Here's a quotation from the ancient Greek writer Homer, he's
writing in Book I of the Iliad:
"For Zeus went to the blameless Aithiopians at the Ocean
yesterday to feast, and the rest of the gods went with him.
On the twelfth day he will be coming back to Olympos....
....But when the twelfth dawn after this day appeared, the gods who
live forever came back to Olympos all in a body
and Zeus led them;"(1)
Let's look at this more closely. It doesn't say they took twelve days
to come back, it says they came back on the twelfth day. This was
to Mount Olympos in Greece, from Ethiopia.
If we look at a map, we can see that Olympos and Ethiopia on a
direct route by air are about 2000 miles apart or going around by
land, about 2500 miles distant. For the ancients, a good day's travel
was TWENTY miles. But Homer assumes that they travelled back
from Ethiopia to Olympos IN ONE DAY.
Book I of Homer's Iliad is where I began looking into the question
of the ancient gods and goddesses--the Immortals, as Homer calls
them--and what intrigued me most were lines like that. They're
nothing to do with the siege of Troy which is the story of the Iliad.
They're about Zeus and the Immortals. I listed all the lines that I
found in the Iliad that were about the Immortals: 3,153 lines out of
the total of 15,693. Slightly more than twenty per cent of the lines
were about the Immortals.
The classical period in ancient Greece had a great many educated
people world famous to this day in the arts, sciences, philosophy,
mathematics, and medicine. They were at least as intelligent as we
are. Our history books don't contain 20% related to Superior
Beings. So why their preoccupation with the Immortals?
These are very human-like gods that they tell us about, endowed
with somewhat greater powers than ordinary mortal human beings.
They have ichor in their veins and not blood. They frequently
travel by chariot through the air with horses or under the sea and
back. The Immortals can travel very quickly, as fast as thought,
without chariots, if they want to. The Immortals can injure one
another and be injured by mortals. They lived in houses, they had
bedrooms, they had beds. They married, they were unfaithful, they
were deceitful. They slept at night, they feasted by day, they tended
to congregate together in groups, they quarrelled among
themselves. And the only reason they were ruled by Zeus was
because he was more powerful than all the others, but yet he didn't
always penetrate the deceptions of his wife and sister, Hera.
I noticed that whenever an Immortal mated with a mortal, the
offspring was always mortal. Zeus himself had a mortal son,
Sarpedon, on the Trojan side of the war, and at one point in the
action, Zeus is trying to decide whether to save his son from death
on the battlefield. And Hera says,
"Do you wish to bring back a man who is mortal ...
if you bring Sarpedon back to his home, still living
think how then some other one of the gods might also
wish to carry his own son out of the strong encounter;
since around the great city of Priam are fighting many
sons of the Immortals. You will waken grim resentment among
I'd like to show you more clearly how all this fits together and how
the Immortals are constantly intervening in the Trojan war. So
here's an example of how Homer tells it in the Iliad:
"(Diomedes) in his hand caught
up a stone, a huge thing which no two men could carry
such as men are now, but by himself he lightly hefted it.
He threw and caught Aeneas in the hip...
It smashed the cup socket and broke the tendons both sides of it,
and the rugged stone tore the skin backward, so that the fighter
dropped to one knee...
Now in this place Aineias, lord of men, might have perished
had not Aphrodite, Zeus's daughter, been quick to perceive him,
his mother, who had borne him to Anchises the oxherd;
and about her beloved son came streaming her white arms,
and with her white robe thrown in a fold in front, she shielded him,
this keeping off the thrown weapons, lest some fast-mounted Danaan
strike the bronze spear through his chest and strip the life from him.
She then carried her beloved son out of the fighting." (3)
I expect some people will say Homer didn't mean the goddess was
actually there. It's just poetic convention to describe what went on
in the hero's mind. Well, let's see how the sceptics explain away
this discussion, between Ajax and another hero:
"'Aias, since some one of the gods, whose hold is Olympos,
has likened himself to the seer, and told us to fight by our vessels,
this is not Kalchas, the bird interpreter of the gods, for I knew
easily as he went away the form of his feet, the legs' form
from behind him. Gods, though gods, are conspicuous.'"(4)
Homer, the earliest known Greek writer of classical times, is said to
have lived about 750 BCE (before Christian era). But there was
also Hesiod. Hesiod attempts to tell us more about the history of
the Immortals, and he does this in a poem called "The Works and
"In the beginning, the Immortals
who have their homes on Olympos
created the golden generation of mortal people.
These lived in Kronos' time, when he
was king in heaven...
They lived ... without hard work or pain; ...
Next after these the dwellers upon Olympos created
a second generation, of silver, far worse
than the other.
... for they were not able
to keep away from
reckless crime against each other...
Zeus, son of Kronos, in anger engulfed them...
then Zeus ... created the third generation
the Age of Bronze.... They were terrible
and strong ...
Yet even these (were) destroyed beneath the hands
of each other, ...
for all they were formidable black death
Now when the earth had gathered over this generation
also, Zeus, son of Kronos, created yet another
fourth generation on fertile Earth,
and these were better and nobler,
the wonderful generation of hero-men, who are also
called half-gods, the generation before our own
on this vast Earth...
But of these too, evil war and the terrible carnage
took some by seven-gated Thebes...
Others ... fought for the sake
of lovely-haired Helen.
There, for these, the end of death was misted
After this, Zeus of the wide brows
established yet one more
generation of men, the fifth...
Here now is the Age of Iron. Never by daytime
will there be an end to hard work and pain,
nor in the night
to weariness..." (5)
We have another clue to what is going on here from a man called
Solon, quoted by Plato in one of his Dialogues, the Critias; Solon
being a Greek legislator and a poet who lived in the 600s BCE and
of course Plato lived in the late 400s BCE. So here it is:
"In the days of old, the gods had the whole earth distributed among
them by allotment, and peopled their own districts. They tended us,
their nurslings and possessions, but governed us according to their
own pleasure. They implanted brave children of the soil and put into
their minds the order of government. Many great deluges have taken
place during the 9,000 years which have elapsed since the time of
which I'm speaking. When there were any survivors, they were men
who lived in the mountains, ignorant of the art of writing, and this is
why the names of the ancients have been preserved to us and not their
actions. Poseidon, receiving for his lot an island, begat children by a
mortal woman. He himself, being a god, found no difficulty in
bringing up springs of water from beneath the earth and making every
variety of food come abundantly from the soil. He begat and brought
up five pairs of twin male children, the first-born king over the rest,
the others princes. For many generations, as long as the divine
nature lasted in them, they were obedient to the laws and were
affectioned towards the god whose seed they were, for they possessed
true and in every way great spirits. But when the divine portion began
to fade away and become diluted too often and too much with mortal
admixture, and the human nature got the upper hand, they then grew
visibly debased, full of avarice and unrighteous power. Zeus, the god
of gods, who rules according to law and is able to see such things,
perceiving that an honourable race was in woeful plight and wanting
to inflict punishment on them, that they might be chastened and
improved, collected all the gods. And when he had called them
together, he spoke as follows." (6)
That's all we've got. It breaks off in the middle. I went through a
genealogical list of the Immortals and I found at least 2,500 gods
and goddesses. (7) So what happened to them all? Probably the
best-known explanation comes from the poet Ovid, just shortly
before AD 1. He's writing about the Age of Iron and this is what he
"All evil burst forth into this age of baser metal. Modesty and truth
and faith fled, and in their place, war came. Men lived on plunder.
Guest was not safe from host, nor father-in-law from son-in-law.
Even among brothers, it was rare to find affection. Piety lay
vanquished and the maiden Astraea, the last of the Immortals,
abandoned the blood-soaked earth."(8)
We can see from the story of the Iliad, the situation got out of hand.
The mortals and Immortals were hopelessly involved with one
another in the fall of Troy city, because so many of the Immortals
had mated with so many mortals and produced mortal offspring.
But, as we can see from elsewhere with what we've quoted, this
purified or improved the stock of the mortals, but from the
Immortal point of view, there were so many cities, so many people,
they were crowded together, fighting one another, the situation got
out of control, and in the end, so Ovid is telling us, they left the
We began with a quotation from Homer. He said Zeus and the
other Olympians went to Ethiopia. What were the Greek gods and
goddesses doing in Ethiopia anyway? And now I'd like us to try to
answer that question.
1. Homer, The Iliad, translated by Richmond Lattimore, Chicago.
University of Chicago press, 1951. Book I lines 423-6, 493-5, abridged. (Note:
all abridgements are by Edward Furlong)
2. Homer (op. cit.) Book 16 lines 439-449 abridged.
3. Homer (op. cit.) Book 5 lines 302-318 abridged.
4. Homer (op. cit.) Book 13 lines 68-72 abridged.
5. Hesiod. The works and Days, translated by Richmond Lattimore, Ann
Arbor, University of Michigan Press 1977 Lines 109-178 abridged.
6. Jowett, B. The Dialogues of Plato, London Oxford University
Press,(=OUP) 3rd edition, 1924, Vol. III, Critias, pages 530-543, abridged.
7. Barthell, Edward E. Jr., Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece, Coral
Gables, Florida, University of Miami, 1971.
Zeus and his family of gods and goddesses were probably headed
for Aksum in north Ethiopia about 150 miles from the source of the
Blue Nile and 300 miles or so from the "ocean" (Indian Ocean).
Aksum is a very ancient place with altars and obelisks including the
largest obelisk ever found, weighing over 500 tons. Humans in later
times carved obelisks from solid rock and raised them to honour
where their ancestors said the Immortals had been. These sites were
called holy places.
We don't appear to have an ancient written language available to us
in Ethiopia, so let's go down the Nile from Ethiopia to Egypt where
there were many obelisks. What we'll find there is that the
Egyptians kept records on events going back to about 3,300 BCE,
which is 2,000 years earlier than the Trojan war. Did the Egyptians
have any Immortals? They certainly did. Here's what a famous
Egyptologist, Sir Alan Gardiner, has to say:
"The first writers to provide their fellow countrymen with elaborate
descriptions of Egypt and the Egyptians were two Greeks, Herodotus,
that great genius, and Hecateus. The queerest fancy of the Greek
visitors was that the gods and goddesses worshipped by the Egyptians
were none other than their own Kronos, Hephaestos, Zeus, Apollo,
Aphrodite, and the rest. But it will be well to recall what the
Egyptians themselves had to say about their remote past. No explicit
statement dates from earlier than the 1200s BC, when the Turin
Canon furnishes us with an account". (9)
Professor Donald Redford tells us:
"Where it can be checked, the Turin Canon is remarkably accurate."
And Sir Alan Gardiner again:
"In this authority, the oldest kings belong to the great Ennead, a
family of nine deities. (11) These deities multiplied offspring on this
earth. They are succeeded as kings by a number of monarchs
described as demigods. After this, a number of broken lines conclude
with the followers of Horus, or exalted spirits, or heroes, the
immediate predecessors (12) of the first historical dynasty somewhat
before 3999 BC. The king was chosen by the god Tem or the god
Amen. The kings on the throne of Egypt believed in all seriousness
that they had divine blood in their veins and they acted as they thought
gods would act.(13) The priesthood of a temple was divided into two
main classes: the haia, bearing the title meaning literally 'god's
servant', usually translated by scholars as 'prophet'. The ritual
employed in most temples from the early times was that of the god's
toilet, the cult image being washed, anointed, dressed and finally
presented with a meal." (14)
So Zeus and his group travelled back and forth to North Africa
because they were all related to the local Immortals. The Egyptians
had the same sequence of rulers as the Greeks, you'll notice, and the
priests were personal attendants who provided the Immortals they
served with washing facilities and food. Can we find out how far
back it was when the Immortals were here? Herodotus did discuss
this with the Egyptian priests, and here's what he reports about the
Greek god Heracles. That's the Roman god Hercules.
"Heracles is a very ancient god of the Egyptians. As they themselves
say, it was 17,000 years to the time when Amosis began to reign, since
the twelve gods, whereof they hold Heracles to be one, were born from
the eight. The Egyptians and their priests showed that there had been
341 generations of men from the first king until this last. Now three
generations of men are an hundred years, thus in 11,340 years, they
said that no god in the form of a man had been king."(15)
KINGS OF EGYPT
ACCORDING TO HERODOTUS
18,500 BCE -- 12 gods born from the eight,
Heracles was one of the 12
18,500 BCE -- 12,840 BCE = 5,660 years
During these 5,660 years gods
12,840 BCE -- 1,500 BCE = 11,340 years
During these 11,340 years men
1,500 BCE -- Amosis King
Approximate conventional dating
18,500 BCE less 1,500 BCE = the 17,000 years according to
1500 BCE -- 2,000 AD -- Present day = 3,500 years.
Let's comment on that. Amosis founded the 18th Egyptian dynasty
in the 1,500s BCE, and that gives about 18,500 BCE for the time of
Heracles. If, as Herodotus reports, men began to rule almost
11,340 years earlier (12,840 BCE), that fits quite well with such
archaeological evidence as we have as to the beginnings of the
change from hunter gatherers to the domestication of crops and
animals. All the ancient cultures credit the Immortals with having
provided them with the requirements of civilization. And on the
information from Herodotus, the last Immortal ruler would have
been about 13,000 BCE.
Now let's look at some genuine ancient Egyptian evidence.
