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What is an Obelisk and where did they come from?
After studying this paper a Christian might ask should we accept the obelisks such as these in Rome, London, New York, and Washington? You will find they did not come from Christianity.
Read the statement at the end of this study.
Author/Webmaster of the Master's table.
An obelisk is a monolithic stone monument whose four sides, which generally carry inscriptions, gently taper into a pyramidion at the top. The ancient Egyptians usually erected them in pairs and associated them with the rays of the Sun, which increase in width as they reach the Earth. The earliest known examples, excavated at Abu Sir, Egypt, date from the Old Kingdom during the reign of Neuserre (2449-2417 BC). The unfinished obelisk in the quarry at Aswan shows how these monuments, some more than 32 m (105 ft) long, were cut as single pieces of red granite. Their transport on barges down the Nile is depicted on relief sculptures. So popular were these monuments among the Roman emperors that 13 of them were taken to Rome. Today, in addition to CLEOPATRA's NEEDLES in London and New York, historic Egyptian examples stand in Paris, Florence, and Rome. Cleopatra's Needles, named for the famous Egyptian queen, are two ancient OBELISKS presented by the khedive of Egypt to Great Britain (1878) and the United States (1880). The British monument, 20.9 m (68.5 ft) high, is located on the Thames Embankment in London. The American one, 21.2 m (69.5 ft) high, stands in New York City's Central Park. They were originally erected c.1500 BC in the city of HELIOPOLIS by THUTMOSE III. In 14 BC, Augustus ordered their removal to Alexandria to grace the grounds of the Caesareum. The British installed their obelisk at its present location in 1878; the Americans did so in 1881. Carved from rose-colored Syrene granite and inscribed with HIEROGLYPHICS, each weighs approximately 200 tons. In recent years, the surfaces of the obelisks have eroded because of moist air and urban pollution.
The Obelisk you see below was brought from Egypt and erected at the Vatican.
The Italian architect Domenico Fontana, 1543-1607, traveled to Rome from his native Lugano in 1563, accompanied by his older brother Giovanni, who later became a celebrated engineer. Fontana was commissioned in 1585 by Cardinal Felice Peretti to design a chapel in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and when the cardinal was elected Pope Sixtus V in the same year, Fontana became the architect to the papacy. During the 5-year reign of Sixtus, the city of Rome was extensively rebuilt under Fontana's direction; it took on the baroque form that survives to this day. Fontana's part in this large project included the designs of the Vatican, Lateran, and Quirinal palaces (see VATICAN PALACE), the Vatican Library, and completion of the dome of SAINT PETER'S BASILICA, all of which were executed between 1585 and 1590. In 1586, Fontana removed an ancient Egyptian obelisk from the side of the Vatican to its present position in front of Saint Peter's, where it distracts from the effect of Giovanni Lorenzo BERNINI's colonnades. For this, as for almost all his other work, Fontana has been denigrated by modern architectural historians, who have characterized his talent as uninspired and mediocre. Fontana was deprived of his post by Pope Clement VIII in 1592. He was obliged to move to Naples, were he built the Palazzo Reale (1600-02). Howard Batchelor - Bibliography: Giedion, S., Space, Time, and Architecture (1954); Heydenreich, Ludwig, and Lotz, Wolfgang, Architecture in Italy: 1400-1600 (1967)
Obelisk of Ramses II on the left and a 3/4 view on the right.
The obelisk in front of the Pylon, left side in the picture on the right is the "Ramses II Obelisk" which is shown on your left. Also you will notice the foundation stone at right side in front of the Pylon. This is the site for the obelisk which was shipped off to Paris in the 19th century.
