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Thyatira meaning


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🔼The name Thyatira: Summary

Female Butcher, She Who Rages Madly
From (1) the verb θυω (thuo), to slaughter or to rage, and (2) the suffix -τειρα (-theira), "she who ...".

🔼The name Thyatira in the Bible

The name Thyatira belonged to a city in Asia Minor (now called Akhisar in Turkey), 65 km from the west coast, about half-way up in the north-south direction and about 175 km away from the ruins of Troy to its north-west. After Pergamos, Thyatira is the second-most northern city of the seven mentioned in Revelation, and original home of Lydia the purple-seller whom Paul converted while at Philippi in Macedonia.

The name Thyatira was not original to the city but was given to it by Seleucus I Nicator, one of four successors of Alexander the Great and founder of the Seleucid Empire (that stretched from Persia to Asia Minor). That empire had been dissolved by New Testament times, but not before its brutal oppression of the Jews in Judea had triggered the Maccabean Revolt and Judea became an autonomous kingdom with a Jewish King, albeit relatively briefly (John 6:15, Acts 1:6; see our article on the name Antipas).

The original name of Thyatira was Pelopia, after a Theban princess, daughter of king Tantalus (hence the English adjective "tantalizing") of Lydia. He was punished by the Olympians for giving nectar and ambrosia to human mortals, and for putting the omniscience of the gods to the test by boiling his son Pelops and offering his flesh as dinner to the gods. We will return to Greek Thebes, and child sacrifice, further below.

Alternatively, the name Semiramis was used to describe the town. This after a legendary queen of Assyria, who managed to rule the empire for five years against all traditions that forbade women to hold power.

The name Thyatira is mentioned 4 times in the New Testament; see full concordance.

🔼Thyatira and the great disease

In Roman Imperial times, Thyatira was a noted center of production of purple dye: the ancient Phoenician indicator of royalty and wisdom (see our article on πορφυρα, porphura, purple). However, even though the Phoenician king Hiram of Tyre had helped king Solomon build the temple of YHWH in Jerusalem, by the time of Isaiah, Phoenician glory had waned to the point where purple had become the symbol of disease and madness: "Though your sins are as scarlet, they will be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like wool." (Isaiah 1:18, also see Ezekiel 27-28). In Daniel's time and in glorious Babylon, purple was still the color of wisdom and honor (Daniel 5:29), but in Jesus time it was the color of insanity and shame (Mark 15:17), even wholesale corruption and debauchery (Revelation 17:4).

Crimson dye was extracted from a kind of larva: the "worm" that smote Jonah's shady plant (Jonah 4:7). These two words are the same: תלע (tola') means both worm and crimson, so being dressed in crimson (Nahum 2:3) is verbally the same as being riddled with killer worms (Isaiah 14:11, Acts 12:23).

Perhaps a similar state is implied to have overtaken Menelaos, the taunted king of Sparta whose wife Helen was seduced by Paris of Troy and willingly followed the rogue home (says Homer, to Egypt say others). The Athenian poet Euripides explained that the campaign of Menelaos and his brother Agamemnon against Troy could only succeed if Agamemnon first sacrificed his own daughter Iphigenia, upon which the girl's horrified mother Clytemnestra exclaims: "An honorable exchange indeed, to pay a wicked woman's price in children's lives! It is buying what we most detest with what we hold most dear" (Eur.IA.1169-70).

Homer tells us that after having transported his Greek armies across the sea and into enemy territory, Menelaos is severely wounded by a Trojan arrow: "as when some woman — perhaps a Maionian [Lydian] or Karian — stains ivory with purple" (Il.4.141, see Revelation 13:3).

Homer's Iliad is of course entirely about the life-or-death competition between various kinds of information technologies. A people's identity is in its legacy and stories, and thus its language, which means that the winning script secures the perpetuity of its people. Because we moderns use the Latin alphabet (which derives from the Greek one, which derives from the Phoenician/Hebrew one), we are very familiar the Latin, Greek and Hebrew stories but not at all with the Lydian, Minoan and Hittite ones. We westerns look back upon Greek and Hebrew mythology as if upon our own cultural youth. But the Lydian, Minoan and Hittite souls with whom we shared our childhood, have long since perished and their bodies have turned to dust along with those of the dinosaurs, the Mammoths and the Neanderthals.

Homer's use of the word ivory is certainly no coincidence. Ivory is an elephant's tooth, and the widely attested Indo-European root for tooth, namely dent- (hence our English word dentist) is closely related to the root dens-, to teach/learn (hence διδασκω, didasko, to teach). The Hebrew word for tooth, namely שן (shen), comes from the verb שנן (shanan), to sharpen (the mind) or repeat (a lesson; to chew). The elephant's other prominent feature, its nose, corresponds to the word νους (nous), mind. In antiquity, literally everything was theology and everything was symbolic, and Hannibal's cumbersome employ of elephants certainly also served to imply that he was in Italy to "teach" Rome a "lesson" (see our article on the name Eliphaz, "Elephant", for more).

