Chapter Ten


"Twenty four years before the nuclear calamity two paths crossed, and not by accident. One was that of a god who was certain that his Fate had become a Destiny; the other was a man whose Destiny became his Fate. The god was Marduk; the man was Abraham; the place where their paths crossed was Harran.

"And an outcome of that was to last to our very own times, when Babylon (now Iraq) rained deathly missiles on the land of Jerusalem (now Israel).

Mr. Sitchin recounts at this point facts which he has written in his Book The Wars of Gods and Men, of the affairs of Abraham and Marduk in that area; he then continues:

"Far from the customary picture painted of Abram as a nomadic sheepherder, he turns out to be a superb military leader and a major actor on the international scene. It can all be explained, we suggest, only if one accepts the reality of the Anunnaki presence and takes into consideration the other major events occurring at the same time. The only prize worth an international war - at the very time that Nabu was organizing fighters in the lands west of the Euphrates - was the spaceport in the Sinai. It was that which Abram - allied with the Hittites and trained by them in Martial arts - was hurriedly sent to protect. It was to that purpose that an Egyptian Pharaoh in Memphis, himself facing an invasion by followers of Ra/Marduk based in Thebes in the south, provided Abram with a camel-riding cavalry and a large number of other men and women servants. And it was because Abram successfully protected the gateway to the spaceport that Yahweh assured him of a great reward - as well as promised him protection from future retribution by the losing side.

"The War of the Kings took place, by our calculations, in 2041 B.C. The year after that the princes of the south captured Memphis in Egypt and dethroned Abram’s ally, declaring allegiance to Amon-Ra, the "hidden" or "unseen" Ra/Marduk, who was then still in exile. (After Marduk’s rise to supremacy, the new rulers of Egypt began building in Karnak, a suburb of the capital Thebes, Egypt’s greatest temple in honor of Amon-Ra; they lined the majestic avenue leading to it with ram-headed sphinxes, honoring the god whose age, the Age of the Ram, had arrived). After the outcome of the wars and the destruction of the spaceport in Sinai....


"With the spaceport gone, Abraham’s mission had come to an end. Now it was up to God to keep his end of the bargain. He had "cut a covenant" with Abraham to give him and his descendants as an everlasting legacy the lands between the Brook of Egypt and the Euphrates River. And now, through Isaac, the promise had to be kept.

"And there was also the question of what to do with the other space facilities.

"There were, to be sure, two such facilities in addition to the spaceport itself. One was the Landing Place, to which Gilgamesh had set his course. The other was the Mission Control Center - no longer needed, but still intact; a post-Diluvial "Navel of the Earth," serving the same function as the pre-Diluvial "Navel of the Earth" that Nippur had been.

"To understand the similar functions and consequently similar layouts, one should compare our sketches of the pre and post-Diluvial space facilities (such sketches appear on Mr. Sitchin’s Books; sorry they cannot be reproduced here online).

"....After the Deluge, when humanity was granted the three Regions, the Anunnaki retained for themselves the Fourth Region - the Sinai peninsula. There, in the central plain, the ground was both flat and hard (perfect tank terrain, as modern armies have concluded), unlike the mud-buried and water-clogged post-Diluvial plain in Mesopotamia.

"Choosing again the twin peaks of Ararat as the anchor point, the Anunnaki drew a landing path at the same 45º angle to the geographic parallel - the 30th parallel north.

"There in the central plain of the Sinai peninsula, where the diagonal line intersected the 30th parallel, was to be the spaceport. To complete the layout, two more components were required: To establish a new Mission Control Center, and to delineate (and anchor) the Landing Corridor.

"We believe that the continuing of the Landing Corridor preceded the choosing of the site for Mission Control Center. The reason? The existence of the Landing Place, in the Cedar Mountains of Lebanon.

"Every folklore, every legend connected with the place repeats the same assertion, that the place existed before the Flood. As soon the Anunnaki landed back on Earth after the Deluge on the peaks of Ararat, they had at their disposal a real, functioning Landing Place - not a full-fledged spaceport, but a place to land on. All the Sumerian texts dealing wit the grant to Mankind of "domesticated" (i.e. genetically altered) plants and animals describe the biogenetic laboratory in the Cedar Mountains, with Enlil now cooperating with Enki to restore life on Earth. All the modern scientific evidence corroborates that it was from that particular area that wheat and barley and the first domesticated animals had come.

(Here again modern advances in genetics join the parade of corroborations: A study published in the journal Science as recently as November 1997 pinpoints the place where wild einkorn wheat was genetically manipulated to create the "Founder Crop" of eight different cereals: some 11,000 years ago, in that particular corner of the Near East!)

"There was every reason to include this place - a vast stone platform of massive construction - in the new space facilities. That, in turn, determined by equidistant concentric circles the location of Mission Control Center.

"To complete the space facilities, it was necessary to anchor the Landing Corridor. In its southeastern end, two nearby peaks - one of which remained hallowed to this day as the so-called Mount Moses - were handy. In the equidistant northwestern edge there were no peaks, just a flat plateau. The Anunnaki - not any mortal Pharaoh - built there two artificial mountains, the two great pyramids of Giza (the smaller Third Pyramid, we have suggested in The Stairway to Heaven, was built first as a test scale model). The layout was completed with a "mythological" animal carved from the native rock - the sphinx. It gazes precisely along the 30th parallel, eastward toward the spaceport in the Sinai.

