On Mot

The word for death in modern Urdu/Hindi and Arabic is maut, in Hebrew it’s mavet, in Sanskrit mirtiu, in Latin mortem, and in Persian it’s faut. And the god for death in ancient Levant and Mesopotamia was called Mot. According to myths from ancient Ugarit (ancient Syria) and Canaan (ancient Levant), Mot and Baal were both sons of the high god El. They got into a fight, and Baal, who was the god of light and fertility, defeated and killed Mot, who was the god of darkness and death. But El managed to resurrect Mot, and since then both Mot and Baal have been involved in an eternal struggle for supremacy. (Sounds remarkably similar to Zoroastrianism.) Also in Hebrew Bible/Tanakh, in both the Book of Hosea and the Book of Jeremiah, Maweth/Mot is mentioned as a deity (or an angel of death) to whom the Hebrew god YHWH can turn over the kingdom of Judah as punishment for worshiping other gods. Nobody knows the linguistic origins of Mot, but variants of this word (ancient Syriac: mauta, ancient Akkadian: mutu, ancient Aramaic, Berber, and Coptic: mwt) have been used for death for at least the last 6000 years in an expanse of area that stretches from Central Africa to Europe to India -a rare word that is shared among Semitic, Indo-European, Dravidian, and African families of languages.

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