homonymies, but that the science once estab- 
lished, tongues might alter, without affecting the prim- 
itive signification of the symbols. The study of the 
Coptic proves this fact, since the symbolic ambiguities 
have, in a great measure, disappeared from the spoken lan- 
guage of Egypt, without affecting the value of the sym- 
bols ; there have been formed, by chance or otherwise, 
new homonymies in the Coptic, without giving rise to a 
new symbology, yet as the principle of the science of sym- 
bols was present in the minds of the hierogrammats, it 
has happened in periods of decay, that the sacred scribes 
played upon words, with a leaning to riddles or puns ; 
as remarked by Champollion in the inscriptions on the 
portal of Denderah (Letters from Egypt, page 397) ; 
and this appears to confirm our hypothesis. 

1 Revue des Deux Mondes, II. part, XXVI., pp. 771, 772. 


M. Dujardiii concludes that the Coptic, not being the 
primitive Egyptian, could not reproduce the symbolic 
homonymies ; to which conclusion we are also led by 
the logic and study of the facts. Light is here thrown 
upon the question by the labors of M. Goulianof, whose 
system, presented in his Essay on the Hieroglyphics of 
Horapollo, was ardently sustained by the learned orient- 
alist, Klaproth, and attacked by Champollion. This 
system, partly rests on wdiat the Russian Academician 
calls j/aro?wmases or play of words ; he found but eighteen 
in Horapollo capable of being explained by the Coptic, 
and several of these were inadmissible. 

This labor has been serviceable to science, in proving 
that Egyptian symbology must have originated in the 
homonymies, since traces of it are still to be found in 
the Coptic, and, moreover, that it is useless to seek for 
a complete explanation of Egyptian symbols in that 

M. Goulianof was himself convinced of this, when he 
abandoned the jparcmomases, to take up what lie called 
aerologies, or explanation of symbols, by the simple use 
of the identity between the first letter of the Dame of 
the symbol and that of the idea symbolized. Einally, 
no longer finding in the Coptic the explanation of sym- 
bols as given by Horapollo, M. Goulianof, in his Arche- 
ologie Egyplienne, falls into the danger pointed out by 
Zoega, d'Origny and Dujardin, by undertaking to form, 
from the Coptic alone, a new Bymbology in opposition 
to the testimony of antiquity and the evidence of monu- 

Homonyms exist in all languages, but are they sym- 
bols ( So; those of the Coptic tongue are, for the 
most part, the resull of chance, and ;i lew them of, only, 
manifest the Influence of symbology. 

M. Goulian of could easily find homonyms in the Cop- 
tic, hut this fact, reproduced in .ill tongues, is of no 
value unless i I confirms scientific facts now; aglanceat 
-nine of M. Groulianofs explanations will Buffice to 
show that his new svstein is in manifest opposition to 
the relations of antiquity ami modern discoveries. 

Thus, according to Ammianus Marcellinus ami Hora- 
pollo, the her, symbol of a king governing an obedient 

people, would designate impious kings. The white 


crown, and the red crown, which, according to the 
Rosetta-stone, and all the learned, are the signs of 
Upper and Lower Egypt, become the crown of the im- 
pious Pharaohs, and the crown spotted with blood. 
The beetle would be the apocalyptic symbol of the 
grasshoppers coming out of the bottomless pit; finally, 
not only would the Pharaohs be impious, but the gods 
would transform themselves into devils (Archeologie 
Egyptienne, torn. iii.). 

We think that the bases of Egyptian science are hence- 
forward too solidly established to be destroyed, and that 
new discoveries are only to be made, by keeping in the 
path already marked out. 

Salvolini, in accepting the indisputable facts, and re- 
cognizing the principle of Egyptian symbology, gave a 
renewed impulse to the science, and, if he did not attain 
the end, he, at least, cleared the way; his successive 
discoveries bring out the truth of the principle on which 
we rest in its full strength. In his work on the "Cam- 
pagne de Rhamses," he says : " Here is a fact that has 
not yet been established ; we know that a certain like- 
ness of an object has been used in the sacred writings, 
as the trope of a certain idea ; but I am not aware that 
any one has called attention to the phonetic expression 
of the proper name of that object, as it is used in spoken 
language, representing sometimes in written language 
the trope of the same idea, of which the isolated image 
of the object was once the symbol. .Such is the origin, 
in my mind, of the signification of strength, often given 
in the texts to the word UjW^ncy thigh of an ox ; though 
led to this conclusion by a multitude of examples, I 
will only cite one. It is known by Horapollo's text, 
that, in Egypt, the vulture was the emblem of victory 
(I. n), the name of that bird, as found in inscriptions, is 
always written tfpEOT ; the Coptic KOYpfc Now, this 
same name has frequently been employed, either in the 
funeral Ritual, or other writings, to express the idea, to 
conquer or victor//, only in the latter case it has a second 
determinative, the arm holding a tomahawk 

" Such a fact has nothing extraordinary in its nature ; 
but we should certainly be surprised upon discovering 
that, though in the ancient Egyptian texts there exists 
a certain number of symbolic words, such as I have just 


designated, the Coptic tongue has scarce^ a trace of 
them." (Salvolini, Campagne de Rhamses, p. 89.) 

Salvolini, in the Analysis of Egyptian Texts, expresses 
his ideas in a more complete manner, and acknowldeges 
for the Coptic tongue a more symbolic character than 
he at first supposed. He admits in principle, that a word 
may have for a determinative, a sign, the name of which 
is the same as the word accompanying it, though it ir 
no wise represents the same idea ; in translating his 
thoughts, we add, that symbolic determinatives obtain 
their value from homonymies. The following passage 
is too important to be passed in silence : " The admis- 
sion, on my part, of an opinion, such as that I have just 
announced relative to the origin of the use of two dif- 
ferent characters as tropes of the idea race or germ, will 
not fail to surprise those who know how constantly it 
has been disavowed by my illustrious master. 1 If we 
may believe the dogmas sought to be established by him 
in his last work, the signs employed by the Egyptians 
as tropes, are reduced, as to their origin, to the four fol- 
lowing processes, pointed out by Clement Alexandrinus : 
first, by sy?iecdoche ; second, by metonymy ; third, by met- 
aphor; fourth, by enigmas f but I must acknowledge, 
according to my own experience, that a brief progress 
in the study of hieroglyphic writing will demonstrate 
the insufficiency of the four methods above cited for ex- 
plaining the multitude of symbolic characters unceas- 
ingly employed by the Egyptians. The learned philol- 
ogist himself, who, at the time of publishing his Precis, 
had already acknowledged the four processes announced 
in his hieroglyphic grammar for the formation of sym- 
bolic sigDS, admits in the latter part of liis work, 3 that 
there <>nlii remained to be found a method fur knowing the 
value of symbolic characters; <nt</ that, lie adds, is tin ob~ 
tta-cle which seems destined to retard a full and entire Jcnowl- 
edgt of hieroglyphic /'.its. I am persuaded that the 
method, which the late ( 'hampollion desired to have 
discovered, of finding the origin of the great number of 

1 This puasage seenw to ul]u<li: to Gonlianofe Bystem, attacked by 

* Vide Egyptian Grammar, p. 23. 

3 Pricii ilu SysUmt Hieroglyphique, p. 338, and 462 •'!. 2d ed> 



Egyptian characters employed as tropes, which could 
not be explained by Clement of Alexandria's process — 
that this method, I say, is found in the new principle I 
have just applied to explain the determinative charac- 
ters of the word Rot germ. I here give my formula of 
the principle : 

"As every hieroglyphic image has a corresponding term in 
spoken language, a. certain number of them have been taken as 
signs of the sounds to which they answer, an abstraction from 
their "primitive signification. The hieroglyphic characters be- 
longing to this singular method of expression, as all other 
signs employed in Egyptian writing as tropes, have been 
employed either by themselves, or following words." Ana- 
lysis, p. 225. 

As an application of this system, Salvolini shows that 
the Egyptian word Iri, to do, is usually represented in the 
text by the isolated image of an eye, because, according 
to Plutarch and the monuments, the name of the eye is 
also Iri. In like manner, the calf's snout signifies he who 
is at or in, because the name of snout or nose, Fnt or 
Fent, alludes to the word Pente, he who is at or in. 
The character hatchet signifies God, because the word 
Ter designates a hatchet and a God. 

The idea of a statue was represented by the god Toth, 
because the name of Toth formed the word statue. (Ro- 

The god Toth, protector of Ilermopolis magna, had f'of 
a title in the inscriptions the sign lord, and the sign of 
the number eight, because, in Egyptian, the name Her 
mopolis signifies eight. 

The goddess Neith had lor a symbolic name a kind of 
weaver's loom, because the same resemblance existed 
between the name Neith and the loom not. 

A species of aquatic bird was the sign for the idea of 
doctor, because on the monuments the name of the bin. 
is Sini, and in Coptic the word Seini signifies doctor. 

The finger represents the number ten thousand, and 
Teb s\gmhes Jinger, and Tba ten thousand. 

"I do not know," adds Salvolini, " whether the few 
examples I have submitted to the reader in proof of the 
new facts, the existence of which, I believe, I have dis- 
covered in the system of Egyptian writing, will be suffi- 
cient to convince him. As to myself, thoroughly con- 


vinced of the reality of the principle I seek to establish — 
a conviction founded on results obtained from the appli- 
cation of this principle to the interpretation of a large 
number of texts— -I frankly avow that, from the moment 
I first suspected its existence, the symbolic portion of 
Egyptian writings — a portion which, it may be said, 
Champollion left untouched, and which it is, neverthe- 
less, necessary to know — appeared to me in its true 
meaning." (Analysis, p. 233.) 

Following this decisive testimony, we present that of 
a man whom the learned of Europe justly consider as 
one of the actual representatives of Egyptian science. 

Mr. Lepsius, in his letter to Rosellini, endeavors to 
find the means of recognizing the signification of figura- 
tive signs, and he assigns ten leading principles for 
attaining that end. The first eight, which we reproduce 
here as having adopted them in our researches, are : 

1. The actual representation of the object, taken with 
its proper meaning ; 

2. The images or pictures that the character accom- 
panies ; 

3. Explanations of Greek or Latin authors; 

4. Ancient translations ; 

5. The context itself; 

6. The phonetic group accompanying the sign ; 

7. The variants in different texts; 

8. The figurative signs employed as initials to certain 
groups, of which the balance is phonetic. 

In developing this last principle, that of initial signs, 
Mr. Lepsius says : 

" These are signs which were also frequently employ- 
ed alone, and with a figurative meaning, but which, at 
the same time, served to represent all words or parts of 
words containing the same letters, though they often 
had a very different meaning. We have several timee 
met with the same use of purely figurative characters. 
The basket is pronounced \\ft,and designates as well 
Lord wr^a, as./// uxBx." 1 

From these last passages of Salvolini and Lepsius, it 
is easy to perceive that the labors of these learned men 

1 dnnalet it Plnstitut <le corretpondance Archiologique , Borne, 1&37, 

[>. 20 ami .">! , tome ix. 


depend, in part, at least, on horaonymies, and are, con- 
sequently, in accordance with the theory of the Russian 
academician ; only M. G-oulianof wants to find the 
explanation of the symbols in the Coptic alone, while 
Salvolini and Lepsius look for it also in the hieroglyphic 
texts. The natural consequence of this last principle 
was, the division of the Egyptian tongue into two dia- 
lects, the Egyptian of the monuments and the Coptic, an- 
swering to the sacred tongue and the vulgar tongue of 

Listen again to Mr. Lepsius: "The Egyptians, he 
says, had two distinct dialects, to wit: the ancient clas- 
sic and sacred dialect [leod ylwooa, 1 leod Sidlexxos 2 ], and the 
popular dialect \y.oivrj Sidlexrof] ; the sacred writing as 
well as the popular hieratic writing always present the 
sacred dialect ; and the popular epist olographic writing as 
well as Ontic literature present the popular dialect. 4 

The facts and reasonings, on which Mr. Lepsius founds 
his opinion, appear to be firmly established ; this division 
of the two tongues explains why the Coptic cannot be 
used to interpret the symbols, while it is partly found in 
the sacred tongue ; 5 yet there is but little difference 
between these two sacred and profane dialects, and if 
the first presents a large number of words not found in 
the second, still the lan^uasre of the monuments is far 
from affording a complete explanation of the symbols. 

We have no doubt, however, that new labors, under- 
taken with a view of discovering symbolic words in hie- 
roglyphic texts, will lead to important results ; but to 
accomplish this it will, doubtless, be necessary to consult 
the origin of Egyptian symbols. 

It is now generally acknowledged that the Egyptian 
religion and system of writing were borrowed from 
Ethiopia. 6 

The necessary consequence of this fact, and what pre- 

1 Maneth. ap. Jos. C. Ap. p. 445. 

2 Maneth. ap. Syncell. Chron. p. 40. 

3 Maneth. ap. Jos. lib. i. 

4 Annates de I'lnstitut decorres. Archeol., ix., 18 ; and appendix, p. 67 
Salvolini, Camp, de Rham., p. 91, and Traduc. de l'Obelisque, p. 10. 

5 Of the eight examples of symbolic homonymies cited from Salvolini. 
four are found in the Coptic ; they are the s'atue, eight, the loom and the 

6 Champollion-Figeac, Egijpte ancienne, p. 28, 34, 417. 


cedes it, is, that the language of Ethiopia contained an 
explanation of the symbols ; could it, in fact, be admitted 
that the inventors of a system of writing, based on lan- 
guage, should have made use of a strange tongue to 
express their ideas? The Egyptians accepted the Ethi- 
opian symbols with the signification that had been given 
then: when writing originated. We have already said 
that symbols depended on language at the period of 
their formation ; and that the system of symbology hav- 
ing been established, language might vary or completely 
change without making the least alteration in the primi- 
tive meaning of the image. Thus the Egyptians might 
have adopted the Ethiopian symbology entire, without 
their language having the least relation to the signifi- 
cance of the symbols ; still, it is more than probable 
that Egypt received a part of the Ethiopian words on 
which the symbols were founded, or at least that the 
written language of the Egyptians acquired a symbolic 
character foreign to the common tongue. 

No people ever exercised a commanding influence on 
the civilization of another people without imposing on 
them a portion of their language ; the Ethiopians must 
have left profound traces of their religious influence in 
the sacred tongue of Egypt, while this influence on 
the vulgar dialect must have been much more circum- 

An apparent confirmation of this opinion is, that the 
wordso f the sacred tongue, not found"in the Coptic, ex- 
ist in part in the languages coining from the same stock 
as the Ethiopian, and that the explanation of Egyptian 
symbols is also found in these tongues. 

Let us here listen to the Egyptian priest. Ma net ho, 
explaining the names of pastors or hykschos: be says that 
the word YK, King, belongs to the sacred tongue, < '■■•"■ 
yXwabav\ while li.'i, pastor, belongs to the vulgar tongue, 

ynti i r oHtXetnov, 

The word sqs is found in the Coptic with the siurni- 
fication given it by the priest Sebennyt, UJCUC "pastor; 
the word TK, king, exists on the monuments of the 

Pharaohs, and is missing from the ("optic; with Mr. 
LepsiUB, we here find a proof thai the Coptic was the 

common, and the hieroglyphic inscriptions the expres- 
sion of the sacred, language. 


The word YK does not exist in the Ethiopian, but is 
found again in the Hebrew, a language having the same 
origin ; the word TK, recognized on the obelisk of the 
Luxor ' by Salvolini, is described by the pedum and 
angle, which group, transcribed in Hebrew characters 
according to Champollion's alphabet, gives the word 
pn a law, a decree, ppn a legislator, a sovereign, or king 
moderator, as translated by Salvolini. 2 

This word is at the same time symbolic, that is, 
founded on homonymy, since it signifies in Hebrew a 
sceptre and a sovereign, and that the sceptre is the sign of 
the idea king moderator. The intimate relations existing 
between the Ethiopian and Hebrew languages cannot 
be denied. Wansleben has brought together five hun- 
dred roots that are the same in Ethiopian and Hebrew, 
independent of other analogous languages ; this work is 
printed in LudlolPs Ethiopian dictionary (p. 475 et 
seq.) ; the traveler Bruce, also, noticed this resemblance, 
(tome ii, p. 267), and the learned Gesenius consecrated 
it in his lexicon. 

An historical reason may here be found for the facts 
sought to be established in these researches : The He- 
brew and the Ethiopian sprung from a common source, 
as philology proves ; one of these dialects we find pre- 
served in its purity in the Pentateuch, while the Ethio- 
pian language has undergone many changes, either by 
the different migrations of people in Ethiopia, or the 
lapse of time ; we need not, therefore, be astonished to 
find explanations in Hebrew not in the Ethiopian. 

A fact already noticed, but not explained, is, that 
Egyptian words exist, are reproduced in Hebrew, but 
are not found in Coptic ; Mr. Lepsius uses this observa- 
tion to explain one of the Egyptian names of the horse, 
wo sus (Lepsius, Annates, ix, 56). I find in the same 
work the word scher, which does not exist in the Coptic, 
and which Lepsius translates by reign (Annales, pi. A, 
col. c) ; the Hebrew explains it, for TO scher signifies a 
prince, a king, a governor. 

Laying aside here all relation between the Egyptian 

1 Fa$ade, Champs-Elysees, first inscription under the banner on the 
eft ; Salvolini, Explanation of the obelisk. 
* Canvpagne de Rhamses, p. 16. 


and Hebrew languages, we desire to establish that even 
it* it were demonstrated that the complete signification 
of the symbols could be found in the Egyptian, and 
that there was a single word the same in the languages 
of Moses and the Pharaohs, these two languages, stran- 
gers to each other, but animated b\ r the same symbolic 
genius, would each give to the same physical objects the 
same moral signification. 