"These were the components of the post-Diluvial spaceport of the Anunnaki in the Sinai peninsula, as built by them circa 10500 B.C. And when the landing and takeoff place in the Sinai’s central plain was blown up, the spaceport’s auxiliary components remained standing:

  • the Giza pyramids

  • the Sphinx

  • the Landing Place in the Cedar Mountains

  • the Mission Control Center at Jerusalem

"The Landing Place, as we know from the adventures of Gilgamesh, was there circa 2900 B.C. Gilgamesh witnessed there, the night before he had attempted entry, a rocketship rising. The place remained extant after the Deluge - a Phoenician coin depicted vividly what had stood atop the stone platform. The vast stone platform still exists. The place is called Baalbek - for it was the - "Secret Place of the North" of the Canaanite god Ba’al. The Bible knew the place as Beth-Shemesh, "House/Abode of Shamash" (the Sun God) and it was within the domains of king Solomon. The Greeks after Alexander called the place Heliopolis, meaning "City of Helios," the Sun God, and built there temples of Zeus, his sister Aphrodite, and his son Hermes. The Romans after them erected temples to Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury. The temple of Jupiter was the largest temple ever built by the Romans anywhere in the empire, for they believe that the place was the most important oracle place in the world, one that would foretell the fate of Rome and its empire.

"....But who could have done that in antiquity? The local legend says: the Giants. They not only placed those stone blocks where they are, they also quarried and shaped and carried them over a distance of almost a mile....

"....Down at the southern end of the Landing Corridor, the Giza pyramids still stand, defying all traditional explanations, challenging Egyptologists to accept that they had been built millennia before the Pharaohs and not by any one of them. The Sphinx still gazes precisely eastward along the 30th parallel, keeping to itself its secrets - perhaps even the secrets of the Book of Thoth.

"And what about Mission Control Center?

"That too exists; it is a place called Jerusalem.

"And there, too, a great and sacred platform rests atop colossal stone blocks that no man or ancient machine could have moved, raised, and put in place.


"The biblical record of Abraham’s comings and goings in Canaan includes two instances of seemingly unnecessary digression; in both instances, the place digressed to was the site of the future Jerusalem.

"The first time the digression is reported as an epilogue to the story of the War of the Kings. Having caught up with and defeated the invaders all the way north near Damascus, Abraham returned to Canaan with the captives and the booty....

"....The second seemingly unnecessary digression had to do with the testing by God of Abraham’s devotion. Abram had already carried out his mission to Canaan. God had already promised him that his reward would be great, that God himself would protect him. The miracle of a son and Legal Heir at extreme old age had happened; Abram’s name was changed to Abraham, "Father of multitude of nations."

"....Then all of a sudden, "it was after all those things," the Bible says (Genesis chapter 22), "that God tested Abraham," telling him to go to a certain place and there sacrifice his own beloved son....

"....Abraham, ready to carry out the divine order, found out in the nick of time that it was only a test of his devotion.... An Angel of the Lord pointed out to him a ram caught in the bushes, and told him that it was the ram that was to be sacrificed, not Isaac.... Why go to the part of Canaan that God identified as the Land of Moriah, and there to locate a specific mount - which God himself pointed out - to conduct there the test?

"As in the first instance, there had to be something special about the chosen place. We read (Genesis 22:4) that "On the third day Abraham lifted his eyes and saw the place from a distance." The area was rich, if with anything, with barren mounts; from nearby, and certainly from a distance, they all look alike. Yet Abraham recognized the particular mount "from a distance." There had to be something there that distinguished it from the other mounts. So much so that when the ordeal was over he gave the place a long remembered named: The Mount Where Yahweh is Seen. As 2 Chronicles 3:1 makes clear, Mout Moriah was the Jerusalem peak on which the Temple was eventually built.

"From the time Jerusalem became a city, it encompassed three mounts. Listed from the northeast to the southwest they have been Mount Zophim ("Mount of Observers," now called mount Scopus in English), Mount Moriah ("Mount of Directing, of Pointing Out") in the center, and Mount Zion ("Mount of the Signal"); these are designations of functions that bring to mind the function-names of the Beacon Cities of the Anunnaki marking out Nippur and the Landing Path when the spaceport had been in Mesopotamia.

"....Putting lore aside, what we believe Abraham saw that identified the mount different, that distinguished it from all others there, was the great platform upon it.

"A platform which, though smaller than at Baalbeck’s Landing Place, was also part of the space facilities of the Anunnaki. For Jerusalem (before it came Jerusalem), we suggest, was the post-Diluvial Mission Control Center.

"And, as at Baalbek, that platform, too, still exists.

"The reason (for the first) and purpose (of the second) digressions thus come into focus. The fulfillment of his mission was marked by a formal celebration, including a priestly blessing of Abraham with the ceremonial bread and wine, at a site - the only site in Canaan - directly connected to the presence of the Elohim. The second diversion was meant to test Abraham’s qualifications for a chosen status after the destruction of the spaceport and the resulting dismantling of the accoutrements of Mission Control Center; and to renew there the covenant in the presence of Abraham’s successor, Isaac. Such a renewal of the divine vow indeed followed right away after the test....

"....By renewing the divine vow at this particular site, the site itself - hallowed ground ever since - became part and parcel of the heritage of Abraham the Hebrew and his descendants.

