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"AFTER EASTER" IN ACTS 12:4

By John Henry

ACTS 12:1- 4:  "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)  And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Introduction

Etymology, History & Biblical Background Of Easter

Herod's Background & The Easter Of Acts Chapter Twelve

The Text Forbids This Pasach From Being God’s Passover

The Timing Of Herod's Easter & What It Really Was

Peter's Escape & Herod's Resulting Anger

Bible Believing Scholars Agree

Conclusion


 
INTRODUCTION :

For those of us who believe that the King James Bible is the inspired and infallible Word of God for English speaking people there are only two possible explanations for the use of the word "Easter" in Acts 12:4:  1) Easter and Passover are synonymous and interchangeable or 2) Easter in this verse is not speaking of the Passover of Exodus 12, but some other event.

"Modern observance of Easter represents a convergence of three traditions: 1) The Hebrew Passover, celebrated during Nisan, the first month of the Hebrew lunar calendar; 2) The Christian commemoration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, which took place at the feast of the Passover; and 3) the Norse 'Ostara' or 'Eostra' (from which the name 'Easter' is derived), a pagan festival of spring which fell at the vernal equinox, March 21. Prominent symbols in this celebration of the resurrection of nature after the winter were rabbits, signifying fecundity, and eggs, colored like the ray of the returning sun and the northern lights, or aurora borealis." [
1]

We agree with the above, but must emphasize that we are talking only about the "modern observance" and not the Biblical observance of Christ's resurrection. Firstly, because "Easter is a pagan name of ancient heathen origin. Secondly, because the Biblical fact of the matter is that the Hebrew word "pecach" which is transliterated "pascha" in the Greek of the New Testament never means the resurrection of Christ, but strictly speaks only of His death. There are 7 "feasts of the LORD" (Lev. 23:4, 44) for Israel enumerated in Leviticus 23. The 7 feasts represent 4 prophetic events and 3 prophetic periods: 1) Passover = The Death of the Lord Jesus Christ (Lev. 23:5; Ex. 12), 2) Unleavened Bread = The Burial of the Lord's Sinless Body (Lev. 23:6-8), 3) Firstfruits = The Resurrection of Jesus Christ (Lev. 23:9-14), 4) Pentecost = The Church Age (Lev. 23:15-22), 5) Trumpets = The Rapture (Lev. 23:23-25), 6) Atonement = The 7 Year Tribulation (Lev. 23:26-32), 7) Tabernacles = The Millennial Reign of Christ (Lev. 23:33-43). The pascha or pecach have nothing to do with the resurrection of Christ in the Bible. Men may have associated the resurrection with Passover, but the Bible does not. With just one exception in the Bible the "pecach" or "pascha" have to do only with the death, not resurrection, of Christ. Passover has to do with the Lord's death (1 Cor. 5:7), but Firstfruits has to do with the Lord's resurrection (1 Cor. 15:20, 23).

"Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." (1 Corinthians 5:7-8)

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming." (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)

T. H. Brown explains the difficulty involved in the translation of the Hebrew word "pesach" (Passover) into Greek, Latin and then into English:  "This single occurrence of Easter in the Authorised Version as a translation of the Greek pascha, ‘passover’, is an interesting reminder of the problems which have confronted translators of the Holy Scriptures for many centuries. When the scholars ... translated the Hebrew into Greek ... they could find in the Greek language no precise equivalent for the Hebrew pesach, and they decided to adopt the Hebrew word in a Greek form. When the Bible was first translated into Latin the same course was followed, and the Greek pascha was adopted without translation. Centuries later,  [in 1382] when Wycliffe translated the Bible into English from the Latin version, he could find in the English language no satisfactory equivalent, so he just gave the Latin word an English form -- pask or paske. ... [Then in 1526 when] Tyndale applied his talents to the translation of the New Testament from Greek into English, he was not satisfied with the use of a completely foreign word, and decided to take into account the fact that the season of the passover was known generally to English people as 'Easter', notwithstanding the lack of any actual connection between the meanings of the two words. The Greek word occurs twenty-nine times in the New Testament, and Tyndale has ester or easter fourteen times, esterlambe eleven times, esterfest once, and paschall lambe three times. ... When Tyndale began his translation of the Pentateuch he was again faced with the problem in Exodus 12.11 and twenty-one other places, and no doubt recognising that easter in this context would be an anachronism he coined a new word, passover, and used it consistently in all twenty-two places. It is therefore to Tyndale that our language is indebted for this meaningful and appropriate word. His labours on the Old Testament left little time for revision of the New Testament, with the result that while passover is found in his 1530 Pentateuch, ester remained in the N.T. of 1534, having been used in his first edition several years before he coined the new word passover." [2]

Brown erroneously states,  "... it seems probable that [Easter] was left inadvertently rather than intentionally, in Acts 12.4." [2]  Even humanly speaking, it would have been extremely unlikely that "Easter" in Acts 12:4 would have been an inadvertent mistake, let alone the divine providence of God superintending His Word.  This is true because the translators diligently compared their translation of the Greek with the former English translations. The title page of the New Testament of 1611 says:  "The Newe Testament of our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST. Newly Translated out of the Originall Greeke: and with the former Translations diligently compared and revised, by his Majesties speciall Commandment."   They compared their KJV translation with the translations that had the word "Easter" in Acts 12:4:  i.e Tyndale's Bible (1534) the Great Bible (1539) and the Bishop's Bible (1568); and to those which did not have it:  i.e Wycliffe's Bible (1382) and the Geneva Bible (1560).   There were 47 translators of the KJV organized into six groups, who met respectively at Westminster, Cambridge, and Oxford. Eight of the fifteen men in the Oxford group worked on Acts. There were fifteen general rules that were advanced for the guidance of the translators. One of the rules was: "The ordinary Bible read in the Church, commonly called the Bishops Bible, to be followed, and as little altered as the Truth of the original will permit."  The Bishops Bible had already eliminated all but 2 instances (John 11:55 and Acts 12:4) of the many places where the Tyndale and Great bibles had retained the word "Easter."  The KJV translators further eliminated John 11:55, but retained it in Acts 12:4.  Other rules of translation stated, "Every particular Man of each Company, to take the same Chapter or Chapters, and having translated or amended them severally by himself, where he thinketh good, all to meet together, confer what they have done, and agree for their Parts what shall stand. ... As any one Company hath dispatched any one Book in this Manner they shall send it to the rest, to be considered of seriously and judiciously, for His Majesty is very careful in this Point."  So the word "Easter" in Acts 12:4 was translated by eight men and the translation agreed upon by the eight and then sent to be checked by the other 39 translators from all six translation groups.  Therefore, it would have been next to impossible to have "inadvertently" left "Easter" in Acts 12:4, and with God's providential hand guiding in the translation it was totally impossible (John 16:13-14; 1 Cor 2:12).

The Greek transliteration of the Hebrew, "Pashca" is found  29 times in the Greek New Testament.  In the King James Bible it is translated "Passover" 28 times, and in Acts 12:4 it is correctly translated "Easter," because it is not referring to the Jewish Passover, but rather to a pagan festival that occurred sometime after the Hebrew Passover.

ETYMOLOGY, HISTORY AND BIBLICAL BACKGROUND OF THE WORD EASTER :

Etymology of Easter:

"Old English (OE), Easterdæg [Easter day], from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from Proto-Germanic (PGmc) Austron, a goddess of fertility and spring, probably originally of sunrise whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from austra-, from Proto-Indo-Europea (PIE) aus- "to shine" (especially of the dawn). Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Ultimately related to east. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pasche to name this holiday. ..." (Online Etymology Dictionary)

Thanks to William Tyndale we have both the word Passover and an etymological link to the meaning of Easter in Acts 12:4. Tyndale was the first to translate Pashca as "ester" in 1526 when he translated the New Testament, and then just 4 years later in 1530 he invented the literal translation, "Passover," for his work in the Old Testament.  He left the transliteration, "paschall", in Matthew 26:17 and John 18:28 in his 1534 New Testament revision.  Whether he intended it or not, these two places serve as reference points in the etymology of the word to help us differentiate between God's Passover and the pagan Easter of Acts 12:4.  The subsequent translations (Coverdale [1535], Matthews [1537], Great Bible [1539], Geneva Bible [1560], Bishop's Bible [1568]) begin to remove "easter" until only 85 years later the only place it was left was in Acts 12:4.  Tyndale's first use of "ester" was necessary in the etymology of the word to help us see more clearly that the Acts 12:4 "easter" was not a Hebrew Passover.  Now we have a perfect Bible, the 1611 KJV.  Those that proceeded it prepared the language and paved the way for the perfect English Bible.

