Abram who later was renamed by his “God” as Abraham (2123 BC to 1948 BC) Abraham’s most significant accomplishment is that as the role of the Hebrew Patriarch and through diffusion also as the Patriarch of the Christians and Muslims.
Abram was born in the city of Nippur and lived in Ur with his father. Nippur and Ur were two of the original twelve “City-States” of Sumeria. The significance of the number twelve here is in the fact of the twelve main deities of the Sumerian Pantheon of Gods (One God or Goddess per one City-State).
Ur was also the city of Ur-Nammu and his Law Code. Ur-Nammu is credited as being the first Summerian “Law Encoder” @ 2100 BC several hundred years prior to Hammurabi’s codes which are better known to most people.
A critical review of Abram’s lineage shows that he was a descendent of a line of Sumerian Royalty and possibly of the Priest Caste.
In the family of Abram we find a priestly family of
royal blood, a family headed by a Nippurian high priest who was the only one
allowed into the temple's innermost chamber, there to receive his God’s words
and convey it to king and people.
Along this line of reasoning Abram's father, Terah, is of great interest. Seeking clues only in the Semitic environment, biblical scholars regard the name, as those of Harran and Nahor, as mere toponyms (names that personify places) holding that there were cities by such names in central and northern Mesopotamia, Harran being one example as that is the city Terah moved his family to. Assyriologists searching the Akkadian terminology, it being the first Semitic language, could only find that Tirhu (Terah) meant “an artifact or vessel for magical purposes”. Turning however to the Sumerian language, we find that the cuneiform sign for Tirhu (Terah) stemmed directly from that of an object called in Sumerian DUG.NAMTAR - literally, a “Fate Speaker” – One Who Pronounces Oracles.
Terah, then, was seemingly an Oracular Priest, one assigned to approach the “Stone that Whispers” in order to hear the deity's words and communicate them to the lay hierarchy. A similar function was assumed in later times by the Israelite High Priest, who alone was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies (the inner temple precincts), approach the Dvir (“Speaker”), and “hear the voice [of the Lord] speak unto him from off the overlay which is upon the Ark of the Covenant, from between the two Cherubim.”
During the Israelite Exodus, at Mount Sinai the Lord proclaimed that his covenant with the descendants of Abraham meant that “ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests.” It was a statement that reflected the status of Abraham's own descent: a royal priesthood.
In 2096 BC Terah moved his family, from Ur to Harran (a mirror city of Ur also worshipping the same deities.) In 2048 BC Abram was instructed by his god to move again.
Terah was the father of Abram, Nahor, and Harran; and Harran had a son named Lot. Harran died before his father in Ur of the Chaldees, the place of his birth.
Abram married Sarai (her name meaning ‘Princess’) his Half-sister. Now Sarai was not able to have any children. Terah took his son Abram, his daughter Sarai, and his grandson Lot (Harran's son) and left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But they stopped instead at the village of Harran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still at Harran.
It is significant to note that the Bible places Abram before his brother Harran but in all likely hood Harran was the eldest. After Harran’s pre-mature death Abraham would come first on the “Family chart” as was the practice of the day when denoting lineal descent of Sumerian families.
This is given further credence in the Bible just by mentioning the fact that Harran died and mentioning his other children - specifically Milcah (her name meaning ‘Queenly’) and Iscah and then later Lot. That Nahor the younger brother of Abram also married the very same Milcah (his neice, daughter of his brother Harran) is mentioned as well.
The rest of the Bible’s genealogy only mentions the significant players, specifically the father of who begot who, how old they were when they had an heir and how old they were when they died, i.e., “When Nahor had lived twenty-nine years, he became the father of Terah; and Nahor lived after the birth of Terah a hundred and nineteen years, and had other sons and daughters.”
The inclusion of Lot when Terah left Ur is also significant to lineal descent. If Harran was Terah’s first son and Lot was in turn Harran’s eldest son then Lot’s claim to the “Family Birth-right” would have been stronger than Abram’s. Also noteworthy is the fact that Nahor, Terah’s other son married his niece Milcah, Lot’s sister and daughter of Nahor’s brother Harran.
This by-play of Lot’s rightful claim seemingly comes to a head later in Genesis 13, 7 when there was strife between the herdsmen of Lot and the Herdsmen of Abram. Abram as a result went to Lot and asked that there be no strife between them and asked Lot to separate himself.
Further in Genesis 19 verses 30 through 38 Lot’s “Birthright” suffers further after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, His daughters plied him with wine and took turns ‘laying’ with their father on two separate nights. The children of the union Moab and Ben-Ammi became the fathers of the nations of the Moabites and Ammonites.
The question is why do the writers of Genesis take such pains to discredit Lot and his legitimacy? Apparently he still held some special favor in the eyes of the God he was loyal to, for that God also made nations of the sons of Lot.
Why was there any interest in Lot at all other than as a companion to Abram when leaving Ur and Harran? Why was his fate described in so much detail? Why allow the sons of his incestuous unions with his daughters to become the “Fathers of Nations”.
Seemingly the biblical writers felt a special need to legitimize Abram’s claim to the “Birth-right”. Did Lot also have a covenant with their God to be the “Father of Nations”? Or was the mention of Lot’s sons/grandsons a way for the authors to assuage their complicity in removing Lot as the legitimate heir?
The customs and Laws by which the Hebrew Patriarchs lived were apparently the same laws by which Kings and Noblemen of ancient Sumeria were bound, therefore it stands to reason that since the “Rules of Succession” and the laws were handed down from the gods the same rules of succession and rights of the children should be followed as they were followed by the “Gods”.
In example of this:
Abram who was deprived of a son by the barrenness of his wife Sarai and so had a son Ishmael by his wife’s maidservant Hagar. Ishmael, however, was excluded from the patriarchal succession when Sarai bore Isaac to Abraham.
Simply put, Abram needed an heir by his half-sister to claim the birthright for his son! Ishmael wouldn’t do at all.
Further cementing Abram’s claim for his descendants Isaac married Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel who was the son of Nahor and Milcah (his uncle and his cousin). Two of Jacob’s (Israel, Issac and Rebekah’s son) wives were Leah and Rachel daughters of Laban, son of Bethuel who was the son of Nahor and Milcah.