"The Divine Promise to Abraham, he had already been told by God, was to come true only after a passage of time and a servitude in a foreign land for four hundred years. All told it was a thousand years later when the descendants of Abraham took possession on the sacred mount, Mount Moriah. When the Israelites arrived to Canaan after the Exodus, they found that a tribe of Jebusites had settled south of the sacred mount, and let them be, for the time to take possession of that most hallowed ground had not yet come. The singular prize went to King David, who circa 1000 B.C. - a thousand years after the testing of Abraham - captured the Jebusite settlement and moved the capital from Hebron to what has been called in the Bible the City of David.

"It is important to realize that the Jebusite settlement that David captured, and his new capital, were not at all "Jerusalem" as it is now envisioned, not even the walled "Old City." The area captured by David and thereafter known as the City of David was on Mount Zion, not Mount Moriah. Even when David’s successor Solomon extended the city northward to a section called Ophel, it still stopped short of encroaching on the unique area to the north. It indicates, we suggest, that the sacred platform extending from there northward on Mount Moriah already existed at the time of David and Solomon.

"The Jebusite settlement was thus not on Mount Moriah and its platform, but well to its south.

"....One of David’s actions was to transfer the Ark of the Covenant from its latest temporary location to the capital, in preparation for placing it in a proper House of Yahweh which David planned to erect.... but, the honor, he was told.... would go to his son Solomon.

"....In the fourth year of his reign - 480 years after the start of the Exodus, the Bible states - Solomon began the construction of the Temple, "on Mount Moriah, as had been showed to his father David...."

"....And the House, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither; so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the House while it was in building."

(I Kings 6:7)

"It took seven years to complete the building of the Temple and to equip it with all the ritual utensils. Then on the next New Year ("in the seventh month") celebration, the king and the priests and all the people witnessed the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant to its permanent place, in the Temple’s Holy of Holies....

"....Biblical data and references, age-old traditions and archaeological evidence have left no doubt that the Temple that Solomon built (The First Temple) stood upon the great stone platform, that still crowns Mount Moriah (also known as the Holy Mount, Mount of the Lord, or the Temple Mount). Given the dimensions of the Temple and the size of the platform, there is general agreement where the Temple stood, and the Ark of the Covenant within the Holy of Holies was emplaced upon a rock outcropping, a Sacred Rock, which according to unwavering traditions was the rock upon which Abraham was about to sacrifice Isaac.

"....Geologically the rock is an outcropping of the underlying natural rock, protruding above the level of the stone platform some five or six feet (the face is not even). But it is a most unusual "outcropping," in more than one way. Its visible face has been cut and shaped, with an impressive degree of precision, to form rectangular, elongated, horizontal and vertical receptacles and niches of varying depths and sizes. These artificial niches and receptacles had to have some purpose known to whoever had made those incisions in the rock. What has been only surmised since long ago (i.e. Hugo Gressmann, Altorienalische Bilder zum Alten Testament) has been confirmed by recent researchers (such as Leen Ritmeyer, Locating the Original Temple Mount): The Ark of the Covenant and the Walls of the Holy of Holies had been emplaced where the long straight cut and other niches in the face of the rock were made.

"The implication of those findings is that the cuts and niches in the face of the rock date back at least to the time of the First Temple. There is, however, no mention whatsoever in the relevant passages in the Bible of any such cutting by Solomon; indeed, it would have been impossible - because the strict prohibition against the use of metal and other tools on the Mount!

"The enigma of the Sacred Rock and what had stood on top of it is magnified by the mystery of what might have stood under it. For the rock is not a simple outcropping. It is hollow!

"In fact, given permission, one can descend a flight of stairs built by the Moslem authorities, and end up in a cavelike cavern the rocky roof of which is the protruding upper part of the Sacred Rock. This cavern - whether natural or not is uncertain - also features deep niches and receptacles, both in the rocky walls and (as could be seen before the floor was covered with prayer rugs) also in the floor. At one place there is what looks an opening into a dark tunnel; but what it is and where it leads is a well-kept Moslem secret.

"....Israeli researchers, fanatically barred from the area, have determined with the aid of soil-penetrating radar and sonar technology that there is indeed another major cavity under the Sacred Rock.

Old City beyond Temple Mount

City of David below Temple Mount


"The Temple Mount is covered by a horizontal stone platform, slightly off-perfect rectangular in shape (because of the contours of the terrain), whose size is about 1,600 by 900 feet, for a total stone-paved area of close to 1,500,000 square feet.

"....The instructions for the First Temple cover pages upon pages in the Bible; every small detail is given, measurements are precise to an amazing degree, where this or that utensil or artifact should be is prescribed, how long the poles that carry the Ark is specified, and so on and on. But it all applies to the House of Yahweh. Not a word about the platform on which it was to stand; and that could only mean that the platform has already been there; there was no need to construct it.

"....Who then built the platform, with all the earthwork and stonework that it entailed? Our answer, of course, is: the same master builders who had built the platform at Baalbek (and, for that matter, the vast and precisely positioned platform on which the Great Pyramid of Giza stands).

"The great platform that covers the Temple Mount is surrounded by walls that serve both as retaining walls and as fortifications. The Bible reports that Solomon built such walls, as did Judean kings after him.... Of this walls, only the Western Wall, by tradition and as confirmed by archaeology, has remained hallowed as an actual remnant from the time of the First Temple - at least in the lowest courses where ashlars (perfectly cut and shaped stone blocks) are the largest. For almost two millennia, since the destruction of the Second Temple, Jews held on to this remnant, worshipping there, praying to God, seeking personal succor by inserting slips of paper with a request to God between the ashlars, bewailing the Temple’s destruction and the Jewish people’s dispersion - so much so that, in time, the Crusaders and other conquerors of Jerusalem nicknamed the Western Wall the "Wailing Wall."

