FLYING SERPENTS AND DRAGONS

By R. A. Boulay 1990

Editorial Comments By Roberto Solàrion 1997

Chapter 4

THE OLD TESTAMENT BEGINS AT SUMER

"The most difficult and the most obscure of the sacred books, Genesis, contains as many secrets as words, and each word conceals several others."

 

Saint Jerome

 

THE ANUNNAKI AS REFLECTED IN THE SCRIPTURES

Is there evidence in Western religious literature that corroborates the activities of the Anunnaki as it is found in the numerous myths, poems, and hymns of Mesopotamia? These Sumerian sources deal with the same events - the creation of Man, its subsequent modification into a modern man or Homo sapiens, the existence of god-kings, the coming of the Deluge, and many of the subsequent events of recorded history.

There is a large body of religious literature besides the Book of Genesis which deals with the period before the Deluge. Sources such as the three books of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees, the Gnostic teachings, the Dead Sea scrolls, the Haggadah or the oral tradition of the Jews, the Rabbinical writings, the works of Josephus, and many works of the Pseudepigrapha.

Much of what is not intelligible in these ancient religious writings is explained in part in the large library of available Sumerian, Babylonian and other cuneiform inscriptions. It will be demonstrated that the Scriptures and Sumerian literature, regarded in a historical context, and stripped of their spiritual and mythological verbiage, support and augment each other remarkably. For it is clear that Sumer was the fountainhead for the events and stories of the Old Testament and other Western religious writings.

Much as Biblical apologists have tried to avoid or cloud the issue of the origin of the Old Testament, the historical facts clearly show that its antecedents are in the valley of Mesopotamia.

The Sumerian culture, which can be traced as far back as the beginning of the Fourth Millennium BC, was the source of all the myths of Middle Eastern civilizations that followed, such as the Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian people who inherited much of the Sumerian culture. This culture was subsequently transferred to the west to the lands of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, and Anatolia.

The actual language of the Sumerians was superseded rather early by Akkadian, a Semitic tongue. Sumerian is non-Semitic and its origins are unknown. It seems to have no affinities at all and to have suddenly appeared on Earth out of nowhere. The Akkadians and Sumerians later intermingled and eventually formed a fusion of the two languages. From this Sumerian-Akkadian milieu evolved the Semites and eventually the Hebrews or Jews. The Hebrews did not invent their language or literary forms - their culture was inherited from the older Mesopotamian and Canaanite cultures.

It should be more widely realized that when those famous Biblical figures Noah and Abraham lived, there was no such thing as a Hebrew in existence. Both the Jews and Arabs traditionally claim descendancy from Abraham who was neither Jew nor Arab but a resident of the city of Ur in Mesopotamia.

The earliest reference in the Old Testament said to show Abrahamís alleged Hebrew ancestry is an error perpetuated by mistranslation. In their eagerness to prove Hebrew antiquity, translators have incorrectly referred to Abraham as such in Genesis 14.

The context in which this reference appears is the invasion of the eastern kings into Canaan and Abrahamís reaction when his nephew Lot is taken prisoner. As the text goes,

"The invaders seized all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah and all their food, and departed, taking with them Lot, the son of Abramís brother, together with his possessions; he had been living in Sodom. A fugitive brought the news to Abram the Hebrew who was camping at the terebinths of Mamre the Amorite, kinsman of Eshkol and Aner, these being the confederates of Abram."

Evidently, Abraham (Abram) was a stranger in the land at the time; he had just migrated from the city of Ur in Mesopotamia. Manifestly both he and Lot were visitors or travellers. The translation of the word "ibri" as "Hebrew" has no linguistic support. The root "br" means "to pass through or to cross." Hence, "ibri" as it appears in the text of Genesis would mean one who is passing through or a visitor. In reality, the news was brought to Abraham that his nephew, his friend and fellow-traveller, had been captured by the invaders.