The different authorities cited have sufficiently en- 
lightened us, I think, as to the principle of Egyptian 
symbology ; it now becomes necessary to inquire 
whether this symbolic character belongs to the He- 

Not only all the names of men in Hebrew, but those 
of quadrupeds, birds, fishes, insects, trees, flowers, and 
stones are significant. Hebrew scholars require no proof 
of this ; for they are not unacquainted with the learned 
and voluminous treatise of Bochart on the animals 
mentioned in the Bible. 

This principle of significant names, recognized and 
adopted as true by the celebrated Gesenius, and by all 
lexicographers before him, is not to be denied, but its 
application being purely arbitrary, and having been un- 
dertaken without any definite purpose, has furnished 
science with no useful result. 

Bochart, ignoring the principle of symbology, only 
sought and found purely arbitrary significations in the 
names of animals; distorting the Hebrew roots accord- 
ing to his fancy, he repels the moral significance they 
naturally present, because he does not understand the 
relation that may exist between an animal and a philo- 
sophical idea ; when this relation is too evident, he 
gives it, as it were, in spite of himself; thus he cannot 
deny that the vulture signifies mercy, and the mole the 

The Hebrew, then, has an evident imprint of symbol- 
ogy, since ii gives moral significance to material objects. 
Before drawing a conclusion from this remarkable fact, 
let us resume the foregoing deductions. Egyptian sym- 
bols, founded on homonymies, together with their reli- 
gion and system of writing, were hoi rowed from Ethiopia. 
We have just said that the Hebrew and Ethiopian were 

i! rived from a common source, and we are led, in con- 


elusion, to seek whether the Hebrew will afford an ex- 
planation of Egyptian symbols. 

The question thus presented, can be resolved but in 
two ways : by the testimony of the writers of antiquity, 
and by the application of Hebrew to hieroglyphic 

Clement of Alexandria, the father of modern Egyp- 
tian science, says, in express terms, that, touching myste- 
rious things, the symbols of the Egyptians are Like unto those 

of the Hebrews. "Ofioia yovv role "E/SgaixoZg, y.ard ye tr t v fatix(nnpi% , 
xal rcov Aiyvnricov alviy/uara. 1 

The authority of Clemens Alexandrinus cannot be 
doubted ; for his testimony is the foundation on which 
Champollion and the Egyptologists erect their systems 
of interpreting Egyptian writings. Clemens Alexandri- 
nus, fortified with Bible reading, could not have produced 
so extraordinary an assimilation for a Christian and Egyp- 
tian, without being in possession of proofs of the truth 
of his assertion ; in the Bible and the Hebrew only may 
we seek for an explanation of Egyptian symbols. 

Whether this interpretation appear true or false, it 
cannot be affirmed nor denied without proofs; in ques- 
tions of this nature, the argument is subordinate to the 
facts, and to facts alone we appeal. 

The first result of this system would be, to give the 
explanatory method of Egyptian symbols that Champol- 
lion asked for in his Precis f Salvolini, in his Analysis 
of Egyptian texts (p. 225) ; and that Lepsius endea- 
vored to find in ten different principles. The second 
would be to consider the Hebrew, if not entirely, at 
least in a great measure, the expression of primitive 
symbology. We shall apply this principle to the sym- 
bolic colors in the third chapter of this essay. Finally, 
the third and most important result would be, the appli- 
cation of the principle of symbology to the most sym- 
bolic of all books, the Bible. 

It appears evident to us, that if the Hebrew explains 
the symbols of Egypt, and explains those emblems that 

1 Stroraat. lib. V. p. 566, ed. Sylburg— In this passage, Clement 
of Alexandria seems to allude to the double meaning of words, since 
the dictionaries translate knixyvyis by amigmaticus sermo, and alvtyp.*. 
by ambages verborum. 

* Precis, p. 338 and 40 2-3, 2d edition. 


were the same among all the nations of antiquity, it 
should also contain the explanation of those biblical 
images that the learned Lowth and all other Hebrew 
grammarians have failed to interpret. 

In the fourth chapter, we shall give direct proof that 
the sacred writers used homonymies, and confirm our 
deductions by the testimony of Hebraists. 

It is necessary to add, in this place, a few remarks on 
the manner in which we shall proceed in these re- 

Egyptian writing neglects the vowels, and is com- 
pletely identified by this fact with Hebrew writing 
without vowel-points. Such is the first and greatest 
discovery of Champollion — a discovery on which all 
others are based.' in these researches, the points in 
Hebrew writing can, therefore, be of no use, and are 
consequently omitted. But it is not alone on account 
of the identity between Hebrew and Egyptian writ- 
ing that we recognize the necessity of neglecting the 
vowel-points in homonymies. Hebraists teach us the 
same method in seeking for roots, since they derive one 
word from another, presenting the same letters, without, 
regard to differences of pronunciation, marked by vowel- 
points, which method we shall employ as it is employed 
on each page of Gesenius' dictionary. 

Thus, the homonymy is to be established on the writ- 
ten, and not on the pronounced word; for this I shall 
further appeal to the testimony of the celebrated Hein- 
sius, who, in interpreting a passage of the Gospel of Si. 
John, says that the sacred writer alludes to the double 
meaning of the Syriac word hzp cabbcl and 3-p aha/, pro- 
nounced differently, but of which the letters are the 
same. We shall recur to this passage in the applical ions 
to the Bible (chap. iv). 

As this method of neglecting the points may appear 
arbitrary to some readers, it is necessary to explain it. 

At the time when writing was invented, all words 
written alike had probably the same pronunciation; at 
a later period, revolutions occurred m languages, the 
differenl significations of a word were distinguished by 

i Champollion Print (/ " Systime Hieroglyp ■ ■■• ond edition 

p 111 


different pronunciation on the vowels, and finally, when 
these changes extended to a majority of words in the 
Hebrew, there was felt a necessity of recurring to the 
vowel-points — an invention going back, at the furthest, to 
Esdras. Traces of this revolution in the Hebrew are 
equally evident in the quiescents, that is, the old vowels, 
which, though in pronunciation in Moses' day, have 
liually been left out of it; as is the result of the con- 
cordance of several words and proper names to be found 
in the Bible, on the monuments of Egypt, and in Greek 

In the succeeding chapter we shall give an explana- 
tion of fifty symbolic signs, as they result from the 
testimony of the Hebrew, Horapollo, and the monuments ; 
we might easily have multiplied the number of these 
examples, but it has seemed to us that for the reader the 
best demonstration of the truth of this method whs to 
make new discoveries. Thus we have neglected those 
signs that may be considered figurative; smoke signify- 
ing fire, the arm designating strength, the ladder, the as- 
sault, etc. (Horapollo). These significations, which may 
also be found in the Hebrew, 1 are, nevertheless, not a 
proof of the symbolic character of that language, since 
these images are the rhetorical tropes of all people. 

There is a large number of Egyptian symbols, the 
Hebrew name of which I have not been able to find; 
thus, among animals, the Ibis, the Oryx, the Swan, the 
Elephant, the Pelican, etc., named by Horapollo, cannot 
be explained. 

In Horapollo, as in the anaglyphs or symbolic pictures, 
there exist sacred myths that language fails to give a 
direct explanation to, as the fable of the ape and its two 
little ones — one, carried in front, it loves and kills, the 
other, carried behind, it hates and nourishes. (Hora- 
pollo II., 66.) 

The cynocephalus ape was in Egypt, as in India, the 
symbol of regeneration, 2 of the passage from the state 
of an animal to that of man, and from death to eternal 

1 Slit arm, strength; and n^D a ladder, and nbbo, ramparts thrown 
up by the besiegers, from the root nbo, to elevate, to set up, as in French 
echelle and escalader are formed from the Latin root scala. 

* Symbolic Colors, p. l!)9. 


life ; it is on this account that, when in a sitting posture, 
it represents the two equinoxes (Horap. I., 16), that is, 
the state of equilibrium between light and darkness, 
between good and evil, truth and error, or between brute 
and man : the funeral ritual represents the ape seated on 
the scale forjudging souls. 

The ape represented souls traversing the circle of 
purification before entering the field of truth ; which we 
also learn from its Hebrew name Epp, an Ape, and to form 
a circle, achieve a revolution. 

The explanation of this myth becomes easy ; the little 
one that the ape carries on its breast, that it loves and 
kills, represents those good sentiments, those virtuous 
actions that we love, that conscience ever presents to 
our sight, and yet which we kill in our hearts ; the 
young one that the ape carries on its back, which it 
hates and nourishes, symbolizes those evil sentiments, 
those perverse actions, which we should ever repel, 
which in our consciences we hate, and yet which we 
cherish, as it were, in spite of ourselves. 1 These ex- 
planations, though more or less probable, I shall neglect, 
as not necessarily connected with these researches. 

In concluding these preliminary observations, I must 
add, that several attempts to interpret the Egyptian 
monuments by the Hebrew, have led to no scientific 
result, because they were, doubtless, founded on two 
capital errors : first, that the language of Moses was 
that of the Pharaohs ; and, secondly, that the hierogly- 
phics formed a series of symbols. 

The principle of Egyptian symbology, laid down by 
Horapollo and taught by Zoega, is recognized even by 
those authors who depend on the Hebrew, as Lacour of 
Bordeaux and Janelli of Naples; it was desired to 
make a triple application of it, to the Hebrew, to 
Horapollo and the monuments, but I believe it has 
never been accomplished. 

.Symbology, being the most mysterious, must have 
been the last part of the Egyptian writings discovered 
it being necessary to understand the Egyptian language 
and system of writing before being able to penetrate 

1 St. Paul says: " For tin' jjood thai I would do, I <1<> QOt ; but the 
evil which I would not, that I <!'>." (Epistle to the Etonians, vii. 19.) 


the sanctuary. Science had to follow the route taken 
by the Egyptian initiates. Clemens Alexandrinus says 
they first learned epistolographic writing, then hier- 
archical, and, finally, the hieroglyphic, containing sym 
bology. It was in this manner that the labors of 
Sylvester de Sacy and Akerblad were first directed to 
epistolographic writing ; that, at a latter period, Cham- 
pollion deciphered the hierarchical and hieroglyphic 
writings • and that, in our day, we have to find again the 
elements of Egyptian symbology. The principle being 
already known and acknowledged by science, the en- 
lightened critic will not, of course, refuse to apply it to 
hieroglyphic language, as Salvolini has done, and to 
the Hebrew, as I propose to do in this essay. 





The bee was the symbol of an obedient people, because, 
says Horapollo, it alone, of all animals, bad a king 
(Horap. I. 62). 

Champollion skives to the bee the signification, Icing 
of an obedient people (Amm. Marcell. XVII. 4). 

1 To facilitate research, the symbols are arranged in alphabetical 

order. The dictionaries cited are, for the Bebrew, those of Gesenitu, 

Ro enmuller, Vocab. appended to Simon's Bible, Hale, 1822 ; 

.1/ r, Ouarin, and the Thesaurus of Robertson ; for the Coptic, Pey- 

ron'a Lexicon. 

Note. — The alphabetical order, it will In: understood, applies to the 


The Abydos tablet shows numerous examples of the 
use of this sign, and confirms the meaning attributed to it. 

The Hebrew name of the bee is rmrn dbure (Gc- 
senius), or mm dbre (Guarin). 

"Q1 dbr signifies to administer, to govern, to put in order, 
to act like a swarm of bees. 1 

The same root "Oi dbr has the further meaning of 
discourse, word, Myos, sentence, precept of wisdom; it is also 
the verb to speak. Finally the name of the bee in the 
plural feminine rvroi dbruth, signifies words, -precepts 

The bee was the symbol uf royalty and of sacred in- 
spiration, honey represented initiation and wise discourses, 
(Symbolic Colors, p. 83). 

The bee was consecrated to the kings of Egypt, and 
they were designated by it on the monuments, not only 
on account of the relation that might exist between the 
government of that people and bees, but, also, because 
their kings were initiates, and governed by sacred inspira- 
tion, for they were priests. 



The Egyptians represented the man who had never been 
out of his country by the onacephalus (head of an ass), (Hora- 
pollo I. 23). 

The Hebrew language furnishes the explanation of 
this symbol, since TO oir, the young ass, signifies a city, 
'A place (Gesenius). 

The other name of the ass, man hemur, or hemr "wan, 
is formed of the word nnn heme, to surround with a wall 
and nmrt heume, the wall surrounding a city. These 
Hebrew synonyms, reproducing the same homonyms, 
demonstrate the truth of our theory. 

The ass was consecrated to Typhon, the genius of 

1 This insect, says Moser, was called -nm on account of its admira- 
ble government ; we are rather of the opinion that the art of governing 
borrowed its name from the bee. (Bochart, Hieroz. II.. 502.) 


evil, rep reseated by russet color (Symbolic Colors, p. 
267), and the name of the ass *uatt hemr signifies to blush, 
to be inflamed ; x the root of this word is Dn hem (Ham,) 
an Egyptian proper name according to the Hebrew and 
the monuments (See article crocodile). According to Plu- 
tarch, this name also signified blackness and heat, »iri heum 
signifies black (Plutarch De hid. Gesenius;) it forms the 
word o^n hems, violence, injury, rapine. 

The ass was the symbol of ignorance united to wick- 
edness or goodness : inn hemr, the brown ass, represent- 
ed vicious ignorance ; the white female ass (Jud. v. 10), 
was the emblem of ignorance united to goodness and 
candor, mris. 

This good or bad ignorance was that of the profane. 
The ass represented the stupid people of Egypt, en 
Ham, who, materially, never left the limits of their 
hordes, and, morally imprisoned in the bonds of error 
and prejudice, never acquired a knowledge of the mys- 
teries revealed in the initiation. 

The white she-ass represented man, not yet possessed 
of spiritual knowledge, but capable of acquiring it ; the 
story of Alpulde develops this myth in a most ingenious 
manner; man, whose alfections and ideas are strongly 
bound up in material life, is metamorphosed under the 
figure of an ass ; he travels for a considerable period. 
arrives in Egypt, where lie recovers the human form by 
initiation. The ass of Silenus, that carried the beverage 
i)i eternal youth, changed it for a few mouthfuls of water, 
(Noi'i, Diet, de la Fable), emblematical of the profane, 
preferring the Knowledge of the world to those springs 
o ( living water that never dry up. 

M. Lenormant, in his researches on Horapollo, says 
the nook of that hierogrammat has evident marks of inter- 
pulation, and that the onacephalud is an invention of 
tl ■ G r eek translator Philippe : Jt* Jai us I know Bays 
tit '/" ".sV.v head has not been found among the hieroglyphics ; 
b>u t.. ,'iaii travelers! nun ridiculed m that country for 
n.tve/ '> . j<r quitted it ' evidently such ideas arc t/s contrary 
as jh» U tn the spirit of Ancient Egypt, (Lenormant, 
Recherches sur Horapollo.) 

1 In like manner -«r. the ass ainl cUy, Slgui2e8, also, to be inflamed, tha nf mii'ir, and au enemy (Gesenius). 



In fact, the Egyptians had the greatest horror of stran- 
gers, as the hieroglyphics incontestably prove ( Vide 
Salvolini, Camp, de Rnamses, p. 15 ; and Champollion, 
Egypt. Grammar, p. 138). But Horapollo does not say 
that the onacephalus was the symbol of a man who had 
never been out of Egypt, but of one who had never 
quitted his native country, his city, or his residence : 

ivd'^coTCov rrjs tioltqiSos fit] ajioSrjfujaavra. 

If the ass's head had not yet been recognized among 
the hieroglyphics, that animal would be found in the 
Hebrew with the signification assigned to it by Hera- 
pollo, and in our system this proof would be a coavinc- 
ing one ; but the figure of the ass was stamped on the 
cakes offered to Typhon, the genius of evil and darkness : 
finally, this animal in the hieroglyphics is one of the 
forms of Seth or Typhon, of which Champollion gives us 
a drawing at p. 120 of his Grammar. 

Typhon was sometimes represented with an ass's head, 
as the following vignette, engraved after the manuscript 

of Leyde, published by Leemans, proves. 1 This per- 
sonage, bearing on his breast the name of Sun, and on 
the legend that of the ass ICU. appears tl as to be re- 
lated to the onacephalus of Hora polio 


In the hieroglyphic texts, the mouth is the determin- 

: Leemans, I^yde's Egyptian Monuments, p. 15 and 16 ; and Letter 
to Salvolini, p. 5. 


ative and symbol of door (Egyptian Grammar, p. 80 and 
2U-5) ; it also designates the idea of part, portion, fraction 
and that of elm [iter (Idem, p. 243). 

The Hebrew word ns pe signifies mouth, door, a 'part, 
a portion. 

And we find in Coptic, PO mouth, door, cliapter, portion , 
^£, mouth, door. 



Champollion says, in his Grammar (p. 12S), that the 
names of women, except those of Egyptian queens, are termin- 
ated or accompanied by a bunch of flowers. 

The bouquet is formed of the flowers of the papyrus; 
~-x abe, thepapyrus, the reed, forms the word nnnx aebe : 
the woman loved, "st aeb, love. 

The bunch of papyrus is also the generic determin- 
ative of all the names of plants, herbs, void jiowers (Egyp- 
tian Grammar, p. 8S). 

-x ab, green things, grass, is the root of n-x abe, the 



The goat was the symbol <>(' Bharp hearing (Horapol., 
II. 68). 