Now note the words of the ancient historian, Bede (672 - 735 AD):

"In olden times the English people ... calculated their months according to the course of the Moon. Hence, after the manner of the Greeks and the Romans, [the months] take their name from the Moon, for the moon is called mona and each month monath.  The first month, which the Latins call January, is Giuli; February is called Solmonath; March Hrethmonath; April, Eosturmonath [... etc.].  Eosturmonath has a name which is now translated 'Paschal month', and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre, in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance." [3]

In his book, Teutonic Mythology, the 19th Century German scholar, Jacob Grimm (1785-1863), wrote expanding on Bede's brief reference to Eosturmonath and Eostre:

"The two goddesses, whom Beda (De temporum ratione cap. 13) cites very briefly, without any description, merely to explain the months named after them, are Hrede and Eástre, March taking its Saxon name from the first, and April from the second ... It would be uncritical to saddle this father of the church, who everywhere keeps heathenism at a distance, and tells us less of it than he knows, with the invention of these goddesses. There is nothing improbable in them, nay the first of them is justified by clear traces in the vocabularies of other German tribes. ... We Germans to this day call April ostermonat, and ôstarmânoth is found as early as Eginhart [775 - 840 AD]. ... The great christian festival, which usually falls in April or the end of March, bears in the oldest of OHG [Old High German] remains the name ôstarâ ... it is mostly found in the plural, because two days (ostartaga, aostortaga ...) were kept at Easter. This Ostarâ, like the AS [Anglo-Saxon] Eástre, must in heathen religion have denoted a higher being, whose worship was so firmly rooted, that the christian teachers tolerated the name, and applied it to one of their own grandest anniversaries. All the nations bordering on us have retained the Biblical pascha ... The OHG. adv. ostar expresses movement toward the rising sun ... Ostara, Eastre seems therefore to have been the divinity of the radiant dawn, of upspringing light, a spectacle that brings joy and blessing, whose meaning could be easily adapted to the resurrection-day of the Christian's God. Bonfires were lighted at Easter, and according to a popular belief of long standing, the moment the sun rises on Easter Sunday morning, he gives three joyful leaps, he dances for joy ... [H]eathen notions seems to have grafted themselves on great Christian festivals." [Vol. I, pp. 289-291, 1882]

"On April 21, the day of her founding, Rome kept the palilia, an ancient feast of herdsmen, in honour of Pales, a motherly divinity reminding us of Ceres and Vesta. This date does not coincide with the solstice, but it does with the time of the Easter fire; the ritual itself, the leaping over the flame, the driving of cattle through the glowing embers, is quite the same as at the Midsummer fire and needfire. ... The shepherds had struck the fire out of stone, and caught it on straw; the leaping through it was to atone and cleanse, and to secure their flock against all harm. ... This fire-worship seems equally at home in Canaan, Syria, Greece and Rome, so that we are not justified in pronouncing it a borrowed and imported thing in any one of them. It is therefore hard to determine from what source the Christians afterwards drew, when they came to use it in their Easter and Midsummer festivals, or on other occasions." (Vol. II, pp. 625-626, 1883)

Historian James A. Wylie (1808-1890) states, "The wife of Baal was named Beltis, which is the feminine form of the word. She was the Rhea of the Assyrians, the Istar of the Persians, the Astarte and Ashtaroth of the Syrians and Phoenicians, the Venus of the Greeks and Romans. Her worship was widely prevalent. The Jews at times offered cakes to her as the 'Queen of Heaven'." [4]

The New Unger's Bible Dictionary defines Easter thusly:  "Easter [Gk. pascha, from Heb. pesah].  The Passover ..., and so translated in every passage except the KJV: 'intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people' [Acts 12:4].  In the earlier English versions Easter had been frequently used as the translation of pascha. At the last revision [1611 A.V.] Passover was substituted in all passages but this. ... The word Easter is of Saxon origin, the name is eastra, the goddess of spring in whose honor sacrifices were offered about Passover time each year. By the eighth century Anglo-Saxons had adopted the name to designate the celebration of Christ's resurrection."

The word was originally used because it identified the general time of year of the Lord's Passover (Ex 12:27; Lev 23:5) which coincided with the pagan festival of eastra.   The Lord's Passover pointed to the Lord Jesus Christ's death. The pagan passover of Acts 12:4 pointed to an ancient pagan goddess.

There are legends of the goddess and springtime festivals all over the world having to do with fertility.  They all have their origins in ancient Babel and are counterfeits and perversions of the Lord's Passover.

The word "Easter" is a corruption of the word Ishtar and has it's origin in the pagan worship of the false goddesses of an ancient fertility cult.  In the Bible she is known as "Ashtaroth" and "Ashtoreth" (Ishtar to the Assyrians and Babylonians, Astarte of the Greeks and Romans).  All originate from the same mythology.  Easter is cognate with the goddesses of the Canaanites referred to as Ashtaroth (Judges 2:13, 10:6; 1 Samuel 7:3-4, 12:10, 31:10), and under the name Ashtoreth of the Zidonians (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13).  She is mentioned in the Bible along with other false gods such as Baal, Chemosh, Milcom and Molech.  Ashtaroth, Ashtoreth, Ishtar, Astarte, Venus, Easter and others are all cognate false goddess under different names.  All their names have the same meaning, "star." [5]   Ashtoreth is the consort of Baal and is associated with him in Scripture and in history.  Angels are symbolized in Scripture as “stars.”  In Job 38 it says, “Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth … When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4, 7), and speaking of Satan’s angels who rebelled with him it says this in Revelation 12:4, “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth …”  Easter and the other names she goes by are names that represents a fallen angel or angels and there are no female angels, so that makes him or them queer.  He is of the like kind that Jude wrote of where he says, “And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.  Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” (Jude 6-7)  They are succubuses likened unto Sodomites.  They help fulfill the Apostle Paul’s prophecy that says, “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils” (1 Tim 4:1; cf Mark 13:22; 1 John 2:22-26; Rev 2:20).

In Old Testament times her image was worshipped in "groves" (Hebrew: Asherah; Strong's #842).  The prophets of the groves were false prophets of the places of worship of Ashtoreth of the Zidonians.  There were four hundred "prophets of the groves" which ate at Jezebels table (1 Kings 18:19).  The Bible says that King Ahab took Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians as his wife, and made a grove.   Because of this and other abominable acts, Ahab provoked the Lord God of Israel to anger more than all the kings of Israel that were before him. (1 Kings 16:31-33)  And like the "prophets of the groves" and the Baal (Bel) worshipers of Elijah’s day, Patrick likewise found in 4th century Ireland Druidic priests who worshiped Bel and who were called “priests of the groves." [4]  The consort of the Druidic Bel was Belisama (meaning: most brilliant). 

Easter is the Biblical Ashtoreth and Diana (Artemis) and in other cultures she was known as Astarte, Ostera, Isis, Venus, Rhea, Eos, etc., the fertility goddess, and mother goddess.  Alexander Hislop says this about Easter:  "Easter is nothing else than Astarte, ... , the queen of heaven (Jeremiah 7:18, 44:17-19, 25), whose name, as pronounced by the people of Nineveh, was evidently identical with that now in common use in this country [Britain].  That name as found ... on the Assyrian monuments, is Ishtar.  The worship of Bel and Astarte was very early introduced into Britain, along with the Druids, 'the priests of the groves' [1 Kings 18:19] ... From Bel, the 1st of May is still called Beltane in the Almanac [Oliver & Boyd's Edinburgh Almanac, 1860], and we have customs still lingering ... which prove how exactly the worship of Bel or Moloch (for both ... [are] the same god) [Jer 19:5] ... had been observed [including burnt human sacrifices] ..."  If Baal was thus worshipped in Britain, it will not be difficult to believe that his consort Astarte was also adorned by our ancestors ... [April being called by] our Pagan ancestors ... Easter monath. ... The forty days' of abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess.  Such a Lent of forty days, 'in the spring ...' is still observed by ... Pagan Devil-worshippers of Koordistan, who inherited it from ... the Babylonians. ... About the end of the sixth century, the first decisive attempt was made to enforce the observance of [a forty day Easter Lent by Rome] ... [In Britain] the attempt met with vigorous resistance. The difference ... as observed in Britain by the native Christians, and the Pagan Easter enforced by Rome ... was a whole month; and it was only by violence and bloodshed ... that the Festival of the Anglo-Saxon or Chaldean goddess came to supercede that which had been held in honor of Christ. Such is the history of Easter." [6]

The Hebrew word pascha, for passover, came to be associated with both Christian and pagan observance.  It was to this latter that Herod was referring in Acts 12. Clearly the pagan goddess Easter (Ishtar) has no part in the celebration of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

HEROD'S BACKGROUND & THE EASTER OF ACTS CHAPTER TWELVE :

The Herods of the Bible were Edomites, not Israelites.  The Herod of Acts 12 was Herod Agrippa I.  He was half brother of Herodias, who had her daughter asked for John the Baptist's head (Mark 6:22-25).  He was educated in Rome with Drusus, the son of Emperor Tiberius.  Herod was politically minded and sought alliances in Rome to undermine his half brother, Herod the tetrarch.  He gained the favor of Gaius (later known as Caligula), and when he became emperor, he made Agrippa I King of the provinces of Syria, and Abilene in 37 AD, and in 39 AD he gained Galilee, and later Judaea and Samaria in 41 AD.  He died in 44 AD at Caesarea at age 44, being "eaten of worms" after accepting divine acclamation and honor from the people (Acts 12:21-23). [
7]

Herod Agrippa I, as an Edomite, was surely familiar with the gods of his ancestral land [8] the pagan areas of his kingdom, and those of the surrounding countries.  This whole area was inundated with Astarte worshiped before, during and after his reign.  From his youth on, he would most certainly have been well acquainted with Astarte worship. He would have known of her from the many years he spent in Rome where she was also worshiped. There can be no question that many of her devotees were among the subjects of his kingdom (Syria, Abilene, Samaria, Galilee, Judaea).  Furthermore, his resort in Caesarea was less than 80 miles from Sidon which was a major center of Astarte worship both before and after those days.

