Chapter Thirteen


And it came to pass
in the days of Amraphel king of Shin’ar,
Ariokh king of Ellasar,
Khedorla’omer king of Elam,
and Tidhal king of Go’im -
That these made war
with Bera King of Sodom,
and with Birsha king of Gomorrah,
Shinab king of Admah,
and Shem-eber king of Zebi’im,
and with the king of Bela, which is Zoar.

"Thus begins the biblical tale, in chapter 14 of Genesis, of an ancient war that pitted an alliance of four kingdoms of the East against five kings in Canaan. It is a tale that has evolved some of the most intense debate among scholars, for it connects the story of Abraham, the first Hebrew Patriarch, with a specific non-Hebrew event, and thus affords objective substantiation of the biblical record of the birth of a nation.

"....For many decades the critics of the Old Testament seemed to prevail; then, as the nineteenth century was drawing to a close, the scholarly and religious worlds were astounded by the discovery of Babylonian tablets naming Khedorla’omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal in a tale not unlike the biblical one.

"The discovery was announced in a lecture by Theophilus Pinches to the Victoria Institute, London, in 1897. Having examined several tablets belonging to the Spartoli Collection in the British Museum, he found that they describe a war of wide-ranging magnitude, in which a king of Elam, Kudur-laghamar, led an alliance of rulers that included one named Eri-aku and another named Tud-ghula - names that easily could have been transformed into Hebrew as Khedor-la’omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal. Accompanying his published lecture with a painstaking transcript of the cuneiform writing and a translation thereof, Pinches could confidently claim that the biblical tale had indeed been supported by an independent Mesopotamian source.

"With justified excitement the Assyriologists of that time agreed with Pinches reading of the cuneiform names. The tablets indeed spoke of "Kudur-Laghamar, king of the land of Elam"; all scholars agreed that it was a perfect Elamite royal name, the prefix Kudur ("Servant") having been a component in the names of several Elamite kings, and Laghamar being the Elamite epithet-name for a certain deity. It was agreed that the second name, spelled Eri-e-a-ku in the Babylonian cuneiform script, stood for the original Sumerian ERI.AKU, meaning "Servant of the god Aku," Aku being a variant of the name of Nannar/Sin. It is known from a number of inscriptions that Elamite rulers of Larsa bore the name "Servant of Sin," and there was therefore little difficulty in agreeing that the biblical Eliasar, the royal city of the king Ariokh, was in fact Larsa. There was also unanimous agreement among the scholars for accepting that the Babylonian text’s Tud-ghula was the equivalent of the biblical "Tidhal, king of Go’im"; and they agreed that by Go’im the Book of Genesis referred to the "nation-hordes" whom the cuneiform tablets listed as allies of Khedorla’omer.

"Here, then, was the missing proof - not only of the veracity of the Bible and of the existence of Abraham, but also of an international event in which he had been involved!

"....The second discovery was announced by Vincent Scheil, who reported that he had found among the tablets in the Imperial Ottoman Museum in Constantinople a letter from the well-known Babylonian King Hammurabi, which mentions the very same Kudur-laghamar! Because the letter was addressed to a king of Larsa, Father Scheil concluded that the three were contemporaries and thus matched three of the four biblical kings of the East - Hammurabi being none other than "Amraphael king of Shin’ar."

"....However, when subsequent research convinced most scholars that Hammurabi reigned much later (from 1792 to 1750 B.C., according to The Cambridge Ancient History), the synchronization seemingly achieved by Scheil fell apart, and the whole bearing of the discovered inscriptions - even those reported by Pinches - came into doubt. Ignored were the pleas of Pinches that no matter with whom the three named kings were to be identified - that even if Khedorla’omer, Ariokh, and Tidhal of the cuneiform texts were not contemporaries of Hammurabi - the text’s tale with its three names was still "a remarkable historical coincidence, and deserves recognition as such." In 1917, Alfred Jeremias (Die sogenanten Kedorlaomer-Texte) attempted to revive interest in the subject; but the scholarly community preferred to treat the Spartoli tablets with benign neglect.

"....Yet the scholarly consensus that the biblical tale and the Babylonian texts drew on a much earlier, common source impels us to revive the plea of Pinches and his central argument: How can cuneiform texts, affirming the biblical background of a major war and naming three of the biblical kings, be ignored? Should the evidence - crucial, as we shall show, to the understanding of fateful years - be discarded simply because Amraphel was not Hammurabi?

"The answer is that the Hammurabi letter found by Scheil should not have sidetracked the discovery reported by Pinches, because Scheil misread the letter. According to his rendition, Hammurabi promised a reward to Sin-Idinna, the king of Larsa, for his "heroism on the day of Khedorla’omer." This implied that the two were allies in a war against Khedorla’omer and thus contemporaries of that king of Elam.

It was on this point that Scheil’s find was discredited, for it contradicted both the biblical assertion that the three kings were allies and known historical facts: Hammurabi treated Larsa not as an ally but as an adversary, boasting that he "overthrew Larsa in battle," and attacked its sacred precinct "with the mighty weapon which the gods had given him."

"A close examination of the actual text of Hammurabi’s letter reveals that in his eagerness to prove the Hammurabi-Amraphel identification, Father Scheil reversed the letter’s meaning: Hammurabi was not offering as a reward to return certain goddesses to the sacred precinct (the Emutbal) of Larsa; rather, he was demanding their return to Babylon from Larsa.

"....The incident of the abduction of the goddesses had thus occurred in earlier times; they were held captive in the Emutbal "from the days of Khedorla’omer"; and Hammurabi was now demanding their return to Babylon, from where Khedorla’omer had taken them captive. This can only mean that Khedorla’omer’s days were long before Hammurabi’s time.

"Supporting our reading of the Hammurabi letter found by Father Scheil in the Constantinople Museum is the fact that Hammurabi repeated the demand for the return of the goddesses to Babylon in yet another stiff message to Sin-Idinna, this time sending it by the hand of high military officers. This second letter is in the British Museum (No. 23,131) and its text was published by L.W. King in The Letters and Inscriptions of Hammurabi.

"....That the goddesses were to be returned from Larsa to Babylon is made clear in the letter’s further instructions.

"....It is thus clear from these letters that Hammurabi - a foe, not an ally, of Larsa - was seeking restitution for events that had happened long before his time, in the days of Kudur-Laghamar, the Elamite regent of Larsa. The texts of the Hammurabi letters thus affirm the existence of Khedorla-omer and of Elamite reign in Larsa ("Ellasar") and thus of key elements in the biblical tale.

"Which is the period into which these key elements fit?

Desert view of ruins of ancient city of Ur, where it is believed Abraham was born






Some attribute this sculpture to Sargon, the Akkadian King who ruled in UR, the home-place of Abraham.

Harran today, amidst ruins. The city where Abraham and his family migrated from UR, before they continued to Canaa.



Taurus Mountains, a crossroads in antiquity, Harran situated at its foothills. The people worshipped Nannar/Sin






Ancient ruins of Mari, (right) another gateway which was used by Marduk’s emissaries to supply his followers in Babylon, while he was in exile. Marduk was the reason why Abraham hurried to Canaan.

Ruins of Babylon, where Marduk was worshipped


Bethel, where Yahweh spoke to Abraham. Abraham kept returning to that spot, close to Mount Moriah (Mount of Directing) close to Jerusalem.

Mount Moriah, upon whose Sacred Rock the Ark of the Covenant was placed when Solomon built the Temple of Yahweh.

From Mount Moriah, Abraham went to the Negev Desert, where Canaan and the Sinai peninsula merge...






Abraham was directed to Negev and his focus was Mount Moriah, Mount Zophim and Mount Zion (right), as the site of Mission Control Center of the Anunnaki: it was the gateway to the Spaceport in the Sinai.




