What Does Ax Ishmael Mean – From The Bible Or Moby Dick Book? Cho Holds Hammer Similar To Character Portrayed in Old Boy Movie
(Best Syndication) The words Ax Ishmael were reported to be inscribed on the arm of the 23 year old gunman at Virginia Tech. But what do the words mean? It is uncertain, but it could refer to several things, including a verse in the Bible. The words were found on the return address of the package sent by Cho Seung Hui to NBC on Monday.
Ishmael is a major character in Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Ishmael was the son of the prophet Abraham. Genesis 16:12 says “He will be a wild donkey of a man. His hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand will be against him.” Cho mentioned religion several times in his letter to NBC. His family is closely associated with the Christian church.
But since Cho was an English major, he could have encountered Ishmael in other places as well. Ishmael is the story-teller in the 1851 novel “Moby-Dick” by Herman Melville. Ishmael was also the name of a wise Guerilla in the popular inspirational book “My Ishmael”.
Ishmael was also referenced in a love poem by the 1960’s writer John Hadley. The poem says “traces of Ishmael’s ax” appear on the trees. Cho studied poetry, so this is one possible explanation.
There is another book titled “Ishmael: In the Depths” by Emma Dorothy Eliza Nevitte Southworth. This is a 19th century story about a poor boy growing up in an area outside Washington DC. Cho grew up close to Washington DC.
Criminologists say that unstable people who commit horrific crimes, sometimes drastically change their appearance. In the 1976 movie “Taxi Driver”, Travis Bickle cut his hair into a Mohawk before his killing rampage. Cho cut his hair very short and began lifting weights before his killing spree. This could have been when he inscribed the words on his arm. Apparently he had a break with reality. The words Ax Ishmael inscribed on his arm could have been part of this break with reality.
On a related note, one the images released by NBC News shows Cho holding a hammer above his head. This is eerily familiar to a 2003 South Korean Movie called “OldBoy”. The story is about a man that goes to prison and is then let go before going on a bloody rampage to seek revenge. Another image from the film shows a character holding a gun to his head, similar to one of the self-shot photos Cho sent to NBC. There is a common misspelling Ismael or Ismel YK.
By Best Syndication News