On the coins of Caesarea dating mostly from the second and third centuries, are found the names of many gods: Zeus, Poseidon, Apollo, Hercules, Dionysus, Athena, Nike, and especially the Phenician goddess Astarte. [9] There are also coins of Caesarea with Agrippa's head on one side and Tyche (probably Astarte) on the reverse. 

It is interesting to note that "Ashtoreth" was "the goddess of the Zidonians" (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings. 23:13).  It was to Caesarea that Herod retreated after the Angel freed Peter (Acts 12:6-10, 19).  Caesarea is only 80 miles from Sidon or Zidon, and less than 20 miles from Mount Carmel where Elijah defeated 450 "prophets of Baal" and 400 "prophets of the groves" in the days of King Ahab and Jezebel in a contest to see whose God was greatest.  Jezebel was from Sidon and Baal and Ashtoreth were her gods. The Bible says:  "... Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD above all that were before him.  And it came to pass ... that he took to wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, and went and served Baal, and worshipped him.  And he reared up an altar for Baal in the house of Baal, which he had built in Samaria. ... [The] prophets of Baal ... and the prophets of the groves ... eat at Jezebel's table." (1 Kings 16:30-32, 18:19)  The prophets of the "groves" (asherah) were prophets of Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, consort of Baal, whose idol was worshipped in the groves. 

It is very interesting that Ishtar, Easter or Astarte are called "Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians" in the Bible (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13).  The name "Easter" comes from this same pagan star goddess.  She was introduced into the British Isles by the Druids as Eastre.  In other cultures she was known as Eostre, Ostera, Isis, Venus, etc., the fertility goddess, the queen of heaven. 

There can be no doubt that Herod was familiar with the false star goddess called variously, Ashtoreth in the Bible, Ishtar by the Babylonians, Astarte by the Zidonians, and Venus by the Romans.  All these names and others carry the same meaning, star. [5]

THE TEXT FORBIDS THIS PASACH FROM BEING THE HEBREW PASSOVER:

Acts 12:1-4: "Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church.  And he killed James the brother of John with the sword.  And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)  And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people."

If Herod was himself a devotee of Astarte the text does not say, although he may well have been.  But as a politician just as he wanted to please the Jews (Acts 12:3), he would have likewise have wanted to please the pagans of his kingdom.  Ecumenicalism and religious duplicity has long been a common political tactic. This is probably what the Lord Jesus meant when He said, "Take heed, beware ... of the leaven of Herod" (Mark 8:15).  Herod Agrippa I pleased the Jews using the pretense of their religion, while at the same time showing favor to the pagan religious rites of Ishtar / Astarte.  It was his political expertise, not Judaism, that led him to "vex certain of the church" and "to take Peter" (Acts 12:1-3).  It was "because he saw it pleased the Jews" (Acts 12:3).  This phrase, "he saw it pleased the Jews," itself implies that Herod was not himself a Jew.  One thing is certain, no religious Jew would accept praise as a god as he did (Acts 12:21-23). 

Some assert that "Easter" in Acts 12:4 is synonymous with "Passover" in English, but Herod could not have been waiting till after "the LORD'S Passover" (Ex 12:11, 27; Lev 23:5) to "bring [Peter] forth to the people" (Acts 12:4), because Passover had already passed and they were already in "the days of unleavened bread" (Acts 12:3).  The feast of unleavened bread is the second, after Passover, of the seven annual feasts of Israel.  Even though the days of unleavened bread follow directly after Passover they are still two distinct feasts, and nowhere in the King James Bible is that second feast called Passover.  Both the whole tenor of Scriptures and the context of the passage forbid it being the Hebrew Passover.  Therefore, Herod was waiting until "after Easter," not till after the Hebrew Passover, to bring Peter forth to the people (Acts 12:4). 

Now notice carefully that "the days [plural] of unleavened bread" (Acts 12:3) come after "the day [singular] of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed" (Luke 22:7; cf. Ex 12:5-8). The day of unleavened bread or "Passover" is observed on the 14th day of the first month (Abib or Nisan) of the Hebrew calendar (Lev 23:5; Ex 12:5-6; Num 9:5, 28:16), whereas the seven day "Feast of Unleavened Bread" is observed from the 15th to the 21st of the first month of the Hebrew calendar (Lev 23:6; Ex 34:18; Num 28:17; 2 Chron 30:21, 35:17).  The two feasts were different.  Passover was a family feast whereas the Feast of Unleavened Bread was one of three annual convocations (assemblies) commanded by God.  The Bible says, "Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles ..." (Deut 16:16; cf 2 Chron 8:13).  And it is not insignificant that there are 7 feasts (7 being the number of perfection) which if Passover and Unleavened Bread were combined would reduced them to just 6.  Neither does the argument that Jews use the terms "passover" and "the days of unleavened bread" interchangeably hold Scriptural water.  Unleavened Bread may have come to be called Passover by the Jews, but the Word of God clearly separates the two feasts.  The Bible is precise in Acts 12:3-4 and else where on this issue for a reason.  It is to show that it is not the Jewish Passover.  The fact that the Bible never calls "the Feast of Unleavened Bread" Passover cannot be over emphasized.  Passover is called unleavened bread (Matt 26:17; Mark 14:12; Luke 22:1, 22:7; Ex 12:18), but nowhere in Scripture is the Feast of Unleavened Bread called Passover. Although Jews do call the whole eight days passover, this terminology is not Scriptural.  Passover is a feast distinct from and before the Unleavened Bread, and Passover in the context of Acts 12:3-4 had already passed.

Therefore, it is clear that the Easter of Acts 12:4 cannot be the Jewish Passover, because it comes after rather that before the Feast of Unleavened Bread.  Therefore, Herod was waiting for a pagan "pascha" (1 Sam. 7:3; 1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings. 23:13; Jer. 7:18; 44:18), rather than the Lord's "pascha" (Ex 12:27; Lev 23:5). 

THE TIMING OF HEROD'S EASTER AND WHAT IT REALLY WAS :

The question arises, if the pesach of Acts 12:4 was not the Hebrew Passover then what and when was the "after Easter" of Acts 12:4?  In Ezekiel 8 God showed Ezekiel the great abominations that were being committed by the house of Israel (v. 6).  One of those abominations was the worship of Tammuz.  Ezekiel 8:14 says, "Then he brought me to the door of the gate of the LORD'S house which was toward the north; and, behold, there sat women weeping for Tammuz."  This is a direct reference to Pagan Babylonian mythology which is the basis of their religion.  Who was this Tammuz?  Jerome (340 - 420 AD) in his Commentary on Ezekiel wrote:  "Hence as, according to the Pagan legend, the lover of Venus, a most beautiful youth, is said to have been slain, then raised to life again, in the month of June, they [both Babylonians and Jews] call the month of June by his name, and they have a solemn celebration in it every year, in the course of which his death is mourned by the women, and afterwards his resurrection is chanted, and praised." [
10] Alexander Hislop further states: "... the great annual festival in commemoration of the death and resurrection of Tammuz, which was celebrated by alternate weeping and rejoicing, and which, in many countries, was considerably later than the Christian festival, being observed in Palestine and Assyria in June, therefore called the 'month of Tammuz'; in Egypt, about the middle of May, and in Britain, some time in April." [11]  Moshe ben Maimon (1135 -1204 AD) who was well studied in the sacred books of the Chaldeans gives the following account of the death of Tammuz:  "When the false prophet named Thammuz preached to a certain king that he should worship the seven stars and the twelve signs of the Zodiac, that king ordered him to be put to a terrible death. On the night of his death all the images assembled from the ends of the earth into the temple of Babylon, to the great golden image of the Sun, which was suspended between heaven and earth. That image prostrated itself in the midst of the temple, and so did all the images around it, while it related to them all that had happened to Thammuz. The images wept and lamented all the night long, and then in the morning they flew away, each to his own temple again, to the ends of the earth. And hence arose the custom every year, on the first day of the month Thammuz, to mourn and to weep for Thammuz." [12, 13]   The extravagant Chaldean idolatry quoted in this passage is no reason to doubt the fact of the death of the historical Tammuz. There is reason to believe that the "certain king" in this Chaldean legend who had the false prophet put to death was Noah's son, Shem. 

