In the Book of Genesis, Jacob rests his head on a rock before his dream of meeting God. After seeing angels ascending and descending a ladder to God, Jacob is promised the land of Israel to his descendants. Jacob erects the stone he was using as a pillow into a pillar, anoints it with oil and calls the place "House of God" or Bethel. In Syrian and Phonecian cultures "Baetyls" or Bethels were stones endowed with life-giving properties and worshipped. They represent communication with the gods or like the ladder to God in Jacob's dream. Temples across the Greco-Roman world had sacred stones and pagan cults associated with them. Early Christian writers abhorred the pagan rites and rituals associated with their idolatrous worship. We can see the struggle between Our Lord and the accuser with these symbols of life and death.
The above coin is from Tyre with the Roman Emperor Elagabalus on the front. The reverse shows a baetyl or sacred stone wrapped with a single snake. Snakes in the Greek world were associated with healing and temples with non poisonous snakes were meant as early hospitals. Snakes were allowed to crawl on the sick or injured as they slept in the temples. Greco-Roman priests would then interpret the dreams to aide in healing. Remember God sent venomous snakes to bite the rebellious Jews in the desert with Moses(Numbers 21:6). God told Moses to make a bronze snake and to put it on a pole. (Almost like a legionary standard) Anyone who was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake lived. I believe the above representation is describing the stone being endowed with healing properties like the Rod of Asclepius, a symbol of medicine in the ancient world. Note the Caduceus is a symbol of Hermes and Commerce.
Photo Zurqieh coins
The above coin shows a baetyl in the sun god's house in Emesa, Roman Syria during the reign of Elagabalus. The pellet within the crescent are in the pediment. The legionary eagle is on or in front of the sacred stone which was likely a conical meteorite according to Roman writers. The solar eclipse symbol on the temple's pediment is associated with war and Roman domination. The sun god would not have a lunar crescent on his temple. The sacred stone is to endow the Roman legions or State with the power to conquer their foes. As in earlier posts notice the lightning rods on the temple roof. Most meteorites are native iron nickel combinations not found on earth. A electrical conduction rod into the temple would heat the stone with a lighting strike which would prove to be a very effective way to convince the masses of the rock's unique powers. The rock was considered to be "alive."
Jesus Christ, as He entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday commented that the rocks would become "alive" and praise him if his disciples would be quiet. Luke Chapter 19:40. The Pharisees told Jesus His disciples should not praise Him as the King who comes in the name of the Lord. The Pharisees were well aware of baetyl or stone worship in the time of Jesus and regarded this as a pagan practice yet the 10 commandments were in the "Holy of Holies" in the center of the Temple. The comment by Jesus can be regarded with sarcasm relating to the Pharisees. The world was worshipping stones and rocks yet the living Son of God was in their presence. Ironic even today as seen below.....
Note the new Paramount movie "Arrival" scheduled for release in November 2016 shows alien ships in the form of Bethels or Baetyls. Nothing is new under the sun............Christ is coming soon but not in a stone from space. Be ready!!!!