The Western or Wailing Wall

"Until the reunification of Jerusalem by Israel in 1967, the Western Wall was no more than a sliver of a wall, about a hundred feet or so squeezed between residential houses. In front was left a narrow space for the prayers, and on both sides, rising house atop house, it encroached on the Holy Mount. When the houses were removed, a large plaza was formed in front of the Western Wall and its extension all the way to its southern corner was unveiled. And, for the first time in almost two millennia, it was realized that the retaining walls extend downward nearly as much as they had been exposed above what has been consider ground level. As suggested by the hitherto visible portion of the "Wailing Wall," the lower courses were larger, better shaped, and of course much older.

The Large Plaza in front of the Western Wall

"Beckoning with mystery and with a promise of ancient secrets was the extension of the Western Wall to the north.

"There Captain Charles Wilson explored in the 1860s an archway (which still bears his name) that led northward to a tunnel-like passage and westward to a series of arched chambers and vaults. The removal of the encroaching dwellings revealed that the current street level lay atop several lower, now-subterranean, levels of ancient structures that included more passages and archways....

"....Israeli archaeologists concluded that Wilson’s arch was the entrance way to what must have been in earlier times an open-air street that ran along the Western Wall, and that the Wall itself extended northward by hundreds of feet. The laborious clearing of the rubble, confirming those assumptions, led to the opening in 1996 of the "Archaeological Tunnel" (an event that made headlines for more than one reason).

"Extending for about 1,600 feet from its start at Wilson’s Arch to its exit on Via Dolorosa (where Jesus walked carrying the cross), the Western Wall Tunnel uncovered and passes through remains of streets, water tunnels, water pools, archways, structures, and marketplaces from Byzantine, Roman, Herodian, Hasmonean, and biblical times. The thrilling and eerie experience of walking through the tunnel, deep below ground level, is akin to being transported in a time machine - backward into the past with every step.

Via Dolorosa

"....But the greatest surprise, for the visitor as well as for the archaeologists, lies in the more southerly section of the uncovered wall:

"There - at the ancient street level but not yet the lowest bottom course - there have been emplaced massive stone blocks and on top of them four colossal blocks each weighing hundreds of tons!

Their ton weight is: 600; 570; and 355. Compared with the largest at the Great Pyramid which is 15 tons!

"These are colossal sizes and weights by any yardstick....

"....Who could have emplaced such colossal stone blocks, and what for?

"....All the stone blocks used by Solomon, without exception, were quarried, cut , shaped, and prepared elsewhere to be brought to the site only for assembly. That this was the case regarding the colossal stone blocks under discussion is additionally clear from the fact that they are not part of the native rock; they lie well above it, and have a somewhat different hue. (In fact the latest discoveries west of Jerusalem suggest that they might have come from a quarry there). How they were transported and raised to the required level and then pushed into the necessary emplacement remain questions that archaeologists are unable to answer.

"An answer, however, to the question what for? has been offered. The site’s chief archaeologist, Dan Bahat, writing in Biblical Archaeology Review, stated:

"We believe that on the other (eastern) face of the western wall at this point, under the Temple Mount, is an enormous hall; our theory is that the Master Course" (as this section had come to be called) "was installed to support and serve as a counter-force to the vault inside."

"The sections with the enormous stone blocks lies only slightly to the south of the location of the Sacred Stone. To suggest, as we do, that this massive section was needed for heavy impacts associated with the site’s function as a Mission Control Center with its equipment installed on and within the Sacred Rock, seems to be the only explanation after all.




Chapter Eleven

"Was the delay in the start of building the Jerusalem Temple due to the reason given - David’s shedding of enemy blood in wars and feuds - or was that just an excuse, obscuring another more profound reason?

"One finds it odd that as a result of the delay the span of time that had passed from the renewed covenant with Abraham ( and on that occasion also with Isaac) on Mount Moriah until the Temple’s building began was exactly a thousand years. It is odd because the exile of Marduk had also lasted a thousand years; and that seems to be more than a chance coincidence.

"The Bible makes it clear that the timing of the Temple’s building was determined by God himself.

"....The notion that a millennium - a thousand years - signifies more than a calendrical event, portending apocalyptic events, is commonly held to have stemmed from a visionary account in the Book of Revelation chapter 20, in which it was prophesied that the "Dragon, that old Serpent, which is the Devil and Satan," shall be bound for a thousand years, cast into a pit and shut therein for a thousand years, unable to deceive the nations "till the thousand years should be fulfilled." It will be then that Gog and Magog shall be engaged in a world war, the First Resurrection of the dead shall occur, and Messianic Times will begin.

"Those visionary words, introducing in Christianity the notion (and expectation) of an apocalyptic millennium, were written in the first century A.D. So, although the book names Babylon as the "evil empire," scholars and theologians assume that this was a code name for Rome.

"But even so, it is significant that the words in Revelation echo the words of the prophet Ezequiel (sixth century B.C.) who had a vision of the Resurrection of the dead on the Day of the Lord (chapter 37) and the world war of Gog and Magog (chapters 38, 39); it shall take place, Ezequiel stated, "at the End of the Years." It was all, he said, foretold by the prophets of Yahweh in the Olden Days, "who had then prophesied about the Years."

