Category: History



One of the most alarming of the Elite’s doctrines is that of eugenics – controlling human reproduction in order to reduce the number of those that the Elite perceive as inferior to create a ’master race’ with ’desirable’ genetic characteristics. Eugenics had its highest public profile in Nazi Germany but the policies began a long time before Hitler and are continuing to the present day.

The philosophy was pioneered by Thomas Malthus in the 18th/19th centuries who sought to encourage disease and child mortality in the poor. So-called Malthusianism has since been adopted by different organizations for a variety of excuses. After various eugenics policies in the US states in the late 19th century, including the compulsory sterilization of the mentally ill and ’undesirables’ in Indiana, the Rockefellers established a eugenics research centre in New York. They were supported in this venture by the Harrimans, another family of manipulators.

The First International Congress of Eugenics was held in London in 1912 and was attended by a certain Winston Churchill. By 1917, fifteen US states had eugenics laws to sterilize epileptics, the mentally ill and regular criminals. On the agenda of the Third International Congress in 1932 was the ’problem’ of African-Americans which, according to the delegates, revealed a need to sterilize to ’cut off bad stock’.

 

At this meeting were several Nazis, including Dr Ernst Rudin, who had been enabled to attend by the Hamburg-Amerika Shipping Line, owned by the Harriman and Bush families. On returning to Germany, Rudin, who was funded by the Rockefellers, supervised the policy of sterilizing those who were retarded, deaf, blind or alcoholics.

Between 1941 and 1943, at the same time as the ’master race’ mentality in Hitler’s Germany was being condemned by the rest of the world, 42,000 people were sterilized in the US. Five years later theSterilization League/ Birthright Inc. established a eugenics centre in North Carolina which began a project to forcibly sterilize young children who were considered to have a low IQ. This was part funded by the Gray family, close friends of the Bush’s.

 

After the war, John D. Rockefeller III and John Foster Dulles campaigned against the extension of the non-white populations and in 1952 launched the Population Council. This still exits and is still advocating zero population growth in the US, family planning in the developing sector and the expansion of the Club of Rome’s ’Malthusianism’. (See later for details of the Club of Rome.)

Eugenics policies are funded by the World Bank which, at the Rio summit, pledged to double the money available to population control. Birth control is now forced on the developing countries through fear of economic sanctions.

The extent of the population control towards which the Elite are striving was revealed in the 1962/63 ’Report from Iron Mountain’ , a secret study group into controlling population without war. It sought completely artificial procreation to supersede the ’ecological function of war’. This was to include total control of contraception via water supplies and essential food stuffs so babies could only be conceived by those to whom a carefully controlled antidote had been administered. Such a system was apparently already under development… 35 years ago!

George Bush is a major voice in the eugenics movement and is surrounded by like-minded people – Boyden Gray (his legal advisor) and William Draper III (head of fundraising for his 1980 presidential campaign). Draper’s grandfather had unsuccessfully urged eugenics policies on Eisenhower before convincing Johnson to adopt them. In 1969 Bush was involved in hearings into the ’dangers of too many black babies’ and when he became ambassador to the UN in 1972 he arranged for the Association of Voluntary Surgical Contraception (formerly the Sterilization League) to extend its policy of sterilizing young children with ’low’ IQ to non-white countries.

 

This was further extended when Bush became president in 1988.

 

Engineered Wars

War is one of the most effective ways of culling an ’undesirable’ population as Thomas Ferguson, a member of the Office of Population Affairs, explains:

’to reduce the population quickly you have to pull all the males into the fighting and kill significant numbers of fertile, child-bearing age, females.’

From his position of ’shuttle’ diplomat, Henry Kissinger has successfully engineered conflict throughout the world. In Vietnam, the war was caused by the movement of hundreds of thousands of people from the north to the south – a move forced on them by the Saigon Military Mission, created by the CIA in 1954. With no food, they resorted to theft, and by labeling the bands ’the Viet Cong’ a problem was created.

 

Under the pretext that they were controlled by the Khmer Rouge, the north Vietnamese were severely bombed. According to estimates, 30-500,000 Cambodians died in the bombings, when in fact China was the power behind North Vietnam, supported by Kissinger with US/China liaisons headed by George Bush. The Khmer Rouge reacted, as expected, and took Cambodia, murdering 32% of the population.

 

During the war, the CIA station in Saigon coordinated Operation Phoenix which reportedly murdered 40,000 Vietnamese on ’suspicion’ of working for the Viet Cong – that is, they could read and write. Two of the US commanders in the conflict were Maxwell Taylor and William Westmoreland, both members of the Population Crisis Council and Draper Fund.

The Yom Kippur war and countless other ’civil wars’ in Central America and Africa have been engineered by Kissinger to cull populations as even when it is not the prime aim; mass killings are perceived as a useful by-product of war.

Kissinger is a member of the Club of Rome and in 1974 supervised the production of National Security Study Memo 200 about the implications of population growth. This stated that population growth in the developing world would lead to a desire for self determination of their economies. It continued that the population must therefore be controlled, but this fact must be withheld from the country’s leaders. Amongst the countries specifically targeted were Ethiopia, Colombia, India, Nigeria, Mexico and Indonesia.

Indonesia is an horrendous example of conflict creation for the purposes of eugenics and corporate control, while public bodies and the media remain obstinately silent. General Suharto took control of Indonesia in 1965 through a CIAbacked coup and has since been responsible for 500,000 murders in his own country.

 

However, because his administration is subservient to Western corporations, allowing them to exploit the land and the people (e.g. Reebok), this appalling tragedy goes unchallenged in the media. In December 1975 Indonesia invaded the Portuguese colony of East Timor and, in the following years, proceeded to slaughter 200,000 people, a third of the Timorese population. This genocide (eugenics) has been carried out with arms from Britain (British Aerospace’s Hawk Jets) and US, approval from the West (Kissinger and Ford were in Indonesia days before the invasion) and complete silence in the mass media.

 

The simple reason is that oil and gas reserves had been discovered off the coast of East Timor which the multinational oil companies could exploit only if controlled by a corporate-friendly culture – likeIndonesia.


 


 

Prewar photograph of three Jewish children with their babysitter. Two of the children perished in 1942. Warsaw, Poland, 1925-1926.

– US Holocaust Memorial Museum

INTRODUCTION TO THE HOLOCAUST

The Holocaust was the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of approximately six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators. “Holocaust” is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” The Nazis, who came to power in Germany in January 1933, believed that Germans were “racially superior” and that the Jews, deemed “inferior,” were an alien threat to the so-called German racial community.

During the era of the Holocaust, German authorities also targeted other groups because of their perceived “racial inferiority”:Roma (Gypsies), the disabled, and some of the Slavic peoples (Poles, Russians, and others). Other groups were persecuted on political, ideological, and behavioral grounds, among them Communists, Socialists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and homosexuals.

Holocaust Victims (The Jewish Slavic Race of Europe) Bolshevik, Russian, Bosnian, Serbian, Croatian, Polish.
WHAT WAS THE HOLOCAUST?

In 1933, the Jewish population of Europe stood at over nine million. Most European Jews lived in countries that Nazi Germany would occupy or influence during World War II. By 1945, the Germans and their collaborators killed nearly two out of every three European Jews as part of the “Final Solution,” the Nazi policy to murder the Jews of Europe. Although Jews, whom the Nazis deemed a priority danger to Germany, were the primary victims of Nazi racism, other victims included some 200,000 Roma (Gypsies). At least 200,000 mentally or physically disabled patients, mainly Germans, living in institutional settings, were murdered in the so-called Euthanasia Program.

As Nazi tyranny spread across Europe, the Germans and their collaborators persecuted and murdered millions of other people. Between two and three million Soviet prisoners of war were murdered or died of starvation, disease, neglect, or maltreatment. The Germans targeted the non-Jewish Polish intelligentsia for killing, and deported millions of Polish and Soviet civilians forforced labor in Germany or in occupied Poland, where these individuals worked and often died under deplorable conditions. From the earliest years of the Nazi regime, German authorities persecuted homosexuals and others whose behavior did not match prescribed social norms. German police officials targeted thousands of political opponents (including Communists, Socialists, and trade unionists) and religious dissidents (such as Jehovah’s Witnesses). Many of these individuals died as a result of incarceration and maltreatment.

ADMINISTRATION OF THE “FINAL SOLUTION” 

In the early years of the Nazi regime, the National Socialist government established concentration camps to detain real and imagined political and ideological opponents. Increasingly in the years before the outbreak of war, SS and police officials incarcerated Jews, Roma, and other victims of ethnic and racial hatred in these camps. To concentrate and monitor the Jewish population as well as to facilitate later deportation of the Jews, the Germans and their collaborators created ghettos, transit camps, and forced-labor camps for Jews during the war years. The German authorities also established numerous forced-labor camps, both in the so-called Greater German Reich and in German-occupied territory, for non-Jews whose labor the Germans sought to exploit.

Following the invasion of the Soviet Union in June 1941, Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units) and, later, militarized battalions of Order Police officials, moved behind German lines to carry out mass-murder operations against Jews, Roma, and Soviet state and Communist Party officials. German SS and police units, supported by units of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen SS, murdered more than a million Jewish men, women, and children, and hundreds of thousands of others. Between 1941 and 1944, Nazi German authorities deported millions of Jews from Germany, from occupied territories, and from the countries of many of its Axis allies to ghettos and to killing centers, often called extermination camps, where they were murdered in specially developed gassing facilities.

 

THE END OF THE HOLOCAUST 

In the final months of the war, SS guards moved camp inmates by train or on forced marches, often called “death marches,” in an attempt to prevent the Allied liberation of large numbers of prisoners. As Allied forces moved across Europe in a series of offensives against Germany, they began to encounter and liberate concentration camp prisoners, as well as prisoners en route by forced march from one camp to another. The marches continued until May 7, 1945, the day the German armed forces surrendered unconditionally to the Allies. For the western Allies, World War II officially ended in Europe on the next day, May 8 (V-E Day), while Soviet forces announced their “Victory Day” on May 9, 1945.

In the aftermath of the Holocaust, many of the survivors found shelter in displaced persons (DP) camps administered by the Allied powers. Between 1948 and 1951, almost 700,000 Jews emigrated to Israel, including 136,000 Jewish displaced persons from Europe. Other Jewish DPs emigrated to the United States and other nations. The last DP camp closed in 1957. The crimes committed during the Holocaust devastated most European Jewish communities and eliminated hundreds of Jewish communities in occupied eastern Europe entirely.

THE ARCHITECT OF HOLOCAUST

 

Heinrich Luitpold Himmler. 7 October 1900 – 23 May 1945) was Reichsführer of the Schutzstaffel (SS), a military commander, and a leading member of the Nazi Party (NSDAP). As Chief of the German Police and the Minister of the Interior from 1943, Himmler oversaw all internal and external police and security forces, including the Gestapo(Secret State Police). Serving as Reichsführer and later as Commander of the Replacement (Home) Army and General Plenipotentiary for the entire Reich’s administration (Generalbevollmächtigter für die Verwaltung), Himmler was one of the most powerful men in Nazi Germany and one of the persons most directly responsible for theHolocaust. Himmler wanted to breed a master race of Nordic Aryans in Germany. His experience as a chicken farmer had taught him the rudiments of animal breeding which he proposed to apply to humans.

He believed that he could engineer the German populace, through eugenic selective breeding, to be entirely “Nordic” in appearance within several decades of the end of the war, After the Night of the Long Knives, the SS-Totenkopfverbände organized and administered Germany’s regime of concentration camps and, after 1941,extermination camps in occupied Poland as well. The SS—through its intelligence arm, the Security Service (Sicherheitsdienst, or SD)—dealt with JewsGypsiescommunists and those persons of any other cultural, racial, political or religious affiliation deemed by the Nazis to be either Untermensch (sub-human) or in opposition to the regime, and placed them in concentration camps. Himmler opened the first of these camps at Dachau on 22 March 1933. He was the main architect of the Holocaust, using elements of mysticism and a fanatical belief in the racistNazi ideology to justify the murder of millions of victims. Himmler had similar plans for the Poles; intellectuals were to be killed, and most other Poles were to be only literate enough to read traffic signs. On 18 December 1941, Himmler’s appointment book shows he met with Hitler. The entry for that day poses the question “What to do with the Jews of Russia?”, and then answers the question “als Partisanen auszurotten” (exterminate them as partisans”). In contrast to Hitler, Himmler inspected concentration camps. As a result of these inspections, the Nazis searched for a new and more expedient way to kill, which culminated in the use of the gas chambers.

THE ROOT OF RACIAL HATRED AND DIVISIONS OF MANKIND (RACE)


Charles Robert Darwin (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882)

THE DISASTERS OF DARWINISM
Neo, Neural, Social, Universal Darwinism

Darwin believed that human beings are separated into two ranks, the superior and inferior, while the superior humans were given (predetermined by fate) much higher intellect and survival dexterity, the inferior however is a total opposite. Often disregarded and subjugated, the inferior ‘race’ or degenerated species were the main target for the tyrants, and as helpless and confused victims they struggled to erase themselves from the seemingly endless cruelty of this world, which clearly has been led by the superior ‘race’ since. Regrettably, their only escape was death. Darwin also believed that the inferior ones were meant to be inferior since birth, because naturally they were genetically created or existed to become lower beings and validated as ‘monkeys’ or animals within the society. They were born to be submissive to the superior ones, that is to say, to obey the oppressor thus becoming the oppressed. The superior ones were allowed to become a tyrant and freely abuse the inferior ones in a disturbing world filled with tyranny. This, was a teaching of Darwin. He suggested that the inferior beings should be demolished, and that was when the idea of Genocide came into existence and soon was adopted in the political world. Some scientists were already tempted by the Nazis plan to eradicate the Jews, and to experiment with human, biologically. Darwin was an ugly, insane, paranoid, delusional, heretical, depressed, lonely, disgruntled old man who was no more than the 18thcentury Antichrist. His followers were mostly like him, no doubt. Hitler, Stalin and Heinrich was a beast among other higher beasts. A product of Darwin’s violent method in science. As a matter of fact, Darwin didn’t have the chance to live up to this day to witness his own ‘masterpiece’, however if he does, he’s going to be the proudest bastard on Earth, why? His Darwinism method has killed more than 9 millions of innocent lives. I repeat, 9 million lives. If the guilt falls on you, how do you sleep at night?

 

DARWINISM INFLUENCE

“Darwinism” implied that because natural selection was apparently no longer working on “civilized” people, it was possible for “inferior” strains of people (who would normally be filtered out of the gene pool) to overwhelm the “superior” strains, and voluntary corrective measures would be desirable — the foundation of eugenics. That is to suggest, to commence annihilation for the whole ‘inferior’ species.

– Human evolution (Intelligent Design Movement)

– Creationism (Philosophical Naturalism, Atheism)

– Natural Selections

– Genetic Mutations (Gene drift, Gene flow)

– Pangenenesis (Genetic hierarchical sociobilogical hereditary)

– Lamarckism (The Modern Synthesis)

THE TERM “GENOCIDE”
Ethnic Cleansing (Racial hatred, religious conflicts, political strategies)

*Jewish – Mostly German-occupied, European Jews. (Innocent, non-Zions, non-Israeli Jews)

*Muslims – Bosnian, African, Palestinian. (Eastern European, Middle Eastern & African Muslims)

The term “genocide” did not exist before 1944. It is a very specific term, referring to violent crimes committed against groups with the intent to destroy the existence of the group. Human rights, as laid out in the US Bill of Rights or the 1948 United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, concern the rights of individuals.

In 1944, a Polish-Jewish lawyer named Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) sought to describe Nazi policies of systematic murder, including the destruction of the European Jews. He formed the word “genocide” by combining geno-, from the Greek word for race or tribe, with –cide, from the Latin word for killing. In proposing this new term, Lemkin had in mind “a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” The next year, the International Military Tribunal held at Nuremberg, Germany, charged top Nazis with “crimes against humanity.” The word “genocide” was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.

Raphael Lemkin (right) with Ambassador Amado of Brazil (left) before a plenary session of the General Assembly at which the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide was approved. Palais de Chaillot, Paris, December 11, 1948.

– United Nations Archives and Records Management Section.

“The allies decided in Nuremberg a case against a past Hitler, but refused to envisage future Hitlers, or like situations … In brief, the Germans were punished only for crimes committed during or in connection with the war of aggression. Crimes against humanity were not an independent category of crimes in themselves. They were only considered crimes when their connection with other crimes could be established.”

– Unpublished memoir of Raphael Lemkin.
THE CRIMES OF GENOCIDE
Human Rights Violation, Crime Against Human, Racial Slaughter, Annihilations of Newborns.

On December 9, 1948, in the shadow of the Holocaust and in no small part due to the tireless efforts of Lemkin himself, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This convention establishes “genocide” as an international crime, which signatory nations “undertake to prevent and punish.” It defines genocide as; Genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious physical or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about

     its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

While many cases of group-targeted violence have occurred throughout history and even since the Convention came into effect, the legal and international development of the term is concentrated into two distinct historical periods: the time from the coining of the term until its acceptance as international law (1944-1948) and the time of its activation with the establishment of international criminal tribunals to prosecute the crime of genocide (1991-1998). Preventing genocide, the other major obligation of the convention, remains a challenge that nations and individuals continue to face.