A note of similarity rings here with the sibling rivalry of the Sumerian Gods Enki and Enlil. Though Enki was first born, Enlil was heir apparent as he was born of their father Anu’s official Spouse, Antu.
Another parallel is that both Abram and later Isaac made no bones about proclaiming their respective wives were also their sisters (though technically Isaac’s wife Rebekah was his cousin). This is significant in that it has puzzled many scholars due to the biblical prohibition against sexual relations with relatives.
The Sumerian/Babylonian records indicate that Enki tried several times with his half sister Ninhursag (also a daughter of Anu but by a different mother than Enki or Enlil’s) to conceive a son who would have more of a blood claim on the throne than did Enlil.
Enlil and his wife Ninlil’s son Nana/Sin was not Enlil’s heir, but Enlil’s son Ninurta whom he had with his half-sister Ninharsag was Enlil’s heir. This method ensured a “purer seed” would inherit the “Birth-right”.
Also with what has been established of the Elohim/Annunaki sciences incest practiced to an extent would be beneficial to the purity of a bloodline. Mitochondrial DNA is the key. Having a child with your half-sister from the same father would be all right as the MtDNA is passed through the female line and there is no chance of genetic defect.
The early Hebrew rules of succession were nothing more than a mirror image of the rules of succession for the Elohim/Annunaki.
It would be naive in the extreme to assume that for the mission to Canaan, for the birth of a nation, and for kingship over all the lands from the border of Egypt to the borders of Mesopotamia Abram’s god would choose someone at random off of the streets of Ur.
An understanding of the pantheon of Sumerian Gods and Goddesses is critical to understand why Terah a resident of Ur moved his entire clan (and son Abram) to Harran after being instructed to do so by his God.
Ur was the city of the God Nanna/Sin, during an earlier war and power struggle among the Annunaki he had to flee his beloved city and was exiled. This he bore by constructing a new city, Harran, which was made to resemble Ur, it’s temples, buildings and streets almost exactly. For all intents and purposes Harran was a mirror city of Ur. In fact scholars agree that there is heavy evidence to indicate that the “cult” of Harran was nothing but an exact replica of that of Ur.
Following the teachings of their forefather, Abram of Ur, the ancient Hebrews also associated their supreme deity with the supreme planet. Like the Mesopotamian texts, many books of the Old Testament describe the Lord as having his abode in the “heights of heaven, where he beheld the foremost planets as they were arisen”; “a celestial lord who, unseen, in the heavens moves about in a circle.”
Babylonia, or Chaldea, whose capital city was Ur, became a nation about this time. The founder was Izddhubar, or Nimrod. Terah, the father of Abram, who became the progenitor of the Hebrew people and the faiths of Judaism and so Christianity and Islam, in 2096 BC removed his family from the land of Chaldea, from the city of Ur, and went westward intending to arrive in Canaan, but instead came to Harran and stayed there (Gen. 11:31).
This event is singular by reason of Abram's importance in religious history, but more: an examination of what was happening in Babylonian culture gives telling evidence regarding the birth of monotheism, and Abram's role in this change from humanity's long history of recognizing a pantheon of gods, to the merging of all gods into One.
His God’s Motivation
Ansu Suen Sin Etc.
Abraham: Vassal of the Elohim/Anunnaki?
The tales of Abraham's interaction with the entity that singled him out to become a people are written in the early chapters of the book of Genesis. Only later during the time of Moses does the entity name himself as Yahweh. It is not known if the entity with whom Abraham spoke, even fed, was the same as he who manifested to Moses five hundred years later. According to Genesis, Abraham saw the face of his god; Moses did not. In the time of Moses, approximately 1500 BC, the family of Abraham was living in the land of Egypt and had fallen back into the practice of worshiping many gods; the same gods that had comprised the Sumerian pantheon, as well the early Chaldean. The entity that led the Hebrew people from Egypt claimed to be one and the same as the god of Abraham. He claimed that he had come to fulfill his promise to Abraham by making his descendents a people, and give them the land wherein their father Abraham had lived and died. He forbade them to recognize any other god but himself, by force convincing them during forty years of wandering in the wilderness that he was the One and only God.
Did Terah leave the land of Chaldea in rejection of Marduk? Was his patron god another, or did he continue to recognize the older pantheon? The bible does not tell us. It is certain that he took with him from Chaldea the notion of many gods; his relatives in Harran continued worshiping the pantheon. Genesis 31:29-35 tells us Rachel stole the household gods. In verse 29 we hear Laban naming only one of those gods as Abraham's. Through Joseph we understand that the notion of this one god as patron of Abraham's descendents survived into Egypt. The god was forgotten, and then by force 're'-manifested to bring the Hebrews out of slavery.
The Crescent Moon first appears as the Celestial Icon or counterpart to the Sumerian “god” Sin.
As a result of the merging of the Canaanite pantheons with the new Hebrew monotheism, in at least one Canaanite text “El” (God) identifies himself as Yerah and his spouse Nikhal. Yerah is a Semitic rendition for “Moon” – the God better known as Sin; and his spouse “Nikhal” is a Semitic rendition of Ningal, the Sumerian name for the spouse of the Moon-god.
Scholars have advanced many theories regarding the origin of the peninsula’s name “Sinai”. Amazingly, the scholars for once have agreed on the obvious reason, that as the name stated, it “belonged to Sin”.
Yahweh was derived from the Canaanite Yerah the name of the generic “El”, which in Semitic means Moon.
Sin was the moon god of the Sumerians, the Yerah of the Canaanites and the Yahweh of the Hebrews and the Allah of the Muslims!
Additionally Nanna/Sin/Yerah/Yahweh/Allah was the Sumerian God of Ur, the land which Abraham (the Hebrew and Muslim Patriarch), son of Terah (who was a Sumerian high Priest) was from. Abraham was sent to Harran which was also a city ruled by the Sumerian god Sin.
His people often referred to him as “Father Nanna” or as “Father Sin”. His wife Ningal/Nikhal was conjointly referred to as “Mother Ningal or “Mother of All”.
Did Abraham exist?