""The Years" to be fulfilled, the count till the "End of Years." It was indeed many centuries before Ezequiel’s time that the Bible offered a clue:

A thousand years,
in thy eyes,
are but as one day that has passed.

"....The Hebrew word for "thousand," Eleph, is spelled with the three letters Aleph ("A"), Lamed ("L") and Peh ("P" or Ph"), which can be read as Aleph, meaning the first letter of the alphabet, and numerically "1." Added together the three letters have the numerical value 111 (1+30+80), which can be taken as a triple affirmation on the Oneness of Yahweh and of monotheism, "One" being a code word for "God." Not by chance, the same three letters rearranged (P-L-A) spell Peleh - a wonder of wonders, an epithet for God’s handiwork, and the Mysteries of Heaven and Earth that are beyond human understanding. Those wonders of wonders referred principally to the things created and foretold in the long-ago past; they were also the subject of Daniel’s enquiry when he sought to Divine the End of Time (12:6).

"....And as the Bible makes clear, the thousand years whose count began with the building of the Temple - coinciding with what is now called the last millennium B.C. - was a time of prophecy.

"To understand the events and prophecies of that last millennium, one ought to turn the clock back to the preceding millennium, to the nuclear calamity and the assumption of supremacy by Marduk.

"....The list of fleeing gods (from the nuclear blasted areas) goes on and on.... The nuclear cloud shifted southward by the winds, spared Babylon; and that was taken as an omen reinforcing the grant of the fifty names to Marduk as an indication of his deserved supremacy.

"....Scholars have paid a scant attention to the issue of mathematics in the Bible, leaving untackled what should have been a puzzle: Why has the Hebrew adopted completely the decimal system, although Abraham was an Ibri - a Sumerian from Nippur - and all the tales in Genesis (as echoed in the Psalms and elsewhere were based on Sumerian texts? Why was the Sumerian sexagesimal system ("base 60") not at all echoed in the Bible’s numerology - a practice that culminated in the concept of a millennium?

"One wonders whether Marduk had been cognizant of this issue. He marked his assumption of supremacy by proclaiming a New Age (that of a Ram), by revising the calendar, and by building a new Gateway of the Gods. In those steps one can find evidence also for a new mathematics - a tacit shift from the sexagesimal to the decimal system.

"The focal point of those changes was the temple-ziggurat honoring him, that Enki suggested be built by the Anunnaki themselves.... it rose in seven stages, the topmost of which served as the actual residence of Marduk.... The result (of the ziggurat) was a cube whose circumference equaled 60 gar in each of its three dimensions, giving the structure the celestial number 3600 when squared (60 x 60) and 216,000 when cubed (60 x 60 x 60). But in that number was hidden a shift to the decimal system, for it represented the zodiacal number 2,160 multiplied by 100.

"The four corners of the ziggurat faced precisely to the four cardinal points of the compass. As studies by archaeoastronomers have shown, the staggered height of each of the six stages was precisely calculated to enable celestial observations at that particular geographic location. The ziggurat was thus intended not only to surpass Enlil’s onetime Ekur, but also to take over Nippur’s astronomical/calendrical functions.

"....As in Mesopotamia, so was the calendar revised in Egypt. Originally revised there by Thoth, whose "secret number" was 52, it divided the year into 52 weeks of 7 days each, resulting in a solar year of only 364 days (an issue prominent in the Book of Enoch). Marduk (as Ra) instituted instead a year based on a division into 10: he divided the year into 36 "decans" of ten days each: the resulting 360 days were then followed by five special days, to complete 365.

"The New Age ushered in by Marduk was not one of monotheism. Marduk did not declare himself sole god; indeed, he needed the other gods to be present and to hail him as supreme. To that purpose he provided in the sacred precinct of Babylon shrines, small temples and residences for all the other principal gods, and invited them to make their homes therein.

Although Marduk invited several gods to take residence in the sacred precinct of Babylon shrines....

"....There is no indication in any of the texts that any accepted the invitation. In fact, at the time that the royal dynasty that Marduk had envisioned was finally installed in Babylon circa 1890 B.C., the dispersed gods began to establish their own new domains all around Mesopotamia.

"Prominent among them was Elam in the east with Susa (later the biblical Shushan) as its capital and Ninurta as its "national god." In the west, a kingdom whose capital was called Mari (from the term Amurru, the Western One) blossomed out into its own on the western banks of the Euphrates River; its magnificent palaces were decorated with murals showing Ishtar investing the king, attesting to the high standing of that goddess there. In the mountainous Hatti Land, where the Hittites had already worshipped Enlil’s youngest son Adad by his Hittite name Teshub (the Wind/Storm God), a kingdom with imperial strength and aspiration began to grow. And between the Land of the Hittites and Babylonia there arose a brand-new kingdom - that of Assyria.... the national god was named Ashur - the "Seeing One." He combined the powers and identities of both Enlil and Anu, and his depiction as a god within a winged circular object dominated Assyrian monuments.

"And, in distant Africa, there was Egypt, the Kingdom of the Nile. But there a chaotic period, called by scholars the Second Intermediate Period, removed the country from the international scene until the so-called New Kingdom began circa 1650 B.C.

"....As each nation made the claim that they went on the warpath in the name and on the orders of their national god, the growing conflicts might well have represented a struggle between the gods through human surrogates. A clue that seems to confirm this is the fact that the theophoric names of Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty dropped the prefix or suffix Ra or Amen in favor of Thoth. The change, that began with Thothmes I (sometimes rendered as Tuthmosis) in 1525 B.C., also began the beginning of the oppression of the Israelites. The reason given by the Pharaoh is enlightening: Launching military expeditions to Naharin, on the Upper Euphrates, he feared that the Israelites would become an internal fifth column. The reason? Naharin was the very area where Harran was located, and where the people were descendants of the Patriarchal relatives.