"• oz, a goat, and "x azn, an ear: according to Geae- 
niua, the letters s o, and « a, are often confounded in He- 
brew; that celebrated Hebraisl particularly points out 
the rool •■- ozn, as necessarily the same as jts azn (Lex. 
p. 752). Consult the article Ear. 


The Egyptians represented filial piety by a Btork; 
because, Buys Horapol lo, aftei having been fed by its 


parents, it does not leave them, but cares for them to 
extreme old age (Horap., II. 58). 

n-non heside, the stork, thepious, the grateful (Gesenius). 


According to the Rosetta inscription, the basket ex- 
pressed symbolically the idea of master or lord. On 
the painted monuments this basket appears to be woven 
from various colored reeds (Champ. Gram., p. 26-27). 
Ohampollion also gives to this sign the signification of 
the idea all (Gram., p. 279, at passim). 

mia klub, a basket ivovcn from reeds (Gesenius), is from 
flu- root ^a kl, all, and bba kll, to crown. 

This basket is the sacred fan, which was also woven 
from willow (Rolle, Culte de Bacchus, I. 29). 

m-: kbke, a fan, forms lias kbir, powerful, great ; hsd 
npe, -d fan, forms c^Ea txyilim, powerful men, heroes, lords, 

Tli us, all the synonyms of the word fan or basket 
produce the same homonymies. The word nss npe, 
basket and sieve, is likewise found in the Egyptian $\ft 
basket, which forms $^ft lord and j^xftx °ll- 

The Jim became the symbol of the idea master or lord, 
because it was that of the purification of souls. 

" The initiations called Teletes," says Mr. Rolle (Ibid, 
p. 30), " being the commencement of a better life, and to 
become the perfection of it, could not take place till the 
soul was purified; the fan had been accepted as the 
symbol of that purification, because the mysteries purged 
the soul of sin, as the fan cleanses the grain." 

Thus John the Baptist said of the Messiah that he has 
the fan in his hand and will purge his floor. (Luke, 
iii. 17.) 


According to Horapollo, conjugal union was repre- 
sented by two rooks (Horap., II. 40), and the word ais 
orb, signifies a crow, a rook, and to be conjugally united 


"" orb, is also the name of the setting sun and the 
shadow of darkness ; in Egyptian cosmogony, night was 
the mother of the world, on which account marriage was 
celebrated among the Athenians during the night (Sym- 
bolic Colors, p. 172). 

A man who had lived to a sufficient age, was repre 
sented by a dead rook ; this bird, adds Horapollo, lives 
a hundred years (II. 89). The name of the rook, -is 
orb, designates sunset, symbol of the natural end of 
every period. The dead rook was the sun having- set. 


On the monuments, the horns are the sign of the idea, 
to be radiant, refulgent, to shine, because, says Champollion, 
the Eastern people found a marked analogy between the 
horns and the rays of the sun (Egypt. Gram., p. 359 and 
360). In writing those lines he had, doubtless, in mind 
the significations of the Hebrew word "jip qrn, which 
signifies a horn, to be radiant, resplendent, to shine; for the 
Coptic word TZ>TT , a horn, does not signify to shine, and 
the word^'^'n signifies to hide, to cover, and a horn. 



" The hieroglyphic name of the city of Thebes, has a 
quarter circle for a determinative symbol, of which the 
curved part is presented in a contrary direction to the 
writing. The explanation of this symbol had long been 
Bought, when a1 last the flotilla, on board of which was 
Champollion's scientific expedition, Bailing toward Nu- 
bia, perceived on shore a row of high mangers, formed of 

twisted straw and river-mud, a side view of which pre- 
sented the half circle of the Theban symbol. These 
mangers were intended for large herds of cattle. It was 

then recollected, that in fully developed texts, there 

WU often seel) a bull placed before t he symbol of the 


city of Thebes. A manger was henceforth recognized 
in this symbol, an evidence of the simplicity that had 
presided at the first graphic combinations of the Egyp- 
tians." (Lenormant, Researches on Horap., p. 26.) 

Thebes was the city consecrated to Amon, the god of 
light, the divine word (Symbolic Colors, 70-71); the 
Hebrew name of Thebes is Amon, ym» nd ; the manger 
was consecrated to Amon-Ra, the god-light, because the 
name of the manger was at the same time that of light. 

m-nx auruth, or mnx aruuth, a manger, a stable, is 
the feminine plural of mix, aure, light, "iik, aur, the 
sun, light, revelation 


Plutarch says that the crocodile was consecrated to 
Typhon. (Is. and Osir., cap. L.) 

According to Diodorus of Sicily, this animal expressed 
in the hieroglyphics, all kinds of malice, of wickedness 
(III. 4, p. 176, Wessel's ed.). 

Horapollo attributes the signification of rapacity, 
fury, to it (1.67); it also designates the west (I. 69); 
the crocodile's tail was the symbol of darkness (I. 70) ; 
its eyes represented the east (I. 68). 

The name of the crocodile appears to me to have been 
osn, hemt, a word translated in the Septuagint version 
by aav^a, and by the lexicographers, lizard; this name 
designates the entire saurian family, and, especially, the 
Egyptian crocodile. In Egypt, the same word desig- 
nated the lizard and crocodile ; for Horapollo says that 
the crocodile was the symbol of fecundity (I. 69), the 
idea represented on the monuments by the lizard. 
(Champ. Gramp., p. 347.) 

The word aari hemt, crocodile, or lizard, is formed by 
the root on hem, devouring heat, nsn heme, incandescence, 
fury, poison. The words formed by this root give the 
history of the myth of Typhon, genius of evil, symbol- 
ized, according to Plutarch, by the crocodile. 

And, at first, we find the name of the ass also conse- 
crated to Typhon ; nisn hemur, or "inn hemr, the ass. 


The name of the russet color attributed to Typhon 
(Symbolic Colors, 257) is mn heum, black color, burnt 
color; yvori hemuts, or pan hemts, the red, the tawny, 
the oppressor, the violent (see Art. Russet Color). 

The word e>"cn hms signifies violence, injury, rapine, and 
answers to the significations given to the crocodile by 
Horapollo, and to the Egyptian name of the animal 


!10"3 MSH. 1 

The meaning here given to it by the Egyptian Hiero- 
grammat and Hebrew homonymies, is confirmed by the 
monuments. One of the chapters in the Funereal Ritual 
relates to the combat between the deceased and the 
crocodile — that is, against his bad passions ; he kills it 
with the Hoopoe headed sceptre, the known emblem 
of virtuous affections. 

In the Levitical, as in the Egyptian religion, the 
crocodile, -~n hemt, is an unclean animal. 

Horapollo adds that the crocodile was the symbol of 
fecundity (I. 69), and the word on hem presents the 
ideas of relationship, marriage; according to Gesenius, 
the Greek word yd/tos, marriage, is derived from on; we 
have just remarked that, on the monuments, the lizard 
was the symbol of fecundity. 

According to Clement of Alexandria (Stromat. V. 7), 
the crocodile represented time; the Egyptian Saturn 
wore, as a head-piece, a crocodile's head, and the word 
~"c~ btEMQ, signifies to make a circlet to turn around; this word 
relates to the course of the sun, since nan heme signi- 
fies sun, and in Hebrew, the proper name of lime signi- 
fies to turn, )DX ap.y, and forms "(Six aupn, a wheel (Gese- 

According to Champollion, the lizard was consecrated 
to Houto, divinity of primal darkness (Notice of the 

Museum Charles X., p. 42); according to Horapollo, 
the crocodile's tail was the symbol of darkness (I. 70), 
and the word Din heum signifies the black color, the 
color of darkness. 

The name of Egypt, according to Plutarch (De. Is. 

1 In the Coptic we find again xy (JZ,3 crocodilus, .WE.CTE °die 
habere. — Eoypt. <ii<AM., p. 384. 


and Osir.), signified blackness and heat; en hem, heat, and 
Sflri heum, blackness, are a same root forming the name of 
the crocodile rash hemt ; the name of Egypt preserved in 
the Bible is in fact on hem, and this word is inscribed 
on the obelisk at Paris by the crocodile's tail and the 
nycticorax, phonetically forming the word on hem. 1 

The signification of the name of Egypt is also found 
in the Coptic KSjlMJ black (Champ. Gram., p. 320). 

Why did the Egyptians give their country a repro- 
bated name, composed of the Crocodile, symbol of dark- 
ness, and the Nycticorax, symbol of death (Horapol. I., 
70, II., 25). The answer is clear ; Egypt had three 
names ; one, symbolized by the lily, designated Upper 
Egypt ; the other, represented by the papyrus, Lower 
Egypt. These two names answer to the Hebrew words 
ei-ins pthrus, Upper Egypt, and tixe mtsur, Lower 
Egypt; the first indicated the region of expounders and 
religion; the second, the land of agriculture and civiliza- 
tion, as explained under the article lily (consult the Art. 

The third name, on hem, or ham, designated the 
profane, or dead men crouching in the darkness of 
ignorance (Vide Art. Ass). 

Horus, the god of light, is sometimes represented 
under the form of a crocodile, with a hawk's head sur- 
mounted with horns, and the solar disk (Champ. Gram., 
p. 120). This confirms the assertion of Horapollo, that 
the crocodile's eyes represented light, and his tail dark- 
ness (I. 68, 70). 

The Bible says : The ancient and honorable, he is the 
head ; and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail. 
(Isaiah ix., 15.) 


" A finger designates the stomach of man''' (Horap. II. 6). 
" This," says Lenormant, " is what we find in the Latin 

1 Salvolini, Trans, of Obelisk, p. 16 Akerblad, Letter to M. De 
Sacy, p. 37. Gesenius, verbo nfi. 


and French versions of Horapollo ; but the Greek author 
was far from having so burlesque and inexplicable a 
thought ; he simply made use of a Latin expression, not 
understood by his translators; axdfiaiov, in Philippe's 
translation, means, as in Latin, anger. The finger, says 
he, indicates the anger of man; it is the finger of God in 
the scriptures. I think that the use of this sign is fre- 
quently found in the hieroglyphic texts; but I have not 
sufficient space to elaborate my opinion" (Lenormant, 
Research on Horap., p. 2-J). 

The Hebrew word "^x atsbo, signifies a, finger, and, 
metaphorically, power, courage (Unarm, Gesenius) ; Kin 
=--rx -i^x there is the finger of God. 




In Egyptian cosmogony, as in the first book of Moses, 
the world was created from the body of waters. This 
doctrine, says Champollion, was professed in Egypt in 
the most distant times (Pantheon Egyptien, Cnouphis- 
Nilus). Water was the mother of the world, the matrix of 
all created beings, and the word *ooa mschbr signifies 
matrix and waves, D*nn«j». 

.Man was considered as an image of the world, the 
initiate was to be born again to a new life, and the bap- 
tism thenceforward symbolized the primeval waters ; it 
was on this account that the initiate was called rnua 
MSCHE, Moses, a word signifying in Egyptian, according 
to Josephus (Antiq., II. !), § 6), saved from the water or by 
tin- water, designated in Hebrew by nrvra mschhee, 
unction and ttttja MSCHE, to save. 

I n extending t hese philological researches, it would be 
easy to perceive thai the word "•:■•:, matrix and wave, is 

composed of that, of the initiate ~-- ami the mime even 
ot creation Kia bra, he created, the first word of Genesis; 
moreover, ~- bb signifies a son, a child, ami purity, because 
the cosmogony became the symbol of spiritual birth or 
regeneration ; according to Horapollo (I. 43), water was 
the symbol of purity, and designated the birth of the 
pure or initiates, as we shall show in the article Dew. 



73 nts, the hawk, forms the word nss ntshe, eternity, 
splendor. According to Horapollo, this bird, on account 
of its long life, symbolized divinity as well as the sun, 
upon which he steadily gazed (Horap. I. 6). On the 
monuments the hawk is the sign of the idea God (Champ. 
Gram. Egypt, p. 118). 

It represented sublimity and humility, adds the Egyptian 
philologist, because it flies in a straight line, up and 
down, ns3 ntse, to jly (Gesenius). 

It was the symbol of blood, because it drank no water, 
but blood ; of victory, because it overcame all other birds 
(Horapol. I. 6, 7). nas ntse, to draw the sword, to de- 
vastate by war ; sis: ntshe (Chald.), to vanquish. 

Horapollo further says that the hawk, spreading his 
wings in the air, represented the wind, as though the 
wind had wings (Horap. II. 15). 

We discover from this passage that the hawk and 
wing, or the act of flying, were synonyms in the sacred 
language of Egypt; which we are also given to under- 
stand by Diodorus of Sicily, when he says that this bird 
represented everything done with celerity, because he 
surpassed all others in the rapidity of his flight (Diod. 
Sicul. III. 4, p. 145, ed. Rhodum). 

yj nts, the hawk, forms riaa ntse, to jly, rrpa nutse, 
wing, feather, ps nuts, to jly, to jly away (Gesenius). (Vide 
Essay on Hieroglyphics by M. Lacour, p. xxx.) 


M. Lepsius shows, in his letter to Rosellini (Annales, 
IX. 77 et seq.), that the name of the nose, in the sacred 
dialect, was ^K 1 "!' a word of which no trace is to be 


found in the Coptic; its determinative is the figure of a 
calf s snout. 

The nose and its name are employed in the sacred 
writings, with the signification of residing in. 1 

In the sacred tongue, the name of the nose, or, rather, 
that of the face, as proved by a variant, which we give 
here, according to the Egyptian grammar (p. 92), must, 
consequently, express the idea, residing in. 

The Egyptian name C\H r T» transcribed in Hebrew 
characters, gives the word rss pnth, or phnth, the root 
of which we find again in the Hebrew word b^b pnim, 
signifyingyace, countenance, facies, vultus, and at the same 
time what is interior, within, intus, intro (Rosenmiiller) 
■ns^B the interior, interior (Gesenius). 

The name of the nose in Hebrew S]K ay, comes, ac- 
cording to Gesenius, from Cj:x axp, the face, to respire by 
the nose, a root which we likewise find in Diss Ymu,face 

The different members of the ox, bull, or calf are used 
in the Egyptian grammar as determinatives, to denote 
those members in general ; noticed by Champollion in 
his grammar, and Salvolini, Oanipagne de Rhamses, 90. 
Is this the reason that the bull was the symbol of power 
(see Art. Bull), and that, consequently, the ear of that 
animal denoted strength of hearing, as the nose the power 
'f being within nr if residing? 


Herodotus relates that among the Egyptians the bean 
was considered an impure vegetable ; the priests could 
not even bear the sight of it (Euterp. lib. II., cap. 37). 
The aversion of the Pythagorean disciples for this sym- 
bol of unclean things is also known. 

The Hebrew explains this horror of the bean; the 
name of the. vegetable is t he same as that of the nomadic 
people, who were, an abomination in the sight of the 
Egyptians. 1 In Genesis, .Joseph says to his brethren : 

1 Lepsins, Annates, IX. 77 el jeq.; Salvolini, Analysis, p, 229. 
1 The only difference is thai bean is in the feminine, mid nomadic 
people in 1 1 « < - masculine gender. 



For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyp- 
tians (Gen. xlvi. 34). 

«"i"i5 gre, the bean. 

O^-ft grim, wondering shepherds. 

The name of the bean rna gre signifies ?umination, 
and indicates that the vegetable was used in feeding the 

As an expression of contempt, the wandering shep- 
herds were called bean-eaters, because their existence 
depended on that of their flocks. 

The bean gave its name to the wandering tribes, re- 
ceiving from them the signification of impurity and 
abomination ; which is again proved by the Hebrew, 
since rna gre, the bean, signifies, also, to become furious, 
to make war. 

But how could the Hebrews, who were themselves a 
nomadic people, give a name characteristic of hatred 
and contempt to the wandering tribes? The difficulty 
can only be removed by supposing that the Hebrew 
tongue received its primitive form from a people who 
were not nomadic. The struggle between civilized peo- 
ple and the barbarous hordes is more strongly marked 
in the Irenian traditions than in those of Egypt. 


Horapollo says that the Egyptians represented a man 
cured of incontinence by a bull tied to a wild fig-tree, 
because the lascivious fury of the bull is appeased when 
be is tied to that tree (II. 77). 

The bull was the symbol of fecundity and virile 
power, arSgszov (Horap. I. 46). His Hebrew name, "fi 
pr forms the verb ma pre, to be fruitful (See Art. Bull). 

The name of the fig-tree rwxn thane, further signifies 
the conjugal act, coitum. 

The sign of the bull tied to that of the fig-tree repre- 
sented man cured of incontinence ; because, says Hora- 
pollo, in another chapter, the bull became continent by 
the act of incontinence itself; Calidissimum. enim estanimal 
.... sed et temperans est, proplerea (juod nvmquam femiwitn 
meat post court ptuiu (I. 4(>). 


Was it not the intention of the Egyptian priests thus 
to express that man, symbolized by the bull, only be- 
came continent when chained by marriage, represented 
by the tig-tree ? 

No Egyptian monument, at least none that I know 
of, represents a bull tied to a Jig-tree. It is probable that 
this passage of Horapollo relates to a proverb or popu- 
lar saying borrowed from the sacred tongue. 


The Egyptians represented knowledge or intelligence, 
yvajois, by the ant, because it finds what man hides with 
care ; another reason, adds Horapollo, was, that, unlike 
other animals, when gathering provisions for winter, it 
never mistakes the place, but arrives there without 
error (Horap. I. 52). 

The ant is here presented as a symbol of initiation, or 
of an initiate who has received knowledge, hidden by 
the priests from the vulgar. 

