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Against World Powers
 



II. The Pagan Perspective

  
The Historical Nimrod
    Sumerian Accounts
    The Rise of Marduk
    Human Sacrifice
   



The Historical Nimrod

    From the time of deepest antiquity before the flood, up until the time of Nimrod after the flood, humanity understood the hierarchical structure of the Divine Council, with the Creator at the head of the pantheon ruling over a divine but independent-minded angelic host, with humanity at the bottom. However, after the division of humanity into the hands of the angelic host the importance of the Creator became diminished and ultimately removed from the pagan system of religious worship.

Another important facet of pagan religion was ancestor worship. Often powerful kings and princes of antiquity were elevated to the status of gods and took over positions within the pantheon, while retaining the hierarchical structure. The Creator was removed from the equation, while the territorial spiritual powers of the nations and the human kings of the nations were elevated and/or merged together and new pagan understandings of the divine pantheon evolved.

For instance, in ancient Sumerian/Babylonian “king lists” there are exactly ten major kings recorded to have ruled prior to the flood, which matches up with the ten Patriarchs from Adam to Noah listed in the book of Genesis. However, in Sumerian mythology these kings are gods or demigods, or “kings from heaven,” while in Genesis the Patriarchs are simply human beings who enjoyed extraordinarily long life spans.

In the histories of the Egyptian priest Manetho (third century BC) there is also a list of exactly ten god-kings who ruled over Egypt from a “foreign land” prior to the Deluge. In fact the Jewish historian Josephus (first century AD) cites the work of seven Gentile historians (Berossus, Hieronymus, Mnaseas, Nicholaus, Manetho, Mochus, and Hestaeus) to corroborate his account of the flood and many other events recorded in the book of Genesis.

The most famous name from antiquity after the flood, from the pagan perspective, was the Biblical character Nimrod who was responsible for the events that led to the division of mankind into the hands of the “sons of God.” Nimrod is credited in Genesis as being “a mighty warrior on the earth” and “a mighty hunter before the Lord.” He is known as the first “empire builder” and through force of conquest he established his empire over the whole of Mesopotamia. According to the Bible he first ruled from the cities of Babel, Erech, Accad and Calneh in southern Mesopotamia, and then he moved north and built the cities of Ninevah, Reheboth-Ir, Caleh and Resen. According to Josephus it was under the authority of Nimrod that mankind attempted to build the blasphemous Tower of Babel.

The role of Nimrod in attempting to building a massive skyscraper to heaven makes sense only with the understanding that Nimrod was a worshiper and follower of the chief of the "sons of God" that we know as Satan. The Tower of Babel was an attempt to gain for Satan what Satan desired according to Isaiah 14:13-14,

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’”

Much of humanity was forcefully united under Nimrod, and with him as the authority mankind began to build the rebellious monument known as the Tower of Babel. To remedy the situation God decreed the establishment of different languages and the division of mankind to the seventy angelic powers to manage the affairs of the earth. Instead of being united against the Creator, humanity would now be divided against the Creator, which would allow for God to continue with His redemptive plan for all humanity, through His own nation Israel.

After this spiritual reorganization of humanity there emerged two trends within the religious beliefs of the ancient cultures. The first trend was the replacement of worship of the Creator with a pantheon based partly on ancestor worship and partly on the worship of the heavenly host, and the second trend was the deification of Nimrod specifically, the emergence of this new god as the personification of Satan, and his eventual takeover of the pantheon. As a result of these trends Satan himself became installed at the head of the pagan pantheon, and was thus “enthroned on the mount of assembly” making himself “like the Most High.”

Before we go further, there are two modern scholars who must be introduced first, whose work is essential for understanding the pagan world of antiquity. The first is British historian and Egyptologist David Rohl, who has published four important books on the subject of the origins of civilization and the correlation between ancestor worship and pagan religion. He is also the developer of the New Chronology that finally clears up centuries-old errors that have plagued Biblical archaeology and scholarship. His work offers conclusive proof for the reliability of the book of Genesis as a historical document which, despite Rohl’s materialistic foundation, has created a lot of controversy within the secular academic establishment. Rohl has achieved success as a historian, as an author and as a producer of several documentaries that have appeared on BBC Television.