"....Under Thothmes III.... Moses was forced to flee after he had stood up for his people.... Seventeen years later, after repeated demands and a series of afflictions wrought by Yahweh upon "Egypt and its gods," the Israelites were let go, and the Exodus began.

"Two incidents mentioned in the Bible, and a major change in Egypt, indicate theological repercussions among other peoples as a result of the miracles and wonders attributed to Yahweh in support of his Chosen People:

""And when Jethro, the Priest of Midian, the father-in-law of Moses, heard of all that God had done for Moses and for his people Israel," we read in Genesis chapter 18, he came to the Israelite camp.... and Jethro said: "Now I know that Yahweh is greater than all the gods"; and he offered sacrifices to Yahweh. The next incident (described in Numbers chapters 22-24) occurred when the Moabite king retained the seer Bile’am (also rendered Bala’am) to put a curse on the advancing Israelites. But "the spirit of God came upon Bilam," and in a "divine vision" he saw that the house of Jacob was blessed by Yahweh, and that his word cannot be countermanded.

"The recognition by a non-Hebrew priest and seer of the powers and supremacy of Yahweh had an unexpected effect on the Egyptian royal family. In 1379 B.C. - just as the Israelites were entering Canaan proper - a new Pharaoh changed his name to Akhenaten - the Aten being represented by the Winged Disc, moved his capital to a new place, and began to worship one god. It was a short-lived experiment to which the priests of Amen-Ra put a quick end . . . Short lived too, was the concept of a universal peace that accompanied the faith in a universal God. In 1296 B.C. the Egyptian army, ever thrusting toward the Harran region, was decisively defeated by the Hittites in the Battle of Kadesh (in what is now Lebanon).

A series of expansions and unifications with Marduk still worshipped as supreme god in a recaptured Babylon by the Assyrians; battles and invasions followed....

"In Canaan, tired of constantly battling city-kings and princedoms all around them, the Israelites sent, through the High Priest Samuel, a request to Yahweh: make us a strong nation, give us a king!

Saul being anointed by Samuel

"The first one was Saul; after him came David, and then the transfer of the Capital to Jerusalem.

"It was only after the Temple to Yahweh was built, that prophecy - the foretelling of things to come - came into full bloom. And there was nothing akin to the Hebrew Prophets in the Bible, who combined the preaching of justice and morality with the foreseeing of things to come, anywhere else in the ancient world.

"The period that is now called in hindsight the first millennium B.C. was actually the last millennium in the four-thousand-year-old human story that began with the blossoming out of the Sumerian civilization. The midpoint in this human drama, whose story we have called The Earth Chronicles, was the nuclear holocaust, the demise of Summer and Akkad, and the hand-over of the Sumerian baton to Abraham and his seed. That was the watershed after the two thousand years. Now the next half of the story, the last two millennia of what had begun in Sumer and a state visit to Earth by Anu circa 3760 B.C., was also coming to an end.

"That, indeed, was the thread connecting the great biblical prophecies at that time: The cycle is coming to a closure, what had been foretold at the Beginning of Years shall be coming true at the End of Years.

"Mankind has been given an opportunity to repent, to return to justice and morality, to recognize that there is only one true God, the God even of the Elohim themselves. With every word, vision, symbolic act the Prophets tolled the message: Time is running out; great events are about to happen. Yahweh does not seek the death of the evildoers - He seeks their return to righteousness. Man cannot control his Destiny, but can control his Fate; Man, kings, nations can choose the course to follow. But if evil shall prevail, if injustice shall rule human relations, if nation shall continue to take sword to other nations, all shall be judged and doomed on the Day of the Lord.

"As the Bible itself acknowledges, it was not a message to a receptive audience. Surrounded by peoples who seemed to know whom they worshiped, the Jews were asked to adhere to strict standards demanded by an unseen God, one whose mere image was unknown.

"....To be believed, the biblical Prophets resorted to miracles - just as Moses, instructed by God, had to resort to miracles to obtain the Pharaoh’s release of the Israelites, and then to convince the Israelites of Yahweh’s almightiness.

"....How believable were those miracles then?

"....While the texts and artifacts discovered by the archaeologists provided corroboration, they also shed light on profound differences between the biblical Prophets and those fortunetellers of other nations. From the very beginning the Hebrew Nebi’im - translated "prophets" but literally meaning "spokesmen" of God - explained that the magic and foresight were not theirs but God’s. The miracles were His, and what was foretold was just what God had ordained. Moreover, rather than acting as court employees, as "Yes-men prophets," they as often as not criticized and admonished the high-and-mighty for personal wrongdoing or wrong national decisions. Even King David was reprimanded for coveting the wife of Uriah the Hittite.

"By an odd coincidence - if that is all it was - at the same time that David captured Jerusalem and took the initial steps to establish the House of Yahweh on the Sacred Platform, the decline and decay of what is termed Old Assyria came to an abrupt end and, under a new dynasty, what historians call the neo-Assyrian period was ushered in. And no sooner was the Temple of Yahweh built, than Jerusalem began to attract the attention of distant rulers. As a direct consequence, its prophets, too, shifted their sights to the international arena, and embedded prophecies concerning the world at large within their prophecies regarding Judea, the split-off northern kingdom of Israel, their kings, and their peoples. It was a worldview that it was amazing in its scope and understanding - by Prophets who, before they were summoned by God, were mostly simple villagers.