The name of the ant, S"fc»a nmle, is formed by the 
verb £oa nml, signifying to circumcise. 

We learn from Herodotus (II. 36 and 104), Diodorus 
of Sicily (III. 32 in fine, Wessel, p. 198) and Philon 
(lib. i/ku hitrofiTjg), that the initiates in the mysteries, 
who were instructed in the secret doctrines of the 
Egyptian priests, were circumcised ; the cynocephalus, 
according to Horapollo, represented the priesthood, be- 
cause it is naturally circumcised (Horap. I. 14. Lee- 
mans, Ad not. p. 204). 

The Jewish people were initiated in the mysteries of 
true religion, and all Israelites had to be circumcised. 

The fable of the Myrmidons, or ants changed into 
men. signifies that the profane who acquire knowledge 
of the mysteries, that the ci/cumciscd, or ants, become 
true men. 

The particular relation between the ant and circum- 
cision is, that the ant, according to the ancients, cut the 

top of the ear to get the grain out; to use the Hebrew 

expression, it circumcised it (Bochart, Hiertzo%con, U 
p. o87 ei sea. ; Job, p. xxiv. v. 21). 


The symbolic signification given by Horapollo -to the 
ant is consecrated by the proverbs of Solomon. There 
be four tilings which are little upon the earth, but they are 
exceeding wise; the ants are a people not strong, yet they 
yrepare their meat in the summer, etc. (Proverbs xxx. 24.) 



The frog, according to Horapollo (I. 25), represents 
unformed man. 

M. Champollion calls the frog the emblem of primary 
matter, damp and without form; 1 the truth of this in- 
terpretation is demonstrated by the image of the Demi- 
urgic Hercules, engraved on the base of a representation 
of that animal. 2 

This symbol is one of those that serve to identify in 
the most unequivocal manner Egyptian Cosmogony and 
Initiation, since, on one hand, on the monuments de- 
ciphered by Champollion, the frog represents chaos, or 
primal matter, wet and without form, and, on the other, 
according to Horapollo, the frog is the symbol of un- 
formed mail. 

That the world was born from the midst of the wa- 
ters is taught by the Egyptiand octrines (see Article 
Water), as well as the first book of Moses ; thus the pro- 
fane is compared to primal matter, damp and without 
form, over which the spirit has not yet moved, and 
which is born again from the waters of baptism (con- 
sult Symbolic Colors, p. 169). 

The Hebrew name of the frog, siisa tsprdo, is com- 
posed of IBS tspr, to turn, to convert one's self, in a 
physical as in a moral sense; this verb is applied to a 
timid and degraded man, who morally turns and returns 
on all sides (Gesenius). The second root of the name of 
the frog is sn do, which signifies science, knowledge 

1 Champollion, Notice du Mus6e Charles X., p. 40. 
8 Champ, ibid. 


Thus the frog represents a man commencing to turn 
to wisdom ; it symbolizes the neophyte not )^et spirit- 
ually formed, but who is about to be, or may become 
so. This symbol marks the undecided state of the 
mystes who may acquire a new life, or be replunged in 
darkness ; this is the meaning of Horapollo when he 
says in another chapter (II. 101), that the frog repre- 
sents an impudent man, with a brazen look ; this animal 
also represents the profane combating wisdom. We 
find this second signification again in the Hebrew word, 
since IBS tspr also signifies to tear with nails (claws), and 
JH do, wisdom; thus the frog is also the symbol of the 
shameless profane, who endeavors to destroy wisdom by 
false reasoning ; in this sense the Apocalypse speaks of 
three unclean spirits like frogs (xvi. 13), and that in Ex- 
odus, it is said that Aaron stretched out his hand over 
the waters of Egypt, and frogs came up and covered 
the land (Exodus viii., 1 to 10 ; Ps. Ixxviii. 45. ; cv. 30). 

The Egyptian philologist adds further on (II. 102), 
that man, who had remained a long time without mo- 
tion, and who was subsequently enabled to move, was 
symbolized by a frog having its hind legs, because the 
frog comes into the world without them. 

The motionless man, having acquired the power of 
motion, is also the regenerated man, for in Hebrew 
'"!■- schuhe signifies to walk, and to meditate (Rosen 
rnuller), and -bn elk to walk, and to live ; n^an -jbn he who 
walks uprightly (Ps. xv. 2). 



This sign, which certainly represents an ;ixe, as ex- 
plained by Champollion in his Grammar, p. 5 and 110, 
aod, as proved by Wilkinson's description of Egypt, 
(Manners of the Egyptians, I. 323), is the sign of the idea 

His name in Egyptian is composed of the axe, the 
segmenl of a sphere, and the mouth ; which gives, in ac- 


convince with Champollion's alphabet, the word ita 
ndr, which signifies in Hebrew a vow, a thing vowed, 
consecrated. These different acceptations are applied to 
the consecrated images of the gods, and to the temples. 

The root of this name of consecration Trt ndr is tra 
nde, to separate, because things vowed or consecrated 
were set apart ; the axe was the sign of the idea to sep- 
arate, and the word nia ndhe especially signified to 
strike with the axe (Deut. xx. 19, Gesenius 1 ). 

Salvolini seeks an explanation of this symbol in the 
word T^p (Analysis, p. 230) ; I will only call atten- 
tion to the fact, that our group, according to Lepsius, 
forms the word tfOTTEp (Annales, ix. 77, 81), which 
also appears in the Hebrew Tia. 


In Egypt, the swallow was the symbol of the entire 
heritage left to children ; because, says Horapollo, whet 
about to die, it rolls itself in the mud and forms a nest 
for its young (Horap. II., 31). 

The Hebrew name of the swallow is 111*1 drur ; the 
root of this word is "n dr or in dur, words having: alike 
the signification : 

1. Habitation, house, which answers to the word in 
Horapollo xtqaiv, possession, which I translate by in- 

2. "in dur also signifies a, generation, yevea (seventy), 
and consequently answers to Horapollo's words yj^oiv 
yovutrjv, generative possession, or paternal inheritance. 

The swallow was the symbol of ancestral inheritance, 
because it built its nest in the habitation of man ; on 
which account it was consecrated to the household 
gods (Noel). 

1 The name of the Xazarites T'M signifies consecrated and separated 
"^ separavit se, abstinuit. se comecravit (Gesenius). 





" The god Thoth," says Salvolini, " was regarded in 
ancient Egypt as the protector of the city of Hermopolis 
Magna ; on this account, he everywhere receives in the 
inscriptions the title which is found in the character 
ftrli} lord, followed by the number eight. That the 
reader may understand the origin of the use of the num- 
ber eight in the expression of this divine title, it will 
only be necessary for me to remind him that the Egyp- 
tian name of Hermopolis reads lIJjULO'rjT schmoun, and 
that in the Coptic as well as in the Egyptian, a word 
identical with this name ty-O^Oir^ indicates the number 
eighth (Analysis, p. 230.) 

In Hebrew, also, the word eight is n:tr schmne. 


Horapollo says in a passage, altered by the copyists, 
that knotted cords, nayie, represented in the hieroglyphics 
tore, the elms,, death, the air and <i son. (Horap., lib. II., 
:.'<;. Vide Leemans, Adnot.) I do not attempt to repro- 
duce the text, I only give the words it contains and 
which I also find in the s i lt 1 1 i t i < • ; » t ions or the root of the 
Hebrew name of knotted cords. 



Knotted cords ban hebl, knotted cords. 

The chase ban hebl, knotted cords, nets. 

A son ban hebl, childbirth, a child. 

Death ban hebl (Chald.), to destroy, 

corrupt ion. 
The air ban bbl, the breeze. 

Love --~ HERB, to love. 



The Egyptians represented the idea of an opening, 
avoids, by the hare, because this animal always has its 
eyes open (Horap. I. 26.) ; the monuments confirm this 
signification to open or an opening (Leemans, p. 235). 

According to Cliampollion, the hare was the symbol 
of Osiris (Notice Musee Charles X., p. 46) ; that divinity 
being represented by the eye, and the hare designating 
open eyes. 

The Hebrew gives the reason of this use of the symbol, 
since rnsix arnbth, the hare, is composed of is ar, light, 
and B33 nbt, to contemplate, to have intuition. 1 

The word mix arbe, an opening, an open window, is 
composed of the same roots as the name of the hare. 2 

According to the Hebrew signification of the name of 
this animal, it should be in Egypt the symbol of moral 
light revealed to the neophytes, and contemplation of 
divinity, which explains why it was the symbol of Osiris. 


Horapollo says that the Egyptians represented the 
soul or incandescence &v[ibs, by the lion (Horap. I. 17). 

The Hebrew name of the lion s-qIj lbia, is formed of 
the root 3b lb, signifying soul, heart ; nnb lbe, flame, 

Horapollo adds, that the lion is remarkable for the size 

1 The last letter is here changed from ri to a because in Hebrew 
these two letters are thus often changed (Gesen., p. 383) ; be that as it 
may, there can be no doubt as to the root, since it comes from the verb 
333, to pierce, to open, which forms the words K33 to prophecy, and U3J 
to contemplate. 

2 IS, light, and Man or tt333 an opening, a door, of 333 to pierce. 
la "pen (Geseuius verbo 333). 


of his head, his flaming eyes, his face surrounded with a 
radiating mane like the sun, and that it is on this ac- 
count that lions are placed under the throne of Horus, 
to show the symbolical relations between this animal 
and divinity. 

The name of Horus, the god Sun, signifies, likewise, 
in Hebrew the sun, "nx aur, pronounced hor or *ix, ar, 
the sun. 

" I "x ari is one of the Hebrew names of lion and offrc; 
the word bxnx arial is interpreted by lion of God ovfre 
of God and bxis aral, lion of God, heroes (Gesenius). 

Thus, according to Horapollo, the symbolic relations 
existing between the god Sun and the lion are clearly 
manifested in the Hebrew. 

The hinder parts of the lion, according to the same author, 
had the signification of strength (Horap. I. 18). The 
word w^b lisch designates a lion and strength (Gesenius). 

The head of the lion, says Horapollo, was the symbol 
of vigilance and care, because that animal closes his eyes 
when waking and opens them when asleep, which desig- 
nates vigilance : it was on account of this symbolic 
quality that lions were placed as guardians at the inclo- 
sures of the temples (Horap. I. 19). 

The lion's head was particularly chosen to designate 
care and vigilance, on account of the relations established 
between the lion and the sun ; the name of Horus or light 
~x ah forms the verb nxi rae to see, to foresee, to contem- 
plate; and the name of the lion "nx ari forms that of 
vision *x~ rai. 

According to Champollion, the lion was the emblem of 
Phthaand of Aroeris (Notice Musee Charles X., p. 4:5). 

In the Coptic wo find A^OT3 lion, ami OOTE splendor. 


A lily-stalk, or a bunch of the same plant, expressed 
the idea of the region of Upper Egypl ; a sialk of the 


papyrus with its tuft, or a bouquet of the same plant 
was the symbol of Lower Egypt (Champ. Egypt. Gram., 
p. 25 ; Rosetta Inscription, line 5). 

The lily or lotus symbolized initiation or the birth of 
celestial light; on some monuments the god Phre (the 
sun) is represented as coming forth from the cup of a 
lotus (Champ. Musee Charles X, p. IS : Jablonski, Horns, 
p. 212). 

The Hebrew name of Upper Egypt Diirs pthrus is 
formed from the root "ins pthr, to interpret dreams. 

Upper Egypt was the native country of auguries, the 
cradle of religion, of initiation, and science, as the lotus 
was the cradle of Phre, the sun. 

The papyrus, the sign on the Rosetta-stone of Lower 
Egypt, indicated, says Horapollo, the first food of man and 
the earliest origin of things (Horap. I. 'SO). 

The Hebrew name of Lower Egypt is "nsra mtsur, 
formed from the roots fura mtse, unleavened bread, first 
food of man, 1 and of "fix tsur, to gather together, to tie together, 
"flx tsrr, a truss; the tiuss of papyrus was, according 
to Horapollo, the symbol of the early origin of things. 

Following the Hebrew significations, Lower Egypt 
was the land of agriculture and the gathering of men in 
society, which is indicated by its name iixb, Egypt and 
& frontier, a citadel, a fortified city, and which is also ex- 
pressed in the hieroglyphics by bread, nsTo mtse, root of 
the name of Lower Egypt (see Art. Sacred Bread). 

Egypt had a third name, explained in the Article 


The Egyptians represented the month by a moon or by 
A palm-branch (Horap. I. 4). 

In Hebrew the name of the month and that of the 
moon form a single word rr-n irhe, moon and month; as 
in the Coptic QO^S>., moon and month. 

1 The papyrus was the earliest food of the Egyptians (HerodotuA 
II. 92 j. 


The palm does not designate a month, but a year, as 
proved by the monuments (Egypt. Gram., p. 97), and 
as established by Horapollo himself in another passage 
(I. 3). 

The Hebrew name of the palm, or palm-branch, is 
n:o:o snsne, ramus palmce ; the root of this word is found 
again in raffl schne, the year. 1 


Horapollo says that the Egyptians represented a man 
fond of building by a hand, because from the hand pro- 
ceed all labors (II. 119). 

i" id, hand, signifies also a monument, and force, power, 

Hands joined were the symbol of concord (Horap. 
II. 11). 

In Hebrew n?r schlhe, to give the hand, forms the 
word mbffl schlum, concord (Gesenius). 


The she-mule, says Horapollo, represents a barren 
woman (II. 4:2). 

The word 1TB prd, a mule, signifies also to separate, to 
disjoin,, a verb applicable to the separation of the sexes. 


The Egyptians, says Horapollo, represented the idea 
of son by the chenalopex goose. This animal exhibits 

1 According to Gesanina, the letters & and b are interchangeable in 
Hebrew. Heevengivee examples in the root n:o- 


great tenderness for its little ones — the father and 
mother precipitating themselves, in defense, against the 
hunters who endeavor to take them (Ho rap. I. 53). 

The Egyptian monuments confirm this interpretation 
(Champollion, Precis, p. 119, 218; Leemans on Horap., 
p. 276). 

The Abydos tablet has ten repetitions of a group com- 
posed of the goose and solar disk above the royal car- 
touches; 1 Champollion translates this group by son of 
the sun (Precis., p. 218). 

The word son in Hebrew is *n br ; this word twice 
repeated with the plural indication, signifies geese, Di-ima 
brbrim (Gesenius). 



According to Horapollo, the ear of a bull represented 
hearing (I. 47). 

This sign is the determinative of the verbs to hear, to 
listen (Champ. Gram., 387, 38S). 

The word )ix, azn signifies an ear, to hear, to listen, and 
also to be sharp, whence, says Gesenius, comes the name 
of ear, because among animals that organ is sharp. This 
remark is the commentary on the passage from Hora 
polio and the hieroglyphic representing the ear. 

The bull's ear also symbolized a future thing or a 
future fact (Horap. II. 23), because it was the symbol of 
hearing, and, in the sacred language, the name hearing 
signified a, future thing, as appears in the Hebrew, since 
sbit schmo signifies to hear, to listen, to announce, to call 
up (Gesenius ; consult Champ. Gram., 387). See Article 

In a manuscript in the royal library, is a personage 
having his head surmounted by two bull's ears, and 

1 Vide Klaprotk, Observation on the Monument of Abydos, following 
an Examination of Champollion's labors; Leemans, on Horapollo, page 
27C ; Salt, Easay on Phonetic Hieroglyphics. 


reading a book on which is the name of Osiris. (This is 
the vignette to our fourth chapter.) 

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear ! 'O %y,mv cZta uxoveiv, 
Jlxovetio ! (Luke viii. S). These words of Jesus Christ 
spoken after a parable, signify that he who hears the 
recital of similitudes, should endeavor to discover their 
hidden meaning and be obedient to their teaching, for 
the Hebrew name of hearing signifies to understand and 
obey. Satfl, audivit, audita, intellexit, intellectus est, 
obedivit (Gesenius). 


A avail bone, says Horapollo, expresses stability and 
safety (II. 10). 

The word zzv, otsm, signifies at once bone and solidity, 
strength. (Os a firmitate et robore dictum, Gesenivs.) 

The name of the quail, "too, schlu, is the same word as 
■Vr, schlu, which expresses slab/lift/ and safety (securus, 
securitas. Gesenii Lexicon Manuale, p. 964 et 1007). 1 

This Egyptian symbol is, likewise, a trope of Bible 
symbology ; when the Psalmist says: There is no se- 
curity in my bones because of my sins (l's. xxxviii. 3). He 
employs the word -''-- schlum, of which the root, *3tu, 
also indicates security and quail, and the word D3S, OTSM, 
which designates a bone andfirmness, solidity. 

' I again call the attention of the reader, who is but slightly ac- 
quainted with the Hebrew language, to the fact, thai 1 entirely neglecl 
me vowel-points. This principle, which I apply to the Hebrew because 
there are qo vowel-pointa in Egyptian, is followed by Hebraists in inter- 
preting significant names; thai of the quail is in poinl ; it was thus 
named, say the Commentators, because il lives in security in the midsl 
of the harvest (Robertson, Thesaurus Lingua Sanctce). 

In applying this rule, a single letter might prove embarrassing. The 
letter te forme two eries in the dictionaries, according to the place oc- 
cupied by the point, - j and to. This letter being doubled, ii will be 
understood thai in the other .Tries the words in which it appears dif- 
ferently pointed cannol I"' found Bide by aide : thus the name of tin 1 
quail -Vj is found <>n page 964 of Gesenius' Lexicon, ami its homonym 
nbr appears on page 1 007. In like manner the won! pnb?s is n >t placid 
beside w^t. etc., etc. 