Genesis 14; And
it came to pass in the days of Amraphel king of Shin'ar,
Ariokh king of Ellasar, Khedorla'omer king of Elam,and Tidhal king of Go'im –
That these made war with Bera King of Sodom, and with Birsha king of
Shinab king of Admah, and Shem-eber king of Zebi'im, and with the king of Bela,
which is Zoar.
Thus begins the
biblical tale, in chapter 14 of Genesis, of an ancient war that pitted an
alliance of four kingdoms of the East against five kings in Canaan. It is a
tale that has evolved some of the most intense debate among scholars, for it
connects the story of Abraham, the first Hebrew Patriarch, with a specific
non-Hebrew event, and thus affords objective substantiation of the biblical
record of the birth of a nation.
At the close of the eighteenth century, the scholarly and religious worlds were startled by the discovery of Babylonian tablets naming Khedorla'omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal in a tale not unlike the biblical one.
The tablets describe a war of wide-ranging magnitude, in which a king of Elam, Kudur-laghamar, led an alliance of rulers that included one named Eri-aku and another named Tud-ghula - names that easily could have been transformed into Hebrew as Khedor-la'omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal. This new information confirms the biblical tale by providing support of an independent Mesopotamian source.
With justified excitement the Assyriologists of that time agreed with interpretation of the cuneiform names:
“Kudur-Laghamar”, king of the land of Elam”; scholars agreed that it was a perfect Elamite royal name, the prefix Kudur – meaning ‘Servant’ having been a component in the names of several Elamite kings, and Laghamar being the Elamite epithet-name for a certain deity.
“Ariokh”, spelled Eri-e-a-ku in the Babylonian cuneiform script, stood for the original Sumerian ERI.AKU, meaning “Servant of the god Aku,” Aku being a variant of the name of Nannar/Sin. It is known from a number of inscriptions that Elamite rulers of Larsa bore the name “Servant of Sin,” and there was therefore little difficulty in agreeing that the biblical Eliasar, the royal city of the king Ariokh, was in fact Larsa.
“Tud-ghula”, was the equivalet of the biblical “Tidhal, king of Go'im”; and they agreed that by Go'im the Book of Genesis referred to the “nation-hordes” whom the cuneiform tablets listed as allies of Khedorla'omer.
Verifying not only
of the veracity of the Bible and of the existence of Abraham, but also of an
international event in which he had been involved!
The question remains though, which is the period into which these key elements fit?
records have established, it was Shulgi who in the twenty-eighth year of his
reign (2068 BC) gave his daughter in marriage to an Elamite
chieftain and granted him the city of Larsa as a dowry; in return the Elamites
put a “foreign legion” of Elamite troops at Shulgi's disposal. These troops
were used by Shulgi to subdue the western provinces, including Canaan. It is
thus in the last years of Shulgi's reign that when Ur was still an imperial
capital under his immediate successor Amar-Sin that we find the historical time
slot into which all the biblical and Mesopotamian records seem to fit
The reading of biblical chronology puts Abraham in the middle of the most momentous events of that time, not as a mere observer but as an active participant. The century of Abraham - the hundred years from his birth to the birth of his son and successor Isaac - was thus the century that witnessed the rise and fall of the Third Dynasty of Ur.
Despite numerous studies concerning Abraham, the fact remains that all we know about him, is what we find in the Bible: As outlined above.
Terah took his son Abram, his daughter Sarai, and his grandson Lot (Harran's son) and left Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan. But they stopped instead at the village of Harran and settled there. Terah lived for 205 years and died while still at Harran.
No explanation is given
in the bible for leaving Ur, and there is also no time stated, but the time
frame can be reconstructed if we relate the departure to events in Mesopotamia
in general and in Ur in particular.
Abraham was seventy-five when he proceeded later on from Harran to Canaan. The biblical narrative portrays a long stay at Harran and depicts Abraham on his arrival there as a young man with a new bride. If Abraham, as we have concluded, was born in 2123 BC, he was a child of ten when Ur-Nammu ascended the throne in Ur, The city of Nannar-Sin
Abraham was a
young man of twenty-seven when Ur-Nammu was slain on a distant battlefield
after inexplicably falling from Anu's and Enlil's favor. It had a traumatic
effect on the people of Mesopotamia, a major shock to their faith in Nannar's
omnipotence and the fidelity of Enlil's word.
The year of Ur-Nammu's fall was 2096 BC, could it not have been the year when - under the impact of the event or as a consequence thereof - Terah and his family left Ur for a faraway destination, stopping off at Harran, the Ur away from Ur?
The family stayed on in Harran all through the following years of Ur's decline and Shulgi's reign. Then, suddenly, the Lord acted again:
And God said unto Abram:
“Get thee out of thy country and out of thy birthplace and from thy father's house,
unto the land which I will show thee”. . .
And Abram departed as God had spoken unto him, and Lot went with him.
And Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Harran.
Once again, no reason is given for the crucial move. The chronological clues, however, are most revealing.
When Abraham was
seventy-five years old the year was 2048 BC - the very year of
Because Abraham's family directly continued the line of Shem, Abraham has been considered a Semite (possibly derived from ‘Shem-ite’), on whose background, cultural heritage, and language were Semitic, as distinct (in scholars' minds) from the non-Semitic Sumerians and the later Indo-Europeans. In the original biblical sense, all the peoples of greater Mesopotamia were descended of Shem, “Semite” and “Sumerian” alike. There is everything to support the image of a family rooted in Sumer from its earliest beginnings, hastily uprooted from its country and birthplace and told to go to an unfamiliar land.
Abram's family was Chaldean. This was his heritage. His culture and the his people worshipped many gods. The Chaldeans inherited their “Pantheon of Gods” from Sumeria. Their myths tell that the god named from among them to rule the new age was Marduk, a grandson of the great Anu, and first son of Enki. In their many myths Marduk was the instigator of much contention, secretly harboring a desire to rule the earth and the gods.