"Such profound knowledge of distant lands and nations, the names of their kings.... their commerce and trade routes, their armies and makeup of fighting forces, must have amazed even the kings of Judea at the time.... It was Hanani the Prophet who (warning the Judean king against a treaty with the Aramaeans) explained to the king: Rely on the word of Yahweh, for "it is the eyes of Yahweh that roam the whole Earth."

"....Assyrian encroachments on the Jewish kingdoms, accurately recorded in the Bible, began with the northern kingdom, Israel. Here again, biblical records are fully corroborated by the annals of the Assyrian kings; Shalmaneser III (858-824 B.C.) even pictured the Israelite king Jehu bowing down before him, in a scene dominated by the Winged Disc symbol of Nibiru.... In 722 B.C. the Assyrian king Shalmaneser V marched on the northern kingdom, captured its capital Samaria (Shomron - "Little Sumer" - in Hebrew), and exiled its king and noblemen. Two years later the next Assyrian king, Sargon II (721-705 B.C.) exiled the rest of the people - giving rise to the enigma of the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel - and ended the independent existence of that state.

"....While those calamities, according to the Bible, befell the northern state of Israel because its leaders and people failed to heed the Prophets’ warnings and admonitions, the kings of Judea to the south were more attentive to the prophetic guidance and, for a while, enjoyed a period of relative peace. But the Assyrians had their eye on Jerusalem and its temple; and for reasons which their annals do not explain, many of their military expeditions started in the Harran area and then extended westward to the Mediterranean coast. Significantly, the annals of the Assyrian kings, describing their conquests and domains in the Harran area, identify by name a city called Nahor and a city called Laban - cities bearing the names of the brother and brother-in-law of Abraham.

"....The task of extending the territories and the "command" of the god Ashur to the House of Yahweh fell to Sennacherib, the son of Sargon II and his successor in 704 B.C. Aiming to consolidate his father’s conquest and put an end to recurring rebellions in Assyrian provinces, he devoted his third campaign (701 B.C.) to the capture of Judea and Jerusalem.

"The events and circumstances of that attempt are extensively recorded both in the Assyrian’s annals and in the Bible, making it one of the best documented instances of biblical veracity. It was also an occurrence that showed the veracity of the biblical prophecy, its value as a foretelling guide, and the scope of its geopolitical grasp.

"Furthermore, there exists physical evidence - to this very day - corroborating and illustrating an important aspect of those events; so that one can see with one’s own eyes how real and true it all was.

"As we start relating those events with the words of Sennacherib himself, let it be noticed that here the campaign against distant Jerusalem began with a detour to "Hatti Land," to the area of Harran, and only then swung all the way westward to the Mediterranean coast, where the first city attacked was Sidon:

"....In spite of the losses, Hezekiah remained unyielding - because the Prophet Isaiah had thus prophesied: Fear not the attacker, for Yahweh will impose His spirit on him, and he shall hear a rumor, and will return to his land, and there he will be felled by the sword ....


"Thus sayeth Yahweh: the king of Assyria shall not enter this city! The way he came he shall go back, for I protect this city to save it, for My sake and for the sake of David my servant."

(2 Kings chapter 19).

"....The boasting (of Sennacherib in his annals) omits telling what really happened in Jerusalem; the source for the more complete story is the Bible. It records, in 2 Kings chapter 20 and, similarly, in the book of the Prophet Isaiah and in the Book of Chronicles....

After all deals failed for Sennacherib, the story continues:

"....In a postscript, the Bible made sure to record that the second part of the prophesy had also come true (as the first did when all his men were killed by the Angel of Yahweh in their own camp, and Sennacherib journeyed back and dwelt in Nineveh).... And it was when he was bowing down in his temple to his god Nisrock, that Adrameleck and Sharezzer struck him down with a sword....

"....Only recently did scholars, with the aid of additional archaeological finds, confirm the biblical account: Sennacherib was indeed assassinated (in the year 681 B.C.) by two of his own sons, and the heir to the throne became another, younger son called Esarhaddon.

We, too, can add a postscript to further confirm the veracity of the Bible.

"Early in the nineteenth century, archaeologists exploring Jerusalem discovered that the Tunnel of Hezekiah was fact, not myth: that a subterranean tunnel indeed served as a conduit for a secret supply of water in Jerusalem, cut through the city’s native rock under the defensive walls from the time of the Judean kings! (Sennacherib had planned to seize the water supplies against Hezekiah, but a tunnel had been diverted to maintain water supply to Jerusalem, so Sennacherib’s plan failed)

"....The accuracy and veracity of the biblical account of the events in Jerusalem extended to the events in faraway Nineveh concerning the succession on the throne of Assyria: It was indeed a bloody affair that pitted sons of Sennacherib against him and ended with the younger son, Esarhaddon (also spelled Asarhaddon), ascending the throne. The bloody events are described in the Annals of Esarhaddon (on the artifact known as Prism B), in which he ascribes his choice of kingship over his older brothers as the result of an oracle given to Sennacherib by the gods Shamash and Adad - a choice approved by the great gods of Assyria and Babylon "and all the other gods residing in heaven and on Earth."

