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The Demon Humbaba

AO 9034

Richelieu room 3 showcase 6 (32)

Demon, Halloween and Feast of the Dead

Often depicted in a repulsive manner,
this demon was supposed to protect against evil influences. Its representations were often
placed at the entrance of buildings.
In Babylonian religion, beneath the gods were 'demons', a generic term which does not exist
in Sumerian or Akkadian.  A170
They had the power to afflict men with all kinds
of diseases. Everywhere, appeals were made to
the gods begging them to help men to resist them.

 The Demon Humbaba


Demons and Bible

In the Greek Scriptures, the current word which means demon (daïmon) is only found once in Matthew 8:31; elsewhere, the word daïmonion is found. It has a broad sense and relates to the intervention of higher powers, in good as well as evil. The Greek word pneuma, which has the meaning of spirit, sometimes refers to malicious spirits as in Matthew 8:16.
“These are separate beings,
grouped into various categories, according to their ‘specialty’,
sometimes ‘evil forces’, diseases or disasters, personalised to
a greater or lesser extent.”
Jean Bottéro
Paul the Apostle drove out of a slave girl
“a spirit, a demon of divination.
She used to furnish her masters with
much gain by practicing the art of prediction. ” (Acts 16:16). A171
The Law of God expressly forbade
contact with demons.
“There should not be found in you anyone who employs divination, a practicer of magic or a sorcerer, or a professional foreteller of events.” - Deuteronomy 18:10-11.
Statuette of the Assyrian Demon Pazuzu
MNB 467
Richelieu room 6 showcase 4
This piece is a magnificent testimony
to Assyrian bronzework.
The terrifying appearance of this hybrid monster
is meant to express its evil power. Its scorpion’s tail,
hideous facial features, wings and eagle-like talons
all suggest that it belongs to the supernatural world.
An inscription identifying Pazuzu covers the rear
of the wings. 'King of the demons of the wind',
he is responsible in particular for the spread
of epidemics.
Assyrian practices and religious beliefs
were almost identical to those of Babylon.

 The Assyrian Demon Pazuzu

Religious beliefs identical to those of Babylon ?

Just as triads of divinities existed, so did demon triads. Statuette effigies of Pazuzu, the husband of Lamashtu, were hung by the bedsides of pregnant women to protect them. Note here the ring at the top of the head.

"We have a wrestling, not against blood and flesh, but against the world rulers of this darkness, against the wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12  

Not believing in demons or thinking
that playing with virtual dragons
or elves is harmless,
is to disregard what is said in the Bible.
The Bible clearly teaches the notion of evil spiritual creatures holding superhuman powers.

 Halloween, night of Samhain, Feast of the Dead

Of all the Christianised holidays, Halloween, 'All Saints' Eve', is without doubt the one in which 'the ruler of the demons' (Luke 11:15) is honoured particulary openly. Elements of the custom connected with it can be traced back to a Druid ceremony.
Halloween is also known as the night of Samhain, the Celtic lord of death, whose feast was celebrated with the full moon closest to 1st of November. A172, A173
“The nominally Christian
Feast of the Dead
is a former pagan festival
of the dead to which the Church resolved to close its eyes
out of policy.”
Frazer, The Golden Bough
The Feast of the Dead was thus
gradually incorporated into
Christian rituals. A175, A176
“Certain popular beliefs associated with
the Day of the Dead are pagan in origin.
That is why in many countries Catholic country folk believe that the dead return to their former homes the night of the Day of the Dead and
share the food of the living.”

Halloween, night of Samhain, Jean Markale

According to Jean Markale, a French specialist in Celtic traditions, Samhain would seem to be rather the name of this feast celebrated in honour of Lug, god of light. When they go from house to house, disguised as ghosts or witches, demanding treats and threatening to play a trick, children unwittingly perpetuate ancient Samhain rituals. J. Markale comments: "In receiving something from them, they establish a fraternal exchange between the visible world and the invisible world. This is why Halloween costume parties are in fact sacred ceremonies.”
Regular commemoration was established on 13 May 610 when
Pope Boniface IV consecrated
the Pantheon to Mary and to all
the martyrs. The Roman gods of
the past thus made way for the saints
of triumphant religion. The change
of date in favour of the month
of November came under Pope Gregory III (731-741), who ordered
that all known and unknown saints
be honoured on 1st November.
No one knows the exact reason for his decision.
Samhain remained a popular feast among the Celts throughout the Christianisation of Great Britain.
The British commemoration of All Saints’ Day may have prompted the universal celebration
of this feast by the Christian Church.
As regards the Day of the Dead, it was the monks of Cluny in the 11th Century who set
the date for its celebration on 2 November.
Paris   5 th arrondissement

 All Saints’ Day, Museum of Cluny


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