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Sunday, December 18, 2016

Arab Stone-Worship

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Semitic Stone-Worship.

The worship of sacred stones constituted one of the most general and ancient forms of religion; but among no other people was this worship so important as among the Semites. 

The religion of the nomads of Syria and Arabia was summarized by Clement of Alexandria in the single statement, "The Arabs worship the stone."  And all the data afforded by Arabian authors regarding the pre-Islamitic faith confirm his words.  The sacred stone ("nuṣb"; plural, "anṣab") is a characteristic and indispensable feature in an ancient Arabian place of worship. 

These stones were extremely diverse in form, ranging from rough blocks, over which the blood of the sacrifice, or the anointing-oil, was poured (Gen. xxviii. 18; I Sam. xiv. 33 et seq.), to carefully wrought columns, such as those erected in the Temple of Solomon or in the Phenician sanctuaries. 

A number of simple stone columns have been preserved. Thus there is a Phenician boundary-stone from Cyprus, in the form of an obelisk, and set on a small pedestal; others have been found in the excavations of the Deutscher Palästinaverein at Tell al-Mutasallim, the ancient Megiddo. 

The sanctuary at the latter place had at its entrance two stone columns, simple quadrilateral monoliths, tapering slightly toward the top, and very similar to the maẓẓebot at the entrance to the place of sacrifice in the ancient Edomite sanctuary at Petra.

My comments : Just something to ponder. I have my own theory. In most religions the objects of prayer (or focus points of prayer) are usually made of stone, wood, clay, fire and water. 

There is a simple reason for this. The priests of religion are low cost  operators. They used the most abundant and cheapest materials. Or zero cost materials. 

Stone, wood, clay, fire and water cost next to nothing. 

So even if the priest earns 10 sen from each "worshipper" his ROI (Return on Investment) is infinite.  

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