Dositheism and the Paraphrase of Seem

"Dositheos is said to be the compiler of the Three Steles of Seth." (GB, p. 4) This Seth was son of Ger-adamas (GB, p. 202, fn. 6), where /ger/ is ‘stranger, foreigner’ (GB, p. 204, fn. 10). This Ger-adamas could hardly be the >adam of the To^rah; as a ‘stranger’ he would be a wanderer into foreign lands : the most notable of such wanderers was Qayin in the land of No^d. If so, "Seth, father of the living and unshakable race" (GB, p. 202), could be identified as the S^et mentioned in the prophecy (B-Midbar 24:17) by Bil<am, where some relationship to /QayiN/ is suggested by the term /QeN/ ‘nest’ (B-Midbar 24:21). As for Qayin, that he was the original Helio-<arqi^ (Helioarkite), may be indicated in that "God permitted him to ascend to the third earth, Arka [<arqah], which receives some light from the sun." (LB, p. 59)

In the 3 Stelai of Seth, mention is made (GB, pp. 203, 204) of MIRo-theas, -theos, apparently city-god of MIRa, capital of Luwa (Ludia); and similarity of this book is mentioned (p. 202, fn. 1) to MARSanes, a title resembling that of the river MARSuas in neighboring Karia.

As there is mention (GB, p. 206, fn. 16) of BARBELo, there may possibly be some connection with barbels of some fishes, such as catfish.

With the name of DaUEithai (companion of the offspring of Seth, at the behest of Ger-adamas – GB, p. 204, fn. 11), cf. that of D<U^->El (‘knowing God’) : "and the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of God, as the waters cover the sea." [Sea of barbeled fishes?]

Another book so closely resembling this 3 Stelai of Seth as likely also to be Dosi-thean is the Apokryphon (Secret Book) of Ioannes, likewise mentioning Ger-adamas (GB, p. 204, fn. 11); still is another is the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit (also called Gospel of the AiguptiansGB, p. 218), mentioning (like the Secret BookGB, p. 204, fn. 11; 244-245) Oroiael and Daueithai (GB, p. 220) along with Seldao, Sesengen-bar-pharanges, and (in reverse of the usual sequence of Ogam and of Japanese alphabets) the vowels IEOUA.

GB = Willis Barstone & Marvin Meyer : The Gnostic Bible. Shambhala, Boston, 2003.

LB = Louis Ginzberg : Legends of the Bible.


The /SeLDao/ (easily identifiable with /SeLeD/) in the foregoing writings may be approximately aequivalent the /SoLDas/ (GB, p. 455) in the Paraphrase of Seem.

Because the quaest for the Holy Grail is a S^amaritan theme, therefore the attainer of the Holy Grail, Lancelot (the father of GaLahAD), may be identified with Makir (the father of GiL<AD in B-Midbar 26:29). In turn, Gil<ad’s son H.ELeQ (in B-Midbar 26:29) ought to be father of the siblings KhELKeak, KhELKea, and KhELKe mentioned (GB, p. 463) in the Paraphrase of Seem. The devastation (by a sandstorm) of <AD (variant of /Gil-<AD/) according to the Qur>an , would seem to be a reflection of the name (in Yho^-s^uwa< 17:2) /S^mi^-da</ < /*Tmi^-da</ (= /*tmi^/ ‘devastation; astonishment’ + /da</ ‘knowing’). This name /S^mi^-da</ is alluded to as the "astonishment" (GB, p. 456) when came forth Kheleakh as a garment.

[If /MaKIR/ be derived from /KIR/ "cooking range (consisting of two parallel stones, across which the boiler is set)" (Strong’s 3600), then the "Holy Grail" may have originally been a boiler.]

The /SEEM/ (GB, p. 438) of the Paraphrase cannot be the S^emitic /S^EM/ [which is transcribed /SEM/ -- Strong’s 4590], for a sequence of two identical vowels is never otherwise used, in any Hellenic transcription from <ibri^, to repraesent a single vowel; instead, such a sequence of two identical vowels must indicate an intervocalic /-H-/, so that /SEEM/ must repraesent /ZAhAM/. Whereas in 2nd Dabre^ ha-Yami^m 11:19 Zaham is 3rd of 3 siblings beginning with Y<us^, the 3rd of 3 siblings (in B-Re>s^it 36:5, 14, 18) beginning with Y<us^ is Qorah, for whom Zaham may be intended (perhaps to distinguish this Qorah from the other Qorah). If so, this Qorah ‘Cold’ as Zaham ‘loathing’ might be compared with Psukhe ‘Cold’ as loathing Erot-s (only before seeing him). That these 3 siblings should be offspring of the mother >ahli^-bamah ‘my tent is exalted’ may be alluded to in describing Paulos as a ‘tent-maker’; and perhaps "a thorn in my flesh" may be a reference (via /s^amir/ ‘briar’) to /S^mar-yah/, name of the 2nd sibling in 2nd Dabre^ ha-Yami^m 11:19).