The second researcher whose work is essential for understanding this subject is Michael S. Heiser, PhD. He is an ancient languages expert whose doctoral thesis focused on the theme of the Divine Council within Biblical studies and its relation to the pagan world. Heiser is a professor, an author and the editor of the Divine Council Study Group internet-based newsletter, and he has also taken an interest in studying the modern UFO phenomenon and its apparent close relationship with many of the themes associated with his Divine Council studies.

Returning to the subject of Nimrod, David Rohl offers conclusive proof in his books Legend: the Genesis of Civilization and The Lost Testament that Nimrod was in fact the historical king Enmerkar from the ancient Sumerian King List, who also appears in three epic poems that have been uncovered and translated by archaeologists. Enmerkar was the king of the expansionist empire of Uruk (Erech) and Rohl dates his lifetime to a period beginning around the year 2850 BC.
 

Sumerian Accounts

According to the earliest Sumerian tablets, which date more than a thousand years after Enmerkar’s career, the Sumerian pantheon was led by Anu the “God of Heaven.” Anu was the father and king of the gods and rarely if ever visited the earth. Under Anu, there were two other chief gods that served important roles and had a very close relationship with mankind. The first was Enlil, the most powerful “active” god of the Sumerian pantheon, and the second was Enki, also known as Ea or Eya, who was titled the “Lord of the Earth.” Anu’s center of worship was located in a precinct within Uruk (biblical ‘Erech’) known as the E-anna, or “House of Heaven;” while Enlil’s city was Nippur, where the gods supposedly met when they gathered on earth for an assembly. Enki’s sacred city was located in Eridu, and according to Sumerian myth this was the first city created on the earth by mankind, and the first place where the human tradition of "kingship" began.

According to Rohl the cult center of Eridu, the first city in human history, is the very same city established by the banished Cain, son of Adam and Eve, for his son Enoch as explained in Genesis 4:17. After being banished from the land of his parents by God, Cain and his descendents came under the influence of Satan. Rohl writes,

“With Enoch’s arrival upon the island of Nun (Eridu) at the mouth of the Euphrates river, the Lord of the Earth, god of the fresh water springs, had a new home made for him, where generations of holy men (Sumerian en.si) could communicate with their god in the ‘dark chamber.’ ...The famous Sumerian King List (SKL) refers to this crucial moment in history when the Annunaki (Egyptian Shebtiu) arrived in the southern marshlands of Sumer and founded the first city in Mesopotamia: ‘When kingship was lowered from heaven, the (first) kingship was in Eridu.’ [SKL, column I, line1]”

Rohl also mentions other references to this historical event,

“The Akkadian legends (as well as the Mesopotamian historian Berossus) tell of a great sage, the first of the seven apkallu (Sumerian ab.gal) sent by Eya to bring the arts of civilization to Mankind. He came from the east in the company of the Annunaki. On islands in the marshlands of Sumer the Anunnaki established the first cities in Mesopotamia, and their spiritual leader — the first of the apkallu — set up kings to rule over the settlers. This sage’s name was Uanna-Adapa — the biblical Enoch.”

In the Sumerian tradition it was Enlil acting as chief executive who carried out the decrees made in Anu’s heavenly council and he is the god held responsible by the Sumerians for bringing the flood. According to the Sumerian tradition Enki defied the council by bringing news of the impending flood to Ziusudra (the Sumerian Noah), instructing him to build an ark and thus saving humanity from extinction. Enki is also the first of the sons of Anu to descend to the earth and he is given the credit for creating Adam, known in Sumerian as “Adapa.” Enki’s symbol was two serpents entwined on a staff, and he is also known by the Sumerians as the god of the waters, the god of the underworld (the abzu, or abyss) and the god of wisdom and magic.

These facts, although Rohl is confused in interpreting this area because of his materialistic bias and naive acceptance of Sumerian myth at face value, show that Enki/Ea was actually the Sumerian representation of the “god” we now know as Satan. Satan’s symbol is the serpent; he claimed to offer wisdom to humanity through the forbidden fruit of the Garden of Eden; and he is acknowledged as “Lord of the Earth” by Jesus in Matthew 4:8-10, John 12:31 and John 14:30, and referred to by Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:4 as the “god of this world.” Satan also repeatedly defied the Council, or at least the will of God as decreed in the Council and, we should not forget, Satan is also called the “Father of Lies” by Jesus in John 8:44.