Shalmaneser III, receiving a Babylonian King in Damascus.

Damascus Gate

Josephus records Abraham as having "reigned" in Damascus as a foreigner



Ancient part of a wall in Damascus

Abraham arrived to Egypt when it was divided, with Thebes in the south being followers of the god Amun "The Hiding God" Ra/Marduk....

Ramasseum Temple dedicated to Ra and Amun, at Thebes. Lower Egypt (norhtern), were not followers of such god.

Kadesh Barnea (today) the closest spot Man could approach on the way to the Spaceport. Abraham and his army had been commanded to guard it and was able to repell the invaders








In Egypt, Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, leader of the Theban Princes defeated the northern Pharaohs.


"As historical records have established, it was Shulgi who in the twenty-eighth year of his reign (2068 B.C.) gave his daughter in marriage to an Elamite chieftain and granted him the city of Larsa as a dowry; in return the Elamites put a "foreign legion" of Elamite troops at Shulgi’s disposal. These troops were used by Shulgi to subdue the western provinces, including Canaan. It is thus in the last years of Shulgi’s reign that when Ur was still an imperial capital under his immediate successor Amar-Sin that we find the historical time slot into which all the biblical and Mesopotamian records seem to fit perfectly.

"It is in that time, we believe, that the search for the historical Abraham should be conducted; for - as we shall show - the tale of Abraham was interwoven with the tale of the fall of Ur, and his days were the last days of Sumer.

"With the discredit of the Amraphel-Hammurabi notion, the verification of the Age of Abraham became a free-for-all, some suggesting such late dates that made the first patriarch a descendant of the later kings of Israel... But the exact dates of his time and events need no guessing: the information is provided by the Bible itself; all we have to do is accept its veracity.

Mr. Sitchin at this point goes into great extent researching, comparing his findings with those of other scholars, historians of ancient and later years; he performs a genealogy of kings from King Solomon backwards, reaches the Pharaohs of the times before and during the Exodus of the Israelites, verifies the expulsion of the Hyksos (Asiatic "Shepherd Kings") in 1567 B.C. by the founder of the eighteenth dynasty, and further back until he reaches the birth of Abraham in 2123 B.C. Then Mr. Sitchin continues:

"....The century of Abraham - the hundred years from his birth to the birth of his son and successor Isaac - was thus the century that witnessed the rise and fall of the Third Dynasty of Ur. Our reading of biblical chronology and tales puts Abraham in the middle of the momentous events of that time, not as a mere observer but as an active participant.

"....In spite of numerous studies concerning Abraham, the fact remains that all we know about him, is what we find in the Bible. Belonging to a family that traced its ancestry to the line of Shem, Abraham - then called Abram - was the son of Terah, his brothers being Harran and Nahor. When Harran died at an early age, the family was living in "Ur of the Chaldees." There, Abram married Sarai (later renamed Sarah).

"Then "did Terah take Abram his son and Lot his grandson, the son of Harran, and Sarai his daughter-in-law the wife of Abram his son; and they left and went forth from Ur of the Chaldees to go to the land of Canaan; and they went as far as Harran, and dwelt there."

"Archaeologists have found Harran ("The Caravanry"). Situated to the northeast of Mesopotamia at the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, it was a major crossroads in antiquity.

As Mari controlled the southern gateway from Mesopotamia to the lands of the Mediterranean coast, so did Harran controlled the gateway of the northern route to the lands of Western Asia. Marking, at the time of the Third Dynasty of Ur, the limits of Nannar’s domains where they bordered on Adad’s Asia Minor, Harran was found by the archaeologists to have been a mirror image of Ur in its layout and in its worship of Nannar/Sin.

"No explanation is given in the bible for leaving Ur, and there is also no time stated, but we can guess the answer if we relate the departure to events in Mesopotamia in general and in Ur in particular.

"We know that Abraham was seventy-five when he proceeded later on from Harran to Canaan. The tenor of the biblical narrative suggests a long stay at Harran and depicts Abraham on his arrival there as a young man with a new bride. If Abraham, as we have concluded, was born in 2123 B.C., he was a child of ten when Ur-Nammu ascended the throne in Ur, when Nannar was favored for the first time with the trusteeship over Nippur. And he was a young man of twenty-seven when Ur-Nammu inexplicably fell from Anu’s and Enlil’s favor, slain on a distant battlefield. We have described the traumatic effect of the event on the people of Mesopotamia, the shock it had given to their faith in Nannar’s omnipotence and the fidelity of Enlil’s word.

"The year of Ur-Nammu’s fall was 2096 B.C., could it not have been the year when - under the impact of the event or as a consequence thereof - Terah and his family left Ur for a faraway designation, stopping off at Harran, the Ur away from Ur?

"All through the following years of Ur’s decline and Shulgi’s profanities, the family stayed on in Harran. Then, suddenly, the Lord acted again:

And Yahweh said unto Abram:
"Get thee out of thy country
and out of thy birthplace
and from thy father’s house,
unto the land which I will show thee". . .
And Abram departed as Yahweh had spoken unto him,
and Lot went with him.
And Abram was seventy-five years old when he left Harran.

"Once again, no reason is given for the crucial move. But the chronological clue is most revealing. When Abraham was seventy-five years old the year was 2048 B.C. - the very year of Shulgi’s downfall!

"Because Abraham’s family (Genesis 11) directly continued the line of Shem, Abraham has been considered a Semite, on whose background, cultural heritage, and language were Semitic, as distinct (in scholars’ minds) from the non-Semitic Sumerians and the later Indo-Europeans. But in the original biblical sense, all the peoples of greater Mesopotamia were descended of Shem, "Semite" and "Sumerian" alike. There is nothing in the Bible that suggests - as some scholars have begun to hold - that Abraham and his family were Amorites (i.e., western Semites) who had come as immigrants to Sumer and then returned to their original abode. On the contrary: There is everything to support the image of a family rooted in Sumer from its earliest beginnings, hastily uprooted from its country and birthplace and told to go to an unfamiliar land.

"The correspondence between two biblical events with the dates of two major Sumerian events - and of more to come - must serve as indication of a direct connection between them all. Abraham emerges not as the son of immigrant aliens but as the scion of a family directly involved in Sumerian affairs of state!

In their search for the answer to the question of "Who Was Abraham," scholars have seized upon the similarity his designation as a Hebrew (Ibri) and the term Hapiru (which in the Near East could transform to Habiru) by which the Assyrians and Babylonians in the eighteenth and seventeenth centuries B.C. called bands of pillaging western Semites. At the end of the fifteenth century B.C., the commander of an Egyptian garrison in Jerusalem asked his king for reinforcements against approaching Hapiru.


Scholars have taken all that as evidence for the notion that Abraham was a western Semite.

"Many scholars doubt, however, whether the term denotes an ethnic group at all, wondering whether the word was not a descriptive noun simply meaning "marauders" or "invaders."

The suggestion that Ibri (clearly from the verb "to cross") and Hapiru are one and the same entails substantial philological and etymological problems. There are also chronological inconsistencies, all which gave rise to serious objections to this suggested solution for the identity of Abraham, especially when the biblical data is compared with the "bandit" connotation of the term Hapiru. Thus the Bible relates incidents concerning water wells, which shows that Abraham was careful to avoid conflict with local residents as he journeyed through Canaan. When Abraham became involved in the War of he Kings, he refused to share in the booty. This is not the behavior of a marauding barbarian but rather of a person of high standards of conduct. Coming to Egypt, Abraham and Sarah were taken to the Pharaoh’s court; in Canaan, Abraham made treaties with the local rulers.


This is not the image of a nomad pillaging other’s settlements; it is the image of a personage of high standing skilled in negotiation and diplomacy.