When Marduk was given the rule he so long desired, a
strange change in the mythology of the region took place - everything was
rewritten with Marduk given the credit for all heroic acts, even the planet,
‘Nibiru’, was renamed ‘Marduk’. In short both the creative force of Nibiru
which formed the solar system as we know it and the greatness of the earlier
pantheon became notions ascribed to but one of the pantheon to gods! It was at
this time that Terah left the land of his birth and of his people and went
westward away from Chaldea, better known as Babylon.
The corresponding time between two biblical events with the time of two major Sumerian events - and of more to come - must serve as obvious indication of a direct connection between them all.
Taken in this
light Abraham emerges not as the son of immigrant aliens but as the scion of a
family directly involved in Sumerian affairs of state!
In their search for the answer to the question of “Who Was Abraham?” some scholars have seized upon the similarity his designation as a Hebrew (simply BR or Ibri) and the term Hapiru which in the Near East could have easily been transformed to Habiru, by which the Assyrians and Babylonians in the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries BC called bands of pillaging western Semites.
Many scholars doubt, however, whether the term Hapiru denotes a particular ethnic group at all, wondering whether the word was not just a descriptive noun simply meaning “marauders” or “invaders.”
The suggestion that Ibri, from the verb meaning “to cross” and Hapiru are one and the same entails substantial philological and etymological problems. There are also chronological inconsistencies, all which gave rise to serious objections to this suggested solution for the identity of Abraham, especially when the biblical data is compared with the “bandit” connotation of the term Hapiru.
The Bible relates incidents concerning water wells, which shows that Abraham was careful to avoid conflict with local residents as he journeyed through Canaan. When Abraham became involved in the ‘War of the Kings’, he refused to share in the booty. This is not the behavior of a marauding barbarian but rather of a person of high standards of conduct. Coming to Egypt, Abraham and Sarah were taken to the Pharaoh's court; in Canaan, Abraham made treaties with the local rulers. This is not the image of a nomad pillaging other's settlements - it is the image of a personage of high standing skilled in negotiation and diplomacy.
Genesis 17: 1-6, provides us with the time and manner in which Abraham was transformed from a Sumerian nobleman to a west Semitic potentate, under a covenant between he and his God. Amid a ritual of circumcision, his Sumerian name AB.RAM meaning “Father's Beloved” was changed to the Akkadian/Semitic Abraham meaning “Father of a Multitude of Nations” and that of his wife SARAI meaning “Princess” was adapted to the Semitic Sarah.
It was only when he was ninety-nine years old that Abraham became a ‘Semite’.
It is naive in the extreme to assume that for the birth of a nation, and for kingship over all the lands from the border of Egypt to the border of Mesopotamia, the Lord God would choose someone at random, picking up anyone in the streets of Ur.
Abraham’s Wife Sarai’s
name means “Princess” and since she was a half-sister of Abraham
we can take it for granted that either Abraham's father or Sarah's mother was
of royal descent. Since the daughter of Abraham's brother Harran also bore the
royal name Milkha meaning “Queenly”, it follows that it was through the
father of Abraham that the royal blood flowed. In dealing with Abraham's family
we thus deal with a family of Sumer's highest echelons; people of a noble
deportment and elegant dress as found depicted on various Sumerian statues.
It was a family that not only could claim descent from Shem but which kept family records tracing its lineage through generations of first born sons: Arpakhshad and Shelach and Eber; Peleg, Re'u and Serug; Nahor and Terah and Abraham, taking the family's recorded history back for no less than three centuries!
But of greatest interest, to this very day, has been the meaning of the name Eber and the reason for bestowing it upon the firstborn in 2351 BC and from which has stemmed the biblical term Ibri (“Hebrew”) by which Abraham and his family identified themselves.
Eber clearly stems from the root word meaning “to cross,” and the best scholars had to offer in explanation was to seek the non-workable Habiru/Hapiru connection. This erroneous interpretation has stemmed from the search for the meaning of the epithet-name in Western Asia. It is our conviction that instead the answer is to be found in the Sumerian origins and the Sumerian language of Abraham and his ancestors.
Such a look at the
Sumerian roots of the family and the name provides an answer that startles for
its simplicity. The term Ibri
(“Hebrew”).... clearly stemmed from Eber, the father of Peleg, and
from the root “to cross.”
The biblical suffix “i” when applied to a person, meant “a native of”. Gileadi meant a native of Gilead and so on. Likewise, Ibri meant a native of the place called “Crossing”; and that, precisely, was the Sumerian name for Nippur: NI.IB.RU - the Crossing Place, the place where the pre-Diluvial grids crisscrossed each other, the original Navel of the Earth..
The dropping of the n in transposing from Sumerian to Akkadian/Hebrew was a frequent occurrence. In stating that Abraham was an Ibri, the Bible simply meant that Abraham was a Ni-ib-ri, a son of Nippurian origin!
The fact that Abraham's family migrated to Harran from Ur has been taken by scholars to imply that Ur was Abraham's birthplace, but that is not stated anywhere in the Bible. On the contrary, the command to Abraham to go to Canaan and leave for good his past abodes lists three separate entities: his father's house (which was then in Harran); his land (the city-state of Ur); and his birthplace (which the Bible does not identify). Our suggestion that Ibri means a native of Nippur solves the problem of Abraham's true birthplace.
As the name Eber indicates, it was in this time - the middle of the twenty-fourth century BC - that the family's association with Nippur had begun. Nippur was never a royal capital; rather, it was a consecrated city, Sumer's “religious center,” as scholars put it. It was also the place where the knowledge of astronomy was entrusted to the high priests and thus the place where the calendar - the relationship between the Sun, and Moon in their orbits - was originated.
It has long since been recognized that our present-day calendars derive from the original Nippurian calendar. All the evidence shows that the Nippurian calendar began circa 4000 BC, in the age of Taurus.
In this we find yet another confirmation of the umbilical cord connecting the Hebrews with Nippur: The Jewish calendar still continues to count the years from an enigmatic beginning in 3760 BC (so that in 1983 the Jewish year was 5743). It had been assumed that this is a count “from the beginning of the world”; but the actual statement by Jewish sages was that this is the number of years that had passed “since counting [of years] began” - meaning, since the introduction of the calendar in Nippur.