The Egyptians, says Horapollo, wishing to designate 
a child unshapen at birth, and afterwards formed, paint 
a bear with young, because she brings forth condensed 
blood, which she transforms by warming it on her breast, 
and which she finishes by licking (Horap. II. 83). 

This symbol would be unintelligible without the ex- 
planation to be found in Hebrew. 

The name of the constellation, great bear, U5», osch, 
forms the obsolete word puds, osche, which, according 
to Gesenius, must have signified the hairy, he who is cover- 
ed with hair like a bear. 

The same word, rwss, osche, signifies to form, to manu- 
facture, to create, an expression employed in Genesis in 
speaking of the creation of the world. 

This child, unshapen at its birth, warmed on the 
maternal breast, and perfected by caresses, is the world, 
which in chaos was without form, and was finished by 
the love of God. 

The child unshapen at its birth is likewise an emblem 
of the soul, which from the state of the profane rises, 
by regeneration, to a moral and spiritual state. I have 
often said, and I repeat it, the initiation was the type of 
cosmogony; regeneration, or spiritual creation of man, 
was presented as an image of the creation of the world 
(Symbolic Colors, p. 96. See Article Beetle hereafter). 




Many geographical proper names, says Champollion 
(Egypt. Gram., p. 151), have the consecrated bread for 
determinatives ; the Egyptians, adds that learned man, 
desired, apparently, to express, by such a determinative, 
countries or localities inhabited and organized in regular 

Salvolini, in acknowledging the general signification 


of this sign, pretends that it only applied to Egypt ; ac- 
cording to this philologist, no form of bread on the 
monuments refers to the sign as we explain it ; he has it 
that it is the figurative sign of the horizon (Transla- 
tion of the Obelisk, p. 16 and 17). 

Salvolini was in too much haste in denying the fact 
advanced by his master. Several monuments in the 
Egyptian Museum at Paris prove that our sign is conse- 
crated bread ; the chest No. 3293 represents an offering 
of variously shaped bread: our sign, as we give it, and 
as it is found in Champollion's Grammar and Salvolini's 
alphabet, appears there several times. 

Besides, the Hebrew clears up the difficulty, since the 
word im, kkr, signifies bread, a cuke, a country, a region. 

Again, ns^z, aitse, unleavened bread, forms the word 
"iixc, mtsur, which signifies Egypt, and & frontier. 


Horapollo says, that the highest antiquity was repre- 
sented by discourses (writings?), leaves, or a sealed book 
(II. 27). 

Now, the word "?-, ole, which signifies a leaf, and to 
inscribe mi tablets, forms nbr, olm, and d^is, oulm, the 
antiqui origin of things, obscure time, hidden, eternity. 1 

The papyrus-leaf, thai plant which formed tablets and 
books, is the first letter of the name of the only eternal 
and all-powerful god of Egypt, Amon, who in the begin- 
iiinir of things created the world. The name of the god 
Amon, according to Manetho cited by Plutarch, signi- 
fied occult, or hidden. The first letter of the name of 
Egyptian gods is often symbolic, since this initial forms, 
in many eases, the Special attribute of the divinity. 

The- fasces and the papyrus-leaf were specially chosen 

1 From whence :il o the name of nursling, and the rarb to nurse, 
b-r ,,[ !■■ Mili i- .'i child's fir I nouri hment, as the papyrus whs the 
enrliesl food of tin- Egyptians (Herodotus II. 92). 


to represent obscure and hidden antiquity, and the name 
of the •papyrus, iisx, abe, appears to belong to the same 
root as xsn, heba, to hide, to hide one's self. 

We may here assign the reason why the bunch of 
papyrus is the determinative of female names : accord- 
ing to cosmogony, love was the first origin of things : 
anx aeb, love, and nnx abe, the yoyyrus, evidently belong 
to the same root. 1 Again, olm, the antique origin of 
things, signifies a young man at puberty ; ria^s olme, a 
marriageable girl. These words come from the root r&s 
ole, a leaf (consult Articles, Bunch of Reed, Lily, and 
that on the color Green). 


Champollion supposes the three upper signs to repre- 
sent diadems (Gram., p. 298, 440) ; but this supposition 
is not confirmed by any form of diadem. 

Salvolini thinks these signs are crests (Alphabet, 
No. 194). 

I think I recognize eyelids; in fact, these three signs 
are covered with a sort of eyelid or brow showing itself 
above the eyes, the design of which is given by Cham- 
pollion (Egypt. Gram., consult Nos. 208 and 242, of 

This sign, according to Champollion, marks the idea 
of festival (Gram., p. 174). 

The Hebrew name of eyelid is the same as that of the 
celebration of & festival. 

maiB schmre, in the feminine plural minis schmruth, 
eyelids ; and in the plural masculine n^affl schmrim, obser- 
vatio, celtbratio festi (Gesenius). 

1 The common root of these two words is ax, father, Creator, will, 
verdure, grass, a fruit. All these significations were connected together 
in the cosmogony : the Creator, God, formed the world in his love or 
his will ; the grass, verdure, the leaves, represented the birth of the 
world, because nature seems to be born again when the leaves appear 


The eyelid was the symbol of observation or the cele- 
l>ratio:i of a feast, because the name of the eyelid in He- 
brew signified vigilance and watchfulness, maia schmre, 
custodia. In Egypt, the lion's head was the symbol of 
vigilance; because, says Horapollo, that animal closes 
his eyes when waking and opens them in sleeping 
{Vide Art. Lion). On the monuments, the lion's head 
has the signification of vigilance. Does not the sign we 
are considering represent the lion's eyelid, symbol of 
vigilance, of watchfulness, or of the observation of reli- 
gious feasts'? 




'• In each step of the hieroglyphics," says Salvolini, 
1 we meet with the idea of a king, or, to speak 
more correctly, of a moderator, expressed by the YK 
spoken of by Manetho ; it is always written as follows : 

.- 3\K. The image of an individual 

clothed with all the emblems of royalty, the ureus 
on his forehead, the pedum and the whip between 
his knees, serving as a determinative. The pedum, sym- 
bol of moderation, by a process peculiar to Egyp- 
tian writings, serves also to express the initial of the 
word ^K , moderator" (Campagne de Rhamses, p. 16). 

The transcription of the above group gives the He- 
brew word -- hbq, which signifies a law, a statute, a cur 
torn; "~ heqq, a legislator, a chief, and a sceptre (Gese- 
aius), or ;i king moderator and a pedum. 



The ostrich feather is a symbol frequently used in 
hieroglyphic writing and anaglyphs, its signification of 
justice and truth being well established. 1 

According to Horapollo, " The man rendering justice 
to all, was represented by the ostrich feather; because 
that bird, unlike others, has all its feathers equal" 
(Horap., II. 118). 

The ostrich feather is the symbol of the goddess of 
justice and truth, Thme, the Egyptian Themis. 

The Hebrew word ]^ ion, signifies an ostrich and a 
council, a determination. This word comes, according to 
Gesenius, from the root ttss one, to declare a sentence, and 
at the same time to testify (Gesenius, p. 780, B). Thus 
in Hebrew as in Egyptian, the ostrich is the symbol of 
a sentence of justice, and of a testimony of truth; let us add 
that the name of the goddess of justice and truth, Thme, 
signifies in Hebrew justice and truth, on thm or namHME, 
integritas and a^d-eta. 

Poetically, the Hebrew name of the ostrich is nsan 
rnne ; this word also signifies a song of joy, of praise, and, 
according to Champollion, happy souls, their heads orna- 
mented with the ostrich feather , and under the inspection 
of the lord of the heart's joy, gathered fruits from celestial 
trees (Letters from Egypt, p. 231). 

A painting of the Funeral Ritual represents the judg- 
ment of a soul ; it advances toward the goddess Thme, 
who wears an ostrich feather on her head ; beside this 
divinity of justice and truth, appears the scale in which 
Anubis and Horns weigh the actions of the deceased — 
they place in one side the ostrich feather, and in the 

1 There can be no doubt as to the sign representing an ostrich 
feather, since, in a painting of Thebes, we see two men occupied in pull- 
ing feathers from an ostrich ( Wilkinson's Manners and Customs of the 
Ancient Egyptians, II. G). 


other the vase containing the heart ; l if the weight of the 
heart is greater than that of the ostrich feather, the scale 
descends, and the soul is received in the celestial courts ; 
above this scene appear the forty-two judges of the souls 
seated, and having the head ornamented with the ostrich 
feather. 2 


The Jish. according to Horapollo (I. 44), was a symbol 
of evil omen, designating crime fi vaog. 

In Hebrew, v\ dg, Jish, forms the verb run dge, to cover, 
to hide, to be in darkness. In Egypt, darkness was the 
symbol of Typhon, personification of crime, hatred, and 
every ill. Another name of the fish sxi dag, forms the 
word ruin dage, fear, solicitude. 



The Egyptians represented an unclean man by a hog 
(Horap. II. 37). 

The sow was the emblem of Thoueris and other 
typhonian goddesses (Champ. Notice Musee Charles X., 

Like the Egyptians, the Israelites regarded swine as 

The word vm hezir, a hog, is formed by the verb 
"W zir, to be disgusted. 

' Horap., I. 21 : Leemans, Adnot. and plate XLV, A. See the 
last vipnctte at the end of the volume, copied from the manuscript of 

' See Explanation of the principal painted Bcene of tin- Kgyptian 
fhneral papyru.s by Ohampollion the younger, from Hie Bulletin univer- 
sal dei Sciences, l>y Ftrussac, Nov., IH'J.k Consult Notice Muh&j 
Charles X. ; Description of Egypt, eta 




The rat, according to Horapollo, was the symbol of 
destruction (Horap. I. 50). 

The root of the Hebrew word ma pre, a rat, (Ge- 
senius), is "its prr, to break, to destroy. 

The word "1222? okbr is also the name of the rat ; it is 
composed, according to Gesenius, of bas okl, to consume, 
and "a br, wheat. Several loaves being placed together, 
says Horapollo, the rat chooses and eats the best. 

The rat was again, according to the same author, the 
sign of the idea of judgment, because he chose the best 
part of the bread. The name of the rat, ms pre, forms 
the word ns prz, a judge, he who separates, divides (pr. diri- 
mens, judex, Gesenius). 

. The vignette at the head of this chapter, copied from 
the Tentamoun manuscript, exhibited in the Royal 
Library, represents the judgment of the soul ; the defunct, 
assisted by a personage with a rat's head, presents in his 
hands the works done and the words spoken during life 
and according to which he is to be judged. 1 



This sign represents a reed, or, as Salvolini has it, a 
graminous plant (Alp., No. 144). 

The words govern and direct have this sign frequent- 
ly given them as an initial instead of its homophones 
(Egypt. Gram., 74) ; it likewise forms the first letter of 
the word king (Ibid. p. 75 ; Abydos Tablet). 

1 The eye signifies to do, p. 15 ; and the mouth is the symbol of 
speech. See " Origin of the Egyptian Language," by Dr. Lowe, p. 21 


Plutarch, in a passage altered from the treatise on Isis 
and Osiris (cap. XXXVI), and restored by the commen- 
tators [vide Leemans, Adnot. ad Horap., p. 292), says 
that the reed was the symbol of royalty, of irrigation, and 
the fecundation of all things. 

The Hebrew word rTOB schde signifies a field, region, 
possession, royalty, woman; it must also have had, according 
to Gesenius (p. 9S3), the signification to sprinkle, and, 
according to Guarin, that of grass. 

"H-' schdi designates afield and the All-powerful. 1 

The various acceptations of these words come from 
their root TO schd, signifying a teat, sign of the fecundation 
of all things. 

The Egyptian inscriptions confirm this application of 
the Hebrew. 

On the Abydos tablet, the word king is always written 
by the reed and the segment of a sphere, which according 
to Champollion's alphabet gives the word TO schd, root 
of the Hebrew words we have just examined. The word 
king is also often written coupled with the sign of water 
or the crown (Egypt. Gram., p. 75), which gives the 
word "jiw schdx. 

But Lepsius demonstrates that the final n is only a 
derivative augmentation not belonging to the primitive 
word (Annales de l'Institut de correspondance archeolo- 
gique, tome X, p. 121, 122). This word is not in the 
Coptic, though Lepsius thinks he discovers a trace of it 
in the name of the Basilisk CIt, symbol of the Egyptian 
kings (Ibid. p. 122). 



The Egyptians represented teaching or instruction, 
naideia, by the (lew falling from heaven (Horap. I. 37). 

1 inb campus, ager ; >*nS potentitsitntu, omnipotent. See HTO and 



In Hebrew iw ire signifies to throw drops of water, to 
sprinkle and to teach, to instruct (Gesenius). 

In like manner, riiia mure, signifies a doctor, a professor, 
find the Jirst rain, which, in Palestine, falls from the 
middle of October to the middle of December and pre- 
pares the earth to receive the seed (Gesenius, verbo rrrn). 

The symbolic relation between instruction, which pre- 
pares man for intellectual life, and the first rain, which 
prepares the germination of plants, will be understood. 

The word uipbn mlqusch designates spring rain, which 
in Palestine falls before harvest, in the months of March 
and April ; Job assimilates this rain to speech full of 
eloquence and good fruits (Job. xxix. 23.) 

The sign we give here, is an abridgment of the scene 
representing Egyptian baptism, or shedding celestial 
dew on the head of the neophyte. 

The vignette in the beginning of this work shows the 
baptism, after a design of the Monuments of Egypt and 
Nubia by Champollion (tome I. pi. XLI1). 

Horus and Thoth-Lunus pour water on the head of 
the neophyte, which is transformed to divine life (ansated 
cross) and to purity (Hoopoe headed sceptre 1 ). 

The legend accompanying this scene, and of which 
all the elements are known, should, I think, be thus 
translated : Horus, son of Isis, baptizes with water and fire 
(repeat), Horus baptizes with water and fire {repeat): to be 
pronounced four limes. 

The same legend is repeated for Thoth-Lunus, with 
the change of name only. 

From this monument we learn the words spoken by 
the priests during the ceremony. He who represented 
Horus, twice said : Horus, son of Isis, baptizes with 
water and fire, then twice: Horus baptizes with water 
and fire ; he repeated these same words four times. 

Thoth-Lunus pronounced the same phrases the same 
number of times, substituting his titles for those of 

1 The signification of the ansated cross is recognized by all Egypto- 
logists ; as to that of the Hoopoe Sceptre, Champollion gives it a 
different meaning from that of Horapollo, that of purity, i'nstead of 
piety (Egyptian Gram., p. 290, 412, 449, or pure, 90). We have seen 
that water was the symbol of purity. 


Thus the words baptism of fire and water were repeated 
sixteen times by each initiator; altogether thirty-two 
times. These numbers had a signification which Hora- 
pollo has preserved for us: sixteen symbolized pleasure, 
love ; and twice sixteen marriage or conjunction, resulting 
from reciprocal love. It would be difficult not to see 
that it is a question here of the marriage of the two 
principles represented by the sun and moon, or Horns 
and Thoth-Lunus, of which we shall speak in our last 
article. 1 

The baptism of water and fire, designated in the 

legend by the character jP* that Leemans has ex- 
plained in his annotations on Horapollo (p. 261, and 
plate XLIX), is identical in its exterior form with the 
baptism of water, the Spirit, and of fire, in the Bible (Luke 
iii., 16, 17). We likewise find the baptism of fire and 
Spirit in the sign of the dew, copied in Champollion's 
alphabet (Egypt. Gram.) and which represents three 
series of triangles or pyramids, symbols of tire and 
light. 2 

The name received by the baptized or anointed was 
that given in the Bible to the chief of the Hebrews, 
Moses, riBB ; this name exists on the Egyptian monu- 
ments, it is written bv the sign of the dew or baptism, 
equal to a, and the bent stalk equal to B; the group 

J in Hebrew Bb or nBB is translated in Champol- 

lion'a Grammar by begotten (p. 133); we give it the 
signification of regenerated or begotten again, with refer- 
ence to the long series of proper names, among which 
are, the names of the gods followed by this group. 
Thus Thoutmos, Amenmos, Harmos, Phtahmos designated 
the regenerated by Thoth, Amon, Horns ox Phtah. 
According to the Bible, the name of Moses was Egyp- 

1 Vide Horap. I. 33. See, for meaning of the word we translate by 
baptize, Egypt. Gram., p. 376 and 360; and for that of the group which 
we read repeat, see Ohampollion, Letters from Egypl and Nubu», p. 
196 and 146, pi. VI. 

•Consult a monument in Ohampollion' Egyptian Pantheon (Plato 
XV. A.), where these triangles are painted red and yellow, colors con- 
tecratea to Are and light. See, also, a note of Leemans on Eorapollo, 
p. 248. 


tian, and signified saved by water or from the water. 
xnpm innnaa D^orrp is naxni naja iatu (Exodus ii., 10). 

In Hebrew Moses, ftffla msche, signifies saved, and nrciB 
mschhe is the verb to anoint and consecrate; thus the 
Egyptian name given to Moses, designates one saved by 
unction or baptism. He received this baptism in infancy 
and manhood, since, according to the Acts of the Apos- 
tles and Philo, he was learned in all the wisdom of the 
Egyptians. 1 


This sign represents an empty wheat sack, as proved 
by a monument engraved in Rosellini's work. Cham- 
pollion thought it was a kind of purse (Egypt. Gram., 
p. 55). 

The Hebrew word nuonn thbuae, signifies the revenue 
of the land, the product of the fields, and also the fruit of 
intelligence (Gesenius). 

