Origins of the Watchers, Egyptian sun god RA-el (Rayel) ~ Part 1

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Mesopotamian Scriptures

Ancient Mesopotamia is the area corresponding to modern-day Iraq and to a lesser extent northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and smaller parts of southwestern Iran. It is also known as the ‘land of rivers” because it is located in the area between the two rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates, which were already mentioned as early as in the book “Genesis” from the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), that is known as “Bereesjiet” in the Torah. Later, the Tanakh was adapted by Christianity in the Old Testament and therefore its content is, with the exception of a few passages from the Book of Daniel which had been written in Aramaic, hardly different from the original Old-Hebrew text. The books are ordered differently however.

Certain ancient Mesopotamian myths, including the myths of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians, have remarkable similarities with the stories of the Tanakh and the Old Testament. It is known that these ancient Mesopotamian stories are much older and sometimes even more detailled. For example: The story about the person Utnapistim from the Gilgamesh epic is very similar to the flood story that is mentioned in the book of Genesis in the Bible and the Tanakh. This would imply that, these “Bible stories”, probably would have their roots in those earlier myths – instead of a diversion, what often had been thought.

The Bible is essentially a compilation of ancient texts, selected by the early church fathers. Texts that people weren’t supposed to read, because they were not in accordance to the general Christian orthodox belief, were labeled as uncanonical and were purposely left out in the Bible, and this includes all works that were seen as apocryphal and Gnostic, like the “Book of Enoch”, even though the canonical text Genesis 5:24 makes a very shortly reference to this man called Enoch:

“Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”

The full version of the book of Enoch was once thought to be lost, but fortunately this book was later discovered again within the Ethiopian version of the Bible, where this book never had been excluded.

Mesopotamian Myths and the Elohim

Sumer (or Shin’Ar) was an ancient civilization and historical region situated in southern Mesopotamia and is by many considered the earliest known civilization in the world. The Sumerians called their land: “ki-en-gir”, which could be translated to: “land of the civilized lords”, or “native land”. According to modern archeology, it rose estimated between 4,500 and 4,001 BC, and it’s ultimate decline was around 1,700 BC with the rise of Babylonia under Hammurabi.

The original discovery of Sumerian civilization between the Tigris and Euphrates, by archaeologists in the 1870s, was due to the consideration of biblical scriptures about Shinar (a possible variant of the name “Shumer”). Shin”Ar or Sumer translates to “Land of the Watchers”.

Location of ancient Sumer.

The Sumerians had a flourishing culture and wrote all kinds of things like we would do today on clay tablets in cuneiform script, including: rules, laws, poetry, and stories (myths). These are currently the earliest recognized forms of writing. It is characterized by a composition of wedge-shaped formations and was used by the Sumerians, Akkadians (Assyrians/Babylonians) and Persians. In the 1760s, Karsten Biebuhr brought back bricks with cuniform from a dig in Egypt, Arabia, and Syria. In 1802, Georg Friedrich Grotefend, a German school teacher, was the first to decipher cuneiform.

The Old Testament originated from the Tanakh of Judaism and the first five books: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numeri and Deuteronomium, are known as the Torah. Certain Sumerian and Babylonian myths are quite similar to those ancient scriptures including the Tanakh and thus also the Old Testament of Christianity. However though, the Sumerian myths are known to be much older. This implifies that these stories from the book of Genesis probably originated from earlier Sumerian and Babylonian myths. That isn’t strange as – according to the Hebrew Bible – all Israelites were descended from Abraham, who was born in the Sumerian city of Ur, and later migrated with his family to Canaan (which is now roughly corresponding to modern-day Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and the western parts of Jordan and Syria.) This could mean that Abraham could have heard of these myths, possibly he was even grown up with it, which he later could have written down in the Torah; the first five books of the Tanakh.

From: “Myths of Enki, the Crafty God”, by Samuel Noah Kramer (world renowned Assyriologist and one of the foremost authorities on the ancient Sumerian language and literature) and John R. Maier:
“Sumerian literature contained a number of literary forms and themes found much later in the Bible… there are many parallels to Sumerian literature in biblical themes.” (- p.154)

For example, the story of Noah’s ark from the Book of Genesis, is quite similar to the Akkadian Epic of Atrahasis, and part of the story about Utnapistim in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh (which is essentially the same story from the Epic of Atrahasis with some minor differences).

For example, the story of Noah’s ark from the Book of Genesis, is quite similar to the Akkadian Epic of Atrahasis, and part of the story about Utnapistim in the Babylonian Epic of Gilgamesh (which is essentially the same story from the Epic of Atrahasis with some minor differences).

Even the texts side by side are similar:
“The gods smelled the savor” – Atrahasis III,v,34
“The gods smelled the sweet savor” -Gilgamesh XI, 160
“And the Lord smelled the sweet savor…” – Genesis 8:21

There also was another flood myth called: the tale of Ziusudra, who was the ruler of Shuruppak, which was written in Sumerian. The single fragmentary tablet containing the story was dated to the 17th century BC (Old Babylonian Empire), which makes it older than the Epic of Gilgamesh which was dated to c. 1,100 BC.

A remarkable difference between the modern Mespotamian myths and the Bible, is that in the Mesopotamian myths there is the mention of the word “gods” in place of the “LORD”. This is because the word “Elohim”, from the original ancient Hebrew text, had not been translated accurately enough.
In the modern Bible the ancient Hebrew word “Elohim” had been translated as the “LORD”, and in more recent versions and revisions, it was even translated as “God”. According to the original Jewish teachings, the word “Elohim” is plural and literally translates to “Godly beings”.

Genesis 1:26 even clearly mentions:

“God (Elohim) said: Let us make man in our own image.”

“The Creation of Man” by Michaelangelo (at the Sistine Chapel).

This message also echoes throughout Greek mythology, where it is stated that man was created in the image of the “gods”, and the section of the early Sumerian epic of creation: the “Enûma Eliš”, in which the “gods” did create mankind (ch. 6:4).

In his work: “Yad ha-Chazakah: Yesodei ha-Torah”, the medieval philospher Moses Maimonides (1135-1204) counts ten ranks of angels in the Jewish angelic hierarchy. Here the “Elohim” – translated as: “Godly beings” – are ranked at nr.7, below the “Malakhim” (messengers, angels) and above “Bene Elohim”: “Sons of Godly beings” (the “sons of God” who were mentioned in the Old Testament from the Bible). The hierarchy is described as following:

Chayot Ha Kodesh (“Holy Living Ones”)
Ophanim (“Wheels”)
Erelim (“Thrones / Brave Ones”)
Hashmallim (“Electric Ones / Glowing Ones / Amber Ones”)
Seraphim (“Burning Ones”)
Malakhim (“Messengers”)
Elohim (“Godly Beings”)
Bene Elohim (“Sons of Godly Beings / “Sons of God” in the Bible)
Cheribim (“Strong Ones”)
Ishim (“Men / Man-like beings, persons”)

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