The "silence" so often mentioned in the Paraphrase of Seem is /Dumah/, which is also the name of a being (apparently in heaven, as "there was a silence in heaven" – Apokalupsis 8:1), whence who called [silently, by telepathy?] out of S`e<ir to S^omer (‘Watchman’) in Ys^a<-yah 21:11, for "threshing" (21:10), i.e. with rods. This /S^omer/ is < /*Tomer/ (‘fruit-juice adhaering to bag of field-surveying rod’ – LA-L 1:227b). When, in the Paraphrase of Seem, the goddess "granted ... the winds a star each." (GB, p. 453) she was performing the same sort of act at the world’s beginning at was to occur at the world’s ending (according to Apokalupsis 6:13) : "And the stars of heaven fell ... when she is shaken of a mighty wind." Also cf. the "heavenly city, New Jerusalem", designated by the Manda< as "uSDUM", with the SDOM (Sodom) of the Paraphrase of Seem (GB, p. 454) : this place must likewise be heavenly, for the world was not yet quite made epoch described in the Paraphrase of Seem.

As the place where people were "protected from the turbulent chaos" (GB, p. 452) during some deluge, the "tower" mentioned in the Paraphrase of Seem can in no wise be identified with the Tower of Babel, but must be aequivalent instead to the hollow reed into which the people entered in order to protect themselves from the deluge (in, e.g., various Pueblo Indian deluge-myths). According to the Paraphrase of Seem, this deluge occurred before the deity (Derdekeas) separated night and day (cf. B-Re>s^it 1:5) by means of his magical "garment" which is able to "shine upon the world" (GB, p. 454) – a situation in no wise similar to Noh.’s Deluge, but rather reminiscent of other Gnostic descriptions of the soul (perispirit) as "garment of glory", and (because the garment of the deity is often said to be written upon with words) to the words "Let there be light" (B-Re>s^it 1:2) – shewing that the Paraphrase of Seem is an exposition of the process of creation in the 1st chapter of B-Re>s^it (as Meyer indicated, for the blowing on the water by the goddess, in GB, p. 449, fn. 33); with its divine agents (Zaham et al.) being assumed as prae-existent heavenly divinities (who may have descended to earth, in perhaps a Markionite fashion, to play ro^les in various later events).

Strong’s = A Dictionary of Bible Words.

LA-L = Lexicon Arabico-Latinum. Beirut, 1975.


Molukhthas (= Molok?)

According to the Paraphrase of Seem, "the wind of darkness. ... Moluchthas is a wind ... .

[Aztec] Yoalli Ehecatl ‘Night Wind’

He has the likeness of a serpent and a unicorn.

Marshal Wen "is able to transform himself into a one-horned snake and spit out a poisonous black fog" (HLICh, p. 179).

His protrusions are manifold wings." (GB, p. 457)

6-winged s`rap (Ys^a<-yah 6:2)

HLICh = Kwang-Ching Liu & Richard Hon-Chun Shek : Heterodoxy in Late Imperial China. U of HI Pr, 2004.

goddess of fishes

According to the Paraphrase of Seem, where "femininity was strong ... the wrathful womb came up and made the mind dry, resembling the fish that has a drop of fire and a power of fire. ... I [Derdekeas] put on the light of ... my garment on account of the sight of the fish." (GB, p. 449)

[shamanic experience in Eskimo "Soul Restoration"] "Tannaaluk ... brought fish with him ... quaq ("raw frozen fish"). Tannaaluk ... threw a fish to the woman. But when it hit her the fish bounced back at him, alive and writhing. Tannaaluk did this for some time, but the fish kept bouncing back to him alive." (ThThWSTh, p. 126)

Thereupon, Derdekeas had "sexual intercourse" (GB, p. 449, fn. 29) with that woman (goddess) who affected the fish.

"Tanaaluk ... took her to bed and undressed her. ... Tanaaluk ... got on top of her. All night he made love to her." (loc. cit.)

But "she remained a widow." (GB, p. 450)

She said, "I won’t go back to my husband." (ThThWSTh, p. 127)

ThThWsTh = Tom Lowenstein : The Things That Were Said of Them. U of CA Pr, 1992.

Of this womb-goddess, "Guilefully, the eye opened" (GB, p. 447), "her staring eye" (GB, p. 448). thus, this womb-goddess is one-eyed; so she may possibly be identified with Eka-jat.i, who is perhaps the personification of the "Clear Light of the Mother" (whose son "Clear Light of the Son" is the leaping fish), in Evans-Wentz : Tibetan Yoga and Secret Doctrines.