Phoenician Carthage was a Tyran colony, a "daughter", founded by the legendary queen Dido, whose name is virtually the same as that of king David, the father of Solomon. Carthage's bitter rival was Rome (which essentially was a colony of Troy), whose wise men decided that "Carthage was to be destroyed" (Carthago delenda est, as Cato put it), and did so in the six-day slaughter fest of the world's first systematic genocide in 146 BC. It's not always clearly emphasized what, precisely, caused Cato to call for Carthage's complete annihilation but the Romans leveled the city as if sterilizing the area from a disease. This is obviously commented upon in the story of Jesus and the Tyran woman whose daughter was demon possessed (Matthew 15:21-28), as well as the story of Paul's encounter with the demon possessed slave-girl right after converting Lydia of Thyatira in Philippi (Acts 16:16-24).

The New Testament is also a polemic against the evil Roman Empire (or any empire, really), which had arisen from the ashes of the collapsed Republic. Rome's once glorious Republic had destabilized upon the antics of general Pyrrhus, which resulted in the Punic Wars and ultimately Carthage's destruction, then the Marian Reforms, the rise of Pompey, then Ceasar, his murder and the Battle of Philippi as final death blow to the Republic (see our article on Philippi for more on this decisive battle).

All this implies that the Biblical character of Lydia of Thyatira in Philippi serves to explain the demise of the Roman Republic in terms explored in Homer's Iliad. The fall of Troy (which is not described by Homer but by later authors) is not dissimilar to the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD, and the overly studied one is obviously used to process the inexplicable second — also see our article on Aeneas, the Trojan survivor who founded Rome's royalty, and whose later namesake helped Paul recover from his blinding vision on the road to Damascus.

🔼Christ the Healer

In the first century AD, only a very small minority of people understood that the universe runs on a fixed set of natural laws (Jeremiah 33:25, Matthew 5:18, Romans 1:20, 2 Peter 3:5): laws that always work the same for everybody (Luke 20:21, Acts 10:34, Romans 2:11, Galatians 2:6, Ephesians 6:9, Colossians 3:25, 1 Timothy 5:21, James 2:9, 3:17). And that a person may learn to master these rules and live happily ever after in ελευθερια (eleutheria), that is Freedom-By-Law, namely the "perfect law of freedom" (James 1:25), which is the freedom of movement from mastery of the rules that govern the playing field. Or, conversely, that the person may try to violate or circumvent these rules and get bound and ultimately annihilated by them. And that, likewise, a society may try to emulate them (be self-similar to natural law) and live long and prosper, or be at odds with them and eventually be wiped out by them.

Obviously, in primitive times, such law-full people had to compete with law-less bullies who simply used violence to get what they wanted, or thoughtless pussies who only followed their feelings and emotions, or morons with magic amulets or sacred incantations, or idiots who promoted the idea that their favorite idol would send them specially targeted blessings when properly implored. Trying to promote rational and scientific thought among such numbskulls and barbarians (who trust their god only to get very angry at such insolence) has never been easy, also because all that nonsense is based on the innate desire of lazy people to master the forces of nature with very little effort, a snap of the magic finger or whiny appeal to Big Daddy and his wily minions.

Science requires a mature sense of responsibility and takes effort, and although that may not appeal to lazy people, it's the only way that works (Romans 8:28, and note the term "work-together" here). Scientists are people who study the Way of God (Exodus 33:13, Psalm 25:4-5, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 30:20-22, John 14:6), and who govern their world from their thus acquired Divinity (Exodus 33:11, Psalm 8:6, John 15:15, 1 Corinthians 6:2-3, Revelation 20:4-5).

Godly people pray: "Thy will be done" (Matthew 6:10). Ungodly characters pray: "Attention, please: my will be done, and let me tell You what I command You to do for me — starting with suspending Your inconvenient natural law for very special me. That is of course, if you indeed truly love me as much as you say you do" (Matthew 4:1-11).

In the first century AD, there was a lot of that sort of silliness. And promoters of rational thought — who also came in all sorts and shapes and frequently disagreed: Aristotle and Plato, Pythagoras and Euclid, Paul, the Evangelists, the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Pharisees — had to go through all kinds of lengths to explain how natural reality works and how humanity can get the hang of that. That in turn produced the most sophisticated literary tradition the world has ever seen, with texts of such dazzling and brilliant insights that they are still studied today.