"....The Old Testament, in fact (Genesis 17: 1-6), provides us with the time and manner in which Abraham was transformed from a Sumerian nobleman to a west Semitic potentate, under a covenant between he and his God. Amid a ritual of circumcision, his Sumerian name AB.RAM ("Father’s Beloved") was changed to the Akkadian/Semitic Abraham ("Father of a Multitude of Nations") and that of his wife SARAI ("Princess") was adapted to the Semitic Sarah.

It was only when he was ninety-nine years old that Abraham became a "Semite."

"....Is it not naive to assume that for the Mission to Canaan, for the birth of a nation, and for kinship over all the lands from the border of Egypt to the border of Mesopotamia, the Lord would choose someone at random, picking up anyone, in the streets of Ur? The young woman whom Abraham married bore the epithet-name Princess; since she was a half-sister of Abraham ("Indeed she is my sister, the daughter of my father but not the daughter of my mother"), we can take it for granted that either Abraham’s father or Sarah’s mother was of royal descent. Since the daughter of Harran, Abraham’s brother, also bore royal name (Milkha - "Queenly"), it follows that it was through the father of Abraham that the royal ancestry flowed. In dealing with Abraham’s family we thus deal with a family of Sumer’s highest echelons; people of a noble deportment and elegant dress as found depicted on various Sumerian statues.

"It was a family that not only could claim descent from Shem but which kept family records tracing its lineage through generations of first born sons: Arpakhshad and Shelach and Eber; Peleg, Re’u and Serug; Nahor and Terah and Abraham, taking the family’s recorded history back for no less than three centuries!

"....But of greatest interest, to this very day, has been the meaning of the name Eber and the reason for bestowing it upon the firstborn in 2351 B.C. and from which has stemmed the biblical term Ibri ("Hebrew") by which Abraham and his family identified themselves. It clearly stems from the root word meaning "to cross," and the best scholars had to offer in explanation was to seek the Habiru/Hapiru connection, which we have already mentioned (and discarded). This erroneous interpretation has stemmed from the search for the meaning of the epithet-name in Western Asia. It is our conviction that instead the answer is to be found in the Sumerian origins and the Sumerian language of Abraham and his ancestors. Such a look at the Sumerian roots of the family and the name provides an answer that startles for its simplicity.

"The term Ibri ("Hebrew").... clearly stemmed from Eber, the father of Peleg, and from the root "to cross."

"The biblical suffix "i" when applied to a person, meant "a native of"; Gileadi meant a native of Gilead and so on. Likewise, Ibri meant a native of the place called "Crossing"; and that, precisely, was the Sumerian name for Nippur: NI.IB.RU - the Crossing Place, the place where the pre-Diluvial grids crisscrossed each other, the original Navel of the Earth, the olden Mission Control Center.

"The dropping of the n in transposing from Sumerian to Akkadian/Hebrew was a frequent occurrence. In stating that Abraham was an Ibri, the Bible simply meant that Abraham was a Ni-ib-ri, a son of Nippurian origin!

"The fact that Abraham’s family migrated to Harran from Ur has been taken by scholars to imply that Ur was Abraham’s birthplace, but that is not stated anywhere in the Bible. On the contrary, the command to Abraham to go to Canaan and leave for good his past abodes lists three separate entities:

  • his father’s house (which was then in Harran)

  • his land (the city-state of Ur)

  • his birthplace (which the Bible does not identify)

Our suggestion that Ibri means a native of Nippur solves the problem of Abraham’s true birthplace.

"As the name Eber indicates, it was in this time - the middle of the twenty-fourth century B.C - that the family’s association with Nippur had begun. Nippur was never a royal capital; rather, it was a consecrated city, Sumer’s "religious center," as scholars put it. It was also the place where the knowledge of astronomy was entrusted to the high priests and thus the place where the calendar - the relationship between the Sun, and Moon in their orbits - was originated.

"Scholars have recognized that our present-day calendars derive from the original Nippurian calendar. All the evidence shows that the Nippurian calendar began circa 4000 B.C., in the age of Taurus.

"In this we find yet another confirmation of the umbilical cord connecting the Hebrews with Nippur: The Jewish calendar still continues to count the years from an enigmatic beginning in 3760 B.C. (so that in 1983 the Jewish year was 5743). It had been assumed that this is a count "from the beginning of the world"; but the actual statement by Jewish sages was that this is the number of years that had passed "since counting [of years] began." We suggest that it means, since the introduction of the calendar in Nippur.

"In the ancestral family of Abraham we thus find a priestly family of royal blood, a family headed by a Nippurian high priest who was the only one allowed into the temple’s innermost chamber, there to receive the deity’s word and convey it to king and people.

"In this regard the name of Abraham’s father, Terah, is of great interest. Seeking clues only in the Semitic environment, biblical scholars regard the name, as those of Harran and Nahor, as mere toponyms (names that personify places) holding that there were cities by such names in central and northern Mesopotamia. Assyriologists searching the Akkadian terminology (being the first Semitic language) could only find that Tirhu meant "an artifact or vessel for magical purposes." But if we turn to the Sumerian language, we find that the cuneiform sign for Tirhu stemmed directly from that of an object called in Sumerian DUG.NAMTAR - literally, a "Fate Speaker" - a Pronouncer of Oracles!

"Terah, then, was an Oracle Priest, one assigned to approaching the "Stone that Whispers" to hear the deity’s words and communicate them (with or without an interpretation) to the lay hierarchy. It was a function assumed in later times by the Israelite High Priest, who alone was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, approach the Dvir ("Speaker"), and "hear the voice [of the Lord] speak unto him from off the overlay which is upon the Ark of the Covenant, from between the two Cherubim." During the Israelite Exodus, at Mount Sinai the Lord proclaimed that his covenant with the descendants of Abraham meant that "ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests." It was a statement that reflected the status of Abraham’s own descent: a royal priesthood.

"....Votive inscriptions found at Nippur (as those by the archaeological expeditions of the University of Pennsylvania) confirmed that the kings of Ur cherished the title "Pious Shepherd of Nippur" and performed there priestly functions; and the governor of Nippur (PA.TE.SI.NI.IB.RU) was also the Foremost UR.ENLIL ("Enlil’s Foremost Servant").

"Some of the names borne by these royal-priestly VIPs resembled Abraham’s Sumerian name (AB.RAM), also beginning with the component AB ("Father" or "Progenitor"); such, for example, was the name AB.BA.MU of a governor of Nippur during Shulgi’s reign.

"....From Hittite friendship (residents of Canaan), who were known for their military experience, may shed light on the question of where Abraham himself had acquired the military proficiency which he employed so successfully during the War of the King.

"Ancient traditions also depict Abraham as greatly versed on astronomy - a knowledge then valuable for long journeys guided by the stars. According to Josephus, Berossus referred to Abraham, without naming him, when he wrote of the rise "among the Chaldeans, of a certain righteous and great man who was well seen in astronomy." (If Berossus, the Babylonian historian, had indeed referred to Abraham, the significance of the inclusion of the Hebrew Patriarch in Babylonian Chronicles far exceeds the mere notation of his knowledge of astronomy).

"All during the ignominious years of Shulgi’s reign, the family of Terah stayed at Harran. Then, on Shulgi’s demise, the divine order came to proceed to Canaan. Terah was already quite old, and Nahor, his son, was to stay on with him in Harran. The one chosen for the mission was Abraham - himself a mature man of seventy-five. The year was 2048 B.C.; it marked the beginning of twenty-four fateful years - eighteen years encompassing the war-filled reigns of the two immediate successors of Shulgi (Amar-Sin and Shu-Sin) and six years of Ibbi-Sin, the last sovereign king of Ur.