Obelisk of Ramses II History
The Obelisk above on the left is the Obelisk of Ramses II who was one of the greatest pharaohs in Ancient Egypt, and also called "Ramses the Great". He built many magnificent memorials. Abu Simbel, with their four colossal statues of Ramses II, is the most magnificent and the best known. He erected more obelisks than any other pharaohs. In fact, 9 obelisks still remain. See here for the details. He was a competent administrator, and successfully governed a vast Empire territory from Syria in North to Sudan in South. He ruled for 67 or 68 years, and lived until he was 92, and it is said that he got 162 sons and daughters. (Source: "Ramses der Grosse" by Philipp Vandenberg, 1977 Scherz Verlag)
Most of Ramses' obelisks are relatively small, but the two that stood before the 1st pylon of the Luxor Temple are quite large. This is the 2nd largest one among existing obelisks in Egypt, followed to Queen Hatshepsut Obelisk. At the base of the obelisk, there is a relief of four animals. They are baboons (a kind of monkey). The people at that time believed it raises their front feet in adoration of the sun when it rises in the morning from east horizon.
Inscriptions: Each of the four sides of this obelisk has at the top the scenes of Ramses making offerings to the god Amun-Re, beneath which are three columns of hieroglyph. On the northern face, the column on the right deems Ramses "splendid of statues, great of monuments in the Southern Opet [Luxor]...making monuments in Thebes for the One." The left-hand column meanwhile, proclaims the pharaoh "the sovereign, great of Jubilees like Tatenen, making monuments in Karnak for his father Amun-Re who placed him upon his throne...."
Present State: As one of the pair was lost, now only one remains. Leslie
Greener (the artist and historian of Egyptology) says about the Luxor Temple,
"Its imposing pylon gate will always have the bereft appearance of an elephant
with one tusk missing."
(Source: "The Obelisk of Egypt" by Labib Habachi, 1977 Charles Scribner's Sons) Even if it's only one, the obelisk with a great pylon is must to see. Luxor was called "Thebes" in ancient Egypt. Historic sites in Luxor district were registered as UNESCO's World Heritage in 1979.
There are three Cleopatra's Needles: in London, Paris and New York City. Each obelisk is made of red granite, stands about 68 feet high, weighs about 180 tons and is inscribed with hieroglyphs. Although the needles are genuine Ancient Egyptian obelisks, they are somewhat misnamed as they have no inscriptions associated with queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. They were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 B.C.E. The quarry from which the red granite was obtained was near Aswan. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramses II to commemorate his military victories. The obelisks were later moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesarium — a temple built by Cleopatra (hence the name Cleopatra's Needle) in honor of Mark Antony — by the Romans, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, but were later toppled. The knocking down of the obelisks allowed them to be buried in sand, which helped preserve them from local weathering. It is included in this section (Weathering) of the Earth Science Image Archive because it emphasizes the concept of the rate of weathering for the same rock type in different climates. Unfortunately I do not have any "before pictures", just "after pictures" that show significant weathering effects.
London ("Cleopatra's Needles")
This "fallen" obelisk is the one which was transported to London, and its companion was also transported to New York 3 years later in 1880. Therefore, there is nothing in Alexandria at present. Egyptian viceroy, Mohammed Ali approved in 1819 that Egypy would make a gift obelisk to Britain. In 1831 the approval was renewed, but the British Government declined to fund the expense of transportation it to London, although it welcomed the gesture. On the other hand, France obtained an another obelisk (where was in Luxor), and sucessfully transported it to Paris in 1832. Finally in the 1870s, the soldier-turned-writer General James Alexander took up the cause, and then he did serious efforts for this collection with the support by a millionaire Sir James Erasmus Wilson who offered the private fund voluntarily. After a time-consuming negotiation with the land owner of the obelisk, it was planned that the obelisk is transported over the ocean with a special iron container (cylindrical case) named Cleopatra made by the engineer, John Dixson. At last, Cleopatra which contains the obelisk departed the Port of Alexandria, towed by the mother ship Olga, on September 21st, 1877. Here are some pictures on the journey.