Probably quite a few of us have seen or heard about the beautiful
works of art found in the tomb of Tutankamun, or Tutan-kamen, as
some people call him. We're now going to read, in translation, the
actual words carved in stone on one of his inscriptions about 3,300
"Now His Majesty appeared as king at a time when the temples of the
gods and goddesses had fallen into ruin and their shrines become
dilapidated. They had turned into mounds overgrown with weeds and
it seemed their sanctuaries had never existed. Their enclosures were
criss-crossed with footpaths. This land had been struck by
catastrophe. The gods had turned their backs upon it. If one prayed
to a god to ask something of him, he would never come at all. If one
supplicated any goddess, likewise, she would never come at all." (16)
If Herodotus is right, we can see what caused this neglect. The
Immortals hadn't been present for a very long time and the
memory of them was obviously wearing quite thin.
When we were talking about Homer's Iliad, I said that mixed
mortal-Immortal matings produced mortals. But in Egypt, we
come across the god Osiris, who was murdered by the god Seth.
How do we explain the death of a god? Well, it's quite simple,
really. The Egyptian Immortals were always shown holding a
so-called sceptre. A mortal king was never shown with this. Kings
had a shepherd's crook crossed over with a flail, used to thresh
grain. It seems clear that Osiris was a mortal king because he was
shown with just the crook and flail, and sometimes with a sceptre of
the Immortals as well, but not with a sceptre alone. He was the
product of a mixed mortal-immortal union, and so mortal, and was
killed. Later, he was seen as king of the dead and eternity, and said
to have been elevated to immortality.
I think the best way to illustrate the Osiris tradition is to show you
part of the ancient Egyptian story of the god Ra and Isis, the wife of
Osiris. Here's a translation of the actual ancient Egyptian text:
"Behold, Isis was in the form of a woman skilled in words. Her heart
rebelled at the millions of men. She chose rather the millions of the
gods and she esteemed the millions of the spirits. Could she not, like
Ra, make herself mistress of the earth and a goddess? she meditated in
her heart. Ra had become old, the divine one. He dribbled at his
mouth. He poured out his exudations upon the ground and his spittle
fell upon the earth. Isis made a serpent which bit Ra, and he cried
out, 'Come to me, ye gods, I am wounded by something deadly. I do
not know what it is. Behold, it is not fire. Behold, it is not water. My
heart contains fire, my limbs are trembling." Came Isis with her
skilled mouth. She said, 'What is this, oh father god? What is it? I
will make it depart.' (Then Ra repeated his symptoms and Isis replied)
'Tell me your name, father god. Lives the person who has declared
his name.' Ra said, 'I am the maker of heaven and earth. I have set
the soul of the gods within them. I am the maker of hours, the creator
of days.' Said Isis to Ra, Thy name is not enumerated among the
things which you have said to me. Tell it to me and shall come out the
poison.' The poison, it burned with burnings. It was stronger than
the flame of fire. Said the majesty of Ra, 'I give myself to be searched
out by Isis. Shall come forth my name from my body into her body.'
Then Isis, great in words of power, said 'Run out, poison, come forth
from Ra. Ra, may he live, the poison, may it die." (17)
There's a mistranslation here. Of course Isis knew Ra's name.
That's not what she was after. She wanted something he had and
could give her which would make her one of the Immortals, or so
she thought. We don't know whether it was something inside him
that could be removed, or an external attachment. If you look at a
representation of the Immortal RE (or RA) you will see there is an
attachment at his waist and RE is not the only Immortal who is
represented with this particular device, whatever it is.
The wording makes it clear enough that Isis was a scheming mortal
who tried to arrange to become an Immortal, and so somehow
resurrect Osiris. The Egyptians seem to have become fascinated
with this particular story, and that's probably why they had a
preoccupation with the world after death. So we'd better look at
their Book of the Dead.
"In the first dynasty, the Book of the Dead was so long as to need
abbreviation. The mistakes made by the scribes in about 3,300 BC
show that the copyists were dealing with texts that were at that time
already so old as to be unintelligible in places, and they copied without
understanding what they were copying. The ancient Egyptians called
their hieroglyphics 'the speech of the gods'. The whole of the Book of
the Dead was assumed to be the composition of the god Thoth, and
certain chapters, it was said, he wrote with his own fingers. Thoth
was the Greek Hermes, the Roman Mercury. It was Thoth who taught
Isis how to revivify the dead body of Osiris. One part of the Book of
the Dead gives words to recite when the deceased is being examined by
the gods in the other world. Thoth steadied a great balance standing
in the centre of the hall. The heart of the dead person was placed in
one pan and a feather, symbol of truth, in the other. The human
heart was regarded by the Egyptians as the centre of consciousness.
As each denial came from the person's lips, he would be judged by his
own heart in the balance. If it weighed equal with truth, all was well.
If it sank in the scales, it was heavy with sin and the dead man would
be devoured on the spot and cease to exist."(18)
What are gods doing in this hall of judgement of the dead? We can
expect Osiris to be there, as he was of mixed mortal-immortal
parentage. But what about the great gods, such as Thoth? It's said
that the Egyptians in the earliest times thought the gods had the
same passions as men and grew old and died like men. But Homer
said the Immortals live forever. So are the Immortals really
immortal? Let's look at another ancient culture and see what
happened to their Immortals. Well, actually we don't have to look
9. GARDINER, Sir Alan, Egypt of the Pharaohs, London, OUP 1978 Book I
pages 1-3, abridged, Book III page 420 abridged.
10. REDFORD, Donald B., Pharaonic King-Lists, Annals and Day-Books,
Mississauga, Ontario, Benben Publications, 1986, page 16 abridged.
11. GARDINER, Sir Alan, (op.cit) Book III page 421 excerpt, abridged.
12. GARDINER, Sir Alan, (op.cit.) Book III page 421 excerpt, abridged.
"The Egyptian God Seth was recognized as the chief god of the
Libyans called Ash; by the Canaanites as their chief god called Ba'al.
He was the chief god of the Hittites, Teshub; and he was known to the
Greeks as the giant, Typhon. Ra, one of the great gods of the
Egyptians, was known to the Babylonians as Marduk." (19)
So now let's look at the ancient Mesopotamian cultures -- the
Babylonians, the Assyrian, and the Sumerian and that's the oldest
of the three. The Assyrians have their seven tables of creation
written in cuneiform, and here's what one of the great Egyptologists
of the 20th century has to say on this:
"The three pairs of gods of the Assyrians agree exactly with the first
three pairs of gods of the oldest Egyptian company of gods, and the
points of resemblance are striking. The tablets contain some
Assyrianized forms of ancient Sumerian words, which proves the
original tradition must be Sumerian in remote antiquity. The
similarity between the two companies of gods seems to be too close to
be accidental. We are therefore driven to the conclusion that both the
Sumerians and early Egyptians derived their primeval gods from some
common but exceedingly ancient source." (20)
This is no big surprise for us because if the Immortals were actually
physically present, which is the theory we're testing, then they
didn't just resemble one another, they WERE the same Immortals
and their families.
Let's go back to the Sumerians, the oldest Mesopotamian culture.
The black-headed people, as they called themselves. They came
from the delta end of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Now it's
south Iraq. It's just marsh or desert there unless it's carefully
irrigated and cultivated. Apart from translation difficulties and
preservation problems with these clay tablets in cuneiform, here's
what the Sumerians tell us about their origins, exactly as it was
written thousands of years ago.
"Oh river, who brought forth all things, when the great gods dug you
out, they set prosperity on your banks. Traversing wide marshes was
the river. Marduk laid reeds in the face of the water. He piled up
earthen banks and sheltered them behind the reeds." (21)
Here's a comment from a modern scholar:
"The Tigris enters its delta at Bel'el, where were situated the famous
weirs of antiquity; which must have held up the water of the Tigris to
a height of ten metres. The site is known locally as Nimrod's Dam
I should explain that in some areas, the rivers had to be contained
by embankments because they flowed above the level of the desert
plain. The Nimrod of the Bible was Marduk, who the Sumerians
have just told us was the Immortal who did all this work. Now
here's more of what the Sumerians said about their beginnings:
"After Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninhursag had fashioned the
black-headed people, animals were brought artfully into existence.
After kingship had been lowered from heaven, the Immortals
perfected the ordinances, founded the cities, apportioned them their
rulers, established the cleaning of the small rivers." (23)
Much of the rest is lost or damaged, but we can pick up the story
from the slightly later Akkadians, a little further north.
"Asaru, bestower of cultivation, creator of grain and herbs, Enbilul,
who established roast offerings, who regulates for the land grazing
and watering places, who opened the wells, the irrigator who
established seed rows, dam and ditch regulates, who delimits the
furrow. The plough and the yoke, Enki directed, made grain to grow
in the perennial field. Enki then created the pickaxe and thebrickmould, and various building implements, laid foundations and built
What the Immortals are said to be doing here is setting up a society.
They modified the people, domesticated cereals and animals,
provided equipment. Then they established kings to rule for them.
Finally came the divine laws, their regulations governing these
mortals in the built-up areas:
"We can see that the Mesopotamians were convinced that they
received civilization as gift from the gods, and this is the way to
understand kingship coming down from heaven. At first, the
Immortals ruled, then they passed that function on to chosen mortals,
and gave it as an institution for regulating society. The Immortals
had long ago taught the human race what it needed to know." (25)
All this fits quite well with our archaeology today. We have
diffusionists, who think everything spread from one source.
Popularly now, it's the Great Rift in Africa. Others think that
civilization rose spontaneously, in various places. The ancient
writers tell us that it did rise spontaneously in different locations,
deliberately, because the Immortals put it there when they
apportioned out the various habitable areas between them. But
there's another side to this ancient explanation of the start of
civilization. It's not just that the Immortals started it. We're told
that the lesser Immortals rebelled against the great Immortals
because they were tired of cutting canals and so on. So the
Immortals held an assembly to deal with the problem, and here's
what they decided:
"Let one god be slaughtered. From his flesh and blood, let Nintu mix
clay, that the god and man may be thoroughly mixed in the clay. And
the assembly answered yes, the great Anunnaki who administered
destinies. We-ila, who had personality, they slaughtered in their
assembly. From his flesh and blood Nintu mixed clay. For the rest of
time, they heard the drum. From theflesh of the god, there was aspirit. It proclaimed living man as its sign. She opened her mouth
and addressed the great gods. 'You commanded me a task. I have
completed it. You have slaughtered a god, together with his
personality. I have removed your heavy work. I have imposed your
toil on man.'" (26)
We seem to have more translation difficulties here, but we can get
the gist of the story. A new type of mortal was created, to do the
work of the lesser Immortals. This fits in with Homer's Iliad, where
he refers to the beast men. (27) Presumably here we're being told
that a more primitive type of human was taken and given some of
the spirit, or personality, of the Immortals, and that created a
better type of servant. The ancient writers didn't doubt that
civilized mortals, as they knew them, were created by the
Immortals to do their work for them, and that's how the work of
civilization was completed.
Both the Egyptians and Mesopotamians kept so-called "king lists",
(28) which purport to go back to the Immortal rulers from the
historical period we at least know something about. Here is the
familiar pattern again. First, the Immortals are mentioned, this
time with extremely long ruling periods. Then the demigods,
Gilgamesh is one, with 126 years, still superhuman. Then we have
mortal kingships, which are quite normal lengths, down to Sargon,
and today we date him at about 2,300 BCE.
I should explain that although the great Immortals were the same
everywhere, their offspring were in the thousands, and these settled
down in various localities and became lesser local gods and
goddesses, and, of course, these were all different. The part
Immortals, like the Mesopotamian Gilgamesh, were also of course
different people in different cultures. Gilgamesh was said to be
two-thirds Immortal (29) I didn't quite see how that was arranged
until a mathematics professor sent me a half page proof, so now I
accept that the Gilgamesh epic is correct. But because he was only
part Immortal, he died, and mortal-Immortal procreation was easy
because it wasn't wise for mortals to refuse the advances of
Immortals, though some of them did. Here's an example. It's part
of the story of Gilgamesh and Ishtar. She's Aphrodite or Venus:
"Glorious Ishtar raised an eye at the beauty of Gilgamesh. 'Come
Gilgamesh, be my lover! Do but grant me of your fruit. You shall be
my husband and I will be your wife.' Gilgamesh opened his mouth to
speak. 'If I take you in marriage, you are a back door which does not
keep out wind storms, a shoe which pinches the foot of its owner.
Which lover did you love forever? For Tammuz, the lover of your
youth, you have ordained wailing year after year. Then you loved the
keeper of the herd, who ash cakes ever did heap up for you, daily
slaughtered kids for you. Yet you struck him, turning him into a wolf,
so that his own herd boys drive him off. Then you loved your father's
gardener, who baskets of dates ever did bring to you. Your eyes raised
at him, you went to him. "Oh, let me taste of your vigour." He said,
"What do you want with me? Do reeds afford cover against the
cold?" As you heard him talk, you struck him and turned him into a
spider. If you were to love me, you would treat me like them." When
Ishtar heard this, Ishtar was enraged and went to heaven, went before
Anu, her father, and said, 'My father, Gilgamesh has heaped insults
upon me. Gilgamesh has recounted my offences and my curses."
