THE GOD WHO
RETURNED FROM HEAVEN
"Was the crossing of the paths of
Marduk and Abraham in Harran just
a chance coincidence, or was Harran chosen by the unseen hand of
"....The key events, recorded for posterity by eyewitnesses, began
and ended with the fulfillment of the biblical prophecies concerning
Egypt, Assyria, and Babylon; and they included the
departure of a
god from his temple and his city, his ascent to the heavens, and his
return from the heavens a half century later.
"And, for a reason perhaps more metaphysical than geographic or
geopolitical, so many of the crucial events of the last two millennia
of the count that began when the gods, meeting in council, decided
to give Mankind civilization, took place in or around
"We have already mentioned in passing the detour of Esarhaddon to
Harran.... It was when Esarhaddon contemplated an attack on Egypt,
he turned northward instead of westward and looked for "the
cedarwood temple" in Harran. There "he saw the god
Sin leaning on a
staff, with two crowns on his head. The god Nusku was standing
before him. The father of my majesty the king enter the temple. The
god placed a crown upon his head, saying: ’You will go to countries,
therein you will conquer!’ He departed and conquered Egypt." (Nusku,
we know from Sumerian God List, was a member of Sin’s entourage).
"The invasion of Egypt by Esarhaddon is a historical fact, fully
making true Isaiah’s prophecy. The details of the detour to Harran
additionally serve to confirm the presence there, in 675 B.C., of
the god Sin; for it was several decades later that Sin "became angry
with the city and its people" and was gone - to the heavens.
"Nowadays Harran still stands where it did in the time of
and his family.... But the pride of the place was the temple
dedicated to the god Sin, in whose ruins written testimony of the
miraculous events concerning Nannar/Sin has survived the millennia.
"The testimony was not hearsay; it consisted of eyewitness reports.
They were not anonymous witnesses, but a woman named Adda-Guppi and
her son Nabuna’id. They were not, as happens nowadays, a country
sheriff and his mother reporting a UFO sighting in some sparsely
inhabited area. She was the High Priestess of the great temple of Sin, a sacred and revered shrine since millennia before her time;
her son was the last king of the mightiest empire on Earth in those
"The High Priestess and her son the king recorded the events on
stelae - stone columns inscribed in cuneiform script, accompanied by
pictorial depictions. Four of them have been found this century
(twentieth) by archaeologists, and it is believed that the stelae
were placed by the king and his mother each at each corner of the
renowned temple to the Moon god in Harran, the E.HUL.HUL ("Temple of
Double Joy").... It was on
the stelae of Adda-Guppi, the temple’s
High Priestess, that the departure and heavenly ascent of the god
Sin were recorded, and it was in the inscriptions of the king,
Nabuna’id that the god’s miraculous and unique return were reported.
With an evident sense of history and in the manner of a trained
temple official, Adda-Guppi provided in her stelae precise dates for
the outstanding events....
"....She was born, Adda-Guppi wrote, in the twentieth year of
Ashurbanipal, king of Assyria - in the middle of the seventh century
B.C. Though in her inscriptions Adda-Guppi does not state her
genealogy, other sources suggest that she stemmed from a
distinguished lineage. She lived, according to her inscription,
through the reigns of several Assyrian and Babylonian kings,
reaching the ripe old age of ninety-five when the miraculous events
had taken place. Scholars have found her listings of reigns to be in
accord with Assyrian and Babylonian annals.
"Here is the record of the first remarkable occurrence, in
Adda-Guppi’s own words:
It was the sixteenth year of Nabupolassar,
king of Babylon, when Sin, lord of gods,
became angry with his city and his temple
and went up to heaven;
and the city and the people in it
went to ruin.
"....The year was
610 B.C. - when the defeated Assyrian army
retreated to Harran for a last stand.
"There are quite a number of issues that call for clarification as a
result of this statement: Was Sin "angry with the city and its
people" because they let the Assyrian in? Did he decide to leave on
account of the Assyrians, or the approaching Umman-Manda
How, by what means, did he go up to heaven - and where did he go? To
another place on Earth, or away from Earth, a celestial place? The
writings of Adda-Guppi gloss over these issues, and for the moment
we, too, shall leave the questions hanging.
