Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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CHAPTER III.                                37

Syriac, in which two languages the sacred books before
the Koran were revealed, we find that in the Thora and
the following books of prophets which are reckoned
with the Thora as one whole, that word Babh corre¬
sponds to the word Alldh in Arabic, in so far as it can¬
not in a genitive construction be applied to anybody
besides God, and you cannot say the rabb of the house,
the rahh of the property (which in Arabic is allowed).
And, secondly, we find that the word 'Floah in Hebrew
corresponds in its usage there to the word Babh in
Arabic (i.e. that in Hebrew the word r!?^?. may apply
to other beings but God, like the word CLij in Arabic).
The following passages occur in those books:—

" The sons of Elohim came in unto the daughters of
men " (Gen. vi. 4), before the deluge, and cohabited with

" Satan entered together with the sons of Elohim into
their meeting " (Job i. 6).

In the Thora of Moses God speaks to him : "I have
made thee a god to Pharaoh" (Exod. vii. i).

In the 82d Psalm of the Psalter of David the fol¬
lowing occurs: " God standeth in the congregation of
the gods" (Ps. Ixxxii. i), i.e. of the angels.

In the Thora the idols are called foreign gods. If
the Thora had not forbidden to worship any other being
but God, if it had not forbidden people to prostrate
themselves before the idols, nay, even to mention them
and to think of them, one might infer from this expres¬
sion (foreign gods) that the order of the Bible refers
only to the abolition oi foreign gods, which would mean
gods that are not Hebreio ones (as if the Hebrews had
adored national gods, in opposition to the gods of their
neighbours). The nations round Palestine were idol
worshippers like the heathen Greeks, and the Israelites
always rebelled against God by worshipping the idol of
Baal (lit. Ba'ld) and the idol of Ashtaroth, i.e. Venus.

From all this it is evident that the Hebrews used to
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