Osiris, Dionysus, Bacchus, Moses
The Egyptian god Osiris, the Greek god Dionysus, the Roman god Bacchus, the latter two being cultural rescripts of the former, and Moses with his "magical rod" (aka Thyrsus) parting the red sea, which, according to the Vossius-Huet conjecture (c.1680), is but a monotheistic rewrite of the former deity model.
In religio-mythology, Osiris, Dionysus-Bacchus, and Moses is the subject and or discussion of the topic of the cultural migration of the model, concept, and surrounding festivals of the Egyptian god Osiris (worshiped: c.1500-400AD), into the c.700BC transmigration mold of the Greek god Dionysus, the c.200BC transmigration mold of the early-Roman god Bacchus, and or the Dionysus-Bacchus (see: Osiris, Dionysus, and Bacchus), which culminated, according to the to the so-called Vossius-Huet conjecture (c.1680), into the c.200-1000AD resultant of the Judeo-Roman architype confabulous person named Moses, who has 24 points of overlap with Bacchus (as tabulated below).

In c.1630, Gerardus Vossius, in his On the Origin and Progress of Idolatry, is historically well-cited as having been the first to make some kind of Moses and Bacchus parallelism connection (Ѻ); English translations of his works, however, are wanting.

In c.1650, Samuel Bochart (1559-1667) asserted the following: (Ѻ)

“Both Bacchus and Moses were born in Egypt, shut up in an "ark," and put on the waters. Both fled from Egypt toward the Red Sea and had serpents (in Moses' case, a bronze serpent). For both, water flowed from a rock and milk and honey were provided. Both were called legislators, turned sticks into snakes, saw light in the darkness, and had unknown tombs.”

In 1679, Pierre Huet, supposedly, had produced the following equation: (Ѻ)

Mnevis (Ѻ) = Osiris = Bacchus = Moses

In c.1750, American theologian Jonathan Edwards (1703-1753), in his Notes on the Bible, equated Bacchus and Moses, in an apologetic way, to the effect that he believed that the Bacchus legends were ‘based on’ the stories Moses; the key section is as follows: (Ѻ)

“[408] Exod. ii. Moses is the same with the Egyptian Osiris; for:

1. Moses is the same with Bacchus, as has been shown before, No. 401; and Diodorus tells us that Osiris was called by the Greeks Dionysus, the name of Bacchus.
2. Diodorus tells us that Hercules [Horus] was the chief captain of Osiris' army, who was Joshua, as has been shown, No. 402.
3. Diodorus tells us that Osiris had in his army Anubis covered over with a dog's skin, which thence was pictured with a dog's head, and called the dog keeper, &c.; all which seems to refer to Caleb's name, which signifies a dog.
4. Pan is said to war under Osiris, which is the same with Christ, whom god promises should go with Moses when he says Hebrew 1 or "my presence shall go with him." See No. 404."
5. Osiris is said to have horns from the mistake of Moses's character, who is thence pictured with horns, because of his beams of light—the word in Hebrew for horns and beams being the same.
6. Moses with the princes of the tribes carried up the bones of Joseph into Canaan: hence the poets fable of Osiris' bones, &c. See Gale's Court of Gen. p. 1, b. 2, c. 7, p. 94, 95.”

In c.1769, Voltaire, in his Philosophical Dictionary (Ѻ), citing Vossius (c.1630) and Pierre Huet (1679), stated that Moses is a rewrite of the Bacchus; the opening section of which is as follows: [5]

“Of all the true or fabulous personages of profane antiquity, Bacchus is to us the most important. I do not mean for the fine invention which is attributed to him by all the world except the Jews, but for the prodigious resemblance of his fabulous history to the true adventures of Moses.

The ancient poets have placed the birth of Bacchus in Egypt; he is exposed on the Nile, and it is from that event that he is named "Mises" by the first Orpheus [c.680BC], which, in Egyptian, signifies "saved from the waters", according to those who pretend to understand the ancient Egyptian tongue, which is no longer known. He is brought up near a mountain of Arabia, called Nisa, which is believed to be Mount Sinai. It is pretended that a goddess ordered him to go and destroy a barbarous nation, and that he passed through the Red Sea on foot, with a multitude of men, women, and children. Another time, the river Orontes suspended its waters right and left to let him pass, and the Hydaspes did the same. He commanded the sun to stand still [compare: Joshua 10:13]; two luminous rays proceeded from his head. He made a fountain of wine spout up by striking the ground with his thyrsis, and engraved his laws on two tables of marble. He wanted only to have afflicted Egypt with ten plagues, to be the perfect copy of Moses.