"....Indeed, the desolation in the abandoned
Harran brings to mind
the opening words of the biblical
Book of Lamentations about the
desolate and desecrated Jerusalem: "How solitary lies the city, once
so full of people! Once great among the nations, now become a widow;
once queen among the provinces, now become a tributary."
"While others fled, Adda-Guppi stayed on. "Daily, without ceasing,
by day and night, for months, for years," she went to the abandoned
"....Then, in the abandoned sacred precinct, she discovered a robe
that had once belonged to Sin. It must have been a magnificent
garment, in the manner of robes worn at the time by various deities,
as depicted on monuments from Mesopotamia.... She could not take her
eyes off the sacred garb, daring not to touch it except by "taking
hold of its hem." As if the god himself was there to listen, she
prostrated herself and "in prayer and humility" uttered the
If you would return to your city,
all the Black-Headed people
would worship your divinity!
""Black-Headed people", was a term used by the
Sumerians to describe
themselves; and the employment of the term by the High Priestess in Harran was highly unusual.
Sumer, as a political-religious entity,
had ceased to exist almost 1,500 years before the time of Adda-Guppi,
when the land and its capital, the City of Ur, fell victim to a
deadly nuclear cloud in 2024 B.C. Sumer, by Adda-Guppi’s time, was
just a hallowed memory.... the "Black-Headed" people dispersed to
"....It was a true vision of the Return of the Exiles and a
Restoration of a god in his ancient cult center worthy of biblical
prophecies. To achieve that, Adda-Guppi proposed her god a deal: if
he would return and then use his authority and divine powers to make
her son Nabuna’id the next imperial king, reigning in Babylon over
both the Babylonian and Assyrian domains - Nabuna’id would restore
the temple of Sin in Ur and would reinstate the worship of
all the lands where the Black-Headed people dwelt!
Moon god liked the idea. "Sin, lord of the gods of Heaven and
Earth, for my good doings looked upon me with a smile; he heard my
prayers, he accepted my vow. The wrath of his heart calmed; toward
Ehulhul, the temple of Sin in Harran, the divine residence in which
his heart rejoiced, he became reconciled, and he had a change of
"The smiling god, Adda-Guppi wrote on in her inscription, accepted
Sin, lord of the gods,
looked with favor upon my words.
Nabuna’id, my only son,
issue of my womb, to the kingship he called -
the kingship of Sumer and Akkad.
All the lands from the border of Egypt,
from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea,
in his hands he entrusted.
"Grateful and overwhelmed,
Adda-Guppi raised her hands and
"reverently, with imploration" thanked the god for "pronouncing the
name of Nabuna’id, calling him to kingship...."
"In a postscript added to the inscriptions when
Adda-Guppi aged 104,
was on her deathbed (or recording her words right after she passed
on), the text reported that both sides kept their bargain: "I myself
saw it fulfilled"; Sin "honored his word which he spoke to me,"
causing Nabuna’id to become king of a new Sumer and Akkad (in 555
"....The duplicate stela’s inscription contains nineteen additional
lines undoubtedly added by Adda-Guppi’s son. In the ninth year of
Nabuna’id - in 546 B.C. -
"the Fate of herself carried her off,
Nabuna’id her son, issue of her womb, emtombed her corpse, wrapped
in (royal) robes and pure white linen. He adorned her body with
splendid ornaments of gold set with beautiful precious stones. With
sweet oils he anointed her body, and laid to rest in a secret
"The mourning for the king’s mother was widespread. "People from
Babylon and Borsippa, dwellers of far regions, kings, princes, and
governors came from the border of Egypt on the Upper Sea unto the
Lower Sea" - from Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf. The mourning
which included casting ashes upon the head, weeping, and
self-inflicted cuts, lasted seven days.