Anu opened his mouth to speak, 'But surely you invited'... Ishtar
opened her mouth to speak, saying, 'My father, make me the bull of
heaven, that he may strike down Gilgamesh. If you don't, I'll raise up
the dead, so that they outnumber the living.'" (30)
And, of course, Anu, her Immortal father, gives way to her. But all
these goings-on were a long way back, well before recorded history,
although it seems clear that Gilgamesh was an actual king in the
prehistory of Sumer, just as Osiris was in Egypt. Let's move down
closer to recorded history now and try to find what's left of the
divine laws we heard about earlier. Hammurabi begins the
prologue to his law code by saying that the Immortals appointed
him ruler (31), but elsewhere we find that he asks for omens before
a battle. Now, if that information is factual, then the Immortals
had already left or died out, because as a ruler you don't ask the
priests for omens if the Immortals are there to consult as to what to
do. So the Immortals had probably all gone or died out before the
1600s BCE., and Hammurabi probably improved and revised the
older collection of precedents that had come down to him. There is
one more somewhat delicate but important matter we have to
discuss, and that's what went on in the temples.
A temple was a house of god, not a place of worship. There was
never any doubt in the mind of an early civilized mortal that the
temples were the dwelling places of the Immortals, although they
travelled elsewhere quite freely. (32) Tables loaded with meats and
show bread were set out in the great temples specifically for the
Immortals in the various cities, such as the temple of Bel at
Babylon. It was certainly believed that the Immortals actually
consumed the meals.(33) The Immortals were provided with
regular meals in large quantities, four times a day, and drinks
called libations went with them, mostly morning, milk; afternoon
and evening, beer and wine. (34) Of course, this presented the
priests with problems, after the Immortals no longer visited the
The palaces were always placed next to the temples, (35) which is
why the kings in early times were able to get quick advice on what
to do. "Heaven" originally meant a high place on earth. That's
why stepped pyramids we now call ziggurats, or temples, were built
on the flat plain.
There was an outer court, 900 feet by 1200 feet. The ziggurat rose
in seven stages to a height of 300 feet. At the top was the room of
the Immortal. In the Immortal sanctuary there was just a couch of
gold and a golden table for the show bread, usually 12 loaves
unleavened. Only a woman was allowed to enter the sanctuary of a
male Immortal. (36)
The woman was chosen by the male Immortal, just as in Thebes, in
Egypt, and she didn't have intercourse with mortals. (37) The
provision of the vestal virgins at the temple dates from a very early
period, and here's a modern scholar's comment on that:
"The material at our disposal is as yet too meagre to enable us to
specify the nature of the institution or the share in the cult allotted to
these virgins." (38)
It seems to me to be fairly obvious why they were selected by the
priests and lined up in the temple. And I might add that a
narrative of the birth of the Immortals, accompanied by an
extended pedigree, was carefully preserved by all the ancient Near
Eastern temples and palaces, (39) and this pedigree included the
So far we've discussed the Immortals in ancient Greece, Egypt, and
Mesopotamia, but we haven't yet mentioned the land of Canaan,
and that's what we'll discuss next.
19. VELDE, H. Te; Seth, God of Confusion, Leiden, E .J. Brill, 1967, page 3
(quoting Plutarch) excerpt, page 109, excerpt amended, also:
BUDGE, E. A. Wallis, Tutankhamen, page 60, excerpt, amended.
20. BUDGE, E. A. Wallis, The Gods of the Egyptians, p.289, 290, excerpts.
21. WILLCOCKS, Sir W., Geographical Journal of the Royal Geographical
Society, London, No.2 Vol. XL August 1912, page 130, excerpt.
22. WILLCOCKS, Sir W., (op. cit.) Page 140, excerpt.
23. PRITCHARD, James B., Ancient Near Eastern Texts (A. N. E.T.)
Princeton University Press, 1950, page 43, abridged excerpt.
24. A. N. E.T. page 70, 71, excerpts abridged, also:
KRAMER, Samuel Noah, History Begins at Sumer, London, Thames &
Hudson, 1961, page 150, excerpt, page 151, excerpt, amended.
25. LAMBERT, W.G. & Millard, A.R., Atrahasis, The Babylonian Flood
Story and the Sumerian Flood Story by M. CIVIL, Oxford, The Clarendon
Press, 1969, page 18, excerpt, amended.
26. LAMBERT, W.G., (op. cit.) Page 59, abridged.
27. HOMER, The Iliad. (Op. cit.) Book I, line 267.
28. A. N. E. T. page 265 (Sumerian); REDFORD, Donald B. (Op. cit.)
29. SANDARS, N. K., The Epic of Gilgamesh, Harmondsworth, England,
Penguin, 1974, page 21.
30. A. N. E.T. page 83-4 Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VI, abridged, also:
SANDARS, N. K., (op. cit.) Pages 85-87.
31. A. N. E. T. page 164 (Note: for the Hammurabi law code see pages
32. WATTERSON, Barbara, The Gods of Ancient Egypt, London, B. T.
Batsford, 1984, page 25, also:
SAGGS. H. W. F. The Encounter with the Divine in Mesopotamia and Israel,
University of London, The Athlone Press, 1978, page 24, also:
JASTROW, Morris Jr. Aspects of Religious Belief and Practice in Babylonia
and Assyria, New York, Benjamin Bloom, revised 1971 page 265, page 268
(quoting Flinders Petrie).
33. SMITH, W. Robertson, The Religion of the Semites, New York, Meridian
Books, 1957, page 225 (quoting Herodotus).
34. LLOYD, Seton, The Archaeology of Mesopotamia, London, Thames &
Hudson, 1978, page 44 also
SAGGS, H. W. F., Everyday Life in Babylon, London, B.T. Batsford, 1965,
35. JASTROW, Morris, Jr. (op. cit.) Page 16.
36. SAYCE, A.H., The Religion of Ancient Egypt and Babylonia, Edinburgh,
T & T Clark, 1902, pages 454-5 excerpts.
37. BAILEY, James, The God-Kings and the Titans, London, Hodder &
Stoughton, 1973, page 110 (quoting Herodotus op. cit. I 181-2)
Some of the Immortals didn't have temples, houses of gods, to go to,
and that includes certain gods of the Canaanites. We knew very
little about the Immortals in the land of Canaan until the 1920s AD,
when a Syrian ploughman scraped over a tomb. That led to the
discovery of the ancient Canaanite city of Ugarit. Its literature is
almost entirely about the Immortals, some fifty or so of them. (40)
The head of the group was El, with a grey beard, the kindly one, the
father of years. There was a young Immortal, Ba'al, who was
equally well known. He needed El's permission to build a house.
Ba'al wanted help from his sister and consort, Anat, to get the
permission he needed. Here's part of the message he sent to Anat,
and that would have been written down about 3400 years ago:
"Message of Ba'al the conqueror, the word of the conqueror of
Remove war from the earth.
Set love in the ground, pour peace into the heart of the earth,
rain down love on the heart of the fields.
Hasten, hurry, rush, run to me with your feet,
race to me with your legs,
for I have a word to tell you, a story to recount to you.
The word of the tree and the charm of the stone,
the whisper of the heavens to the earth, of the seas to the stars.
I understand the lightning which the heavens do not know,
the word which men do not know, and earth's masses cannot
Come, and I will reveal it." (41)
El, the old grey-bearded Canaanite god, the father of years, finally
gives permission for Ba'al to build his house. Have we met El
before? The ancient writers think so. They tell us he's Kronos, the
older god the Greeks knew, one of the twelve Titans and the father
of Zeus. (42) Did El, Ba'al and these other Immortals of this group
have feasts and eat sacrifices? Of course they did:
"El prepared game in his palace, provisions in the midst of his temple.
He summoned the gods to cut meat. The gods ate and drank. They
drank wine until satiated, new wine until inebriated." (43)
The need to make sacrifices to all the Canaanite Immortals,
especially El and Ba'al, was deeply ingrained in the Canaanites.
Now we're ready to look at the Immortals in the Bible, and I should
warn you, we're going to find some surprising things.
40. VIROLLEAUD, CH. The Gods of Phoenicia, Antiquity (a journal) Vol.5,
1931, page 405.
41. COOGAN, Michael David, Stories from Ancient Canaan, Philadelphia,
The Westminster Press, 1978, page 91-92, excerpt.
42. VIROLLEAUD, CH. (op.cit.) Page 404, "The ancients whose knowledge
in this domain undoubtedly reached back further than ours, said that Belos
or Baal was Zeus, whilst ... El was confused with Kronos."
43. MULLEN, E. Theodore Jr. (Harvard) The Divine Council in Canaanite
and Early Hebrew Literature; Chico, California, The Scholars Press page
265 (with EF amendment from 'to mess' to 'to cut meat' see note 249 on page 265)
What's an angel? An Immortal, and there are many angels in the
Bible stories. And what the translators refer to as God is Yhwh,
without vowels. This became in time a word too holy to be spoken,
so Adonai, meaning Lord, any lord really, was spoken instead of
Yhwh. By then vowels were used, so the vowels for Adonai were
placed with Y-h-w-h to indicate you were to say Adonai instead.
Later translators didn't realize this so they put the Adonai vowels
into Yhwh in error, and that's how the translation as Jehovah
came about which is impossible in Hebrew.(44)
Assemblies of the Immortals occur time and again in the literature
of the Bronze Age cultures. We find these assemblies of Immortals
recorded in the Bible, but they're disguised. In the first chapter of
Genesis, the one word used throughout, which is translated into
English as 'God', is actually Elohim, and 'Elohim' means
'Immortals', in the plural. The singular for Immortal was also from
El, Eloah, which is not used at all in Genesis, chapter I, so there is
no single god referred to in Genesis I. There's an Immortal
assembly or divine council going on in Genesis I. It decides, 'Let us
make man in our image'. (45) And there's the vestige of an
Immortal assembly described in the biblical story of the Tower of
Babel. 'Let us go down and confound their language.'(46)
The clearest example of the existence of the group of Immortals led
by Yhwh, comes from the First Book of Kings. It's chapter 22,
verses 19 to 22. King Ahab of Israel had installed about 400 priests
of Ba'al. here's a modern translation of the action which follows:
"I saw Jehovah sitting on his throne, and all the Immortals standing
by him, to his right and to his left. And Jehovah said, Who will fool
Ahab so that he gets up and dies at the battle of Ramoth Gilead? And
one began to say something like this, and another said something like
that. Finally one Immortal came out and stood before Jehovah and
said, I will fool him. At that, Jehovah said to him, How? To this he
said, I will go and be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets.
And Jehovah said, That will do it. You'll succeed with that plan. Go
out there and do it that way." (47)
I think that's enough evidence to make it clear that there was a
group of Immortals led by Yhwh, just as there were local groups of
Immortals in the other Bronze Age cultures. But we're not only
dealing with various Immortal groups. The so-called "one God"
said to be portrayed in the Bible actually begins as El and later in
Genesis includes various other local Immortals in Canaan as well.
Here are a few examples and how these names have been
El-Roi, God, Genesis 16:13.
El-Olam, the everlasting God, Genesis 21:33.
El-Elohe-Israel, an altar, Genesis 33:20.
El-Bethel, God of Bethel Genesis 31:13.
El-Elyon, the most high God, Genesis 14,19.
El-Shadday, the almighty God, Genesis 17:1. (48)
"El-Shadday" actually means "El, the one of the mountain." (49)
And you'll have noticed Jacob's 'altar', El-Elohe-Israel, has three
references to El. "Israel" itself is a compound word, referring to
the Immortal "El". None of these Immortal references have
anything to do with Jehovah. I might add one more point. There
are only two angels mentioned by name in the Bible, two more
Immortals, Michael and Gabriel. Both are compound words
invoking El, Micha-el and Gabri-el. In Genesis, we are constantly
meeting various Immortals, but it's written in such a way as to
disguise it. Abraham is described as a 'prophet.' That really means
as mentioned earlier, 'servant of the gods' or 'messenger of the
Immortals.' The prophets were mortal or half-Immortal couriers
who had attended at the Immortal meetings and carried the
decisions directly, first-hand, to the mortals. (50) So now let's just
take one story about Abraham to prove my point about the physical
contact with the Immortals. I'd like you to please note how the text
slides from men, to the Lord, to angels -- all in the same story and
all concerning Abraham and the same three Immortals. Here it is:
It begins at Genesis, chapter 18, verse one, and develops into the
narrative of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. Both
Abraham and Lot are involved. The wording of the first verse is
ambiguous, but it seems the intent is to say that one day, while
Abraham was sitting in his tent doorway in the heat of the day, he
met the Lord. Verse two then follows:
"And he lifted up his eyes and looked, and lo, three men stood by him,
and when he saw them he ran to meet them from the tent door and
bowed himself toward the ground and said, My Lord."
Abraham goes on to offer them a little water to wash their feet, rest
under the tree, a morsel of bread. To accomplish this, he hastens to
Sarah, telling her to make cakes, and he himself runs to the herd,
fetches a good, tender calf, has it dressed. The cooking or searing
or roasting is not mentioned, but presumably took place. Abraham
took butter and milk, and the dressed calf, and set all before them.
"And he stood by them under the tree and they did eat."
All this preparation must have taken an hour or two, during which
time they apparently waited. Then comes verse 16.
"And the men rose up from thence and looked towards Sodom, and
Abraham went with them to bring them on the way. And the Lord
said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do? And the Lord
said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great and because
their sin is very grievous, I will go down now and see whether they
have done according to the cry of it. And the men turned their face
from thence and went towards Sodom. But Abraham stood yet before
the Lord. And Abraham drew near and said, Wilt thou also destroy
the righteous with the wicked? That be far from thee to do after this
manner. Shall not the judge of all the earth do right? And the Lord
said, If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare
all the place for their sakes."
As we know, Abraham with great skill, subtlety and courage
bargained the Lord down to ten. Then, verse 33:
"And the Lord went his way. And there came two angels to Sodom,
and Lot seeing them, rose up to meet them, and he bowed himself with
his face toward the ground. And he said, Behold now, my lords, turn
in I pray you unto your servant's house and tarry all night."
I hope you noticed how the text shifted between men and Lord and
angels, when the same three beings are clearly referred to, and we
had three Immortals eating humanly prepared cakes and meat and
drinking milk. There can be no necessity for this, unless one has
flesh and bone or other physical matter which has to be energized
44. DAICHES, David; Moses: Men in the Wilderness, Wiedenfeld &
Nicholson, London, 1975, p.49.
45. THE BIBLE, First book of Moses, Genesis, (King James Version referred
to throughout unless otherwise stated) Chapter I, verse 26.
46. THE BIBLE, Genesis Chapter 11, verse 7.
47. THE BIBLE, (New World Translation with language updated and
explanatory amendment for readers by Edward Furlong).
48. ALT, Albrecht, Essays on Old Testament History and Religion: The God
of the Fathers, translated by R.A. Wilson, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1966,
pages 8-9, also:
L'HEUREUX, Conrad E., Rank Among the Canaanite Gods (Harvard
Semitic Monograph) Scholars Press, Missoula, Montana, 1979, pages 53-55.
There is an early Greek reference to the departure of some of the
Immortals from the eastern Mediterranean area:
"Zeus created yet another, fourth generation on the fertile Earth, . . . .
But of these, too, evil war, and the terrible carnage, took some. But
on others, Zeus, son of Kronos, settled a living and a country of their
own far from humankind, at the ends of the world, and there they had
their dwelling place and hearts free of sorrow in the islands of the
blessed by the deep, swirling stream of the ocean. These live far from
the Immortals and Kronos is king among them. For Zeus, father of
gods and mortals, set him free from his bondage." (51)
What we have here are islands, far from the Greek Immortals, by
the ocean, at the end of the world.
Since there is little between Europe and the Americas except ocean
and a few small islands, the logical place to look for the
reappearance of the immortal Kronos is the western continents, the
Americas. Here, he could have found an area thinly peopled, at a
time when the Near East had become so overpopulated with
aggressive, culture-laden, competitive, mixed mortal-Immortal
stock that a secure life of comfortable suzerainty was no longer
possible there. Because no formal studies on the subject have been
done, we know very little about the Immortal lifestyle, their habits,
capabilities; but certain features are evident. They used stone for
all general purposes, wherever available, whether for city walls,
their homes, or public places. The first great pyramids, with
incredible engineering precision, were probably built under their
direction.(52) The Immortals were experts in irrigation and high
yields of harvest, often obtaining two or three crops a year. They
preferred large river areas where controlled flooding could take
place -- the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates.
If our general hypothesis is valid, we would expect to find a
sophisticated Immortal type of culture arising without explanation
in the Americas, near the Greek, Egyptian or Mesopotamian
latitudes, with rivers, high hills or mountains close by, and
possibilities for irrigation systems. There should be all the usual
accompaniments, evidence of urban areas, use of gold, jade and
sculpture. Depending on the terrain, we would expect to find
ziggurats, stepped pyramids, needed to house the Immortals and
protect them from their mortal servants. We can be more specific.
We would expect this culture to begin after the time when Zeus
banished Kronos to the ends of the earth, and before the end of the
Trojan war, say before about 1200 BCE.
Surprisingly, there is such a culture, that of the Olmecs. Here's
what we're told in a 1979 study coming from Harvard University:
"The most perplexing issue of Olmec sculptural chronology has not
been resolved in this study, since it does not explain the sudden
appearance of the florescent sculptural style. In fact, the proposed
sequence presents a highly enigmatic situation. The earliest style
recognized in this seriatim is sophisticated and materialistic and
clearly not the archaic base for Olmec style." (53)
But to us, it's not enigmatic that the finest sculpture was in the
earliest period, since for us the origin was inspired by Immortal
stock. The famous colossal heads, weighing 27 tons or so each, are
dated as among the earliest pieces. So is the wrestler, which may or
may not be a wrestler at all. It's a magnificently alive piece of
sculpture that's identified in style with the earliest grouping, but
there are problems because it's different from the usual Olmec and
it's fashioned from rock apparently not coming from any known
Olmec sources. The dating of the Olmec culture is given as about
1200 to 400 BCE, the earliest civilization in Mesoamerica, Central
America. (54) And what else do we find?
"Jade and serpentine carvings are common in phases two to four,
dated to the middle formative. (54) The Olmec site of La Venta has a
round, fluted temple pyramid and more than two million man days of
labour are said to have been needed for its construction. (55)
The La Venta site lies on a small island, with a surface area of about
two square miles, formed by the Tonda River and its backwater
sloughs in the alluvial coastal plain of northern Tobasco, about ten
miles inland from the shore of the Gulf of Compeche. There is no
evidence that there has been any change in the island's dimensions,
elevation or situation with reference to the river and surrounding
swamps in the last few thousand years." (56)
The region has an enormous volume of water, the largest in
Mesoamerica, and flooding is a serious danger when the great rivers
of the area overflow. And I can tell you that, in the later 1980s (57),
archaeologists found evidence for irrigation systems with canals
and a much larger population in the area than they previously
thought.(58) The mounds that remain apparently extend for over a
mile on a bearing 8 degrees west of true north.(59)
"The apex of the pyramid provides a spectacular view of the whole sky
overhead, reaching to the horizon line of the sea. The pyramid has
every qualification to make it an ideal astronomical observation
platform.(60) The construction of phase one at La Venta is carbon-14
dated at about 1,000 BC."(61)
The scholar who tells us all this thinks that, to quote:
"The pattern of celestial observations must date back to a body of
knowledge learned a millennium earlier"(62),
and that wherever it was developed, it was almost certainly not in
La Venta, an area of high canopy forest. We have carbon-14 and
other datings to about 1250 BCE(63) near the pyramid, and the site
seems to have been abandoned about 600 BCE.
Although there is an abundance of great stone monoliths at the
Olmec sites, there is almost no stone in the area.(64) The Olmecs
were not only the first and finest sculptors in Mexico, they were also
the first to work jade. The jadeite used by the Olmecs is considered
superior to the ancient Chinese jades. (65) They also used
cylindrical seals, which had a long, earlier history in
Mesopotamia.66) The language of the Olmecs is not known, but
there is good evidence that the famous and accurate "long count" of
the Mayas originated with the Olmecs. The starting date for the
Olmecs' long count, from which every day is counted, is, according
to one interpretation of their computation, October 4, 3373 BCE, or
alternatively, August 13, 3113 BCE, of our calendar.(67)
Kronos was said to have ruled in the Golden Age.(68) Let's assume
he was exiled to Central America and founded the Olmec
civilization, the earliest known to have existed there. If the dating
of the rise of that civilization as presently provided by carbon-14 is
accepted, then 1200 BCE may reflect the later arrival of some of the
survivors who were permitted by Zeus to leave Europe at the end of
the Trojan war. But I think it's reasonable to conclude that Kronos
took up residence in the Tuxtla mountain area sometime in the
earlier second or late third millennium BCE., or perhaps it was at
the time of the Olmec starting date of 3113 BCE. I think it was
about a thousand years later that a suitable strain of pliable,
intelligent work people had been developed to build the cities for
the highly sophisticated Olmec culture.
We can now look with interest on a passage in Homer's Odyssey.
"The Immortals will convoy you to the Elysian field and the limits of
the earth, where fair-haired Rhadamanthys is and where there is
made the easiest life for mortals, for there is no snow, nor much
winter there, nor is there ever rain, but always the stream of ocean
sends up breezes of the west wind, blowing briskly for the refreshment
This brief passage is informative and specific. For the Greeks, its
location is at the limits of the earth and the time is about 1240
BCE.(70) Now let's look at another specific geographical location.
This time, we're interested in a narrow strip squeezed between
cloud-hung mountains and an ocean. It's one of the driest places on
earth. There's a uniquely cold swell that rolls against a shore of
steep cliffs, and further inland, the onshore winds suck the
landscape dry. Some 53 rivers cross this desert from the mountains
to the sea, creating ribbons of green over very rich soil on an
otherwise stony plain. (71) Here, in the first millennium AD:
"Farmers produced far more food than the empire needed. The
people consumed one part and stored a portion against famine.
Priests burned the rest as offerings to the gods. The climate varies
from polar to equatorial in four vertical miles." (72)
After studying the inbreeding habits of the Immortals and noting
their continuation by the pharaohs of Egypt, and since we're
expecting a connecting sequence of events, the following comes as
no surprise to us:
"Sayri Tupac married his sister Cusi Huarcay, the rule rather than
the exception among members of the imperial family." (73)
These marital arrangements of the Incas are further explained:
"The term 'Inca' refers to a small group of kindred possibly less than
5,000 individuals, who built Tahuantinsuyo by force of arms and
ruled as the realm's governing nobility. The head of this royal family
was also the head of state, and by AD 1500, his dominion extended
over some six to twelve million people. These individuals were Inca
subjects, but they were not Incas, because this was a closed ethnic
We realize from this statement that the Incas were, like the
pharaohs, attempting to protect their purity of Immortal descent.
The land we're describing is, of course, Peru, and now we're in
South America. Peru has a remarkable ancient history, and the
earliest cities and urban civilizations date from about 2300 BCE.
Here it is that the brisk winds blow from the west, off the Pacific
Ocean, influenced by the cold Humboldt current. There is no rain
to speak of. Major rains fall about once in ten years on the Pacific
desert.(75) There is no snow and not much winter, depending on
altitude. It's doubtful whether the classical Greeks, including
Homer, had any idea of the geographical location of the idyllic
existence of the Elysian field, also the Elysian plain. Note the
singular noun. The field could well have been the pampas or
altiplano, the high, flat, arid land interspersed with extremely
fertile valleys and magnificent cultural or Immortal centres, such as
the area of Lake Titicaca or one of the Chavin sites further north.
In these locations, the ancient use of gold, precious stones and lapis
lazuli for ornamental purposes is well known, as is the stepped
pyramid construction resembling the Near Eastern ziggurat,
complete with a small house or temple at the top. The higher
mountain areas, being cooler, would suit the Immortals for living
purposes and the fertile valleys could, by peasant or subject labour,
produce the required sustenance and sacrifices or offerings which
persisted among hill folk until the 20th century AD.(76) The same
priest-king control and the same bureaucratic administration as in
the Near East existed in the New World civilizations, and there
were irrigation schemes in the New World too.(77)
"It is not known when the large canals uniting the five valleys of the
Lambayeque complex were built. All were in use during Chimu times,
but some might have earlier origins. When the canals were
operational, they irrigated a more than 100-kilometre long section of
the desert. Building these long water courses required sophisticated
engineering, as well as the labour of large, well organized
populations. An idea of what was involved comes from one of today's
-- that is, 1978 when this was published -- today's largest reclamation
projects on the coast which entails the attempt to reactivate one of the
canals. The work costs millions of dollars, relies on international
financing and engineering, uses modern earth moving machinery and
has been going on for almost a decade, and this work is on but one of
the many major Chimu canals."(78)
51. HESIOD, (op. cit., Part 1, No.6) lines 157-175, abridged.
52. GOLDBERG, Dr Bruce, Past Lives, Future Lives, pages 88-93, Ballentine
Books, New York, 1982
53. MILBRATH, Susan, Studies in Pre-Columbian Art and Archaeology,
No.23 Study of Olmec Sculptural Chronology, Trustees for Harvard
University, 1979, page 44.
54. MILBRATH, Susan, (op. cit.) Page 20.
MILBRATH, Susan, (op. cit.) Page 22.
55. THE LAST TWO MILLION YEARS, various academic contributors,
The Reader's Digest Association, London, 1974, page 190-1.
56. HATCH, Marion P. (Op. cit.) Page 1. Reference to the La Venta site,
University of California Department of Anthropology, Berkeley, No.13, 1971,
57. BERNAL, Ignacio, The Olmec World (translated by Doris Heyden and
Fernando Horcasitas) Berkeley and Los Angeles, University of California
Press, 1969, page 17, page 20.
58. NATIONAL GEOGRPAHIC, Vol. 175 No.3, March 1989, Geographica
section, page 1; "A New Portrait of Olmec Life", also:
HAMMOND, Norman, The Emergence of Maya Civilization, Scientific
American Magazine, August 1986, pages 106-115.
59. HATCH, Marion P. (op. cit.) page 1.
60. HATCH, Marion P. (op. cit.) page 3.
61. HATCH, Marion P. (op. cit.) page 6.
62. HATCH, Marion P. (op. cit.) page 9-10 excerpts.
63. HATCH, Marion P. (op. cit.) page 13.
64. BERNAL, Ignacio (op. cit.) page 68.
65. BERNAL, Ignacio (op. cit.) Pages 69-70.
66. VON HAGEN, Victor W., World of the Maya, The New American
Library, New York, 1960 (for general reading).
67. BERNAL, Ignacio (op. cit.) Pages 92-3.
68. HESIOD, (op. cit.) lines 110-111.
69. HOMER, The Odyssey, translated by Richmond Lattimore, New York,
Harper & Row, 1975, Book iv, lines 563-568.
70. PIGGOTT, Stuart, Ancient Europe, Edinburgh, The University Press
1965, page 159.
71. MORRISON, Tony, Pathway to the Gods, New York, Harper & Row,
1978, page 23.
72. McINTYRE, Loren, The Incredible Incas, The National Geographic
Society, Washington, 1980, page 46.
73. THE WORLD'S LAST MYSTERIES, The Reader's Digest Association,
Pleasantville, New York, 1978, pages 157-8.
74. MOSELEY, Michael E., Peru's Golden Treasures, Chicago, Field
Museum of Natural History, 1978, page 15.
The spread of American culture today is identified by clusters of
high rise buildings, transportation fueled by petroleum products,
syncopated music, fast-food outlets, jeans, coke, and a high
standard of living. The spread of Immortal culture is easily
recognized, for example, the Chimu arts and crafts were among the
best in the world, and their building design and construction was
technically remarkable, with closely-fitted, huge blocks of stone,
and that's what we find in the walls of Troy, the Lion's Gate at
Mycenae in Greece, and the great pyramids in Egypt. If Darwinism
is right, we should find a record of improvement in culture and
knowhow from the beginning of the existence of civilized man as
natural selection improved the stock and its output. Is this what we
find? Let's take an obvious example -- the pyramids of ancient
Egypt. We should, on the Darwinian theory, expect to start with
little, simple pyramids, gradually improving in quality and quantity
as skills improved. But what we find is almost the opposite. There
were complex underground areas and passageways to begin with,
and then suddenly, in one of the earliest Egyptian dynasties, comes
the greatest pyramid of all, that ascribed to Cheops. One of the
first, a very large and imposing pyramid had the full-blown
technology and is still a wonder of the world today. Later, they
become smaller and poorer in design. Time and again, when
archaeologists are reporting on their excavations at ancient sites,
they say that the lowest levels, and therefore these should be the
oldest, were the finest in architecture and standard of living and
later on, things deteriorated. (79) This is hard to explain by
Darwinian theory. But if the Bronze Age writers are correct and
the Immortals started things off, then it makes good sense that the
earliest culture was the most lavish and competent and that this
declined with the passing of time as the Immortals died out or went
How did civilization begin? Even today, we don't really know.
What we do know is that sometime towards the end of the last ice
age, say around 12,000 years ago, quite suddenly, animals became
domesticated and some cereals became domesticated. In the case of
wheat, for example, which had been a kind of grass, the
chromosomes were doubled from 14 to 28, and then increased from
28 to 42. (80) Wheat became a valuable food source and it was
made dependent on mankind for effective propagation of its grains.
Goats and sheep became domesticated, changing in the process so
much that archaeologists today can identify which were early
domesticated animals and which were wild animals. (81) We
haven't really changed cereals from that day to this. The
chromosomes are still the same, though we've bred many varieties.
We still have the same domesticated animals. All we've done is
improve and specialize the breeds. The ancient writers say the
Immortals did all this, that not only were the plants and animals
changed, but mortals themselves were changed, to become
agriculturalists instead of hunter gatherers. Certainly, whether we
believe this explanation or not, it is a fact that after millions of years
of hunting and gathering, there suddenly sprang up in a thousand
or so years a series of pockets of agriculture and civilization.
The main problem with this approach is the difficulty in accepting
as a fact that the Immortals did actually exist, that they were able
to monopolize power and instill such fear and obedience in ordinary
human beings for so long, even after they ceased to be around. I
think it would be worthwhile, provisionally, to accept the
explanations of Bronze Age writers as to the part played by the
Immortals and to try to conduct some research as to who they were,
where they came from and what happened to them. Did they
originate on earth? If so, I think they may have some connection
with Cro-magnon people, who gradually intermarried with
Neanderthals and replaced them, resulting in our present upgraded
capability. That seems to fit the early writers' accounts perfectly.
Then the problem is, where did Cro-magnon people come from and
where did they get their knowhow, their ability to create vast
engineering projects, to raise massive buildings, to set up alphabets,
writing, mathematics, codes of law and codes of morality. We know
the Cro-magnons had unusual brain capacity, even larger than
ours.(82) They were physically bigger than us. That's about all we
really know about them though. Don't you think it's time we
studied this aspect of our past history a little more seriously?
Suddenly, and by suddenly, I mean within 1,000, 2,000 years, these
things began to develop -- vast irrigation systems, huge buildings.
At Baalbek, for example, in the Near East, there was a block fitted
20 feet above ground, 62 feet long by 14 feet wide by 11 feet high,
weighing, it's calculated, over 800 tons, and that is quite a block to
move. (83) Whole cities were built, civilizations were developed,
with trades, professions, arts and letters. The Myceneans, a
thousand years before the classical Greeks, are said to have had
better drainage and better hygiene. (84)
79. BRAIDWOOD, Robert J. and HOWE, Bruce; Prehistoric Investigations
in Iraqi Kurdistan; Chicago, The University of Chicago Press, 1960. This is a
classic, monumental interdisciplinary archaeological study. Here are two
(1) "The picture of Jarmo architecture is clearly not one of fumbling
beginnings in a new craft. The plastic potentialities of tauf as a building
material seem to have been well understood even by the people of the earliest
levels and the architecture which we exposed revealed no particular advances
during the occupation of the site." page 43.
(2) "The pottery found at Jarmo presents several peculiar problems...the
wares of best quality are the earliest; the poorest pottery is in general the
latest." Frederick R. Matson: specialized ceramic studies and radio active
carbon techniques (page 63).
80. BRAIDWOOD, Robert J., (op. cit.) Contribution by Hans Helbaek, pages
100-101 (note especially re emmer wheat, (28 chromosomes) "even in the
earliest pre-dynastic villages it is distinctly different morphologically from
any wild species."
81. BRAIDWOOD, Robert J., (op. cit.) Contribution by Charles A. Reed,
Domestication of Animals, pages 119 and following.
According to the Bronze Age literature that we've looked at in five
different cultures now -- Greek, Egyptian, Mesopotamian,
Canaanite and Hebrew -- the Immortals were solid physical beings.
They were male and female. They met with mortals occasionally
and they ate and drank the produce of the earth, although they did
seem to have some superhuman powers. We're told that the
Immortals often fought amongst themselves. There's even a
reference in the Bible to the book of the wars of Yhwh (Jehovah)--
that's Numbers 21:14, if you're interested. And we have evidence of
the death of Immortals, murdered by others, although these were
probably half-Immortals, so we still can't be sure whether the
Immortals really died out or went away. The stories of older gods
with grey beards suggest that they did grow old, so they probably
did eventually die. Now what I've done so far is to show you what
the Bronze Age writers said, and you can see for yourself that what
they said was that the Immortals actually physically existed. What
we want to do now is apply this information, to test it out and see if
it solves any problems which so far haven't been properly explained.
You're on a two-lane highway. A car comes around a curve, just in
front of you. It's over the centre line. You twist the wheel and aim
for the pavement edge. The other car flashes by, inches away. You
manage to swerve back and straighten out before your car goes off
the road. "Thank God," you say.
Who is this God you're thanking? It's safe to say no one living has
seen God. you have to go a long way back for that. You have to go
back to Moses, close to 3,300 or 3,400 years ago, before you find an
event described in these words:
"As Moses entered the tabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and
stood at the door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses.
And all the people saw the cloudy pillar stand at the tabernacle door.
And the Lord spoke unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh unto
So for people to be speaking face to face with God, we have to go
back to a different civilization from ours, the Bronze Age. Incidents
of mortals meeting Immortals face to face occur in all the earliest
ancient Bronze Age literature. Apparently, encounters with
Immortals were a recognized occurrence in all these early ancient
Bronze Age societies. Later in the Bronze Age though, this kind of
physical relationship begins to be replaced by visions and dreams.
The change is actually mentioned in the Bible, which says that in
the time of Samuel the prophet,
"The word of the Lord was precious in those days. There was no open
Towards the end of the Bronze Age and the beginning of the Iron
Age is when Samuel is said to have lived. That would be close to
1,000 BCE. (87) The Romans, later on -- that's from 753 BCE to
the early 400s AD (88) -- they adopted the Greek Immortals, often
with different names. For example, Aphrodite became Venus. The
written evidence from Rome shows us that the Romans merely
honoured, respected and feared the Immortals, whom they had
never met face to face. (89) So whatever phenomenon was going on
in the earliest days of the Bronze Age had disappeared by the end of
Dividing up territory
The Immortals divided up the world among themselves. From a
mere dozen or so Immortals, who are recognized in every one of the
ancient cultures, the Immortals and their offspring proliferated into
many thousands.(90) Eventually, probably most of the
half-Immortals just merged with the general population. Some
ancient writers say that the Immortals 'went away'. (91) This is
what the ancient writers tell us happened. For those who find this
hard to believe, or think the Hebrew version handed down in the
Bible is different, here's just one example from the Bible. It's
Deuteronomy 32, verses 8 to 9 (King James version):
"When the most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when
he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people
according to the number of the children of Israel."
It's a challenge to make any sense of that. Fortunately, this
particular part is also preserved in the Dead Sea scrolls, found in a
cave in 1947 AD. Here's a translation of what they say:
"When Elyon apportioned the nations, when he separated the sons of
man, he established the boundaries of the peoples according to the
number of the sons of God, Yhwh's portion was his people, Jacob was
his allotted inheritance." (92)
So we're told Elyon apportioned or shared out the nations. Elyon
relates to El and is clearly not the same as Yhwh, or Jehovah. El
was the chief Immortal of the Canaanites. It's further clear that
Yhwh was allotted an inheritance of the house of Jacob as subject
people. Jacob probably lived in the early 1700s BCE. It tells us
that Yhwh was not the supreme Immortal, because someone
allotted him his portion, and further, that some other Immortal had
charge of these mortals in previous generations.
This should mean that Jacob changed gods and that the evidence
should be in Genesis. Here's Genesis, chapter 28, verses 20 to 22.
And before we read it I want to explain something. Most
translations that you look at use the word "God", and then it would
not make much sense. But the word they are translating as "God"
is "Elohim", which is "gods" in the plural, which I am calling,
following Homer, "Immortals". And then later on, the words
"Yhwh Elohim" are used, that is, "Yhwh of the Immortals", or
"Yhwh of the gods". So we'll read it using the word "Immortals",
but you will understand that "Elohim" is the word being
translated. Here's how it goes:
"And Jacob vowed a vow, saying, if this one of the Immortals will be
with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread
to eat and clothing to put on, so that I come again to my father's
house, then shall Yhwh of the Immortals be my god, and of all that
this Immortal gives me, I will without fail give a tenth of it to him."
And when Jacob made an agreement with Laban, and that's in
Genesis 31:53b, he swore by his father's Immortal, the one he knew
about as he grew up. (93) Later, he meets the new Immortal again,
who now changes Jacob's name to Israel, and that's in Genesis,
chapter 35, verse 10. There has been much scholarly discussion as
to why a change of name, with no real explanation. But we have a
logical reason. His name is changed because he now belongs to
another Immortal and one who has links with Canaanite El
(Isra-el). If these beings did exist, whoever they were or whatever
they were, however they arose, their impact on history has been
Immortal face masks
Let's consider the representation of an Egyptian male Immortal, for
if this theory has any validity, then some of these beings were really
the inventors of the cultures that we're looking at. In the case of
Khepri, for example, an Egyptian Immortal, there's no face, he's
got a beetle on his head instead.(94) All the major Immortals
worshipped in ancient Egypt apparently were shown in carvings
and pictures with bird or animal or other creature heads. That ties
in with the Bible where it's said of Moses that he can't see Yhwh's
face. Yhwh said you can see the back of me as I pass you by if you
stand in a crack in the rocks, but you can't see my face for no man
shall see my face and live. (95)
Several times in the Old Testament of the Bible humans refer to
being surprised at seeing an Immortal and not being killed. Here's
what happened to Hagar, Genesis Ch. 16, v.7:
"And the angel of the Lord found her by a fountain of water in the
This Immortal, who is not Yhwh, talks with her through verses 8 to
12. Next, v. 13:
"And she called the name of the Lord that spoke to her 'Thou God
seest me' for she said 'have I also here looked after him that seeth me.'
Then we're given the name of the well where she was. But that
quotation doesn't make much sense. So here's the Revised Standard
So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her 'Thou art a God
of seeing' for she said 'Have I really seen a God and remained alive
after seeing him.'
I inserted 'a' before God because she met an 'angel', another
Immortal, not YHWH, and we have a footnote telling us what the
name of the well means, and that's the clue to what went on. It
The well of one who sees and lives.
These Immortals were so powerful they could obliterate masses of
people all at once, if they wanted to, so why would they care
whether people looked at their faces? There must have been a
bright light, translated by almost everyone as GLORY, and that
means a radiance of light, or a circle of light around the head or the
figure of a God. The light was so intense it must have affected
Moses when he spent many days with YHWH getting the law code.
Here's Exodus ch. 34 vs. 29-30, 33, excerpts, and with some words
put in more modern idiom:
When Moses came down from the mount he didn't know the skin of
his face shone. When Aaron and others saw this they were afraid to
come near Moses. So until Moses had done speaking with them he put
a veil on his face.
Here's the New World translation:
Moses did not know that the skin of his face emitted rays.
So the warning about not seeing an Immortal face was probably not
a threat but a warning to protect the humans, who after all were
doing the Immortals' work for them and feeding them. It seems
there was something about their faces, perhaps their eyes, that
could harm humans.
Why we are different
Let's take human physiology next. If the Immortals were different
and if they mated with mortals, then there should be something
different about us, and I think there is. First of all, we're practically
naked. We have vestigial hair, a kind of ornamental hair on our
head, and some on our face. Some people have a little on their chest
and we have some hair around the centre of our bodies, genital
parts, and a little bit on our arms and legs. But basically it's
vestigial hair. We have no fur. No ape is like that.
A scientific study was done in which it was found that if you took
the number of heartbeats of a shrew, for example, which lives about
two years, and its heartbeat is very fast, and you multiply that by
its life span; then you take the heartbeat of an elephant, which is
very slow, and it lives ninety years and you multiply that by its life
span, for the life span times the rate of heartbeat, you get a
constant. Not with man. It doesn't apply. It's different, the only
A third difference from other mammals is the variety of our
intellectual abilities. No other mammal seems to have the
vocabulary or power of abstract thought and reasoning, use of
tools, inventiveness and general intelligence that humans have.
That, I think, ties in with what the Bronze Age writers tell us in
Mesopotamia, in Egypt and also in the Bible. The Bible is the most
well known, in Genesis I, "Let us make man in our image".
The Royal We
I once said to a Biblical scholar "Why do you translate 'Elohim' as
'God' in the singular?" And he said, "Well, it's the plural of
'majesty'." But I submit that's backwards. So this is my suggestion
then, based on what the ancient writers tell us. First of all, the
Immortal assemblies gave judgments such as 'we're going to decide
to let Troy fall to the Greeks', or 'the Tower of Babel construction
must be stopped'. Then the Immortals passed their decisions on to
the kings, who they had appointed to run the various territories for
them. And when they passed it to the kings, they said "we",
because "we" was the council of the Immortals that made the
decision. The king was probably a half-Immortal and would have
personally attended the "Divine Council". When the king passed it
on to the people, he said "we", but when the Immortals were no
longer present, the king still went on saying "we" as though the
Immortals were there, because he wanted to convey the authority
that he previously had, which was now his own thoughts, but he still
used the Immortal "we". And to this day, royalty still say "we".
But now it has become adulterated down to the editorial 'we'.
The divine right of kings
Why a divine right of kings? The Sumerians tell us "kingship came
down from heaven. Then came the flood, then kingship came down
from Heaven again." Heaven was a high place, on earth. Kings
were usually half-Immortal which meant they were the result of a
mixed marriage. So they thought they had, of course, a divine right
to say and do what the Immortals told them because they were
half-Immortal themselves. But when the Immortals had gone or
died out, the tradition carried on right down to feudal society. Even
Charles I of England who died in 1649 AD (97) believed in the
divine right of kings.
When the Immortals were no longer present, the priests had no one
to administer the temples for as 'servants of the gods' , so they
administered them for themselves, and the age-old struggle of
church and state began, first between priests and kingship and this
has continued right down to almost our own time.
Houses of God
"House of God" is used for a church to this very day in the
Christian religion. This is the meaning of the word temple : "House
of God". But what does a god who is not an Immortal living on
earth as a physical being, if God is a spirit or divine power that
created the entire universe, what does it need all these little houses
of God for? It doesn't relate, but it does if there were actual
physical beings who "put the fear of God" into humans.
We have one good example -- the treaty of Hannibal, the
Carthaginian, who brought his elephants over the Alps and ravaged
Italy for sixteen years. He had a treaty with Phillip V. of
Macedonia, and that was in 215 BCE. The Immortals, in my
opinion, had long since gone before then. But the format of that
treaty was not very different from treaties of 2000 BCE, when I
think probably some Immortals were still here. The earliest treaties
said, "At this treaty, we have called the gods together. Let them
hear, let them be witnesses." Now that's a bit presumptuous, but
that's what they said. The Hittite treaties a few hundred years later
say, "And behold, the thousand gods to assembly at this treaty," as
though it's become a format. And then later still, treaties say "In
the presence of the gods." And then later on than that, the treaties
were signed before the images of the gods in the temples.(98) And
then later on, "I swear by the gods". That was in the Greek treaties,
quite late. And I submit this is the origin of the oath that's sworn in
There's an indoor shopping mall in Toronto with escalators next to
fountains and pools of water. People throw coins in, there's always
money in the bottom of these little pools. Why?
People think of them as Wishing Wells. Remember that the word
"holy" only meant "clean" originally. We read earlier that the
Immortals knew how to get water from under the ground. So "holy
well" only meant a clean well. I suggest that they protected their
wells from pollution. Because they were the Immortals' wells they
came to be called "Holy", gradually assuming our more modern
meaning. But later on the priests took over the wells, and typical of
human ignorance, people started to throw sacrifices into the wells
and they probably polluted them in the process, could they but have
known it. That's why people still throw things into the water today
and make a wish, whereas originally, of course, it was requesting a
favour from the Immortals. The ancient saying, "Cleanliness is
next to godliness" has come down to modern times.
Marrying a sister
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt married their sisters. The Incas of
ancient Peru married their sisters. And remember the Incas in
ancient Peru were not the same stock as their subjects. They were a
closely-knit group of people who kept themselves quite separate
from their subjects. Three times in the Bible wives were passed off
as sisters, Abraham twice and Isaac once. Scholars said it was done
to protect the husband from being killed, so that the king or the
pharaoh that they had visited would then take over the wife and put
her in his harem. Then they discovered that it was a northwest
Semitic custom to adopt a wife as a sister, and so they said oh well,
they're just copying the system of adopting a wife as a sister, to give
her more prestige. But my question is Why? Why would adopting
a wife as a sister give her more prestige? The answer, of course, is
because the Titans, the original Immortals, all married their sisters.
There was no one else to marry. There were twelve Titans, six male
and six female. When you come down to the next generation, Zeus
or Jupiter married his sister Hera, or Juno. So therefore of course
people wanted to have their wives adopted as their sisters so that
they would pretend to be like the Immortals.
The earliest 'servants of the Immortals' as the Egyptians called
them, but translated as 'prophets' as we noted earlier, were called
'baru' in Mesopotamia which meant 'inspectors' also always
translated as priests. The 'baru' were taught how to examine the
animals they killed and prepared for feasts for the Immortals, to be
sure the animals were healthy. This meant paying particular
attention to the liver, because liver fluke disease was prevalent in
the Tigris and Euphrates area and could be transmitted to humans
and so presumably to Immortals.
Later, after the Immortals were no longer present, the priests were
looked to for the kinds of answers to human questions they had
formerly merely passed on from the Immortals - should we do this
-- when is the time to do that -- how do we do the other? As the
centuries passed by the priests came to be called prophets in our
more modern sense because they attempted to predict the outcome,
favourable or disastrous of say, a ruler's impending battle or
attempted conquest of a neighbouring state. To do this predicting
the priests, now left to their own devices, literally, looked
particularly at the liver of a slaughtered animal in an attempt to
find out not whether the animal was fit to eat, but whether its state
of health could be translated into an omen.
Because they kept meticulous records of successful or failed
predictions the 'priests' gradually built up divisions of the liver to
represent successful prophecies in various circumstances.(99)
By the time of the Etruscans in Italy in the 300s BCE, even this
tradition was lost and the diagram of the liver was divided up
showing the signs of the zodiac.
85. THE BIBLE, Book of Exodus, Chapter 33, verses 9-11, abridged.
86. THE BIBLE, 1st Book of Samuel, Chapter 3, verse 1b.
87. KENYON, Kathleen M., The Bible and Recent Archaeology (revised
edition by P. R. S. Mooney) Atlanta, John Knox Press, page 13, chronological
table and chapter 6, Palestine in the Time of David and Solomon.
88. SEIGNOBOS, Charles, History of the Roman People (translation edited
by William Fairley) New York, Henry Hold, 1904, page 497, appendix E.
89. SEIGNOBOS, Charles, (op. cit.) Chapter 4 (The Roman Religion).
90. BARTHELL, Edward E. Jr. (op. cit.) Introduction, first page "all of the
Greek deities and most of their semi divine heroes can be mythologically and
logically tied in as members of a single family tree."
91. BARTHELL, op. cit. Page 63 Note 6, abridged.
92. MULLEN, E. Theodore Jr. (Op. cit., Part 1, No.45) page 202.
93. ALT, Albrecht (op. cit., No.49) pages 13, 18, 28.
94. BUDGE, E. A. Wallis, The Gods of the Egyptians (op. cit. No.17) facing
95. THE BIBLE, The Book of Exodus, Chapter 33, verses 18-23.
96. Reported on Quirks and Quarks, The Canadian Broadcasting
97. STEINBERG, S. H., Historical Tables.
98. BARRE, Michael L., The God List in the Treaty between Hannibal and
Philip V of Macedonia; a study in light of Ancient Near Eastern Treaty
Tradition. Baltimore, the Johns Hopkins University Press, 1983.
99. SINGER, C. and UNDERWOOD, J. A., A Short History of Medicine,
Oxford, Clarendon Press 1962 P.13 "clay model of a sheep's liver c.2000
BC" ; p.12 "The surface is divided into a number of squares and each has a
prognostication written on it."
Why pick the Bible for a more detailed test? Because it's been
translated into English, is readily available, describes the time in
human history we're investigating, and has been worked over for
many centuries by many scholars. The disadvantage is of course
that it forms the basis for two extant religions.
Everything I'm about to say is reported in the Bible, I'm not
making it up, but you will find it a very different scenario from the
one you've been taught if you're a Judeo-Christian.
From the evidence in the Bible, now that the Dead Sea Scrolls have
told us what it means, we know that the young immortal Yhwh was
allotted by El, the older Chief Immortal, the house (or tribe) of
Jacob to be his subject people. This in itself shows us it was
becoming increasingly difficult for the proliferating Immortals to
have people and territory to rule over.
The tribe of Jacob had grown up as part of the Egyptian
community. Yhwh's problem was first to get them out of Egypt,
next to establish his control over them, and then to find a place for
them to live somewhere else.
Yhwh would need a human leader to deal with his prospective
subjects, a leader who had access to the Egyptian court, to ask for
permission for them to leave. It's no co-incidence that the name
Moses is similar to Tutmose I, II, III and IV, and Ahmose, all
Egyptian pharaohs, kings of ancient Egypt. We are told Moses was
brought up in the Royal household, but he was born of the house of
We might think Yhwh's choice was ideal. Moses qualified both as a
descendant of Jacob and as someone familiar with the Egyptian
court. Further, he was accessible because having seen an Egyptian
hitting a Hebrew, Moses killed the Egyptian and then fled into the
Sinai peninsula, apparently crossing to the southeast side, the land
of Midian. Here he married a priest's daughter and raised at least
Now we have reached a point at which we must choose as to how we
interpret this book of the Old Testament of the Bible, or Torah,
depending on one's faith, if we are to pursue our investigation.
My own approach is to be practical and apply common sense. I
suppose I look at what I read as an auditor who may be
investigating the financial affairs of a religious institution, or a
bank, or a government, or a hospital or university, or commercial
business. In each case the purpose of the investigation is to give an
opinion to interested parties who are entitled to receive this opinion
as to what one finds. The problem with examining a book of the
Old Testament is that many people have profound beliefs about the
material and in past centuries many have been burned at the stake
or tortured to death in other ways for even questioning what is
Perhaps some people revere the words in a way that may not have
been intended for the whole content, originally. For example,
Samson can, I believe, be translated as Sunny, and Delilah as Daisy.
If we put some of the biblical thoughts in contemporary language
we may form a different impression of certain events as they occur.
Let's begin with Moses in the wilderness. From this point on I will
try not to get us involved in translation or other textual problems.
We don't know what age Moses was when he killed the Egyptian
and fled into the Sinai peninsula. But our story begins when he is
probably at least 70 years of age, and still a shepherd in the Sinai
peninsula. We are going to use Moffat's translation and of that
only what he considers to be the J (Jahwist) or older version or
"The angel of Eternal appeared to him in a flame of fire rising out of
a thornbush. When he looked, there was the thornbush ablaze with
fire, yet not consumed. 'I will step aside,' said Moses, 'and see this
marvel, why the thornbush is not yet burnt up.' ...The Eternal said 'I
have indeed seen the distress of my people in Egypt...and I have come
down to rescue them from the Egyptians and to bring them out of that
land to a fine, large land, abounding in milk and honey, the land of
the Canaanites...Go and gather the (elders) of Israel and tell them that
the God of their fathers... has appeared to you, saying "I have
remembered you and all that is being done to you in Egypt; I have
resolved to bring you out of your distress in Egypt..." They will listen
to what you say. Then you (and the elders) must go to the king of
Egypt and tell him that "the Eternal, the God of the Hebrews, has met
us. Pray let us travel for 3 days into the desert, then, that we may
sacrifice to the Eternal our God."'(100)
This was not quite truthful. First, the God of their fathers was not
Yhwh; secondly, it was not even Yhwh who had appeared, but some
other Immortal, presumably sent by Yhwh; and finally it was
deceptive to say let them go into the desert for three days to
sacrifice to their Immortal because both the Immortal and the
people knew very well they had no intention of coming back to
You'll notice that the first thing we are told is that 'the angel of the
Eternal appeared' (Angel of the Lord: KJV) But all the translations
that I have seen then drop the reference to an angel, which means
messenger, and continue as though it was the Lord, or God, or
Eternal himself who is speaking to Moses. There is no explanation
for this sliding of the text into calling the supernatural being the
Lord instead of his messenger, another Immortal.
The conversation that follows is long and animated, and I want to
put it into my own modern idiom to get the full flavour of it, and
use the word Immortal instead of angel. Moses says "suppose they
won't believe me, or listen to me". The Immortal then turns Moses'
shepherd's stick into a snake and back to a stick, then makes his
hand leprous and whole again, we are told. But if we go forward to
the time when he does only the snake magic in front of the Pharaoh
(Exodus 7:11-12) the court magicians are able to do the same thing.