When the angelic “sons of God” descended to the earth they were led by Satan, and they taught the descendents of the banished Cain, as mentioned above, the “arts of civilization” including magic and warfare. These beings from the heavens are known as the Anunnaki in Sumerian myth and many of them, as described in many pagan myths and in the book of Genesis, took human women for wives and produced powerful children known as the Nephilim, who became the “heroes of old, men of renown.” (Genesis 6:4)

In the epic poem Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta the story begins with a reminiscence of a time when mankind was united in its form of religious worship,

“Once upon a time, ... there was no fear, no terror. Man had no rival. ... the whole universe, the people in unison ... to Enlil in one tongue gave praise.”

The poem continues with the great king Enmerkar demanding supplies and slave labor from the northern kingdom of Aratta for a new temple to the goddess Inanna in Uruk and especially for his renovation projects for the “House of Enki” at Eridu. The latter was not to be an ordinary project. The text of Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta explains,

“Let the people of Aratta artfully fashion gold and silver. ...Let them bring down precious stone and pure lapis-lazuli. Let the people of Aratta ... build for me a great temple, set up for me a great shrine of the gods. ...Fashion for me the Abzu like a holy highland. Purify for me Eridu like a mountain.”

The ancient holy site of Eridu that had first been established prior to the flood through Enoch the son of Cain, with direction from Enki/Ea/Satan and the Anunnaki angels that descended to the earth, was to be renovated and refurbished. Enmerkar began to rebuild it, but the project was not accepted by God. The epic poem Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta goes on to explain how the project brought "contention," and how it also involved the separation of mankind based on languages as recorded in the book of Genesis:

Then did the contender—the en...
—the master...
—the king...
Enki, the contender...
Enki,
en of hegal,
    the one of unfailing words,
  
 en of cunning,
    the shrewd one of the land,
    sage of the gods,
    gifted in thinking,
    the
en of Eridu,
change the speech of their mouths,
he having set up contention in it,
in the human speech that had been one.

Nimrod’s task was to build a massive structure in honor of Enki/Satan and for attempting it, and for his other exploits in the name of Satan his god, later generations elevated Nimrod to the status of a god. Rohl explains Nimrod’s legacy,

“No wonder, then, that he was represented as both semi-divine hero and god. The Babylonians knew him as Ninurta, the hunter-god armed with bow, and linked him with Marduk, warrior-god and lord of vegetation. The Sumerians of Eridu themselves elevated the mortal King Enmer-kar (‘Enmer the hunter’) to godhood as Asar, ‘son’ of Enki. The Sumerians of the Early Dynastic times named him Ningirsu, god of war and agriculture. In the city of Lagash they built the House of Ninnu (E-Ninnu) as Ningirsu’s temple and gave him the epithet Enmersi after his ancient and original name. The Assyrians recognized Enmer/Asar as their state deity, Ashur. When the author of Genesis calls him Nimrod, this is a play on words in which the name Enmer is Hebraised into nmrd (‘we shall rebel’) because this king rebelled against Yahweh by building the Tower of Babel.”

Enmerkar/Nimrod was known as the “son of Enki,” he conquered in the name of Enki, and he attempted to unify mankind and build an unprecedented religious structure in honor of Enki. Recall again that another title for Satan is “Father of Lies” and it appears that he lives up to this name through the distorted memory of him found in Sumerian myths. Enki was not the true creator of mankind, as Sumerian myth claims; he did not bring mankind wisdom, but death, and should not be viewed as the “God of Wisdom”; he did not warn Noah about the flood, because Noah was of the line of Seth and worshiped the Creator rather than Enki. The divine decree against Nimrod and the Tower of Babel was actually an epic embarrassment for Enki, and the division of mankind that followed was a major blow to his plans. However, the memory of Nimrod lived on and the priests of Enki were able to eventually capitalize on his fame and prestige.

David Rohl explains what happened after the flood within Sumerian religion. The growth of individual city-states, each with their own god, was intensified after the Tower of Babel event that brought forth the divine decree that each nation would be led directly by a different member of the angelic host,

“After the great flood had swept over the land, the purity of the supreme-deity religion which had previously existed became weakened with the introduction of new gods and the raising up of the minor gods in the primeval pantheon as powerful city-state deities in their own right. Thus Inanna was brought down from Aratta and elevated by Enmerkar as an equal to Anu (‘Lord of Heaven’) in Uruk; the moon-god Sin ruled supreme in Ur; Enki, the god of the watery abyss, was worshiped at Eridu; Utu, the sun-god, was the lord of Shuruppak, and Inshushinak (‘Lord of Susa’) dominated Elamite Susiana. Enlil only remained supreme in Nippur. The oneness of early Sumerian religion evolved into a disunity of religious worship and, as a result, the ancient world became a more dangerous place.”