The word "jinn thbun, belonging to the same root, 
designates intelligence, prudence. 

A chief, or leading personage in a hierarchy, was 
represented in Egypt by the figure of a man standing, 
with a pure sceptre in one hand and the sack of wheat 
in the other (Champ. Egypt. Gram., p. 55). 

The sceptre was the symbol of power, 2 and the sack 
of wheat the emblem of intelligence, of prudence, and the 
right of proprietor in lands. 

Mercury, the god of material and intellectual riches, 
held a purse in his hand like the Egyptian chiefs. 

1 Acts vii. 22. Philon. de vita Mosis, lib. I. p. 606. See Lowe 
The origin of the Egyptian language, p. 26-27 ; and Lacour's Essay 
on Hieroglyphics. 

* The pure sceptre, or staff without ornament Mtt), represented the 
instrument with which the guilty were stricken, and the scourge of God. 
The pure sceptre was, consequently, the sign of the right to punish and 
of the power of chiefs. 



In Egypt, the beetle was the symbol of creation by a 
tingle power, jtovoyeveg, of generation, of paternity, the world 
and man (Horap. I. 10). 

"The beetle," adds Horapollo, "represented procrea- 
tion by a single individual, because that insect has no 
female; when it wishes to procreate it forms a ball, 
image of the world, of ox dung, which it rolls with its 
hinder parts from east to west, looking to the east ; it 
buries this ball in the earth for twenty-eight days, and 
on the twenty-ninth throws it into the water." 

The Hebrew name of the beetle is bsbs tsltsl, which 
Gesenius translates cricket (bestiola stridens, grillus). 

When this insect wishes to beget, it walks backward 
towards the region of darkness, the west ; and the He- 
brew name of the beetle is formed of ^ tsl, shadow, 
darkness, ^s tsll, to obscure, to overshadow. 

It rolls, the image of the world, the ball, with its 
posterior claws, and the same word W>s tsll signifies to 
roll underneath (Gesenius). 

It buries this ball in the earth, and afterwards throws 
it into the water; the same word bbs tsll signifies to 
cover and to submerge (Rosenmuller, Vocab.), from whence 
is formed ~'~"^ tsule, the depths of the ski (Gesenius). 

This symbol represents the drama of initiation; the 
ball of excrement from whence is to coin.- forth the new 
beetle, is the image of our body of corruption — buried 
,n the earth it dies and is bom again to a new life, being 
fructified by the baptismal waters. The initiation sym- 
bolized death and a new birth (Symbolic Colors, p. L68, 
et Beq.). 

The beetle was the symhol of the world and of man, 
because, in the doctrine of the mysteries, man was the 

little world, and the world, the ureal man (Synib. Col., 
p. L84). In the Egyptian grammar the beetle designated 
the terrestrial world (Champ. I rram., p. 377) ; and on mum> the beetle with spread wings, rolling the globe, 


doubtless represented the death and new birth of the 
celestial neophyte. 

Man is povoyevhs, that is to say, regenerated by God 
alone. God, who warms the heart and enlightens the 
mind, was symbolized by the sun ; and from Clement 
Alexandrinus (Stromat V.), as well as Horapollo (I. 10), 
we learn that the beetle symbolized the sun : the god 
Thra, one of the forms of Phre (the sun), has a beetle 
in place of a head. 

The fathers of the church adopted these Egyptian 
symbols, preserved by the priests, when they named 
Jesus the fiovoyevh, and the good, beetle. St. Ambrosius 
seems to translate Horapollo when he says : Et bonus 
scarabaus, qui lutum corporis nostri ante informe ac pigrum 
rirtutum versabat vestigiis : bonus scarabaus, qui de stercore 
erigit pauperem (St. Amb. in Luke X., No. 113. See 
also Leemans, Adnot. ad Horap., p. 162). 


The signet is the determinative of the verbs to close, 
to shut, to seal (Champ. Gram., p. 372). 

In Hebrew orn hethm, a signet, a seal ring, and the 
same word signifies to close, to shut, to seal, and likewise 
to accomplish, to finish (Gesenius). 

The Egyptian word given by Champollion is 

1 ajTU-, ^Dnr-Oj which is the pronunciation of 

the Hebrew word "n hethm. 

The Coptic word ^^7 bJO- certainly signifies to shut, 
to close, but in no wise designates a signet. The only 
Coptic name of the signet, given in Peyron's dictionary, 
belongs to the root of the word finger, Tfcfr ^ which 
forms the verbs to sign with a seal, to confirm, and the 
name of the signet ring, but does not express the ideas 
to close, to shut. 



The symbolic signification of the sphinx is found in 
Hebrew : "s^ tspn signifies to hide and to watch, and "pes 
tspun t or spin, a mystery, an arcana, the north, a place of 
darkness. The sphinxes placed at the entrance of the 
temples guarded the mysteries, by warning those who 
penetrated into the sanctuaries, that they should conceal 
a knowledge of them from the profane. 

The sphinx, according to Champollion, became suc- 
cessively the particular emblem of each god, and had a 
special insignia on his forehead (Notice Musee Charles X., 
p. 114). Did not the priests desire thus to express that 
all the gods were hidden from the people, and that their 
knowledge, guarded in the sanctuaries, was revealed to the 
initiates only? The name of Amon, the great divinity 
of Egypt, from which all others are but emanations, 
according to Manetho, signified hidden. {Vide Champ. 
Egypt. Panth.) 1 

The sphinx also possessed the signification of master 
or lord, principally in the later hieroglyphic texts (Egypt. 
Gram., p. 27). This signification was given to the 
sphinx, because in Egypt, as everywhere in the East, the 
masters ami lords of the people, like the gods, were hid- 
den from their sight. 

The Egyptian people venerated the magisterial priests, 
because they were permitted to see the king naked? 

Pharaoh delegated his power to Joseph, and named 
fiim interpreter of the sphinx, ri»n rwra, or i?Uerpreter of hid- 
den things? The prime minister was the guardian and 
interpreter of the concealed orders of the sovreign, and 
the secret laws of the empire. 

1 The name of Ahh.ii, in Hebrew vox, signifies fax th, truth; and 
crx or Das signifies to hide, to obscure, to veil (Geseniua) ; thus the 
name of Anion indicated troth hidden from the people. 

■See Ohampollion-Pigeac, Ancienl Egypt, p. L6. 

J Revelator occulii. See Targ. Syr. Eimchi (Gesanins). 



The Egyptians, says Horapollo (II. 63), represent- 
ed a blind man by a mole, because that animal does not 

The blind man, spoken of by Horapollo, is the mate- 
rial and worldly man who does not see heavenly things ; 
it is the profane who cannot pierce the veil of the mys- 
teries : such, at least, is the signification given in He- 
brew to the mole. 

i^ri held signifies mole, the world, and the duration of 
life: ifcrra wvm lovers of worldly things (Psalm xvii., 14). 1 

When Isaiah says that a man shall cast his idols to the 
moles and to the bats, he employs a symbol to express 
that man shall renounce his worldly life, and that wor- 
ship of terrestrial things represented by the mole (Isaiah 
ii., 20). 


The bull was, according to Horapollo, the sign of the 
idea strong, powerful, virile (Horap. I., 46). 

On the Egyptian monuments, in fact, the bull desig- 
nates strength and power, 2 and Champollion admits the 
signification of husband (Egypt. Gram., p. 282). 

The name of the ox or bull, C)i>K or SpM* alp or alup 
is formed from the root bx al, signifying strong, powerful 
a hero. It is on this account that the Hebrew name ol 
the bull rp^x, signifies also a chief a prince. 3 

1 There are two homonyms in this phrase, rva signifies man and 
death ; and *j?n mole and world. 

8 Salvolini, Translation of the Obelisk, p. 8. Leemans on Hora- 
pollo, p. 263. 

8 The first letter of the Hebrew alphabet x has the name of the bull ; 
and according to Gesenius, it was at first an image of the head of that 


Tlie bull on the obelisk at Paris has the signification 
given in Hebrew. 

This animal was also the symbol of virility, of the 
generative power of nature, and as such represented the 
Nile, the agent of Egyptian fructification. 1 The bull 
Onuphis was consecrated to Anion, the generator, and 
the cow Masre (generatrix of the sun), to the goddess 
Neith, mother of the god Phre (the sun). 2 

Id Hebrew the name of the bull *s pr, feminine rVffi 
pre, is the same word as the verb ms, to be fruitful. 


Horapollo (I. 11) says that the vulture was the symbol 
of maternity? of heaven, and knowledge of the future, of mer- 
cy. Minerva, and Juno. 

That author, in commenting on these symbolical at- 
tributes, adds that the vulture designated maternal love, 
because it feeds its young with its own blood ; he says, 
a little further on, that the heads of the goddesses and 
Egyptian queens were ornamented with this bird, which 
is proved in fact by the monuments (Leemans, Adnot., 
p. 183). 

The vulture represented Imiren, because, according to 
Pliny, no one can reach its nest, built on the highest 
rocks (Nat. Hist.. X. ; Leemans, L72). Which causes 
Horapollo to Bay that tins bind is begotten by the wind. 

It symbolized knowledgt ofthefulure, because, according 

to the value author, the ancient, kings of Egypl sent, 

augurs on the field of battle, and learned who would 

1 Jablooski, Panth. Apit. Etolle, Worehipof Bacchus, I.. 140-145. 
Horu|.. II.. 13. 

* Champollion, Notice da Musee Charles. .V. p. 41. 

•The vulture was specially consecrated to Keith Thermoutis, the 
mother ol the gods and worldly beings (Champ. Notice MLusei I harles 
X.. p. 5 and 41). 


be the victor and who the vanquished, by watching the 
side to which the vulture turned : on the monuments 
the vulture appears on the head of victorious kings 
(Leemans, 178 ; Champollion-Figeac, Ancient Egypt, 
plate xvi.). 

Finally, this bird was attributed to Minerva and to 
Juno, because, among the Egyptians, Minerva presided 
in the superior hemisphere and Juno in the inferior 
hemisphere of the heavens : it would have been absurd, 
adds Horapollo, to give a masculine representative to 
the skies which gave birth to the sun, moon, and stars 
(Horap. I., 11). The Egyptian monuments represent 
the sky under the figure of a woman bending forward 
and resting her hands and feet on the earth (Champ. 
Egypt. Panth.). The monuments also prove that the 
vulture represented the sky or upper region, the same 
as upper Egypt (Champ. Egypt. Gram., p. 355 ; Rosetta 
Inscription, line 10). 

The Hebrew confirms the various significations given 
to the vulture. 

The word cm rhem, the vulture, is thus called says 
Gesenius, on account of its kindness to its young; 1 
in fact, the same word nrn rhem, is the verb to love, 
having relation particularly to the love of parents for 
their offspring ; this name also designates maternity and 
the feminine gender, it signifies the uterus, woman, and 
young girl. Would it not appear that the Egyptian was 
commenting on the Hebrew when he says that the vul- 
ture symbolized maternity? He adds that this bird rep- 
resented mercy and heaven ; and all the nobler passions 
of the soul are represented by the word em rhem, in 
the plural e^am rhemim ; it signifies the viscera of the 
heart and breast, and at the same time love, piety, mercy, 
because it is, in fact, on the viscera of the breast that 
love and piety act (See Gesenius). The heart and breast, 
seats of the divine affections, are the two celestial hemi- 
spheres over which the vulture reigns. 

1 Consult Bochart, Hieroz. lib. II., Cap. xxv. and xxvi.; and Didymi 
Taurineneis, Litteraturae copticae rudimentum, p. 9-10. 



In the primitive languages, the names of material ob- 
jects were used to designate abstract ideas corresponding 
to them; at a later period, a reaction in languages took 
place, the names of abstract ideas were given to material 
objects, symbolizing them. 

This action and reaction, manifest among those people 
who have preserved a knowledge of symbols, was one 
of the causes of the remarkable fact, examples of which 
are furnished by the Hebrew, that synonyms produce 
the same homonymies, that is to say, that the different 
denominations of the same physical object possess the 
lame moral signification ; at one time, the abstract idea 
arising from the symbol, ami at another, the name of 
the symbol being derived from one or more abstract 

It is evident thai this fact removes all idea of chance 
m the formation of symbolic significations and all idea 
of arbitrary interpretation. 

The law which imposed on the synonyms of a language 

the Same homonymies, reproduced the same phenomena 
in language.-, foreign to each <>l her, and having nothing 


common between them but their symbolic origin. It is 
not surprising that we find an explanation of Egyptian 
symbols in Hebrew, since I have already shown, in the 
history of symbolic colors, that the name of the color 
white had the same signification in languages completely 
foreign to each other. Thus, the Greek word Leukos 
signifies white, happy, agreeable, gay ; in Latin, Candidus, 
white, candid, happy; in the German language we find 
the. words Weiss, white, and Wissen, to know, Ich Weiss, 
I know ; in English White, and Wit, Witty, Wis- 

The languages of Greece and Rome, and those of 
modern people, altered by numerous admixtures and 
long usage, lost the symbolic character, which we find 
again in the Hebrew ; the application of this last tongue 
to Egyptian symbols is a proof of it, confirmed by the 
names of the colors. 

After the special work published on that subject, it 
would appear sufficient to establish that the names of 
the colors reproduce in Hebrew the significations as- 
signed to them in our former researches ; but it has 
appeared to us that it might be useful to make a special 
application of this new means of verification to Egyptian 


The significations given in Hebrew to the color white 
designate purity, candor, nobility. 

"nn heur, to be white; D^rin heurim, the noble, the pure, 
the white. 

"p^ lbn, to be white ; to purge one\ self of sm. 

In Egypt the spirits of the dead were clothed in 
white like the priests ; Phtha, the creator and regenera- 
tor, is enclosed in a straight white vestment, symbol of 
the egg from which he was born. 2 The egg called to 
mind the birth of the world and the new birth, or rege- 
neration of the pure or the white 

1 Symbolic Colors of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and Modern 
Times, pp. 50 and 51. 

* See Paintings of the Funereal Ritual ; and Emeric-David, Vill- 



The names of this color are formed from those of fire, 
and, in their turn, they form those of love. Thus, "panx 
argun, purple, is formed by ttix are, to burn. 

■jovix argmn, another name of purple, is also formed 
of fix are, to bum, and of oa-i rgm, which signifies to 
color, to paint, to conjoin, and & friend. 

Red, the most glaring of all colors, was used to de- 
signate the verbs to color and paint, and, as the image of 
fire, it designated love, the universal tie of beings. 

The names of man and woman were borrowed from 
fire and the color red, because the physical, the moral, 
and religious life of humanity spring from love: ffl^H 
aisch, man, from the root rx asch, fire, ttttfct asche, woman 
and fire. 

="ix ad.m, man and the color red. 

On Egyptian monuments all the men have the flesh 
painted red, and women yellow; in like manner the 
gods have the flesh red and goddesses yellow ; at 
least, when these divinities have not a color specially 
attributed to them. We see, in this fact, a confirmation 
of the Hebrew signification of man, whose name signifies 
red; we shall presently show why the feminine gender 
is designated by yellow. 


Among the Egyptians, as among the Hebrews, fire 
was the symbol of divine life, of human life, and of the 
life that animates all created beings. 

The inward essence of divinity was considered by the 
Egyptians as male ami female 1 The kmt of the fire repre- 
sented the universal male principle. The light of the fire 
was the female principle. 

Le Pimandre, who, according to Champollion, has 
preserved to US, at least, in part, the doctrines of Egypt, 2 
reveals this mystery to us. 

1 Symbolic Dolors, p. 105. Consul! Champ. Egypt. Panth., Amon 
and female A num. 

2 "The hermetic booh aj Oharapollion, notwithstanding the opin- 
ion* hazarded by certain modern critics, contain a mass of purely Egyp- 
tian traditions always found to agree with the monuments. ' Egyptian 
Pantheon, A rt. Thoth ' 


Thought, says Hermes, is God, male and female ; for 
it is light and life (Pimandre, cap. I., sec. 9). It is evi- 
dent that life, in opposition to light, designates the ardor 
of the fire and the male principle, as light symbolizes the 
female principle. 

I have elsewhere shown that red was the symbol of 
the heal of the fire, and yellow, that of light. In like 
manner, in the Hebrew language, the name of the color 
red is formed of that of fire, and the name of yellow, or 
gold color, aiis tseb, designates an emanation or radia- 
tion of light, as its proper signification indicates to shine, 
to be resplendent. 

The necessary consequence of the preceding is, that 
the male principle, symbolized by ardent fire, must have 
been represented by red, and the female principle, being 
identified with the idea of light, must have been painted 
yellow. Pimandre also explains the singular fact that, 
on the Egyptian monuments, men have their flesh painted 
red, and women yellow. 

Champollion-Figeac thinks that difference comes from 
the women having been of a lighter complexion than the 
men (Ancient Egypt, p. 29). Under this hypothesis, we 
should conceive various shades of complexion; but it 
would be impossible to explain why the men are painted 
cherry-red, and the women lemon-yellow, as represented by 
Champollion the younger, in his Egyptian Grammar, p. 
8, and in his Egyptian Pantheon, and as the monuments 
lead us to believe. 

The vignette at the head of this chapter represents 
Athor, the Egyptian Venus, in the solar disc. 1 Athor, 
wife of Phtha, or of fire, is the divinity of beauty and 
light; her name signifies dwelling of Horus (Plut. De 
Iside) ; her color is yellow. 