We should probably ignore as an exaggeration that Aaron's stick
ate up the other sticks, because, in any case, the Pharaoh was not
impressed. This may not be surprising when we learn that this is
still done as a trick in Cairo today. A cobra can be paralyzed by
putting pressure on a nerve in its neck. At a distance it then looks
like a rod. When thrown on the ground it recovers and slides away.
The Immortal said, "if they don't believe the first trick they may
believe the second. If that doesn't impress them, take some water
from the Nile and pour it on to the ground, and it will turn to
Moses said, "I'm no speaker, never have been and you haven't
made me any better". The Immortal replied, "I'll go with you and
tell you what to say".
The next verse is probably garbled. The usual wording is
something like, "why don't you send by the hand of the one you're
going to send". It must have been insulting, because the Immortal
became very angry with him. Moses must have said something like
'why me? You're an Immortal, do it yourself". Whatever it was,
Moses probably made some colloquial remark, the meaning of
which is totally lost to us. For example, we might say "go fly a
kite", which is a mildly derogatory remark today, but this would
probably mean nothing to someone 3,300 years from now. Then the
Immortal said "what about Aaron, he can speak well enough, I'll
tell you what to say, and you can tell him. I'll show you men what
you have to do."
As we can see, Moses gave the Immortal quite an argument, and
what we have does not include the P part (or Priestly, a later strand
probably) where Moses is reported to have said "well if they ask
me which god, what's his name, what do I say?" And the Immortal
is said to have replied "I am that I am", or "I shall prove to be what
I shall prove to be". I suspect that what was being intended here in
modern language is something like "tell them it's none of their
When Moses and Aaron took this message to the Pharaoh he simply
said "we've many workers and you're interfering with their
routine, they're becoming idle, that's why they want time off for a
sacrifice." So the end result was that the Pharaoh increased the
workload. Then the Israelites complained bitterly to Moses that
they were now worse off, and better to leave them alone. Moses
passed the complaint on to the Immortal.
In response the Immortal tells Moses to tell the Pharaoh that now
because the people were not let go, Moses will strike his stick on the
Nile water and it will turn into blood, the fish will die, the river
stink, and the Egyptians will have problems finding drinkable
water. We are never told how, when or where Moses and the
Immortal communicated during the episodes of the 10 plagues.
So now we have the first plague. This is one of the significant ones.
The Nile water was coloured and poisoned at the same time. It was
probably an algae bloom. I think we are close to being able to
duplicate that in our own time. Only one or possibly two of the
lower Nile delta river branches needed to be affected. What we are
not told, in J or P by any translation that I can find, is what the
Israelites drank while this was going on. We are left to guess that
either they stored water in advance, or themselves had to dig wells
to find potable water. Possibly they were the ones who had to dig
wells for the Egyptians, and so got water that way, but it is not
explained to us.
P has the magicians of Egypt doing the same thing, which makes no
sense at all. If they were to show any power, one would have
expected them to do the opposite, and restore the water to a
drinkable condition, not produce more polluted water. It is because
of credulous statements like this that I try to avoid paying much
attention to anything attributed to P. One scholar who has studied
the so-called 10 plagues and subscribes as many do, to the
documentary theory, concluded that J recounts 7 plagues, the 4th
and 5th being wholly his; that P reworked 5 plagues, the third and
sixth being his duplications of the 4th and 5th; and that E (or Eloist, a
northern strand) is in 5 plagues, the 9th being his alone. But the
great German biblical scholar, Martin Noth, has a somewhat
different analysis (101).
Up to this point we have no idea of the lapse of time since Moses
first encountered the Immortal. The 10 plagues could have taken
10 years for all we know, or 10 weeks, but now we have a time lapse
identified. After a week, the Immortal tells Moses to pass this
message from the Immortal to the Pharaoh, "Let my people go, to
worship me, or I will plague your country with frogs".
This second plague, when it occurred, did not impress the Pharaoh.
It was probably a natural consequence of the river poisoning. The
frogs left the river, but they had already been immersed and lived
in the infected water, and so although escaping the river, came on
land to die anyway. The Pharaoh said, "ask for the plague to end
tomorrow". But the Bible truthfully reports "the frogs did die out
of the houses, the courtyards, and the fields. They were piled up in
heaps, till the land stank with them". It appears that they died as a
matter of course, and probably more or less at the same time, as a
result of the original incident. So once again, the Pharaoh was not
Next, the Immortal ordered Moses to tell Aaron to stretch out his
rod and strike the dust of the land, to produce a plague of lice. But
this is a logical consequence of lack of suitable water for washing
purposes, and the Pharaoh was still not impressed.
Now the Immortal repeated the process through Moses, this time
threatening a plague variously described as of gnats, mosquitoes or
gadflies.(102) But this is a logical consequence of the dead fish in
the river and dead frogs on the land. Once again, the Pharaoh was
The 5th plague follows a similar pattern. This time it was a pest, or
murrain, that infected the cattle. With the presence of so many
flies, and with bad water for the cattle, the conditions were
near-perfect for a serious outbreak of disease amongst the livestock.
Once more the Pharaoh was not impressed, which is
The 6th plague is apparently mentioned by P only, the plague of
boils on the Egyptians. Again, if accepted from this later version, it
is still but a logical consequence of the original infection of the Nile
water, and if the cattle infection of the previous plague was anthrax,
then this results in weakened legs to animals and humans who may
become infected. This may be why Exodus said that the
magicians could not stand before Moses, although it adds "for the
boils". Anthrax causes malignant pustules and may be fatal to
cattle and humans who contract it.
The next, and 7th, plague is the first actual event after the original
water pollution that required nothing more than careful timing by
the Immortal in passing along the threats.
It was a severe hail storm. We in Canada know that hail stones
larger than golf balls can sometimes occur, and produce devastating
results. Apparently this is not an unknown occurrence in Egypt. It
would probably be beyond our present day technology to produce
such a storm. But the Immortals were thought by the ancients to be
able to control the weather, and the main weapon of Zeus was
thought to be his thunderbolt. This spring storm ruined the flax
and barley crops, but the wheat had not yet grown, and survived.
There must have been a strong wind, because trees were broken,
and there was much thunder and lightning. The land of Goshen
was not affected, we are told. Also, if the Israelites were
forewarned, it appears that they would have put their livestock in
barns, as Egyptian believers were warned to do. But, after all, a
storm, even if severe, is a natural event, and so the Pharaoh was not
The 8th plague was also a natural event. It is just possible that a
severe storm when it passed, presumably eastward, over Sinai,
would have disrupted a swarm of locusts. In any case, the locusts
were next. They will fly on any suitable wind, once they have
denuded their habitat. There are modern reports of locust swarms
being heard 6 miles away, being met 1,000 miles out at sea, and
being totally unstoppable. Lines of fire are smothered in dead
bodies. Ditches filled with water become filled with dead bodies.
The march of the locusts, once they have landed, goes on and on.
They are reported to strip everything, even eating clothes as well as
all food, trees, shrubs, plants, grass and crops in their path. They
live about 4 to 6 months. And now a large swarm of these insects
came into Egypt on an east wind. It was probably the delta region
that was attacked. The locusts may have come across the sea 200
miles or so from Caanan, or what is today Jordan or Lebanon,
or further east from the Syrian desert. We are told the Immortal
swept an east wind over the land a day and a night, and the next
day the wind brought the locusts. This all makes sense, although it
is beyond our present technology to produce a sustained
directional wind and provoke a swarm of locusts to utilize it.
We are told that the plague ended, as requested by the Pharaoh,
when a furious west wind caught up the locusts and whirled them
into the Red sea. Now this does not make sense, if they were at the
delta. It would take a northerly wind to blow them there. But the
literal translation of 'yam suph' (pronounced 'Soof) is generally said
to be the reedy sea, or the sea of reeds. And this fits in with the
delta area because there is a 'sea of reeds' on the coast east of the
delta. But I should tell you that in 1984 one scholar wrote in an
academic journal (Biblical Archaeology Review) (BAR) 'If there is
anything that sophisticated students of the Bible KNOW, it is that
suph although traditionally translated Red Sea, really means Reed
Sea, and that it was in fact the Reed Sea that the Israelites crossed
on their way out of Egypt. Well, it doesn't and it wasn't and they're
wrong.' He agrees that yam means sea, but says that the supposed
connection with the Egyptian p3-twf(y), pronounced pi-thoof, and
the so called loan word tuf (papyrus (reeds)) is wrong. It is wrong
because Egyptian hieroglyphs use a determinative to indicate the
class of noun, and the one for pi-thoof is always plant, unless town,
but never lake or water. He suggests the correct derivation is from
the Semitic root sup which means to come to an end. So what we
have is the 'sea at the end of the land'.(103) So indeed we have a
problem as to how to translate yam suph.
We come now to the 9th plague. So far three plagues, the river
pollution, severe storm, and locust plague are the only ones that
probably required action on the part of the Immortal, and called
for little more than technology somewhat further advanced than
our present grasp of weather control.
The 9th plague is said to be mentioned by E alone, a later writer,
and is a period of three days darkness. It may well be that this is a
later confusion, coming after the locust plague, and was originally
part of it, as very large swarms do darken the sky.
The Pharaoh and his Egyptian advisers were by now becoming sick
of the rash of natural disasters, although we must remember we
don't know how long was the period of time involved between them.
Because they are natural disasters, the Pharaoh is not prepared to
take the word of Moses that they are divinely inspired.
The 10th plague is that the Immortal will pass through Egypt about
midnight when all the first born in Egypt shall die. This is a very
interesting phenomenon. If we examine how it is arranged, we see
that the Israelites are all to stay indoors. They are to select
livestock for slaughter in advance in each household. They are to
roast the meat, not use water with it, and consume it all, by eating
or by fire. None is to be left over. The unleavened dough is already
prepared and so water need not be added. It will last longer that
way, and they are all packed and ready to leave. The smearing of
blood of the slaughtered livestock on the doorposts so that the
Immortal would pass them by in the night may have impressed the
Israelites at the time, but probably had nothing to do with what
occurred. What must have been important was that they had to
prepare all their food in advance, and have eaten well. They were
under no circumstances to go outdoors. Something was done that
night, which caused death, probably by poisoning, of the
unsuspecting Egyptians. The 'firstborn' is probably an
embellishment, and unnecessary to provoke the desired response
from the Pharaoh. The Israelites were not affected by it, or at least
not to the same extent, because they were kept out of harm's way,
and travelled with their food and presumably with their water,
without stopping for several days, in order to get away as fast as
How could the Egyptians be killed and not the Israelites? I think
the clues lie in the text of Exodus. It is very ingenious, if I am right,
and really quite simple. You will notice that the Israelites were to
have unleavened bread (as usual). Some bread of ancient Egypt has
been found and analysed. It had holes in it, and proved to be
leavened bread, that is, it was made with yeast, just as is most of the
enormous quantity of bread that is baked commercially for our use
today. I think that the Pharaoh's household and probably the
temple staff of priests had their own bakeries. It would be a simple
matter to poison the yeast overnight and the next batches of
leavened bread would kill the first-born, that is the younger and
fitter members of the household who probably got up the earliest
and ate the most before starting their work or pleasure for the day.
Once the deaths of individuals struck the royal household, there
was no way of knowing who might be ill or die next, possibly those
dear to the Pharaoh, or he himself, and he agreed at once to the
departure of the Israelites.
Because the Israelites were kept indoors, had already eaten a surfeit
of good roast meat, and had prepared their unleavened, or
unyeasted dough, and were hurried out of the land immediately
afterwards, they escaped without any ill effects.
100. A New Translation by JAMES MOFFATT, D.D, D.Litt, MA(Oxon) New
York, Richard R. Smith Inc. 1926. Commencing Exodus 3:2 and following
101. MARTIN NOTH; Exodus, A Commentary, Chapters I & II; SCM Press
Ltd. Bloomsbury St. London 1962.
What we're about to find now is a remarkable example of how the
Immortals set up societies of the humans they turned into their
subject peoples. A very brilliant Jew, a gold medalist in his
professional field, once said to me "the chosen people .. why us?"
He apparently felt that down through the ages since the Exodus this
"chosen people" reference had become more of a detriment than a
But, of course, if the theory we are testing here is correct, the
Israelites were only chosen by one Immortal, every other Immortal
had his or her chosen people. In fact they weren't chosen by Yhwh.
In this case, as we've already seen, they were allotted to Yhwh by
You may still find all this hard to believe, but let me draw further
evidence to your attention. An Egyptologist in the early 20th
century found, from later than the time of the Exodus, the remains
of a small Hebrew community on Elephantine Island in the Nile
river. What was remarkable there was something the Bible has
been edited to eliminate. The Elephantine community was
worshiping Yhwh and his Asherah. What this means is that like the
other Immortals, Yhwh had a consort and she was Asherah.
Asherah was a very powerful Immortal in the ancient Near East,
also known as Astarte in Syria, Hathor to the Egyptians, Ishtar to
the Babylonians, and Aphrodite to ancient Greece.
"That's rubbish" you may say, "there's no Asherah mentioned in
the Bible." Well, you may be partly right because how are you to
know when she's been translated into English as "sacred pole" or
"grove", for example (KJV):
1 Kings 15:13 (grove)
1 Kings 16:33 (grove)
1 Kings 18:19 (groves)
Judges 6:25 (grove)
Judges 6:26 (grove)
2nd Chronicles 15:16 (grove)
Deuteronomy 12:3 (groves)
Deuteronomy 16:21 (grove)
Exodus 34:13 (groves)
Of course in all these references she is shown as being in opposition
to Yhwh and to have her images or idols destroyed. Other versions
than the King James
already quoted are no more helpful, for example let's take more
Revised Standard Version: Asherim
New American Bible. . . . Sacred Poles
The Complete Bible. . . . . Sacred Poles
Dr. J. Moffat's translation .Sacred Poles
The Peshitta Bible
(G. M. Lamsa translation). Idols
And that's why you won't find Asherah in the Bible.
But archaeologists working in Israel in the 2nd half of the 20th
century did. A TV show on The Learning Channel (TLC) called
"The Mystery of the Forbidden Goddess", was associated with the
Archaeological Institute of America, and the story consultant was
Archaeology Magazine. The narrator was John Rhys Davies.
Closing this program he said "even today in some Jewish services
wedding songs can still be heard that celebrate the union of God
and his bride; who else could it be but Asherah?"
In the same program archaeologist William G. Dever introduces
two pieces of physical factual evidence. (The quotations are John
Rhys Davies speaking)
(1) In 1968 an inscription was found in a tomb in the hills of Judah.
"He argues that this was a definitive archaeological proof of
Asherah's existence in ancient Israel." William Dever says
"scholars by general concensus would read something like 'and
from his enemies save him by his Asherah'. For the first time,
outside the text in the Hebrew Bible we have a text where Asherah
is mentioned by name and coupled with Yhwh the God of Israel in a
context of blessing".
(2) "A decade later another inscription was found in a stone jar in
'May X be blessed by Yhwh of Samaria and by his Asherah'."
Samaria is said to have been one of the two ancient capital cities,
the other being Jerusalem. If you happen to have a Bible, and if it
has some maps at the back, you may find it marked, or the
'mountain of Samaria' shown, about 22 miles north and slightly
east of Jerusalem.
Now that I think we have established some reasonable documentary
evidence that Yhwh had a consort, just as did the other Immortals,
and that his consort was the powerful Immortal Asherah, let's look
at the Exodus, as described in the Bible. We are gradually coming
to learn that sometimes the facts as they have come down to us are
grossly distorted, but enough of the original intent is left for us to be
able to decipher what was going on.
We begin with Exodus 3:20-22, and for a change let's use the
Revised Standard Version (1946-52)
...And when you go you shall not go empty.
But each woman shall ask of her neighbour, and of her who sojourns
in her house, jewelry of silver and of gold, and clothing, and you shall
put them on your sons and on your daughters; thus you shall despoil
This is "God" speaking to Moses, and we will soon find out why
this command was given to the Israelites. It was not for their
In my web page the section on "The Red Sea Crossing" discusses
my analysis as to what happened there and this takes us to the
Israelites escaping from the Egyptians and now securely in the
scrub or desert land of Sinai.
Let's consider the situation from a practical point of view. Here we
have Yhwh, a young Immortal, who has successfully extricated his
allotment of people from another culture and has them on their
own, but in an inhospitable region. There are probably 5-6000 of
them. They only brought provisions for a few days. They need
food and water. They have come from a highly advanced society of
its time and they are unused to 'living rough' in a wilderness. They
are an amorphous, straggling mass of Israelites and "mixed
multitude" who came with them. Yhwh enticed them to leave with
a promise of a land flowing with milk and honey for themselves.
What is the first thing to be done with or for them?
The troubles start soon enough: Exodus 16:3
Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt,
when we sat by the fleshpots and ate bread to the full; for you have
brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with
Yhwh then provides them with food. How he does it is not our
concern here. Exodus 16:45 tells us he provided food for them for
40 years 'til they came to a habitable land'.
Next they want water. Exodus 17:2. The people found fault with
Moses and said "Give us water to drink". Moses complains to
Yhwh, who solves this problem for them.
Now we come to what I want us to look at more closely: the setting
up of a society by an Immortal. We have earlier discussed the
history of covenants between Immortals and mortal people; here we
have an actual example as to how it was done. It begins with Yhwh
talking to Moses, Exodus 19:3
Then you shall .......tell the people of Israel: 'You have seen ... how I
brought you to myself. Now therefor, if you will obey my voice and
keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all
Moses goes to the people and tells them "all these words which the
Lord had commanded him." And Exodus 19:8
And all the people answered together and said, 'all that the Lord has
spoken we will do.'
Moses reports the words of the people to the Lord.
Next, elaborate arrangements are made for Yhwh to come into
closer contact with the people at large. They are to 'wash their
garments' and abstain from sexual intercourse for 3 days, then go
to the 'mount' but not touch it, for any that does,
whether beast or man, he shall not live.
I analysed what is going on here in my program The Obelisk, listed
elsewhere on this web site. It's clear from these preparations that
the Immortal wants nothing to do directly with his allotted people.
He has a great concern to avoid risk of contact that would transmit
human disease to the Immortals. And in Numbers there is more of
And the Lord spake unto Moses saying
Command the children of Israel. that they put out of the camp every
leper, and every one that hath an issue, and whosoever is defiled by
Both male and female shall ye put out, ... that they defile not their
camps in the midst whereof I dwell.
Then Moses brought the people out of the camp to meet God. Next,
there is more discussion between Moses and Yhwh about keeping
the people away from the 'mount' where 'God' is. The mount is not
a mountain, of course. And Moses says to Yhwh you've already told
us that and it's been done. And now (Exodus 20) Yhwh gives them
the 10 'Commandments.' The first 4 of these are:
1. You shall have no other gods before me
(literally: 'before my face')
2. The longest commandment, forbidding 'graven images' or idols
3. You shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy... a Sabbath to the Lord
So the first 4 Commandments are about Yhwh.
The last six are about human to human relationships: honour your
father and mother, you shall not kill, commit adultery, steal, bear
false witness, covet. Here, in just a few words, we see the ability and
power of the Immortals. This remarkable tiny social document is
enough to keep the Israelites as only Yhwh's personal possession,
and give them (and the rest of the world) a code of ethics to run a
This command was accompanied by a practical demonstration of
the physical powers of the Immortal. (Ex. 20:18)
The thunderings and the lightnings and the sound of the trumpet and
the mount smoking, the people were afraid and trembled and they
stood afar off.
And Ex. 20:19
...and said to Moses "you speak to us, and we will hear, but let not
God speak to us, lest we die"
That's how the Immortals put the 'fear of God' into humans.
It transpires that Moses is talking to
"a thick cloud where God was" (Ex.20:21)
Next Yhwh tells Moses he wants an altar for 'sacrifices.' We already
know, from the Abraham story quoted earlier, that the Immortals
ate properly and hygienically prepared meat, bread, and so on.
These meals were called sacrifices because the humans had to give
up the 'firstlings of the flock' and 'first fruits', which means the best
of both, and we learned that as far back as the story of Cain and
Abel in Genesis.
Here there follows a long list of ordinances, or laws: on treatment of
slaves, bestiality, homosexuality, the list goes on and on. Here's Ex.
When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned,
and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall be clear.
But if the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner
has been warned but has not kept it in, and it kills a man or a woman,
the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.
One more quotation, a law which might be something our present
day politicians would be wise to observe (Ex. 23:8)
And you shall take no bribe, for a bribe blinds the officials, and
subverts the cause of those who are in the right.
Next, Yhwh demands (through Moses) an 'offering' (Ex.25:3)
Gold, silver, and bronze
The list goes on and on, including the finest of cloth and other
materials, and special wood, then (Ex.25.8)
And let them make me a sanctuary that I may dwell in their midst.
What Yhwh orders is a portable palace with a surrounding
enclosure for privacy. Within that enclosure is to be an altar (which
is really an outdoor cook stove). Only Aaron and his assistants, who
must wash and use special clothing and pots and pans for the
preparing of meals for Yhwh, are allowed to handle the food
arrangements. There is a small private room for Yhwh, with an
ante room. Only Aaron, the priest, (='servant of God') may enter
the ante room. He must have bells on him to warn of his approach.
The lamp etc. in the small room is to be of gold. The 'ark' is to be
constructed with pure gold and the covenant written with the
'finger of God' is to be placed inside it. This, I suggest, is where all
our contract law comes from.
Unfortunately this tangible evidence seems to have disappeared
from history long ago, although there is a tradition that it or a
replica of it exists in Ethiopia, guarded at all times, and which no
one is permitted to examine. A TV program on this was, I thought,
After all these instructions are issued as to how everything is to be
done, the Bible, in typical fashion for the writing of its time, repeats
it all as being done.
I have a problem with this part of the story. It seems to me that the
Israelites, even if they 'despoiled the Egyptians' and so could now
possess some precious metal to sacrifice, having just entered into
the hostile 'wilderness' of Sinai, would be unlikely to have either the
materials (including special wood, a great deal of precious metal,
countless goat skins, and so on) or the time or facilities to construct
then and there a portable palace on the scale required. I don't
doubt that this is an excellent example as to how the Immortals
made their subject peoples provide for them, but interposing the
construction project here, in this chronicle of events, seems to me
impractical. I think it may have been inserted from another
narrative or strand which was probably written much earlier.
So let's move on to Exodus 30:11
when you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give
a ransom for himself to the Lord when you number them...
each who is numbered in the census shall give this: half a shekel
according to the shekel of the sanctuary... half a shekel as an offering
to the Lord
every one who is numbered in the census, from 20 years old and
upwards, shall give the Lord's offering
The rich shall not give more, and the poor shall not give less, than the
and you shall take the atonement money from the people of Israel, and
shall appoint it for the service of the tent of meeting
This is of course the meeting of Yhwh with his 'servant of God.' So
now we have a census - Yhwh wants to know how many people he
has, and there is taxation - a flat tax, a per capita or poll tax.
Next we have a rebellion. It's poorly described in Exodus 32:25 .
Because 'the people had broken loose' Moses said 'Who is on the
Lord's side?' Yhwh told him to have the rebels killed. Using
swords, the 'sons of Levi' obeyed (Ex. 32:38)
And there fell of the people that day about three thousand men
We're not told how the Levites distinguished those 'for' and
'against', and then there's the problem of disposal of all that many
bodies in a hot climate. Did they just move camp and leave them
there? The numbers are probably grossly exaggerated ( see my The
Red Sea Crossing chapter 2 on inflated numbers).
There is another, or perhaps the same, rebellion described in
Numbers ch. 16. There the insurgent leaders are Korah, Dathan
and Abiram, and On. The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron about
this. (Numbers 16:21) (KJV)
Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may
consume them in a moment
They took this to mean he would destroy all but them and pleaded
with him not to do that. The Lord then said tell the congregation to
separate themselves from the tabernacle of these men. Next, Num.
So they gat up from the tabernacle of Korah, Dathan, andAbiram, on
every side: and Dathan and Abiram came out, and stood in the door
of their tents, and their wives, and their sons, and their little children
Numbers 16:31 - 32
And it came to pass... that the ground clave asunder that was under
And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their
houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their
By 'houses" I think is meant households, or families. Then Numbers
And there came out a fire from the Lord, and consumed the two
hundred and fifty men that offered incense.
We noticed earlier how the Immortal Yhwh gave instructions to
keep the multitude with their unwashed state well away from him.
So now the sick are to be put outside the camp, perhaps to be left to
die. The Immortal Yhwh has his portable palace, which the
Israelites have to dismantle each time they move camp, and
re-assemble. They are being fed and given water by Yhwh. He in
turn is being fed and housed by a select group of them. They are
numbered and taxed for his benefit. They have been given social
and moral laws in a law code, and those that rebelled have been
slaughtered or otherwise done away with. A coherent society is
being hammered out of the raw human material allotted to Yhwh.
Now that our eyes have been opened and we can see ancient history
for what it was, the "encounter with the Divine" of theologians turns
out to be the "encounter with the Immortals." Thanks to these real,
physical beings formerly here on this planet we have civilization,
but we also have religion founded on subsequent misinterpretation
of events, kingship founded on claims of direct descent, and
censuses, taxation, laws and legal precedents, alphabets, reading,
writing, an inordinate value for gold, and so on.
The personal 'God" that we are taught to worship is no more than a
physical Immortal, one of many who existed here long ago. These
made us what we are. But for their intrusion into this planet's
affairs we would still be in the jungles and grasslands hunting with
clubs and using hand axes. We would still be apes, or hominids, not
homo sapiens sapiens. It's thanks to Immortal down-breeding that
we are 'sapiens.' Once we understand all this and realize it is the
truth, this is not the end, but a beginning.
The Protestant revolution freed the Western human mind from the
drudgery of fearful worship to a church and to kings trying to hold
their populations in the abject subservience the Immortals could
command from their subject peoples. At least the Immortals gave
something in return by their covenants. They brought civilization
into being. But church and state - priests and kings - tried to hold
their populations down in servitude by perpetuation of a dual myth,
the divine God and the divine right of kings.
Strangely enough, the ability of the Immortals was so great that
they even laid down rules to protect humans from humans, because
there is a great deal of self-serving bad in us as well as good.
In a civilized society there has to be some
form of governance. We have been so made that we need it. The
last six Commandments of the '10' given by Yhwh, if carried out
meticulously, could still today operate to run a near paradise of a
Once we understand more about how we came by our
relationship to the
world we live in we may be better able to
comprehend more as to the nature of the universe, so vast and
seemingly endless and diversified, yet apparently of so few
elemental parts. We have a
lot to do, and a lot to learn.