Paris, France ("Cleopatra's Needles")
Location: Place de la Concorde, Paris, France. (Also known as
Cleopatra's Needles. See note above)
Pharaoh: Ramses II (The 19th Dynasty, reigned B.C. 1304-1237)
Height: 22.83 meters or 74 feet (There are various data like, 22.55 meters, 23.39 meters, etc.)
Pedestal: 2.44 meters (4 meters?) One reliable source says 32 meters or 107 feet including the pedestal + new golden pyramidion. This may be more accurate.
Weight: 227 tons (There are various data like, 220 tons, 230 tons, 250 tons, etc.)
Stone: Red granite.
Provenance: This is the one of the pair of obelisks that were erected in front of Luxor Temple, in B.C. 13th Century, and transported to Paris in 19th Century. Another one still remains at the original cite in Luxor.
New York ("Cleopatra's Needles")
According to the history books, "Cleopatra's Needles" is the name given to two Egyptian obelisks from Alexandria (Egypt). Today, one of the Cleopatra's Needles is in New York and the other one is in London. The obelisks are made of the rosered granite of Syene and are almost 70' in height. They were originally erected by the Egyptian king Thothmes III in front of the great temple of Heliopolis around 1500 B.C. The New York City obelisk was presented as a gift to America in 1881 by the Rhedive of Egypt in the hope of stimulating economic investment in his country, and it took four months to move the obelisk from the Hudson River dock to its present location inside Central Park. The name Cleopatra's Needle is in fact a romantic invention simply because that queen is well-known to us via the likes of William Shakespeare and Elizabeth Taylor, as the obelisks are not connected to her at all.
This obeliks is called Theodosius, because the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor in the late 4th Century, Theodosius I carried it into the current site. This obelisk is located in the site of Square of Horses [The Hippodrome Square] in Istanbul. The ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life, located in front (west) of famous Blue Mosque [Sultanahmet Camii]. Interseting thing is there are three pillars in the site of Hippodrome. From north to south; Theodosius Obelisk (Dikilitas), Serpentine Column (Burmali Sutun, or Snake Tower), and Constantinus VII Column (Colossus). This obelisk once graced the Karnak Great Temple of Amun (Amon) in ancient Thebes (now, Luxor). It was one of two erected at the south of the 7th Pylon of the Great Temple by Tuthmosis III. No one knows who ordered its removal from Karnak, or whether it was still standing when it was taken. It was transported to Alexsandria under the orders of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor Constantius II (reigned A.D. 337-361). He is different from Constantinus II, just one letter is different ("tius" vs. "tinus"), who transported an obelisk to Rome, which is now called "Lateran Obelisk"], and then finally transported to Constantinople (now Istanbul) by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius I (reigned A.D. 379-395). It was erected in A.D. 390.
This Obelisk erected by Queen Hatshepsut (1473-1458BC)
It is 97 feet tall and weighs approximately 320 tons (some sources say 700 tons). An inscription at its base indicates that the work of cutting the monolith out of the quarry required seven months of labor. Nearby stands a smaller obelisk erected by Tuthmosis I (1504-1492 BC). It is 75 feet high, has sides 6 feet wide at its base, and weighs between 143 and 160 tons. Hatshepsut raised four obelisks at Karnak, only one of which still stands. The Egyptian obelisks were always carved from single pieces of stone, usually pink granite from the distant quarries at Aswan, but exactly how they were transported hundreds of miles and then erected without block and tackle remains something of a mystery. Of the hundreds of obelisks that once stood in Egypt, only nine now stand; ten more lay broken, victims of conquerors, or of the religious fanaticism of competing cults. The rest are buried or have been carried away to foreign lands to dwell in the central parks and museum concourses of New York, Paris, Rome, Istanbul and other cities.