"It is undoubtedly more than mere coincidence that Shulgi’s death was the signal not only for a move by Abraham, but also for a realignment among the Near Eastern gods. It was exactly when Abraham, accompanied (as we learn later) by an elite military corps, left Harran - the gateway to the Hittite lands - that the exiled and wandering Marduk appeared in "Hatti land." Moreover, the remarkable coincidence is that Marduk stayed there through the same twenty-four Fateful Years, the years that culminated with the great Disaster.

"The evidence for Marduk’s movements is a tablet found in the library of Ashurbanipal, in which an aging Marduk tells of his erstwhile wanderings and eventual return to Babylon.

"....We learn from the balance of the text that Marduk sent from his new place in exile (Asia Minor) emissaries and supplies (via Harran) to his followers in Babylon, and trading agents into Mari, therefore making inroads into both gateways - the one beholden to Nannar/Sin and the other Inanna/Ishtar.

"As on a signal, with the death of Shulgi, the whole ancient world came astir. The House of Nannar had been discredited, and the House of Marduk saw its final prevailing hour approaching. While Marduk himself was still excluded from Mesopotamia, his first born son, Nabu, was making converts to his father’s cause.... His efforts encompassed all the lands, including Greater Canaan.

"It was against this background of fast developments that Abraham was ordered to go to Canaan. Though silent concerning Abraham’s mission, the Old Testament is clear regarding his destination: Moving expeditiously to Canaan, Abraham and his wife, his nephew Lot, and their entourage continued swiftly southward. There was a stopover at Shechem, where the Lord spoke to Abraham. "Then he removed from there to the Mount, and encamped east of Beth-El; and he built there an altar to Yahweh and called the name of Yahweh." Beth-El whose name meant "God’s House" - a site to which Abraham kept coming back - was in the vicinity of Jerusalem and its hallowed Mount, Mount Moriah ("Mount of Directing"), upon whose Sacred Rock the Ark of the Covenant was placed when Solomon built the temple of Yahweh in Jerusalem.

"From there "Abram journey farther, still going toward the Negev." The Negev - the dry region where Canaan and the Sinai peninsula merge - was clearly Abraham’s destination.

"....What was Abraham to do in the Negev, whose very name ("The Dryness") bespoke its aridity? What was there that required the patriarch’s hurried, long journey from Harran and impelled his presence among the miles upon miles of barren land?

"The significance of Mount Moriah - Abraham’s first focus of interest - was that in those days it served, together with its sister mounts Mount Zophim ("Mount of Observers") and Mount Zion ("Mount of Signal"), as the site of Mission Control Center of the Anunnaki. The significance of the Negev, its only significance, was that it was the gateway to the Spaceport in the Sinai.

"Subsequent narrative informs us that Abraham had military allies in the region and that his entourage included an elite corps of several hundred fighting men. The biblical term for them - Naar - has been variously translated as "retainer" or simply "young man"; but studies have shown that in Hurrian the word denoted riders or cavalrymen. In fact, recent studies of Mesopotamian texts dealing with military movements list among the men of the chariots and the cavalry LU.NAR ("Nar-men") who served as fast riders. We find an identical term in the Bible (I Samuel 30:17): after King David attacked an Amalekite camp, the only ones to escape were "four hundred Ish-Naar" - literally, "Nar-men" or LU.NAR - "who were riding the camels."

"....The emerging image of Abraham not as a shepherding nomad but as an innovative military commander of royal descent may not fit the customary image of this Hebrew patriarch, but it is in accord with ancient recollections of Abraham. Thus, quoting earlier sources concerning Abraham, Josephus, (first century A.D.) wrote of him:

"Abraham reigned at Damascus, where he was a foreigner, having come with an army out of the land above Babylon" from which, "after a long time, the Lord got him up and removed from that country together with his men and he went to the land then called the land of Canaan but now the land of Judaea."

"The mission of Abraham was a military one: to protect the space facilities of the Anunnaki - the Mission Control Center and the Spaceport!

"After a short stay in the Negev Abraham traversed the Sinai peninsula and came to Egypt. Evidently no ordinary nomads. Abraham and Sarah were at once taken to the royal palace. By our reckoning the time was circa 2047 B.C., when the Pharaohs then ruling in Lower (northern) Egypt who were not followers of Amen ("The Hiding God" Ra/Marduk") were facing a strong challenge from the princes of Thebes in the south, where Amen was deemed supreme. We can only guess what matters of state - alliances, joint defenses, divine commands - were discussed between the beleaguered Pharaoh and the Ibri, the Nippurian general. The Bible is silent on this as well as on the length of stay. (The Book of Jubilees states that the sojourn lasted five years). When the time came for Abraham to return to the Negev, he was accompanied by a large retinue of the Pharaoh's men.

"....Abraham went on to the hill country, settling on the highest peak near Hebron, from where he could see in all directions; and the Lord said unto him: "Go, cross the country in the length and breadth of it, for unto thee shall I give it."

Mr. Sitchin at this point researches more dates of events and summarizes on the following chart:

  • 2123 B.C.  -  Abraham born in Nippur to his father Terah.

  • 2113 B.C.  -  Ur-Nammu enthroned in Ur, given guardianship of Nippur. Terah and his family move to Ur.

  • 2095 B.C.  -  Shulgi ascends throne after death of Ur-Nammu. Terah and his family leave Ur for Harran.

  • 2055 B.C.  -  Shulgi receives Nannar’s oracles, sends Elamite troops to Canaan.

  • 2048 B.C.  -  Shulgi’s death ordered by Anu and Enlil. Abraham, seventy-five years old, ordered to leave Harran for Canaan.

  • 2047 B.C.  -  Amar_Sin ("Amarpal") ascends the throne of Ur. Abraham leaves the Negev for Egypt.

  • 2042 B.C.  -  Canaanite kings switch allegiance to "other gods. Abraham returns from Egypt with elite corps.

  • 2041 B.C.  -  Amar-Sin launches the War of the Kings.

"Who were the "other gods" that were winning the allegiance of Canaanite cities? They were Marduk, scheming from nearby exile, and his son Nabu, who was roaming eastern Canaan, gaining supremacy and adherents. As biblical place names indicate, the viewpoint, which compressed the Mesopotamian tales of the gods into a monotheistic mold, it was an unusual war: the ostensible purpose - the suppression of a rebellion - turns out to have been a secondary aspect of the war; the great target - a crossroads oasis in a wilderness - was never reached.


"According to the biblical tale, a place called El-Paran was the real target of the invaders, but it was never reached by them. Coming down Transjordan and circling the Dead Sea, the invaders passed by Mount Se’ir and advanced "toward El-Paran, which is upon the Wilderness." But they were forced to "swing back by Ein-Mishpat, which is Kadesh.  El-Paran ("God’s Gloried Place?") was never reached; somehow the invaders were beaten back at Ein-Mishpat, also known as Kadesh or Kadesh-Barnea.

"It was only then, as they turned back toward Canaan, that "Thereupon the king of Sodom and the king of Gomorrah and the king of Admah and the king of Zebi’im and the king of Bela, which is Zoar, marched forth and engaged them in battle in the vale of Siddim."

"The battle with these Canaanite kings was thus a late phase of the war and not its first purpose. Almost a century ago, in a thorough study titled Kadesh-Barnea, H.C.Trumbull had concluded that the true target of the invaders was El-Paran, which he correctly identified as the fortified oasis of Nakhl in Sinai’s central plain.

"....But why had they gone there, and who was it that blocked their way at Kadesh-Barnea, forcing the invaders to turn back?

"There have been no answers; and no answers can make sense except the ones offered by us: the only significance of the destination was its Spaceport and the one who blocked the advance at Kadesh-Barnea was Abraham. From earlier times Kadesh-Barnea was the closest place where men could approach in the region of the Spaceport without special permission. Shulgi had gone there to pray and make offerings to the God Who Judges, and nearly a thousand years before him the Sumerian king Gilgamesh stopped there to obtain the special permission.