"Before we turn to the inscriptions of
Nabuna’id and their
miracle-filled tales, one must stop to wonder how - if what
Adda-Guppi had recorded was true - she managed to communicate with a
deity that by her own statement was no longer in the temple or in
the city - gone and ascended to heaven, in fact.
"The first part, that of
Adda-Guppi addressing her god, is easy....:
Prayer, as a way of laying before the deity one’s fears and worries,
asking for health or good fortune or long life, even seeking
guidance for the right choices between alternatives, is still with
Indeed, prayer as a means of communicating with one’s deity probably
preceded the written word and, according to the Bible, began when
the first humans became Homo sapiens: it was when Enosh ("Homo
sapiens Man"), the grandson of Adam and Eve, was born, "that it was
begun to call the name of God" (Genesis 4:26).
"Touching the hem of the god’s robe, prostrating herself, with great
humility Adda-Guppi prayed to Sin. She did so day after day, until
he heard her prayers and responded.
"Now comes the more tricky part - how did
Sin respond, how could his
words or message reach the High Priestess?
"The inscription itself provides the answer....
In a dream
Sin, lord of the gods,
laid his two hands on me.
He spoke to me, thus:
"On account of you
the gods will return to inhabit Harran.
I will entrust your son, Nabuna’id,
with the divine residences in Harran.
He shall rebuild the Ehulhul,
shall perfect its structure;
he will restore Harran and make her
more perfect than it was before."
"....Throughout the ancient world kings and priests, patriarchs and
prophets received the divine word through the medium of dreams. They
could be oracle dreams or omen ones, sometimes with words only
heard, sometimes including visions....
A victory Stela of Sin
"....Nabuna’id also reported divine communications received by means
of dreams. But his inscriptions reported much more: a unique event
and a theophany. His two stelae (referred to by scholars as
H2B are adorned at their tops with a depiction of the king holding
an unusual staff and facing the symbols of three celestial bodies,
the planetary gods that he venerated....
This is the great miracle of Sin
that has by gods and goddesses
not happened to the land,
since days of old unknown;
That the people of the Land
had neither seen nor found written
on tablets since days of old;
That divine Sin,
lord of gods and goddesses,
residing in the heavens,
has come down from the heavens -
in full view of Nabuna’id
king of Babylon.
"The claim that this was a unique miracle was not unjustified, for
the event entailed both a return of a deity and a theophany - two
aspects of divine interaction with humans that, as the inscriptions
cautiously qualifies, were not unknown in the Days of Old.... the
fact is that such events did happen.
"Thus, in the turbulent times that ended with the demise of the
Sumerian empire circa 2000 B.C., the god Enlil, who was away
somewhere else, hurried back to Sumer when he was notified that his
city, Nippur, was in danger. According to an inscription by the
Sumerian king Shu-Sin, Enlil returned "flying from horizon to
horizon; from south to north he traveled; through the skies, over
the Earth, he hurried."
"....Some five hundred years later - still almost a thousand before
the return and teophany of Sin - the greatest theophany on record
took place in the Sinai peninsula, during the Israelite
Egypt. Notified in advance and told how to prepare for the event,
the Children of Israel - all 600,000 of them - witnessed the Lord
descending upon Mount Sinai. The Bible stresses that it was done "in
full sight of the people" (Exodus 19:11). But that great theophany
was not a return.
"Such divine comings and goings, including the
ascent and descent of Sin to and from the heavens, imply that the
Great Anunnaki possessed
the required flying vehicles - and indeed they did. Yahweh landed on
Mount Sinai in an object that the Bible called Kabod that had the
appearance of a "devouring fire" (Exodus 24:11) the Prophet
described the Kabod (usually translated "glory" but which literally
means "the heavy thing") as a luminous and radiating vehicle
equipped with wheels within wheels. He might have had in mind
something comparable to the circular chariot in which the Assyrian
god Ashur was depicted. Ninurta possessed the Imdugud, the "Divine
Black Bird"; and Marduk had a special housing built in his sacred
precinct in Babylon for his "Supreme Traveler"; it was probably the
same vehicle that the Egyptian called the Celestial Boat of Ra.
"What about Sin and his celestial comings and goings?
"That Sin indeed possessed such a flying vehicle - an essential
requirement for the heavenward departure and return reported in the
Harran inscriptions - is attested by many hymns to him....
Father Nannar, Lord of Ur
Whose glory is the sacred Boat of Heaven . . .
When in the Boat of Heaven thou ascendeth,
thou art glorious.
Enlil hath adorned thy hand with a scepter,
everlasting when over Ur
in the Sacred Boat thou mountest.
"While no depiction of the Moon god’s "Boat of Heaven" has so far
been identified, a possible depiction does exist.
Mr. Sitchin relates at this point the event of the prophet
when he was taken to heaven, by the Jordan River, leaving
behind; a description of the chariot follows:
A fiery chariot with fiery horses
and separated them one from the other;
and Elijah went up to heaven
in a whirlwind.
"According to Jewish tradition, the Prophet Elijah will return
someday to announce the Messianic Time.
Adda-Guppi and her son
Nabuna’id thought that such a time had
indeed arrived, signaled and signified by the Return of the Moon
god, is evident. They expected their Messianic Time to usher in an
era of peace and prosperity, a new era that would begin with the
rebuilding and rededication of the Temple of Harran.
"That similar prophetic visions had taken place at about the same
time regarding the God and the Temple of Jerusalem is, on the other
hand, hardly realized. But that, in fact, was the subject of the
prophecies of Ezequiel - that began "when the heavens opened" and he
saw the radiating celestial chariot coming in a whirlwind.
"The chronology provided in the
Harran inscriptions, as verified by
scholars from Assyrian and Babylonian annals, indicates that
Adda-Guppi was born circa 650 B.C.; that Sin departed from his
temple in Harran in 610 B.C. - and returned in 556 B.C. That was the
exact same period when Ezequiel, who had been a priest in Jerusalem
was called to prophecy when he was among the Judean exiles in
northern Mesopotamia. We are provided by him with an exact date: it
was on the fifth day of the fourth month in the fifth year of the
exile of the Judean king Jeho’iachin, "when I was among the exiles
on the banks of the river Khebar that the heavens opened up and I
saw divine visions" Ezequiel wrote right at the beginning of his
prophecies. The time was 592 B.C.!
"....Ezequiel was one of the several thousand noblemen, priests, and
other leaders of Judea who were captured and taken into exile by
Nebuchadnezzar, the Babylonian king who overran Jerusalem in 597
"Those tragic events are detailed in the second book of Kings,
mainly 24:8-12. Remarkably, a Babylonian clay tablet (part of the
series known as The Babylonian Chronicles) recorded the very same
events, with matching dates.
"Remarkably too, this Babylonian expedition - like the earlier one
by Esarhaddon - was also launched from a starting point near
"....For a while - apparently for the first five years - the exiles
believed that the calamities that had befallen their city and temple
and themselves were a temporary setback....
"....But no sooner had
Ezequiel been called to prophecy, in the
fifth year of exile (592 B.C.), than the Lord God instructed him to
announce to the people that the exile and the sacking of Jerusalem
and its Temple were not the end of the ordeal. It was only meant as
a warning to the people to mend their ways - behave with justice
toward each other, and worship Yahweh according to the commandments.
But, said Yahweh to Ezequiel, the people did not mend their ways;
rather, they turned to the worship of "alien gods." Therefore, said
the Lord God, Jerusalem shall be attacked again, and this time it
shall be totally destroyed, temple and all.
"The instrument of his wrath,
Yahweh said, would again be the king
of Babylon. It is an established and known historical fact....
"....This much is indeed known. But what is hardly known is the
reason why the warning was not heeded by the people and their
remaining leaders in Jerusalem. It was their belief that "Yahweh has
left the Earth!"
"Accorded what would these days he deemed "remote vision,"
was shown first the Elders of Jerusalem behind their closed doors,
then taken on a visionary tour of the city’s streets. There was a
complete breakdown of justice and religious observances, for the
word that got out was
Yahweh sees us no more -
Yahweh has left the Earth!