Jesus of Nazareth is a literary character, who has nothing to do with any religion but rather embodies mankind's formal understanding of natural law (Colossians 2:3, Ephesians 1:10, 2 Timothy 2:7, Hebrews 1:2-3). He isn't, obviously, yet another idol to call upon for special treatment but rather the perfect righteousness upon which the entire universe runs, that gives his friends the power to perfectly predict what surely must happen next, and thus the power to build everlasting synthetic structures that don't oppose but rather extend natural reality (Revelation 21:1-2). It is by him that doctors in hospitals heal their patients, and architects design their buildings and engineers build their machines (Exodus 31:1-11). This is how we can tell that someone is "in Christ": when the blind receive their sight back, the lame get to walk, the dead are brought back to life and the unsuccessful are explained how things work (Luke 7:22). Where people are "in Christ" there is calm calculation (Luke 14:28), convention and consensus (Matthew 18:20), sound prediction (Deuteronomy 18:20-22, Hebrews 11:1), strategic planning and wholesale dependability and social and personal safety and satisfaction (Jude 1:24).

And this is how we can tell that people are not "in Christ": when there is a lot of magic talk, expectations of God's favoritism, when prayers have no effect, when people stay sick, when there is an emphasis on useless or impractical information and spells and incantations, when there is a lot of noise and beseechings and implorations and nothing happens, when the blind walk and the lame see, when the poor stay confused and the dead stay vanished, when buildings collapse, machines blow up, wives run off, dogs bite and children resort to violence.

🔼Wholeness and completeness

The bottom line of wholeness is Oneness or Grand Unification or Reciprocal Formation (take your pick: whatever term fancies you). It's the principled rejection of competition in the understanding that all things come out of one singularity (Deuteronomy 6:4), and that this singularity was never compromised. This is why what goes up must come down (Matthew 7:12), and energy is preserved, and electrical charge, and angular momentum, and baryon number. It's why all things have common ancestors, and are defined by relativities that can be formalized. It's why for every right turn there is a left turn, and for every action there is a reaction (Isaiah 28:13), so that the whole of reality will always remain perfectly balanced. Oneness also explains the phenomenon of The Wisdom of Crowds ("together we know" said James Surowiecki) and Smart Swarms (a beehive functions like a brain). It's why spectacular things occur when people learn how to effectively and efficiently exchange information, which is contingent on people's ability to properly express themselves in common and shared standards (2 Peter 1:4, John 17:21-23, Ephesians 4:3-6).

The Bible is a human beehive. It's a thing built over a millennium by a vast Smart Swarm of human artists, editors, merchants and audiences. And no single one of them knew what was being built, or how it might work or what it might come to contain — because what it contains vastly exceeds the scope and capacities of any single one of us. Long before anyone else, the Bible knew about the vastness of space (Genesis 22:17: beside the few thousand visible stars in the night sky, their actual number is comparable to that of all the kernels of sand on all the world's beaches), that all matter comes from energy and that atoms and molecules are kept together by photonic energy (compare John 1:5 to Colossians 1:16-17). Relativity theory is contained within the structure of the Hebrew language: see our article on the verb נהר (nahar), which means both to flow (what water does) and to shine (what light does). The Bible proclaimed Abraham's seed to be like the dust of the earth (Genesis 13:16). The structure of his family obviously reflects the Standard Model of Elementary Particles (12 sons of Israel, the light-bearer, 12 of Ishmael, the bowman, 8 + 4 of Abraham's brother Nahor, the forceful). The tabernacle, with the two tablets of the Law in the Ark of the Covenant, obviously relates to a living cell and its DNA containing nucleus. Referred to as the Ten Words, one of the two tablets pertains to the paternal Creator and has a primality of 3: (1) God only, (2) don't abuse the Name, (3) remember the Sabbath, whereas the other tablet pertains to society and indeed consists of 5. The stories of Daniel and Esther clearly meditate on the virtues of endosymbiotic eukaryosynthesis. The Second Temple and corresponding synagogue network clearly mimics the unified proto-mind of any multi-cellular organism. And the death and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is clearly, and for obvious reasons, based on mammalian ovulation and conception (see our article on Stephen for more on this).

And all this follows from considering the whole of everything rather than a section of it, from looking for a down-arrow whenever one stumbles upon an upward one, and from declaring a right-turn whenever a left-turn is observed. The Hebrew word for peace is the familiar שלום (shalom), which stems from a verb that means to be complete or whole: without bits missing, and without rejecting bits that we don't understand. Peace means everything: warts and all. It's the opposite of the verb רעע (ra'a'), meaning to break, from which comes the noun רע (ra'), which is the common Hebrew word for evil.