"....The hints in the Old Testament become a detailed tale in the Khedorlaomer Texts, which make clear that the war was intended to prevent the return of Marduk and thwart the efforts of Nabo to gain access to the Spaceport. These texts not only name the very same kings who are mentioned in the Bible but even repeat the biblical detail of the switch of allegiance "in the thirteenth year"!

"As we return to the Kedorlaomer Texts to obtain the details for the biblical frame, we should bear in mind that they were written by a Baylonian historian who favored Marduk’s desire to make Babylon "the heavenward navel in the four regions." It was to thwart this that the gods opposing Marduk ordered Khedorla’omer to seize and defile Babylon.

"....The despoiling of Babylon was only the beginning. After the "bad deeds" were done there, Utu/Shamash sought action against Nabu.... the gods assembled.... Ishtar decreed an oracle, and the army put together by the kings of the East arrived in Transjordan....

"....When the invaders.... "thereafter, Dur-Mah-Ilani was to be captured and the Canaanite cities (including Gaza and Beer-Sheba in the Negev) were to be punished. But at Dur-Mah-Ilani, according to the Babylonian text, "the son of the priest, whom the gods in their true counsel had anointed," stood in the invader’s way and "the despoiling prevented."

"Could the Babylonian text indeed refer to Abraham, the son of Terah the priest, and spell out his role in turning back the invaders? The possibility is strengthened by the fact that the Mesopotamian and biblical texts relate the same event in the same locality with the same outcome.

"But there is more to it than just a possibility, for we have come upon one highly intriguing clue.

"This is the unnoticed fact that the date formulas for the reign of Amar-Sin call his seventh year - the crucial year 2041 B.C., the year of the military expedition - also MU NE IB.RU.UM BA.HUL "Year [in which] the Shepherding-abode of IB.RU.UM was attacked."

"Can this reference, in the exact crucial year, be other than to Abraham and his shepherding abode?

Mr. Sitchin’s book covers the explanation of a depiction of a possible commemoration of the invasion. "This is a scene carved on a Sumerian cylinder seal."

"....Having carried out his mission to protect the Spaceport, Abraham returned to his base near Hebron. Encouraged by his feat, the Canaanite kings marched his forces to intercept the retreating army from the East. But the invaders beat them and "seized all the possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah" as well as one prize hostage: "They took with them Lot, the nephew of Abraham, who was residing at Sodom."

"On hearing the news, Abraham called up his best cavalrymen and pursued the retreating invaders. Catching up with them near Damascus, he succeeded in releasing Lot and retrieving all the booty. Upon his return he was greeted as a victor in the Valley of Shalem (Jerusalem):

And Malkizedek, the king of Shalem,
brought forth bread and wine,
for he was priest unto the God Most High.
And he blessed him, saying:
"Blessed be Abram unto the God Most High,
Possessor of Heaven and Earth;
And blessed be the God Most High
who hath delivered thy foes unto thine hand."

"Soon the Canaanite kings also arrived to thank Abraham, and offered him all the seized possessions as a reward. But Abraham, saying that his local allies could share in that, refused to take "even a shoelace" for himself or his warriors.

"....The attacks on the Spaceport were thwarted, but the danger to it was not removed; and the efforts of Marduk to gain the supremacy intensified ever more. Fifteen years later Sodom and Gomorrah went up in flames when Ninurta and Nergal unleashed the Doomsday Weapon.




Chapter Fourteenth


"Doomsday came in the twenty-fourth year when Abraham, encamped near Hebron, was ninety-nine years old.

"An the Lord appeared unto him in the terebrinth grove of Mamre as he was sitting at the entrance of the tent, in the heat of the day. And he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold - three men were stationed upon him; and as he saw them he ran from the entrance of the tent towards them, and bowed to the ground."

"Swiftly, from a typical Middle Eastern scene of a potentate resting in the shade of his tent, the biblical narrator of Genesis 18 raised Abraham’s eyes and thrust him - and the reader, too - into a sudden encounter with divine beings. Though Abraham was gazing out, he did not see the three approaching: "they were suddenly "stationed upon him." And though they were "men" he at once recognized their true identity and bowed to them, calling them "my lords" and asking them not to "pass over their servant" until he had a chance to prepare for them a sumptuous meal.

It was in this occasion that the leader of the three "men" promised Abraham he would return on the following year and that by then this wife Sarah would have a son.

But that was not the only reason they had come for. Sodom and Gomorrah were the real preoccupations of the three men. The leader of the three, "the Lord," did not conceal this from Abraham:

"....The outcry regarding Sodom and Gomorrah being great, and the accusation against them being grievous," the Lord said he had decided to "come down and verify; if it is as the outcry reaching me, they will destroy completely; and if not, I wish to know."

"....The event was most definitely not a natural calamity. It is described as a premeditated event: the Lord discloses to Abraham ahead of time what is about to happen and why. It is an avoidable event, not a calamity caused by irreversible natural forces: The calamity shall come to pass only if the "outcry" against Sodom and Gomorrah will be confirmed. And thirdly (as we shall soon discover) it was also a postponable event, one whose occurrence could be made to happen earlier or later, at will.

All these facts prompted Abraham to the "bargaining" (well known by now) and the question to the Lord, "If I find 50 faithful.... and going down to ten faithful, Abraham was granted the sparing of the cities.... if, he would find at least 10 faithful!

"....Perhaps there be fifty Righteous Ones inside the city," he said, "Wilt thou destroy and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty Righteous Ones within it?" Then he quickly added: "Far be it from you to do such a thing, to slay the Righteous with the guilty! Far be it from you, the Judge of All the Earth, not to do justice!"

"A mortal preaching to his deity! And the plea is for calling off the destruction - the premeditated and avoidable destruction....

"At eve time, the two companions of the Lord - the biblical narrative now refers to them as Mal’akhim (translated "angels" but meaning "emissaries") - arrived at Sodom, their task being to verify the accusations against the city and report their findings back to the Lord. Lot - who was sitting at the city’s gate - recognized at once (as Abraham had done earlier) the divine nature of the two visitors, their identity evidently being given away by their attire or weapons, or perhaps by the manner (flying over?) in which they arrived.

"Now it was Lot’s turn to insist on hospitality, and the two accepted his invitation to spend the night at his home....

""They had hardly lain down when the people of the city, the people of Sodom, surrounded the house - young and old, the whole population, from every quarter; and they called unto Lot and said unto him: ’Where are the men who came unto you tonight. Bring them out to us, that we may know them.’" When Lot failed to do so, the crowd surged to break their way in; but the two Mal’akhim "smote the people who were at the house’s entrance with blindness, both young and old; and they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway."

"Realizing that of all the townspeople only Lot was "righteous," the two emissaries needed no further investigation; the fate of the city was sealed....

"....Rushing to convey the news to his sons-in-law, Lot only met disbelief and laughter. So at dawn the emissaries urged Lot to escape without delay, taking with him only his wife and their two unmarried daughters who lived with them at home.

Lot also bargained with the emissaries:

"....Could the upheavaling of Sodom be delayed until he had reached the town of Zoar, the farthest one away from Sodom? Agreeing, one of the emissaries asked him to hurry there: "Haste thee to escape thither, for I will be unable to do anything until thou hast arrived there."

"The calamity was thus not only predictable and avoidable but also postponable; and it could be made to afflict various cities at different times. No natural catastrophe could have featured all these aspects.

"....The cities, the people, the vegetation - everything was "upheavaled" by the gods’ weapon. Its heat and fire scorched all before it; its radiation affected people even at some distance away: Lot’s wife, ignoring the admonition not to stop to look back as they were fleeing from Sodom, turn to a "pillar of vapor." The "Evil" Lot had feared had caught up with her . . .