Votive inscriptions found at Nippur (as those by the archaeological expeditons of the University of Pennsylvania) confirmed that the kings of Ur cherished the title “Pious Shepherd of Nippur” and performed there priestly functions; and the governor of Nippur (PA.TE.SI.NI.IB.RU) was also the Foremost UR.ENLIL (“Enlil's Foremost Servant”).
Some of the names borne by these royal-priestly VIPs resembled Abraham's Sumerian name (AB.RAM), also beginning with the componet AB (“Father” or “Progenitor”); such, for example, was the name AB.BA.MU of a governor of Nippur during Shulgi's reign.
From Hittite friendship (residents of Canaan), who were known for their military experience, may shed light on the question of where Abraham himself had acquired the military proficiency which he employed so successfully during the War of the King.
Ancient traditions also depict Abraham as greatly versed on astronomy - a knowledge then valuable for long journeys guided by the stars. According to Josephus, Berossus referred to Abraham, without naming him, when he wrote of the rise “among the Chaldeans, of a certain righteouss and great man who was well seen in astronomy.” (If Berossus, the Babylonian historian, had indeed referred to Abraham, the significance of the inclusion of the Hebrew Patriarch in Babylonian Chronicles far exceeds the mere notation of his knowledge of astronomy).
Shulgi's reign in Ur, the family of Terah stayed at Harran. Then, on Shulgi's
demise, the divine order came to proceed to Canaan. Terah was already quite
old, stayed in Harran. The one chosen for the mission was Abraham - himself a
mature man of seventy-five. The year was 2048 BC; it marked the
beginning of twenty-four fateful years - eighteen years encompassing the
war-filled reigns of the two immediate successors of Shulgi (Amar-Sin and
Shu-Sin) and six years of Ibbi-Sin, the last sovereign king of Ur.
It is undoubtedly more than mere coincidence that Shulgi's death was the signal not only for a move by Abraham, but also for a re-alignment among the Near Eastern gods. It was exactly when Abraham, accompanied (as we learn later) by an elite military corps, left Harran - the gateway to the Hittite lands - that the exiled and wandering Marduk appeared in “Hatti land.” Moreover, the remarkable coincidence is that Marduk stayed there through the same twenty-four year period, the years that culminated with the great Disaster.
The evidence for Marduk's movements is a tablet found in the library of Ashurbanipal, in which an aging Marduk tells of his erstwhile wanderings and eventual return to Babylon.
We learn from the balance of the text that Marduk sent from his new place in exile (Asia Minor) emissaries and supplies (via Harran) to his followers in Babylon, and trading agents into Mari, therefore making inroads into both gateways - the one beholden to Nannar/Sin and the other Inanna/Ishtar.
As on a signal, with the death of Shulgi, the whole ancient world came astir. The House of Nannar had been discredited, and the House of Marduk saw its final prevailing hour approaching. While Marduk himself was still excluded from Mesopotamia, his first-born son, Nabu, was making converts to his father's cause. His efforts encompassed all the lands, including Greater Canaan.
It was against this background of fast developments that Abraham was ordered to go to Canaan. Though silent concerning Abraham's mission, the Old Testament is clear regarding his destination: Moving expeditiously to Canaan, Abraham and his wife, his nephew Lot, and their entourage continued swiftly southward. There was a stopover at Shechem, where the Lord spoke to Abraham. “Then he removed from there to the Mount, and encamped east of Beth-El; and he built there an altar to Yahweh and called the name of Yahweh.” Beth-El whose name meant “God's House” - a site to which Abraham kept coming back - was in the vicinity of Jerusalem and its hallowed Mount, Mount Moriah (“Mount of Directing”), upon whose Sacred Rock the Ark of the Covenant was placed when Solomon built the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem.
“From there “Abraham journeyed farther, still going toward the Negev.” The Negev - the dry region where Canaan and the Sinai Peninsula merge - was clearly Abraham's destination.
What was Abraham
to do in the Negev, whose very name (“The Dryness”) bespoke its aridity? What
was there that required the patriarch's hurried, long journey from Harran and
impelled his presence among the miles upon miles of barren land?
The significance of Mount Moriah - Abraham's first focus of interest - was that in those days it served, together with its sister mounts Mount Zophim (“Mount of Observers”) and Mount Zion (“Mount of Signal”), as the site of Mission Control Center of the Anunnaki. The significance of the Negev, its only significance, was that it was the gateway to the Spaceport in the Sinai.
Subsequent narrative informs us that Abraham had military allies in the region and that his entourage included an elite corps of several hundred fighting men. The biblical term for them - Naar - has been variously translated as “retainer” or simply “young man”; but studies have shown that in Hurrian the word denoted riders or cavalrymen. In fact, recent studies of Mesopotamian texts dealing with military movements list among the men of the chariots and the cavalry LU.NAR (“Nar-men”) who served as fast riders. We find an identical term in the Bible (I Samuel 30:17): after King David attacked an Amalekite camp, the only ones to escape were “four hundred Ish-Naar” - literally, “Nar-men” or LU.NAR - “who were riding the camels.”
The emerging image of Abraham not as a shepherding nomad but as an innovative military commander of royal descent may not fit the customary image of this Hebrew patriarch, but it is in accord with ancient recollections of Abraham. Thus, quoting earlier sources concerning Abraham, Josephus, (first century AD) wrote of him: “Abraham reigned at Damascus, where he was a foreigner, having come with an army out of the land above Babylon” from which, “after a long time, the Lord got him up and removed from that country together with his men and he went to the land then called the land of Canaan but now the land of Judaea.”
The mission of Abraham was a military one: to protect the space facilities of the Anunnaki - the Mission Control Center and the Spaceport!
After a short stay in the Negev Abraham traversed the Sinai peninsula and came to Egypt. Not being ordinary nomads, Abraham and Sarah were at once taken to the royal palace. By our reckoning the time was circa 2047 BC, when the Pharaohs then ruling in Lower (northern) Egypt who were not followers of Amen (“The Hiding God” Ra/Marduk”) were facing a strong challenge from the princes of Thebes in the south, where Amen was deemed supreme. We can only guess what matters of state - alliances, joint defenses, divine commands - were discussed between the beleaguered Pharaoh and the Ibri, the Nippurian general. The Bible is silent on this as well as on the length of stay. (The Book of Jubilees states that the sojourn lasted five years). When the time came for Abraham to return to the Negev, he was accompanied by a large retinue of the Pharaoh's men.