TIMELINE

This is a timeline noting the major conceptual and legal advances in the development of “genocide.” It does not attempt to detail all cases which might be considered as genocides, but rather how the term becomes a part of the political, legal, and ethical vocabulary
of responding to widespread threats of violence against groups.
THE FIRST GENOCIDE

1894: The Islamic Ottoman Empire – The Armenian Christians

Although granted their own constitution and national assembly with the Tanzimat reforms, the Armenians attempted to demand implementation of Article 61 from the Ottoman government as agreed upon at the Congress of Berlin in 1878. Following pressure from the European powers and Armenians, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, in response, assigned the Hamidiye regiments to eastern Anatolia (Ottoman Armenia). These were formed mostly of irregular cavalry units of recruited Kurds. From 1894–96, between 100,000 to 300,000 Armenians living throughout the empire were killed in what became known as the Hamidian massacres. Armenian militants seized the Ottoman Bank headquarters in Constantinople in 1896 to bring European attention to the massacres, but they failed to gain any help.

THE 21st CENTURY GENOCIDES

1900: Raphael Lemkin
Raphael Lemkin, who would later coin the word “genocide,” was born into a Polish Jewish family in 1900. His memoirs detail early exposure to the history of Ottoman attacks against Armenians (which most scholars believe constitute genocide), anti-Semitic pogroms, and other histories of group-targeted violence as key to forming his beliefs about the need for legal protection of groups.

1933: Rise of Adolf Hitler (Nazi Germany)
With the appointment of Adolf Hitler as Chancellor on Jan 30, 1933, the Nazi Party took control of Germany. In October, German delegates walked out of disarmament talks in Geneva and Nazi Germany withdrew from the League of Nations. In October, at an international legal conference in Madrid, Raphael Lemkin (who later coined the word “genocide” ) proposed legal measures to protect groups. His proposal did not receive support.

1939: World War II (Nazi – Soviet Union)
World War II began on September 1, 1939, when Germany invaded Poland triggering a treaty-mandated Anglo-French declaration of war on Germany. On September 17, 1939, the Soviet army occupied the eastern half of Poland. Lemkin fled Poland, escaping across the Soviet Union and eventually arriving in the United States.

1941: A Crime Without A Name
On June 22, 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. As the German forces advanced further east, SS, police, and military personnel carried out atrocities that moved British Prime Minister Winston Churchill to state in August 1941: “We are in the presence of a crime without a name.” In December 1941, the United States entered World War II on the side of the Allied forces. Lemkin, who arrived in the United States as a refugee in 1941, had heard of Churchill’s speech and later claimed that his introduction of the word “genocide” was in part a response to Churchill’s statement.

1944: “Genocide” coined (Ethnic Cleansing – Jewish)
Nazi leadership embarked on a variety of population policies aimed at restructuring the ethnic composition of Europe by force, using mass murder as a tool. Included among these policies and involving mass murder were the attempt to murder all European Jews, which we now refer to as the Holocaust, the attempt to murder most of the Gypsy (Roma) population of Europe, and the attempt to physically liquidate the leadership classes of Poland and the former Soviet Union. Also included in these policies were numerous smaller scale resettlement policies involving the use of brutal force and murder that we now refer to as a form of ethnic cleansing. In 1944, Raphael Lemkin, who had moved to Washington, DC, and worked with the US War Department, coined the word “genocide” in his text Axis Rule in Occupied Europe. This text documented patterns of destruction and occupation throughout Nazi-held territories.

1945-1946: International Military Tribunal (Europe)
Between November 20, 1945, and October 1, 1946, the International Military Tribunal in Nuremberg tried 22 major Nazi German leaders on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity and conspiracy to commit each of these crimes. It was the first time that international tribunals were used as a post-war mechanism for bringing national leaders to justice. The word “genocide” was included in the indictment, but as a descriptive, not legal, term.

1947-1948: Creating An International Convention On Genocide (United Nations)
Raphael Lemkin was a critical force for bringing “genocide” before the nascent United Nations, where delegates from around the world debated the terms of an international law on genocide. On December 9, 1948, the final text was adopted unanimously. The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide entered into force on January 12, 1951, after more than 20 countries from around the world ratified it.

1950-1987: Cold war (Europe)
Massive crimes against civilian populations were all too common in the years after World War II and throughout the Cold War. Whether these situations constituted “genocide” was scarcely considered by the countries that had undertaken to prevent and punish that crime by joining the Genocide Convention.

1970s-Present: Palestine and Israel (War Crimes)

1988: US signs the Genocide Convention (United Nations)
On November 4, 1988, US President Ronald Reagan signed the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. The Convention had strong supporters, but also faced ardent opponents, who argued it would infringe on US national sovereignty. One of the Convention’s strongest advocates, Senator William Proxmire from Wisconsin delivered over 3,000 speeches advocating the Convention in Congress from 1968-1987.

1991-1995: Wars of The Former Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats, Bolshevik – Eastern Europe)
The wars of the former Yugoslavia were marked by massive war crimes and crimes against humanity. The conflict in Bosnia (1992-1995) brought some of the harshest fighting and worst massacres to Europe since World War II. In one small town, Srebrenica, as many as 8,000 Bosnian men and boys were murdered by Serbian forces.

1993: Resolution 827 (Bosnian Muslims – Bosnia Herzegovina)
In response to the atrocities occurring in Bosnia, the United Nations Security Council issued resolution 827, establishing the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague. It was the first international criminal tribunal since Nuremberg. Crimes the ICTY can prosecute and try are: grave breaches of the 1949 Geneva Conventions, violations of the laws or customs of war, genocide, and crimes against humanity. Its jurisdiction is limited to crimes committed on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.

1994: Genocide in Rwanda (Tutsi Tribe – Africa)
From April until mid-July, at least 500,000 civilians, mostly from the Tutsi minority group, were killed in Rwanda. It was killing on a devastating scale, scope, and speed. In October, the UN Security Council extended the mandate of the ICTY to include a separate but linked tribunal for Rwanda, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), located in Arusha, Tanzania.

1998: First Conviction for Genocide (International Criminal Tribunal)
On September 2, 1998, the ICTR issued the world’s first conviction for genocide in an international tribunal when Jean-Paul Akayesuwas judged guilty of genocide and crimes against humanity for acts he engaged in and oversaw as mayor of the Rwandan town of Taba. Through an international treaty ratified on July 17, 1998, the International Criminal Court was permanently established to prosecute genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. The treaty reconfirmed the definition of genocide found in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It also expanded the definition of crimes against humanity and prohibits these crimes during times of war or peace. While the ICTY and ICTR and the emerging International Criminal Court have helped establish legal precedents and can investigate crimes within their jurisdictions, punishment of genocide remains a difficult task. Even more difficult is the continuing challenge to prevent genocide.

2001-2011: United States and Iraq (Political Conflicts)

2004: Genocide in Darfur (Sudan Muslims – Africa)
For the first time in US government history, an ongoing crisis was referred to as a “genocide.” On September 9, 2004, Secretary of State Colin Powell testified before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that “We concluded–I concluded–that genocide has been committed in Darfur and that the Government of Sudan and the Janjaweed bear responsibility–and that genocide may still be occurring.”


Scholars Identify “Babylon The Great” with CHRISTMAS:

“Nimrod started the great organized worldly apostasy from God that has dominated this world until now.
Nimrod married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. After Nimrod’s death, his so-called mother-wife,
Semiramis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. She claimed a full-grown
evergreen tree sprang overnight from a dead tree stump, which symbolized the springing forth unto new life
of the dead Nimrod. On each anniversary of his birth, she claimed, Nimrod would visit the evergreen tree
and leave gifts upon it. December 25th, was the birthday of Nimrod. This is the real origin of the Christmas tree.”

‘THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS’
by David J. Stewart | December 24th, 2005

“The real origin of Christmas goes back to ancient Babylon. It is bound up in the organized apostasy
with which Satan has gripped a deceived world these many centuries! In Egypt, it was always believed that
the son of Iris (Egyptian name for “Queen of Heaven”) was born December 25th. Semiramis also bore the title
“Queen of Heaven” – and she was Nimrod’s mother. Paganism celebrated this famous birthday over most
of the known world for centuries before the birth of Christ.”

‘THE PLAIN TRUTH ABOUT CHRISTMAS’
by David J. Stewart | December 24th, 2005

“Christmas as a pagan holiday traces back thousands of years before to a man named Nimrod, founder of ancient pagan Babylon.”

‘CHRISTMAS UNWRAPPED’
From the History Channel by Alan Mansager.

“Babylon’s false worship is found today in every nation and in some aspect in nearly all religions, including present day christianity.”

‘CHRISTMAS UNWRAPPED’
From the History Channel by Alan Mansager.

“Egyptian and Babylonian antiquities identify Nimrod’s mother as Semiramis, and his birthday was celebrated on 25th December.”

‘THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS’
by Mike Gascoigne; 1996

“Thus began the worship of Semiramis and the child-god, and the whole paraphanalia of the Babylonian religious system.”

‘THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS’
by Mike Gascoigne; 1996

“The Roman Pagans used to celebrate the birthday of their child-god on 25th December, and the Roman
Catholic Church sought to win over as many people as possible to nominal Catholicism by proclaiming
the same day to be the birthday of Jesus. So the Pagans had no difficulty worshipping the Catholic
Madonna and child. They were seen as yet another manifestation of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven
(Semiramis)and her son (Nimrod). The Pagans made no compromises, they didn’t need to, they just
continued their Pagan worship within the church.”

‘THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS’
by Mike Gascoigne; 1996

“While it’s easy to knock the Catholic Church because of their Maryolatry, the Protestants cannot
be left off the hook. The Protestant Reformation dispensed with only a part of the Babylonian system
of worship. The celebration of Christmas, inherited from the Roman Catholic Church, via Pagan Rome,
via Egypt, via Babylon, is still practiced as the most important event in the Protestant Christian
calendar, so from that point of view the Protestants are as much into Paganism as the Catholics.”

‘THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS’
by Mike Gascoigne; 1996

“The Christmas tree is specifically a Babylonian symbol. On Christmas Eve the Yule Log is thrown onto the fire.
On Christmas Day there is the tree, covered in decorations and surrounded with presents, representing the resurrected
Nimrod of Babylon.”

‘THE TRUE MEANING OF CHRISTMAS’
by Mike Gascoigne; 1996

“FOR MANY years Christmas and other major holidays, such as Easter, Halloween, etc., have been portrayed
as having a Christian origin, yet they all have their common origins in Ancient Babylon.”

‘THE TRUE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS & OTHER HOLIDAYS’
(Who Was Really Born On December 25?)
by The Gilead Institute of America.

“December 25 was highly honored and recognized by Nimrod’s supporters…Many centuries later this pagan custom
was “Christianized” as being the birthday of Christ.”

‘THE TRUE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS & OTHER HOLIDAYS’
(Who Was Really Born On December 25?)

by The Gilead Institute of America.

“Today, the celebrated holiday known as Christmas, will actually find its roots in ancient Babylon.
Christmas is a pagan holiday, which was first formed by Semiramis, the mother-wife of Nimrod. This became
a holiday after Semiramis indoctrinated it into the Babylonish government upon the death of Nimrod.”

‘THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS’
Excerpt from Seven Seal Publications,
by The Biography of Noble Drew Ali & The Exhuming Of A Nation.

“Nimrod’s birth date was December 25th. This never was the birth date of Jesus, son of Joseph by Mary;
nor does any Holy Book support this idea.”

‘THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS’
Excerpt from Seven Seals Publications,
by The Biography of Noble Drew Ali & The Exhuming Of A Nation.

“The Christmas tree custom is also a pagan tradition stemming from Nimrod’s mother in her attempt to immortalize her son.”

‘THE TRUE HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS’
by The Biography of Noble Drew Ali & The Exhuming Of A Nation.

“December 25th was celebrated as Baal or Nimrod’s birthday. By tradition, this birthday celebration became an integral
part of every human culture, based on this pagan idolatry. Generally, all mankind is fast asleep, dreaming this old
Babylonian dream. Christmas was an attempt by Catholicism to revise and adopt this paganism.”

‘THE STORY OF NIMROD’
(As It Relates To Christmas And Easter)
by Wilhelm J Wolfaardt.

“Scripture itself demands that we observe the Messiah’s death, and not His birth. But, since the pagan mind was so oriented
around fertility and birth,  it developed the way we see it today, blending the most important features of pagan interpretation.
“Babel, the Great Mother of Harlots and of the Abominations of the Earth” — has intoxicated the masses.”

‘THE STORY OF NIMROD’
(As It Relates To Christmas And Easter)
by Wilhelm J Wolfaardt.

“Christmas as a pagan holiday traces back thousands of years to a man named Nimrod,
founder of ancient pagan Babylon. Nimrod began a counterfeit religion in the Book of Genesis.
The Bible refers to it as the religion of Mystery Babylon — the mother of false religion
that will be destroyed when the Savior Jesus comes to set up His throne on earth, Revelation 18.
Babylon’s false worship is found today in some aspect in nearly all religions, including Christendom.”

‘NIMROD: THE GRANDFATHER OF PAGANISM’
by The Yahweh’s Restoration Ministries
.

“Jesus Christ was NOT born on December 25. But December 25th can be traced back to Genesis
and a man named Nimrod. Nimrod was the founder of a great false religious system that began in
ancient Babylon that has always opposed the truths of God. It’s time we face facts! This world is
deceived, just as God prophesied it would be (Rev. 12:9). Satan is the power behind this deception.
Satan has successfully pawned off the old customs of the Babylonian mystery religion as being pleasing
to Jesus Christ.”

‘WHY CHRISTMAS IS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO GOD’
By Carl Hilliker and Mark Jenkins in ‘Trumpet’ article, December 2002.

“The book of Revelation is an end-time book. In chapter 17 we are told that Jesus Christ
will one day pass judgment upon a “great whore” bearing the title mystery, babylon the great,
the mother of harlots and abominations of the earth (v. 5). This is the great false Babylonian religious
system that Nimrod founded and its many false religious variations or denominations throughout the world!”

‘WHY CHRISTMAS IS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO GOD’
By Carl Hilliker and Mark Jenkins in ‘Trumpet’ article, December 2002.

“Can there be any doubt what Jesus Christ thinks of this church? Every inhabitant of Earth has been
made to suffer to one degree or another by the deceptions created by its “abominations.”
Revelation 18:4 carries this plea: “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her,
my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Right now,
God is sending out that same warning message to all who will listen: Come out of all these pagan
practices disguised as Christianity. Don’t partake any longer of those sins. The celebration of Christmas and
its customs is just one of those sins. It seems harmless, but those who stay in such deception will eventually
have to face the wrath of Jesus Christ.”

‘WHY CHRISTMAS IS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO GOD’
By Carl Hilliker and Mark Jenkins in ‘Trumpet’ article, December 2002.

“It is no wonder that Jesus said, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way,
that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate,
and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.“ Popular opinion
should not prevent individuals who know the truth from turning away from a festival season steeped
in paganism. Jesus said that, in order to be His disciples, there would be times when we would need
to forsake the desires of our family and friends and follow Him (Luke 14:26-27).

‘WHY CHRISTMAS IS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO GOD’
By Carl Hilliker and Mark Jenkins in ‘Trumpet’ article, December 2002.

“God does give us a command to memorialize Jesus Christ: He commands us to observe the day
of Christ’s death (i Cor. 11:24-27)—NOT His birth.You now have a choice: You can continue keeping
Christmas year after year, accepting the influence of your family, friends, neighbors and Nimrod,
or you can accept the commands of the Eternal God by learning more about HIM.”

‘WHY CHRISTMAS IS NOT SO IMPORTANT TO GOD’
By Carl Hilliker and Mark Jenkins in ‘Trumpet’ article, December 2002.

“Lent, Easter and Christmas are of Babylonian origin.”

‘EASTER AND CHRISTMAS PAGANISM 2000 B.C. TO DATE’
by Edward Stevens (1895-1966)

“Christmas” festivities are not just “pre-Christian”— dating to pagan worship of the sun god—but they in fact
have NO connection to the date of birth of the true Messiah, Jesus Christ.”

‘IS CHRISTMAS CHRISTIANS?’
Volume 6, Issue 6
By John H. Ogwyn

The Two Babylons

by Alexander Hislop
originally published in 1916
paperback; 352 pages

Written in the classical style, this volume is truly one of the great works of Christian apologetics. From a huge depository of ancient historical texts and myths, the author demonstrates that nearly all the dogmas and practices of the Romish church — the celebration of Christmas and Easter, the veneration of the Virgin Mary, the Mass, etc. — have been copied from the Babylonian worship of Nimrod and his wife Semiramis, and that the papacy is the direct descendent of that “mystery of iniquity” which was beginning to corrupt the Christian Church even in the First Century. As an account of the historical war between Christ and Antichrist, and of fallen mankind’s revolt against the true knowledge of God, this book is without equal and Hislop’s research will also aid the reader in understanding many difficult portions of the Old Testament. Illustrated with 61 woodcuts from Ninevah, Babylon, Egypt, Pompeii, and other heathen cultures.