Mr. Sitichin explains the mistranslation generally given as a "pillar of salt."

"Indeed, in the Erra Epos which, we believe, was the Sumerian record of the nuclear upheaval, the death of the people was described by the god thus:

The people I will make vanish,
their soul shall turn to vapor.

"It was the misfortune of Lot’s wife to be among those who were "turned to vapor."

Lot was granted escaping because the gods remembered the bargaining with Abraham:

"For when the gods devastated the cities of the plain,
the gods remembered Abraham, and sent Lot away
out of the upheavaling of the cities.

Lot’s daughters, believing they had witness the end of mankind, and that they and their father were the only three survivors, made their father drunk and committed incest. Both women conceived child by their own father.

"The night before the holocaust must have been a night of anxiety and sleeplessness for Abraham, of wondering whether enough Righteous Ones were found in Sodom to have the cities spared, of concern about Lot and his family. "And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood facing Yahweh, and he looked in the direction of Sodom and Gomorrah and the region of the Plain; and he beheld there smoke rising from the earth as the smoke of a furnace."

"He was witnessing a "Hiroshima" and a "Nagasaki" - the destruction of a fertile and populated plain by atomic weapons. The year was 2024 B.C.

Abraham was encamped near Hebron, and he was ninety nine years old,

when he "saw" the three "angels" and they spoke to him...

(Traditional painting by Dore)

The leader angel announces Sarah will have a child. Painting by G. Battista.
(Biblical version of the events).



Mr. Sitchin compares the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah to the Nuclear destruction of Hiroshima (above) and Nagasaki (below)


After Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed,

Lot and his daughters believed they were the only remnants on Earth....




Dead Sea. The southern tip "The Tongue" is believed to be the site where Sodom and Gomorrah lie buried. The water of springs, to this day, are still contaminated with radioactivity.

Hama Right), a city Marduk passed by, on his way from Asia Minor to Mesopotamia. His dream was to restore Babylon, (one of its ruins, above), but Marduk had many oponents...




It was the "Wars of Gods and Men"

which brought about the destruction of the Spaceport at Sinai

A Highway on Sinai today



Mr. Sitchin comments that the flat Sinai plain is as good today for tanks as it was for the Anunnaki’s shuttlecraft.

The scar made in the face of the Earth that awesome day can still be seen.....

its features can only be seen from space, revealed in recent years by satellites.

No scientist has hitherto offered an explanation.

Abraham never returned to Sinai. His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him near Mamre.

A man from Hebron praying in front of Abraham’s tomb


"Where are the remains of Sodom and Gomorrah today? Ancient Greek and Roman geographers reported that the once fertile valley of the five cities was inundated following the catastrophe. Modern scholars believe that the "upheavaling" described in the Bible caused a breach in the southern shore of the Dead Sea, letting its water pour through to submerge the low-lying region to the south. The remaining portion of what was once the southern shore became the feature figuratively called by the natives el-Lissan ("The Tongue"), and the once populated valley with its five cities became a new, southern part of the Dead Sea still bearing the local nick-name "Lot’s Sea...."

"The ancient reports have been confirmed in modern times by various researchers, beginning with an exhaustive exploration of the area in the 1920s by a scientific mission sponsored by the Vatican’s Pontifical Biblical Institute (A. Mallon, Voyage d’Exploration au sud-est de la Mer Morte). Leading archaeologists, such as W.F. Albright and P. Hartland, discovered that settlements in the mountains around the region were abruptly abandoned in the twenty-first century B.C. and were not reoccupied for several centuries thereafter. And to this very day, the water of springs surrounding the Dead Sea has been found to be contaminated with radioactivity, "enough to induce sterility and allied afflictions in any animals and humans that absorbed it over a number of years" (I.M. Blake, "Joshua’s Curse and Elisha’s Miracle" in The Palestine Exploration Quarterly).

"The cloud of death, rising in the skies from the cities of the plain, frightened not only Lot and his daughters but also Abraham, and he did not feel safe even in the Hebron Mountains, some fifty miles away. We are told by the Bible that he pulled up his encampment and moved further away westward, to reside at Gerar.

"Also, at no time thereafter did he venture into the Sinai. Even years later, when Abraham’s son Isaac wanted to go to Egypt on account of a famine in Canaan, "Yahweh appeared unto him and said: ’Go not down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I will show thee.’" The passage through the Sinai peninsula was apparently still unsafe.

But why?

"The destruction of the cities of the plain, we believe, was only a sideshow: concurrently, the Spaceport in the Sinai peninsula was also obliterated with nuclear weapons, leaving behind a deadly radiation that lingered on for many years thereafter.

"The main nuclear target was in the Sinai peninsula; and the real victim, in the end, was Sumer itself.

"The Year of Doom - 2024 B.C. - was the sixth year of the reign of Ibbi-Sin, the last king of Ur, but to find the reasons for the calamity, explanations of its nature, and details of its scope, we will have to study the records of those fateful years back from the time of that war.

"Having failed in their mission and twice humiliated by the hand of Abraham - once at Kadesh-Barnea, then again near Damascus - the invading kings were promptly removed from their thrones. In Ur, Amar-Sin was replaced by his brother Shu-Sin, who ascended the throne to find the great alliance shattered and Ur’s erstwhile allies now nibbling at her crumbling empire.

"Although they, too, had been discredited by the War of the Kings, Nannar and Inanna were at first the gods in whom Shu-Sin had put his trust. It was Nannar, Shu-Sin’s early inscriptions stated, who had "called his name" to kingship; he was "beloved of Inanna" and she herself presented him to Nannar.

"....But all this was insufficient to hold together the Sumerian empire, and Shu-Sin soon turned to greater gods for succor.

"Judging from the date formulas - annual inscriptions, for royal as well as commercial and social purposes, in which each successive year of a king’s reign was designated by the major event of the year - Shu-Sin, in the second year of his reign, sought the favors of Enki by constructing for that god a special boat that could navigate the high seas all the way to the Lower World. The third year of reign was also one of preoccupation with the pro-Enki alignment. Little else is known of this effort, which could have been a roundabout way of pacifying the followers of Marduk and Nabu; but the effort evidently failed, for the fourth and fifth years witnessed the building of a massive wall on the western frontier of Mesopotamia, specifically aimed at warding off incursions by the "Westerners," followers of Marduk.

"....Desperately Shu-Sin sought acceptance, confirmation that he was "the king whom Enlil, in his heart, had chosen." But Enlil was not there to answer; only Ninlil, Enlil’s spouse, who remained in Nippur, heard Shu-Sin supplications. Responding with compassion "so as to prolongue the well-being of Shu-Sin, to extend the time of his crown," she gave him a "weapon which with radiance strikes down... whose awesome flash reaches the sky."

"....There was one final effort to entice Enlil back to Sumer, to find shelter under his aegis. On the apparent advice of Ninlil, Shu-Sin built for the divine couple "a great touring boat, fit for the largest rivers... He decorated it perfectly with precious stones," outfitted it with oars made of the finest wood, punting poles and an artful rudder, and furnished it with all manner of comfort including a bridal bed. He then, "placed the touring boat in the wide basin facing Ninlil’s House of Pleasure."

"The nostalgic aspects struck a chord in Enlil’s heart, for he had fallen in love with Ninlil, when she was still a young nurse....

"....The sentimental journey, however, was only a brief interlude.

Seemingly (part of the tablet is missing), there had been foul play, and an "evil inscription was found on an effigy on the boat, "intended perhaps to place a curse on Enlil and Ninlil.... All other evidence suggests that he again left Nippur, this time apparently taking Ninlil with him.

"Soon thereafter - February 2031 B.C. by our calendar - the Near East was awed by a total lunar eclipse, which blacked out the moon during the night for its full course from horizon to horizon. The oracle priests of Nippur could not allay Shu-Sin’s anxiety: it was, they said in their written message, an omen "to the king who rules the four regions: his wall will be destroyed, Ur will become desolate."