But how does this date, the first day of the month Thammuz, tie into Ishtar or Easter worship?  All false religions have a common source that will culminate in the prophetic universal religion spoken of in the Book of Revelation.  There it speaks of "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH" (Rev 17:5). [14]  This Babylonian Mother of harlots and abominations originated in ancient Babel (from which Babylon derives its name) about 470 years after the Great Flood, in the last decades of Shem's life.  This the original mystery religion was organized by Noah's great grandson, Nimrod, and his wife, Semiramis, at the tower of Babel.  Nimrod was the original antichrist (Anti means both, against and in place of).  The Bible says this concerning him: "... Nimrod ... was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.  And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar." (Gen 10:9-10).  The name Nimrod itself means rebel.  The ancient Jerusalem Targum says:  He was powerful in hunting and wickedness before the Lord, for he was a hunter of the sons of men, and he said to them, Depart from the judgment of the Lord, and adhere to the judgment of Nimrod! Therefore it is said:  As Nimrod the strong one, strong in hunting, and wickedness before the Lord. [15]  He was a rebel before the Lord who sought to draw men away from Almighty Jehovah God.  This apostate tried to unite all the people of the world into a great antichrist religion with himself and Semiramis at its head.  At that time "the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech" (Gen 11:1).  However, God frustrated this One World Religion by confounding their language so that the people could not understand one another’s speech (Gen 11:5).  "So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth" (Gen 11:8).  The Bible is silent concerning Nimrod's death and profane history only speaks mysteriously of it, but apparently sometime prior to the confounding of tongues Nimrod died and Tammuz was born, because it was from Babel that went forth to all corners of the earth the mythology of his reincarnation as his wife's son through a miraculous birth.  Hislop says, "... Nimrod, under the name of Ninus, was worshipped as the son [Tammuz] of his wife [Semiramis], when he came to be deified as the sun-god.  [The] name Aurora, as applied to his wife, is evidently intended to convey the very same idea as prevails in Tartary. ... These myths of the Tartars ... prove that the Pagan idea of the miraculous conception had ... [come] directly from the promise of 'the seed of the woman'." [16]  Eusbe Salverte (1771-1839) speaks of the mythology of the Scythians [Tartary] on this wise, "Almost all the Tartar princes trace their genealogy to a celestial virgin, impregnated by a sun-beam, or some equally miraculous means." [17]  The ancients knew God's prophesy of judgment upon Satan for deceiving Eve.  God told him, "I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman [Eve, Israel & Mary], and between thy seed [the unregenerate lost] and her seed [Christ Jesus & those in Christ]; it shall bruise thy head [overcome Satan], and thou shalt bruise his heel [at Calvary]" (Gen 3:15).  Semiramis twisted the prophecy of Genesis 3:15 to her own advantage. [18]  According to the cult of Ishtar, Tammuz was conceived by a sunbeam, a counterfeit of the Lord Jesus' virgin birth.  Hislop further states, "The Chaldean Mysteries can be traced up to the days of Semiramis, who ... it is well known, was worshipped by the Babylonians. ... It was from the son [Tammuz], however, that she derived all her glory and her claims to deification.  That son, though represented as a child in his mother's arms, was a person of great stature. ... In Scripture he is referred to under the name of Tammuz (Ezek 8:14), but he is commonly known among classical writers under the name of Bacchus, that is, 'The Lamented one.' ... From Bakhah 'to weep' or 'lament.'  Among the Phoenicians [including Sidonians], ... 'Bacchos means weeping.'  As the women wept for Tammuz, so did they for Bacchus. ..." [19]  Semiramis who is called Ishtar is described in an ancient Babylonian text, The Descent of Ishtar (about 2000 BC), as having descended with great determination into the neither world  to bring Tammuz up from "the Land of no Return."  His sister, Geshtinanna [meaning: She who always weeps], and Ishtar mourn his death, and Geshtinanna pleaded with Ishtar to bring him back to life.  That ancient text says, "Ishtar ... set her mind ... to the dark house, the abode of Irkalla [queen of the under world], to the house which none leave who have entered it. ... (Where) they see no light. ... When Ishtar reached the gate of the Land of no Return, She said, ... 'O gatekeeper, open thy gate ... that I may enter! If thou openest not the gate so that I can-not enter, I will smash the door ..."  This myth states that while Ishtar was in "the Land of no Return" that fertilely in the land of the living ceased.  It also states that "Ea, the King [god of creation and the waters and life], created Asushunamir [meaning: his appearance is brilliant]" to help Ishtar which, according to the myth, he did.  Both Ishtar and Tammuz were returned to the land of the living.  This ancient text calls Ishtar, "She who upholds the great festivals."  The myth ends on this wise: "As for Tammuz, the lover of her [Ishtar's] youth, wash him with pure water, anoint him with sweet oil: Clothe him with a red garment. ... On the day when Tammuz comes up to me [Geshtinanna] ... with him the wailing men and wailing women come up to me, may the dead rise and smell the incense." [20]  According to another myth, Tammuz and his sister, Geshtinanna, were each required to spend six months of the year each in "the Land of no Return" with Tammuz rising of the 1st Tammuz which is 70 days after the Hebrew Passover. 
 
The Roman Catholic celebration of Lent has no basis in Scripture.  Lent comes directly from this pagan observance of Ishtar, "who upholds the great festivals" and who weeps for Tammuz.  It was Ishtar who assisted him in his release from "the Land of no Return" and who negotiated his alternating life of six months in the land of the living and 6 months in "the Land of no Return."  Lent is the celebration of Semiramis' mourning over the death of Tammuz (cf. Ezek. 8:14) before his alleged resurrection.  All of this is Satan’s falsification of God Almighty's prophetic truth concerning the virgin birth of Christ, His death for our sins, and His resurrection from the dead.  These mythology fabrications built around Semiramis and Tammuz were the first counterfeit religion, from which all the other false religions have sprung.  Mystery Babylon can be traced directly to Roman Catholicism which lifts Mary to the position of a goddess.  The doctrines of her ancient daughters include a priesthood, idolatry, purgatory, astrology, occultism, and even the doctrines of karma and reincarnation for Semiramis is the supposed reincarnation of Eve, and Tammuz of Nimrod.  Mary worship, purgatory, and the forty day lent before Easter, etc. are of Mystery Babylon (aka Catholicism) that came to Rome by way of Pergamos. [14] None of these things have any connection at all with the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ or His church.  Lent comes from the pagan practice of forty days of weeping and self-denial for the resurrection of Tammuz.  Lent was first addressed by the Church at Rome during the Council of Nicea in A.D. 325.  Emperor Constantine began the process of joining paganism with the Church of Rome, which had already been corrupted, and establishing the new state religion of the Roman Empire, Roman Catholicism.  The Council of Laodicea in A.D. 360 officially commanded Lent to be observed.  "The forty days' abstinence of Lent was directly borrowed from the worshippers of the Babylonian goddess. ... To conciliate the Pagans to nominal Christianity, Rome, pursuing its usual policy, took measures to get the Christian and Pagan festivals amalgamated, and, ... in general, to get Paganism and Christianity--now far sunk in idolatry--in this as in so many other things, to shake hands." [21]  The Roman Church replaced Passover with Easter and moved the pagan lent and feast for Tammuz to early spring.  However, the "after Easter" of Herod’s day and that which he spoke of was held on the first of Tammuz (our June / July time frame).

Therefore, the answer to the question of what was the pesach of Acts 12:4 is this:   It was a Pagan counterfeit of the Pesach of God, a festival held on the first of Tammaz in honor of the falsified death and resurrection of Tammaz, who was supposedly the seed of the woman and was assisted in his resurrection by the goddess Ishtar (aka Semiramis). The true Pesach of the LORD or feast of Passover (1 Corinthians 5:7) was a one day feast which was symbolic of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, the feast of Unleavened Bread was a seven day feast which pointed to the burial of the Lord's sinless body, and the feast of First Fruits was a one day feast picturing Christ's resurrection from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:20-23). Thus the Lord Jesus Christ fulfilled the first part of the prophecy of the Seed of the woman by His heel having been bruised (Genesis 3:15).

As has already been seen the Seed of the woman of Genesis 3:15 was certainly known to the descendants of Noah.  The life of Noah's grandfather, Methuselah, overlapped Adam's life for over 200 years and overlapped his own life over 500 years.  Adam had learned from God face to face in Eden before the Fall, and Methuselah was surely taught the knowledge of Adam by his godly father Enoch, who "walked with God: and he was not; for God took him" (Gen 5:24).  Noah, no doubt, learned the things of God from his grandfather, Methuselah, and his father, Lamech.  In order for Noah to be "a preacher of righteousness" (2 Pet 2:5; cf. Gen 6:8) he would have of necessity had to have known that the Seed of the woman was to be the Saviour of the world, the sacrificial Lamb and Son of God.  Noah would have known of the bloody sacrifice that God preformed in order to "make coats of skins, and clothed [Adam and Eve]" (Gen 3:21), and that “the LORD had respect unto … [Abel’s bloody] offering” (Gen 4:4).  He knew first hand that "the LORD shut him in" the Ark to protect him from the Great Flood (Gen 7:16).  Noah and his family were most assuredly among those who “[called] upon the name of the LORD” before the Flood (Gen 4:26).  However, when the unregenerate people of the early post Flood world heard the things of God from Noah, Shem [22] and others it was then, as it is today, as foolishness unto them (1 Cor 1:18-21).  "But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (2 Pet 2:1)  From the ancient Chaldee phrase "Zer-Nebo-Gus" which means "seed of the prophet Cush" it appears that Cush was a false prophet who prophesied that his son, Nimrod, was the promised Seed.  Shyster false prophets like Cush, Nimrod and Semiramis easily deceived the people.  Therefore, lying prophecies were told, believed and taken to all parts of the world after the confusion of Babel.  This is the stuff mythology is made of, a little truth mixed with a lot of lie. 