Related Titles:

The History of Romanism
by Rev. John Dowling (1845)

The Master’s Carpet: Masonry and Baal-Worship Identical
by Edmond Ronayne (1879)

Thoughts on Popery
by Rev. William Nevins (1836)

RARE HISTORICAL PHOTOS


8e836a1c0832e84550a241d18bf26b34Albert Einstein looking fabulous

historical-photos-pt3-microsoft-staff-1978A Young Bill Gates and The Microsoft Gang

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_08The Last Known Tasmanian Tiger,Photographed in 1933 The Species is Now Extinct

historical-photos-pt3-martin-luther-kingMartin Luther King jr Removes a Burned Cross From his Yard in 1960.The Little Boy is His Son

604bc84e510a769558111c0f461e32a7Google Begins.34 People Here

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_06Nagasaki,20 Minutes After The Atomic Bombing in 1945

historical-photos-pt3-native-railroad-overlookA Native American Indian Overlooking The Newly Completed Transcontinental Railroad in 1868

266ac00ea2454d34b1ad0e5d9d182ae5The Great San Francisco Fire and Earthquake in 1906

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_05A Japanese Plane is Shot Down During The Battle of Saipan in 1944

historical-photos-pt3-mcdonalds-ronald-original-1963The Original Ronald Mcdonald—Played by Willard Scott

415e30dc3b1127b66acb5cd11ad44fb3Hitler in Paris

3f86230a18a47bfbb25891873d7695f3Winston Churchill out for a Swim,Typical Swimsuit of those Times

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_07A London Sky Following a Bombing and Dogfight Between British and German Fighter Planes in 1940

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_04British SAS Back From 3 Month Long Patrol of North Africa January 18th 1943

0030f3aa991a83f1cc0ec5e4cb5299d6The First Mcdonald—Buy em By The Bag -On The Sign

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_03Fidel Castro Lays a Wreath at The Lincoln Memorial

c05cebafe0754f8ca7c539cf048ae93e

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_02The 1912 World Series

7c433d7c0fc7b0c619939495550d7d4bElvis in The Army

historical-photos-pt4-discovery-machu-picchuThe First Photo Following The Discovery of Machu Pichu in 1912

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_18Child Laborers in 1880

e3b648883052dae78cb5ebebdc9e1d88Construction of Christ The Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro Brasil

historical-photos-pt4-times-square-1911New York’s Times Square Circa 1911

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_17Leo Tolstoy Tells a Story to His Grandchildren in 1909

historical-photos-pt4-beatles-muhammad-aliThe Beatles Meet Muhammad Ali

awesome_photos_collected_from_history_1614 Year Old Osama Bin Laden 2nd From Right Bell Bottoms,Nice Threads,Expensive Shops

historical-photos-pt5-construction-statue-of-liberty-1884Construction of “Lady Liberty” 1884

Allah Moon God


moon god

 

12721_original (1)

13097_original

13422_original

13620_original

Allah Moon GodIs Allah the God of the Bible, or is Allah the moon god of ancient pagan Arabia?

While “Allah” could refer to God literally, the Allah of Islam is the moon god of ancient pagan Arabia.

The Arabic word for “god” is “ilah”, while “al” is the Arabic for “the”. Therefore, “Allah” combines “al” with “ilah” and removes the “i”, to literally means, “the god”.

But much like “YHWH/Yahweh/Jehovah” is thepersonal name of the God of the Bible, “Allah” was also the personal name given to the moon god, the highest of the 360 pagan idols worshipped in Mecca, Muhammad’s home town

What evidence is there that Islam’s “Allah” is the pagan moon god of ancient Mecca?

Consider what the pagan Arabians did to worship their moon god, Allah; they prayed while bowing towards K’abah, the “house of Allah” in Mecca that houses a meteorite – a stone from space – several times a day, visited it once a year, and walked around it several times during their visit.

Kabah HajjTo worship their Allah today:

•  Muslims pray bowing towards the K’abah in Mecca five times a day.

•  About two million Muslims visit Mecca every year and walk around the K’abah (the black cube, which is 40 feet tall, on the right).

•  The Muslim “holy” month of Ramadan starts at the sighting of a new crescent moon.

•  Perched atop churches across the world is the cross, the symbol of the sacrifice made by our God. Perched atop mosques across the world is the crescent moon (above), the symbol of Allah whom Muhammad chose as the god of Islam.

When confronted with the details above, Muslim typically re-assert that “Allah” still means “al” + “ilah” – i.e., “the” + “god” – and is same as the God of the Bible, not the moon god of pagan Mecca. They even point out that Arabic Christian Bibles uses “Allah” to refer to God.

The “Allah” in the current Arabic Christian Bibles is literally “the God” and does refer to the God of the Bible. Advise Muslims that if this is really the “Allah” they are worshipping, then they should stop bowing down toward a meteorite five times a day and the crescent moon should neither start their “holy” month of Ramadan nor top their mosques. If the Allah they are worshipping is the God of the Bible, then they should worship Him as the Bible instructs.

Top 10 Most Evil Humans


As we approach the new year, I thought it would be appropriate to do a list that combines and ranks entries from a combination of related lists – a summary list. This list looks at the last three years of lists of evil men and women, and combines and ranks the worst of the worst. Children are excluded as the evil children don’t rank anywhere near the evil of adults seen in the past. I have also added one entry who has not appeared on other lists, but is definitely worthy of inclusion. If you disagree with my ranking (as no doubt many will) be sure to tell us in the comments – perhaps include your own ranking, too. Also, tell us if you think someone else should be on the list.

10

Delphine LaLaurie

Delphine-Lalaurie-Painting

LaLaurie was a sadistic socialite who lived in New Orleans. Her home was a chamber of horrors. On April 10, 1834, a fire broke out in the mansion’s kitchen, and firefighters found two slaves chained to the stove. They appeared to have started the fire themselves, in order to attract attention. The firefighters were lead by other slaves to the attic, where the real surprise was. Over a dozen disfigured and maimed slaves were manacled to the walls or floors. Several had been the subjects of gruesome medical experiments. One man appeared to be part of some bizarre sex change, a woman was trapped in a small cage with her limbs broken and reset to look like a crab, and another woman with arms and legs removed, and patches of her flesh sliced off in a circular motion to resemble a caterpillar. Some had had their mouths sewn shut, and had subsequently starved to death, whilst others had their hands sewn to different parts of their bodies. Most were found dead, but some were alive and begging to be killed, to release them from the pain. LaLaurie fled before she could be bought to justice – she was never caught. You can read a more indepth article on Delphine LaLaurie here.

9

Ilse Koch

50863856

Known as The “Bitch of Buchenwald” because of her sadistic cruelty towards prisoners, Ilse Koch was married to another evil Nazi, who served in the SS, Karl Otto Koch, but outshone him in the depraved, inhumane disregard for life which was her trademark. She used her sexual prowess by wandering around the camps naked, with a whip, and if any man so much as glanced at her she would have them shot on the spot. The most infamous accusation against Ilse Koch was that she had selected inmates with interesting tattoos to be killed, so that their skins could be made into lampshades for her home (though, unfortunately, no evidence of these lampshades has been found). After the war she was arrested and spent time in prison on different charges, eventually hanging herself in her cell in 1967, apparently consumed by guilt.

8

Shirō Ishii

Shiro Ishii 1

Ishii was a microbiologist and the lieutenant general of Unit 731, a biological warfare unit of the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second Sino-Japanese War. He was born in the former Shibayama Village of Sanbu District in Chiba Prefecture, and studied medicine at Kyoto Imperial University. In 1932, he began his preliminary experiments in biological warfare as a secret project for the Japanese military. In 1936, Unit 731 was formed. Ishii built a huge compound — more than 150 buildings over six square kilometers — outside the city of Harbin, China.

Some of the numerous atrocities committed by Ishii, and others under his command in Unit 731, include: vivisection of living people (including pregnant women who were impregnated by the doctors), prisoners had limbs amputated and reattached to other parts of their body, some prisoners had parts of their bodies frozen and thawed to study the resulting untreated gangrene. Humans were also used as living test cases for grenades and flame throwers. Prisoners were injected with inoculations of disease, disguised as vaccinations, to study their effects. To study the effects of untreated venereal diseases, male and female prisoners were deliberately infected with syphilis and gonorrhea via rape, then studied. A complete list of these horrors can be found here.

Having been granted immunity by the American Occupation Authorities at the end of the war, Ishii never spent any time in jail for his crimes and died at the age of 67, of throat cancer.

7

Ivan IV of Russia

Ivan The Terrible

Ivan IV of Russia, also know as Ivan the Terrible, was the Grand Duke of Muscovy, from 1533 to 1547, and was the first ruler of Russia to assume the title of Tsar. In 1570, Ivan was under the belief that the elite of the city of Novgorod planned to defect to Poland, and led an army to stop them, on January 2. Ivan’s soldiers built walls around the perimeter of the city in order to prevent the people of the city escaping. Between 500 and 1000 people were gathered every day by the troops, then tortured and killed in front of Ivan and his son. In 1581, Ivan beat his pregnant daughter-in-law for wearing immodest clothing, causing a miscarriage. His son, also named Ivan, upon learning of this, engaged in a heated argument with his father, which resulted in Ivan striking his son in the head with his pointed staff, causing his son’s (accidental) death.

6

Oliver Cromwell

Oliver-Cromwell

The Cromwellian conquest of Ireland (1649–53) refers to the re-conquest of Ireland by the forces of the English Parliament, led by Oliver Cromwell, during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms. The consequence of this conquest (in order to displace Catholic authority) was 200,000 civilian deaths from war-related famine and disease, and 50 thousand Irish being taken as slaves. Cromwell considered Catholics to be heretics so the Irish conquest was a modern day Crusade for him. The bitterness caused by the Cromwellian settlement was a powerful source of Irish nationalism from the 17th century onwards. He died in 1658, and was so hated that, in 1661, he was exhumed from the grave and given a posthumous execution – his corpse was hung in chains at Tyburn, and he was later dismembered and his remains thrown into a pit, with his head being displayed on a pole outside Westminster Hall for the next twenty-four years.

5

Jiang Qing

Jiangqing

Jiang Qing was the wife of Mao Tse-tung, the Communist dictator of China. Through clever maneuvering, she managed to reach the highest position of power within the communist party (short of being President). It is believed that she was the main driving force behind China’s Cultural Revolution (of which she was the deputy director). During the Cultural Revolution, much economic activity was halted, and countless ancient buildings, artifacts, antiques, books and paintings were destroyed by Red Guards. The 10 years of the Cultural Revolution also brought the education system to a virtual halt, and many intellectuals were sent to prison camps. Millions of people in China, reportedly, had their human rights annulled during the Cultural Revolution. Millions more were also forcibly displaced. Estimates of the death toll – civilians and Red Guards – from various Western and Eastern sources are about 500,000 in the three years of chaos of 1966—1969, but some estimates are as high as 3 million deaths, with 36 million being persecuted.

4

Pol Pot

Polpot

Pol Pot was the leader of the Khmer Rouge and the Prime Minister of Cambodia, from 1976 to 1979, having been de facto leader since mid-1975. During his time in power, Pol Pot imposed an extreme version of agrarian communism where all city dwellers were relocated to the countryside to work in collective farms and forced labour projects. The combined effect of slave labour, malnutrition, poor medical care and executions is estimated to have killed around 2 million Cambodians (approximately one third of the population). His regime achieved special notoriety for singling out all intellectuals and other “bourgeois enemies” for murder. The Khmer Rouge committed mass executions in sites known as the Killing Fields. The executed were buried in mass graves. In order to save ammunition, executions were often carried out using hammers, axe handles, spades or sharpened bamboo sticks.

3

Heinrich Himmler

Himmler-480

Heinrich Himmler, the architect of the holocaust and final solution, and considered to be the biggest mass murderer ever, by some (although it’s really Josef Stalin). The holocaust would not have happened if not for this man. He tried to breed a master race of Nordic appearance, the Aryan race. His plans for racial purity were ended by Hitler’s vanity in making rash military decisions rather than letting his generals make them, thus ending the war prematurely. Himmler was captured after the war. He unsuccessfully tried to negotiate with the west, and was genuinely shocked to be treated as a criminal upon capture. He committed suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule he had bit upon.

2

Adolf Hitler

Hitler1

Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany in 1933, becoming “Führer” in 1934 until his suicide in 1945. By the end of the second world war, Hitler’s policies of territorial conquest and racial subjugation had brought death and destruction to tens of millions of people, including the genocide of some six million Jews, in what is now known as the Holocaust. On 30 April, 1945, after intense street-to-street combat, when Soviet troops were spotted within a block or two of the Reich Chancellory, Hitler committed suicide, shooting himself while simultaneously biting into a cyanide capsule. Hitler ranks over Himmler merely for the fact that it was in his power to prevent Himmler’s policies being implemented.

1

Josef Stalin

Stalin-2

Stalin was General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union’s Central Committee, from 1922 until his death, in 1953. Under Stalin’s leadership, the Ukraine suffered from a famine (Holodomor) so great it is considered by many to be an act of genocide on the part of Stalin’s government. Estimates of the number of deaths range from 2.5 million to 10 million. The famine was caused by direct political and administrative decisions. In addition to the famine, Stalin ordered purges within the Soviet Union of any person deemed to be an enemy of the state. In total, estimates of the number murdered under Stalins reign, range from 10 million to 60 million.

Babylonia



babylon

BABYLON RELIGION was the ancient and modern enemy of Christianity. It thrives in modern denominationalism where religion and commerce are mixed. At the dawn of history in the middle of the fifth millennium before Christ we find in the Euphrates Valley a number of city-states, or rather city-monarchies, in rivalry with one another

 

“In treating of the history, character, and influence of this ancient empire, it is difficult not to speak at the same time of its sister, or rather daughter, country, Assyria. This northern neighbour and colony of Babylon remained to the last of the same race and language and of almost the same religion and civilization as that of the country from which it emigrated. The political fortunes of both countries for more than a thousand years were closely interwoven with one another; in fact, for many centuries they formed one political unit. The reader is therefore referred to the article ASSYRIA for the sources of Assyro-Babylonian history; for the story of exploration, language, and writing; for its value in Old Testament exegesis, and for much of Babylonian history during the period of Assyrian supremacy.

 

GEOGRAPHY

 

The country lies diagonally from northwest to southeast, between 30° and 33° N. lat., and 44° and 48° E. long., or from the present city of Bagdad to the Persian Gulf, from the slopes of Khuzistan on the east to the Arabian Desert on the west, and is substantially contained between the Rivers Euphrates and Tigris, though, to the west a narrow strip of cultivation on the right bank of the Euphrates must be added. Its total length is some 300 miles, its greatest width about 125 miles; about 23,000 square miles in all, or the size of Holland and Belgium together. Like those two countries, its soil is largely formed by the alluvial deposits of two great rivers. A most remarkable feature of Babylonian geography is that the land to the south encroaches on the sea and that the Persian Gulf recedes at present at the rate of a mile in seventy years, while in the past, though still in historic times, it receded as much as a mile in thirty years. In the early period of Babylonian history the gulf must have extended some hundred and twenty miles further inland. According to historical records both the towns Ur and Eridu were once close to the gulf, from which they are now about a hundred miles distant; and from the reports of Sennacherib’s campaign against Bît Yakin we gather that as late as 695 B.C., the four rivers Kerkha, Karun, Euphrates, and Tigris entered the gulf by separate mouths, which proves that the sea even then extended a considerable distance north of where the Euphrates and Tigris now join to form the Shat-el-arab. Geological observations show that a secondary formation of limestone abruptly begins at a line drawn from Hit on the Euphrates to Samarra on the Tigris, i.e. some four hundred miles from their present mouth; this must once have formed the coast line, and all the country south was only gradually gained from the sea by river deposit. In how far man was witness of this gradual formation of the Babylonian soil we cannot determine at present; as far south as Larsa and Lagash man had built cities 4,000 years before Christ. It has been suggested that the story of the Flood may be connected with man’s recollection of the waters extending far north of Babylon, or of some great natural event relating to the formation of the soil; but with our present imperfect knowledge it can only be the merest suggestion. It may, however, well be observed that the astounding system of canals which existed in ancient Babylonia even from the remotest historical times, though largely due to man’s careful industry and patient toil, was not entirely the work of the spade, but of nature once leading the waters of Euphrates and Tigris in a hundred rivulets to the sea, forming a delta like that of the Nile.

The fertility of this rich alluvial plain was in ancient times proverbial; it produced a wealth of wheat, barley, sesame, dates, and other fruits and cereals. The cornfields of Babylonia were mostly in the south, where Larsa, Lagash, Erech, and Calneh were the centres of an opulent agricultural population. The palm tree was cultivated with assiduous care and besides furnishing all sorts of food and beverage, was used for a thousand domestic needs. Birds and waterfowls, herds and flocks, and rivers teeming with fish supplied the inhabitants with a rural plenty which surprises the modern reader of the cadastral surveys and tithe-accounts of the ancient temples. The country is completely destitute of mineral wealth, and possesses no stone or metal, although stone was already being imported from the Lebanon and the Ammanus as early as 3000 B.C.; and much earlier, about 4500 B.C., Ur-Nina, King of Shirpurla sent to Magan, i.e. the Sinaitic Peninsula, for hard stone and hard wood; while the copper mines of Sinai were probably being worked by Babylonians shortly after 3750, when Snefru, first king of the Fourth Egyptian dynasty, drove them away. It is remarkable that Babylonia possesses no bronze period, but passed from copper to iron; though in later ages it learnt the use of bronze from Assyria.

The towns of ancient Babylonia were the following: southernmost,

  • Eridu, Semitic corruption of the old name of Eri-dugga, “good city”, at present the mounds of Abu-Sharain; and

  • Ur, Abraham’s birthplace, about twenty-five miles northeast of Eridu, at present Mughair.

  • Both of the above towns lay west of the Euphrates. East of the Euphrates, the southernmost town was Larsa, the Biblical Ellasar (Gen., xiv; in Vulg. and D.V. unfortunately rendered Pontus), at present Senkere;

  • Erech, the Biblical Arach (Gen., x, 10), fifteen miles northwest of Larsa, is at present Warka;

  • eight miles northeast from the modern Shatra was Shirpurla, or Lagash, now Tello. Shirpurla was one of Babylon’s most ancient cities, though not mentioned in the Bible; probably “Raventown” (shirpur-raven), from the sacred emblem of its goddess and sanctuary, Nin-Girsu, or Nin-Sungir, which for a score of centuries was an important political centre, and probably gave its name to Southern Babylonia — Sungir, Shumer, or, in Gen., x, 10, Sennaar.

  • Gishban (read also Gish-ukh), a small city a little north of Shirpurla, at present the mounds of Iskha, is of importance only in the very earliest history of Babylonia.

  • The site of the important city of Isin (read also Nisin) has not yet been determined, but it was probably situated a little north of Erech.

  • Calneh, or Nippur (in D.V., Gen., x, 10, Calanne), at present Nuffar, was a great religious centre, with its Bel Temple, unrivaled in antiquity and sanctity, a sort of Mecca for the Semitic Babylonians. Recent American excavations have made its name as famous as French excavations made that of Tello or Shirpurla.

  • In North Babylonia we have again, southernmost, the city of Kish, probably the Biblical Cush (Gen., x, 8); its ruins are under the present mound El-Ohemir, eight miles east of Hilla.

  • A little distance to the northwest lay Kutha, the present Telli Ibrahim, the city whence the Babylonian colonists of Samaria were taken (IV Kings, xvii, 30), and which played a great role in Northern Babylonia before the Amorite dynasty.

  • The site of Agade, i.e. Akkad (Gen., x, 10), the name of whose kings was dreaded in Cyprus and in Sinai in 3800 B.C., is unfortunately unknown, but it must have been not far from

  • Sippara; it has even been suggested that this was one of the quarters of that city, which was scarcely thirty miles north of Babylon and which, as early as 1881, was identified, through British excavations, with the present Abu-Habba.

  • Lastly, Babylon, with its twin-city Borsippa, though probably founded as early as 3800 B.C., played an insignificant role in the country’s history until, under Hammurabi, about 2300 B.C., it entered on that career of empire which it maintained for almost 2000 years, so that its name now stands for a country and a civilization which was of hoary antiquity before Babylon rose to power and even before a brick of Babylon was laid.

 

EARLY HISTORY

 

 

At the dawn of history in the middle of the fifth millennium before Christ we find in the Euphrates Valley a number of city-states, or rather city-monarchies, in rivalry with one another and in such a condition of culture and progress, that this valley has been called the cradle of civilization, not only of the Semitic world, but most likely also of Egypt. The people dwelling in this valley were certainly not all of one race; they differed in type and language. The primitive inhabitants were probably of Mongolian ancestry, they are styled Sumerians, or inhabitants of Sumer, Sungir, Sennaar. They invented the cuneiform script, built the oldest cities, and brought the country to a great height of peaceful prosperity. They were gradually overcome, dispossessed, and absorbed by a new race that entered the plain between the two rivers, the Semites, who pressed on them from the north from the kingdom of Akkad. The Semitic invaders, however, eagerly adopted, improved, and widely spread the civilization of the race they had conquered. Although a number of arguments converge into an irrefragable proof that the Sumerians were the aboriginal inhabitants of Babylonia, we have no historical records of the time when they were the sole occupants of the Euphrates Valley; at the dawn of history we find both races in possession of the land and to a certain extent mixed, though the Semite was predominant in the North while the Sumerian maintained himself for centuries in the South. Whence these Sumerians came, cannot be decided, and probably all that will ever be known is that, after a nomadic existence in mountainous districts in the East, they found a plain in the lands of Sennaar and dwelt in it (Gen., xi,2). Their first settlement was Eridu, then a seaport on the Persian Gulf, where their earliest myths represent the first man, Adapu, or Adamu (Adam?), spending his time in fishing, and where the sea-god taught them the elements of civilization. It is certain, however, that they possessed a considerable amount of culture even before entering the Babylonian plain; for, coeval with th first foundations of their oldest temples, they possessed the cuneiform script, which can be described as a cursive hand developed out of picture-signs by centuries of primeval culture. From whence the Semitic race invaded Babylonia, and what was its origin, we know not, but it must be noted that the language they spoke, though clearly and thoroughly Semitic, is yet so strikingly different from all other Semitic languages that it stands in a category apart, and the time when it formed one speech with the other Semitic tongues lies immeasurably far back beyond our calculations.

The earliest records, then, show us a state of things not unlike that of our Saxon heptarchy: petty princes, or city-monarchies successfully endeavouring to obtain lordship over a neighbouring town or a group of towns, and in turn being overcome by others. And, considering that most of these towns were but a score of miles distant from one another and changed rulers frequently, the history is somewhat confusing. The most ancient ruler at present known to us is Enshagkushanna, who is styled King of Kengi. Owing to the broken state of the sherd on which the inscription occurs, and which possibly dates soon after 5000 B.C., the name of his capital is unknown. It probably was Shirpurla, and he ruled over Southern Babylonia. He claims to have won a great victory over the City of Kish, and he dedicated the spoil, including a statue of bright silver, to Mullil, the god of Calanne (Nippur). It seems like that Kish was the most southern city captured by Semites; of one of its kings, Manishtusu, we possess a mace-head, as a sign of his royalty, and a stele, or obelisk, in archaic cuneiforms and Semitic Babylonian. Somewhat later Mesilim, the King of Kish, retrieved the defeat of his predecessor and acted as suzerain of Shirpurla. Another probable name of a King of Kish is Urumush, or Alusharshid, though some make him King of Akkad. Whereas our information concerning the dynasty of Kish is exceedingly fragmentary, we are somewhat better informed about the rulers of Shirpurla. About 4500 B.C. we find Urkagina reigning there and, somewhat later, Lugal (lugal, “great man”, i.e. ” prince”, or “king”) Shuggur. Then, after an interval, we are acquainted with a succession of no fewer than seven Kings of Shirpurla: Gursar, Gunidu, Ur-Ninâ, Akur-Gal, Eannatum I, Entemena and Eannatum II — which last king must have reigned about 4000 B.C. De Sarszec found at Tello a temple-wall some of the bricks of which bore the clear legend of Ur-Nina, thus leaving on record this king’s building activity. Thanks to the famous stele of the vultures, now in the Louvre, to some clay steles in the British Museum, and a cone found at Shirpurla, we have an idea of the warlike propensities of Eannatum I, who subdued the people of Gishban by a crushing defeat, made them pay an almost incredible war-indemnity of corn, and appointed over that city his own viceroy, “who placed his yoke on the land of Elam”, “and of Gisgal”, and who is represented as braining with his club foes whose heads are protruding out of the opening of a bag in which they are bound.

That, notwithstanding these scenes of bloodshed, it was an age of art and culture can be evidently shown by such finds as that of a superb silver vase of Entemena, Eannatum’s son and successor, and, as crown-prince, general of his army. After Eannatum II the history of Shirpurla is a blank, until we find the name of Lugal Ushumgal, when, however, the city has for a time lost its independence, for this ruler was the vassal of Shargon I of Akkad, about 3800 B.C. Yet, some six centuries afterwards, when the dynasty of Akkad had ceased to be, the patesis, or high-priests, of Shirpurla were still men of renown. A long inscription on the back of a statue tells us of the vast building achievements of Ur-Bau about the year 3200; and the name of his son and successor, Nammaghani. About two centuries later we find Gudea, one of the most famous rulers the city every possessed. Excavations at Tello have laid bare the colossal walls of his great palace and have shown us how, both by land and sea, he brought his materials from vast distances, while his architecture and sculpture show perfect art and refinement, and we incidentally learn that he conquered the district of Anshan in Elam. After Gudea, we are acquainted with the names of four more rulers of Shirpurla, but in these subsequent reigns the city seems to have quickly sunk into political insignificance. Another Sumerian dynasty was that of Erech, or Gishban. About 4000 B.C. a certain Lugal Zaggisi, son of the Patesi of Gishban, who became King of Erech, proudly styled himself King of the World, as Enshagkushanna and Alusharshid had done, claimed to rule from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean, and praises the supreme god Enlil, or Bel, of Nippur, who “granted him the dominion of all from the rising of the sun to the setting thereof and caused the countries to dwell in peace”. Yet to us it seems but a rushlight of glory; for after his son Lugal-Kisalsi the Kingdom of Erech disappears in the night of the past. The same may be said of the dynasty of Agade. Ittibel’s son, Sargon I, suddenly stands before us as a giant figure in history about 3800 B.C. He was a monarch proud of his race and language, for his inscriptions were in his Semitic mother-tongue, not in the Sumerian, like those of previous kings. He is rightly called the first founder of a Semitic empire. Under him flourished Semitic language, literature, and art, especially architecture. He established his dominion in Susa, the capital of Elam, subdued Syria and Palestine in three campaigns, set up an image of himself on the Syrian coast, as a monument of his triumphs, and welded his conquests into one empire. Naram-Sin, his son, even extended his gather’s conquests, invading the Sinai Peninsula and, apparently, Cyprus, where a seal cylinder was found on which he receives homage as a god. On inscriptions of that date first occurs mention of the city of God’s Gate, or Babylon (Bâb-ilu sometimes Bâb-ilani, whence the Greek Babulon, then written ideographically Kâ-Dungir.

After Bingani, Naram-Sin’s son, Semitic successes were temporarily eclipsed; Egypt occupied Sinai, Elam became again independent, and in Babylonia itself the Sumerian element reasserted itself. We find a dynasty of Ur already in prominence. This city seems at two different periods to have exercised the hegemony over the Euphrates Valley or part of it. First under Urgur and Dungi I, about 3400 B.C. This Urgur assumed the title of King of Sumer and Akkad, thus making the first attempt to unite North and South Babylonia into a political unit, and inaugurating a royal style which was borne perhaps longer than the title of any other dignity since the world was made. Ur predominates, for the second time, about 2800 B.C., under Dungi II, Gungunu, Bur-Sin, Gimil-Sin and Ine Sin, whose buildings and fortifications are found in many cities of Babylonia. The history of Ur is as yet so obscure that some scholars (Thureau-Dangin, Hilprecht, Bezold) accept but two dynasties, other (Rogers) three, others (Hugo, Radau) four. The supremacy of Ur is followed, about 2500 B.C., by that of (N) Isin, apparently an unimportant city, as its rulers style themselves Shepherds, or Gracious Lords, of Isin, and place this title after that of King of Ur, Eridu, Erech, and Nippur. Six rulers of Isin are known: Ishbigarra, Libit-Ishtar, Bur-Sin II, Ur-Ninib, Ishme-Dagan, and Enannatum. The last of the city-kingdoms was that of Larsa, about 2300 B.C., with its sovereigns Siniddinam Nur-Adad, Chedornanchundi, Chedorlaomer, Chedormabug, and Eri-Aku. The composition of these royal names with Chedor, the Elamite Kudor, sufficiently shows that they did not belong to a native dynasty, whether Sumerian or Semitic. One of the earliest Elamite invaders of Babylonia was Rim-Amun, who obtained such a foothold on Babylonian soil that the year of his reign was used to date contract tablets, a sure sign that he was at least king de facto. Chedornanchundi invaded Babylonia about the year 2285, reached Erech, plundered its temples, and captured the city-goddess; but whether he established a permanent rule, remains doubtful. Somewhat later Chedorlaomer (Kudur-Laghamar, “Servant of Laghamar”, an Elamite deity), known to us from the Bible, seems to have been more successful. Not only does he appear as overlord of Babylonia, but he carried his conquest as far west as Palestine. Chedormabug was originally Prince of Emutbal, or western Elam, but obtained dominion over Babylonia and rebuilt the temple at Ur. His son, Rim-Sin, or Eri-Aku, considered himself so well established on Babylonian territory that he affected the ancient titles , Exalter of Ur, King of Larsa, King of Sumer and Akkad. Yet he was the least of the city-kings, and a new order of things began with the rise of Babylon.

 

THE FIRST EMPIRE

 

 

The dynasty which laid the foundation of Babylon’s greatness is sometimes called the Arabian. It certainly was West-Semitic and almost certainly Amorite. The Babylonians called it the dynasty of Babylon, for, though foreign in origin, it may have had its actual home in that city, which it gratefully and proudly remembered. It lasted for 296 years and saw the greatest glory of the old empire and perhaps the Golden Age of the Semitic race in the ancient world. The names of its monarchs are: Sumu-abi (15 years), Sumu-la-ilu (35), Zabin (14), Apil-Sin (18), Sin-muballit (30); Hammurabi (35), Samsu-iluna (35), Abishua (25), Ammi-titana (25), Ammizaduga (22), Samsu-titana (31). Under the first five kings Babylon was still only the mightiest amongst several rival cities, but the sixth king, Hammurabi, who succeeded in beating down all opposition, obtained absolute rule of Northern and Southern Babylonia and drove out the Elamite invaders. Babylonia henceforward formed but one state and was welded into one empire. They were apparently stormy days before the final triumph of Hammurabi. The second ruler strengthened his capital with large fortifications; the third ruler was apparently in danger of a native pretender or foreign rival called Immeru; only the fourth ruler was definitely styled King; while Hammurabi himself in the beginning of his reign acknowledged the suzerainty of Elam. This Hammurabi is one of the most gigantic figures of the world’s history, to be named with Alexander, Caesar, or Napoleon, but best compared to a Charlemagne, a conqueror and a lawgiver, whose powerful genius formed a lasting empire out of chaos, and whose beneficent influence continued for ages throughout an area almost as large as Europe. Doubtless a dozen centuries later Assyrian kings were to make greater conquests than he, but whereas they were giant destroyers he was a giant builder. His large public and private correspondence gives us an insight into his multitudinous cares, his minute attention to details, his constitutional methods. (See “The Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi”, by L. W. King; London, 1898, 3 vols.) His famous code of civil and criminal law throws light on his genius as legislator and judge. The stele on which these laws are inscribed was found at Susa by M. de Morgan and the Dominican friar Scheil, and first published and translated by the latter in 1902. This astounding find, giving us, in 3638 short lines, 282 laws and regulations affecting the whole range of public and private life, is unequalled even in the marvelous history of Babylonian research. From no other document can a more swift and accurate estimate of Babylonian civilization be formed than from this code. (For a complete English translation see T.G. Pinches, op. cit. infra, pp. 487-519.)

Whereas the Assyrian kings loved to fill the boastful records of their reigns with ghastly descriptions of battle and war, so that we possess the minutest details of their military campaigns, the genius of Babylon, on the contrary, was one of peace, and culture, and progress. The building of temples, the adorning of cities, the digging of canals, the making of roads, the framing of laws was their pride; their records breathe, or affect to breathe, all serene tranquility; warlike exploits are but mentioned by the way, hence we have, even in the case of the two greatest Babylonian conquerors, Hammurabi and Nabuchodonosor II, but scanty information of their deeds of arms. “I dug the canal Hammurabi, the blessing of men, which bringeth the water of the overflow unto the land of Sumer and Akkad. Its banks on both sides I made arable land; much seed I scattered upon it. Lasting water I provided for the land of Sumer and Akkad. The land of Sumer and Akkad, its separated peoples I united, with blessings and abundance I endowed them, in peaceful dwellings I made them to live” — such is the style of Hammurabi. In what seems an ode on the king, engraved on his statue we find the words: “Hammurabi, the strong warrior, the destroyer of his foes, he is the hurricane of battle, sweeping the land of his foes, he brings opposition to naught, he puts an end to insurrection, he breaks the warrior as an image of clay.” But chronological details are still in confusion. In a very fragmentary list of dates the 31st year of his reign is given as that of the land Emutbalu, which is usually taken as that of his victory over western Elam, and considered by many as that of his conquest of Larsa and its king, Rim-Sin, or Eri-Aku. If the Biblical Amraphel be Hammurabi we have in Gen., xiv, the record of an expedition of his to the Westland previous to the 31st year of his reign. Of Hammurabi’s immediate successors we know nothing except that they reigned in peaceful prosperity. That trade prospered, and temples were built, is all we can say.

The Amorite dynasty was succeeded by a series of eleven kings which may well be designated as the Unknown Dynasty, which has received a number of names: Ura-Azag, Uru-ku, Shish-ku. Whether it was Semite or not is not certain; the years of reign are given in the “King-List”, but they are surprisingly long (60,-50-55-50-28, etc), so that not only great doubt is cast on the correctness of these dates, but the very existence of this dynasty is doubted or rejected by some scholars (as Hommel). It is indeed remarkable that the kings should be eleven in number, like those of the Amorite dynasty, and that we should nowhere find a distinct evidence of their existence; yet these premises hardly suffice to prove that so early a document as the “King-List” made the unpardonable mistake of ascribing nearly four centuries of rule to a dynasty which in reality was contemporaneous, nay identical, with the Amorite monarchs. Their names are certainly very puzzling, but it has been suggested that these were not personal names, but names of the city-quarters from which they originated. Should this dynasty have a separate existence, it is safe to say that they were native rulers, and succeeded the Amorites without any break of national and political life. Owing to the questionable reality of this dynasty, the chronology of the previous one varies greatly; hence it arises, for instance, that Hammurabi’s date is given as 1772-17 in Hasting’s “Dictionary of the Bible”, while the majority of scholars would place him about 2100 B.C., or a little earlier; nor are indications wanting to show that, whether the “Unknown Dynasty” be fictitious or not, the latter date is approximately right.

In the third place comes the Kassite dynasty, thirty-six kings, for 576 years. The tablet with this list is unfortunately mutilated, but almost all the nineteen missing names can with some exactness be supplied from other sources, such as the Assyrian-synchronistic history and the correspondence with Egypt. This dynasty was a foreign one, but its place of origin is not easy to ascertain. In their own official designation they style themselves kings of Kardunyash and the King of Egypt addresses Kadashman Bel as King of Kardunyash. This Kardunyash has been tentatively identified with South Elam. Information about the Kassite period is obtained but sparsely. We possess an Assyrian copy of an inscription of Agum-Kakrime, perhaps the seventh King of this dynasty: he styles himself: “King of Kasshu and Akkad, King of the broad land of Babylon, who caused much people to settle in the land of Ashmumak, King of Padan and Alvan, King of the land of Guti, wide extended peoples, a king who rules the four quarters of the world.” The extent of territory thus under dominion of the Babylonian monarch is wider than even that under the Amorite dynasty; but in the royal title, which is altogether unusual in its form, Babylon takes but the third place; only a few generations later, however, the old style and title is resumed, and Babylon again stands first; the foreign conquerors were evidently conquered by the peaceful conquest of superior Babylonian civilization. This Agum-Kakrime with all his wide dominions had yet to send an embassy to the land of Khani to obtain the gods Marduk and Zarpanit, the most sacred national idols, which had evidently been captured by the enemy. The next king of whom we have any knowledge is Karaindash (1450 B.C.) who settled the boundary lines of his kingdom with his contemporary Asshur-bel-nisheshu of Assyria. From the Tell-el-et-marna tablets we conclude that in 1400 B.C., Babylon was no longer the one great power of Western Asia; the kingdom of Assyria and the Kingdom of Mitanni were its rivals and wellnigh equals. Yet, in the letters which passed between Kadashman-Bel and Amenophis III, King of Egypt, it is evident that the King of Babylon could assume a more independent tone of fair equality with the great Pharao than the kings of Assyria or Mitanni. When Amenophis asks for Kadashman-Bel’s sister in marriage, Kadashman-Bel promptly asks for Amenophis’ sister in return; and when Amenophis demurs, Kadashman-Bel promptly answers that, unless some fair Egyptian of princely rank be sent, Amenophis shall not have his sister. When Assyria has sought Egyptian help against Babylon, Kadashman-Bel diplomatically reminds Pharao that Babylon has in times past given no assistance to Syrian vassal princes against their Egyptian suzerain, and expects Egypt now to act in the same way in not granting help to Assyria. And when a Babylonian caravan has been robbed by the people of Akko in Canaan, the Egyptian Government receives a preemptory letter from Babylon for amende honorable and restitution. Amenophis is held responsible, “for Canaan is thy country, and thou art its King”.; Kadashman-Bel was succeeded by Burnaburiash I, Kurigalzu I, Burnaburiash II. Six letters of the last-named to Amenhotep IV of Egypt suggest a period of perfect tranquillity and prosperity. For the cause and result of the first great conflict between Assyria and Babylon see ASSYRIA.

How the long Kassite dynasty came to an end we know not, but it was succeeded by the dynasty of Pashi (some read Isin), eleven kings in 132 years (about 1200-1064 B.C.). The greatest monarch of this house was Nabuchodonosor I (about 1135-25 B.C.); thought twice defeated by Assyria, he was successful against the Lulubi, punished Elam, and invaded Syria, and by his brilliant achievements stayed the inevitable decline of Babylon. The next two dynasties are known as those of the Sealand, and of Bazi, of three kings each and these were followed by one Elamite king (c. 1064-900 B.C.). Upon these obscure dynasties follows the long series of Babylonian kings, who reigned mostly as vassals, sometimes quasi-independent, sometimes as rebel-kings in the period of Assyrian supremacy (for which see Assyria).

 

THE SECOND, OR CHALDEAN, EMPIRE

 

 

With the death, in 626 B.C., of Kandalanu (the Babylonian name of Assurbanipal), King of Assyria, Assyrian power in Babylon practically ceased. Nabopolassar, a Chaldean who had risen from the position of general in the Assyrian army, ruled Babylon as Shakkanak for some years in nominal dependence on Ninive. Then, as King of Babylon, he invaded and annexed the Mesopotamian provinces of Assyria, and when Sinsharishkun, the last King of Assyria, tried to cut off his return and threatened Babylon, Nabopolassar called in the aid of the Manda, nomadic tribes of Kurdistan, somewhat incorrectly identified with the Medes. Though Nabopolassar no doubt contributed his share to the events which led to the complete destruction of Ninive (606 B.C.) by these Manda barbarians, he apparently did not in person co-operate in the taking of the city, nor share the booty, but used the opportunity to firmly establish his throne in Babylon. Though Semites, the Chaldeans belonged to a race perfectly distinct from the Babylonians proper, and were foreigners in the Euphrates Valley. They were settlers from Arabia, who had invaded Babylonia from the South. Their stronghold was the district known as the Sealands. During the Assyrian supremacy the combined forces of Babylon and Assyria had kept them in check, but, owing probably to the fearful Assyrian atrocities in Babylon, the citizens had begun to look towards their former enemies for help, and the Chaldean power grew apace in Babylon till, in Nabopolassar, it assumed the reins of government, and thus imperceptibly a foreign race superseded the ancient inhabitants. The city remained the same, but its nationality changed. Nabopolassar must have been a strong, beneficient ruler, engaged in rebuilding temples and digging canals, like his predecessors, and yet maintaining his hold over the conquered provinces. The Egyptians, who had learnt of the weakness of Assyria, had already, three years before the fall of Ninive, crossed the frontiers with a mighty army under Necho II, in the hope of sharing in the dismemberment of the Assyrian Empire. How Josias of Juda, trying to bar his way, was slain at Megiddo is known from IV Kings, xxiii, 29.

Meanwhile Ninive was taken, and Necho, resting satisfied with the conquest of the Syrian provinces, proceeded no further. A few years later, however, he marched a colossal army from Egypt to the Euphrates in hopes of annexing part of Mesopotamia. He was met by the Babylonian army at Carchemish, the ancient Hittite capital, where he wished to cross the Euphrates. Nabopolassar, being prevented by ill health and advancing age, had sent his son Nabuchodonosor, and put him in command. The Egyptians were utterly routed in this great encounter, one of the most important in history (604 B.C.). Nabuchodonosor pursued the enemy to the borders of Egypt, where he received the news of his father’s death. He hastened back to Babylon, was received without opposition, and began, in 604 B.C., the forty-two years of his most glorious reign. His first difficulties arose in Juda. Against the solemn warning of Jeremias the Prophet, Jehoiakim refused tribute, i.e. rebelled against Babylon. At first Nabuchodonosor II began a small guerilla warfare against Jerusalem; then, in 507 B.C., he dispatched a considerable army, and after a while began the siege in person. Jechonias, however, son of Jehoiakim, who as a lad of eighteen had succeeded his father, surrendered; 7000 men capable of bearing arms and 1000 workers in iron were carried away and made to form a colony on a canal near Nippur (the River Chobar mentioned in Ezechiel, i, 1), and Zedekias was substituted for Jechonias as vassal King of Juda.

Some ten years later Nabuchodonosor once more found himself in Palestine. Hophra, King of Egypt, who had succeeded Necho II in 589 B.C., had by secret agents tried to combine all the Syrian States in a conspiracy against Babylon. Edom, Moab, Ammon, Tyre, and Sidon had entered into the coalition, and at last even Juda had joined, and Zedekias against the advice of Jeremias, broke his oath of allegiance to the Chaldeans. A Babylonian army began to surround Jerusalem in 587 B.C.. They wee unable to take the city by storm and intended to subdue it by starvation. But Pharao Hophra entered Palestine to help the besieged. The Babylonians raised the siege to drive the Egyptians back; they then returned to Jerusalem and continued the siege in grim earnest. On July the 9th, 586 B.C., they poured in through a breach in the wall of Ezekias and took the city by storm. They captured the flying Zedekias and brought him before Nabuchodonosor at Riblah, where his children were slain before him and his eyes blinded. The city was destroyed, and the temple treasures carried to Babylon. A vast number of the population was deported to some districts in Babylonia, a miserable remnant only was allowed to remain under a Jewish governor Godolias. When this governor was slain by a Jewish faction under Ishmael, a fraction of this remnant, fearing Nabuchodonosor’s wrath, emigrated to Egypt, forcibly taking Jeremias the Prophet with them.

Babylon’s expedition to Juda thus ended in leaving it a devastated, depopulated, ruined district. Nabuchodonosor now turned his arms against Tyre. After Egypt this city had probably been the mainspring of the coalition against Babylon. The punishment intended for Tyre was the same as that of Jerusalem, but Nabuchodonosor did not succeed as he did with the capital of Juda. The position of Tyre was immeasurably superior to that of Jerusalem. The Babylonians had no fleet; therefore, as long as the sea remained open, Tyre was impregnable. The Chaldeans lay before Tyre thirteen years (585-572), but did not succeed in taking it. Ethobaal II, its king, seems to have come to terms with the King of Babylon, fearing, no doubt, the slow but sure destruction of Tyrian inland trade; at least we have evidence, from a contract-tablet dated in Tyre, that Nabuchodonosor at the end of his reign was recognized as suzerain of the city. Notwithstanding the little success against Tyre, Nabuchodonosor attacked Egypt in 567. He entered the very heart of the country, ravaged and pillaged as he chose, apparently without opposition, and returned laden with booty through the Syrian Provinces. But no permanent Egyptian occupation by Babylon was the result.

Thus Nabuchodonosor the Chaldean showed himself a capable military ruler, yet as a Babylonian monarch, following the custom of his predecessors, he gloried not in the arts of war, but of peace. His boast was the vast building operations which made Babylon a city (for those days) impregnable, which adorned the capital with palaces, and the famous “procession road”, and Gate of Ishtar, and which restored and beautifies a great number of temples in different towns of Babylonia. Of Nabuchodonosor’s madness (Daniel, iv, 26-34) no Babylonian record has as yet been found. A number of ingenious suggestions have been made on this subject, one of the best of which Professor Hommel’s substitution of Nabu-na’id for Nabu-chodonosor, but the matter had better stand over till we possess more information on the period. Of the prophet Daniel we find no certain mention in contemporary documents; the prophet’s Babylonian name, Baltassar (Balatsu-usur), is unfortunately a very common one. We know of at least fourteen persons of that time called Balatu and seven called Balatsu, both of which names may be abbreviations of Baltassar, or “Protect His life”. The etymology of Sidrach and Misach is unknown, but Abednego and Arioch (Abdnebo and Eriaku) are well known. Professor J. Oppert found the base of a great statue near a mound called Duair, east of Babylon, and this may have belonged to the golden image erected “in the plain of Dura of the province of Babylon” (Dan. iii, 1). In 561 B.C., Nabuchodonosor was succeeded by Evil-Merodach (IV Kings, xxv, 27), who released Joachim of Juda and raised him above the other vassal kings at Babylon, but his mild rule evidently dIspleased the priestly caste, and they accused him of reigning lawlessly and extravagantly. After less than three years he was assassinated by Neriglissar (Nergal-sar-usur), his brother-in-law, who is possibly the Nergalsharezer present at the taking of Jerusalem (Jer. xxxix, 3-13). Neriglissar was after four years succeeded by his son Labasi-Marduk, no more than a child, who reigned nine months and was assassinated.

The conspirators elected Nabonidus (Nabu-na’id) to the throne. He was the last King of Babylon (555-539 B.C.). He was a royal antiquarian rather than a ruling king. From their foundations he rebuilt the great Shamash temple in Sippar and the Sin temple in Harran, and in his reign the city walls of Babylon “were curiously built with burnt brick and bitumen”. But he resided in Tema, shunned the capital, offended the provincial towns by transporting their gods to Shu-anna, and alienated the priesthood of Babylon by what they would call misdirected piety. To us his antiquarian research after first foundation-stones of the temples he rebuilt is of the greatest importance. He tells us that the foundation-stone of the Shamash temple laid by Naram Sin had not been seen for 3200 years, which, roughly speaking, gives us 3800 B.C., for Sargon of Akkad, Naram Sin’s father; upon this date most of our early Babylonian chronology is based. The actual duties of government seem to have been largely in the hands of the Crown Prince Baltassar (Bel-shar-usur), who resided in Babylon as regent. Meanwhile Cyrus, the petty King of Anshan, had begun his career of conquest. He overthrew Astyages, King of the Medes, for which victory Nabonaid praised him as the young servant of Merodach; he overthrew Croesus of Lydia and his coalition; he assumed the title of King of the Parsu, and ha begun a new Indo-Germanic world power which replaced the decrepit Semitic civilization. At last Nabonaid, realizing the situation, met the Persians at Opis. Owing to internal strife amongst the Babylonians, many of whom were dissatisfied with Nabonaid, the Persians had an easy victory, taking the city of Sippar without fighting. Nabonaid fled to Babylon. Cyrus’s soldiers, under the generalship of Ugbaru (Gobryas), Governor of Gutium, entered the capital without striking a blow and captured Nabonaid. This happened in June; in October Cyrus in person entered the city, paid homage at E-sagila to Marduk. A week later the Persians entered, at night, that quarter of the city where Baltassar occupied a fortified position in apparent security, where the sacred vessels of Jehovah’s temple were profaned, where the hand appeared on the wall writing Mane, Tekel Phares, and where Daniel was offered the third place in the kingdom (i.e. after Nabonaid and Baltassar). That same night Baltassar was slain and the Semitic Empire of Babylon came to an end, for the ex-King Nabonaid spent the rest of his life in Carmania.

In one sense Babylonian history ends here, and Persian history begins, yet a few words are needed on the return of the Jewish captives after their seventy years of exile. It has long been supposed that Cyrus, professing the Mazdean religion, was a strict monotheist and released the Jews out of sympathy for their faith. But this king was, apparently, only unconsciously an instrument in God’s hands, and the permission for the Jews to return was merely given out of political sagacity and a wish for popularity in his new domains. At least we possess inscriptions of him in which he is most profuse in his homage to the Babylonian Pantheon. As Nabonaid had outraged the religious sentiments of his subjects by collecting all their dogs in Shu-anna, Cyrus pursued an opposite policy and returned all these gods to their own worshippers; and, the Jews having no idols, he returned their sacred vessels, which Baltassar had profaned, and gave a grant for the rebuilding of their Temple. The very phraseology of the decree given in I Esdras, i,2 sqq., referring to “the Lord God of Heaven” shows his respectful attitude, if not inclination, towards monotheism, which was professed by so many of his Indo-Germanic subjects. Darius Hystaspes, who in 521 B.C., after defeating Pseudo-Smerdis, succeeded Cambyses (King of Babylon since 530 B.C.) was a convinced monotheist and adorer of Ahuramazda; and if it was he who ordered and aided the completion of the temple at Jerusalem, after the interruption caused by Samaritan intervention, it was no doubt out of sympathy with the Jewish religion (I Esdr., vi, 1 sqq). It is not quite certain, however, that the Darius referred to is this king; it has been suggested that Darius Nothus is meant, who mounted the throne almost a hundred years later. Zerubabel is a thoroughly Babylonian name and occurs frequently on documents of that time; but we cannot as yet trace any connection between the Zerubabel of Scripture and any name mentioned in these documents.

 

SOME SPECIAL BIBLE REFERENCES

 

 

(1) The first passage referring to Babylonia is Gen., x, 8-10: “Chus begat Nemrod, and the beginning of his kingdom was Babylon and Arach and Achad and Chalanne in the land of Sennaar.” The great historical value of these genealogies in Genesis has been acknowledged by scholars of all schools; these genealogies are, however, not of persons, but of tribes, which is obvious from such a bold metaphor as: “Chanaan begat Sidon, his first born” (v, 15). But in many instances the names are those of actual persons whose personal names became designations of the tribes, just as in known instances of Scottish and Irish clans or Arab tribes. Chus begat Nemrod. Chus was not a Semite, according to the Biblical account, and it is remarkable that recent discoveries all seem to point to the fact that the original civilization of Babylonia was non-Semitic and the Semitic element only gradually displaced the aborigines and adopted their culture. It must be noted, also, that in v. 22 Assur is described as a son of Sem, though in v. 11 Assur comes out of the land of Sennaar. This exactly represents the fact that Assyria wa purely Semitic where Babylonia was not. Some see in Chus a designation of the city of Kish, mentioned above amongst the cities of early Babylonia, and certainly one of its most ancient towns. Nemrod, on this supposition, would be none else than Nin-marad, or Lord of Marad, which was a daughter-city of Kish. Gilgamesh, whom mythology transformed into a Babylonian Hercules, whose fortunes are described in the Gilgamesh-epos, would then be the person designated by the Biblical Nemrod. Others again see in Nemrod an intentional corruption of Amarudu, the Akkadian for Marduk, whom the Babylonians worshiped as the great God, and who, perhaps, was the deified ancestor of their city. This corruption would be parallel to Nisroch (IV Kings, xix, 37) for Assuraku, and Nibhaz (IV Kings, xvii, 31) for Abahazu, or Abed Nego for Abdnebo. The description of “stout hunter” or hero-entrapper would fit in well with the role ascribed to the god Marduk, who entrapped the monster Tiamtu in his net. Both Biblical instances, IV Kings, xvii, 31, and xix, 37, however, are very doubtful, and Nisroch has recently found a more probable explanation.

(2) “The beginning of his kingdom was Babylon and Arach and Achad and Calanne”. These cities of Northern Babylonia are probably enumerated inversely to the order of their antiquity; so that Nippur (Calanne) is the most ancient, and Babylon the most modern. Recent excavations have shown that Nippur dates far back beyond the Sargonid age (3800 B.C.) and Nippur is mentioned on the fifth tablet of the Babylonian Creation-story.

(3) The next Biblical passage which requires mention is that dealing with the Tower of Babel (Gen., xi, 1-9). This narrative, though couched in the terms of Oriental folklore, yet expresses not merely a moral lesson, but refers to some historical fact in the dim past. There was perhaps in the ancient world no spot on all the earth where such a variety of tongues and dialects was heard as in Babylonia, where Akkadians, Sumerians, and Amorites, Elamites, Kassites, Sutites, Qutites, and perhaps Hittites met and left their mark on the language; where Assyrian or Semitic Babylonian itself only very gradually displaced the older non-Semitic tongue, and where for many centuries the people were at least bilingual. It was the spot where Turanian, Semitic, and Indo-Germanic met. Yet there remained in the national consciousness the memory that the first settlers in the Babylonian plain spoke one language. “They removed from the East”, as the Bible says and all recent research suggests. When we read, “The earth was of one tongue”, we need not take this word in its widest sense, for the same word is often translated “the land”. Philology may or may not prove the unity of all human speech, and man’s descent from a single set of parents seems to postulate original unity of language; but in any case the Bible does not here seem to refer to this, and the Bible account itself suggests that a vast variety of tongues existed previous to the foundations of Babylon. We need but refer to Gen., x, 5, 21, 31: “In their kindreds and tongues and countries and nations”; and Gen., x, 10, where Babylon is represented as almost coeval with Arach, Achad, and Calanne, and posterior to Gomer, Magog, Elam, Arphaxad, so that the original division of languages cannot first have taken place at Babel. What historical fact lies behind the account of the building of the Tower of Babel is difficult to ascertain. Of course any real attempt to reach heaven by a tower is out of the question. The mountains of Elam were too close by, to tell them that a few yards more or less were of no importance to get in touch with the sky. But the wish to have a rallying-point in the plain is only too natural. It is a striking fact that most Babylonian cities possessed a ziggurrat (a stage, or temple-tower), and these bore very significant Sumerian names, as, for instance, at Nippur, Dur-anki, “Link of heaven and earth” — “the summit of which reaches unto heaven, and the foundation of which is laid in the bright deep”; or, at Babylon, Esagila, “House of the High Head”, the more ancient designation of which was Etemenanki, “House of the Foundation of Heaven and Earth”; or Ezida, at Borsippa, by its more ancient designation Euriminianki, or “House of the Seven Spheres of Heaven and Earth”. The remains of Ezida, at present Birs Nimrud, are traditionally pointed out as the Tower of Babel; whether rightly, is impossible to say; Esagila, in Babylon itself, has as good, if not a better, claim. We have no record of the building of the city and tower being interrupted by any such catastrophe as a confusion of languages; but that such an interruption because of diversity of speech of the townspeople took place, is not impossible. In any case it can only have been an interruption, though perhaps of many centuries, for Babylon increased and prospered for many centuries after the period referred to in Genesis. The history of the city of Babylon before the Amorite dynasty is an absolute blank, and we have no facts to fill up the fifteen centuries of its existence previous to that date. The etymology given for the name Babel in Gen., xi, 9, is not the historic meaning of the word, which, as given above is Kadungir, Bab-Ilu, or “God’s Gate”. The derivation in Genesis rests upon the similarity of sound with a word formed from the root balal, “to stammer”, or “be confused”.

(4) Next to be mentioned is the account of the battle of the four kings against five near the Dead Sea (Gen., xiv). Sennaar mentioned in v. 1 is the Sumer of the Babylonian inscriptions, and Amraphel is identified by most scholars with the great Hammurabi, the sixth King of Babylon. The initial gutteral of the king’s name being a soft one, and the Babylonians being given to dropping their H’s, the name actually occurs in cuneiform inscriptions as Ammurapi. The absence of the final l arises from the fact that the sign pi was misread bil or perhaps ilu, the sign of deification, or complement of the name, being omitted. There is no philological difficulty in this identification, but the chronological difficulty (viz., of Hammurabi being vassal of Chedorlaomer) has led others to identify Amraphel with Hammurabi’s father Sin-muballit, whose name is ideographically written Amar-Pal. Arioch, King of Pontus (Pontus is St. Jerome’s unfortunate guess to identify Ellazar) is none else but Rim-Sin, King of Larsa (Ellazar of A. V.), whose name was Eri-Aku, and who was defeated and dethroned by the King of Babylon, whether Hammurabi or Sin-muballit; and if the former, then this occurred in the thirty-first year of his reign, the year of the land of Emutbalu, Eri-Aku bearing the title of King of Larsa and Father of Emutbalu. The name Chedorlahomer has apparently, though not quite certainly, been found on two tablets together with the names Eriaku and Tudhula, which latter king is evidently “Thadal, king of the Nations”. The Hebrew word goyim, “nations”, is a clerical error for Gutium or Guti, a neighbouring state which plays an important role throughout Babylonian history. Of Kudur-lahgumal, King of the Land of Elam, it is said that he “descended on”, and “exercised sovereignty in Babylon the city of Kar-Duniash”. We have documentary evidence that Eriaku’s father Kudurmabug, King of Elam, and after him Hammurabi of Babylon, claimed authority over Palestine the land of Martu. This Biblical passage, therefore, which was once described as bristling with impossibilities, has so far only received confirmation from Babylonian documents.

(5) According to Gen., xi, 28 and 31, Abraham was a Babylonian from the city of Ur. It is remarkable that the name Abu ramu (Honored Father) occurs in the eponym lists for 677 B.C., and Abe ramu, a similar name, on a contract-tablet in the reign of Apil-Sin, thus showing that Abram was a Babylonian name in use long before and after the date of the Patriarch. His father removed from Ur to Harran, from the old centre of the Moon-cult to the new. Talmudic tradition makes Terah an idolater, and his religion may have had to do with his emigration. No excavations have as yet taken place at Harran, and Abraham’s ancestry remains obscure. Aberamu of Apil-Sin’s reign had a son Sha-Amurri, which fact shows the early intercourse between Babylonia and the Amorite land, or Palestine. In Chanaan Abraham remained within the sphere of Babylonian language and influence, or perhaps even authority. Several centuries later, when Palestine was no longer part of the Babylonian Empire, Abd-Hiba, the King of Jerusalem, in his intercourse with his over-lord of Egypt, wrote neither his own language nor that of Pharao, but Babylonian, the universal language of the day. Even when passing into Egypt, Abraham remained under Semitic rule, for the Hyksos reigned there.

(6) Considering that the progenitor of the Hebrew race was a Babylonian, and that Babylonian culture remained paramount in Western Asia for more than 1000 years, the most astounding feature of the Hebrew Scriptures is the almost complete absence of Babylonian religious ideas, the more so as Babylonian religion, though Oriental polytheism, possessed a refinement, a nobility of thought, and a piety, which are often admirable. The Babylonian account of creation, though often compared with the Biblical one, differs from it on main and essential points for

  • it contains no direct statement of the Creation of the world: Tiamtu and Apsu, the watery waste and the abyss wedded together, beget the universe; Marduk, the conqueror of chaos, shapes and orders all things; but this is the mythological garb of evolution as opposed to creation.

  • It does not make the Deity the first and only cause of the existence of all things; the gods themselves are but the outcome of pre-existent, apparently eternal, forces; they are not cause, but effect.

  • It makes the present world the outcome of a great war; it is the story of Resistance and Struggle, which is the exact opposite of the Biblical account.

  • It does not arrange the things created into groups or classes, which is one of the main features of the story in Genesis.

  • The work of creation is not divided into a number of days — the principal literary characteristic of the Biblical account.

The Babylonian mythology possesses something analogous to the biblical Garden of Eden. But though they apparently possessed the word Edina, not only as meaning “the Plain”, but as a geographical name, their garden of delight is placed in Eridu, where “a dark vine grew; it was made a glorious place, planted beside the abyss. In the glorious house, which is like a forest, its shadow extends; no man enters its midst. In its interior is the Sun-god Tammuz. Between the mouths of the rivers, which are on both sides.” This passage bears a striking analogy to Gen., ii, 8-17. The Babylonians, however, seem to have possessed no account of the Fall. It seems likely that the name of Ea, or Ya, or Aa, the oldest god of the Babylonian Pantheon, is connected with the name Jahve, Jahu, or Ja, of the Old Testament. Professor Delitzsch recently claimed to have found the name Jahve-ilu on a Babylonian tablet, but the reading has been strongly disputed by other scholars. The greatest similarity between Hebrew and Babylonian records is in their accounts of the Flood. Pir-napistum, the Babylonian Noe, commanded by Ea, builds a ship and transfers hither his family, the beasts of the field, and the sons of the artificers, and he shuts the door. Six days and nights the wind blew, the flood overwhelmed the land. The seventh day the storm ceased; quieted, the sea shrank back; all mankind had turned to corruption. The ship stopped at the land of Nisir. Pir-napistum sends out first a dove, which returns; then a swallow, and it returns, then a raven, and it does not return. He leaves the ship, pours out a libation, makes an offering on the peak of the mountain. “The gods smelled a savour, the gods smelled a sweet savour, the gods gathered like flies over the sacrificer.” No one reading the Babylonian account of the Flood can deny its intimate connection with the narrative in Genesis, yet the former is so intimately bound up with Babylonian mythology, that the inspired character of the Hebrew account is the better appreciated by the contrast.

 

RELIGION

 

 

The Babylonian Pantheon arose out of a gradual amalgamation of the local deities of the early city states of Sumer and Akkad. And Babylonian mythology is mainly the projection into the heavenly sphere of the earthly fortunes of the early centres of civilization in the Euphrates valley. Babylonian religion, therefore, is largely a Sumerian, i.e. Mongolian product, no doubt modified by Semitic influence, yet to the last bearing the mark of its Mongolian origin in the very names of its gods and in the sacred dead languages in which they were addressed. The tutelary spirit of a locality extended his power with the political power of his adherents; when the citizens of one city entered into political relations with the citizens of another, popular imagination soon created the relation of father and son, brother and sister, or man and wife, between their respective gods. The Babylonian Trinity of Anu, Bel, and Ea is the result of later speculation, dividing the divine power into that which rules in heaven, that which rules the earth, and that which rules under the earth. Ea was originally the god of Eridu on the Persian Gulf and therefore the god of the ocean and the waters below. Bel was originally the chief spirit (in Sumerian En-lil, the older designation of Bel, which is Semitic for “chief” or “lord”) of Nippur, one of the oldest, possibly the oldest, centre of civilization after Eridu. Anu’s local cult is as yet uncertain; Erech has been suggested; we know that Gudea erected a temple to him; he always remained a shadowy personality. Although nominal head of the Pantheon, he had in later days no temple dedicated to him except one, and that he shared with Hadad. Sin, the moon, was the god of Ur; Shamash, the sun, was the god of Larsa and Sippar; when the two towns of Girsu and Uruazaga were united into the one city of Lagash, the two respective local deities, Nin-Girsu and Bau, became man and wife, to whom Gudea brought wedding presents. With the rise of Babylon and the political unification of the whole country under this metropolis, the city-god Marduk, whose name does not occur on any inscription previous to Hammurabi, leaps to the foreground. The Babylonian theologians not only gave him a place in the Pantheon, but in the Epos “Enuma Elish” it is related how as reward for overcoming the Dragon of Chaos, the great gods, his fathers, bestowed upon Marduk their own names and titles. Marduk gradually so outshone the other deities that these were looked upon as mere manifestations of Marduk, whose name became almost a synonym for God. And though Babylonians never quite reached monotheism, their ideas sometimes seem to come near it. Unlike the Assyrians, the Babylonians never possessed a female deity of such standing in the Pantheon as Ishtar of Ninive or Arbela. In the Second Empire, Nebo, the city-god of Borsippa, over against Babylon, rises into prominence and wins honours almost equal to those of Marduk, and the twin cities have two almost inseparable gods. Judging from the continual invocation of the gods in every conceivable detail of life, and the continual acknowledgment of dependence on them, and the anxious humble prayers that are still extant, the Babylonians were as a nation pre-eminent in piety.

 

CIVILIZATION

 

 

It is impossible in this article to give an idea of the astounding culture which had developed in the Euphrates Valley, the cradle of civilization, even as early as 2300 B.C. A perusal of the article Hammurabi, and a careful reading of his code of laws will give us a clear insight in the Babylonian world of four thousand years ago. The ethical litany of the Shurpu tablets contains an examination of conscience more detailed than the so-called “Negative” confessions in the Egyptian Book of the Dead and fills us with admiration for the moral level of the Babylonian world. Though polygamists, the Babylonians raised but one woman to the legal status of wife, and women possessed considerable rights and freedom of action. Marriage settlements protected the married, and the unmarried managed their own estates. On the other hand, they possessed an institution analogous to vestal virgins at Rome. These female votaries had a privileged position in Babylonian society; we know, however, of no such dire penalty for their unfaithfulness as the Roman law inflicted. A votary could even enter into nominal marriage, if she gave her husband a maid as Sarah gave Abraham. According to Law 110 of Hammurabi, however, “if a votary who dwells not in a cloister open a wine-house or enter a wine-house for drink, that female they shall burn”. On the other hand (Law 127), “if a man has caused the finger to be pointed against a votary and has not justified it, they shall set that man before the judges and mark his forehead.” The dark side of Babylonian society is seen in the strange enactment: “If the child of a courtesan or of a public woman come to know his father’s house and despise his foster-parents and go to his father’s house, they shall tear out his eyes.” The repeated coupling of the words “votary or public woman” and the minute and indulgent legislation of which they are the objects make us fear that the virtue of chastity was not prized in Babylon. Although originally only a provident, prosperous agricultural people, the Babylonians seem to have developed a great commercial talent; and well might some Assyrian Napoleon have referred to his Southern neighbours as “that nation of shopkeepers.” In 1893 Dr. Hilprecht found 730 tablets twenty feet underground in a ruined building at Nippur, which proved to be the banking archives of the firm Nurashu and Sons, signed, sealed, and dated about 400 B.C. We also possess a deed of purchase by Manishtusu, King of Kish, some 4000 B.C., in archaic Babylonian, which in accuracy and minuteness of detail in moneys and values would compare well with a modern balance sheet that has passed the chartered accountants. Proofs are not lacking of the commercial talents of the Babylonians during the thirty-five centuries between these dates.

 

LITERATURE

 

 

Vast as is the material of Babylonian inscriptions, equally varied are their contents. The great majority no doubt of the 300,000 tablets hitherto unearthed deal with business matters rather than with matters literary; contracts, marriage settlements, cadastral surveys, commercial letters, orders for goods or acknowledgments of their receipt, official communications between magistrates and civil or military governors, names, titles, and dates on foundation stones, private correspondence, and so on. Still a fair percentage has a right to be strictly classed as “literature” or “belles-lettres”. We must moreover constantly keep in mind that only about one-fifth of the total number of these tablets have been published and that any description of their literature must as yet be fragmentary and tentative. It is convenient to classify as follows: (1) the Epos; (2) the Psalm; (3) the Historical Narrative.

(1) The Epos

(a) The so called “Seven Tablets of Creation”, because written on a series of seven very mutilated tablets in the Kouyunshik Library. Happily the lacunae can here and there be filled up by fragments of duplicates found elsewhere. Borrowing an expression from the early Teuton literature, this might be called the “saga of the primeval chaos”. Assyrian scribes called it by its first words “Enuma Elish” (When on high) as the Jews called Genesis “Bereshith” (in the beginning). Although it contains an account of the world’s origin, as above contrasted with the account given in the Bible, it is not so much a cosmogony as the story of the heroic deeds of the god Marduk, in his struggle with the Dragon of Chaos. Though the youngest of the gods, Marduk is charged by them to fight Tiamtu and the gods on her side. He wins a glorious victory; he takes the tablets of fate from Kimgu, her husband; he splits open her skull, hews asunder the channels of her blood and makes the north wind carry it away to hidden places. He divides the corpse of the great Dragon and with one half makes a covering for the heavens and thus fixes the waters above the firmament. He then sets about fashioning the universe, and the stars, and the moon; he forms man. “Let me gather my blood and let me set up a man, let me make then men dwelling on the earth.” When Marduk has finished his work, he is acclaimed by all the gods with joy and given fifty names. The gods are apparently eager to bestow their own titles upon him. The aim of the poem clearly is to explain how Marduk, the local god of as modern a city as Babylon, had displaced the deities of the older Babylonian cities, “the gods his fathers”.

(b) The great national epos of Gilgamesh, which probably had in Babylonian literature some such place as the Odyssey or the Aeneid amongst the Greeks and Romans. It consists of twelve chapters or cantos. It opens with the words Sha nagbo imuru (He who saw everything). The number of extant tablets is considerable, but unfortunately they are all very fragmentary and with exception of the eleventh chapter the text is very imperfect and shows as yet huge lacunae. Gilgamesh was King of Erech the Walled. When the story begins, the city and the temples are in a ruinous state. Some great calamity has fallen upon them. Erech has been besieged for three years, till Bel and Ishtar interest themselves in its behalf. Gilgamesh has yearned for a companion, and the goddess Arurn makes Ea-bani, the warrior; “covered with hair was all his body and he had tresses like a woman, his hair grew thick as corn; though a man, he lives amongst the beasts of the field”. They entice him into the city of Erech by the charms of a woman called Samuhat; he lives there and becomes a fast friend of Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh and Ea-bani set out in quest of adventure, travel through forests, and arrive at the palace of a great queen. Gilgamesh cuts off the head of Humbabe, the Elamite king. Ishtar the goddess falls in love with him and asks him in marriage. But Gilgamesh scornfully reminds her of her treatment of former lovers. Ishtar in anger returns to heaven and revenges herself by sending a divine bull against Gilgamesh and Ea-bani. This animal is overcome and slain to the great joy of the city of Erech. Warning dreams are sent to Gilgamesh and his friend Ea-bani dies, and Gilgamesh sets out on a far journey, to bring his friend back from the underworld. After endless adventures our hero reaches in a ship the waters of death and converses with Pir-napistum, the Babylonian Noe, who tells him the story of the flood, which fills up the eleventh chapter of some 330 lines, referred to above. Pir-napistum gives to Gilgamesh the plant of rejuvenescence but he loses it again on his way back to Erech. In the last chapter Gilgamesh succeeds in calling up the spirit of Ea-bani, who gives a vivid portrayal of life after death “where the worm devoureth those who had sinned in their heart, but where the blessed lying upon a couch, drink pure water”. Though weird in the extreme and to our eyes a mixture of the grotesque with the sublime, this epos contains descriptive passages of unmistakable power. A few lines as example: “At the break of dawn in the morning there arose from the foundation of heaven a dark cloud. The Storm god thundered within it and Nebo and Marduk went before it. Then went the heralds over mountain and plain. Uragala dragged the anchors loose, the Annunak raised their torches, with their flashing they lighted the earth. The roar of the Storm god reached to the heavens and everything bright turned into darkness.”

(c) The Adapa-Legend, a sort of “Paradise Lost”, probably a standard work of Babylonian literature, as it is found not only in the Ninive library, but even among the Amarna tablets in Egypt. It relates how Adapa, the wise man or Atrachasis, the purveyor to the sanctuary of Ea, is deceived, through the envy of Ea. Anu, the Supreme God, invites him to Paradise, offers him the food and drink of immortality, but Adapa, mistakenly thinking it poison, refuses, and loses life everlasting. Anu scornfully says: “Take him and bring him back to his earth.”

(d) Ishtar’s descent into Hades, here and there bearing a surprising resemblance to well-known lines of Dante’s Inferno. The goddess of Erech goes:

To the land whence no one ever returneth,
To the house of gloom where dwelleth Irkalla,
To the house which one enters but nevermore leaveth,
On the way where there is no retracing of footsteps,
To the house which one enters, and daylight all ceases.

On an Amarna tablet we find a description ghostly and graphic of a feast, a fight, and a wedding in hell.

(e) Likewise fragments of legendary stories about the earliest Babylonian kings have come down to us. One of the most remarkable is that in which Sargon of Akkad, born of a vestal maiden of high degree, is exposed by his mother in a basket of bulrushes and pitch floating on the waters of the Euphrates; he is found by a water carrier and brought up as a gardener. This story cannot but remind us of Moses’ birth.

(2) The Psalm

This species of literature, which formerly seemed almost limited to the Hebrew race, had a luxurious growth on Babylonian soil. These songs to the gods or to some one god are indeed often either weird incantations or dreary litanies; and when after perusal of a good number of them one turns to the Hebrew Psalter, no fair-minded person will deny the almost immeasurable superiority of the latter. On the other hand, naught but unreasoning prejudice would trouble to deny the often touching beauty and nobility of thought in some of these productions of the instinctive piety of a noble race. It is natural moreover that the tone of some Babylonian psalms should strongly remind us of some songs of Israel, where every psalmist boasted that he had as forefather a Babylonian: Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. Some of these psalms are written in Sumerian with Semitic Babylonian interlinear translations; others in Semitic Babylonian only. They show all sorts of technicalities in versification, parallelism, alliteration, and rhythm. There are acrostics and even double acrostics, the initial and final syllable of each line being the same. These psalms contain praise and supplication of the great gods, but, what is most remarkable, some of them are penitential psalms, the sinner mourning his sin and begging restoration to favour. Moreover, there are a great number of “lamentations” not over personal but over national calamities; and a Babylonian “prophet” wept over the fall of Nippur many centuries before Jeremias wrote his inspired songs of sorrow over the destruction of Jerusalem. Besides these there are numberless omen tablets, magical recipes for all sorts of ills, and rituals of temple service, but they belong to the history of religion and astrology rather than to that of literature.

(3) The Historical Narrative

The Babylonians seemed to have possessed no ex professo historians, who, like a Herodotus, endeavoured to give a connected narrative of the past. We have to gather their history from the royal inscriptions on monuments and palace walls and state-cylinders, in which each sovereign records his great deeds in perpetuam rei memoriam. Whereas we fortunately possess an abundance of historical texts of the Assyrian kings, thanks to the discovery of Assurbanipal’s library, we are as yet not so fortunate in the case of Babylonian kings; of the early Babylonian city-kings we have a number of shorter inscriptions on steles and boundary stones in true lapidary style and longer historical records in the great cylinder inscriptions of Gudea of Lagash. Whereas we possess considerable historical texts of Hammurabi, we possess but very little of his many successors on the Babylonian throne until the Second Babylonian Empire, when long historical texts tell us the doings of Nabopolassar, Nabuchodonosor, and Nabonidus. They are all of a pompous grandeur that palls a little on a Western mind, and their self-adulation comes strange to us. They are in the style which popular imagination is wont to attribute to the utterances of His Celestial Majesty, the Emperor of China. They invariably begin with a long homage to the gods, giving lengthy lists of deities, protectors of the sovereign and state, and end with imprecations on those who destroy, mutilate, or disregard the inscription. The Babylonian royal inscriptions, as far as at present known, are almost without exception peaceful in tone and matter. Their ever recurring themes are the erection, restoration, or adornment of temples and palaces, and the digging of canals. Even when at war, the Babylonian king thought it bad taste to refer to it in his monumental proclamations. No doubt the Babylonians must have despised Assyrian inscriptions as bloodthirsty screeds. Because the genius of Babylon was one of culture and peace; therefore, though a world-centre a thousand years before Ninive, it lasted more than a thousand years after Ninive was destroyed.

In addition to literature given after article Assyria: Boscawen, The First of Empires (2d ed., London, 1905); Bezold, Ninive und Babylon (Leipzig, 1903); Pinches, The Old Testament in the Light of the Historical Records and Legends of Assyria and Babylonia (London, 1903); Sayce, The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions (London, 1907); Jastrow, Die Religion Babyloniens und Assyriens(Giessen, I, 1905; II, 1907); Radau, Early Babylonian History (New York, 1900); Lagrange, Historical Criticism and O.T. (London, 1906); Jeremias, Das Alte Testament in Lichte des alten Orients(Leipzig, 1906); Delitzsch, Babel und Bibel (Leipzig and Stuttgart, 1905) for a collection of texts with immediate bearing on O.T.; Winckler, Keilinschriftliches Textbuch zum Alten Testament (Leipzig, 1903).

J.P. ARENDZENTranscribed by Rev. Richard Giroux

 



Image

  • Aken – Ferryman to the underworld
  • Ammit – crocodile-headed devourer in Duat
  • Amun (also spelled Amen) – the hidden one, a local creator deity later married to Mut after rising in importance
  • Amunet – female aspect of the primordial concept of air in the Ogdoad cosmogony; was depicted as a cobra snake or a snake-headed woman
  • Anubis (also spelled Yinepu) – dog or jackal God of embalming and tomb-caretaker who watches over the dead
  • Anuket, Goddess of the Nile River, the child of Satis and among the Elephantine triad of deities; temple on the Island of Seheil,giver of life and fertilitygazelle-headed
  • Apep (also spelled Apophis) – evil serpent of the Underworld, enemy of Ra and formed from a length of Neith‘s spit during her creation of the world
  • Apis – the Apis bull probably was at first a fertility figure concerned with the propagation of grain and herds; but he became associated with Ptah, the paramount deity of the Memphis area and also, with Osiris (as User-Hapi) and Sokaris, later Gods of the dead and the underworld. As Apis-Atum he was associated with the solar cult and was often represented with the sun-disk of the cow deity between his horns, being her offspring. The Apis bull often represented a king who became a deity after death, suggesting an earlier ritual in which the king was sacrificed
  • The Aten – the sun disk or globe worshipped primarily during the Amarna Period in the eighteenth dynasty when representing a monotheistic deity advanced by Amunhotep IV, who took the nameAkhenaten
  • Atum – a creator deity, and the setting sun
  • Bakha
  • Bast – Goddess, protector of the pharaoh and a solar deity where the sun could be seen shining in her eyes at night, a lionessdomestic cat, cat-bodied or cat-headed woman, also known as Bastet when superseded by Sekhmet
  • Bat – represented the cosmos and the essence of the soul (Ba), cow Goddess who gave authority to the king, cult originated in Hu and persisted widely until absorbed as an aspect of Hathor after the eleventh dynasty; associated with the sistrum and the ankh
  • Bes – dwarfed demigod – associated with protection of the household, particularly childbirth, and entertainment
  • The four sons of Horus– personifications of the containers for the organs of the deceased pharaohs – Imsety in human form, contained the liver and was protected by Isis; Hapi in baboon form, contained the lungs and was protected by Nephthys; Duamutef in jackal form, contained the stomach and was protected by Neith; Qebehsenuef in hawk form, contained the large intestines and was protected bySerket
  • Geb – God of the Earth and first ruler of Egypt, and husband of Nut
  • Hapi – God embodied by the Nile, and who represents life and fertility
  • Hathor (also spelled Hethert) – among the oldest of Egyptian deities – often depicted as the cow, a cow-Goddess, Sky-Goddess and Tree-Goddess who was the mother to the pharaoh and earlier to the universe, the golden calf of the bible, and later Goddess of love and music
  • Heget (also spelled Heqet) – Goddess of childbirth and fertility, who breathed life into humans at birth, represented as a frog or a frog-headed woman
  • Henet – represented by the pelican or a pelican-headed goddess, and referred to in the Pyramid Textsas the ‘mother of the king’, associated with safe passage in the underworld, as well as symbolising protection against snakes[1]
  • Horus (also spelled Heru) – the falcon-headed God most notably being the God of the Sky, God of War and God of Protection. Includes multiple forms or potentially different Gods, including Heru the son of Isis, God of pharaohs and Upper Egypt, and Heru the elder
  • Isis (also spelled Aset) – Goddess of magical power and healing, “She of the Throne” who was represented as the throne, also later as the wife of Osiris and as the protector of the dead
  • Iusaaset – the great one who comes forth, the Goddess who was called the mother and grandmother of all of the deities and later, the “shadow” of Atum or Atum-Ra
  • Khepry (also spelled Khepra) – the scarab beetle, the embodiment of the dawn
  • Khnum – a creator deity, God of the inundation
  • Khonsu – the son of Amun and Mut, whose name means “wanderer”, which probably refers to the passage of the moon across the sky, as he was a lunar deity. In the late period, he was also considered an important God of healing
  • Kuk – the personification of darkness that often took the form of a frog-headed God, whose consort or female form was the snake-headed Kauket
  • Maahes – he who is true beside her, a lion prince, son of Bast in Lower Egypt and of Sekhmet in Upper Egypt and sharing their natures, his father varied—being the current chief male deity of the time and region, a God of warweather, and protector of matrilineality, his cult arrived during the New Kingdom era perhaps from Nubia and was centred in Taremu and Per-Bast, associated with the high priests of Amon, the knifelotuses, and devouring captives
  • Ma’at – a Goddess who personified concept of truth, balance, justice, and order – represented as a woman, sitting or standing, holding a sceptre in one hand and an ankh in the other – thought to have created order out of the primal chaos and was responsible for maintaining the order of the universe and all of its inhabitants, to prevent a return to chaos
  • Mafdet – she who runs swiftly, early deification of legal justice (execution) as a cheetah, ruling at judgment hall in Duat where enemies of the pharaoh were decapitated with Mafdet’s claw; alternately, acat, a mongoose, or a leopard protecting against vermin, snakes, and scorpions; the bed upon which royal mummies were placed in murals
  • Menhit – Goddess of war – depicted as a lioness-goddess and therefore becoming associated with Sekhmet
  • Meretseger – Goddess of the valley of the kings, a cobra-goddess, sometimes triple-headed, dweller on the top of or the personification of the pyramid-shaped mountainAl-Qurn, which overlooked the tombs of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings
  • Meskhenet – Goddess of childbirth, and the creator of each person’s Ka, a part of their soul, thereby associated with fate
  • Menthu (also spelled Montu) – an ancient god of war – nomad – represented strength, virility, and victory
  • Min – represented in many different forms, but was often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail; by the New Kingdom he was fused with Amun (Amen) in the deity Min-Amun-kamutef, Min-Amun-bull of his mother (Hathor), and his shrine was crowned with a pair of cow horns
  • Mnevis – was the sacred bull of Heliopolis, later associated with Ra as the offspring of the solar cow deity, and possibly also with Min; when Akhenaten abandoned Amun (Amen) in favour of the Aten he claimed that he would maintain the Mnevis cult, which may have been because of its solar associations
  • Mut (also spelled Mout) – mother, was originally a title of the primordial waters of the cosmos, the mother from which the cosmos emerged, as was Naunet in the Ogdoad cosmogony, however, the distinction between motherhood and cosmic water lead to the separation of these identities and Mut gained aspects of a creator Goddess
  • Naunet – a Goddess, the primal waters from which all arose, similar to Mut and later closely related to Nu
  • Neith – Goddess of war, then great mother Goddess – a name of the primal waters, the Goddess of creation and weaving, said to weave all of the world on her loom
  • Nekhbet – Goddess depicted as an Egyptian vulture – protector of Egypt, royalty, and the pharaoh with her extended wings – referred to as Mother of Mothers, who hath existed from the Beginning, and Creatrix of the World (related to Wadjet); always seen on the front of pharaoh’s double crown withWadjet
  • Nephthys (also spelled Nebthet) – Goddess of death, holder of the rattle, the Sistrum – sister to Isisand the nursing mother of Horus and the pharaohs represented as the mistress of the temple, a woman with falcon wings, usually outstretched as a symbol of protection
  • Nut – Goddess of heaven and the sky – mother of many deities as well as the sun, the moon, and the stars
  • Osiris (also spelled Wesir) – God of the underworld after Hathor and Anubis, fertility, and agriculture – the oldest son of the Sky Goddess, Nut, and the Earth God, Geb, and being brother and later, the husband of Isis – and early deity of Upper Egypt whose cult persisted into the sixth century BC
  • Pakhet – she who tears, deity of merged aspects of Sekhmet and Bast, cult center at Beni Hasanwhere north and south met – lioness protector, see Speos Artemidos
  • Ptah – a creator deity, also God of craft
  • Qebui – The “Lord of the North Wind,” associated with the lands beyond the third cataract (i.e. Kushand the land of the Modern Sudan.
  • Ra – the sun, also a creator deity – whose chief cult centre was based in Heliopolis meaning “city of the sun”
  • Ra-Horakhty – God of both sky and Sun, a combination of Ra and Horus – thought to be god of the Rising Sun
  • Reshep – war God who was originally from Syria
  • Satis – the Goddess who represented the flooding of the Nile River, ancient war, hunting, and fertility Goddess, mother of the Nile, Anuket, associated with water, depicted with a bow and arrows, and agazelle or antelope horned, and sometimes, feathered crown
  • Seker (also spelled Sokar) – God of death
  • Sekhmet – Goddess of destruction and war, the lioness – also personified as an aspect of Ra, fierce protector of the pharaoh, a solar deity, and later as an aspect of Hathor
  • Serqet – scorpion Goddess, protectress, Goddess of magic
  • Seshat – Goddess of writing, astronomy, astrology, architecture, and mathematics depicted as ascribe
  • Set (also spelled Seth/Setesh) – God of storms, often called the god if evil he is actually the God of chaos, desert and patron of Upper Egypt – ‘Set-animal’-headed- as one of the most prominent deities of chaos he does not have an actual animal to represent him, but is seen as an amalgamation of many different characteristics of other animals.
  • Sobek – crocodile God of the Nile
  • Shu – embodiment of wind or air
  • Swenet – Goddess of the ancient city on the border of southern Egypt at the Nile River, trade in hieroglyphs
  • Tatenen (also called Tenen or Tatjenen)-Ancient Nature God. Later combined with Ptah as Ptah-tenen
  • Taweret (also spelled Tawret) – Goddess of pregnant women and protector at childbirth
  • Tefnut – Goddess, embodiment of rain, dew, clouds, and wet weather, depicted as a cat and sometimes as a lioness
  • Thoth (also spelled Djehuty) – God of the moon, drawing, writing, geometry, wisdom, medicine, music, astronomy, magic; usually depicted as ibis-headed, or as a goose; cult centered in Khemennu
  • Wadjet – the Goddess, Snake Goddess of lower Egypt, depicted as a cobra, patron and protector of Egypt and the pharaoh, always shown on crown of the pharaohs; later joined by the image of Nekhbetafter north and south united; other symbols: eyesnake on staff
  • Wadj-wer – fertility God and personification of the Mediterranean sea or lakes of the Nile delta
  • Wepwawet – jackal God of upper Egypt
  • Wosret – a localized guardian Goddess, protector of the young God Horus, an early consort of Amun, who was later superseded by Mut