Vossius is, I think, the-first who has extended this parallel. The Bishop of Avranches, Huet, has pushed it quite as far; but he adds, in his Evangelical Demonstrations, that not only Moses is Bacchus, but that he is also Osiris and Typhon [Set]. He does not halt in this fine path. Moses, according to him, is Esculapius, Amphion, Apollo, Adonis, and even Priapus.”

Voltaire, to note digresses for several pages beyond this. Here, however, we do note that connecting Moses with Bacchus and both back to Osiris is a cogent synopsis for 1630 (Vossius) as well as for 1769 (Voltaire).

In 1802, William Hort, in his The New Pantheon: an Introduction to the Mythology of the Ancients (Ѻ), describes Bacchus as follows:

“What appears to be the true history of Bacchus? The best historians, Herodotus, Plutarch, and Diodorus Siculus, assert that he was born in Egypt, and educated at Nysa, a city in Arabia Felix, whither he had been sent by his father, Jupiter Ammon. From them it appears, that the Bacchus of the Greeks was no other than the famous Osiris, conqueror of India. This Bacchus is supposed, by many learned men, to be Moses. Both are represented as born in Egypt, and exposed in their infancy upon the Nile. Bacchus was educated at Nissa or Nysa, in Arabia, and in the same country passed forty years. Bacchus, when persecuted, retired to the borders of the Red Sea; and Moses fled with the Israelites, from the Egyptian bondage, beyond the same sea. The numerous army of Bacchus, composed of men and women, passed through Arabia in their journey to India. The army of the Jewish legislator, composed of men, women, and children, was obliged to wander in the desert, long before they arrived in Palestine, which, as well as India, is part of the continent of Asia. The fable represents Bacchus with horns, which may be supposed to allude to the light that is said to have shone around the countenance of Moses, who, in old engravings, is frequently represented with horns. Moses received the Jewish law on Mount Sinai. Bacchus was brought up on Mount Nysa. Bacchus, armed with his thyrsus, defeated the giants. The miraculous rod of Moses was the means of destroying the descendants of the giants. Jupiter was said to have sent Bacchus into India to exterminate a sinful nation; and it is recorded, that Moses was commanded, by the true god, to do the same in Palestine. The god Pan gave Bacchus a dog to accompany him in his travels; Caleb, which, in Hebrew, signifies a dog, was the name of the faithful companion of Moses. Bacchus, by striking the earth with his thyrsus, produced rivers of wine. Moses, by striking the rock with his miraculous rod, caused water to gush out to satisfy the raging thirst of the Israelites.”

In 1803, Charles Lebrun, in his Doubts of the Infidels, argued the following:

“The history of Moses is copied from the history of Bacchus, who was called Mises by the Egyptians, instead of Moses. Bacchus was born in Egypt; so was Moses... Bacchus passed through the Red Sea on dry ground; so did Moses. Bacchus was a lawgiver; so was Moses. Bacchus was picked up in a box that floated on the water; so was Moses.... Bacchus by striking a rock made wine gush forth... Bacchus was worshipped...in Egypt, Phenicia, Syria, Arabia, Asia and Greece, before Abraham‘s day.”