The use of the obelisks is even more of a mystery than their carving and means of erection. While the obelisks are usually covered with inscriptions, these offer no clue to the function, but are instead commemorative notations indicating when and by whom the obelisk was carved. It has been suggested that the erection of the obelisk was a gesture symbolizing the 'djed' pillar, the Osirian symbol standing for the backbone of the physical world and the channel through which the divine spirit might rise to rejoin its source. John Anthony West notes that the obelisks were usually erected in pairs, one obelisk being taller than the other, and that the dimensions of the obelisk and the precise angles of its shaft and pyramidion cap (originally plated in electrum, an alloy of silver and gold) were calculated according to geodetic data pertaining to the exact latitude and longitude where the obelisk was set. "The shadows cast by the pair of unequal obelisks would enable the astronomer/priests to obtain precise calendrical and astronomical data relevant to the given site and its relationship to other key sites also furnished with obelisks." Readers interested in the fascinating subject of obelisks should consult The Magic of Obelisks by Peter Tompkins and the Orion Mystery by Bauval and Gilbert.
In Upper Egypt, on the eastern bank of the Nile, stand the remains of the most extensive temple complex of the Dynastic Egyptians. The entire site was called Wast by the Egyptians, Thebai by the Greeks, and Thebes by the Europeans (the word Thebai derives from the Egyptian word Apet, which was the name of the most important festival held each year at Luxor). A large proportion of the ruins of ancient Egypt are situated here, divided between the temples of Luxor (from the Arabic L'Ouqsor, meaning 'the palaces') and the temples of Karnak (this name deriving from the Arab village of Al-karnak). The ruins of both these temple complexes cover a considerable area and are still very impressive.
Nothing remains, however, of the houses, markets, palaces and gardens that must have surrounded the temples in ancient times. The principal feature in Egyptian social centers, and usually the only one to have survived, was the temple. Not a place for collective worship but rather a house of the gods, only the temple's priests and the high nobility were allowed to enter the inner sanctums. The temple did however, act as a cohesive focal point for the local community, who participated in the numerous pilgrimage festivals and processions to the temple. Recent excavations have pushed the history of Karnak back to around 3200 BC, when there was a small settlement on the bank of the Nile where Karnak now stands. The great temple complex at Karnak is, however, mostly a Middle Kingdom creation. Archaeological excavation reveals that the complex was in a near constant state of construction and deconstruction, and that almost every king of the Middle Kingdom left some mark of his presence at Karnak.
The central temple at Karnak was dedicated to the state god, Amon, and is so oriented to admit the light of the setting sun at the time of summer solstice. Just north of this temple are the foundations of an earlier, but also central and primary, temple dedicated to the god Montu. Little remains of this temple, not because it was weathered by the elements, but rather because it was systematically deconstructed and its building stones used in the construction of other temples. According to Schwaller de Lubicz, this mysterious dismantling of temples, found at Karnak and numerous other places in Egypt, has to do with the changing of the astrological cycles. The supplanting of the bull of Montu with the ram of Amon coincides with the astronomical shift from the age of Taurus, the bull, to the age of Aries, the ram; the earlier temple of Montu had lost its significance with the astronomical change and thus a new temple was constructed to be used in alignment with the current configuration of the stars.
Washington Monument: (Obelisk)
The Washington Monument is the most prominent, as well as one
of the older, attractions in Washington, D.C. It was built in honor of George
Washington, who led the country to independence, and then became its first
President. The Monument is shaped like an Egyptian obelisk, 555 5/8
high, and averages 30 to 40 miles visibility in clear weather. It was finished
on December 6, 1884. Note that Dec 6th. is Nimrod's birthday.
Check out the Washington Obelisk at night with the lights on at the top. It looks very evil with the red lights looking at you as eyes.
Below is a map with locations of all the Obelisks in the world.
Christians should know the steeples on churches are from the old Obelisk and is from Sun worship.
The Egyptians worshipped the Sun, and the Obelisk was their tool to do so. Now ask yourself, why would an ancient symbol right out of Sun worship be placed as an official statue in the capital city of a Nation that professes the creator God and His Son Jesus as the Savior? The endtime book of Revelation is written to warn us to repent of this Sun worship and for those that don't repent will receive the wrath of God!
This research is the work of: Timothy
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