Evil is incompleteness of any kind, whether spiritually or intellectually or physically (say, from a vitamin deficiency), financially, even sentimentally or even mechanically: all smoke, useless heat and unintended noise, all forms of inefficiency and all loss of energy is evil. At the societal level, evil is manifested in group identities and friction or competition between these, winners and losers, innies and outies, good guys and bad guys, secrets and "forbidden knowledge", levels and grades, keys and paywalls, privilege and special treatments, exceptions to rules, unpredictabilities, discrimination, obscure procedures, leverage, abuse of power, domination and bullying. Completeness, on the other hand, does not guarantee agreement (where would be the fun in that?) but is rather manifested by a worldwide free exchange of information, which is contingent on common standards, a common language and commonly available media in which everybody can perfectly express their own individual perspectives, and investigate all things without there being anything off limits or forbidden or inaccessible (1 Corinthians 2:11, 6:12, 1 Thessalonians 5:21, 2 Timothy 3:16).

Completeness can only exist where no person dominates any other (Daniel 7:27, 1 Corinthians 15:24), where all power is only deployed in service of the less endowed (John 15:13, 1 Peter 4:10), and where all people are equally and perfectly sovereign and free (John 8:32, Galatians 5:1).

🔼Thyatira and the heresies

In his letter to the church in Thyatira dictated to John the Revelator (Revelation 2:18-29), Jesus uses the term "Son of God," which is a very common term in the New Testament but occurs in Revelation only this one time. As everybody back then knew, this term was originally coined to describe Rome's first and initial emperor: Augustus, son of the deified Julius Caesar, whose assassination cleared the way for the hated Empire, in which everybody was a slave bound to the emperor.

Christ (which means Anointed or King) is the sovereign individual, the free man under God alone, and any human Empire is precisely the opposite of that: hence the familiar term antichrist. The emperor (who or whatever that is) governs and centralizes the Empire and is its central god (2 Corinthians 4:4). The Body of Christ, contrarily, is a perfect Republic and requires no leadership because every member of it is a Christ and thus sovereign (1 John 2:27).

This means that the evil Empire only has one eye (from which all "enlightenment" flows) and one foot (the emotions that motivate the movement of the whole thing), whereas the Body of Christ has as many eyes as there are stars in the sky, and as many feet as there are hearts on earth (see our article on the proverbial lame and blind).

🔼Thyatira and Jezebel

Jesus continues his rebuke by referring to some woman named Jezebel. The only other woman named Jezebel in the Bible was a Phoenician princess: the evil wife of the weakling king Ahab. Jesus foretells a wide array of diseases upon Jezebel and her brood, so that fits the above so well that this Thyatiran Jezebel is as obviously a reinstalment of the Phoenician one as John the Baptist was Elijah (and compare 1 Kings 21:23 to Mark 7:28 and Luke 16:21).

Jezebel's most signifying move was her violent oppression of the servants of YHWH, in favor of those of Baal (1 Kings 18:4). To the untrained eye this may seem like a typical religious dispute but Yahwism was typically not a religion but rather proto-science trying to compete with the many much more powerful and much better funded religious traditions out there. Instead of being just another religion, the "servants of YHWH" were the pioneers of information technology. The alphabet had been perfected two centuries earlier, around the time of David (Psalm 16:10), and was in the process of being exported into the Greek language basin (see our article on the many Hebrew roots of the Greek language).

Stupid people are much easier to exploit than smart ones, which is why evil leaders endeavor to keep their subjects ignorant. The Romans even went so far as to coin the term "atheism" — "a charge on which many others who drifted into Jewish ways were condemned," wrote Cassius Dio around 200 AD (Hist.67.14) — and outlawed Yahwism just like Jezebel had (and Hitler would) and for the same reason: stupid people need leaders as much as leaders need stupid people. (As noted by some: the stupidity of a people is proportional to the size of their government and the amount of tax forked over. By giving everybody a right to vote, evil governments ensure that the voice of the rare experts in certain matter always get drowned out by the ignorant masses, and all resulting decisions are the decisions of stupid people.)

The name Baal simply means "Lord" and "servants of Baal" are typified by their continued chanting of "Lord! Lord! Help us, Lord! Give us, Lord! You're the best, Lord!" while nothing happens (1 Kings 18:29): no prayers are heard, no blind regain their sight, no lame regain their footing, no fire comes down from heaven, no clarity ensues, no wealth is generated, no security is enjoyed. Some modern servants of Baal even go so far as to put up images of some white guy and declare: "you are god, you are my god!" These practices are entirely outrageous and godless (Exodus 20:4) and contingent on the lazy ignorance and pagan superstition of the participants (Matthew 7:21). But that's far from the worst of it.

Divinity, salvation (from σωζω, sozo, to save) and grace (χαρις, charis, social felicity) are very specific things. They're real things, even things that can be measured and to some extend quantified. Since divinity is all about oneness and completeness, our understanding of things like information theory, entropy, synchronicity, smart swarmery, efficiency, network complexity, and even the very limits of rationality and computability (Ephesians 3:19, Philippians 4:7), as explored in Gödel's incompleteness theorems and Turing's halting problem, allow us to formalize divinity and systematically work toward it (Philippians 2:12). Servants of Baal typically spend an absolute minimum studying either the classics or modern science, and usually have no idea what they're talking about when they claim to have access to divinity, to have secured salvation, and to live wholly out of a state of grace.

