THE IMMORTALS




CHAPTER 1

The Immortals in ancient Greece

CHAPTER 2

The Immortals in North Africa

CHAPTER 3

The Immortals in Mesopotamia

CHAPTER 4

The Immortals in the land of Canaan

CHAPTER 5

The Immortals in the Bible

CHAPTER 6

Where did they go?

CHAPTER 7

The Immortal Culture

CHAPTER 8

The physical presence of the Immortals on earth

CHAPTER 9

Testing the theory

CHAPTER 10

Testing the Theory II
The 10 Plagues of Egypt

CHAPTER 11

Testing the theory III
The Exodus

CHAPTER 12

Conclusion



TOP OF PAGE




CHAPTER 1

THE IMMORTALS IN ANCIENT GREECE

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 them."(2)

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 Days":

"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...

and therefore

Zeus, son of Kronos, in anger engulfed them...

then Zeus ... created the third generation

of mortals,

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

seized them...

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

about them...

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 says:

"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 earth altogether.

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.


REFERENCES

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.

8. Barthell, (op. Cit.) Page 63, note 6, abridged.


TOP OF PAGE




CHAPTER 2

THE IMMORTALS IN NORTH AFRICA


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." (10)

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

were kings.

12,840 BCE -- 1,500 BCE = 11,340 years

During these 11,340 years men

were kings.

1,500 BCE -- Amosis King

Approximate conventional dating

18,500 BCE less 1,500 BCE = the 17,000 years according to Herodotus.

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 years ago:

"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 too far.


REFERENCES


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.

13. BUDGE, E.A. Wallis, Tutankhamen, London, Martin Hopkinson & Co. 1923 page 65, page 66, excerpts.

14. SHORTER, Alan W., The Egyptian Gods, London, Kegal Paul, 1937 Page 23, excerpt.

15. HERODOTUS, The History, translated by J. Enoch Powell, Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1959, pages 42-4 excerpt, 140-2 excerpt.

16. REDFORD, Donald B., (op.cit.) Page 264, the Tutankhamun Stela, abridged.

17. BUDGE, E.A. Wallis, The Gods of the Egyptians, New York, Dover Publications, 1969, Vol. I pages 372-386 abridged.

18. BUDGE, E. A. Wallis, The Book of the Dead, London, Kegan Paul, 1974 page x abridged, page xxiii abridged and amended, also:

BUDGE, E.A. Wallis, The Gods of the Egyptians, page 409 excerpt, page 407 excerpt, also:

SHORTER, Alan W. (Op. cit.) Page 54 and 55 abridgements.


TOP OF PAGE


CHAPTER 3

THE IMMORTALS IN MESOPOTAMIA

"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 today." (22)

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 the brick mould, and various building implements, laid foundations and built houses." (24)

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 the flesh of the god, there was a spirit. 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 temples.

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 half-Immortals.

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.


REFERENCES


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.) (Egyptian)

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 164-180.)

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, pages 59-61.

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)

38. JASTROW, Morris, Jr., (op. cit.) Page 273.

39. BAILEY, James (op. cit.) Page 162.


TOP OF PAGE



CHAPTER 4

THE IMMORTALS IN THE LAND OF CANAAN

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 warriors.

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 understand.

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.



REFERENCES

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)

TOP OF PAGE

CHAPTER 5

THE IMMORTALS IN THE BIBLE

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 translated:

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 and replaced.


REFERENCES

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.

49. COOGAN, Michael David, (op. cit.) Page 19

50. MULLEN, E. Theodore Jr., (op. cit.) Page 219.

TOP OF PAGE


CHAPTER 6

WHERE DID THEY GO?

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 of mortals."(69)

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 caste."(74)

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)



REFERENCES

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, page 2.

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.

75. MOSELEY, Michael E. (op. cit.) page 12.

76. MORRISON, Tony, (op. cit.) Pages 170-171.

77. MOSELEY, Michael E., (op. cit.) Page 12.

78. MOSELEY, Michael E., (op. cit.) Page 21.



TOP OF PAGE



CHAPTER 7

THE IMMORTAL CULTURE

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 away.

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)


REFERENCES

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 excerpts:

(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.

82. WILDER, H., Man's Prehistoric Past; London, The Macmillan Company, 1923, page 418, also:

SHACKLEY, Myra; Antiquity (a journal) LVI, No. 216, March 1982, page 33.

83. HARDING, Gerald Lancaster, Baalbek, Beirut, 1963, page 39.

84. THE LAST TWO MILLION YEARS (op. cit., No.14 above), page 90 (Minoan).



TOP OF PAGE



CHAPTER 8

THE PHYSICAL PRESENCE OF

THE IMMORTALS ON EARTH

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.


TOP OF PAGE


CHAPTER 9

TESTING THE THEORY

Visual Contact

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 his friend."(85)

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 vision..." (86)

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 that age.


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 enormous.


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 wilderness ..."

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 Version translation:

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 translates as:

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 one. (96)

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.



Treaties

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 court today.



Holy wells

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.



Omens

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.


REFERENCES

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 page 355.

95. THE BIBLE, The Book of Exodus, Chapter 33, verses 18-23.

96. Reported on Quirks and Quarks, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

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."


TOP OF PAGE


CHAPTER 10

Testing the theory II

THE 10 PLAGUES OF EGYPT

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 Jacob.

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 two sons.

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 written there.

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 strand.

"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 Egypt.

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 blood."

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 business".

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 that impressed.

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 not impressed.

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 understandable.

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 impressed.

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 they could.

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.

REFERENCES

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 verses, abridged.

101. MARTIN NOTH; Exodus, A Commentary, Chapters I & II; SCM Press Ltd. Bloomsbury St. London 1962.

Per Martin Noth , P.72 following

1. Water fouled . . . . . . . J & P

2. Frogs. . . . . . . . . . . . . .J & P

3. Gnats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . P

4. Insects (horseflies). . .J

5. Cattle. . . . . . . . . . . . . .J

6. Boils. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .P

7. Hail. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .J & P

8. Locusts. . . . . . . . . . . .J & P

9. Darkness. . . . . . . . . . J & P

10. Death of firstborn. . .J & P

Per Martin Noth E is intertwined with J.


102. EXODUS 8: 16/17

3rd Plague. . . . . . . . . .4th Plague. . . . . .Text Version

Lice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Flies. . . . . . . . . . . KJV

Gnats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Flies . . . . . . . . . . . .Revised Standard Version

Gnats. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Flies . . . . . . . . . . . .New American Bible

Mosquitoes. . . . . . . . . . . . .Gnats . . . . . . . . . . .The Complete Bible

Mosquitoes. . . . . . . . . . . . .Gadflies . . . . . . . . .The Bible in Order

Mosquitoes. . . . . . . . . . . . .Gnats . . . . . . . . . . . Dr. James Moffatt's Bible

Lice. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Flies . . . . . . . . . . . . The Bible, Peshitta, (Eastern)

It seems that probably we have here one event which became two when different strands were combined in Exodus.

Note: both Moffatt's translation and the Bible in Order, edited by Joseph Rhymer, London, Darton, Longman & Todd, 1975, differentiate the strands.


103. BATTO, Bernard F., Biblical Archaeology Review Vol.10, July/Aug. 1984, p.57.

For more discussion on 'yam suph' see The Red Sea Crossing, Chapter 4, on this web site.

TOP OF PAGE



CHAPTER 11

TESTING THE THEORY III

THE EXODUS

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 blessing.

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 El.

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 Exodus 34:13

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 eastern Sinai:

'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 the Egyptians.

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 benefit.

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 hunger.

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 peoples'...

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 the same,

Num. 5:1-4

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 the dead

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 your God

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 just society.

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. 21:28

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, inconclusive.

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 half shekel

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. 16:27

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 them

And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

By 'houses" I think is meant households, or families. Then Numbers 16:35

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.



TOP OF PAGE



CHAPTER 12

CONCLUSION

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 society.

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.

END


TOP OF PAGE

TO HOME PAGE