Throughout its sordid history, the Bible has been one of our oldest and most revered records of the ancient world, and one of our only surviving connections to the ancient past. This is largely because of the influence of the l church on the state, and the corruption that came with that -but that’s another issue… we’ll look at some of the criticism of the Bible and its influence on history, later.
For now, we’re looking at where all of this stuff came from -Sumer. While civilization had been building for quite some time, Sumer was one of the first in the Mediterranean to develop complex written language, and advanced building techniques. Their culture spread like wildfire, and was eventually absorbed into the Babylonian Empire. It’s no coincidence that the Hebrew calendar year (5773 or 3760BC) lines up with the establishment of this culture.
While the similarities between these two stories are beyond remarkable, the Sumerian story is quite different from the one that eventually made its way into the Bible, and we’ll be looking at the significance of that change and the evolution of civilization along the way.
A → An → Anu → Anunna → Anunnaki
A = “Beginning / God / Creation”
An = Supreme / God (“of/from Creation”)
Anu = Descendant / Renewal of An (“New God”)
Anunna = “Offspring of An/Anu”
Anunnaki = “Offspring of An/Anu who are of the Earth/Underworld”
The Sumerian creation myth was about a race of what we might consider to be aliens that came from outside of this planet -a place that was facing certain destruction -one might think of Superman and the planet Krypton. These powerful beings sustained a shared power structure for some time, but their self-indulgent behavior sent their world out of whack. They eventually appointed a king as a representative of the supreme authority of the creator of the universe, in order to resolve the chaos that they were facing. The fate of their world was a pressing issue, and after they nearly destroyed themselves, again, their squabble spilled over onto Earth, where they began to make a new world.
Many people believe that this is recounting a story about aliens that literally came from another planet, but it’s way more abstract than that -this is a story about how the earth was formed, and how we got here. They had no idea that we were on some planet, floating through space -to them, there was the sky and the watery abyss, below. The sky was ruled by the god An, and the underworld was ruled by the goddess Ki.
On Earth as it is in Heaven
More than a story of creation, it was the story of history -this was how they kept records, which became increasingly ineffective as these story evolved and collided with those of neighboring cultures. These myths had existed in various forms for thousands and thousands of years before Babylon and Sumer, and by the time these cultures began, people had believed all sorts of things. The story of An, Anu, Enlil, Enki (or whatever variation of the names you like…) was about restoring balance to the world that was sent out of whack by the confusion from the religions of the past.
The sun had always been a central figure, but as we began to rely on the moon and stars for agriculture, the pantheon of gods grew, as well as the stories that represented them. As the number of gods grew, so did their power in the social realm, and this led to mass civilization and what we know of as empires. We sought to bring order to the world of mankind -to make the Earth as it was in the Heavens. We began to build megalithic monuments to honor the gods and restore order to the Universe.
Establishing the Old World Order
The Sumerians believed that the gods came down to Earth from something they called “Nabiru”. Many people believe this to be some other planet, but it means “gateway” (literally translates as “transition point”). To reconnect the Earth with the Heavens, many began to build these monuments to act as a kind of intergalactic portal for the soul -a way for the kings and pharaohs to reconnect with their celestial counterparts. We lined these megaliths up with constellations and the movements of the sun and moon, such as the Great Pyramids of Giza to the stars of Orion’s Belt.
While these stories severed as explanations for the world around us, we became increasingly reliant on the new realities that they represented. Seasons were pivotal for agriculture, and time was becoming increasingly important as we entered into the world of modern society. While this brought great growth and advancement, it also brought its fair share of trouble. Babylon slowly took over all of Mesopotamia, and eventually reached the west coast. This is about where the Genesis story ends and Exodus starts with history in Egypt, where they had their own issues of religion and the political power and conflict around it.
The aim of the Old World Order would be to make the Earth in the image of the Heavens, culminating into the development of monotheism in Egypt (approx. 1500BC). It would achieve this goal through the empowerment of the Pharaoh, and the manipulation of the mass populace through their belief structure.