In 1817, Edward Stillingfleet, in his Sacred Origins: Rational Account of the Grounds of Natural and Revealed Religion, summarizes the main 15 points of overlap between Bacchus and Moses as follows: [1]

Bacchus and Moses

1. Born in Egypt
2. Put in ark as child onto Nile
3. Adopted by Pharaoh's daughter
“Many things concerning Moses are preserved in the story of Bacchus; not that from thence we are to conclude that Moses was the Bacchus of the Greeks, as Vossius [c.1630] thinks; but they took several parts of the Eastern traditions concerning him, which they might have from the Phoenicians who came with Cadmus into Greece, while the memory of Moses was yet fresh among the Canaanites. In the story of Bacchus, as Vossius observes, it is expressly said that he was born in Egypt, and that soon after his birth he was put in an ark, and exposed to the river; which tradition was preserved among the Brasiatae of Laconica: and Bacchus in Orpheus is called Mίσης ["Mises", Voltaire, c.1770], and by Plutarch, in On Isis and Osiris, "Palaestinus"; and he is called Bιμάτωζ [Moses 2], which agrees to Moses, who, besides his own mother, was adopted by Pharaoh's daughter.
4. Beautiful
5. Educated in Arabia
Bacchus was likewise commended for his beauty, as Moses was, and was said to be educated in a mount of Arabia called Nysa; which agrees with Moses's residence in Arabia forty years.
6. Banished from homeland
7. Crosses Red Sea
8. Men and Women in Army
So Plutarch mentions Greek 1 the banishments of Bacchus; and Nonnus mentions Bacchus's flight into the Red Sea; who likewise mentions his battles in Arabia, and with the neighboring princes there. Diodorus says, that Bacchus's army had not only men, but women in it; which is most true of the company which Moses led.
9. LawgiverOrpheus calls Bacchus Moses 3, and attributes to him Greek 2: whereby we understand Moses's being a legislator, and that he delivered the laws in two tables.
10. Fetched water out of rock
11. Snake associations
12. Had dog companion
Moses's fetching water out of a rock with his rod, is preserved in the Orgia of Bacchus; in which Euripides relates, that Agave and the rest of the Bacchae celebrating the Orgia, one of them touched a rock, and the water came out: and in the same Orgia Euripides reports how they were wont to crown their heads with serpents; probably in memory of the cure of the fiery serpents in the wilderness. A dog is made the companion of Bacchus; which is the signification of Caleb, who so faithfully adhered to Moses.
13. Parted seas with thyrsus
14. Turned thyrsus into snakes
15. Were in light; others darkness
To these and Bochartus. some other circumstances insisted on by Vossius, Bochartus adds two more very considerable ones; which are, that Nonnus reports of Bacchus, that he touched the two rivers, Orontes and Hydaspes, with his thyrsus, or rod, and that the rivers dried, and he passed through them; and that his ivy-staff being thrown upon the ground, crept up and down like a serpent; and that the Indians were in darkness while the Bacchae enjoyed light..”
Stillingfleet concludes:

“Circumstances considered, will make everyone that hath judgment say, as Bochartus doth, ‘Ex mirabili illo consensu vel coecis apparebit priscos fabularum architectos a scriptoribus sacris multa esse mutuatos’ [From the extraordinary agreement that appears, many dark or ancient myths, penned by sacred writers and architects, are of borrowed form]. From this wonderful agreement of Heathen mythology with the [Jewish] Scriptures, it cannot but appear that one is a corruption of the other.”

To these fifteen, we might add, per above and below, the following further overlapping points:
16. Had two ray-like horns"Bacchus/Moses had two luminous rays (or horns) proceeded from his head." (Bochart, c.1650) (Voltaire, c.1769)
17. Engraved laws on two tablets"Bacchus/Moses made engraved his laws on two tables of marble." (Voltaire, c.1769)
18. Afflicted ten plagues"Bacchus/Moses wanted only to have afflicted Egypt with ten plagues" (Voltaire, c.1769)
19. Defeated giants with thyrsus"Bacchus, armed with his thyrsus, defeated the giants. The miraculous rod of Moses was the means of destroying the descendants of the giants." (Hort, 1802)
20. Ordered by god to destroy sinful nation"Jupiter was said to have sent Bacchus into India to exterminate a sinful nation; and it is recorded, that Moses was commanded, by the true god, to do the same in Palestine." (Hort, 1802)
21. Both left Egypt for battle accompanied by brother (or sons) (Siculus, 40BC) (Murdock, 2014)
22. Carried bones “Moses with the princes of the tribes carried up the bones of Joseph into Canaan: hence the poets fable of Osiris' bones, &c. See Gale's Court of Gen. p. 1, b. 2, c. 7, p. 94, 95.” (Edwards, c.1750)
23. Wives gave same name “Bacchus married Zipporah, a name of one of the seven planets, Venus; so Moses married Zipporah, one of the seven daughters of the priest of Midian.” (Ladd, 1907)
24. Both had unknown tombs“Both Bacchus and Moses had unknown tombs.” (Bochart, c.1650)

