A thousand years before Abraham, and twelve or fifteen centuries before the drafting of Genesis, Sanchoniaton cried out: « The Spirit blows on darkness ».
The Phoenicians, a people of merchants and travelers, invented the alphabet, but they left almost no written record. The only written monument they have left is a fragment attributed to this Sanchoniaton, priest of Tyre, according to Philo of Byblos. Sanchoniaton lived before the Trojan War, and more than 2000 years BC.
The name ‘Sanchoniaton‘, according to Ernest Renan, comes from the Greek word Σαγχων, « who lives ». In ancient Coptic Koniath means « holy dwelling », or « place where the archives are kept ». ‘Sanchoniaton’ would therefore mean « the one who lives with the holy college », or « the archivist »…
The quoted fragment of Sanchoniaton is precious, because it is one of the few remaining testimonies of a fabulous era, where elite human minds were able to converge, despite harsh cultural and linguistic differences, around strong ideas.
In those times, the Veda, the Avesta, the Genesis, the theogonies of Hesiod and the ‘Sanchoniaton’ could appear as different and complementary phases of the same history, and not as separate claims of peoples seeking for themselves an original proeminence.
The « sacred fire » was revered among the Egyptians, Greeks, Hebrews and Persians. The idea of a Unique God was present among the Hebrews, but also in the Orphic religion, in Mazdaism, in the religion of Chaldean magic.
The Unique God had also already been celebrated by the Veda and the Zend Avesta, more than a millennium before Abraham left Ur.
According to the most recent research on the archaeological field, monotheism did not settle in Israel until the end of the monarchical period, in the 8th century BC.
In the verses of Homer, who lived in the 8th century BC, more than a thousand years after Sanchoniaton, we find reminiscences of the universal intuition of the priest of Tyre. Gods abound in the Homeric work, but their plurality is only an appearance. The most important thing to understand is that Heaven and Earth are linked, and connected. The human and the divine merge. Men are descendants of the gods, and heroes are made of their fabric.
There are other traces of the long memory of this region of the world. Under Ptolemy Philadelphia, Manethu, a priest of Sebennytus, compiled the history of the thirty-one Egyptian dynasties, from Menes to Alexander, and traced their origin back to 3630 BC.
Champollion, according to indications collected in the tombs of Thebes, dates the institution of the 365-day Egyptian calendar back to 3285 BC.
It can be estimated that the astronomical knowledge of this ancient period was therefore already much higher than that of the nomadic peoples who still counted per lunar month.
The Phoenician of Tyre, Sanchoniaton, lived four thousand years ago. He left as his legacy, for centuries, some fragments, overturning in advance some preconceived ideas about the god Thoth, who would later be identified with Hermes, Mercury, Idrîs and Henoch.
Sanchoniaton calls him Taut, and gives this brief description: « Taut excites the Elohim, El’s companions, in battle by singing them war songs. »
Sanchoniaton also claims that Taut was the son of Misor, in other words Misr or Misraim, a term used to name the Egyptian colonies of the Black Sea, the main one being Colchis.
Moreau de Jonnès explains that Taut (or Thôt) received the name of Mercury, ‘Her-Koure’, the Lord of the Koures. « This name derives from Kour, the sun. The Coraitis and Coraixites lived in Colchis. The Kour River, Dioscurias, Gouriel remind us of this generic name. Her-Koure was the God of traffickers and navigators (emblem of the fish), ancestors of the Phoenicians. According to Strabon, the Corybantes (Kouronbant) were native to Colchis. »
In Colchis, located on the Black Sea coast, now called Abkhazia, and recently torn from Georgia, the magnificent villas of the Russian oligarchs and the silovniki of the FSB flourish today…
Eusebius of Caesarea reports that the beginning of the ‘Sanchoniaton’ was translated by Philo as follows: « At the beginning of the world there was a dark air and the Spirit – or the Breath – was dark, and there was the Chaos troubled and plunged into the night. »
These words were written a thousand years before the first verses of Genesis.
What did the priest of Tyre really want to say? He said that the Spirit has been blowing on darkness since the beginning of the world, – thus fighting against Chaos and Night. He said that the Spirit was Light, and breathed Light…
That’s pretty good news in our dark, troubled times. Isn’t it?