’The bloody end of Sennacherib was but one act in the raging drama concerning the role and standing of the god Marduk. The Assyrian attempt to bring Babylonians to heel and in reality annex Babylon by bringing Marduk over to the Assyrian capital did not work, and within decades Marduk was returned to his honored position in Babylon. The texts suggest that a crucial aspect of the god’s restoration was the need to celebrate the Akitu festival of the New Year, in which the Enuma elish was publicly read and the Resurrection of Marduk was reenacted in a Passion Play, in Babylon and nowhere else. By the time of Tiglat-Pileser III, the king’s legitimacy required his humbling himself before Marduk until Marduk "took both my hands in his" (in the king’s words).

"To cement his choice of Esarhaddon as his successor, Sennacherib had appointed him as Babylon’s viceroy (and named himself "King of Sumer and Akkad"). And when he ascended the throne, Esarhaddon took the solemn oath of office: in the presence of the gods of Assyria: Ashur, Sin, Shamash, Nebo, and Marduk." (Ishtar, though not present, was invoked in later annals).

"But all those efforts to be religiously inclusive failed to bring stability or peace. As the seventh century B.C. began, ushering as the second half of what, counting forward from the Sumerian start, was the Last Millennium, turmoil seized the great capitals and spread throughout the ancient world.

"The biblical Prophets saw it all coming; it was the beginning of the End, they announced in behalf of Yahweh.

"In the prophesied scenario of events to come, Jerusalem and its Sacred Platform were to be the focal point of a global catharsis. The divine fury was to manifest itself first against the city and its people, for they had abandoned Yahweh and his commandments. The kings of the great nations were to be the instruments of Yahweh’s wrath. But then they, too, each one in his turn, would be judged in the Day of Judgment. "It will be a judgment of all flesh, for Yahweh has a quarrel with all the nations," the Prophet Jeremiah announced.

"....The sins of nations great and small, from Egypt and Nubia all the way to distant China (!) were to be judged on the Day of Yahweh.

"....Of Egypt the Prophet Isaiah foresaw its occupation by Assyrian forces after a three-year war. The Prophecy came true at the hands of Esarhaddon, Sennacherib’s successor. What is remarkable, beside the prophecy’s fulfillment, is that before leading his army westward then southward toward Egypt, the Assyrian king made a detour to Harran!

"That was in 675 B.C. In the same century, the fate of Assyria itself was sealed. A resurgent Babylon under king Nabupolassar captured the Assyrian capital Nineveh by breaking the river dams to flood the city - just as the Prophet Nahum had foretold (1:8). The year was 612 B.C.

"The remnants of the Assyrian army retreated - of all places - to Harran; but there the ultimate instrument of divine judgment made its appearance. It would be, Yahweh told Jeremiah (Jeremiah 5:15-16), "a distant nation . . . a nation whose language thou knowest not....

Scythian Head found in India

"....The Mesopotamian records of the time speak of the sudden appearance, from the north, of the Umman-Manda - perhaps advance forces of Scythians from Central Asia, perhaps forerunners of the Medes from the highlands of what is now Iran, perhaps a combination of both. In 610 B.C. they captured Harran, where the remnants of the Assyrian army holed up, and gained control of the vital crossroads. In 605 B.C. an Egyptian army headed by Pharaoh Necho thrust once again - as Thothmes III had attempted before the Exodus - to reach and capture Naharin, on the Upper Euphrates. But a combined force of Babylonian and Umman-Manda, at a crucial battle at Carcemish near Harran, gave Egypt’s empire the final coup de grace. It was all as Jeremiah had prophesied concerning haughty Egypt and its king Necho....

"Assyria was vanquished - the victor has become a victim. Egyp was beaten and its gods disgraced. There was no power left to stand in the way of Babylon - not for Babylon to act out Yahweh’s wrath against Judea, and then meet her own fate.

"At the helm of Babylon was now a king of Caesarian ambitions. He was given the throne in recognition of the victory at Carchemish and the royal name Nebuchadnezzar (the second), a theophoric name incorporating the name of Nabu, Marduk’s son and spokesman. He lost no time launching military campaigns "by the powers of my lords Nabu and Marduk." In 597 B.C. he sent his forces to Jerusalem, ostensibly only to remove its pro-Egyptian king Jeho’iakim and replace him with his son Jeho’iachin, a mere youth. It was only, it turned out, a test run; for one way or another, he was fated to play out the role Yahweh had assigned to him as the punisher of Jerusalem for the sins of its people, but ultimately, Babylon herself would be judged:

....For a nation from the north hath come upon her
from the north;
it will make her land desolate, without dwellers.
Jeremiah 50:1-3

"It will be an Earthwide catharsis, in which not only nations but also their god’s shall be called to account, Yahweh, the "Lord of Hosts," made clear. But at the end of the catharsis, after the coming of the Day of the Lord, Zion shall be rebuilt and all the nations of the world shall gather to worship Yahweh in Jerusalem.

"When all is said and done, the prophet Isaiah declared, Jerusalem and its rebuilt Temple would be the sole "Light unto the nations." Jerusalem shall suffer its Fate, but will arise to fulfill its Destiny.... Isaiah 2:2-3

"In those unfolding events and prophecies concerning the great powers, Jerusalem and its Temple, and what is to come in the Last Days, the Prophets in the Holy Land were joined by the Prophet Ezequiel who was shown Divine Visions on the Banks of the Khabur River in faraway Harran.

"For there, in Harran, the divine and human drama that began when the paths of Marduk and Abraham crossed, was also destined to come to an end - at the very same time that Jerusalem and its Temple were facing Fate.

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