"[He] who by the Chaldeans was regarded as the great "Seed," was looked upon as the sun incarnate ... The name Tammuz [Tam = to perfect, Muz = fire] has evidently reference to this, for it signifies "to perfect," that is, "to purify" "by fire"; and if Nimrod was, as ... the general voice of antiquity, represent him to have been, the originator of fire-worship, this name very exactly expresses his character in that respect." [23, 24]   "Tammuz ... is commonly known among classical writers under the name of Bacchus, that is, 'The Lamented one.' ... [It is] well known, that amid all the abominations that attended [this Lamented one's] orgies, their grand design was professedly 'the purification of souls,' and that from the guilt and defilement of sin. ... [A fourth-century AD pagan by the name of Servius Maurus Honoratus] tells us that the grand purpose of the Bacchic orgies 'was the purification of souls,' and as in these orgies there was regularly the tearing asunder and the shedding of the blood of an animal, in memory of the shedding of the life's blood of the great divinity commemorated in them.  Could this symbolical shedding of the blood of that divinity have no bearing on the 'purification' from sin, these mystic rites were intended to effect?  ... [The] sufferings of the Babylonian Zoroaster [Chaldee, Zero = 'the seed' & Ashta = 'the woman'] and Belus [aka Baal the sun god] were expressly represented as voluntary, and as submitted to for the benefit of the world, and that in connection with crushing the great serpent's head, which implied the removal of sin and the curse." [25]  So it becomes apparent from piecing together the evidence from ancient history and mythology that the mystery religions that are still with us today in the form of Zoroastrism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Islam, Druidism, etc. all have their origin in a the false god and goddess, Tammuz and Ishtar. 

Now to tie all this to Europe and Great Briton in particular:  The Celtic peoples employed the Druids as their religious guides in France, England and Ireland.  One Celtic goddess in Breton and Gaul was Sirona, again meaning "star." [5]  She was a sky goddess, probably a deity of the sun and was the goddess of healing and fertility. The consort of Sirona was Grannus, the Celtic equivalent of the Roman Apollo.  There was also the goddess Belisama who was connected with lakes and rivers, and fire and light.  Belisama was the consort of Belenus the sun god of the Celts.  May 1st is called Beltane, a Celtic fire festival, held in Bel's honor to celebrate the life and fertility -- marking the beginning of Summer.  Belisama and Belenus are just Ishtar and Tammaz by other names.  Hislop also connects the Druid form of worship to the Babylonian with the goddess Ceres:  "The Druidic system in all its parts was evidently the Babylonian system. [The Greek historian] Dionysius [of Halicarnassus (60 - 7 BC)] informs us, that the rites of Bacchus were duly celebrated in the British Islands and [the Greek geographer and historian] Strabo [64 BC - 24 AD] cites [the geographer] Artemidorus [of Ephesius (2nd century BC)] to show that, in an island close to Britain, [the goddess] Ceres and [her daughter] Proserpine were venerated with rites similar to the orgies of [the Greek island of] Samothrace [in the northern Aegean Sea]. ... [From] the account of the Druidic Ceridwen and her child ... [we know] that there was a great analogy between her character and that of the great goddess-mother of Babylon. Such was the system; and the name Dryw, or Droi, applied to the priests, is in exact accordance with that system. The name Zero, given in Hebrew or the early Chaldee, to the son of the great goddess queen, in later Chaldee became "Dero." The priest of Dero, 'the seed,' was called, as is the case in almost all religions, by the name of his god; and hence the familiar name 'Druid' is thus proved to signify the priest of 'Dero,' the woman's promised 'seed.' ... That the initiated Pagans actually believed that the 'Corn' which Ceres bestowed on the world was not the 'Corn' of this earth, but the Divine 'Son,' through whom alone spiritual and eternal life could be enjoyed, we have clear and decisive proof. The Druids were devoted worshippers of Ceres, and as such they were celebrated in their mystic poems as 'bearers of the ears of corn.' Now, the ... [Song of Taliesin,' in Davies' British Druids gives] the account which the Druids give of their great divinity, under the form of 'Corn.' That divinity was represented as having ... assumed the form of a single grain [and was] ...swallowed [by Ceridwen (Ceres) who had taken] ... the form of a black high-crested hen ... [and she became] pregnant of him nine months, and when delivered of him ... she found him so lovely a babe. ... Here it is evident that the grain of corn, is expressly identified with 'the lovely babe'; from which it is still further evident that Ceres, who, to the profane vulgar was known only as the Mother of 'Bar,' 'the Corn,' was known to the initiated as the Mother of 'Bar,' 'the Son.'  And now, the reader will be prepared to understand the full significance of the representation in the Celestial sphere of 'the Virgin with the ear of wheat in her hand.' That ear of wheat in the Virgin's hand is just another symbol for the child in the arms of the Virgin Mother." [26]   However, the name of the goddess that stuck was not SironaBelisama, or Ceridwen, but was Easter which name, we learned from Bede (672 - 735 AD), comes from a goddess named Eostre (cognate to the Greek, Eos; the Latin, Aurora; the Babylonian, Ishtar) and after whom the month of April was then called, "Eosturmonath."

There are two main things to remember about the "Easter" of Acts 12:4:  1) It was really was a "pesach" (a symbol of death for sins and resurrection) festival, although a falsified mythical one;  and 2) that counterfeit "pesach" which had its beginnings in Babel has a false seed, multiple saviours, numerous deaths and fabricated resurrections.  The satanic mystery religions that have propagated this false teaching do not have a single saviour, but add his mother / wife, the Queen of Heaven, as co-saviour (Acts 4:12; 1 Tim 2:5);  they do not teach the seed's resurrection only, but add his reincarnation also (Heb 9:27-28); they do not teach a single sacrificial death, but it is repeated over and over (Heb 10:10; 1 Pet 3:18).  The seed of the woman in the mystery religions simply is not the Seed of the woman of the Holy Scriptures.  The final end time fulfillment of this false seed will be the Antichrist Beast of Revelation 13, and his Mystery Mother of Revelation 17.

PETER'S ESCAPE AND HEROD'S RESULTING ANGER : 

One final item of evidence, although seemingly circumstantial, from Acts 12 is this:
 
"[Herod] killed James the brother of John with the sword.  3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.)  4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. ... 6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison.  7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, ... saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands.  8 ... And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me.  9 And he went out, and followed him. ... 18 Now as soon as it was day, there was no small stir among the soldiers, what was become of Peter.  19 And when Herod had sought for him [Peter], and found him not, he examined the keepers, and commanded that they should be put to death.  And he went down from Judaea to Caesarea, and there abode.  20 And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king's chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king's country.  21 And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them.   22 And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.  23 And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost." (Acts 12:2-4, 6-9, 18-23) 
 
Verses 18 to 23 here toward the end of Acts 12 may, at first glance, seem unrelated to the issue of the use of the word “Easter” in verse 4, but it does have a bearing on it.  Note from this passage: 1) Herod puts the guards to death and immediately leaves Judaea for Caesarea (v. 19),  2) he is extreme displeasure with those of Tyre and Sidon (v. 20),  and 3) that “upon a set day” there in Pagan Caesarea that King Herod accepted the acclamation of the people that he had “the voice of a god, and not of a man” (v. 22).
 
First of all, Herod’s acceptance of praise as a god proves that he was not a religious Jew as some claim.

Secondly, when the angel of the Lord helped Peter to escape (Acts 12:6-11) it caused Herod to miss a political opportunity to please the Jews and caused him to loose face among the Jews.  Because of this Herod was very upset, for the text says that he had the guards executed, and having lost face in Judaea he quickly left for Caesarea, but there he "was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon," major centers of Astarte worship.  Why was Herod so "highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon"?  Why did those of Tyre and Sidon come "with one accord" to Herod desiring peace?  Why did they fear loosing Herod's support for their country?  Could the reason for Herod's sore displeasure with "them of Tyre and Sidon" have been because he felt that Astarte or "Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians" (1 Kings 11:5) had failed to help him keep Peter until the 1st of Tammuz, so he could fulfill his political goal of pleasing the Jews by making a spectacle of Peter?  Did the Sidonians fear loosing the support of Herod because they believed their primary deity was the cause of Herod’s anger?  Herod’s great displeasure with his guards and them of Tyre and Sidon both seem to stem from the same reason:  the missed opportunity to make political points with the Jews.  He held both responsible for Peter’s escape: Those of Tyre and Sidon because their goddess, Astarte, in whose honor he was waiting, failed him, and his guards because it was their responsibility to insure Peters captivity.  The coins below prove that Astarte (i.e. Ishtar / Easter) was worshiped in Tyre and Sidon before, during and after the time of Herod.

Sidon, 77/6 BC; Right: Astarte standing holding wreath and scepter. Left: Tyche daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite.
Tyre, 93/4 AD; Right: Astarte standing holding wreath and stylis. Left: Tyche (Greek meaning Luck).
Sidon, 116/7 AD; Right: Car of Astarte. Left: Tyche (The goddess of Luck).

Thirdly, the context of the Greek "pascha" in Acts 12:3-4 shows us that it could not have been the Hebrew "pecach" of Exodus 12:11, 21, 27, 43, 48, but must rather be a pagan "pascha."  This has already been clearly demonstrated by showing that the Lord's Passover comes before the Feast of Unleveaned Bread.  But furthermore, the Hebrew root word for "pecach" (Passover) is "pacach" which is translated  "pass over," "leap," and limp as with a hop (i.e. "halt" and "lame").  This Hebrew word is only found seven times in the Bible, three times in the Passover Chapter (Exodus 12), and twice in episode of Elijah against the 850 false prophets of the groves [asherah] and of Baal (1 Kings 18). 