People who do know what these words mean also very quickly recognize that the Baalists are not only deluding themselves but are also bent on deluding everybody else. But a society where grown people are allowed and even encouraged to claim qualities that they obviously don't possess, opens the door to a deluge of delusions of every vile and wretched sort, not only the fun ones.

Baalism, ultimately, spawns an entire spectrum of social psychoses, whose bosons are people who have lost their connection with the established terms that describe our shared reality. This has nothing to do with tolerance and everything with madness. Yahwism is the narrow an arduous path of rationality toward divinity, but Baalism is the broad road to festive insanity, then global psychosis and ultimately a zombi apocalypse and an evolutionary reversal back into the wordless existence of animals.

🔼Thyatira and the deep things of satan

Jesus then addresses people who pursue the "deep things of satan," which probably sounds a lot more ominous than it really is (also because satan is powerless to people who know Christ: Romans 16:20). The word βαθυς (bathus), here translated with "deep thing" was probably simply a synonym for "mystery" or "thing to be fathomed" and was in common use by early Gnostic schools and others (in 1 Corinthians 2:10 Paul uses the same word as he speaks of the "deep things of God"). One particular Gnostic sect were the Ophites (from οφις ophis, serpent), who held that Christ had not (or not only) come in human flesh and but also or rather as the serpent: the same whom Moses depicted in bronze (called Nehushtan), and the one who enticed Eve to eat from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. The first claim is not wholly without merit (see John 3:14 and 12:32) but the second one (Galatians 3:13, see Genesis 3:14) is rather obviously problematic (John 8:44, 2 Corinthians 11:3, 1 Timothy 2:14, Revelation 12:9 and compare Revelation 20:10 to Luke 1:33).

Everybody is of course wholly free to explore whatever they want (that's the one rule of Yahwism: anything goes), but students who are interested in exploring the "forces of darkness" should first consider the following:

Darkness is not the opposite of light but the absence of it, and not the presence of something else. Light is energy and is substantial. Darkness is emptiness and is unsubstantial. Light comes in colors, propels things, keeps all forms of matter together, governs all physical and chemical processes, and conveys information. The whole of thermodynamics, life and mind is essentially a function of light. Darkness has no colors, cannot propel things or keep things together or do any sort of governing or convey any sort of information beside declaring emptiness and void. There is neither life nor mind in darkness. Darkness is dead, cold and stupid.

In our universe, light does all the doing. Darkness does nothing. Darkness is what happens when light does something (namely leave). Ergo, even darkness is a function of light: darkness is a thing that light does (but light is not a thing that darkness does). In our universe, all forces that we can see do things consist of photons. There simply is no such thing as a "dark force". A thing is a force when it consists of light. Forces are light like water is wet.

Darkness is not the opposite of light but the absence of it. Ignorance is not the opposite of wisdom but the absence of it. Hate is not the opposite of love but the absence of it. Death is not the opposite of life but the absence of it. There's nothing to study or explore or fathom about darkness or emptiness or ignorance. There's nothing to extract, nothing to harness, nothing to learn or read or master (or even obey) in darkness. And people who are drawn to such pursuits really only want the power to make the natural world do things it wouldn't do by means of its own natural laws. But belief in such "dark arts" can only be sustained when the believer is wholly unaware that the observable universe only does anything by means of natural law, and is thus perfectly predicable by anyone who is up to snuff with the goings on. Only an utter unfamiliarity with the regularities of the natural world would invite anyone to invest effort in the study of how things don't work. Even if such a person were in some weird way somewhat successful, the result of applying such "dark wisdom" would result in things not working. Darkness is ignorance. It's un-intelligence and the utter absence of any recognizable pattern and thus predictability.

There is no law but God's law, and even satan has no choice but to obey it. Any "evil agent" who would boldly decide to ignore natural law and do things their own way would quickly discover that things either don't work at all or else do wholly unexpected things (or things that would have been expected by someone who heeded the rules).

Brokenness and fractionality is an important part of how nature works. There would be no digestion or learning or nuclear fission (or fusion) without it. Like everything else, it too comes from God and has nothing to do with the devil (Isaiah 45:7). The term "Good [wholeness] and Evil [brokenness]" has nothing to do with the devil but distinguishes between (a) the complete set of absolute everything, plus all relations between all things, and (b) a limited subset of the previous, which in itself is incomplete and so has to connect to other such incomplete subsets to get complete. This is obviously the condition of any conscious thing. No conscious creature is conscious of absolutely everything, but all of them together are. Human language is not simply a means to babble but rather a means to stitch all those separate consciousnesses together into one whole that knows everything (compare Matthew 4:4 to 26:26).