And so it was for Shu-Sin, and his successor, the last, Ibbi-Sin. Marduk (to whom the omens had referred to) returned to Babylon for the second time.

"The twenty-four fateful years - since Abraham left Harran, since Shulgi was replaced to the throne, since Marduk’s exile among the Hittites had begun - have all converged in that Year of Doom, 2024 B.C. Having followed the separate , but interconnected, biblical tale of Abraham and the fortunes of Ur and its last three kings, we will now follow in the footsteps of Marduk.

"The tablet on which Marduk’s autobiography is inscribed (from which we have already partly quoted) continues to relate his return to Babylon after the twenty-four years of sojourn in the Land of Hatti.

"....Then, in that twenty-fourth year, he received a favorable omen.

"....His wish, Marduk continued, was to bring peace and prosperity to the land, "chase away evil and bad luck... bring motherly love to Mankind." But it all came to naught: Against his city, Babylon, an adversary god "his wrath had brought." The name of this adversary god is stated at the very beginning of a new column of the text; but all that has remained of it is the first syllable: "Divine NIN-." The reference could have been only to Ninurta.

"....We can pick up some of the missing threads from the third tablet of the Khedorlaomer Texts. In spite of its enigmatic aspects, it paints a picture of total turmoil, with adversary gods marching against each other at the head of their human troops: the Amorite supporters of Marduk swooped down the Euphrates valley toward Nippur, and Ninurta organized Elamite troops to fight them.

"As we read and reread the record of those trying times, we find that to accuse an enemy of atrocities is not a modern innovation. The Babylonian text - written, we must keep bearing in mind, by a worshiper of Marduk - attributes to the elamite troops, and to them alone, the desecration of temples, including the shrines of Shamash and Ishtar. The Babylonian chronicler goes even farther: he accuses Ninurta of falsely blaming on the followers of Marduk the desecration of Enlil’s Holy-of Holies in Nippur, thereby provoking Enlil to take sides against Marduk and his son Nabu.... but it was not Marduk (who desecrated the Ekur), it was Erra (Nergal/Erra):

Erra, the pitiless one,
entered the sacred precinct.
He stationed himself in the sacred precinct,
he beheld the Ekur.
His mouth he opened, he said to his young men:
"Carry off the spoil of Ekur,
take away its valuables,
destroy its foundation,
break down the enclosure of the shrine.

"When Enlil, "loftily enthroned," heard that his temple had been destroyed, its shrine defiled, that "in the holy of holies the veil was torn away," he rushed back to Nippur. "Riding in front of him were gods clothed with radiance"; he himself "set off brilliance like lightning" as he came down from the skies; "he made the holy place shake" as he descended to the sacred precinct. Enlil then addressed himself to his son, "the Prince Ninurta," to find who had defiled the sacred place. But instead of telling the truth, that it was Erra, his ally, Ninurta pointed the accusing finger to Marduk and his followers...

"Describing the scene, the Babylonian text asserts that Ninurta was acting without the required respect on meeting his father: "not fearing for his life, he removed not his tiara." To Enlil "evil he spoke... there was no justice; destruction was conceived." and so provoked, "Enlil against Babylon caused evil to be planned."

"In addition to "evil deeds" against Marduk and Babylon, an attack against Nabu and his temple Ezida in Borsippa was also planned. But Nabu managed to escape westward, to the cities faithful to him near the Mediterranean Sea.

"....there follow verses in the Babylonian text that have a direct parallel in the biblical tale of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"....The picture that can be gathered from the biblical and Babylonian texts of the cataclysm that engulfed the ancient Near East in the time of Abraham is much fully detailed in the Erra Epic (to which we have already referred earlier)....

"The Erra Epic not only explains the nature and causes of the conflict that had led to the unleashing of the Ultimate Weapon against inhabited cities and the attempt to annihilate a god (Nabu) believed hiding therein. It also makes clear that such an extreme measure was not taken lightly.

"We know from several other texts that the great gods, at that time of acute crisis, were sitting in a continuous Council of War, keeping constant communication with Anu: "Anu to Earth the words was speaking, Earth to Anu the words pronounced." The Erra Epic adds the information that before the awesome weapons were used, one more confrontation had taken place between Nergal/Erra and Marduk, in which Nergal used threats to persuade his brother to leave Babylon and give up his claims to Supremacy.

"But this time, persuasion failed; and back at the Council of the Gods, Nergal voiced the recommendation for the use of force to dislodge Marduk.... An especially violent argument developed between Enki and his son Nergal, in which Enki stood by his firstborn son: "Now that Prince Marduk has arisen, now that the people for the second time have raised his image, why does Erra continue his opposition?" Enki asked. Finally, losing his patience, Enki shouted at Nergal to get out of his presence.

"Leaving in a huff, Nergal returned to his domain. "Consulting with himself," he decided to unleash the awesome weapons: "The lands I will destroy, to a dust-heap make them; the cities I will upheaval, to desolation turn them; the mountains I will flatten, their animals make disappear; the seas I will agitate, that which teems in them I will decimate; the people I will make vanish, their souls shall turn to vapor, none shall be spared. . . . "

"....It was Gibil (whose domain in Africa adjoined that of Nergal) "these words to Marduk did speak" in regard to the "seven awesome weapons which by Anu were created... The wickedness of those seven against thee is being laid," he informed Marduk.

"Alarmed, Marduk inquired of Gibil where the awesome weapons were kept.... To which Gibil revealed that they were hidden underground:

Those seven, in the mountain they abide,
in a cavity inside the earth they dwell.
From this place with a brilliance they will rush forth,
From Earth to Heaven, clad with terror.

"But where exactly is this place? Marduk asked again and again; and all Gibil could say was that "even the wise gods, to them it is unknown."

"Now Marduk rushed to his father Enki with the frightening report.

"....Soon the gods were back in council, for even Enki knew not the exact hiding place of the Ultimate Weapons. To his surprise, not all the other gods were as shocked as he was. Enki spoke strongly against the idea, urging steps to stop Nergal, for the use of the weapons, he pointed out, "the lands would make desolate, the people will make perish." Nannar and Utu wavered as Enki spoke; but Enlil and Ninurta were for decisive action. And so, with the Council of the Gods in disarray, the decision was left to Anu.

"When Ninurta finally arrived to the Lower World with word of Anu’s decision, he found out that Nergal had already ordered the priming of "the seven awesome weapons" with their "poisons" - their nuclear warheads. Though the Erra Epic keeps referring to Ninurta by the epithet Ishum ("The Scorcher"), it details in great detail how Ninurta had made clear to Nergal/Erra that the weapons could be used only against specifically approved targets; that before they could be used, the Anunnaki gods at the selected sites and the Igigi gods manning the space platform and the shuttlecraft had to be forewarned; and, last but not least, mankind had to be spared, for "Anu, lord of the gods, on the land had pity."

"....The words of Ninurta finally swayed Nergal. "He heard the words spoken by Ishum [Ninurta]; the words appealed to him as fine oil." Agreeing to leave alone the seas, to leave Mesopotamia out of the attack, he formulated a modified plan: the destruction will be selective; the tactical aim will be to destroy the cities where Nabu might be hiding; the strategic aim will be to deny to Marduk his greatest prize - the Spaceport, "the place from where the Great Ones ascend."

"....So, with one nuclear blow, the Spaceport was obliterated, the mount within which its controls were hidden smashed, the plain that served its runways obliterated... It was a destructive feat, the written record attests, performed by Ninurta (Ishum).

"Now it was the turn of Nergal (Erra) to give vent to his vow of vengeance. Guiding himself from the Sinai peninsula to the Canaanite cities by following the King’s Highway, Erra upheaval them. The words employed by the Erra Epic are almost identical to those used in the biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah.