In John Gray’s Near Eastern Mythology he explains that the form of government that emerged from this period was a type of “theocratic communism,” where the “priest of the chief god of the city” was considered the steward or manager of the city on behalf of the god. He writes that the ruler was “always regarded as the human executive of the divine king, the chief god of the city, a conception which persisted in Mesopotamia, Syria and Palestine...”

This period was characterized by the building of ziggurats and temple-complexes in each city dedicated to their individual gods, as well as intense competition and warfare between the city-states as the gods tried to achieve mastery over their neighbors. Eventually, by a process of elimination and survival of the fittest, certain gods were able to gain dominance through their respective empires once again.

According to the Sumerian King Lists, Enmerkar/Nimrod was succeeded by his son Lugalbanda, who was in turn succeeded by his son Dumuzi. Like Enmerkar, Dumuzi was later deified as a personification of Enki, “Lord of the Underworld,” a subject we will return to shortly. Dumuzi’s son and successor was the legendary Gilgamesh, a dominant king of Uruk circa 2500 BC, who was also a demi-god, whose legendary exploits are recorded in the famous Epic of Gilgamesh, first written down over a thousand years before the Greek epics of Homer. In the Gilgamesh epic, Enlil the chief executive of Anu’s court is again portrayed as a villain, while Enki (Satan) is again portrayed as the friend and benefactor of mankind.

Around 2100 BC another empire was created, this time through the conquests of Sargon of Agade, from his capital of Kish, which was the cult-center of the war-god Ninurta (the now deified Enmerkar/Nimrod) in northern Mesopotamia. In the epic Legend of Sargon of Akkad (c.2300 BC) Sargon claims to have been born from a royal priestess and therefore to have divine/royal blood, and to have been reared by an enigmatic figure named “Akki, the drawer of water” (Enki?) and brought up in his temple as a gardener. He claims that “while I was his gardener, Ishtar granted me her love, and for four and ... years I exercised kingship, the black-headed people I ruled, I governed.”

Sargon’s empire became the greatest empire since that of Emerkar, and the Akkadian language of his empire Agade, or Akkad, became the dominant spoken and written language of the ancient Near East.

Sargon claimed to rule by divine decree on behalf of the gods Anu and Enlil and on behalf of the goddess Ishtar; however after the fall of Sargon’s dynasty there emerged a new god on the scene, and a shakeup took place in the Sumerian conception of the divine pantheon. This shakeup would reverberate throughout the pagan world and be recounted in different forms in the myths of many of the ancient cultures.
 

The Rise of Marduk  

The Enuma Elish is the Babylonian epic tale that recounts the creation of the god Marduk and his ascendancy to become foremost among the gods of the Babylonian pantheon:

“Ea has defeated his enemies and trodden them down. Now that his triumph was completed, in deep peace he rested, in his holy palace Ea slept.

Over the abyss, the distance, he built his house and shrine and there magnificently he lived with his wife Damkina.

In that room, at the point of decision where what is to come is predetermined, he was conceived, the most sagacious, the one from the first most absolute in action.

In the deep abyss he was conceived, MARDUK was made in the heart of the apsu, MARDUK was created in the heart of the holy apsu.

Ea begot him and Damkina bore him, father and mother; he sucked the paps of goddesses, from his nurses he was fed on the terribleness that filled him.

His body was beautiful; when he raised his eyes great lights flared; his stride was majestic; he was the leader from the first.

When Ea who begot him saw him he exulted, he was radiant, light-hearted, for he saw that he was perfect, and he multiplied his godhead, the one to be first and stand highest.

His limbs were immaculate, the making a fearful mystery beyond comprehension; with four eyes for limitless sight, and four ears hearing all; when his lips moved a tongue of fire burst out. Titanic limbs, standing so high he overtopped the tallest god; he was strong and he wore the glory of ten, and their lightnings played round him.

‘My son, my son, son of the sun, and heaven's sun!’”