We have already seen that the asherah were tree idols of Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13) in groves.  We have also seen that Astarte or Ashtoreth of the Zidonians, Ishtar of the Accadians, Venus of the Romans, Sirona of the Celts, and Easter of the Teutons and Anglo Saxons are all one and the same.  The Druids were known as "the priests of the groves" which is similar to the Biblical "the prophets of the groves" (1 Kings 18:19).  In 1 Kings 18:26 we find these false prophets doing their "[pacach] upon the altar" as the Druids may have done in the days of Patrick, that great Scottish missionary to Ireland. [
4]

There are a number of parallels between Acts 12 and 1 Kings 18:  First, we have two evil pagan kings who want to make political points with their people.  Second, the people are against God's man in both cases.  Third, the false prophets conduct a pagan pacach for Asherah and Baal.  Forth, God's man is the winner in both cases.  Fifth, the location of Herod's retreat, to Caesarea, was very close to Mount Carmel (only about 20 miles) where the false prophets conducted their pacach.  1 Kings 18 is a picture or type of the events of Acts 12.  We read of "the prophets of the groves" in 1 Kings 18:17-29: 
 
"And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel?  18  And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy fathers house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the LORD, and thou hast followed Baalim.  19 Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves [asherah] four hundred, which eat at Jezebels table.  20 So Ahab sent unto all the children of Israel, and gathered the prophets together unto mount Carmel.  21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt [pacach] ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word.  22 Then said Elijah unto the people, I, even I only, remain a prophet of the LORD; but Baals prophets are four hundred and fifty men.  23 Let them therefore give us two bullocks; and let them choose one bullock for themselves, and cut it in pieces, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under: and I will dress the other bullock, and lay it on wood, and put no fire under:  24 And call ye on the name of your gods, and I will call on the name of the LORD: and the God that answereth by fire, let him be God. And all the people answered and said, It is well spoken.  25 And Elijah said unto the prophets of Baal, Choose you one bullock for yourselves, and dress it first; for ye are many; and call on the name of your gods, but put no fire under.  26  And they took the bullock which was given them, and they dressed it, and called on the name of Baal from morning even until noon, saying, O Baal, hear us. But there was no voice, nor any that answered. And they leaped [pacach] upon the altar which was made.  27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.  28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.  29 And it came to pass, when midday was past, and they prophesied until the time of the offering of the evening sacrifice, that there was neither voice, nor any to answer, nor any that regarded."

BIBLE BELIEVING SCHOLARS AGREE :
 
Dr. Samuel Gipp states,  "Even though the Jewish passover was held in [the Hebrew month of Abib (our March / April time frame)] ... and the pagan festival Easter was held later ..., how do we know that Herod was referring to Easter in Acts 12:4 and not the Jewish passover?  If he was referring to the passover, the translation of 'pascha' as 'Easter' is incorrect.  If he was indeed referring to the pagan holiday Easter, then the King James Bible (1611) must truly be the very Word of God for it is the only Bible in print today which has the correct reading." [
27]

Dr. Thomas Strouse says, "The NASV gives the impossible and therefore inaccurate rendering 'Passover' in Acts 12:4. According to Scripture, Herod killed the Apostle James and intended to kill Peter, whom he had captured during the days of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. After the pasca (NASV 'Passover;' KJB 'Easter') Herod planned to kill Peter. The OT declared the order of events for the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, requiring that the Passover fell on the 14th day of Nisan and the Feast of Unleavened Bread followed on the 15th through 21st days of Nisan (Lev. 23:5-6; cf. Ex. 12:3 ff.).   Luke could not possibly be referring to the Passover following the Feast of Unleavened Bread, contrary to the dictates of the OT and context, but must be referring to Herod's 'Easter' (Ishtar worship) holy day. Passover is a translational error in the NASV, NIV, RSV, and NKJV." [28]

To this Dr. Thomas Holland agrees where he says,  "the context [of Acts 12] would confirm such a conclusion. Verse three of this chapter states that Peter was taken during, 'the days of unleavened bread.' The next verse then speaks of 'Easter' in the King James Version.  If the word is translated as "Passover," we have a problem because the Days of Unleavened Bread come before the Passover. In the Biblical use of the term, Passover came before the Days of Unleavened Bread (Exodus 12:1-8, 15, 19; 13:7; Leviticus 2:11; and Deuteronomy 16:4).  We have a problem with these verses if Passover follows the Days of Unleavened Bread. However, the problem is solved when we see that 'pascha' means more than 'Passover' . ... Peter was held under Roman guard by a king who was appointed by Roman law and influenced by Roman customs. Contextually, it would seem that this 'pascha' which followed the Days of Unleavened Bread was not the 'pascha' (Passover) which preceded the capture of Peter.  Instead, it ... refer[s] to the ... celebration of Ostara, hence called 'Easter'." [29]  (Ostara, according to Jakob Grimm in his Deutsche Mythologie, is the old High German name for the Easter festival.  It is a plural. Grimm states that this is because the old festival lasted several days. A rough translation would be "The Easters.")

CONCLUSION :

In 1526 William Tyndale translated "pascha" into English by using the word "ester," because it was the ancient name of the month in which Passover fell.  About a thousand years before that this name of a Saxon / Teutonic / Roman goddess had been adopted by the Roman Catholics and forced on the believers in Britain as having something to do with the resurrection of Christ.  Nonetheless, in Tyndale's day it was a term accepted for the time of Passover.  Tyndale, however, clearly differentiated the Pagan Easter from the Lord's Passover in his translation with phrases like "esterlambe" (Matt 26:19) and "the Iewes ester" (John 11:55), etc., and kept "paschall lambe" (Matt 26:17; John 18:28) as a reference point.  It is important to note that he later coined a new word, "passover," for his translation of the Old Testament, although he never got around to revising the word in his New Testament. He most likely invented this new word because he saw the pagan connotation of the word "ester" which only designated the season.

In Tyndale's time he could legitimately use "ester" while God was preparing the English language for the 1611 translators, and then the word was expunged everywhere except in Acts 12:4 were it belongs. Thanks to God and his servant William Tyndale we now have in the English language both the word "Passover" and an etymological link to the true meaning of the word "Easter" found in Acts 12:4.  He first used the word "ester" for Pashca in 1526 in his New Testament.  Then in 1530 he coined the literal translation, "Passover," for his Old Testament using it in every place Pashca occurred.  Then only 85 years later the only place "easter" was left was in Acts 12:4.  Tyndale's work paved the way for our perfect King James Bible. 

At least some of the 46 King James translators recognized the dilemma of making the Pashca of Acts 12:4 mean "the LORD'S Passover" (Ex 12:11, 27; Lev 23:5) because the context shows that they were already in "the days of unleavened bread" (Acts 12:3) which come after Passover.  Realizing that it could not be the Passover prescribed in Exodus 12 they let Easter stand in that one place.  

And we know for a fact, regardless of the propaganda of the Catholic and their sympathizes, that paganism has taken refuge in their Mystery Babylon.   Roman Catholicism goes hand in glove with the doctrines of ancient Babylon that came to Rome via Pergamos where "Satan's seat" was (Rev 2:12-13).  Likewise we know without question that Easter was a pagan goddess worshiped in Rome, Germany, France and England.  In England from Bede who said:    "Eosturmonath [our April] has a name which is now translated 'Paschal month', and which was once called after a goddess of theirs named Eostre [Eos, Ostara], in whose honour feasts were celebrated in that month. Now they designate that Paschal season by her name, calling the joys of the new rite by the time-honoured name of the old observance." [
3]  Originally, as we have seen, the occurrence of pagan Easter was used as general time reference so the people could relate to Passover. This is reflected in English Bibles prior to the KJV that used the Roman Catholic / Teutonic term "Easter" [30] to refer to the time of Passover / Resurrection.

The symbols of Easter too are pagan to the core.  The rabbit and the egg fertility symbols which are found in the mystery religions.  The hare and the egg were symbols of the ancient German goddess, Ostara.  Ostara is identical to the Greek Eos and the Roman Aurora.  Both the rabbit and the egg represented fertility.  The ancient Babylonians believed that a giant egg fell from heaven into the Euphrates River and from it the goddess Ishtar was hatched. The Easter egg is a symbol of the false goddess.  The fable of this mythological egg spread from Babylon to Rome where it preceded processions in honor of the great mother goddess.  The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids also used the egg as their sacred emblem. [31]

To those who would have us believe that "Easter" is merely synonymous with God's Pesach or Passover,  I say nonsense.  It has become synonymous in the minds of most,  but it is not Biblically synonymous as has been proven here.  A fake passover it truly is, but it is not God's holy Passover.  It is Easter and her name is synonymous with Ishtar who assisted a false christ by the name of Tammuz in his false resurrection.  The names Easter and Ishtar both have the same meaning (a star) as also do Ashtaroth, Astarte, Isis, Venus, Sirona, Aurora, Eos, Eostre, etc.  They were all fertility and great mother goddesses.  Gods and goddesses have multiplied out from Babel into all the world like rabbits.  There are literally scores of mother and child, and husband and wife gods and goddesses that had their beginnings in Ishtar (Semiramis) and Tammuz (Nimrod).  When it hops like a rabbit and reproduces like a rabbit, it’s a rabbit.  Easter is a leavened passover that need to be purged from the hearts of believers.
 
“Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us: Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.” (1 Cor 5:7-8)
 
 
 
END NOTES :

1.  The Layman's Bible Encyclopedia, Nashville, TN, The Southwestern Company, 1964, p. 204. 

2.   Brown, T. H., After Easter, Trinitarian Bible Society, London, England.

3.  Bede, On the Reckoning of Time, Chapter XV (The English Months).

4.  Wylie, James Aitken, History of the Scottish Nation, Vol. I, Chap. 11, Hamilton, Adams, & Co., London, 1886.  NOTE: Wylie also writes concerning the pagan Druid priests and their groves in Ireland in the days of the Baptist missionary, Patrick (4th century AD): "They greet the missionary with clamour and scowls. Undismayed, Patrick rises up before them, and amid the gaping wonder of some, the rude mocking of others, and the silence of a few, proceeds to unfold his message. He does not directly attack the rites of the groves. He must first show them a better altar and a holier sacrifice than that of the Druid, and then they will forsake their bloody oblations of their own accord. He speaks to them of a God whom they have not seen, for He dwells in the heavens, but the workings of whose power, and the tokens of whose love, are all around them. Can He who spread out the plains of earth, who decks them with the flowers of spring, and waters them with the rain of the clouds, and clothes them year by year with bounteous harvests, take delight in the cruel sacrifices you offer to him in the dark wood? So far from demanding the immolation of your innocent offspring, He has sent His own son to die in your room. Other sacrifice He does not demand and will not accept. ... The fear of Patrick had already fallen upon the priests of the old religion. This helped to open his way into the land. In the footsteps of the missionary the priests of the groves heard the knell of the downfall of Druidism. 'Who is this,' we hear then say, as they turned on one another pale faces, and spoke in trembling accents, 'who is this who marches through the land casting down the altars of the country's faith, and withdrawing the hearts of the people from their fathers' gods?' ... The king remained unconverted, but the queen and her two daughters transferred their faith from the altars of the groves to the Cross of Calvary. ... In numerous instances, doubtless, the oak groves of the Druid were given to the axe, and the dolmen and stone pillar lay overturned and broken by the hammer of the iconoclast. But not in all cases. In some localities these objects of idolatrous reverence were spared, and became snares and causes of stumbling to the converts." (Wylie, James Aitken, History of the Scottish Nation, Vol. II, Chapters 15, 16 & 18)

5. Goddesses whose name mean star:  1) Ashtoreth (1 Kings 11:5, 33; 2 Kings 23:13), consort of Baal, was the principal female divinity of the Phoenicians and the goddess of Jezebel who in a prophetic figure teaches and seduces Gods people to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols (Rev 2:20). Ashtoreth is cognate with Ashtaroth, the fertility goddesses of the Canaanites (Judges 2:13, Judges10:6; 1 Samuel 7:3-4, 12:10).  2) Ishtar, consort and mother of Tammuz (Ezek 8:14).  3) Inanna was the consort of Dumuzi.  She was the first known divinity associated with Venus.  She is the original "holy virgin," as the Sumerians called her.  Inanna is identified with the Semitic goddesses Ishtar and later Astarte, the Egyptian Isis, the Greek Aphrodite, the Etruscan Turan, and the Roman Venus.  4) Astarte is cognate in name, origin and functions with Ishtar.  She was first known as Ashtart in Egypt over 3300 years ago, and known as Astarte by the Greeks and Romans. Inanna was identified with both the moon and the planet Venus.  Astarte was worshiped with the most impure rites.  5) Venus , the consort of Vulcan, was a major Roman goddess principally associated with love and beauty.  She was the rough equivalent of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, although she was far more powerful and revered than Aphrodite.  Venus represented impure love, and was the patron goddess of prostitutes.  She played a key role in many Roman religious festivals.  6) Aphrodite was the Greek goddess of love, lust, beauty, and sexuality. She has numerous equivalents: Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Turan and Venus. Aphrodite also has parallels to dawn goddesses such as Ushas, Aurora and Eos.  7) Sirona was a Celtic goddess widely worshipped in east-central Gaul. She was particularly revered by the Treveri in the Moselle Valley. A healing deity, she was associated with healing springs.  Her symbols were snakes and eggs. She was sometimes depicted with Apollo. The root is Gaulish “ster” meaning a star. The same root is found in Old Irish and Welsh as ser, Middle Cornish as steyr and Breton as ster.  The name combines the root “ster” with the “ona” which is Gaulish for a feminine singular. 8) Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, is the wife of Astraeus (Starry; an astrological deity) and others.  Her sons include the five Astra Planeta (planets), and all the stars. Eos is referred to by Homer (8th century BC) in the Iliad and Odyssey.  9) Eostre or Easter is the same as Eos, Venus and Sirona. Eostre and Ostara are derived from the Old Teutonic root which means "illuminate, especially of daybreak" and closely related to the word for "the dawn star Venus."  The ancient month Eosturmonath (around April) was named after Eostre who was honour with feasts in that month. Ostara is a plural referring to the old High German festival of several days in honor of the goddess. 

6.  Hislop, Alexander, The Two Babylons, Loizeaux Brothers, Neptune, NJ, 1910, pp. 103 - 105, 107.  NOTE: We strongly disagree with Alexander Hislop's statement on page 104 of The Two Babylons where he says, "Every one knows that the name 'Easter,' used in our translation of Acts 12:4, refers not to any Christian festival, but to the Jewish Passover. This is one of the few places in our version where the translators show an undue bias."  The Authorized Version (KJV) of the Bible is the inspired, infallible, preserved Word of God in English.  Hislop clearly had not considered the implications of that absurd statement. (Plus the name “Easter” used there is neither a Christian festival, nor the Jewish Passover.)  However, he completed The Two Babylons in 1858 long before Bible translations became a well studied issue.  Although wrong on this essential doctrine, he gives a strong testimony on pages 70 & 71, "Since sin entered the world there has been only one way of salvation, and that through the blood of the everlasting covenant--a way that all mankind once knew, from the days of righteous Abel downwards. When Abel, 'by faith,' offered unto God his more excellent sacrifice than that of Cain, it was his faith 'in the blood of the Lamb slain,' in the purpose of God 'from the foundation of the world,' and in due time to be actually offered up on Calvary, that gave all the 'excellence' to his offering."  From this we conclude that he was saved, and his book, The Two Babylons, wages good warfare against the "The Mother of Harlots," although he did not recognize all the implications of his studies of her background.  His book has 2 main premises: 1) The ancient Pagan systems of worship were based on mystery religions and that had their beginning in Babel.  2) That the Roman Catholic Church (which began around 313 AD) appropriated the Pagan mysteries from Babylon via Pergamos, and assimilated the doctrines of other mystery religions which had permeated the world.  Both premises are sound and Hislops scholarship although not impeccable is also good.
 
7.  Davis Dictionary of the Bible, p. 319 under "Herod the King," Royal Publishers, Inc.,1973. (Also see: Josephus, Antiquities, XVIII, XIX & War II). 

8.  Caesarea Maritima was founded by Straton I of Sidon who reigned from 376 to 361 BC, and it was rebuilt by Agrippa’s grandfather Herod the Great around 25 - 13 BC.

9. Jewish Encyclopedia, 1906, under "Caesarea."

10. Migne edition of Jerome's works, vol. XXV, col. 82.  NOTE: Jerome, who spent a large part of his life in Palestine, also confirms that the Pagan Romans tried to change the truth of Christ into a lie:  "From the time of Hadrian to the reign of Constantine, a period of about one hundred and eighty years, the spot which had witnessed the resurrection was occupied by a figure of Jupiter; while on the rock where the cross had stood, a marble statue of Venus was set up by the heathen and became an object of worship. The original persecutors, indeed, supposed that by polluting our holy places they would deprive us of our faith in the passion and in the resurrection. Even my own Bethlehem, as it now is, that most venerable spot in the whole world of which the psalmist sings: 'the truth hath sprung out of the earth,' [Ps. lxxxv. 11, Vulg.], was overshadowed by a grove of Tammuz, that is of Adonis; and in the very cave where the infant Christ had uttered His earliest cry lamentation was made for the paramour of Venus." (Jerome's Epistle to Paulinus Translated by Henry Fremantle, 1893)  

11. Hislop, p. 105

12. Hislop, p. 62

13. Moshe ben Maimon or Moses Maimonides (1135 -1204 AD) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain and Egypt.  His philosophy also influenced the non-Jewish world.  Although his copious works on Jewish law and ethics were initially met with opposition during his lifetime, he was posthumously acknowledged to be one of the foremost rabbinical arbiters and philosophers in Jewish history. Today, his works and his views are considered a cornerstone of Orthodox Jewish thought and study.