[Comment: Interestingly, in the Ethiopic linguistic traditions, in some of the oldest of all modern-day civilizations, the word "bir" means "dollar bill." Since a dollar bill passes from hand to hand, or crosses from one person to another, it is easy to see how this linguistic root-word still influences even modern languages.]

The Semitic "ibri" is obviously related to the Akkadian "ibru" from whence it probably derived. In the Akkadian version of the Gilgamesh Epic, his friend Enkidu, with whom Gilgamesh shares most of his adventures, is referred to as "ibru." The Chicago Assyrian Dictionary defines it as a relationship between persons of the same code of behavior and the obligation of mutual assistance. This definition fits the situation of Abraham and Lot perfectly.

Abrahamís subsequent activities in the land of Canaan leave no doubt that he was a stranger and a visitor. For example, after his battle with the invading army he had to report to Melchizedek, the King of Salem, where he paid a tithe of ten percent of all the loot which had been recovered.

[Comment: This Melchizedek, King of Salem, is the man from whom the later Order of Melchizedek originated; and his name presumably has some sort of occult significance in the pseudonym of the modern "prophet" John Grace, more popularly known as Drunvalo Melchizedek.]

Later, when Abraham eventually settled in the land of Canaan near Gerar, it was at the sufferance of Abimelech, the Philistine king who also controlled the lands around Gerar and Beersheba. Abraham had a later confrontation at Beersheba with Abimelech, who made it clear that he was in command of the land, backing up his claim with troops led by General Phicol.

Abraham later had to purchase a plot of land in order to bury his wife Sarah; he paid 400 shekels of silver for this land, an extremely large amount of money for a small piece of land containing a cave. While this sum was abnormally high, Abraham as a foreigner was in no position to demur.

These activities of Abraham were not the actions of a native, and Abraham lived among the Canaanites with their forbearance. It was the custom if not the law of the land that a stranger or alien could not own landed property. This probably accounts for the high price that Abraham had to pay.

 

THE BORROWED LEGENDS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

The oldest part of the Bible, Genesis Chapters 1 through 6, which deal with the antediluvian period, was not written down in its present form much earlier than 800 BC. On the other hand, most of the Sumerian stories and legends were composed and published about 2500 BC or not long afterwards. The cuneiform tablet versions reported events that took place before the Deluge as well as activities just after the event.

[Comment: If, as I hypothesize, the Planet Nibiru were "parked" above our North Polar Axis from about 1590-690 BCE - from the time of the Exodus and the Santorini Cataclysm to the time of Sargonís genocidal campaign and the series of "great earthquakes," as per the theories of Dr. Immanuel Velikovsky, including that entire segment of ancient history that was duplicated due to mass contemporaneous confusion and only reinterpreted in this century in the book Ages In Chaos - then this part of Genesis was written while the Nibiruans were in this vicinity to "dictate it" to their demi-god scribes.]

The uniqueness of the events of the Old Testament comes under critical scrutiny since there is nothing here that cannot be found in the ancient myths and literature of Mesopotamia and the land of Canaan. If the activities of Abraham can be dated to about 2100 BC, and his antecedents are in Mesopotamia, then all the events of the Old Testament which took place before Abraham and the Deluge must have had their origin among the indigenous people.

What is not often perceived is that the Jews had at their disposal a vast store of creation and other myths wholly unknown to us, from which they borrowed selectively. For instance, we know that the Eden of the Bible was located in the river delta region of Mesopotamia, and that the story of the creation of Adam is a Sumerian account. The story of the Ark, the Deluge and Noah came from Sumerian accounts. In fact, the story of the Deluge was not limited to the Middle East but was universally known.

There are also Ugaritic (northern Canaan) parallels to the Hebrew Bible. The story of Daniel was taken from a north Canaan poem dated as far back as 1500 BC. The Ugarit Epic of Keret deals with the capture of a bride of King Keret by a distant king. It later became the Helen of Troy motif. But more importantly, it is the source of the stories of Genesis 12 and 20 where twice Abraham had to get his wife Sarah back from the hands of other kings.