Abraham went on to the hill country, settling on the highest peak near Hebron, from where he could see in all directions; and the Lord said unto him: “Go, cross the country in the length and breadth of it, for unto thee shall I give it.”
2123 BC * Abraham born in Nippur to his father Terah.
2113 BC * Ur-Nammu enthroned in Ur, given guardianship of Nippur.
Terah and his family move to Ur.
2095 BC * Shulgi ascends throne after death of Ur-Nammu.
Terah and his family leave Ur for
2055 BC * Shulgi receives Nannar's oracles, sends Elamite troops to Canaan.
2048 BC * Shulgi's death ordered by Anu and Enlil.
Abraham, seventy-five years
old, ordered to leave Harran for Canaan.
2047 BC * Amar_Sin (“Amarpal”) ascends the throne of Ur.
Abraham leaves the Negev for Egypt.
2042 BC * Canaanite kings switch allegiance to other gods.
Abraham returns from Egypt
with elite corps.
2041 BC * Amar-Sin launches the War of the Kings.
“Who were the “other gods” that were winning the allegiance of Canaanite cities? They were Marduk, scheming from nearby exile, and his son Nabu, who was roaming eastern Canaan, gaining supremacy and adherents. As biblical place names indicate, the viewpoint, which compressed the Mesopotamian tales of the gods into a monotheistic mold, it was an unusual war: the ostensible purpose - the suppression of a rebellion - turns out to have been a secondary aspect of the war; the great target - a crossroads oasis in a wilderness - was never reached.
According to the
biblical tale, a place called El-Paran was the real target of the invaders, but
it was never reached by them. Coming down Transjordan and circling the Dead
Sea, the invaders passed by Mount Se'ir and advanced “toward El-Paran, which is
upon the Wilderness.” But they were forced to “swing back by Ein-Mishpat, which
is Kadesh. El-Paran (“God's Gloried Place?”) was never reached; somehow the
invaders were beaten back at Ein-Mishpat, also known as Kadesh or
It was only then, as they turned back toward Canaan, that “Thereupon the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zebi'im and the king of Bela, which is Zoar, marched forth and engaged them in battle in the vale of Siddim.”
The battle with these Canaanite kings was thus a late phase of the war and not its first purpose. Almost a century ago, in a thorough of Kadesh-Barnea, it was concluded that the true target of the invaders was El-Paran, which was correctly identified as the fortified oasis of Nakhl in Sinai's central plain.
Why had they gone there, and who was it that blocked their way at Kadesh-Barnea, forcing the invaders to turn back?
The only answer that can make sense is that the significance of the destination was its Spaceport and Abraham was the one who blocked the advance at Kadesh-Barnea.
From earlier times
Kadesh-Barnea was the closest place where men could approach in the region of
the Spaceport without special permission. Shulgi had gone there to pray and
make offerings to the “God Who Judges”, and nearly a thousand years before him
the Sumerian king Gilgamesh stopped there to obtain the special permission.
The hints in the Old Testament become a detailed tale in the Khedorlaomer Texts, which make clear that the war was intended to prevent the return of Marduk and thwart the efforts of Nabu to gain access to the Spaceport. These texts not only name the very same kings who are mentioned in the Bible but even repeat the biblical detail of the switch of allegiance “in the thirteenth year”!
As we return to the Kedorlaomer Texts to obtain the details for the biblical frame, we should bear in mind that they were written by a Baylonian historian who favoured Marduk's desire to make Babylon “the heavenward navel in the four regions.” It was to thwart this that the gods opposing Marduk ordered Khedorlaomer to seize and defile Babylon.
The despoiling of Babylon was only the beginning. After the “bad deeds” were done there, Utu/Shamash sought action against Nabu.... the gods assembled.... Ishtar decreed an oracle, and the army put together by the kings of the East arrived in Transjordan....
When the invaders....”thereafter, Dur-Mah-Ilani was to be captured and the Canaanite cities (including Gaza and Beer-Sheba in the Negev) were to be punished. But at Dur-Mah-Ilani, according to the Babylonian text, “the son of the priest, whom the gods in their true counsel had annointed,” stood in the invader's way and “the despoiling prevented.”
Though not specifically mentioned by name the Babylonian text did indeed refer to Abraham, the son of Terah the priest, and spelled out his role in turning back the invaders.
strengthened by the fact that the Mesopotamian and biblical texts relate the
same event in the same locality with the same outcome.
Further strengthening this position is the date formulas for the reign of Amar-Sin called his seventh year. The crucial year being 2041 BC, the year of the military expedition - also MU NE IB.RU.UM BA.HUL “ meaning Year the Shepherding-abode of IB.RU.UM was attacked.”
Can this reference, in the exact crucial year, be other than to Abraham and his shepherding abode?
Mr. Sitchin's book covers the explanation of a depiction of a possible commemoration of the invasion. “This is a scene carved on a Sumerian cylinder seal.”
“....Having carried out his mission to protect the Spaceport, Abraham returned to his base near Hebron. Encouraged by his feat, the Canaanite kings marched his forces to intercept the retreating army from the East. But the invaders beat them and “seized all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah” as well as one prize hostage: “They took with them Lot, the nephew of Abraham, who was residing at Sodom.”
“On hearing the news, Abraham called up his best cavalrymen and persued the retreating invaders. Catching up with them near Damascus, he succeded in releasing Lot and retrieving all the booty. Upon his return he was greeted as a victor in the Valley of Shalem (Jerusalem):
And Malkizedek, the king of Shalem,
brought forth bread and wine,
for he was priest unto the God Most High.
And he blessed him, saying:
“Blessed be Abram unto the God Most High,
Possessor of Heaven and Earth;
And blessed be the God Most High
who hath delivered thy foes unto thine hand.”
Soon the Canaanite kings also arrived to thank Abraham, and offered him all the seized possessions as a reward. But Abraham, saying that his local allies could share in that, refused to take “even a shoelace” for himself or his warriors.