Ea is simply the Akkadian name for the god Enki, who we have determined is a representation of Satan, foremost of the “sons of God” that chose to rebel against the Creator. The “house and shrine” of Ea is the apsu, abzu, or abyss, located in Eridu the city on a stretch of land that was surrounded in ancient times by branches of the Euphrates River. Eridu was where the first city was established by Enoch the son of Cain before the flood and it was also where Nimrod attempted to build the Tower of Babel after the flood. Damkina is simply another name for the goddess Inanna/Ishtar, to whom Nimrod/Enmerkar built a shrine in Uruk, elevating her to a status equal with Anu the “God of Heaven.”

The early appearance of a Queen goddess within the pantheon was a necessary early step that served Enki/Ea’s agenda and, as we will see, the conception of a divine mother/father couple at the head of the pantheon was perhaps rooted in ancestor worship of Adam and Eve, the first human couple. Pagan religion consistently provides a place for a Queen goddess, but Hebrew religion was entirely unique in its conception of a single masculine Creator God who had no need or desire for a female consort.

The appearance of the great god Marduk, the son of Satan, is based on the historical career of Enmerkar that ended almost a thousand years before Marduk first emerged as the local deity of the city of Babylon. David Rohl explains how the legend of Nimrod/Enmerkar evolved into the story of the emergence of a new and powerful god which, although Rohl does not note, became an avenue by which Ea/Enki/Satan was able to further his agenda for domination over the pagan world. Note that in history Nimrod ultimately failed and died, but in the myths Marduk is reborn to fulfill his Satanic purpose,

“The epics of Dumuzi principally concern themselves with the underworld into which the Sumerian king and partner of the goddess Inanna/Ishtar descended to become god of the dead. But this Dumuzi was much more than a local Sumerian hero. He became the Canaanite deity Tammuz, worshipped by the women of Jerusalem in the 6th century BC — a blasphemy so abhorred by the prophet Ezekiel ... [Ezekiel 8:14-15].

A number of ancient legends (particularly those recorded in the classical literature) make a link between Ninus (Ninurta/Nimrod) and Dumuzi. These legends claim that Ninus’ spouse, Semiramis the ‘queen of heaven’ (i.e. Inanna), gave birth to a son, following her husband’s death, whose name was Dumuzi (a word which simply means ‘good child’). But, according to this strange story, the newborn was also the husband of Semiramis and therefore none other than the reincarnated or reborn Ninus. It is interesting to note that Dumuzi was regarded as the husband of Inanna by the Sumerians, just as Ninus and his son (conceived after his death) were both the husbands of the ‘queen of heaven’ Semiramis according to the Greek tradition. Note also the similarity to the story of Osiris who is killed but then performs postmortem procreation with his spouse Isis to create his legitimate son and heir, Horus ...

So Ninus/Ninurta/Nimrod appears to be one and the same as Dumuzi, god of resurrection and therefore also equivalent to Marduk, the Babylonian vegetation god. It is then interesting to discover that Ashur, the principal and founding god of Assyria, was himself identified with Marduk ...

This Ashur ‘lived at the city of Ninevah’ and was the eponymous founder of the Assyrian nation, whilst Ninus founded Ninevah — as did Nimrod. It appears that we are dealing here with a single historical character who established the first empire on Earth and who was deified by many nations under four main name groupings:

(1) Early Sumerian Enmer, later Mesopotamian Ninurta (originally Nimurda), biblical Nimrod, Greek Ninus;
(2) Old Babylonian Marduk, biblical Merodach, later simply known as Bel or Baal ('Lord');
(3) Late Sumerian Asar-luhi (a principal epithet of Marduk), Assyrian Ashur, Egyptian Asar (Osiris);
(4) Sumerian Dumuzi, biblical Tammuz, Phoenician Adonis, Greek Dionysus, Roman Bacchus.

... Both Marduk and Ashur had their origins in the Sumerian deity Asar (or Asar-luhi) ‘son of Enki and Damkina’ originating from Eridu ...

The new god’s Sumerian name—Asar—was written with the sign for throne which was also one of the two hieroglyphs used to write the name Osiris. Of course, Osiris is the Greek vocalization for the Egyptian corn-god of the dead. The people of the Nile valley simply knew him as Asar. The Sumerian epic ‘Dumuzi and Inanna’ tells us that the fertility-goddess Inanna ‘married’ King Dumuzi (Asar) of Uruk just as the Egyptian Isis, goddess of fertility, was the wife and queen of King Osiris (Asar).