"The verses that follow may well describe the creation of the new southern portion of the Dead Sea, by breaking through its southern shoreline, and the elimination of all marine life therein:

He dug through the sea,
its wholeness he divided.
That which lives in it,
even the crocodiles
he made wither.
As with fire he scorched the animals,
banned its grain to become as dust.

"....The deed performed by the two gods Ninurta and Nergal, when the Anunnaki guarding the Spaceport, forewarned, had to escape by "ascending to the dome of heaven," was recalled in a Babylonian text in which one king recalled the momentous events that had taken place "in the reign of an earlier king."

"....Thus was the Spaceport, the prize over which so many Wars of the Gods had been fought, obliterated....

"The great place was never to be seen again.... but the scar made on the face of Earth that awesome day can still be seen - to this very day! It is a vast scar, so vast that its features can be seen only from the skies - revealed only in recent years as satellites began to photograph the Earth. It is a scar for which no scientist has hitherto offered an explanation.

"....The limestone mountains loom white on the horizon, but where the great central plain adjoins the immense scar in the Sinai, the hue of the plain - black - stands out in sharp contrast to the surrounding whiteness.

"Black is not a natural hue in the Sinai peninsula, where the whiteness of the limestone and the redness of the sandstone combine to dazzle the eye with hues raging from bright yellow to light gray and dark brown but nowhere the black which comes in nature from basalt stones.

"Yet here, in the central plain north-northwest of the enigmatic giant scar, the soil’s color has a black hue. It is caused - as our photograph clearly shows - by millions upon millions of bits and pieces of blackened rock, strewn as by a giant hand over the whole area.

"....No explanation - unless one reads the verses of the ancient texts and accepts our conclusion that in the days of Abraham, Nergal and Ninurta wiped out the Spaceport that was there with nuclear weapons:

"That which was raised towards Anu to launch they caused to wither, its face they made fade away, its place they made desolate."

"And the Spaceport, even the Evil Cities, were no more.

"Far away to the west, in Sumer itself, the nuclear blasts and their brilliant flashes were neither felt nor seen. But the deed done by Nergal and Ninurta had not gone unrecorded, for it turned out to have had a most profound effect on Sumer, its people, and its very existence.... The nuclear explosion gave rise to an immense wind, a radioactive wind which began as a whirlwind.... and then the radioactive whirlwind began to spread and move westward with the prevailing winds blowing from the Mediterranean.... Sumer itself became the ultimate nuclear victim.

"The catastrophe that befell Sumer at the end of Ibbi-Sin’s sixth year of reign is described in several Lamentation Texts - long poems that bewail the demise of the majestic Ur and the other centers of the great Sumerian civilization.

"....Invasion, war, killing - all those were well known to mankind by then; but, as the lamentations texts clearly state, this one was unique and never experienced before:

On the Land (Sumer) fell a calamity,
one unknown to man:
One that had never been seen before,
one that could not be withstood.

The people, terrified, could hardly breathe;
the Evil Wind clutched them,
does not grant them another day . . .
Mouths were drenched in blood,
heads wallowed in blood . . .
The face was made pale by the Evil Wind.

"The source of the unseen death was a cloud that appeared in the skies of Sumer and "covered the land as a cloak, spread over it like a sheet." Brownish in colour, during the daytime "the sun in the horizon it obliterated with darkness." At night, luminous at its edges ("Girt with dread brilliance it filled the broad earth") it blocked out the moon: "the moon at its rising it extinguished...."

"It was not, however, a natural phenomenon. It was "a great storm directed from Anu . . . it hath come from the heart of Enlil." The product of the seven awesome weapons....

"Though the people were baffled, the gods knew the cause of the Evil Wind:

An evil blast heralded the baleful storm,
An evil blast the forerunner
of the baleful storm was;
Mighty offspring, valiant sons
were the heralds of the pestilence.

"The two valiant sons - Ninurta and Nergal - unleashed "in a single spawning" the seven awesome weapons created by Anu, "uprooting everything, upheavaling everything" at the place of the blast. The ancient descriptions are as vivid, as accurate as modern eyewitness descriptions of an atomic explosion: As soon as the "awesome weapons" were launched from the skies, there was an immense brilliance: "they spread awesome rays towards the four points of the earth, scorching everything like fire," one text stated; another, a lamentation over Nippur, recalled "the storm, in a flash of lightning created." An atomic mushroom - "a dense cloud that brings gloom" - then rose to the sky; it was followed by "rushing wind gusts.... a tempest that furiously scorches the heavens." Then the prevailing winds, blowing from west to east, began to spread toward Mesopotamia: "the dense clouds that bring gloom from the sky, that bear the gloom from city to city."

"Not one, but several, texts attest that the Evil wind, bearing the cloud of death, was caused by gigantic explosions on a day to remember.

"....The lamentation texts identified the site of the awesome blasts as "in the west," near "the breast of the sea" - a graphic description of the curving Mediterranean coast at the Sinai peninsula - from a plain "in the midst of the mountains," a plain that became a "Place of No Pity." It was a place that served before as the Place of Launching, the place from where the gods ascended toward Anu. In addition, a mount also featured in many of these place identifications. In the Erra Epic, the mount near "the place from which Great Ones ascend" was called the "Mount Most Supreme"; in one of the lamentations it was called the "Mount of Houling Tunnels." This last epithet brings to mind the descriptions, in the Pyramid Texts, of the tunneled mount with sloping underground passages, to which Egyptian Pharaohs journeyed in search of an afterlife. In The Stairway to Heaven we have identified it with the mount Gilgamesh had reached in his journey to the place of the Rocketships, in the Sinai peninsula.

"....The Uruk Lament vividly describes the confusion among both the gods and the populace. Stating that Anu and Enlil had overruled Enki and Ninki when they "determined the consensus" to employ the nuclear weapons, the text asserts that none of the gods anticipated the awesome outcome: "The great gods paled at its immensity" as they witnessed the explosion's "gigantic rays reach up to heaven [and] the earth trembled to its core."

"....A breathtaking description of the fear and confusion, among gods and men alike, as the Evil Wind approached is given in The Uruk Lament text, which was written years later as the time of Restoration came.

"....Ninki, we learn from The Eridu Lament, flew away from her city to a safe haven in Africa: "Ninki, its great lady, flying like a bird, left her city." But Enki left Eridu only far enough to get out of the Evil Wind’s way, yet near enough to see its fate: its lord stayed outside his city . . . Father Enki stayed outside the city . . . for the fate of his harmed city he wept with bitter tears." Many of his loyal subjects followed him, camping on its outskirts. For a day and a night they watched the storm "put its hand" on Eridu.... Enki surveyed Eridu.... Those who were saved addressed to him a lament.... and they kept on asking whence should they go, what should they do. But though the Evil Wind had passed, the place was still unsafe.... "Forsaking the house of Eridu," Enki then led "those who have been displaced from Eridu" to the desert, "towards an inimical land"; there he used his scientific powers to make "the foul tree" edible.

"From the northern edge of the Evil Wind’s side swath, from Babylon, a worried Marduk sent his father, Enki, an urgent message as the cloud of death neared his city. "What am I to do?" he asked. Enki’s advice, which Marduk then related to his followers, was that those who could should leave the city - but go only north; and in line with the advice given by the two emissaries to Lot, the people fleeing Babylon were warned "neither to turn nor to look back...." If escape was not possible, Enki advised hiding underground: "Get thee into a chamber below the earth, into a darkness," until the Evil Wind was gone.

Mr. Sitchin continues with a series of lamentations from other gods. But the fact was that Sumer had been affected not by the blast, but by the Evil Wind, and...

"The desolation of Sumer was complete."

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