In 1842, Logan Mitchell, in his The Christian Mythology Unveiled, put things thusly: (Ѻ)

“That the god Bacchus was the archetype of Moses seems to have been the opinion of many learned men, particularly the celebrated Bishop Huet, and I. Vossius, who agree that the Arabian name of Bacchus is Meses.”

In 1879, Kersey Graves, in his The Bible of Bibles, outlines nine points of overlap between Bacchus and Moses, which he actually numbers, as follows: (Ѻ)

“Here we will call the attention of the reader to the resemblance between Moses and the still more ancient Egyptian Mises, or Bacchus. It is so striking, that we cannot resist the conviction that they were originally closely connected with each other.

1. Bacchus, like Moses, was born in Egypt.
2. Bacchus, or Mises, was also exposed to danger on the River Nile, like Moses.
3. Bacchus lived on a mountain in Arabia called Nisas; Moses sojourned on Mount Sinai in Arabia.
4. Bacchus passed through the Red Sea dry-shod with a multitude of men, women, and children, as Moses is represented as doing.
5. Bacchus likewise parted the waters of the River Orontes, as Moses did those of Jordan.
6. Bacchus commanded the sun to stand still, as Moses' friend Joshua did.
7. Bacchus, with his wand, caused a spring of wine to spring from the earth, as Moses did a spring of water to flow from a rock with the ‘rod of god’, or the ‘rod of divination’.
8. Mises, like Moses, also engraved his laws on tables of stone.
9. Both have been represented in pictures with rays coming out of their heads, indicative of the light of the sun.

Thus, it will be observed, the resemblance runs through nearly the whole line of their history. That Bacchus figured in history anterior to the time of Moses, no person versed in Oriental history can doubt, — a fact which impels us to the conclusion that the two stories got mixed before the history of Moses was written.”

In 1907, Parish Ladd, in his “The Hebrews: Egypt, Moses and Exodus”, summarized the Bacchus to Moses rescript as follows: (Ѻ)

Archibald Sayce, an able Assyriologist and Egyptologist, in his Records of the Past, says: ‘We learn from a Babylonian text recently discovered in Upper Egypt that Moses’ title was Mosu the Hero, a word which renders in Hebrew Moshah, which dates back to Akkadian cosmology, where Mosu was deified as the sun god.’ The learned Huet, Vossius, Massey and other writers, give a long list of parallel acts of Moses and the Egyptian [Grecian] god Bacchus, showing the two to be one and the same. Gerald Massey, in his Book of Beginnings, says: ‘From the Greek and Roman reports and Hebrew scriptures a perfect parallel may be drawn between Moses and Bacchus.’ Bacchus, like Moses, was born in Egypt. Orpheus calls Bacchus Mysos. Bacchus was called Bimater, having had two mothers, his own and the-daughter of Pharaoh, his nurse; and Moses, like Bacchus and Kepheus, was a lawgiver. Bacchus was represented, like Moses, as having horns, and the one, like the other, carried a rod with which he struck water out of a rock and which turned into a serpent. Bacchus covered the Indians with darkness as did Moses the Egyptians; the former crossed the Red Sea dry-shod as did the latter the river Orontes. A nymph of Bacchus, like Miriam, crossed the Red Sea. Jupiter commands Bacchus to go and destroy the impious people of the Indies, just as Moses is ordered to abolish the abominations of the idolatrous nations. Pan gave Bacchus a dog as his faithful companion, and in like manner Moses is accompanied by Caleb the dog. Bacchus married Zipporah, a name of one of the seven planets, Venus; so Moses married Zipporah, one of the seven daughters of the priest of Midian.”