The attacks on the Spaceport were thwarted, but the danger to it was not removed; and the efforts of Marduk to gain the supremacy intensified ever more. Fifteen years later Sodom and Gomorrah went up in flames when Ninurta and Nergal unleashed the Doomsday Weapon.
THE NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST
Doomsday came in the twenty-fourth year
when Abraham, encamped near Hebron, was ninety-nine years old.
An the Lord appeared unto him in the terebrinth grove of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of the tent, in the heat of the day. And he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold - three men were stationed upon him; and as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent towards them, and bowed to the ground.”
Swiftly, from a typical Middle Eastern scene of a potentate resting in the shade of his tent, the biblical narrator of Genesis 18 raised Abraham's eyes and thrust him - and the reader, too - into a sudden encounter with divine beings. Though Abraham was gazing out, he did not see the three approaching: “they were suddenly “stationed upon him.” And though they were “men” he at once recognized their true identity and bowed to them, calling them “my lords” and asking them not to “pass over their servant” until he had a chance to prepare for them a sumptuous meal.
It was in this occasion that the leader of the three “men” promised Abraham he would return on the following year and that by then this wife Sarah would have a son.
But that was not the only reason they had come for.
Sodom and Gomorrah were the real preoccupations of the three men. The leader of the three, “the Lord,” did not conceal this from Abraham:
The outcry regarding Sodom and Gomorrah being great, and the accusation against them being grievous,” the Lord said he had decided to “come down and verify; if it is as the outcry reaching me, they will destroy completely; and if not, I wish to know.”
The event was most definitely not a natural calamity. It is described as a premeditated event: the Lord discloses to Abraham ahead of time what is about to happen and why. It is an avoidable event, not a calamity caused by irreversible natural forces: The calamity shall come to pass only if the “outcry” against Sodom and Gomorrah will be confirmed. And thirdly (as we shall soon discover) it was also a postponable event, one whose occurrence could be made to happen earlier or later, at will.
All these facts prompted Abraham to the “bargaining” (well known by now) and the question to the Lord, “If I find 50 faithful.... and going down to ten faithful, Abraham was granted the sparing of the cities.... if, he would find at least 10 faithful!
Perhaps there be fifty Righteous Ones inside the city,” he said, “Wilt thou destroy and not spare the place for the sake ot the fifty Righteous Ones within it?” Then he quickly added: “Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the Righteous with the guilty! Far be it from you, the Judge of All the Earth, not to do justice!”
A mortal preaching to his deity! And the plea is for calling off the destruction - the premeditated and avoidable destruction....
At evetime, the two companions of the Lord - the biblical narrative now refers to them as Mal'akhim (translated “angels” but meaning “emissaries”) - arrived at Sodom, their task being to verify the accusations against the city and report their findings back to the Lord. Lot - who was sitting at the city's gate - recognized at once (as Abraham had done earlier) the divine nature of the two visitors, their identity evidently being given away by their attire or weapons, or perhaps by the manner (flying over?) in which they arrived.
Now it was Lot's turn to insist on hospitality, and the two accepted his invitation to spend the night at his home....
They had hardly lain down when the people of the city, the people of Sodom, surrounded the house - young and old, the whole population, from every quarter; and they called unto Lot and said unto him: 'Where are the men who came unto you tonight. Bring them out to us, that we may know them.'“ When Lot failed to do so, the crowd surged to break their way in; but the two Mal'akhim “smote the people who were at the house's entrance with blindness, both young and old; and they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway.”
Realizing that of all the townspeople only Lot was “righteous,” the two emissaries needed no further investigation; the fate of the city was sealed...
Rushing to convey the news to his
sons-in-law, Lot only met disbelief and laughter. So at dawn the emissaries
urged Lot to escape without delay, taking with him only his wife and their two
unmarried daughters who lived with them at home.
Lot also bargained with the emissaries:
Could the upheavaling of Sodom be delayed until he had reached the town of Zoar, the fartherst one away from Sodom? Agreeing, one of the emissaries asked him to hurry there: “Haste thee to escape thither, for I will be unable to do anything until thou hast arrived there.”
The calamity was thus not only predictable and avoidable but also postponable; and it could be made to afflict various cities at different times. No natural catastrophe could have featured all these aspects.
The cities, the people, the vegetation - everything was “upheavaled” by the gods' weapon. Its heat and fire scorched all before it; its radiation affected people even at some distance away: Lot's wife, ignoring the admonition not to stop to look back as they were fleeing from Sodom, turn to a “pillar of vapor.”* The “Evil” Lot had feared had caught up with her.
* This passage in the bible is often mistranslated as “Salt”
further etymological studies of the original Hebrew word reveal that the actual
word used is translated as “Vapor”.
Indeed, in the Erra Epos which, we believe, was the Sumerian record of the nuclear upheaval, the death of the people was described by the god thus:
The people I will make vanish, their souls shall turn to vapor.
“It was the misfortune of Lot's wife to be among those who were “turned to vapor.”
Lot was granted escaping because the gods remembered the bargaining with Abraham:
“For when the gods devastated the cities of the plain, the gods remembered Abraham, and sent Lot away out of the upheavaling of the cities.
Lot's daughters, believing they had witness the end of mankind, and that they and their father were the only three survivors, made their father drunk and committed incest. Both women conceived child by their own father.
The night before the holocaust must have been a night of anxiety and sleeplessness for Abraham, of wondering whether enough Righteous Ones were found in Sodom to have the cities spared, of concern about Lot and his family.
“And Abraham got up early in the morning
to the place where he had stood facing God, and he looked in the direction of
Sodom and Gomorrah and the region of the Plain; and he beheld there smoke
rising from the earth as the smoke of a furnace.”
He was witnessing a “Hiroshima” and a “Nagasaki” - the destruction of a fertile and populated plain by atomic weapons. The year was 2024 BC
Where are the remains of Sodom and
Gomorrah today? Ancient Greek and Roman geographers reported that the once
fertile valley of the five cities was innundated following the catastrophe.
