Noah and Saturn
THERE can be no doubt that Noah was the Pagan Saturn. Noah was a just man in his days: he endeavoured to enlighten the wicked race amongst whom he lived by his counsels, and to instruct them by his example. Thus, according to Aurelius Victor, and Diodorus, Saturn softened the wicked inclinations of men, and endeavoured to bring them back to their ancient purity of manners, by a civilized and regulated life.
Between the Deluge and the birth of Phaleg there was an interval of one hundred years; when, the world not being yet shared out, Noah had a natural right to be the Sovereign of his children. This is the Golden Age the Poets so much celebrate, where every thing was in common.
Moses calls Noah, Isch-hadama—that Is, the Man of the Earth—for Labourer.
The Mythologists, who accommodated their fables to history, observing that the Hebrew word bore two significations, either Man or Husband, say, that Rhea, or the Earth, was the wife of Saturn; and, as the Man of the Earth also relates to Agriculture, they attribute to Saturn the art of cultivating fields, vines, and meadows, representing him with a scythe in his hands.
From the passage in Genesis, where it is said, Noah was intoxicated with the liquor of the vines he had planted, they have said also that Saturn presided over Ebriety. Hence they called that day in the year in which the masters attended their slaves, The Saturnalian Feast.
Plato says, in his Timæus, that Saturn, Rhea, and their family, were born of the Ocean and Thetis; which corresponds with Noah and his family coming from the waters of the Deluge.
Saturn had, for successors, his three children, Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto; and Noah shared out the earth to his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. This last, who is Neptune, had for his portion, all the isles and peninsulas of the sea.
Moses says, that God consecrated to himself a church in the family of Shem; and, as he must have been the greatest enemy of the idolaters, it is very probable that, hating him, they made him Pluto, who is the god of Hell and the Dead.
Cham, or Ham, had for his portion Africa, Arabia, and Egypt; which, after his name, was anciently called Chemie, where he was adored, during many ages, under the name of Jupiter Ham, Hammon, &c. And why the Pagans said of Jupiter, that he cut those parts of his father Saturn which it is not allowed to name, comes from this passage of the ninth chapter of Genesis being misunderstod—Quod cum videret Cham pater Canaan, verenda patris sui esse nudata, nunnavit. This laft word is, in the Hebrew, vajagged; and, perhaps, the vowel points not being marked, occasioned them to read vejagod, which signifies cut.
The whole of this article, which displays much ingenious erudition, is drawn from the Chevræana, Vol. I. p. 91.