In 2000, Gerald McDermott, in his Jonathan Edwards Confronts the Gods, citing Samuel Bochart (1559-1667) and Jonathan Edwards (1703-1753), summarized the Bacchus legends are ‘based on’ the Moses stories backwards apologetics like train-of-thought thusly: (Ѻ)

“Bochart and Edwards believed there were good reasons for believing that the Bacchus legends were based on the stories of Nimrod and Moses. They believed the name Bacchus to be derived from the Hebrew Burnish, or son of Cush, and Cush was the father of the biblical Nimrod. This belief was reinforced by several correspondences. Both Bacchus and Nimrod were styled "mighty hunters," and Bacchus's "other name" was Nebrodes, which "is the very name of Nimrod among the Grecians" (MS, no. 401). The Bacchus story also contained remarkable similarities to Mosaic attributes and legends. For, as Bochart pointed out, both Bacchus and Moses were born in Egypt, shut up in an "ark," and put on the waters. Both fled from Egypt toward the Red Sea and had serpents (in Moses' case, a bronze serpent). For both, water flowed from a rock and milk and honey were provided. Both were called legislators, turned sticks into snakes, saw light in the darkness, and had unknown tombs (NS, no. 401). Incidentally, Gale added, the Egyptian myth of Osiris is the Bacchus legend under a new name. For the Greeks called Osiris Dionysus, which is another Greek name for Bacchus (NS, no. 407).”

In 2004, Dorothy Murdock, in her Suns of God, citing Mitchell (1842), was summarizing things thusly: (Ѻ)

Dionysus is not only Osiris but also the counterpart of Moses, who is likewise a mythical personage.”

In 2014, Murdock, in her Did Moses Exist? The Myth of the Israelite Lawgiver (pg. 201), which, to note, is the top Google Books search (Jul 2017) return for keys: “Osiris, Dionysus, Bacchus, Moses” (Ѻ), elaborates on the Osiris-Moses connection in extended format (Ѻ); herein, she gives (pgs. 331-33) 18+ Dionysus-Bacchus and Moses overlaps, the top five of which are as follows:

1. Like the Hebrew prophet, Dionysus was said to be born in or near Egypt,' reflected in the epithet Nilus or "of the Nile."
2. Dionysus was "saved from the waters" in a small box or chest.
3. Bacchus's epithet was "Mises," similar to "Moses."
4. The Greek god was said to be "Bimater" or to have two mothers, like Moses with his birth and adoptive mothers.
5. Dionysus was "brought up near a mountain of Arabia called Nisa," comparable to Mt. Sinai, where Moses spent many years.
6. Like Moses exiled to "Arabia," Bacchus grew up in Arabia and battled Egypt.
7. Bacchus married Venus, one of the seven "planets," while Moses's wife, Zipporah, is one of seven sisters.
8. Like Moses (Exod 2:22), Dionysus fathered children.
9. Like Yahweh's burning bush, Dionysus was "the fire," appropriate for a solar hero."
10. Dionysus was instructed in the "secrets of the gods," serving as a prophet.
11. Wherever Bacchus marched, the "land flowed with wine, milk, and honey."
12. Bacchus carried a magical rod that he could change into a serpent and that was wrapped with snakes like a caduceus, similar to Moses's staff and brazen serpent pole.
13. Like the biblical pestilences, Dionysus caused a "plague of insanity" to befall the women of Athens, who killed themselves, a curse ended by creating a new religious festival to propitiate the gods.
14. Disbelievers in Bacchus's religion were "smote with disease in their private parts," much like the hemorrhoids of Yahweh (1 Sam 5:9, 6:4-5).
15. Dionysus's army included both men and women, as did the Israelites fleeing Egypt.
16. Like Yahweh's pillar of fire leading the way, the solar "joy-inspiring" Bacchus himself was considered to be a "pillar to the Thebans."
17. Again like the biblical fire column, Dionysus used fire to lead his army through India.
18. As Moses battled Pharaoh the "dragon," Dionysus smote Pentheus the "serpent."'

Murdock, in interview (Ѻ) on this book, states that she found a total of 40 points of comparison between Dionysus and Mosus.

1. Stillingfleet, Edward. (1817). Sacred Origins: Rational Account of the Grounds of Natural and Revealed Religion (pgs. 156-57). Clarendon Press.

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