"It was in 610 B.C., according to the
Harran inscriptions, that
"Sin, lord of gods, became angry with his city and his temple and
went up to heaven." It was in 597 B.C. - just over a decade later -
that Yahweh became angry with Jerusalem his city and its people, and
let the uncircumcised Nebuchadnezzar - a king by the grace of
- enter, loot and destroy the Temple of Yahweh.
"And the people cried out: "God has left the Earth!"
"And they knew not when, or if ever, He would return.
"His mother’s expectations for
Nabuna’id, as a reuniter of Sumer and
Akkad and restorer of the glorious Olden Days, did not prepare the
new king for the turmoil that he soon faced. He might have expected
military challenges; he did not anticipate the religious fervor with
which his domains were seized.
"No sooner was he on the royal throne in
Babylon, under a deal
between his mother and Sin, than he realized that Marduk - once
removed and since returned to Babylon - had to be appeased and given
his due. In a series of true or pretended omen-dreams, Nabuna’id
reported obtaining the blessing of Marduk (and Nabu) not only to his
kingship, but also to the promised rebuilding of Sin’s temple in
"To leave no doubt the importance of those dream-messages, the king
reported that Marduk specifically inquired of him whether he had
seen the "Great Star, the planet of Marduk" - a direct reference to
Nibiru - and what other planets were in conjunction with it. When
the king reported that they were the "god 30" (the Moon,
celestial counterpart) and the "god 15" (Ishtar and her counterpart
Venus), he was told: "There are no evil portents in the
"But neither the people of Harran nor the people of
happy with this "co-regnum" of the gods, nor were the followers of
Ishtar "and the other gods." Sin, whose temple in
eventually restored demanded that his great temple in Ur should
become again a center of worship. Ishtar complained that her
golden cela in Uruk (Erech) must be reconstructed and that she be given
again a chariot drawn by seven lions. And, as one reads between the
lines of the king’s inscription, he was getting fed up with that tug
and pull by multiple gods and their priesthoods.
"In a text titled by scholars
Nabuna’id and the Clergy of Babylon
(on a tablet now in the British Museum), the priests of Marduk
presented a charge sheet, a list of accusations against Nabuna’id;
they ran from civil matters ("law and order are not promulgated by
him") through economic neglect ("the farmers are corrupted," "the
trader’s roads are blocked") and unsuccessful wars ("the nobles are
killed in war") to the most serious charges: religious sacrilege -
He made an image of a god
which nobody had seen before in the land;
He placed it in the temple,
raised it upon a pedestal . . .
With lapis lazuli he adorned it,
crowned it with a tiara . . .
"It was a statue of a strange deity - never seen before, the priests
stressed - with "hair reaching down to the pedestal." It was so
unusual or unseemly that not even Enki and Ninmah could have
conceived it, so strange that "not even the learned Adapa knows his
name." To make matters worse, two unusual beasts were sculpted as its
guardians: one representing the Deluge Demon and the other a
Bull. To add insult to sacrilege, the king placed this abomination
in the Esagil temple of Marduk and announced that the
Year) festival, which was central to the equating of Marduk, with
the celestial Nibiru, would no longer be celebrated.
"The priests announced for all to hear that "the protective deity of
Nabuna’id became hostile to him," that "the former favorite of the
gods was now fated to misfortune." And so Nabuna’id announced that
he was leaving Babylon "on an expedition to a distant region." He
named his son Bel-sharuzur ("Bel/Marduk protects the king" - the
Belshazzar of the Book of Daniel) as regent.
"His destination was
Arabia.... Some believe that Nabuna’id was
seeking the seclusion of the desert to contemplate monotheism....