The story of Job comes from a Babylonian poem about a virtuous man named Tabu-utul-bel who was sorely afflicted for some inscrutable reason and tormented by the gods.

The story of Jonah has many origins and apparently was universal, for Hercules was swallowed by a whale at precisely the same place, Joppa. Persian legends tell of their hero Jamahyd who was devoured by a sea monster that later vomited him out safely upon the shore. A similar tale appears in India in the epic classic Samedev Bhatta where Saktedeva was swallowed by a fish and later escapes.

The story of Samson is so strange and foreign to Hebrew lore as to indicate that it was borrowed in toto from Canaanite mythology; in fact, his name is derived from Shamash, the Canaanite sun god who ruled Lebanon.

[Comment: As we know, Shamash equals Prince Utu of the Planet Nibiru, the same "god" as the Greek Sun-God Apollo. Prince Utu was in charge of the Sinai Spaceport and its satellite airport at Baalbek, Lebanon, under the command of Nibiruan Airfleet Commander Princess-Royal Inanna, the sister and secret lover of Prince Utu. See Lord Hellespontiacus.]

There are so many parallels that there is no question of contemporary borrowing by the Hebrews. How then did this influence penetrate the Bible so completely?

Sometime during the Second Millennium BC, the Babylonian script, language, and literature permeated the lands west of Mesopotamia. Babylonian had become the diplomatic language of the Middle East so that correspondence between princes of Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine with their Egyptian overlords were carried out in Babylonia.

[Comment: This statement is corroborated by the research of Dr. Velikovsky. One might think of Babylonian as the "English of the Ancient World."]

Therefore, in order to learn the writing and language of the Babylonians, it is necessary for these peoples to study their literature and for this purpose texts were required. Among the tablets discovered at Tel-Amarna in Egypt were copies, in the form of school exercises, of the Babylonian stories of Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld, and the story of Adapa, the mortal who was misled into refusing the food and water of immortality. So it is not unreasonable to assume that many of the Sumerians and Babylonian traditions, such as the stories of Creation and the Deluge, were known also to the Hebrews, or at least to their leaders.

When he left Ur in the valley of Mesopotamia, Abraham presumably brought these Sumerian traditions with him. His father Terah was a high priest in the government of Ur and would certainly have had an intimate knowledge of Sumerian culture.

It is therefore manifest that Sumerian tales of the gods of heaven and earth, the creation of Man, and the Deluge were the fountainhead from which nations of the ancient world drew their knowledge and beliefs.

 

THE "INVISIBLE" BIBLE

It is now generally accepted that the Old Testament is a condensed version of events that happened in Manís early history. It is also evident that the Bible is the result of a long process of selection, and for that reason excludes a large amount of sacred texts and other ancient writings.

Many Christian texts or "Apocrypha" and Jewish texts called "Pseudepigrapha" were left out largely due to the fierce political and religious rivalry in early days between sects, between Jews, Christians, and Gnostics. In fact, the Pseudepigrapha was completely lost from the transmitted heritage, documents that stem from 200 BC to AD 200.

The term Pseudepigrapha has evolved from the Greek meaning "writings with false superscriptions," but the term is used today by scholars, not because it denotes something spurious, but rather because the term has been inherited and is now universally used.

What was retained in books of the Old Testament after centuries of emendation by the priesthood was a highly introspective version of the vast amount of literature available. Manuscripts such as the three books of Enoch, the Book of Jubilees and others tell a different story of the Creation, of Adam and Eve, and the activities of the antediluvian Patriarchs. These "lost" books of the Bible explain many of the puzzles and inconsistencies of the Old Testament.

The Gnostic literature was completely left out of the Scriptures. Being serious rivals to the early Christians, the Gnostics were harassed and utterly defeated and their literature was consigned to oblivion.

