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Prophecies of 'The Assyrian': The Mighty Hunter

A Special Series for Raiders News Network

1- Will the Antichrist Come From Iraq?
2- The Second Coming of the Antichrist

By Peter Goodgame

 

Part Three:

"There are Assur and all his company: all his slain have been laid there: and their burial is in the depth of the pit, and his company are set around about his tomb: all the slain that fell by the sword, who had caused the fear of them to be upon the land of the living. " (Ezekiel 32:22-23, LXX)
 

Introduction

In Part One of this series I put forth some of the evidence that "The Assyrian" referred to by Isaiah and Micah in the Old Testament is in fact the Antichrist. His name is Asshur and as the false messiah he is often contrasted with Israel's true Messiah. Isaiah prophesies that Asshur will betray and attempt to destroy Israel, but the true Messiah will save Israel even though He will first be rejected and killed. In the end Asshur will be destroyed by the mere breath that comes from the mouth of the Messiah at the end of the Day of the Lord. Yet the question remains... who is Asshur?


The Mighty Hunter

The very first appearance of the name "Asshur" in the Old Testament is found in Genesis 10,

"And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. Out of that land went forth Asshur, and builded Nineveh, and the city Rehoboth, and Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah: the same is a great city." (Genesis 10:8-12, KJV)

The conclusion that I have arrived at is that Asshur is simply another name for Nimrod. Part One of this series asked, "Will the Antichrist come from Iraq?" and the answer is, "Yes! The Antichrist founded Iraq!" Nimrod's kingdom began in southern Mesopotamia with the cities of Babel and Erech (Uruk/Iraq), but then he invaded north and built Ninevah and the other cities that became the foundation of the kingdom of Asshur (Assyria). This view that Asshur is Nimrod is rather straightforward but there are several arguments against it that must be addressed.

The KJV and Septuagint (LXX) translations of Genesis 10:11 give the impression that "Asshur" is an individual, but in most modern Bible versions "Asshur" is translated as "Assyria"—a place. They generally read, "From that land he (Nimrod) went to Assyria, where he built Ninevah..." The fact is that "Asshur" can be read either as an individual or as the region of Assyria—we just don't know for sure and the text alone does not prove either case. However, because the name "Asshur" is not modified by the preposition el or the directional heh (thus giving either "el Asshur" or "Asshurah"), which would confirm "Asshur" as a place, it remains a distinct possibility that Asshur is meant to be understood as an individual and as another name for Nimrod.

Another objection that is raised against equating Asshur with Nimrod is that this would mean that there are two "Asshurs" in Genesis 10—one a descendent of Ham and the other a descendent of Shem. However, this is a superficial objection. Just because Asshur is named as a descendent of Shem does not mean that Ham could not have had a descendent with the same name. The fact is there are many such cases in Genesis 10. There are two Meshechs—one from the line of Japheth and one from the line of Shem; there are two Shebas—one from Ham and one from Shem; and there are two Havilahs—again one from Ham and one from Shem. There is also the curious case of the Ludites descending from Ham, but Lud himself descending from Shem. The truth is that the descendents of Shem and the descendents of Ham shared several names in common and Asshur is simply another one of these cases.

Here is what the Bible Knowledge Commentary has to say about Nimrod, the post-flood world's first conqueror:

"Because his name seems to be connected with the verb "to rebel" (mārad), tradition has identified him with tyrannical power. He was the founder of the earliest imperial world powers in Babylon and Assyria. The table [Genesis 10] simply presents him as a mighty hunter, a trait found commonly in Assyrian kings. He was founder of several powerful cities. The centers he established became major enemies of Israel." [1]

It is well accepted that Nimrod built Ninevah as well as the Biblical city of Calah which is the modern site of Nimrud. This ancient city, once a capital of Assyria, has been excavated by archaeologists who have uncovered numerous artifacts including the stele pictured at right of the god Asshur holding a flail and a club. If it is accepted that Nimrod built the great city of Ninevah then it is quite logical to assume that he also gave his name to the kingdom that was established. He was remembered as Nimrod but known also as Asshur who founded the kingdom of Asshur, which later built a capital city known as Asshur, whose people worshiped the terrible war-god known as Asshur. Nimrod and Asshur also seem to be equated in Micah 5:6,

"They will rule the land of Assyria (erets Asshur) with the sword, the land of Nimrod (erets Nimrod) with drawn sword. He will deliver us from the Assyrian (Asshur) when he invades our land and marches into our borders." (NIV)

From this text it seems that the land of Asshur and the land of Nimrod is the very same land. It is the land ruled over by "the Assyrian" that Israel will come to dominate after the return of the Messiah. "The Assyrian" is none other than Nimrod, who will rise from the dead to briefly rule over the world just as he did before. In this way the pagan era will come full circle. Nimrod, who built the original Tower of Babel, will return once again to conquer and dominate end-times Babylon as predicted in Isaiah 14 and Revelation 17:17.
 

The First and the Last

There are many who will read this and immediately decide to reject it out of hand. If you are one of these people then please hold on to your skepticism but don't immediately reject this hypothesis. It may challenge your pre-conceptions but it is entirely consistent with what the Bible says about the Antichrist. In Part Two it was shown that the Antichrist must come from the past, and who better to fulfill this role? In Arthur W. Pink's comprehensive study of the Antichrist he listed ten figures from ancient history who he viewed as "types" of the Antichrist. Here is part of what he wrote about Nimrod:

"To sum up, in Nimrod and his schemes we behold Satan's initial attempt to raise up an universal ruler of men. In his inordinate desire for fame, in the mighty power that he wielded, in his ruthless and brutal methods, in his blatant defiance of the Creator, in his founding of the kingdom of Babel, in his assuming to himself Divine honors, in the fact that the Holy Spirit has placed the record of these things just before the inspired account of God's bringing Abraham into Canaan... we cannot fail to see that we have a wonderfully complete typical picture of the person, the work, and the destruction of the Antichrist." [2]

Nimrod's life is not just a "type" or "template" of what the future Antichrist will be like. He is the Antichrist. He is the one who "once was, now is not, and will come up out of the Abyss and go to his destruction." He is the antithesis of Jesus the One "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty" (Rev.1:8). At the end of Revelation Jesus says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End" (Rev 22:13). Jesus speaks of His eternal relationship to time and all Creation, while on the other hand Nimrod the Antichrist is "the first and the last" of Satan's seven kings, whose two appearances mark both "the Beginning and the End" of the Pagan Era that began at Babel some 5,000 years ago.
 

Asshur of the Abyss

In Part One it was shown that Asshur is a common name for the Antichrist that is used throughout the Old Testament. Further evidence that Asshur is the same figure as Nimrod can be found in the KJV translation of Isaiah 23:13 which states that Asshur founded the "land of the Chaldeans." This is the land occupied by Nimrod's cities of Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh. If Nimrod and Asshur both founded the "land of the Chaldeans" then they must be the same person. However, other Bible versions don't support the KJV's translation of this text and we must turn elsewhere for clear evidence that "Asshur" is associated with Babylon the "land of the Chaldeans."

The Enuma Elish is the Babylonian creation epic that was probably developed during the reign of King Hammurabi of Babylon around 1750 BC. In this text Marduk the city-god of Babylon is honored as the savior of the world and promoted as acting chief of the pantheon of gods. In the seventh tablet of this epic religious text we find that one of Marduk's names is given as "Asari" and he is referred to as "the mighty one." The name Asari is similar to, if not the same as, Asshur, and in fact the Assyrians took the Enuma Elish and substituted the name "Assur" for "Marduk" throughout the text [3]:

O Asari, "Bestower of planting," "Founder of sowing"
"Creator of grain and plants," "who caused the green herb to spring up!"
O Asaru-alim, "who is revered in the house of counsel," "who aboundeth in counsel,"
The gods paid homage, fear took hold upon them!

O Asaru-alim-nuna, "the mighty one," "the Light of the father who begat him,"
"Who directeth the decrees of Anu, Bel, and Ea!"
He was their patron, be ordained their...;
He, whose provision is abundance, goeth forth...

Nimrod's origins, and those of the god Marduk, can be traced back to the early dynasties of ancient Sumer and to the cult center of Eridug which was the original city of Babylon [4]. After the fall of the Tower and after the division of the languages the memory of Nimrod was preserved in many different names. In the village of Kuara, very near to the city of Eridug, Nimrod was remembered as the god Asar-luhi. Here is a portion of a Sumerian "Hymn to Asarluhi", in which the 'Asar' figure is again equated with Marduk [5]:

"August sage, firstborn son of Enki, he gives ...... to all who are born. Profoundly intelligent, as wise as his father, possessed of understanding, Asarluhi penetrates everything... Lordly son of the abzu, endowed with holy wisdom, he is Marduk, the bringer of counsel. Tall in stature, he can survey all the divine powers of heaven and earth.

Son endowed with a broad understanding, whose movement is that of an animal with large horns in the reed-beds; Asarluhi, mighty deluge determining great fates, unleashed and knowing no course whatsoever! When great An shared out the divine powers for heaven and earth, incantations fell to your lot. Scanning all mankind with a glance, god of benign features, with an attractive physique; most skilled metalworker, creating masterpieces; counsellor and judge, whose word in the august sanctuary is unalterable and whose character is sublime: I shall exalt him in song and glorify his name.

Eloquent one of the abzu, great minister of Eridug, lordly Asarluhi! The enkum and ninkum priests, the abgal and abrig priests, the ...... priestesses and the ...... all pay attention when you open your holy mouth. Daily as they go forth, they circumambulate (?) you. Cleansing the purification rites with pure hands and pure tread, holy in every respect, you are the supervisor of the purification priests of E-abzu.

Kuara, the beloved city which you have chosen in your heart, lives in joy because of you. The generous-hearted Prince (Enki) named you with the name Asarluhi."

Asarluhi is named as "son of the abzu" and "eloquent one of the abzu." The "abzu" is simply the Sumerian word for "abyss" [6]. The most important temple in Eridug was known as the E-abzu, or "Temple of the Abyss", which was the cult center of the god Enki. The name En-ki simply means "Lord of the Earth" and we can turn to Matthew 4:8-10, Luke 4:6-13, John 12:31, John 14:30 and 2 Corinthians 4:4 for evidence of his Biblical identity. In the Sumerian text above we are told that Asarluhi is Enki's "firstborn son." I believe that Asarluhi is the same historical figure as Asshur—the human fulfillment of Genesis 3:15 that predicted the coming of Satan's firstborn son, the "seed of the serpent."
 

The Seven-Headed Threat

The history of the Antichrist goes back to Nimrod the founder of Babel (Eridug) and Erech (Uruk) which became important centers of the civilization of ancient Sumer. The speech of mankind was divided as a result of the Tower of Babel, yet shortly after this event ancient Sumer began to be proficient in the new art of writing. Through this development the unification of the many different cities and tribes again became possible. However, as Sumerian civilization emerged it was the god Enki who controlled writing through his priesthood, and so it was Enki's version of the history of mankind that was preserved. This leads to the following question: If the founder of ancient Babylon was indeed the first of Satan's seven kings, and if it was known that he would rise again at the end of the age to fulfill his destiny, then should we not have at least some evidence of this ancient prophecy, although perhaps in a twisted form? The prophet Amos seems to hold this out as a distinct possibility:

"Surely the Sovereign LORD does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7, NIV)

One of the most widely recognized symbols that comes from the book of Revelation is the seven-headed dragon. It symbolizes the rebellious history of mankind from Babel to end-times Babylon and portrays Satan as the ruler of the pagan system as manifested through his seven kings. In the book Slaying the Dragon: Mythmaking in the Biblical Tradition author Bernard Batto shows that the seven-headed dragon is actually a very ancient symbol. Batto is a secular author and of course he argues that the Bible borrowed its symbolism from pagan mythology. Yet we know that there is much more to this story than meaningless "myths" springing from mankind's active imagination.

The earliest evidence of a seven-headed dragon comes from a tiny shell-inlay artifact that was excavated in modern times somewhere in Sumer. This artifact is verifiably authentic and dated by experts to Early Dynastic Sumer of circa 2800-2600 BC [7]. The picture that is portrayed appears to be a shocking representation of Revelation 13:1-3,

"And I saw a beast... he had seven heads... and one of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound..."

Scholars believe that the royal figure facing the beast—who has apparently slain one of its heads—is a Sumerian god known as Ninurta or Ningirsu, an early prototype of Marduk. From several Sumerian texts we find that Ningirsu/Ninurta is credited with slaying this terrible beast and restoring peace to the land. One of the earliest references is found on the famous Gudea Cylinder. In this long narrative the king builds a temple to Ningirsu and hangs the god's various trophies of war on the walls of the temple as a memorial:

"Facing the city, its place laden with awe, he had the Seven-headed serpent take its stand... Because these were warriors slain by Ninĝirsu, he set their mouths towards libation places. Gudea, the ruler of Lagaš, made their names appear among those of the gods." [8]

Under the heading of "snakes" the reference book Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia offers a further examination of this strange ancient beast:

"A seven-headed musmahhu monster is referred to in mythological texts and depicted in Early Dynastic art as a kind of dragon with seven long snake necks and heads. This creature may be the seven-headed hydra killed by the god Ningirsu or Ninurta, also referred to in spells." [9]

The point that must be noted about the references to the seven-headed dragon is that Sumerian scribes believed that this terrible beast had already been killed and no longer existed as a threat. In fact, those who were portrayed as slayers of the beast seem to be gods who had emerged as deifications of Nimrod himself. So by slaying the monster Nimrod is actually slaying himself! In this way the pagan influence greatly confused and corrupted the prophecy of the seven-headed dragon, and the long-term threat was effectively removed from humanity's consciousness as early as possible.
 

Leviathan

The ancient tale of a fearsome multi-headed dragon that is killed by a warrior-hero found its way into classical Greek culture. In their version of the story the beast was known as the Lernaean Hydra, and it was slain by Herakles (Roman Hercules) as the second of his legendary "Twelve Labours." There are different versions of this story and some describe the beast having seven heads, some nine, with the playwright Euripides saying one hundred. The story goes that as Heracles battled the monster and as each head was destroyed other heads instantly sprouted up to take their place. In the end the heads of the beast were only destroyed with help from Heracles' nephew Iolaus who brought firebrands to sear the ends of each neck-stump, preventing their re-growth. The final head, however, is described in the story as immortal; it was cut off and buried by Heracles "under a great rock."

If the Greek story of a seven-headed dragon is indeed descended from the memory of an important prophecy given long ago in the ancient past then it is not hard to find certain parallels with the seven-headed Beast of Revelation. For instance, we know that the seven heads of the Beast represent seven kings, and as each king has died another has eventually appeared to take his place. Furthermore, fire seems to be the only weapon able to defeat the Hydra, and in the book of Revelation we see that the Antichrist himself is thrown into the Lake of Fire. Lastly, the reference to the "great rock" under which the final head is buried may perhaps allude in some way to the resting place of the first king who will return as the eighth, but more on this later.

When we compare Greek myths with the prophetic literature of the Hebrews the links are somewhat tenuous and often lack credibility. However, this is not the case when we compare Hebrew literature with the literature of their neighbors, the Canaanites. Secular scholars see many ways in which the Canaanites influenced the Hebrews which was aided by the close similarities between the two written languages. The story of a seven-headed dragon that is destroyed by a divine warrior-hero can be found in the Ras Shamra texts that were excavated from Ugarit. In the Canaanite pantheon the god Baal plays a role equal to Marduk's role in the Babylonian pantheon as leader of the gods and ruler of the world. In the Baal Cycle, which is like a Canaanite version of the Enuma Elish, Baal is addressed by the god Mot and credited with killing "Lotan the serpent":

When you smote Lotan the fleeting serpent,
Annihilated the tortuous serpent,
The tyrant with seven heads. [10]

The Canaanite goddess Anat (known as Athena to the Greeks) appears as something like a fierce feminine alter-ego of the god Baal, and in some texts it is she who takes credit for slaying the seven-headed serpent:

What enemy rises up against Baal,
What adversary against Him who Mounteth the Clouds?
Have I not slain Sea, beloved of El?
Have I not annihilated [the] River, the great god?
Have I not muzzled the Dragon, holding her in a muzzle?
I have slain the Crooked Serpent,
The Foul-fanged with Seven Heads,
I have slain the beloved of earth-deities. [11]

The Canaanite references to "Lotan" are mirrored in the Old Testament by scattered references to a creature known as "Leviathan." Secular critics of the Bible have had a field day with these references because they view them as proof that Hebrew scribes believed in a "non-existent" mythical Canaanite monster! On the other hand defenders of the Bible argue that Hebrew scribes did not borrow Canaanite mythology or theology, but only Canaanite imagery, which was done for the purpose of displaying the sovereignty and superiority of Yahweh: Baal was no equal to God, and God could duplicate and exceed Baal in His feats of heroism [12].  However, beyond the idea of a competition, the Biblical references to Leviathan are actually very important because they correct the pagan mis-conception that the final destruction of the seven-headed dragon had already occurred and was firmly in the past. In the following passage the prophet Isaiah refers to Leviathan and returns the beast to its proper apocalyptic context:

"For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish Leviathan the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea." (Isaiah 26:21-27:1, KJV)


Conclusion

The division of the nations at the Tower of Babel was a hugely significant event that was spiritual as well as linguistic. The life of Nimrod was intimately connected with this event and afterwards the memory of this "Dying God" became institutionalized as a major part of pagan religion. Around this very same time, near the dawn of written history, we find the emergence of the prophetic symbolism of the seven-headed dragon. Pagan mythology places the life of this beast in the past, but the prophecies of Isaiah, Daniel, and the book of Revelation tell us that this threat still awaits its final destiny of destruction. It is the symbol of Satan's seven kings, and we know that one of them, Asshur the Antichrist, will appear from the past to radically influence the future. Those who do not know the true Christ will find it hard to resist him.
 

___________________________

 

"...the date of the construction of King Solomon's temple has not always been the key date in the Freemasons' cosmology. This central role was once given to the Tower of Babel. The Regius manuscript, which predates Cooke [1410] by twenty years, cites King Nemrod, the builder of that famous tower, as "the first and most excellent master." He it was, and not King Solomon, who gave the Masons their first "charge," their rules of conduct and professional code.
    For a long time both King Solomon and King Nemrod played a part in the tradition. A Masonic text known as the Thistle manuscript, of 1756, says that Nemrod "created the Masons" and "gave them their signs and terms so that they could distinguish themselves from other people ... it was the first time that the Masons were organised as a craft."
    It was during the early years of the eighteenth century that Freemasonry stopped seeing its origins in the Tower of Babel and that Solomon alone was considered "the first Grand Master".
    The eighteenth-century Masonic texts shed light on the ideas and attitudes at the time of the shift from Operative Masonry to Speculative Masonry... Speculative Masons, who were concerned with social responsibility and had no desire to threaten the establishment, finally rejected the "Legend of the Craft" which honored the Tower of Babel, a pagan edifice constructed in open defiance to heaven. Instead of the Promethean or Faustian Nemrod, they preferred "our wise king Solomon," or as A Mason's Examination of 1723 puts it: "Grand Master in his time of Masonry and Architecture."

Daniel Béresniak, Symbols of Freemasonry, 2000 (1997), pp.26-28

 

Part Three printable

Continue to Part Four


Footnotes

1. Walvoord, John F. ; Zuck, Roy B. ; Dallas Theological Seminary: The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL : Victor Books, 1983-c1985, S. 1:43

2. The Antichrist, Arthur W. Pink, 1923, p.224. For the full text of Pink's commentary on Nimrod see http://www.redmoonrising.com/Giza/awpinknimrod.htm.

3. ENUMA ELISH : THE EPIC OF CREATION, L.W. King Translator (from The Seven Tablets of Creation, London 1902), see http://www.sacred-texts.com/ane/enuma.htm

4. Berossos and Manetho, Introduced and Translated: Native Traditions in Ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt, edited by Gerald Verbrugghe and John Wickersham, 2000, p.70. See Berossos' translation of the Sumerian King List where the Sumerian city of Eridu(g) is translated in Greek as "Babylon." According to the Sumerians and their King List Eridu(g) was the first city ever built (which in Genesis 4:17 was built by Cain), and the city to where "kingship was lowered from heaven to earth." See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eridu.

5. "Hymn to Asarluhi" from the ETCSL corpus at http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/section4/tr4011.htm

6. "The third of the leading Sumerian deities was Enki, the god in charge of the abyss, or, in Sumerian, the abzu. Enki was the god of wisdom and it was primarily he who organized the earth..." From The Sumerians - Their History, Culture, and Character, Samuel Noah Kramer, 1963, p.122.

7. For further information on the shell-inlay artifact see "Satan's Throne", Adela Yarbro Collins, Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2006, p.37. Also see "From Whence the Beast" by Simo Parpola, from www.biblicalarchaeology.org.

8. The Gudea Cylinders A and B, "The Building of Ningirsu's Temple," lines 696-721, from the ETCSL corpus

9. Gods, Demons and Symbols of Ancient Mesopotamia, Jeremy Black and Anthony Green, 1992, p.168

10. Quote borrowed from the online article "Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy", by Eric Lyons, who cites: Pope, Marvin H. (1965), Job (Garden City, NY: Doubleday), p.276

11. Quote borrowed from the online article "Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy", by Eric Lyons, who cites: Gray, J. (1961), "Texts from Ras Shamra," Documents from Old Testament Times, ed. D. Winton Thomas (New York: Harper), p.129

12. This explanation paraphrases John Day, “God and Leviathan in Isaiah 27:1,” Bibliotheca Sacra, 155:423-436, October-December 1998, as quoted by Lyons in "Behemoth and Leviathan—Creatures of Controversy".


Peter Goodgame
February 1, 2008
pgoodgame@hawaii.rr.com

www.redmoonrising.com