Thursday 24 November 2011

Deity Post: Qabirim

After posting on Eshmun, I decided it would be useful to mention his seven brothers, the Qabirim, though it won't be a lot as not a lot is known about them outside of their mystery cults.

First of all, we can look into the works of the Berotian writer and sage, Sakkun-yaton.  In his works, he mentions the birth of the gods to either Resheph or to Zeduq, though it is possible that 'Zeduq' may be used to refer to Resheph rather than to the Jebusite deity who is also called Zeduq and is associated with justice.  Sakkun-yaton wrote several things on them, including:

"From Sedek came the Qabirim: these first invented a ship. From them have sprung others, who discovered herbs, and the healing of venomous bites, and charms."

"And after this El gave the city Gubla to the goddess Baalat Gebal, and Berot to Yam and to the Qabirim..."

"And when El came into the South country he gave all Egypt to the god Taat (Nebo), that it might be his royal dwelling-place. And these things were recorded first by Sedek's seven sons the Qabirim, and their eighth brother Eshmun, as the god Taat commanded them."

From this we can learn several things about the Qabirim themselves.   One is that they were the first to invent ships, and that from them came other gods who discovered herbs, healing of venemous bites, and charms.  

The Qabirim are associated with fire and healing, though they are not fire or healing gods as such.  Instead, it is better to think of them as the impulses within men that led them to develop civilization.  They are the divine spark that initiates commerce, law, and construction (among others).  

Unlike their handsome brother Eshmun, the Qabirim are ugly and dwarf-like.  They are chthonic underworld gods, and their worship is not as widespread as that of their brother.   

The Qabirim are considered 'the Beneficent and Powerful', great cosmic gods shrouded in mystery.  Their main worship is through rites conducted within their mystery cult.  They are not to be spoken about or mentioned by their names (known only to initiates or prophets chosen by them). 

They are mainly associated with Berot, unlike their brother Eshmun, who has his cult based around Sidon.

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