14. The Babylon, Pergamos, Rome connections:  “Cyrus, Xerxes, and many of the Medo-Persian kings, banished [the Queen of Heaven's] priests from Babylon, and labored to root it out of their empire; but then it found a secure retreat in Pergamos, and Satans seat was erected there [Revelation 2:12-13].  The glory of Pergamos and the cities of Asia Monor departed; but the worship of the Queen of Heaven did not wane.  It took a higher flight, and seated itself on the throne of Imperial Rome.  That throne was subverted.  The Arian Goths came burning with fury against the worshippers of the Virgin Queen; but still that worship rose buoyant above all attempts to put it down, and the Arian Goths themselves were soon prostrate at the feet of the Babylonian goddess, seated in glory on the seven hills of Rome.” (Hislop, p 288)  The true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff after the death of Belshazzar [539 B.C.], and the expulsion of the Chaldean priesthood from Babylon by the Medo-Persian kings was at Pergamos, where afterwards was one of the seven churches of Asia There under favor of the deified kings of Pergamos was [Satans] favorite abode, there was the worship of Aesculapius, under the form of the serpent, celebrated with frantic orgies and excesses At first, the Roman Pontiff had no immediate connection  with Pergamos and the hierarchy there; yet, in course of time, the Pontificate of Rome and the Pontificate of Pergamos came to be identified.  Pergamos itself became part and parcel of the Roman Empire, when Attalus III, the last of its kings, at his death, left by will all his dominion to the Roman people in 133 B.C.  For some time after there was no one who could lay claim to all the dignity inherent in the old title of the kings of Pergamos [until] Julius Caesar, who had previously been elected Pontifex Maximus, became also, as Emperor, the supreme civil ruler of the Romans [46-44 B.C.], then as head of the Roman state, and head of the Roman religion, all the powers and functions of the true legitimate Babylonian Pontiff were supremely vested in him, and he found himself in a position to assert these powers. Then on certain occasions, in the exercise of his high pontifical office, he appeared of course in all the pomp of the Babylonian costume, as Belshazzar [and Attalus] might have done, in robes of scarlet, with the crosier of Nimrod in his hand, wearing the miter of the Dragon and bearing the keys of Janus and Cybele.  Thus did matters continue even under so-called Christian emperors [beginning with Constantine (306-337 AD)] until the reign of Gratian [375 - 383 AD],  who was the first that refused to be arrayed in the idolatrous pontifical attire, or to act as Pontifex. ... Gratian abolished the legal provision for the support of fire-worship and serpent-worship of Rome ...” (Hislop, pp. 240, 241, 242, 280)  "... [In] Rome ... Teitan, or Satan, [was] identified with the 'serpent that taught mankind,' that opened their eyes (when, of course, they were blind), and gave them 'the knowledge of good and evil.'  In Pergamos, and in all Asia Minor, from which directly Rome derived its knowledge of the Mysteries, the case was the same. In Pergamos, especially, where pre-eminently Satans seat was [Revelation 2:12-13], the sun-divinity, as is well known, was worshipped under the form of a serpent and under the name of Aesculapius, "the man-instructing serpent." According to the fundamental doctrine of the Mysteries, as brought from Pergamos to Rome, the sun was the one only god. Teitan, or Satan, then, was thus recognised as the one only god; and of that only god, Tammuz or Janus, in his character as the Son, or the woman's seed, was just an incarnation. Here, then, the grand secret of the Roman Empire is at last brought to light--viz., the real name of the tutelar divinity of Rome." (Hislop, p. 279)  Approximately 64 years before the Western Roman Empire came to an end in 476 AD, the leader of the Church in Rome, Bishop Leo, assumed the defunct title of Pontifex Maximus in 412 A.D.  Out of the ruins of the Western Roman Empire arose the Papal Empire, and Rome still ruled the world. [Halley, Henry H., Halleys Bible Handbook, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI, 1927, p. 759  &  Eerdmans Handbook to the Worlds Religions, p. 112]

15. Morris, Henry M, The Genesis Record, Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1976, p. 252.

16. Hislop, p. 305.

17. Salverte, Eusbe, Des Sciences Occultes, Appendex, Note A sect. xii. p. 409, Paris, Sdillot, Libraire-Editeur, 1829
 
18. Semiramis according to Diodorus:  The Greek Historian, Diodorus Siculus (90-30 BC) relates the myth that Semiramis was the daughter of "a famous goddess called by the Syrians Derceto" [aka. Atargatis, Ashtoreth, Astarte, Ishtar], and a young man who had been sacrificing to her.  Diodorus further writes: "When [Ninus, aka Nimrod] had finished his work [of building Neneveh], he marched with an army against the Bactrians where he married Semiramis; who being so famous above any of her sex, [and] ... exceeding all others of her sex for the charms of her beauty. ... [Ninus] had a son by Semiramis, called Ninyas, and died, leaving his wife queen regent. ... Afterwards ... she went to the temple of Jupiter Ammon, and there inquired of the oracle how long she should lives which returned her this answer, That she should leave this world, and afterwards be forever honored by some nations in Asia, when Ninyas her son should be plotting against her. ... Semiramis being assaulted ... through the treacherous contrivance of her son, remembered the former answer given her by the oracle at the temple of Ammon, and therefore passed the business over without punishing of him who was chiefly concerned in the plot: but surrendering the crown to him, commanded all to obey him as their lawful king, and forthwith disappeared, as if she had been translated to the gods, according to the words of the oracle.  There are some which fabulously say she was metamorphosed into a pigeon, and that she flew away with a flock of those birds that lighted upon her palace: and hence it is that the Assyrians adore a dove, believing that Semiramis was enthroned amongst the gods.  And this was the end of Semiramis, queen of all Asia, except India. ... Semiramis [also] ... built the city of Babylon ..." (Diodorus Siculus' Historical Library translated by G Booth, 1814; Book II, pp. 102, 103, 105,111, 116, 151)

19. Hislop, pp. 5, 21.

20. The Descent of Ishtar, Translation by E. A. Speiser, Ancient Near Eastern Texts (Princeton, 1950), pp. 106-109; Notes from reprint by Isaac Mendelsohn, Religions of the Ancient Near East, Library of Religion paperbook series (New York, 1955), pp. 119-125.

21. Hislop, pp. 104, 105.

22. Shem vs. Tammuz: "It was Typhon, according to the Pagan version of the story, that killed Tammuz, and cut him in pieces. ... [However,] Shem was the actual slayer of Tammuz. As the grand adversary of the Pagan Messiah, those who hated him for his deed called him for that very deed by the name of the Grand Adversary of all, Typhon, or the Devil [Matt 10:25]. ... In the Myster[y religions] ... Tammuz was worshipped as the bruiser of the serpent's head, meaning thereby that he was the appointed destroyer of Satan's kingdom." (Hislop pp. 276, 277)

23. Hislop, pp. 18, 315.

24. Tammuz (Tam = to make perfect, Muz = fire):   Tammuz is the Accadian sun-god, the son / husband of the goddess Ishtar.  In the Chaldean calendar the month of Tammuz is set apart in honor of this false god at the beginning of the summer solstice.  At his festival, which lasted six days, the worshippers, with loud lamentations, bewailed the funeral of the god.  They sat "weeping for Tammuz" (Ezek 8:14). The Hebrew calendar borrowed the name from Chaldean for it's month that corresponds to our June / July.  The examination of the meaning of the name Tammuz confirms the connection of Nimrod with the first fire-worship. Also the Chaldeans were the first who introduced the name and power of kings (Syncellus), and as Nimrod was unquestionably the first of these kings, and the first, consequently, that bore the title of Moloch which means king, so it was in honor of him that the "children were made to pass through the fire to Moloch."  But the intention of that passing through the fire was to purify. The name Tammuz has evidently reference to this, for it signifies "to perfect," that is, "to purify by fire." The general voice of antiquity represent Nimrod to have been the originator of fire-worship, this name of Tammuz very exactly expresses his character in that respect. (Hislop p. 315)

25. Hislop, pp. 21, 22, 71.

26. Hislop pp. 81, 161.

27. Gipp, Samuel, The Answer Book, Chap 2, Shelbyville, TN, Bible and Literature Missionary Foundation, 1989.

28. Strouse, Thomas, Should Fundamentalists Use The NASV?, Sound Words from New England, Vol. 2. Issue 1, June-August 2001, Emmanuel Baptist Theological Seminary, Newington, CT.

29. Holland, Thomas, King James Manuscript Evidence, Lesson 11.

30. Easter: Eostre and Ostara are derived from the Old Teutonic root 'aew-s', 'illuminate, especially of daybreak' and closely related to awes-ter- 'dawn servant', the dawn star Venus.  The only known linguist link to Eostre in Old Norse is pointed out by Jacob Grimm who speculates that the "spirit of light" named Austri [eastern] is referred to in the Poetic Edda preserved in Codex Regius. Note that Bede appears to have Latinized the name of the second month from English Sun or Sunna to Sol (perhaps for the benefit of his Latin readers). He seems to have done the same sort of thing with the goddess and her fourth month festival (English Estre or Eastre into Eostre/Eostur).

31. Funk and Wagnall's Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Vol. 1, 1949;  and  Frazer, James G., The Golden Bough, Vol. 12, 3rd Edition, 1915;  and  Woodrow, Ralph, Babylon Mystery Religion, Riverside, California: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966, pp. 152, 153.
 
 


Dated: April 2, 2007

Updated: June 11, 2012

Astarte Coin photos added August 8, 2012



 

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