Modern scholars believe that the “upheavaling” described in the Bible caused a
breach in the southern shore of the Dead Sea, letting its water pour through to
submerge the low-lying region to the south. The remaining portion of what was
once the southern shore became the feature figuratively called by the natives el-Lissan
(“The Tongue”), and the once populated valley with its five cities became a
new, southern part of the Dead Sea still bearing the local nick-name “Lot's
The ancient reports have been confirmed in modern times by various researchers, beginning with an exhaustive exploration of the area in the 1920s by a scientific mission sponsored by the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute (A. Mallon, Voyage d'Exploration au sud-est de la Mer Morte). Leading archaeologists, such as W.F. Albright and P. Hartland, discovered that settlements in the mountains around the region were abruptly abandoned in the twenty-first century BC and were not reoccupied for several centuries thereafter. And to this very day, the water of springs surrounding the Dead Sea has been found to be contaminated with radioactivity, “enough to induce sterility and allied afflictions in any animals and humans that absorbed it over a number of years” (I.M. Blake, “Joshua's Curse and Elisha's Miracle” in The Palestine Exploration Quarterly).
The cloud of death, rising in the skies from the cities of the plain, frightened not only Lot and his daughters but also Abraham, and he did not feel safe even in the Hebron Mountains, some fifty miles away. We are told by the Bible that he pulled up his encampment and moved further away westward, to reside at Gerar.
Also, at no time thereafter did he venture into the Sinai. Even years later, when Abraham's son Isaac wanted to go to Egypt on account of a famine in Canaan, “God appeared unto him and said: 'Go not down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will show thee.'“ The passage through the Sinai peninsula was apparently still unsafe.
The destruction of the cities of the plain, we believe, was only a sideshow: concurrently, the Spaceport in the Sinai peninsula was also obliterated with nuclear weapons, leaving behind a deadly radiation that lingered on for many years thereafter.
The main nuclear target was in the Sinai Peninsula; and the real victim, in the end, was Sumer itself.
The Year of Doom - 2024 BC - was the sixth year of the reign of Ibbi-Sin, the last king of Ur, but to find the reasons for the calamity, explanations of its nature, and details of its scope, we will have to study the records of those fateful years back from the time of that war.
Having failed in their mission and twice humiliated by the hand of Abraham - once at Kadesh-Barnea, then again near Damascus - the invading kings were promptly removed from their thrones. In Ur, Amar-Sin was replaced by his brother Shu-Sin, who ascended the throne to find the great alliance shattered and Ur's erstwhile allies now nibbling at her crumbling empire.
Although they, too, had been discredited by the War of the Kings, Nannar and Inanna were at first the gods in whom Shu-Sin had put his trust. It was Nannar, Shu-Sin's early inscriptions stated, who had “called his name” to kingship; he was “beloved of Inanna” and she herself presented him to Nannar.
But all this was insufficient to hold
together the Sumerian empire, and Shu-Sin soon turned to greater gods for
Judging from the date formulas - annual inscriptions, for royal as well as commercial and social purposes, in which each successive year of a king's reign was designated by the major event of the year - Shu-Sin, in the second year of his reign, sought the favors of Enki by constructing for that god a special boat that could navigate the high seas all the way to the Lower World. The third year of reign was also one of preoccupation with the pro-Enki alignment. Little else is known of this effort, which could have been a roundabout way of pacifying the followers of Marduk and Nabu; but the effort evidently failed, for the fourth and fifth years witnessed the building of a massive wall on the western frontier of Mesopotamia, specifically aimed at warding off incursions by the “Westerners,” followers of Marduk.
Desperatly Shu-Sin sought acceptance, confirmation that he was “the king whom Enlil, in his heart, had chosen.” But Enlil was not there to answer; only Ninlil, Enlil's spouse, who remained in Nippur, heard Shu-Sin supplications. Responding with compassion “so as to prolongue the well-being of Shu-Sin, to extend the time of his crown,” she gave him a “weapon which with radiance strikes down . . . whose awesome flash reaches the sky.”
There was one final effort to entice Enlil back to Sumer, to find shelter under his aegis. On the apparent advice of Ninlil, Shu-Sin built for the divine couple “a great touring boat, fit for the largest rivers. . . . He decorated it perfectly with precious stones,” outfitted it with oars made of the finest wood, puntig poles and an artful rudder, and furnished it with all manner of comfort including a bridal bed. He then, “placed the touring boat in the wide basin facing Ninlil's House of Pleasure.”
The nostalgic aspects struck a chord in Enlil's heart, for he had fallen in love with Ninlil, when she was still a young nurse....
The sentimental journey, however, was only a brief interlude.
Seemingly (part of the tablet is missing), there had been foul play, and an “evil inscription was found on an effigy on the boat, “intended perhaps to place a curse on Enlil and Ninlil.... All other evidence suggests that he again left Nippur, this time apparently taking Ninlil with him.
Soon thereafter - February 2031 BC by our calendar - the Near East was awed by a total lunar eclipse, which blacked out the moon during the night for its full course from horizon to horizon. The oracle priests of Nippur could not allay Shu-Sin's anxiety: it was, they said in their written message, an omen “to the king who rules the four regions: his wall will be destroyed, Ur will become desolate.”
And so it was for Shu-Sin, and his successor, the last, Ibbi-Sin.
Marduk (to whom the omens had referred to) returned to Babylon for the second time.
The twenty-four fateful years - since Abraham left Harran, since Shulgi was replaced to the throne, since Marduk's exile among the Hittites had begun - have all converged in that Year of Doom, 2024 BC Having followed the separate , but interconnected, biblical tale of Abraham and the fortunes of Ur and its last three kings, we will now follow in the footsteps of Marduk.
The tablet on which Marduk's autobiography is inscribed (from which we have already partly quoted) continues to relate his return to Babylon after the twenty-four years of sojourn in the Land of Hatti.
Then, in that twenty-fourth year, he received a favorable omen.
His wish, Marduk continued, was to bring peace and prosperity to the land, “chase away evil and bad luck . . . bring motherly love to Mankind.” But it all came to naught: Against his city, Babylon, an adversary god “his wrath had brought.” The name of this adversary god is stated at the very beginning of a new column of the text; but all that has remained of it is the first syllable: “Divine NIN-.” The reference could have been only to Ninurta.
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