On the Anaglyphs, the solar disc is painted red or 
yellow, and sometimes red, surrounded by a yellow 
stripe. On a monument published by Champollion, the 
rising sun is represented by a yellow disc, and the set- 
ting sun by a red one, bordered with yellow (Egyptian 
Pantheon, Re). 

1 Description of Ancient Egypt, vol. IV., plate xxiii., cornice of the 
freat Temple of Denderah. 



The name of this color does not appear to exist in 
Hebrew, at least, not that I know of; 1 but its significa- 
tion is preserved to us in that of sapphire. 

The name of sapphire, the same in Hebrew as in 
French, "vsti spir or sphir is formed by the root "O spr 
or sphr, signifying to write, to speak, celebrate, praise, a 
scribe, writing, the book. 

These various significations indicate the Divine voice, 
the written or spoken word, the wisdom of God, con- 
tained in the sepher of the Hebrews, or the Bible. 

Sapphire is the color of the Egyptian god, Anion, whose 
name, preserved in the Bible exactly as in the hiero- 
glyphic legends, "^x amun, or "j-x amx, signifies, in 
Hebrew, truth, wisdom, as his color, sapphire, i"£0, indi- 
cates the Divine word, spoken or written. 

The chief of the Egyptian Hierogrammats wore on his 
breast a sapphire, on which was engraved a representa- 
tion of the goddess of truth and justice, Thme, whose 
name on thm, or nan thme, signifies, in Hebrew, jus- 
tice and truth (See Art. Ostrich Feather). 

The High Priest of the Hebrews wore on his breast a 
stone, having the same name ; truth and justice, n^sn 


The Hebrew name of this color is rb:r, thklth, ? 
formed of the root nb=r tiiki.k. signifying absolution, /in- 
fection, hope and constancy, absolutio, perfectio, spes, 
fiducia (Gesenius) ; r-'-zr thklith, perfection, consumma- 

In the work on symbolic colors, it will be found that 
the hyacinth was the symbol of perfection, hope and c<m- 
ttancij in spiritual combats. 

This color does not appear to have been employed oa 
the Egyptian monuments. 

1 lfiu signifies black, and, probably, a <l;irk blue. 'I'll' 1 word rbsn 
lerignates hyacinth, or bluish purple. 

* nbsn nyacinthut (Boberi on, Thesauru ), purpura cerulea, Bert 
rum flit vii in (I ;< enius). 



The Hebrew name of green is pi" 1 irq, viridis, which 
also signifies verdure, green grass. 

This word comes from the roots n-n ire, to found, to 
regulate; and of pi rq, space; i~ipn rqe, time, expansion of 
space; snpi the firmament. 

Thus, the name of green designates the beginning of 
time, the creation of the world, the birth of everything 
that exists. This is the meaning given to green in the 
work on symbolic colors, and which is also constantly 
given to it on the Egyptian monuments. 

The god Phtha, founder of the world, the creator and 
upholder, has always green flesh. 

Phtha, says Champollion, is the active creating spirit, 
the divine intelligence, who undertook, in the beginning, the 
accomplishment of the universe, in all truth, and with supreme 
art. (Egypt. Panth., see Jamblich. De Mysteriis, sec. 
viii., cap. viii.) His flesh, adds the learned Frenchman, 
is always painted green. 

This divinity holds in his hand a sceptre, surmounted 
by four cornices, which, in hieroglyphic writing, is the 
symbol of coordination (Champ. Egypt. Panth.) ; and 
the root n-n signifies to institute, instituere, conformare 
(Gesenius). This sceptre is painted of the four colors 
attributed to the four elements — the red, denoting fire; 
blue, air; green, water; and the brown-yellow, or 
russet, sand or earth. (See Emeric-David, Vulcain, p. 65.) 
Green was attributed to water, because, in Egyptian 
cosmogony, water was the primitive agent of creation 
(Champ. Panth., Cnouphis-Nilus). The word rm ire, root 
of the name of green, signifies, to place the foundation, and 
to sprinkle. 

Phtha is not only the creator of the world, but the 
regenerator or spiritual creator of man ; under the form 
of Phtha-Socari, he rules the destinies of souls that 
abandon earthly bodies, to be distributed in the thirty- 
two superior regions. His flesh is also green (Champ. 
Panth., plate xi.). 

The signification of green, arising from its name, and 
its attribution to the god-creator of the world, it is easy 
to make its applications to other divinities. 


The god Tore, or Thru, the world personified, is repre- 
sented sitting in an ark floating on the green waters of 
cosmogony (Champ. Egypt. Panth.). 

The god Limits (the moon), whose flesh is green, is 
also represented sitting in a bark, or bari, floating in 
green waters. The god Lunus was, doubtless, a cosmo- 
graphic divinity, since he appears with the emblems of 
Phtha, the sceptre of coordination in his hand. The 
Hebrew name of the moon, mi irhe, is formed of one 
of the roots of green, mi ire, which signifies to found, 
to regulate, instituerc, conformare (Gesenius). 

The same root, mi ire, signifies, also, to instruct, and 
to sprinkle. We have seen, in the article Dew, that this 
symbol designated the sacred doctrine. Thoth, the god- 
creator of men, founder of the social state, the god of 
science, of the sacred doctrine, and the hierogrammats, has 
his flesh painted green on two monuments copied in 
Champollion's Egyptian Pantheon. Thoth pours over 
the head of the neophyte the waters of purification, 
symbol of celestial dew. (See the representation of 
Egyptian baptism, at the commencement of this work.) 
Netphe, mother of' the gods, lady of heaven, as she is 
called in the legend of that divinity, is often represented 
in the midst of the tree Persea, pouring the divine 
beverage over souls ; her flesh is green. 

Finally, Neith with the lion's head, called Pascht, 
represents the regenerating principle, under the emblem 
of vigilance and moral power, the lion; she grasps, with 
both hands, the great serpent Apop, enemy of the gods, 
and symbol of the wicked and impious. The inscrip- 
tion accompanying this image of the divinity is: Power- 
ful Pascht, eye of the sun, sovereign of power, directress oj all 
tin gods, chastising the unclean. 

The three different forms under which she is repre- 
sented in Champollion's Pantheon, all show her with 
green flesh. 

Pascht, protectress of warriors, represented, according 
to the flench philologist, the wisdom that gives the 

victory (Pantheon). 

Qreeo was the symbol of victory (Symbolic Colors, p. 
210). In the Funereal Ritual, the serpent pierced by 
the swords ot the gods appears m & green enclosure. 

Neith is again manifested under the form of the god 


dess Sebcn, the Egyptian Lucina, who presided at child- 
birth ; she is represented, in Champollion's Pantheon, 
under three different forms, and always with green flesh. 

Green symbolized material birth and being spiritually 
born again. According to a long preserved symbolic 
tradition, the emerald hastened childbirth (Symbolic Colors, 
p. 214), and the Egyptian Lucina is of emerald color. 

The symbology of green, of which we have here 
given but a slight sketch, predominates in the religious 
monuments of Egypt; the reason is, that it taught the 
very foundation of the mysteries of initiation ; that is, the 
birth of the world, and the moral creation of neophytes. 


The name of the color russet, "pari hemuts, signifies 
the oppressor, the violent, ruber, oppressor, violentus 
(Rosenmuller, Vocab.). We have seen that the word 
was formed from nn hem, devouring heat; din heum, black 
(see Article Crocodile). Thus this word perfectly corre- 
sponds to the color red-black, attributed, according to 
Plutarch and Diodorus, to the spirit of oppression and vio- 
lence, to Seth or Typhon (Symbolic Colors, p. 257). The 
concubine of Typhon, Thoueri, is represented in a paint- 
ing in Champollion's Egyptian Pantheon with her flesh 

"iTp qdr, brown, russet, pullus subniger, signifies, in 
addition, filthy, to be in afflictio?i, and Ishmaelites (Ge- 


There are two shades of black existing in symbology, 
one the opposite of red, the other of white (Symbolic 
Colors, p. 167). 

The first designates ignorance arising from evil and 
all selfish or hateful passions. The second indicates 
ignorance of mind, not confirmed by wickedness of heart, 
and seeking to leave that state of intellectual death. 

Black from red (red-black) is called in Hebrew dtpi 
heum, as shown in the Article on Russet. This name 
forms the word nrin heume, an enclosing wall, because 


evil and falsity bind man as in a strait place (consult 
Art. Ass). 

Black from white, in Hebrew nnir schher. black, signi- 
fies, in addition, the duwn and to seek. This word, the 
connection of which with the name of white, ins tsher, 
appears evident, designates the expectation of the pro- 
fane, who seeks and sees shine the first light of dawn. 
The black Osiris, who appears at the commencement of 
the Funereal Ritual, represents that state of the soul 
which, from the midst of darkness surrounding the earth, 
passes into the world of light. 

The same indication belongs, in the judgment of the 
soul, to the two children of Osiris, Anubis and Horus, 
who weigh the soul in the scales of Amenti. Anubis, 
the god of the dead and of embalming, is black, and 
Horus red and yellow (Description of Egypt). 

Thoth Psychopompe, conductor of souls to the pre- 
sence ot Osiris, has the head of the black Ibis. 



The principle of Bible symbols is taught by the words 
of our Lord to the apostle Simon, who had just acknow- 
ledged him as the Christ, the Son of the living God : 

Thou art Peter, and on this rock will I build my church 
(Matthew xvi. 18). 1 

Stone is the symbol of faith ; the foundation of the 
Christian faith is the recognition of Jesus as the Christ, 
the Son of the living God. 

Jesus gave to Simon the surname of Peter (stone) — 
(Mark iii. 16) — because the divine mission that apostle 
had to perform represented, spiritually, what is materially 
represented by the corner-stone of an edifice. 

It cannot be necessary to say to Christians that the 
Messiah did not play on the word, but expressed, by a 
symbol, the functions that Peter would have to represent 

1 The word pierre, in French, signifies both Peter (a proper name) 
and stone. This latter signification is the one intended to be given by 
Portal, as will be seen by the context. — Translator. 


and accomplish. We must choose between the two 
interpretations — one trivial and the other sublime ; the 
first presenting a pun, to speak plainly, the second 
affording a key to Bible symbols (see the word Stone 

The system of homonyms applied to the interpretation 
of the Bible is not new, though no scholar has made it 
the object of special study ; this principle is so evidently 
employed by the inspired writers, that Hebraists cannot 
fail to recognize it in some passages. 

It is more than two hundred years since the celebrated 
Heinsius, in the extended preface to his Aristarchus sacer, 
proved that the Gospel of St. John, written in Greek, 
had been conceived in Syriac, because, in that Gospel, 
the inspired writer alludes to the double meanings of 
words — double meanings that exist only in Syriac and 
not in Greek. 1 The learned commentator makes the 
same observation, after an examination of the word a^ta], 
used by St. Peter in his Second Epistle, chap, i., v. 5. 2 

I take these two citations of Heinsius from Goulianof's 
work on Egyptian Archaeology (III., 560). The Russian 
academician follows them with these reflections: "It 
was, then, by the discover}' of homonymies in the obscure 
and difficult passages that the celebrated critic became 
convinced of this important condition of the exegesis, to 

1 Si quis ex me qujerat, quanam lingua scripserit evangelista noster ; 
hellenistica scripsisse dicam. Si quis, qua conceperit qui scripsit ; sy- 
riacam fuisse dicam. Ad earn autem quod est hellenistis proprium, et 
voces et Bermonem deflexisse grsecum: quare ad allusiones, non quae 
extant, Bed quaa animo conccperat. eundem esse ; nihil cniin tuque utque 
baa amal Oriens : Statim initio, xal to ycHs ii> rfi anoxia maivei, xal 
ij ay.oiia airo ov xaxk'kafitv, dicitur. Quod si chaldaice ant syriace 
efferus, Buavissimam allusionem, quam nee graeca, nee beilenistica admittil 
liugua, protinoa agnoscea. Nam robzp cabbel est xazaXa/tftaveiv, bzp 
cebal ant. -in ij axoria,]>yp enim Thargumistis obscurari. Quautopere 
autem bos amaverit evangelista, passim jam ostendimus. 
(Consult Gonlianof, A.rcheologie egyptienne, III., p. f>G0.) 
• [gitnr, ut jam dicebam, alia lingua primo concipil qua? acribit, alia, 
qua jam concepit, hellenista exprimit. Primo enim ad originem ipsius 
linguae respicit, qua sua exprimit, aul ejus sequitur interpretes. Et 
quia qua3 diversU concipi ac Bcribi Bolent, non conveniunt unique (nam 
ut litters ac syllabae, sic el allusiones ac paronomasias, qua; Bingulis sunt 
propria?, transfundi commode vix possunt), de bis ipsis ex interprete 
earum lingua ferri Bententia ac judicari potest. [Jtrum, nempe, bebraea 
•liquid conceptum fueril an Byra; nam in eo quod eadem Bcriptum ac 
conceptum, nulla difficultas. f Ibid. just be/ore.) 


wit: that the authors of the New Testament often em- 
ployed, not the proper word expressing their idea, but 
the equivalent of the Shemitic word, of which the honomym 
contained that idea, either in Syriac, Chaldaic, or Hebrew 
Solomon Glassius, in his Philologia Sacra, in the chaptei 
on Paronomases, cites many examples of homonyms in 
support of the distinguished commentator's discovery, 
and says: Quandoque vocum naorjxqais et allusio in alia 
lingua quam ea, qua scripsit auctor sanctus quarenda est." 
(Philologia Sacra. Lipsiae, 1713, p. 1996.) 

"And finally," says Goulianof, " we will cite the in- 
teresting prefatory dissertation of the learned comment- 
ator, Michaelis, devoted exclusively to the examination 
o\' sacred paronomases, in the Old as well as in the New 
Testament. After having indicated the expressions 
brought together, or employed in the same phrase on 
account of their consonance, the author takes up the fact 
of tacit homonyms, to the examination of which he devotes 
several paragraphs ; and the reflections with which he 
accompanies each article, either of these last, or explicit 
paronomases, sufficiently prove that the learned author 
far from seeing a play on words in them, on the con- 
trary, considered them as a class of expressions inti- 
mately connected with the usages of sacred writing. 
Such is also the opinion of the celebrated Glassius, 
whom we have just cited ; an opinion in which the 
commentators will, doubtless, concur, when they become 
certain that silent homonyms furnish a key to the 
enigma, and act as spiritual legends to all allegories, all 
parables, and all symbolic language; that in the homonyms 
alone is to be sought an explanation of the mysteries 
of the Scriptures, whenever the letter presents a diffi- 
culty in the exegesis ; that, in a word, the tacit homo- 
nyms constitute the spirit of the Scriptures, and serve as 
types to the mystic language of the letter, the condi- 
tional value of which disappears in proportion as their 
corresponding terms are appreciated." (Goulianof, Arche- 
ologie egyptienne, torn. III., p. 563.) 

I adopt the principle of the learned Academician of 
Petersburgh, but am astonished at the deduction he 
draws, when he says that we should look in vain for 
these homonyms in the Shemitic dialects (III., p. 569), 
and pretends to explain the figures of the Bible by the 


Coptic language, which he confounds with the sacred 
language of Egypt. " It remains for us," says he, " to 
notice a superficial objection, which would, however, be 
favorable to the present question. Among the hagio- 
graphs of the Old Testament, nearly all the prophets 
had never been in Egypt, and could not have been ac- 
quainted with the sacred language of that country ; this 
objection becomes still more positive with regard to the 
evangelists and apostles. How, then, it will be said, 
should we conceive the possibility of explaining, by 
means of the sacred language of Egypt, the words of the 
prophets, and those of the evangelists and apostles, who 
had no knowledge of that language ? Now, if the use 
of that language will lead us to an understanding of the 
spiritual meaning of the Scriptures, this fact will become 
a demonstration in a measure material to the revelation 
of the mysteries of the new covenant, and of the inspira- 
tion of the hagiographs." (Ibid., p. 557.) 

In order to consider the Coptic as containing the 
spiritual meaning of the Bible, it would, in the first 
place, be necessary that that language should explain 
the symbols of Egypt, which we deny in presence of 
the facts known to science ; it would further be neces- 
sary, by a comparison of all the passages in the Bible, 
containing the same word, to show that this word has, 
in reality, the double meaning assigned to it; now, with 
Mr. Goulianof's method, this appears impossible to us. 

It is evident to us that, if the prophets concealed 
their mysteries in the double meaning of words, those 
words were taken from the language understood by them. 
It is also clear, that if, without the knowledge even of 
the prophets themselves, Divine inspiration concealed 
the spiritual meaning under the double meaning of a 
letter, then, in the Hebrew letter must we find the 
secret thought of Biblical figures, and not in the Coptic, 
or vulgar Egyptian, scarcely capable of explaining the 
symbols of its own country. 

Besides, the passage from Clemens Alexandrinus fully 
proves that the symbols of the Egyptians were like 
those of the Hebrews. Mr. Groulianof pretends, on the 
contrary, that the Hebrew symbols were similar to those 
of the Egyptians; he consequently finds himself in 
opposition to modem science, and the only passage 


from an ancient author competent to explain the ques- 

We in nowise pretend that all the exegetical diffi- 
culties of the Bible may be removed by the means we 
offer ; we are not, above all, foolish enough to think 
that, by this means, we may open the book of life, and 
break its seals ; but we simply think that healthy criti- 
cism, before depriving itself of this method of investiga- 
tion, should conscientiously study it, and only admit or 
reject it after submitting it to the proofs of which it is 

I will not seek to explain, in this place, how the 
spiritual meaning may be hidden under the double 
meaning of a letter; I study and only desire to estab- 
lish the fact itself. 

The symbolic meaning is not always clearly mani- 
fested in the sacred text. Wherefore, to arrive at the 
signification of a symbol, it is not sufficient to interpret it 
as we meet it in a passage from the Bible, but we must 
reconstruct its signification by considering all its names. 
The proof of the truth of this rule appears from the fact 
that the New Testament is partly written in a symbolic 
manner, as proved by Revelations, the twenty-fourth 
chapter of Matthew, etc., etc.; and that the Greek is 
not a symbolic language; the symbols of the Bible 
must, then, allude to all the Hebrew synonyms answering 
to the Greek word to be interpreted ; since the Greek is 
to be translated into Hebrew, there is no greater reason 
for choosing an expression than its synonym. 

The inspired writer in the Old Testament seems, 
designedly, to veil his thoughts under words that evi- 
dently have not the double meaning he attributes to 
them. If the Psalmist says that the righteous man shall 
flourish like the jyalm-tree, rinsi "nans p^lS, he does not 
employ the expression en thm, the just man, to compare 
him to the palm-tree, "nan thmr, but he expresses this 
idea by a synonym that does not produce the same 
homonymy, p"ns tsdiq, the just man. 

It will be understood that, if, in the Bible, a symbol 
had always been placed in relation with its homonym, 
the mystery surrounding the sacred text would have 
been divulged. Like Fabre d'Olivet we need not, 
therefore, endeavor to explain a Bible phrase by itself. 


by scrutinizing the moral sense of each word or its 
roots, for, by this method, we should arrive at no useful 
or scientific result. 

The method I recommend for interpreting the Bible, 
is that I have just applied to Egyptian symbols; to re- 
construct, in the first place, the meaning of each symbol 
by the moral significations of its different names, and, by 
its application to various passages of the Bible, ascer- 
tain that the symbol really possesses such signification. 
This method, adopted for interpreting the monuments 
of Egypt, ought to produce the same results in the e.\f 
gesis of the sacred book. 

A few words may here be addressed to those Chris- 
tians who might be fearful lest our faith should be in- 
jured by companionship with Egypt. Science can 
never injure the Christian religion, they both descend 
from the source of all truth ; if the system now pre- 
sented is true, it will furnish new proof of the divine 
inspiration of the Bible, if false, religion has nothing to 
fear from it. 

Already, among Protestants, the Rev. Mr. Coquerel 
ad shown the importance Egyptian studies might have 
on the exegesis of the Bible: " Of all people," said 
lit-. " the Egyptians had the most intercourse with the 
Hebrews, from the journey of Abraham (Gen., xii. 10) 
to the carrying away of Jeremiah, (Jer., xliii. 6.) that 
is, from the first Patriarch to the fall of Jerusalem. 
The name of Egypt, is the foreign one most frequently 
met with in the Scriptures; the distinctive sign of the 
elect was, perhaps, worn by the Egyptian priesthood ;' 
Moses was learned in all their wisdom (Acts, vii. 22) ; 
Solomon married a daughter of their kings (I. Kings, iii. 
1); and what adds to the interest of this question is, 
that Israel was forbidden to hold communication with 
the' neighboring nations ; one people only being except- 
ed from this interdiction, and that people was the Egyp- 
tians (Deut., xxiii. 7). All this leads us to presume 
that the best commentary on Jewish Antiquities was 
sculptured on the Pharaonic temples, palaces and obe- 
lisks; but those terrible hieroglyphics seemed forever 

to separate the Jordan and the Nile." 2 

1 Vide Ari. .!<</, p. 35, circumcision of the Egyptian priests. 

' Letter on Ghampollion'8 hieroglyphic j tern, coo idered initsrela 


The labor of the Protestant minister was not lost to 
science. The Abbe Greppo, Vicar-General of Belley, 
understood its applications, and, seeing the truth, with- 
out fear openly published it. Collecting the numerous 
Bible phrases that seemed to have been copied from the 
monuments of Egypt, he says : " The great number of 
dates which have been read up to this time in the hiero- 
glyphic, hieratic or demotic inscriptions of the papy- 
rus, etc., are always written after the same formula, and 
in nowise differ from the style in which they are usually 
expressed in the sacred books : In the fifth year, the fifth 
day of the month . . . ., by command of the king of the 
obedient people (the titles, given and surnames of the 
Prince). Is not this similarity of expression striking? 

" There exist, perhaps, more prominent ones in the 
titles of honor given to the princes and gods, and col- 
lected by Champollion in his Tableau general. Several 
of these formulas of public acts detail religious ideas 
which we should in vain seek for on the monuments of 
antiquity, whether Greek or Roman, but which pred<? 
minate in the simple and noble style of the Scriptures 
Such are those of cherished 1 of Ammon (Jupiter), entire- 
similar to dilectus a Domino suo Samuel (Eccle., xlvi. 13), 
approved of Phlah (Vulcan), tried of Re (the sun), analo- 
gous expressions to acceptus Deo, probatvs Deo, oftep 
met with in the Scriptures. The lords gods, identical 
with the exception of being in the plural, with Dominus 
Deo in the Bible ; great and grand, quality ascribed to 
Thoth, the Egyptian Mercury, and which reminds us of 
the sanctus, sanctus, sanctus, which, in our sublime pro- 
phets, the heavenly choirs are ever singing at the foot 
of the throne of the Eternal." 2 

I shall not follow Mr. Greppo in other similar resem- 
blances, these will suffice to show that the Bible and 

tions to the Holy Scriptures, by Coquerel ; Amsterdam. 1825, p. 

1 It has often been remarked that the pagan antiquities seldom 
speak of the love due to the Deity. Among the Egyptians, the expres- 
sions cherished of the gods, loving the gods, are frequently repeated, and 
seem to indicate more correct ideas of Divinity and the duties imposed 
by it on man (Note of the Abbe Greppo). 

2 Essay on the hieroglyphic system of Champollion the younger, and 
its advantages to Scripture criticism, by Greppo Paris, Dondey-Duprt, 


the Egyptian monuments mutually aid in their interpre- 
tation, and that the enlightened critic of our day can- 
not put aside the advantages arising from an attentive 
examination and comparison of the hieroglyphic monu- 
ments, and the book and language of the Hebrew pro- 
phet, of Moses, learned in the wisdom of the Egyptians 
(Acts, vii. 22). 

I shall not here depend on the resemblance existing 
between the Hebrew and the Coptic, as shown by Dr. 
Lowe, 1 nor on the more decisive relations which unite 
the sacred language of the Jews with the sacred lan- 
guage of the Egyptians ; I will content myself with 
presenting some examples of the application of our 
theory to the symbols of the Bible; the greater part 
of those of the Egyptians, examined in Chapter II., 
have manifested their application to the Bible, and I 
only purpose in this place to furnish a new aid to the 
exegesis and not a treatise on the subject. 


Stone and rock, on account of their hardness and use, 
became the symbol of a firm and stable foundation. 

In Hebrew the generic name of stones and rocks is "px 
abx, a word which, according to Gesenius, signifies also, 
to construct, to build, and which he also identifies with the 
root "|»K AMN, an architect, truth, and faith ; thence, run* 
amne, a column, and truth. 

Fortified by the interpretation of one of the most 
celebrated Hebraists of Germany, we may consider the 
stone as the symbol of faith and truth. 

Christ said to Simon, who had just acknowledged him 
as the Son of the living God : Thou art Peter, and on 
this rock will I build my church 2 (Matthew, xvi. 18). 

Christ teaches the very principle of symbology when 
naming I'chr he who represented /a*'*//, or the foundation 
of the < Ihurch. 

'The origin of the Egyptian language proved by the analysis of 
that and the Hebrew, by Dr. Lowe; London, L837. Consult Didymi 
faurinensis, Litteratnra Coptics rudimentum; Paras, lT.s.'f. 

1 sp rock, xe-3 ChakL, whence the Greek name of Peter, A'vyae, 

Cephas ; the word fp rock, also sigiiiGcs the sole of the feet, basis of 


In the Bible, precious stones have particularly the 
signification of* truth; the Revelations of St. John fur- 
nish numerous examples. 

On Egyptian monuments, precious stones are called 
hard stones of truth } ^ ra «s»-e- (Champ. Egypt. 
Gram., p. 100). J| £^ g ^ 

In opposition to this signification of truth and faith, 
there is given to stone, in the Bible and in Egypt, the 
signification of error and impiety, and among these two 
peoples it was attributed to the infernal genius, the 
foundation of all falsity. 1 

The name of Seth or Typhon, the principle of evil and 
error in Egyptian Theogony, is always accompanied by 
a symbolic sign ; this sign, according to Champollion's 
Grammar (p. 100), is the stone. Seth <&& fl (Champ. 

1 I 

Gram., p. 114). 

The name of the Egyptian divinity is also set down 
in the Bible, since the hieroglyphic group gives in He- 
brew characters the word -j^scht, sin, which forms the 
name of Satan, "p^schtn. This name Satan signifies in 
Hebrew the adversary, the enemy ; now, one of the Hebrew 
names of sto?ie has the additional signification of the ad- 
versary, the enemy, "is tsr, lapis, adversarius, hostis (Ge- 

The stone specially consecrated to Seth or Typhon 
was the hewn stone, and it had, in the language of the 
monuments, the name of Seth, to the exclusion of all 
others which are called anr (Champ. Gram., p. 100) 
Truth was symbolized by the hard stone, and error by 
the soft one, that may be hewn. 

The particular determinative of the stone Seth was the 

knife placed above the sign representing the stone, 

The Hebrew again explains this group, inexplicable by 
the Coptic ; the word "is tsr, signifies a stone, an enemy, 

1 For rule of oppositions, see work on Symbolic Colors, p. 32. 

9 Champollion translates this group by calcareous stone; the word 
Seth is not in the Coptic ; we must depend on the group itself, which 
signifies cut, hewn stone, the knife being in the Egyptian grammar the 
determinative of the ideas of division and separation (Champ. Egypt 
Gram., p. 384). 


and a knife, and forms the word -ns tsur, to cut, to hew, 
and a stone. 

Jehovah says in Exodus: If thou wilt make me an altar, 
thou shalt not I 'did it of hewn stone ; if thou lift the knije (or 
chisel) upon it, thou hast polluted it (Exod. xx. v. 22 in the 
Hebrew, 25 in the translations). 

Joshua built an altar of stones, which the chisel had not 
touched (Joshua, viii. 30, 31). 

The Temple of Jerusalem was built of whole stones, and the 
sound of axe, hammer, nor any tool of iron was not heard 
during the building (1 Kings, vi. 7, which is the III. of 
the Vulgate). 


Isaiah says: 0, Lord, thou art our Father; we are the 
clay, and thou our potter ; and we all are the work of 
thy hand (Is. lxiv. 8). 

There being no difficulty in understanding this pas- 
sage, it will be easy to see in it the application of the 
principle we have established. 

The word employed by Isaiah is is" 1 itsr, which sig- 
nifies a potter, and the creator of the world. 

Job (xvii. 7) calls the members of the human body "nx" 1 , 
properly "potter's mouldings. 

And the name of man din adm, Adam, is formed of 
that of clay or red earth n-:-x adme. 

Thus, the Hebrew language gives, in a positive man- 
ner, the signification of a symbol or image, about which 
there can be do misapprehension. 

Egypt here confirms our system : On the bas-reliefs at 
Philce, says Salvolini, we see the sod Chnouphis, the 

former, making human hm/is in a potter's mill, charged with 

clay (Analysis of Egyptian texts, p. 24, No. 70). 

Champollion gives in his ( Grammar the imam' of Kneph 
Potter (p. 283 and -',\^). We reproduce one of the va- 

nanis ni t hal symbol. 




The palm-tree was the symbol of truth, justice, and in- 
tegrity, since its name i-n thmr, the palm-tree, the palm, 
is formed of that of on thm, integrity, justice, and truth, 

The Psalmist says : The righteous shall jlourish like the 
palm-tree. (Ps. xcii. 12, trans, from the Vulgate xci. 

In the Apocalypse, the righteous carry palms in their 
hands (vii. 9). 

When Jesus came to Jerusalem to attend the feast, 
the Jews took palm-branches and went before him, cry- 
ing : Blessed be he who comes in the Name of the Lord 
(John xii. 13). 


The horse is the symbol of intelligence ; man should 
govern his mind as the rider guides his horse. 

This results from the Hebrew, since the name of the 
saddle-horse, ©"a prsch, further signifies to explain, to 
define, to give intelligence (Gesenius, Rosenmiiller). 

The same result is obtained from the Bible, which 
translates rider by wisdom and horse by understanding, in 
a passage where, speaking of the Ostrich, it says : God 
hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her 
understanding ; what time she lifteth up herself on high, she 
scorneth the horse and his rider (Job xxxix. 17, 18). 

Ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, says 
Ezekiel (xxxix. 20). 

Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the 
great God, that ye may eat the flesh of horses and them that 
sit on them, says the Apocalypse (xix. 17, 18). 

Who does not see here that there can be no question 
of eating horses, chariots, and riders, but to become filled 
with a knowledge of divine truth ? the rider represents 
wisdom which guides the understanding, the chariot 
indicates religious doctrine. 

The understanding of man, not kept within bounds 
by wisdom, is designated in the following passages: 

The Lord delighleth not in the strength of the horse (Pa 
cxlvii. 10). 


An horse is a vain thing for safety (Ps. xxxiii. 17). 

The Lord will make Judah as his goodly horse in the 
tattle ; and the riders on horses shall be confounded (Zach. x. 
3 to 5.) 

Thus the horse represents the understanding of man 
which is elevated toward God, or is abased in descending 
toward matter ; this state it is which is specially desig- 
nated in this passage : Be ye not as the horse or as the mule, 
which have no understanding (Ps. xxxii. 9). 

The race-horse, the vigorous courser is called ©31 rksch, 
a word which also signifies to acquire, to appropriate, be- 
cause the mind of man, traversing the field of intelligence, 
acquires fresh knowledge. 


In the first chapter of the Gospel of St. John we are 
taught that the Messiah was the Word, or the word of 
God; the forerunner seeing Jesus coming towards him, 
cried out : Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the 
sins of the world (John i. 29). 

The name of the lamb isx amr, (Chald.) is in Hebrew 
that of the Word or second person of the Trinity. 

The Word was made flesh among us, to take away the 
sins of the world and to overcome the kingdom of evil, 
and the word BJM kbsch, signifies a lamb, to beget, and to 
put underfoot (Gesenius). 


The sun warming and lighting the body of man was 
the symbol of Divinity, which inflames the heart and 
reveals itself to the understanding ; such is the teaching 
of the Hebrew language, and the Bible uses it in this 

The name of the sim and of light *flK auk, signifies reve- 
lation and doctrine (Gesenius). 

The moon, which, according to the Egyptian priests, 
is lighted by the sun and receives from it her vital power? be- 
came the symbol of faith which reflects revealed truths; 

1 Kii.-ein', Prepar. evangel, lib. EII.cap.xii. Consult. < lhamp. Pantheon 
ggyptien, An. Pooh. 


it was on this account that the name of the moon hT< 
irhe, formed the verb ni" 1 ire, to learn, to teach. 

In Egypt, teaching the truths of the faith, was repre- 
sented by the dew or rain (Horap. I. 37) ; and the same 
word n-n ire signifies to sprinkle, to throw drops of water. 
In the representations of Egyptian baptism, the two 
personages who pour the waters of divine life and puri- 
ty on the head of the neophyte, symbolize the sun and 
moon, or Horus with the hawk's head, and Thoth-Lunus 
with the head of an Ibis. 1 

And finally, as faith is the foundation of the church, 
the same verb n-n signifies to found, to lay the angular cor- 
ner-stone (Gesenius). 

We deduce from these observations that the sun is 
the revelation of the wisdom and love of God, and that 
the moon is the symbol of faith. Let us apply these 
significations to a few obscure passages in the Bible. 

At the command of Joshua, the sun stands still on 
Gibeon, and the moon in the valley of Ajalon (Joshua, 
x. 12). I am not about to discuss the question of the 
miracle, I seek only the hidden meaning of this passage : 
the sun stopping signifies the presence of divine love, 
which inflames the hearts of men ; the moon stopping 
designates the presence of faith, that enlightens and for- 
tifies the mind. Is not this exclamation, taken by Joshua 
from the book of Jaschar (Jos. x. 13), an invocation to 
the Divine love to animate the hearts of the combat- 
ants, and to faith to give strength to his arms? 

A passage from Isaiah proves the truth of this inter- 
pretation : 

Thy sun shall no more go down, says the prophet, neither 
shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine 
everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. 
(Isaiah, lx. 20). 

The sun stopping manifests the presence of God ; in 
opposition, the sun going down designates the absence 
of the Deity, as shown by the following passages : And 
it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I 
will cause the sun to go down at noon (Amos, viii. 9). 

Jeremiah says : She that hath borne seven children, shall 
give up the ghost, her sun shall go down while it is yet day 
(Jer. xv. 9). 

1 See Art. Dew. 



In the Bible, the sun has sometimes a signification of 
evil omen, of devouring heat, fury, selfishness, which is 
explained by the word rran heme, the sun, heat of the sun, 
ano-er (Gesenius) ; a meaning also found in the name of 
the crocodile, formed from the root on hem (see Art. 

Job commends himself for not having worshiped 
the sun and moon (xxxi. 26), that is, for not having been 
perverse and selfish, and for not having had faith in his 
own wisdom; there is no question of Sabianism in th:e 
passage, but of the two fundamental principles of mat ■». 
spiritual life, love and intelligence. 







AA 000 484 418 9