After I wrote the blog about Amaterasu, I kept thinking to myself, “Who was she? Was she actually a woman? Was she just someone made up? Who was she?” This morning, the preacher at church helped me to understand who she might have been, but he doesn’t know it. This particular preacher has been giving us scriptures out of the book of John a lot lately. This morning he read a scripture with us from John 3:19-29. This scripture reads “This is the verdict: Light has come into the world because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly so that what he has done has been done through God.” Stay with me because I may have a lot figured out.
Jesus brought a way of living to the people. He taught people how to live and get along with one another just as people like Amaterasu, Dangun, the god Ra of the Egyptians, and the god Apollo of the Greeks did. Dangun did something special for the Korean people. His dad came from the Tower of Babel, and he told the people that is where he came from. The people called Dangun’s father the son of God because his son, Dangun, brought them out of the caves, taught them about fire, taught them to build houses and cook, taught them to garden, etc. He brought them knowledge of how to live. He brought them light. He did it 5,000 years ago. I thought, “What if Amaterasu also came from the Tower of Babel? What if she were also a person? ” She also brought light. She was called the sun. She brought them knowledge too. When she got angry and hid in the cave, the evil spirits walked the earth and caused trouble, and Jesus said that people who cause trouble don’t like to come into the light, and it is true. Nobody wants the bad they do known. Perhaps Amaterasu was like Dangun, but didn’t teach the people about God, and when the people wanted to praise her as a goddess for the knowledge she had, she let them call her a goddess. The people from the Tower of Babel were known for their knowledge, and the reason their languages were confounded was because they were trying to compete with God. They were higher culturally than everyone around them. They had knowledge the others didn’t, so if they didn’t acknowledge God, they would have looked liked gods to the people where ever they went because they spread across the earth when God confounded their languages. If you read the history of the earth, it calls Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. That is the area of the world where the Tower of Babel was.
Although, I still wasn’t sure. I saw it as all conjecture on my part. I thought about other gods of the sun. What did they do? I looked up Apollo, the Greek god of the sun who was supposed to be the son of Zues, the Greek high god. He was a teacher of children and a giver of laws. He knew how to heal people. He knew about music and poetry. When I looked at the dates, he also came from 5,000 years ago like Dangun’s father. I suggested this idea to my daughter and son in law, and my daughter recently took a class on Greek myths in her university. She said the writer of her text book suggested that Apollo could have been a real man, and that they think that perhaps he came from a higher culture, and he brought culture and new ways of living to the people, so they worshiped him as a god. She also said that some people think that he and Ra, the Egyptian god of the sun were the same person.
Perhaps the Korean’s quest for knowledge and civilization has helped me understand the possibility of where Amaterasu came from. Perhaps Amaterasu was like Dangun and his father, like Apollo, and like Ra. They all brought new knowledge to the people. They were all lights. Except for Dangun and his father, they were all called gods of the sun. Perhaps they were all from the Tower of Babel because the dates match on all of them. The people from the Tower of Babel had great learning that the rest of the world didn’t have, and when they dispersed they could have looked like gods to the rest of the world. They spread civilization. Probably the imperial family of Japan are the actual descendants of a woman named Amaterasu from the Tower of Babel, and the artifacts they hold in that Shinto Shrine, her mirror, her precious stone, and her sword, really belonged to a woman who came from the Tower of Babel who let the people worship her when she brought them knowledge. They thought she was a goddess because she brought so much new knowledge with her. She brought light to the Japanese people. Perhaps she is the one who brought them out of the caves and brought them fire just as Dangun did for the Korean people.
I am not all knowing, but I can think things out and try to make sense of them. The first chapter of John says that Jesus is the true light. All through the Old Testament, there are references to someone coming to help mankind. All of those prophecies come to a culmination in Jesus. The knowledge of one all powerful creator God has been found across the earth. Even the American Indians, along with other gods, had the Great Spirit, the one great God who was over everything and who had created everything. Perhaps understanding the gods of the sun and Dangun and his father has helped me see a bigger picture of the earth and helped it to make sense a little more.