The bulk of the evidence suggests, however, that he was propagating
the worship of Sin, the Moon god symbolized by the crescent - a
symbol adopted in time by the Arabian worshippers
"Whatever the religious beliefs
Nabuna’id was captivated by, they
were anathema by the priests of Babylon, And so, when the
rulers of Persia absorbed the kingdom of Medea and expanded into
Mesopotamia, Cyrus the king was welcomed in
Babylon not as a
conqueror but as a liberator. Wisely, he rushed to the Esagil temple
as soon as he entered the city and "held the hands of Marduk by both
"The year was 539 B.C.; it marked the
prophesied end of Babylonian
"One of his first acts was to issue a proclamation permitting
exiles to return to Juda and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The
edict, recorded on the Cylinder of Cyrus that is now kept in the
British Museum, corroborates the Biblical report, according to which
Cyrus "was charged to do so by Yahweh, the God of Heaven."
"The rebuilding of the Temple, under the leadership of
Nehemiah, was completed in 516 B.C. - seventy years after its
destruction, as had been prophecied by Jeremiah.
"The story of Babylon’s end is told in the Bible in one of its most
enigmatic books, the book of Daniel. Introducing Daniel as one of
the Judean exiles taken into Babylonian captivity, it relates how he
was selected, with three other friends, to serve in the court of
Nebuchadnezzar and how (as Joseph in Egypt) he was elevated to high
office after solving the king’s omen-dreams about future events.
"The book then moves to events at the time of Belshazzar, when,
during a great banquet, a hand floating by itself appeared and wrote
on the wall MENE MENE TEKEL UPHARSIN. Not one of the king’s seers
and wizards could decipher the inscription. As a last resort, Daniel
- now long retired - was called in. And Daniel explained the meaning
to the Babylonian king:
God has numbered the days of your kingdom:
you have been weighed and found wanting; your kingdom will come to
an end, divided between the Medes and the Persians.
"After that Daniel himself began to have omen-dreams and see visions
of the future in which the "Ancient of Days" and his archangels
played key roles. Baffled by his own dreams and visions, Daniel
asked the angels for explanations. In each instance they turned out
to be predictions of future events that went beyond the fall of
Babylon, even beyond the fulfillment of the seventy-year prophecy of
the rebuilding of the Temple. The rise and fall of the Persian
Empire was predicted, the coming of the Greeks under Alexander, the
split of his domains after his death, and what followed.
"Though many modern scholars - but not
Jewish sages of the Fathers
of the Christian Church - take those prophecies (only accurate in
part) as hindsight, indicating a much later author (or even several
authors), the central point of the dreams, visions, and omens
experienced by Daniel is a preoccupation with the question: When?
When will be the final kingdom, the only one that will survive and
"It will be one that only the followers of the God Most High, "The
ancient of Days," will live to see (even the dead among them, who
will rise). But over and over again, Daniel kept asking the
"In one instance the angel responded that a phase in the future
events, a time when an unholy king shall try to "change the times
and the laws," will last "a time, times, and half a time;" only
after that will "the kingdoms under heaven be given to the people,
the holy ones of the Most High."
"Another time the revealing angel said:
"Seventy weeks of years have
been decreed for your people and your city until the measure of
transgression is filled and prophetic vision ratified."
"One more time a divine emissary was asked by
until the end of these awful things?" He got again an enigmatic
answer: The fulfillment of all the prophecied things shall come
after "a time, times, and half a time."
""I heard and did not understand,"
Daniel wrote, "So I said, my
Lord, what will be the outcome of these things?
" Speaking still in
codes, the divine being answered,
"From the time the regular
offering is abolished and an appalling abomination is set up it will
be a thousand and two hundred and ninety years. Happy is the one who
waits and reaches one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days."
"As Daniel stood puzzled, the
Angel of God added:
You, Daniel, shall rest and arise
to your destiny at the End of Days . . .
But keep the words secret,
and seal the book until the End of Time.
"At the End of Time, when the nations of
Earth shall gather in
Jerusalem, they shall all speak "in a clear language," stated the
Prophet Zephaniah (whose very name meant "By Yahweh encoded") -
there will no longer be a need for confounded languages and letters
to be read backward and hidden encodings.
"And, as Daniel, we are still asking: