otherwise known as Hadad, or Baal-Hadad, or Baaal was the ancient
Sun God of the Semites long before the days of Yahweh, or Jehovah.
He was worshipped in various parts of the Middle East under
the aliases of Bel, and Bol. Beside being a Sun God, he became
the god of the Sky, Land and Sea, of Rain, Lightning and Thunder,
of Fertility and Fecundity, and finally creator god of the Univers,
and avowed God of gods. It was at his altars that pilgrims sacrificed,
and it was his help that they beseeched, because when in good
humour he sent rain down to bless the crops, but when in ill
humour he sent floods to destroy crops and flocks. He is depicted
here displaying all his ranks and attributes.
On the head,
a calathos made of ears of wheat (fertility); heavy hair in
tresses (strength and longevity); heavy set neck (virility)
around which he wears the solar disk (solar divinity); the whip
in the right hand alludes to the course of the sun in the sky;
the thunderbolt and lightning in the left hand (rain and floods);
the two young bulls on his flanks are the traditional symbols
of power and fecundity. His cassock is incrusted with the seven
deities he has assimilated and over whom he dominated: at the
bottom, flanked by two suns, the lions head symbolizes
the Sun of Arabia; just above, the venerable old couple are
Zeus and Hera; above them we see Athena wearing a casque and
Venus wearing nothing. On the top row we recognize Luna with
the large crescent moon and Helios with the sun burst. The central
figure whose bust stands on a stele in none other than Hermes
the messenger of the gods.
on the pedestal reads:
OPTIMUS MAXIMUS HELIOPOLITANUS.
no doubt about his being a solar (helio) god (heliopolitanus)
of the highest rank (optimus maximus). I.O.M.H. which is the
abbreviation of this pretentious title name is to be seen in
many places while exploring the Temple complex.
THE GOD OF ALL GODS
th e Greek domination of the Middle East, Helios was identified
with Baal-Hadad as both were already recognized sun gods. Later,
before the end of Hellenistic era (330-146 B.C.), Zeus was supplanted
by Jupiter. And, since both Jupiter and Baal personified a number
of similar forces and attributes (rain, thunder, lightning,
fertility, fecundity, etc
.) they were equated, fused and
merged under the appellation of Jupiter Heliopolitanus, meaning:
the sun father god.
A Story in Stone by Michael Harriz