Before there was Judaism, there was a religion called Zoroastrianism. This was a religion of Persian origin based on the teachings of a prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster in Greek). Zoroastianism may have been born as early as 650 B.C.E. and shares common origins with Hinduism.
The whole religion revolves the Dualism of two gods: Ahura Mazda (also known as Ohrmazd) , the creator, and is all good and Angra Mainya (also known as Ahriman) the “Destructive Principle”, who represents evil. As Ohrmazd had six angelic beings (Amesha Spentas) through which he realized creation, Ahriman had six demonic (Daevas) beings through which he created all horrors in the world. They are:
Vahuman, the Good Mind who opposes Akoman, the Evil Mind
Artvahisht , Truth or Righteousness, who opposes Andra who freezes the minds
Shahrevar, Choice Kingdom or Material Sovereignty, who opposes Saru , the Tyrant
Spandarmat, Wisdom in Piety also the Earth, who opposes Naoghatya, Arrogance
Hurdat, Health, Wholeness, Salvation, who opposes Taru, the Evil Hunger
Amurdat, Life and Immoprtality, who opposes Zarika, Evil Thirst
There is a prophecy that in the end Ohrmazd will use the material world as a weapon and defeat Ahriman. It is said that the human soul is a spirit being called the fravashi. Both the human body and the fravashi are creatures of Ohrmazd and his wife/daughter Spandarmat. Humankind belongs to Ohrmazd and will return to him. However, the first primal man mated with Ahriman’s “Demon Whore,” so each person is free to choose between good and evil.
|Daevas being defeated|
Zoroastians believe their role in life is to cooperate with nature and lead a virtuous life. Unlike several other religions they oppose all forms of asceticism and monasticism. It is their duty to marry and rear children, for human life on earth is a necessity to defeat Ahriman. The soul is judged on good deeds on the” Bridge of the Requiter.” Depending on what you have done is whether you go to heaven or hell. If you are even, you go to place that is mixed. Punishment in the Zoroastrian hell is temporary. The final purge of sin takes place at the Last Judgment at the end of time.
All right, a lot of this was just a summary. Like all religions, this has much deeper roots. If you’re interested, you should read more about it.