In the early Christian church the most systematic and organized Gnostic cult was Manichaeism, which spread from Mesopotamia through Asia Minor to North Africa and the European territories of the Roman Empire. In the first four centuries, Gnosticism was so popular that it posed a serious challenge to the early Christian church.

In the Second Century, Valentinus, a major Gnostic Thinker, sought selection as Pope in Rome and almost succeeded. This marked the high point of Gnosticism. Had he not been defeated, one wonder what that major influence St. Augustine, born a Manichaean, would have later done and probably changed the course of history of the Catholic Church.

As a result, Gnostic texts disappeared or were left uncopied, which achieved the same end. Until recently all that was available of Gnostic literature were the refutations to the Gnostics by the early Christian fathers. Then in 1945, extensive Gnostic treatises were found in earthenware jars in Egypt at a small town called Nag Hammadi. The find was as significant to Biblical research as that of the Dead Sea scrolls to Palestine.

It is in the Gnostic tracts that the existence of the serpent-gods is clearly indicated. It is Eve who gave life to Adam, and the serpent in the garden is a noble and virtuous creature. It is easy to see why the Manichaeans were persecuted so avidly. Even so, as a religion it persisted in Europe as late as the Thirteenth Century.

The Albigensians in southern France were the last stronghold of the Manichaeans; however, they were exterminated by Pope Innocent III who organized a military crusade against them. It was then that the Inquisition came into being with the main mission to crush the remnants of the Gnostic heresies.

Thus, as more and more ancient sources are found, it is abundantly clear that an enormous amount of information from ancient sources has been omitted from the Old Testament. Analysis of these sources provides us with insight into the stories of the Book of Genesis, and in particular the period before the Deluge which is covered by only six short chapters of the book. These ancient documents describe, although camouflaged in religious and symbolic terms, the organization and operation of the Sumerian gods and their activities here on Earth.

 

THE PLURAL GODS OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

It is generally agreed that two traditions make up the books of the Old Testament,

  • the older or Elohist tradition which refers to the deity in generic terms,
  • and the Priestly tradition where the deity is called Yahweh, often called Jehovah, somewhat erroneously, due to a mistranslation from the Greek Septuagint.

The two main streams are intertwined throughout the Old Testament and sometimes exist side-by-side as, for example, in Genesis where there are two versions of the Creation.

The deity is called "El" (plural "Elohim") some of the time and "Yahweh" the rest of the time. Biblical scholars agree that the usage of Yahweh appears to be an anachronism and may have been inserted at later times.

Hebrew "Elohim" is grammatically a plural form and is often translated as "God" at times but also "Gods" or "divine beings" at other times, mainly because the text is often ambiguous. Generally, the name for the deity is "El" which appears to be the generic term for the deity in western Semitic as well as Biblical Hebrew. It apparently was borrowed from the pantheon of indigenous people of the land of Canaan. Who then was this El who was the supreme deity of the Canaanites?

[Comment: This "El" later became the Islamic "Allah."]

As the ruling god of the Western Semitic pantheon, the leading Sumerian deity Enlil was transcribed syllabically as "ilulu," then became "ili" in Akkadian or Semitic, and later "el" in Hebrew. El thus became the name for Enlil, the supreme being in Palestine and carried over into the Old Testament.

[Comment: Why Sitchin couldnít see this simple fact is beyond belief. Iím not anti-Jewish, but I will say that there are a lot of Jewish people in the publishing industry in New York City; and probably Sitchin was forced into the position he takes in the final chapter of Divine Encounters just to sell more books to his own people.]

While the rest of the world believed in many gods, the compilers and editors of the Old Testament tried to proclaim a faith in a sole god. In spite of these monotheistic attempts, however, there remain many instances where the Biblical narrative falls into the plural form of El or Elohim. In Genesis, or example, when the notion to create Adam is brought up, the words used are all plural: " And Elohim (plural) said: íLet us create man in our image and after our likeness.í"

[Comment: One thing everybody seems to forget when talking about the monotheistic traditions of the Jews, Christians and Moslems is that that whole philosophy originated with the Hebrews as a rebellion against the polytheistic tradition of the Greeks. The ancient Hebrews did everything they could to distance themselves from the Greek traditions. This was as much a sociopolitical or cultural matter as it was a religious one. Also, in the book The Stellar Man by John Baines it is stated that the Hebraic monotheistic tradition only arose at the time of Moses when the idea of a single God had to be invented by the Hebrew priests to cover the blunder that Moses made when bargaining with the Archons of Destiny.]

Later, in the garden of Eden, when the serpent is tempting Eve, he says:

"You are not going to die. No, the gods (Elohim) will know that the moment you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be the same as the gods (Elohim) in telling good from bad."

Again later, after the Fall, the deity complains,

"Now that man has become like us (plural) discerning good from bad."

In other cases, the deity often addressed remarks aside as if to other members of the celestial staff. Even after the Deluge, when man was trying to erect a tower in Babel, the deity remarked to an associate,

"Let us, then, go down and confound their speech."

Therefore, notwithstanding attempts by early editors to proclaim a policy of monotheism, evidence of a pantheon has not been completely erased from the text of the Old Testament.

 

THE PROBLEM OF THE USAGE OF YAHWEH

According to the Book of Exodus the appellation Yahweh did not come into use until the time of Moses, for Moses is told by the deity that,

"I am Yahweh, I appeared to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as El Shaddai, but I did not make myself known to them by my name Yahweh."

Scholars agree that the name Yahweh was a later addition by priestly scribes. The tetragram YHWH or Yahweh became the distinctive personal name for the god of Israel and is used most frequently throughout the Old Testament to represent the deity.

[Comment: Once again you are referred to The Stellar Man by John Baines for additional details.]

The origin of Yahweh is unknown; and while many explanations for its meaning have been proposed, the most logical seems to be that the divine name is a form of the verb "to be" or HWH, thus meaning "the one who is." This is manifest in Exodus 3 where Moses queries the Lord on his real name so that he can inform the tribes of Israel who wish to know what to call their god:

"God said to Moses, íI am who I am,í and he said, íSay this to the people of Israel: "I am" has been sent to you.í"

This verse has given scholars all kinds of problems, and it is footnoted in most translations of the Bible with the caveat that it can also mean "I am what I am" or "I will be what I will be." Its ambiguity is probably due to the fact that it is a liturgical epithet. It means exactly what it says: "I am the one who is or who exists."

In ancient times, divine names were held to have intrinsic power in themselves and certain appellations could only be used by the priesthood. In the Sumerian and Babylonian pantheon only descriptive names are used. The true names of the gods are not known.

Yahweh or "the one who is" is probably an attempt by Hebrew priests to substitute an innocuous name for that of the deity, thereby defusing any possible harmful consequences. This is also found in the Rabbinical tradition where the name Yahweh holds certain powers, and in ancient times only a few priests were allowed to pronounce the name.

[Comment: According to the secret Hermetic traditions that were recently released to the general public via the works of John Baines, to utter the name of Yahweh aloud would be to invoke the name of the Archon who played the dirty trick on Moses. Uttering this name aloud only further empowers this Archon.]

 

EL SHADDAI, THE FEARFUL AND TERRIBLE GOD

As we have seen, in addressing Moses, the deity informed him that he had appeared to his ancestors as El Shaddai. This El Shaddai name appears in Genesis no less than six times and is considered to be the descriptive title for the god of the Hebrews.

The Hebrew root "shadad" from which it is believed to be derived means "to overpower," "to treat with violence," or "to lay waste." These meanings give the deity a fearful character, that of devastator or destroyer. It is partly for this reason that the god of the Hebrews is known as an uncompromising and vindictive god.

Shaddai may also be connected linguistically to the Assyrian word "shadu" or mountain. In actuality, both of these meanings can be applied to the Hebrew God El Shaddai, for he is none other than the God of Lightning and Thunder of the Hittites, a northwesterm version of the Sumerian god Ishkur and the Semitic Adad. He was the Anatolian mountain god and is often depicted with thunderbolts in hand.

[Comment: He is thus the Zeus of the Greeks.]

After the Deluge, when the Anunnaki redescended to rebuild the cities of Mesopotamia, the lands known as "the fertile crescent" were divided among the children of Enlil. Nannar/Sin was given authority over all of Mesopotamia and the Western Lands, except for Anatolia which was assigned to Ishkur/Adad and Lebanon which was allotted to Utu/Shamash. The goddess Inanna/Ishtar moved her base of operations to Lebanon and ruled there with Shamash.

The pantheon of the Levant consisted of three major deities after the Deluge: Adad, Shamash, and Ishtar. From Anatolia, the land of the Hittites, Adad extended his influence as far south as Jerusalem. This is illustrated in Ezekiel 16 where the origins of Jerusalem are found in the statement "your father was an Amorite, and your mother a Hittite."

 

THE LESSER GODS: THE NEFILIM AND THE ANGELS

[Comment: I take issue with this statement. I feel that the Nefilim were the Higher Gods and the Anunnaki, the Lesser Gods.]

Not only does the Old Testament suggest that there were many deities but these lesser gods seem to have descended to Earth to interfere in the affairs of Man. This is explicit in Genesis 6 which states:

"Now when man began to increase on Earth and daughters were born to them, the divine beings (Elohim) saw how beautiful were the human daughters and took as their wives any of them they likes. . . . It was then that the Nefilim appeared on Earth, as well as later, after the divine beings had united with human daughters to whom they bore children."

[Comment: In the Ethiopic renditions of the Scriptures, if my memory serves me correctly, these "Nefilim" are thought of as "Sky People."]

The Biblical term for these lesser deities seems to have been Nefilim. Is the descent of the Nefilim reflected in the literature of Mesopotamia? Could they be the Anunnaki who also descended to Earth in the antediluvian period? We shall see that these were different names for the same group of people.

The term "Nefilim" has given theologians and translators problems over the centuries, so much so that today it is the policy to leave the term intact in modern translations. "Nefilim" is derived from the Hebrew NFL, literally "the fallen ones" or better still "those who dropped down." It has been interpreted to mean "fallen angels" in the sense of those who were cast down, or the evil angels, although the text does not justify this conclusion.

The Noted Jewish Biblical commentator of the 19th Century, Malbim, claimed that in ancient times the rulers of countries in the Middle East were the sons of deities who arrived on Earth from the heavens. He maintains that they were the sons of pagan deities and called themselves Nefilim.

Genesis asserts that they came down to Earth in two groups: "It was then that the Nefilim appeared on Earth, as well as later." The descent of the two separate groups of Nefilim or "angels" down to Mount Harmon in northern Palestine is reported in the Book of Jubilees. A group descended in the days of Jared in the 10th Jubilee; later in the 25th Jubilee, during the days of Noah, another group came down to Earth. Since a Jubilee years is 50 regular years, this source claims that they descended to Earth about 750 years apart.

In the Enuma Elish, the Babylonian account of the Creation, there is a group of Anunnaki who also descended to populate the Earth. These divine beings also intermarried with the daughters of Man.

The so-called angels of the Old Testament have become a general term to describe lesser deities who have been quite active in the affairs of Man. In Biblical Hebrew the word often used is "malakh"; however, other terms such as "bene elohim" or sons of god are often translated as angels. It has been used as a cover term for any of the lesser deities coming in contact with Mankind.

These messengers got around very easily by some sort of flying device; hence, the representation of angels with wings, a symbol of their ability to fly. This was the only way the ancients knew how to convey this fact. The incident of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah illustrates the ability of these angels to fly about at will.

As events unfold in Genesis 18 and 19, several angels were briefing Abraham on the coming destruction of the cities. The traditional translation states that when they decide to visit Sodom, they "set out from there and faced Sodom." The distinguished Biblical scholar E. A. Speiser in his work Genesis suggests that this translation is erroneous and that it could be more accurately rendered as "they looked down upon the face of Sodom." This reading, of course, gives a completely different meaning to the incident.

[Comment: You can tell that Boulay worked for the U.S. Government when he makes such casual statements as the "angels were briefing Abraham."]

Later, after the angels take Lot and his family to safety outside the city, the traditional text states "led him safely outside the city." Again, Speiser suggests an alternate translation of "brought them out and deposited them outside the city."

Thus, the revised text makes it quite clear that the angels first reconnoitered the cities by air; then seeing the necessity to rescue the relatives of Abraham, removed them by some sort of aircraft and deposited them outside at a safe place.

 

THE DENIZENS OF EDEN: THE LEGGED SNAKES OR REPTILES

According to Genesis and other documents, and long before humans ever existed, the serpent (we shall call him that for want of a better word, for he is obviously a lizard) lived in the garden of Eden and did all the necessary work to maintain it.

This Biblical serpent was not just a lowly snake. He could converse with Eve, he knew the truth about the Tree of Knowledge, and he was of such stature that he unhesitatingly challenged the deity. Additional information of this creature is available from other sources.

Ancient Jewish legends describe the serpent of Eden as manlike - he looked like a man and talked like a man. This is further elaborated on in the Haggadah, that vast reservoir of stories and legends which form the oral tradition of the Jews.

The section that deals with the Creation describes the serpent who inhabited the garden before the creation of Adam as an upright creature that stood on two feet and who was equal in height to the camel. He is given many excellent qualities and mental abilities which are superior to that of Man. In fact, the Haggadah states that it was his superior mental ability that led to the ruin of Man as well as his own.

The task of the serpent, according to this source, included supplying the deity with gold, silver, gems, and pearls, an obviously mundane commercial task for a group of supposedly spiritual beings. It is noteworthy that again we have that preoccupation with gems, as in Genesis which describes the products of Eden:

"The gold of that land is choice; there is bdellium and lapis lazuli."

Preceding Man and then later cohabiting the garden of Eden with him, the serpent was manlike in many ways. He was tall and stood upright on two legs. He did all the work of the gods, particularly the mining and agricultural work. And above all, the serpent had an intellect superior to Man. These are all the attributes of the Anunnaki.

The term "serpent," as applied to this creature, raises many problems. It could best be described as a large lizard or reptile in modern-day terms. The ancients may have given a different meaning to the word serpent which today we define as a legless reptile.

In this respect, the problems are due to giving modern meaning to the translation of the ancient word. For example, ancient or classical Greek had no word for serpent, per se. The word "drakon" was applied to serpents as well as other fabulous snake-like creatures. In fact, compound words based on snake or serpent were variations of "drakon"; for example, the word for snaky or twisting like a road was "drakonforos." "Drakonktonia" meant the slaying of a snake or serpent.

In the Septuagint, the pre-Christian Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures, the word "drakon" is used to denote snakes, large reptiles, and other large terrible or ferocious creatures.

In this way, the confusion of dragon and serpent led to mythological creatures who were winged, legged, and fire-breathing. The serpents of the ancient world were later represented as large lizard-like animals with wings to denote their ability to fly about - a metaphor for some sort of aircraft. Their ability to defend themselves by flame-throwing devices or perhaps their dangerous rocket exhaust was transformed into the mythological appearance of a fire-breathing dragon.

It is against this background that Man is interjected into the antediluvian civilization of the serpent-gods. The Sumerian cuneiform tablets are more specific in this matter. The Anunnaki or children of the serpent-gods tire of their burden of performing all the distasteful tasks of mining and agriculture and appeal to the chief god to alleviate their suffering. It is here that Man enters upon the scene.