According to the Sumerian King List, two ‘generations’ before Dumuzi, the ruler of Uruk was the legendary Enmerkar. It was this king who brought Inanna down from her mountain home in Aratta to the Mesopotamian plain where, at the heart of the royal city, he built a magnificent temple complex for her. Now, in ancient Mesopotamian society, a ‘sacred marriage’ ritual was performed at a king’s coronation to ensure the fertility of the land and livestock (as well as human procreation) during the ensuing reign. The new priest-king (Sumerian en.si) of Uruk entered the ‘dark chamber’ of the temple in the guise of Enki to have sexual intercourse with a priestess representing Inanna. The offspring of this sacred marriage would not only succeed to the throne but, as the son of Enki and Inanna, would also be a deity in his own right.

(a) The vegetation god and mighty warrior Marduk is the son of Enki and Damkina (Inanna/Ishtar);
(b) Semiramis gives birth to a reincarnated Ninus, following her husband and hero-king’s death, and then marries her son as the reincarnated Ninus;
(c) Isis (Iset) gives birth to Horus, the legitimate heir, after her husband King Osiris (Asar) is killed;
(d) Dumuzi (the ‘good son’) marries Inanna but the goddess has him sent into the underworld where he becomes the god of the dead;
(e) Dumuzi, also called Tammuz, is thus the universal winter dying god who is reborn as the new spring vegetation;
(f) Osiris (Asar) becomes the god of the dead and is the Egyptian deity of new vegetation;
(g) Marduk, also called Asar, is the Babylonian vegetation god.”

The cult worship of Marduk achieved supremacy throughout Mesopotamia through the conquests of the great Babylonian king Hammurabi in approximately the sixteenth century BC. Hammurabi is most famous for his codification of national laws, the first written and standardized set of laws in human history, but he was also concerned with religious unification as well. Under his patronage the many myths and legends of Sumerian history, including the Enuma Elish, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the legends of Sargon, were written down in Old Babylonian Akkadian cuneiform. At the same time Marduk, the city-god of Babylon, was written into the myths as the new ruler over the earth, and indeed over the entire universe, supposedly with the approval of the Divine Council of the gods.

To honor Marduk, Hammurabi’s empire instituted new yearly rituals and ceremonies that would commemorate Marduk’s temporary defeat, followed by his rescue and triumph. One of these rituals was an eleven-day ceremony that began with the first sighting of the crescent moon in the spring that marked the start of the month Nisannu. Author Michael Baigent goes into detail regarding this ceremony in his book From the Omens of Babylon: Astrology and Ancient Mesopotamia,

“During those eleven days of rituals, both public and private, the rights of the king along with the stability and strength of the civilization itself were called into question and then symbolically reasserted...

In Babylon the central personalities of the festival were Marduk (Jupiter), the chief god of the city, along with his son, Nabu (Mercury). Similar spring festivals are known to have been regularly held in the cities of Asshur, Ninevah, Ur, Uruk, Dilbat, Arbela and Harran far away on the route to the Mediterranean...

A small number of intriguing texts that have been found reveal that behind the public events of this and other state rituals lay an esoteric explanation understood only by initiates. Their form is often simple: each succeeding event in the public ritual is followed by an explanation of its inner meaning:

 

The King, who wears jewels on his head and roasts goats.

:He is Marduk, who carried firewood on his head

 and burnt the sons of Enlil and Anu in a fire.

The ox and the sheep which they throw alive to the ground ...

:That is Kingu and his seven sons when they were smitten.

 

Other such texts detail the mystical numbers associated with each god, the plants, the metals, the precious and the semi-precious stones. These works give a brief glimpse into what must have been a rich and complicated secret tradition, accessible only to the privileged few. To ensure this, each text ends with a warning. ‘A secret of the great gods. May the initiate instruct the initiate. Let the uninitiated not see.’”

Baigent explains that the eleven-day ritual began with four days of preparatory rites “which methodically set the stage for an increasingly intense religious celebration.” The first two days involved prayers from the high priest to the statue of Marduk in the temple. On the third day two other statues were constructed: one figure held a snake and the other a scorpion, and they were covered in gold and jewels. On the fourth day the seven tablets of the Enuma Elish were brought forth and the creation myth was recited by the high priest before Marduk in the temple.

On the fifth day prayers were chanted to Marduk and he was addressed as the god of all the planets. Baigent remarks that one of the lines of the Enuma Elish reads, “Marduk ... to thee we have given kingship over the totality of the whole universe.” Afterwards the king was brought in before the priest, who removed his crown and scepter, and then slapped him on the face and tugged his ears. The king was left with the impression that he only rules through the good grace of Marduk his Lord. At this point the king took on the persona of Marduk, and was viewed as being held captive ‘in the mountain’ and forced to remain in the temple.

On the sixth day the god Nabu, the son of Marduk who is his rescuer, appeared in the city. A statue of Nabu was placed within Nabu’s chapel within the temple of Marduk. The two statues prepared on day three were then brought before Nabu and a swordsman cut off their heads and threw them into a fire.

The events of the seventh day are largely a mystery but they apparently involved the rescue of Marduk from out of the ‘mountain’ by his son Nabu, the scribe of the gods who was represented by the planet Mercury.

On day eight, statues of the gods of the entire pantheon were brought forward and a ‘hush of reverence’ fell throughout the city. On this day Marduk took over a role played previously by the god Ninurta (in any case they are both based on the same historical figure), and he is credited with recapturing the ‘tablets of fate’ that are necessary for an orderly society. Marduk was then symbolically elected the head of the pantheon by all the gods.

Day nine then followed which was a day of feasting and celebration for the entire city. That night the marriage between Marduk and Inanna was consummated, with the divine roles played by the king and a royal priestess chosen for the occasion. The final two days of the ceremony were then devoted to more feasting and celebration in anticipation of a fertile new year, and in honor of Marduk, the son of Satan and ‘savior of the world.’


Human Sacrifice

Before the memory of Nimrod ascended to the head of the pantheon through Marduk, Nimrod’s memory was perpetuated through the god Ninurta of the traditional Sumerian pantheon. Baigent offers some provocative insights into this early deification of Nimrod as Ninurta, who was represented by the planet Mercury and known, along with many other titles, as the “Lord of Swine.”

Regarding the planet Mercury, it appears that this was the planet originally associated with the deified Nimrod, but with Marduk’s ascendancy and correlation with Jupiter, Mercury then became represented by Marduk’s son, the god Nabu. Like the Egyptian god Thoth and the Greek god Hermes, who were also represented by the planet Mercury, Nabu was also viewed as the scribe and messenger of the gods.

Regarding the association of Ninurta with swine, Baigent writes, 

“It is arguable that here we might see the origins of the biblical proscription of the consumption of pork, for, by forbidding the consumption of this meat, Ninurta is effectively insulted and rejected. Indeed, to abstain from pork could be the mark of a person who also abstains from the worship of this god.

    The second association appears in the book of Amos: this prophet is fulminating against his people for their widespread worship of the god Sakkut (translated as ‘Moloch’ in the King James version of the Bible), a practice which he promised would bring invasion and exile. Now the cult of Ninurta, both as a war-god and as a Sun-god, spread westward from Mesopotamia, and as Sun-god he was considered specifically to embody the god of the rising Sun, ‘he who opens the gate of sunrise.’ As god of sunrise, one of Ninurta’s titles was Sakkut — the very same opposed by Amos. We can be confident then that Ninurta’s cult was well entrenched among the Israelites during the time of the prophets...”

When the Israelites were preparing to enter the Promised Land after their Exodus from Egypt, Moses continually warned his people to stay away from the detestable religious practices of the nations that they would be coming into contact with. These nations included the Amalekites and the Philistines to the south of the Promised Land, the Edomites, and the Ammonites and Moabites (descendents of two sons of Lot, Abraham’s nephew—Genesis 19:36-38) to the east, and the Sidonians, Assyrians, Arameans and other nations to the north. These nations were all located outside of the Promised Land, but they would be Israel’s neighbors, and God warned Israel through Moses that they should not emulate their religious practices.

One of the gods that Israel was warned about repeatedly was the god Molech (or Moloch) who was worshiped by the Ammonites as their patron deity (according to 1 Kings 11:5):

“The LORD said to Moses, Say to the Israelites: ‘Any Israelite or any alien living in Israel who gives any of his children to Molech must be put to death. The people of the community are to stone him. I will set my face against that man and I will cut him off from his people; for by giving his children to Molech, he has defiled my sanctuary and profaned my holy name. If the people of the community close their eyes when that man gives one of his children to Molech and they fail to put him to death, I will set my face against that man and his family and will cut off from their people both him and all who follow him in prostituting themselves to Molech.” (Leviticus 20:1-5)

Although Israel was warned against sacrificing children to Molech, the Ammonites remained as neighbors. When Solomon became king of Israel, despite his wisdom and the blessings of great wealth that he received from the Lord, he was turned towards pagan practices by the seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines that he took for his own over the years. 1 Kings 11:7 records that Solomon built religious structures in honor of many pagan gods, including one for Molech, the god worshiped by the Ammonites.

These structures lasted for three hundred years until the good king Josiah of Judah took up the righteous campaign of eliminating all signs and memories of pagan worship from throughout the land, as recounted in 2 Kings 23. Unfortunately, the three kings of Judah that followed Josiah turned their back on God again, and the children of Israel were handed over to the kingdom of Babylon as punishment, as predicted at the time by the prophet Jeremiah,

“Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah: ‘I am the LORD, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I am about to hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, who will capture it. The Babylonians who are attacking this city will come in and set it on fire; they will burn it down, along with the houses where the people provoked me to anger by burning incense on the roofs to Baal and by pouring out drink offerings to other gods.

The people of Israel and Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth; indeed, the people of Israel have done nothing but provoke me with what their hands have made, declares the LORD. From the day it was built until now, this city has so aroused my anger and wrath that I must remove it from my sight.

The people of Israel and Judah have provoked me by all the evil they have done--they, their kings and officials, their priests and prophets, the men of Judah and the people of Jerusalem. They turned their backs to me and not their faces; though I taught them again and again, they would not listen or respond to discipline. They set up their abominable idols in the house that bears my Name and defiled it. They built high places for Baal in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech, though I never commanded, nor did it enter my mind, that they should do such a detestable thing and so make Judah sin.’” (Jeremiah 32:26-35)

Michael Baigent’s association of the Sumerian god Ninurta (the deified Nimrod "son of Enki"), known as a sun-god but also represented by the planet Mercury, with the child-sacrificing god Molech, is credible because other accounts from the ancient world also mention child-sacrifices to the god of the planet Mercury. Several of these accounts concern the Phoenician colony of Carthage that was established in 814 BC.

Carthage developed a religion that was influenced by the Canaanites, who we will get to shortly, and by the Egyptians. The chief god of Carthage was a sun-god named Baal-Hammon, who was also identified by the Greeks and Romans as a representation of their God Cronus, or Saturn.

Cleitarchus, Diodorus Siculus, and Plutarch all mention in their histories that children were often offered as sacrifices to Baal-Hammon. Diodorus Siculus writes,

“There was in their city a bronze image of Cronus extending its hands, palms up and sloping toward the ground, so that each of the children when placed thereon rolled down and fell into a sort of gaping pit filled with fire.”

Diodorus also gave an account after a Carthaginian defeat at the hands of the Greeks, when the nobles of Carthage blamed their defeat on their practice of sparing their own children and offering only peasant children to their god. They then immediately offered three hundred of their own children as a sacrifice to appease the god. As the children were cast into the flames relatives were forbidden to weep, and Plutarch adds to the account saying that “... the whole area before the statue was filled with a loud noise of flutes and drums so that the cries of wailing should not reach the ears of the people.”

The Carthaginian god Baal-Hammon was represented by a ram with two curled horns. This was the same symbol for the Egyptian god known as Amun, Ra, or Amun-Ra, who appeared late and achieved supremacy over the Egyptian pantheon by the sixteenth century BC. Amun ascended to become the all-powerful sun-god from his temple in Thebes around the same time that Marduk gained supremacy in Babylon. The Carthaginian god Baal-Hammon appears to be a god derived from a combination of the Canaanite god Baal and the Egyptian god Amun.

According to Berossus, the Babylonian priest and historian, the Greek god Cronus was simply a Greek representation of Enki, whereas Amun, Baal and Zeus were all different representations of the very same new god: Marduk the "son of Enki," who came to reign supreme over the ancient pagan pantheons.

The Greeks did not want to believe that Baal-Hammon was a representation of Zeus, their enlightened and benevolent god who ruled from Mount Olympus, so they wrote that he was more likely a representation of Cronus, the father of Zeus, who they portrayed in a very negative light in their myths and legends. But whether they looked to Zeus or Cronus as their benefactor, the same spiritual entity still stood at the center of their religious system.

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Peter Goodgame
November 22, 2004