🔼Etymology of the name Thyatira

The name Thyatira as it appears in the Bible is a plural form, not unlike the names Colossae and Athens. The etymology of the name Thyatira is disputed. Some commentators assume that it is Lydian (and means Fortress Of Thya, whoever that might be), but that's not likely. The town may have originally been Lydian but the name Thyatira came from the mind of Seleucus I Nicator, who was a Macedonian and spoke Greek. A prolific 6th century author named Stephanus of Byzantium linked our name to the common noun θυγατηρ (thugater), meaning daughter and explained this by relating a military victory of Seleucus over Lysimachus, his Thracian fellow successor of Alexander, with the birth of his daughter, of which he had two, both named Phila, from φιλεω (phileo), to love, which is not unlike the name of the celebrated Phoenician queen Dido, whose name comes from דוד (dod), beloved.

There are a few problems with this, though. It's not likely that the noun θυγατηρ (thugater) would lose its "g", even in compounds. Then, like many rulers, the Seleucids often honored their friends and family by naming cities after them (Laodicea and Antioch readily come to mind), but naming an existing town Daughter-ville rather than, say, Philapoly, isn't much heard of. And no other source mentions that Seleucus indeed named the city after his or anybody's daughter. Stephanus of Byzantium incorporated much mythology into his work, and it may be that he meant the whole affair mythologically. The Hebrew word for daughter, namely בת (bat) is strikingly similar to the noun בית (bayit or beth), house or temple.

The -τειρα (-theira) part of our name closely resembles an off-the-shelf Greek suffix that (although singular, not plural) forms feminine agent nouns: An αυτοκρατειρα (autokrateira) is an autocratic ruler; a βαρυδοτειρα (barudoteira) is a giver of gifts; a φιλορμιστειρα (philormisteira) is "she who loves to bring to harbor"; a γενετειρα (geneteira) is a female parent or child (mother or daughter); a πολυβοτειρα (poluboteira) is a much-nourisher.

The first part of our name, namely θυα (thua) is identical the plural of θυος (thuos), incense, which in Latin was known as libanus, which links our name to the curious noun χαλκολιβανον (chalkolibanon), the "white" bronze to which the feet of the Son of Man/God are likened in Revelation 1:15 and 2:18. This noun θυος (thuos) stems from the verb θυω (thuo), to slaughter or to rage:

Excerpted from: Abarim Publications' Biblical Dictionary
θυω I

The verb θυω I (thuo I) means to sacrifice in the ritualistic sense, or to kill for food (which commonly coincided). The derived verb θυμιαω (thumiao) means to make smoke and ash.

θυω II

The identical verb θυω II (thuo II) means to rage or seethe, and is used for both the sea and people (and horses and even snakes). The derived noun θυμοσ (thumos) describes intense mental agitation for whatever reason, but commonly with aggressive effect and accompanied by a strong will.

Also from the verb θυω (thuo) comes the adjective θυιας (thuias) or θυας (thuas), meaning frantic or "mad for love" (in the words of Liddel & Scott's A Greek-English Lexicon). This same word but as noun describes an "inspired, possessed woman, especially a Bacchante" (a devotee of Bacchus, god of wine and wild abandon), whom the 5th century BC poet Aeschylus (the "Father of the Tragedy") connects to the grim adjective αιματοσταγης (aimatostages), blood-dripping. He makes that connection in his play Seven Against Thebes, which tells of a war of seven mythological heroes against Thebes (in Greece) in the generation prior to the Trojan War. Before they all died, these seven heroes were assigned each a gate of Thebes, which was a gimmick later repeated by Euripides in his play The Phoenician Women (and see Revelation 21:12). All this creates an obvious arch between Lydia of Thyatira and Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out (Luke 8:2, also see Matthew 12:43-45).

🔼Lunacy and the road to hell

In classical literature that considers statecraft (and this includes Homer and the Bible), the rule is that a state's central government is masculine and paternal (and solar), whereas its general population is feminine and maternal, and every citizen a stellar "son" (this also explains why God is a solar "He", humanity is a she, and Jesus is both Son of Man and Son of God). Possibly terribly unfair, but in that same way, a woman is governed by her husband or her son (who infuses her with law and order), or she stays without masculine bridles and succumbs to erratic lunar lawlessness first and then quickly utter madness.

From history we learn that when a population indeed kills her centralizing monarchy (and becomes a mariticidal widow: Revelation 18:7), this population will first enter a phase of celebratory joy (the evening after sunset), then spiral into anarchy and violence (late night drunkenness), and then succumb to the pre-dawn insanity and filicidal bloodlust (Joel 2:31, Acts 2:20, Revelation 6:12) that only comes to an end when a new monarch, much more harsh and terrible than the first, takes charge and restores the centralized monarchy (sunrise of a new day). This inevitable scenario took centuries to unfold in Rome (from Superbus to Augustus), decades in France (from Louis to Napoleon), and mere years in Germany (from Wilhelm to Adolf) and the USSR (from Nikolai to Stalin). But the pattern is well known and ubiquitously discussed in classical literature, and it's not unreasonable to expect that Seleucus was intimately familiar with it. This would provide a reasonable foundation for the hypothesis that Seleucus named Thyatira after the unruly madness he expected to ensue after Alexander's death.

The moon-goddess Selene was considered the sister of Helios (ηλιος, helios, Sun) and Eos (Dawn, see the name Augustus), and note the similarity between the names Helios and Elijah (Ηλιον, Helios; the genitives of these names are identical: Ηλιου, Heliou means both "of Helios" and "of Elijah"). Also note that the similarity between Selene and Seleucus, and between Selene and Helene. The latter similarity has prompted several scholars to hold that Helen of Troy was named after, and perhaps personified, the moon. The Hebrew word for moon, לבנה (lebanah), relates to the words for frankincense, לבונה (lebonah) and the bricks of which the Babylonian tower consisted, לבנה (lebenah), and the name of Jacob's deceptive uncle Laban, the father of Rachel and Leah and brother of Rebekah, the wife of Isaac. Remember that the lamented Trojan War commenced only when Agamemnon slaughtered his own daughter Iphigenia (from ιφι, iphi, the instrumental of ις, is, strength: hence Born By Strength, see the name Boaz and Zechariah 4:6).

The city of Thyatira is in the Bible strongly associated with manless or dubiously independent women: Lydia the purple merchant (or purveyor in debauchery?), Jezebel (who obviously overpowered Ahab), perhaps the demonic Magdalene, the proposition that its name derives from the word for daughter, possibly Iphigenia, and the obvious association with blood-drenched Bacchantes. It's equally strongly associated with the Phoenicians, who were once magnificent enough to have helped with the building of YHWH's temple but who had fallen from grace and into insanity, even cultic madness.

During Bacchanalia, women (and later men too, slaves and freemen alike, in a deliberate cultic disruption of all social order) would drink to excess, work themselves into a mad frenzy, engage in wild orgies and slaughter goats in all creative ways (the word "tragedy" comes from τραγος, tragos, goat). And all this to appease gods Bacchus (of wine and freedom) and Pater Liber (Father Freedom), not realizing what the Greeks knew, namely that freedom comes from lawfulness, and not from lawlessness. The Roman historian Livy expressed his disgust for the cult of Bacchus, blamed it for the moral decline of Rome and dubbed it a form of cultic high treason (which was punishable by death).

Recent studies have re-examined the bones of children in Phoenician urns found in Italy and Tunesia and at long last concluded that the Phoenicians had indeed succumbed to child sacrifice, burying them with inscriptions of thanks to their gods and asking for special favors (Phoenician Bones of Contention, Xela, Melchiorri, Van Dommelen, 2013, Antiquity, 87). Roman and Greek authors spoke in horror of these practices, and specifically identified Carthage as a hot spot of it. A word that keeps propping up in discussions of these crimes is Topheth, descriptive of the hellish installation used to burn children alive, and associated with a valley relatively close to Jerusalem but on the border of Judah. In the word of Jeremiah:

"They have built the high places of Topheth, which is in the valley of the son of Hinnom, to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire, which I did not command, and it did not come into My mind. Therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when it will no longer be called Topheth, or the valley of the son of Hinnom, but the Valley of the Slaughter; for they will bury in Topheth because there is no other place" (Jeremiah 7:31-32, also see 19:6).

🔼How Beautiful are the Feet

But, a disgusted reader may demand, what on earth could impel parents to burn their own (or anybody's) children in sacrifice to some deity?

Imagine a herd (of sheep, cows, deer, whatever). And that herd is attacked by a predator (lions, wolves, whatever). That herd will panic and stampede, and as it runs off, it will separate between the strong and healthy running up front, and the weak, young, old and ailing dragging behind, to be easily picked off by the attackers. Perhaps the strong ones running up front are actually able to convince themselves that they would never consider sacrificing their children, and even that they can't be held responsible for the death and horror that their legitimate fear-reaction triggers. Perhaps. But the most repeated command in the Bible is to have no fear — not so as to ignore one's natural alarm system but rather to organize one's life in such a way that fear is not the main driving force of one's existence. When the Word of YHWH first comes to Abram, his opening statement is: "Do not fear, Abram, I am a shield to you" (Genesis 15:1).

In our e-book How The Mind Works, we explain that the realms of matter, life and mind are self-similar: these three great realms develop according to the same recognizable structures. We also show that the split between Esau and Jacob coincides with the evolutionary breach between Toe-Walkers and Flat-Footers. Toe-walkers (all hoofed animals and carnivorous mammals, cats and dogs) are creatures of the open range ("of the field"), adapted for speed (both offensive, to chase, and defensive, to flee), and are signified by a desire to run toward whatever is desired and away from whatever is abhorred, which derives from a lifestyle entirely based on the consumption of the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. Flat-footers (mice, rabbits, beavers, apes and thus humans), on the other hand, don't roam about but rather live in permanent burrows, holes, lodges or condominiums, and although the flat-footers too waggle toward what attracts them and away from what scares them, they always run toward their homes, upon which their whole reality is centered.

The homes of the flat-footers are also the places where the young, old and ailing are kept safe. Flat-footer homes are nearly always communal, which means that flat-footers share a centered reality with fellows, a reality in which the society is centered upon a communal home. Moreover, toe-walkers are hyper-vigilant and concerned only what can be obviously observed in the world around them. Flat-footers, on the other hand, spend much time sitting perfectly still, cut off from the outer world, trying to piece together the situation outside from minute signals trickling in. Flat-footers literally "imagine" a world much greater than what can be immediately observed, with minds that are "complex" and comprise of a real or rational part, and a trans-rational "imaginary" part — and this was probably the first step onto the road to human consciousness: see our article on the verb δοκεω (dokeo), to imagine, and its derived noun δοξα (doxa), "glory".

Immediately preceding the generation in which Toe-Walkers and Flat-Footers separated, the global mammalian population wondered how to live, whether to roam about or dig in, whether to run away from danger (at that time, reptiles, mostly) and therewith sacrificing the young and weak, or to only ever run toward society's communal home and defend that at any and all cost. The story of Abraham is the story of the human mind — human-animal symmetry breaks in Noah: hence "they knew not until the flood came" (Matthew 24:39, see Psalm 73:22, Ecclesiastes 3:18, 2 Peter 2:12, Jude 1:10); the Word of YHWH (i.e. rationality) becomes an active character in the story in Genesis 15:1 — and is arguably to most insightful piece of literature ever produced. It is designed to run counter the formation of the Babylonian tower (whose story, in turn, is an algorithmic description of the rise and fall of centralized Empire). The braided story of Republican Abraham versus Imperial Babel forms the backbone of the entre Bible, and concludes in the ultimate collapse of Babylon (Revelation 18:2, see 20:9) and the ascension of the surviving Abrahamites onto the New Jerusalem, the ultimate flat-footer lodge (Revelation 21:2).

The observation that "the Word of YHWH came to Abraham" (Genesis 15:1) is the Bible's narrative way of saying that Abraham began to put his faith in rational deduction rather than emotions, traditions, human leaders, natural forces or the threat of wild animals or human enemies. Entirely likewise, when YHWH said "Go up to Mount Moriah and sacrifice Isaac to me there," it describes Abraham rationally considering what the peoples around him starting doing, namely systematically sacrificing society's weak in order to make the remaining society strong. That's not at all an unusual idea and is still very popular today in certain circles (remember that the destruction of Europe's Jews grew out of the destruction of Vienna's autistic children).

On Moriah, Abraham appears to have realized that when a society massively runs away from what it fears, it not only automatically sacrifices its weak to whatever the threat was, it also produces monstrous carnivores from the weaklings it so cruelly abandoned (carnivores are commonly smaller than herdlings, and their inexplicable bloodlust may stem in natural milk-lust; carnivores may have evolved out of rejected but surviving young). Moreover, when a society massively runs into some arbitrary direction, it automatically produces a "leader" who happens to run in front of everybody else as the greatest wuss of all (hence also the regal but cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz, and "Following the Leader" from Disney's Peter Pan, which essentially is the Horst-Wessel-Lied for Beginners).

The rule is simple: when we don't appoint leaders to run after (Matthew 23:8-12), we also don't sacrifice our children behind us (Psalm 20:7). When YWHY then says, "Now I know you fear Me", the emphasis is on "Me" not on "fear": "Now I know that you fear Me, the God of Reason, rather than anything else out there" (Proverbs 29:25).

Abraham looks around and sees an איל ('ayil) with his horns in the thicket. That word is here usually translated with "ram", but it really describes anything that protrudes, sticks out or leads. All herds have leaders (lead rams, lead stallions, lead bulls) and Abraham ends up sacrificing "the leader", and discovers that a society without leaders is also a society without competition and thus one without child sacrifice. This obviously does not mean that we should disobey, assail, harm or even talk bad about our leaders (Exodus 22:28, Ecclesiastes 10:20, Matthew 22:21, Romans 13:1), but simply that we should concentrate on building our communal home by taking care of our own houses, our own streets, our own children and our own neighbors. Governments need needs, and the only way to combat a government is to have none (Psalm 8:5, Ephesians 6:16).

Abraham, guided by the God of Reason, ultimately identifies the Horned Leader and deals with him in the only legal way, as described in Matthew 4:10 (and see Revelation 20:10). On the mountain where this occurs, Mount Moriah, king Solomon would later build the Temple.