ImageIshtar was held to be the great Mother Goddess in ancient Assyrian and Bablyonian mythology. It was believed she was the daughter of the sky-god, Anu, or the moon god, Sin. Gradually over time, she absorbed characteristics of various goddesses and represented various aspects. Her worship spread throughout the Middle East, Greece, and Egypt. She was an oracle, governed over sex and war, and protected men from evil. As the many-breasted Opener of the Womb, she was the giver of all life; as the Destroyer and Queen of the Underworld, she also was the taker of all life. As the moon goddess, her waxing and waning governed the cyclical birth and death of the planet. She was the Heavenly Cow, the Green One, and the Mistress of the Field. 

As a war goddess Ishtar was specially honored in Assyria. She was depicted as carrying a bow and quiver, her warlike aspect receiving emphasis with a beard similar to the god Ashur. Inscriptions state that Ishtar was party to choosing of the king. Ashur-natsir-pala II (884-860 BC), so certain of the divine election, was the monarch renowned for his cruelty toward rebels and enemies. He orders of skinning captives live or cutting off their hands became accepted policy. 

Her son Tammuz, also called the Green One, became her lover when reaching manhood. Ishtar descended into the realm of the dead to rescue Tammuz; a myth similar to those of Inanna and Damuzi, and Demeter and Kore. When Ishtaer descended into the underworld she appeared as a hostile and threatening figure; death overcame her while there, which caused fertility and sexual desire to become dormant, and await her seasonal return. 

An Akkadian fragment describes the wailing of Ishtar for Tammuz, whose annual death, resurrection, and marriage strongly indicate a fertility ritual connected to an agricultural cycle. His worship spread into Canaan, where Ezekiel complained that even at “the door of the gate of the Lord’s house…there sat women weeping for Tammuz.” 

As Queen of Heaven, she replaced Sin as the moon deity; she rode through the sky at night in a chariot drawn by goats or lions. The zodiac was known as the “girdle of Ishtar,” which also refers to the ancient moon calendar. In this position she was the giver of omens, and prophecy through dreams, and through her magic, others could obtain secret knowledge. 

Ishtar was associated with the planet Venus. Both the lion and dove were sacred to her        \

Where did “Easter” get its name? Where did the concept of an Easter egg and bunny originate?

Also read:

Is “Easter” mentioned in Scripture? Answer

The name “Easter” has its roots in ancient polytheistic religions (paganism). On this, all scholars agree. This name is never used in the original Scriptures, nor is it ever associated biblically with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. For these reasons, we prefer to use the term “Resurrection Sunday” rather than “Easter” when referring to the annual Christian remembrance of Christ’s resurrection.

Ancient origin

Most reference books say that the name “Easter” derived from the Eastre, the Teutonic goddess of Spring. Although this relationship exists, in reality, the origin of the name and the goddess are far more ancient—going all the way back to the Tower of Babel. The origin begins not long after the biblical Flood.

Copyright ©, Films for Christ. All rights reserved. Photographer: Paul S. Taylor.

The Flood was a divine judgment sent on mankind after evil had become all pervasive, and all people everywhere were totally unresponsive to God. TheBible says that “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” (Genesis 6:5, NKJV). It is not difficult to imagine that life must have been almost unbearable at this time in history. God gave humankind a second chance by preserving the righteous man Noah and his family (a total of 8 people).

After the FloodNoah had a talented, but evil, great-grandson namedNimrod (Genesis 10:6-10) who rebelled greatly against God. The Bible says that he was “a mighty one”[1] Jewish tradition indicates that Nimrodwas a tyrant “who made all of the people rebellious against God.”[2] It is evident from history that Nimrod was not only a political leader, but also the lead priest of a form of occultic worship.[3]

King Nimrod, Queen Easter (Ishtar/Semiramis), and Tammuz (the “reincarnated” Nimrod)

Nimrod built and organized major cities. The Bible notes that these included BabelAsshurNineveh and Calah (Genesis 10:10-12). If you know anything about ancient history, the mention of these places may send shivers up your spine. For these were cities of great, almost unimaginable practices and perversion.

When Nimrod eventually died, the Babylonian religion in which he figured prominently continued on. His wife/queen saw to that. Once he was dead, she deified him as the Sun-god. In various cultures he later became known as Baal, the Great Life Giver, the god of fire, BaalimBelMolech, etc.

“Later, when this adulterous and idolatrous woman gave birth to an illegitimate son, she claimed that this son, Tammuz by name, was Nimrod reborn.”[4] Easter/Ishatar “claimed that her son was supernaturally conceived [no human father] and that he was the promised seed, the ‘savior’”—promised by God in Genesis 3:15. “However, not only was the child worshipped, but the woman, the MOTHER, was also worshipped as much (or more) than the son!”[5] Nimrod deified as the god of the sun and father of creation. Easter became the goddess of the moon, fertility, etc.

“In the old fables of the Mystery cults, their ‘savior’ Tammuz, was worshipped with various rites at the Spring season. According to the legends, after he was slain [killed by a wild boar], he went into the underworld. But through the weeping of his mother… he mystically revived in the springing forth of the vegetation—in Spring! Each year a spring festival dramatically represented this supposed ‘resurrection’ from the underworld.”[6]

Thus, a terrible false religion developed with its sun and moon worship, false priests, astrologydemonic worship, worship of stars associated with their gods, idolatry, mysterious rites, human sacrifice, and more. Frankly, the practices which went on were so horrible that it is not fitting for me to speak of them here.

Copyright, Films for Christ. All rights reserved. Artist: Paul S. Taylor.

It was at Nimrod’s city of Babel (Babylon) that a towering structure was first built in defiance of God as part of their Satanic religion. Archaeological evidence indicates that this was a spectacular pyramid-shaped structure (ziggurat). The Bible tells us that at this time there was only one language in the world and that most of the world’s population centered in this area and participated in this religion. It was evident to God that all mankind would soon degenerate into a level of evil that would parallel that of the pre-Flood world. For humanity’s sake, something had to be done to slow and frustrate this organization of an evil one world, tyrannical government.

God confused their language, so that they could not understand each other (Genesis 11:7). (This is the ultimate source of the world’s many languages.) As a result, many people moved away from the area in groups according to their particular new language. Most, if not all, of these people carried their evil Sun-God-based religion with them. They continued to worship the stars and practice all the other ungodly rituals of their religion. Some also continued to build pyramids reminiscent of theTower of Babel as part of this mystery religion. Today, we can still find remnants of these throughout the world (e.g., Iraq, South America, Central America, Egypt, Burma).

Babel was the origin of an idolatrous system that swept the world. The Bible says of her, “Babylon… the nations drank her wine; Therefore the nations are deranged” (Jeremiah 51:7). The Bible often speaks of the Satanic religions which came from her. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus “witnessed the Mystery religion and its rites in numerous countries and mentions how Babylon was the primeval source from which ALL systems of idolatry flowed.”[7] Austen Layard said “that we have the united testimony of sacred and profane history that idolatry originated in the area of Babylonia—the most ancient of religious systems.”[8]

Basically, almost every vile, profane and idolatrous practice you can think of originated at Babel with Queen Easter/Ishtar (Semiramis), the Mother Goddess and Nimrod. As the people scattered from Babel with their different languages, they, of course, used different names for Nimrod (Tammuz) and Semiramis. Some called the Mother Goddess “ISHTAR” (originally pronounced “Easter”).[9] In other lands, she was called Eostre, Astarte, Ostera, and Eastre. Other names for Semiramis, the Mother Goddess include: Wife of BaalAshtaroth or Ashtoreth, and Queen of Heaven.[10] The Mother goddess was frequently worshipped as the goddess of fertility—and as a sort of Mother Nature and goddess of Spring and sexual love and birth. She was also worshipped as a mediator between god and man. Sexual orgies and temple prostitutes were often used in her worship and in attempting to gain her favor.

The Easter Rabbit or Hare

Easter Bunny and EggsThe rabbit is well known as a sexual symbol of fertility. In various parts of the world, religions which developed from Babel also associate the rabbit with periodicity, both human and lunar (Egypt, China, etc.). As you may remember, the Mother Goddess Easter (Semiramis) is associated with the Moon. In other words, the Easter bunny symbolizes the Mother Goddess. Annual Spring time fertility rituals are associated worship of the Mother Goddess and Tammuz, the reincarnation of her husband Nimrod.

The Easter Egg

Most children and families who color or hide Easter eggs as part of their Resurrection Sunday tradition have no knowledge of the origin of these traditions. Easter egg activities have become a part of Western culture. Many would be surprised and even dismayed to learn where the traditions originated.

“The egg was a sacred symbol among the Babylonians. They believed an old fable about an egg of wondrous size which was supposed to have fallen from heaven into the Euphrates River. From this marvelous egg—according to the ancient story—the Goddess Astarte (Easter) [Semiramis], was hatched. And so the egg came to symbolize the Goddess Easter.”[11]

The idea of a mystic egg spread from Babylon to many parts of the world.[12] In Rome, the mystic egg preceded processions in honor of the Mother Goddess Roman. The egg was part of the sacred ceremonies of the Mysteries of Bacchus. The Druids used the egg as their sacred emblem. In Northern Europe, China and Japan the eggs were colored for their sacred festivals.[13]

The egg was also a symbol of fertility; Easter (Semiramis) was the goddess of Fertility. The Easter egg is a symbol of the pagan Mother Goddess, and it even bears one of her names.

Summary and Conclusion

“Easter” is simply one of the names of a woman who mightily deceived the world and whose religion has caused untold suffering and misery.[14]She was clearly an enemy of the true God, and her son Tammuz was ananti-Christ, a false messiah that ultimately deceived millions.

If you are Christian, it is not difficult to discern the bizarre deception and confusion that Satan has successfully orchestrated. For example, notice the embarrassing irony in these traditions which are practiced innocently by most people. They are repeated year after year, because they have become traditional and their origin is unknown to many.

  • On the day commemorating Christ’s resurrection, Americans roll decorated eggs on the White House lawn and pretend the Easter rabbit hid them. The same ritual is practiced at some Christian churches.

  • “In Lancashire [England] on Easter eve boys and men have been in the habit of touring the towns and villages as ‘Pace-eggers’ begging for eggs before performing the ‘Pace-Egging’ or Pasch (i.e., Easter) play.”[15]

  • In Greece each person in a group bangs his red EASTER EGG [not knowing that it is symbol of the Goddess] against the eggs of all the others present in turn, saying ‘Christ is risen,’ and receives the reply ‘He is risen indeed’.”[16]

The seductive symbols of ancient ungodly religions inspired by Satan have been incorporated into people’s everyday lives, even to this day—continuing to obscure the truth of God .

One might wonder if there is a better way for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection, the most important of all Christian holy days. In retrospect, it seems obvious that it would have been a better witness to the world if Christians had not attempted to “Christianize” pagan celebrations—adopting the name “Easter” (Ishtar/Semiramis) in remembrance of Christ. Jesus has been obscured by painted eggs and bunnies. Attention has been shifted away from spiritual truth and toward materialism (clothing, products and candies with the wrong symbolism). Stores merchandise the name of “Easter” (not “Resurrection Sunday”) and sell goods that have nothing to do with Christ’s death and resurrection. Christians naively use symbols and practices that unknowingly perpetuate ancient anti-Christ traditions—symbolic customs followed by the same religious cults that inspired the destruction of great numbers of Christians and Jews. Is the Devil laughing at us?

Many church bodies recognize the problem and make every effort to keep the focus of Resurrection Sunday totally on Jesus Christ and the Good News that He brought.

Further information…

References and footnotes

NOTE: The words “paganism” and “pagan” (lowercase “p”) as used in this article and as normally understood in common English usage, specifically refer to the ancient, civilized, polytheistic peoples, such as the Greek, Romans and earlier. We are not referring to or discussing the Neo-Pagans (uppercase “P”) of modern times, nor the Wiccanswhich are associated with them.

  1. Genesis 10:8 and 1 Chronicles 1:10—“…Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth” (NKJV). [up]
  2. The Jewish Encyclopedia, Vol. 9, p. 309, as cited by Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion (Riverside, California: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966). [up]
  3. Ralph Woodrow, Babylon Mystery Religion (Riverside, California: Ralph Woodrow Evangelistic Assn., 1966), p. 9; and Alexander Hislop, The Two Babylons (New York: Loizeaux Brothers).[up]
  4. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 9.; In his reincarnated form (Nimrod/Tammuz), has been known as Horus (Egypt), Attis (Italy), Crishna or Iswara (India), Deoius (Asia Minor), Janus (Rome), etc. [up]
  5. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 9. [up]
  6. “The resurrection of Tammuz [Nimrod] through Ishtar’s grief [Semiramis] was dramatically represented annually in order to insure the success of the crops and the fertility of the people… Each year men and women had to grieve with Ishtar over the death of Tammuz and celebrate the god’s return, in order to win anew her favor and her benefits!” [Homer W. Smith,Man and His Gods, p. 86, as cited by Woodrow, p. 157.] [up]
  7. Ibid., p. 10; Herodotus’ History, Book 2, p. 109, as cited by Woodrow. [up]
  8. Woodrow, Ibid., p. 11; Austen Henry Layard, Nineveh and Its Remains.[up]
  9. Woodrow Ibid., p. 152. [up]
  10. The names Ashtaroth or Ashtoreth, and Queen of Heaven where used for Semiramis by the Israelites and the ungodly peoples around them, seeJudges 2:13Jeremiah 44:17-19, etc. Other names for Semiramis includeAstarte (Cyprus), Diana (Ephesus and throughout Asia Minor), Cybele (Asia Minor), Isis (Egypt), Aphrodite, Ceres (Greece), Venus or Fortuna (Romans), Shingmoo (China), Disa (Scandanavia), Nutria (Etruscans), Virgo-Paritura (Druids), Isi or Indrani or Devaki (India). [up]
  11. Woodrow, Ibid., pp. 152-153. [up]
  12. James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough, Vol. 12, 3rd Edition (1907-15, reissued 1935-36 and 1955); Maria Leach, editor, Funk and Wagnall’s Standard Dictionary of Folklore, Mythology and Legend, Vol. 1 (1949).[up]
  13. Ibid., p. 155. [up]
  14. This mystery religion of Babylon is well-known to still be alive in the world today in various forms. Many of its elements are even present in the New Age movement (reincarnationastrology, channeling, claims of mysterious powers, and more). [up]
  15. Edwin Oliver James, Encyclopaedia Britannica, Vol. 7 (Chicago: Encyclopaedia Britannica, 1967), p. 867.] [up]
  16. James, Ibid. [up] [up]
%d bloggers like this: