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Enki bequeathed this knowledge and its symbol to his son Ningishzidda Fig. As we trace these double and triple meanings of Enki's The First Encounters 15 Figures 5a, 5b, 5c, and 5d epithets Serpent-copper-healing-genetics , it behooves us to recall the biblical tale of the plague that befell the Israelites during their wanderings in the Sinai wilderness: it stopped after Moses has made a "copper serpent" and held it up to summon divine help.

It is nothing short of mind-boggling to realize that this second Divine Encounter, when Humankind was given the ability to procreate, was also captured for us by ancient "pho- tographers" — artists who carved the scene in reverse on the small stone cylinders, images that were seen in positive after the seal was rolled on wet clay. But such depictions too, in addition to the ones depicting the creation of The Adam, have been found.

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One shows "Adam" and "Eve" seated, flanking a tree, and the serpent behind Eve Fig. He is flanked on the right by a male whose sprouting branches are penis- shaped, and on the left by a female whose branches are va- gina-shaped and who holds a small fruit tree presumably from the Tree of Knowing. Watching the goings-on is a menacing great god — in all probability an angry Enlil.

All these texts and depictions, augmenting the biblical narra- tive, have thus combined to paint a detailed picture, a course of events with identifiable principal participants, in the saga of Divine Encounters. Nevertheless, scholars by and large persist in lumping all such evidence as "mythology.

But what if such a Paradise, a place with deliberately planted fruit-bearing trees, had really existed at a time when everywhere else nature alone was the gardener? What if in The First Encounters 17 the earliest times there had been a place called "Eden," a real place whose events were real occurrences? Ask anyone where Adam was created, and the answer will in all probability be: In the Garden of Eden. But it is not there where the story of Humankind begins. The Mesopotamian tale, first recorded by the Sumerians, places the first phase at a location "above the Abzu" — far- ther north than where the gold mines were.

As several groups of "Mixed Ones" were brought forth and pressed into service for the purpose for which they were created — to take over the toil in the mines — the Anunnaki from the seven settlements in the E. DIN clamored for such helpers too. As those in south- eastern Africa resisted, a fight broke out. The text called The Myth of Cattle and Grain explicitly states that "when from the heights of Heaven to Earth Anu had caused the Anunnaki to come," grains that vegetate, lambs and kids were not yet brought forth. Even after the Anunnaki in their "creation chamber" had fashioned food for themselves, they were not satiated.

It was only After Anu, Enlil, Enki and Ninmah had fashioned the black-headed people, Vegetation that is fruitful they multiplied in the land In the Edin they placed them. The Bible, contrary to general assumptions, relates the same tale. As in the Enuma elish, the biblical sequence chap- ter 2 of Genesis is, first, the forming of the Heavens and of Earth; next, the creation of The Adam the Bible does not state where.

The Elohim then "planted a garden in Eden, eastward" of where the Adam was created ; and only there- after did the Elohim "put there" in the Garden of Eden "the Adam whom he had fashioned. Composed in Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple, it was known in those centuries as The Testament of Moses, because it began by answering the question, How could Humankind know about those early events that even preceded the creation of Hu- mankind? The name Book of Jubilees, applied to the work by its Greek translators, stems from the chronological structure of the book, which is based on a count of the years by "jubilees" whose years are called "days" and "weeks.

The Book of Jubilees, dealing with the expulsion from Eden later on, provides another morsel of valuable informa- tion. It informs us that "Adam and his wife went forth from the Garden of Eden, and they dwelt in the Land of Nativity, the land of their creation. Only there, in the second Jubilee, did Adam "know" his wife Eve and "in the third week in the second jubilee she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth she gave birth to a daughter, Awan.

Such a sequence of events, that places the start of Hu- mankind's proliferation from a single primordial mother not in the Mesopotamian Eden but back in the Abzu, in south- The First Encounters 19 eastern Africa, is now fully corroborated by scientific discov- eries that have led to the "Out of Africa" theories regarding the origin and spread of Humankind.

Not only finds of fossil remains of the earliest hominids, but also genetic evidence concerning the final line of Homo sapiens, confirms southeast Africa as the place where Humankind originated. And as to Homo sapiens, anthropological and genetic researchers have placed an "Eve" — a single female of whom all of present day humans stem — in the same area at about , years ago. This finding, at first based on DNA that is passed only by the mother, has been corroborated in by genetic research based on Nuclear DNA that is passed from both parents and expanded in to include an "Adam" circa , years ago.

It was from there that the various branches of Homo sapiens Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons later arrived in Asia and Europe. That the biblical Eden was one and the same place settled by the Anunnaki and the one to which they brought over Primitive Workers from the Abzu, is almost self-evident lin- guistically. The name Eden, hardly anyone now doubts, stemmed from the Sumerian E. Moreover, in describing the profusion of waters in that Paradise an impressive aspect for readers in a part of the Near East wholly dependent on rains in a short winter season , the Bible offered several geographical indicators that also pointed to Mesopotamia; it stated that the Garden of Eden was located at the head of a body of water mat served as the confluence of four rivers: And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; And from there it was parted and became four principal streams.

The name of the first is Pishon, the one which winds through the land of Havilah, where the gold is — the land whose gold is good — there [too] is the bdellium and onyx stone. And the name of the third river is Hiddekel, the one that flows east of Assyria. And the fourth is the Prath. Clearly, two of the Rivers of Paradise, the Hiddekel and the Prath, are the two major rivers of Mesopotamia that gave the land its name, which means "The Land Between the Rivers" , the Tigris and Euphrates as they are called in English.

There is complete agreement between all scholars that the biblical names for these two rivers stem from their Sumerian names via the intermediary Akkadian : Idilbat and Purannu. Though the two rivers take separate courses, at some points almost coining together, at others separating substantially, they both originate in the mountains of Anatolia, north of Mesopotamia; and since this is where the headwaters are as riverine science holds, scholars have been searching for the other two rivers at that "headpoint.

The search, therefore, spread to more distant lands. A favorable guess for Pishon possi- bly "The one who had come to rest" has been the Indus River, equating therefore Havilah with the Indian subconti- nent, or even with landlocked Luristan. The problem with such suggestions is that neither the Nile nor the Indus con- fluates with the Tigris and Euphrates of Mesopotamia.

The names Kush and Havilah are found in the Bible more than once, both as geographical terms and as names of nation- states. They were all nation-lands which various biblical passages linked with the tribes of Ishmael, the son of Abraham by the handmaiden Hagar, and there is no doubt that their domains were in Arabia. These traditions have been The First Encounters 21 corroborated by modern researchers that have identified the tribal locations throughout Arabia.

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Even the name Hagar was found to be the name of an ancient city in eastern Arabia. An updated study by E. Knauf Ismael, conclusively deciphered the name Havilah as the Hebrew for "Sand Land," and identified it as the geographic name for south- ern Arabia. The problem with such convincing conclusions has been that no river in Arabia could qualify as the biblical river Pishon, if for no other reason than the simple fact that the whole of Arabia is arid, a huge desert land.

Could the Bible be so wrong? Could the whole tale of the Garden of Eden, and thus of the events and Divine Encoun- ters in it, be just a myth? Starting with a firm belief in the veracity of the Bible, the following question came to our mind: Why does the biblical narrative go to relatively great lengths to describe the geogra- phy and mineralogy of the land Havilah where the Pishon was; list the land and describe the circular course of the Gihon River; merely identify the location "east of Assyria" of the Hiddekel; and just name the fourth river, Prath, without any additional identifying landmarks?

Why this descending order of information? The answer that had occurred to us was that while there was no need whatsoever to tell the reader of Genesis where the Euphrates was, and a mere mention of Assyria was enough to identify the Tigris Hiddekel River, it was neces- sary to explain that the Gihon — evidently, a lesser-known river by then — was the river that encompassed the land of Kush; and that the apparently totally unknown river Pishon was in a land called Havilah, which, devoid of landmarks, was identified by the products that came from it.

These thoughts began to make sense when, in the late s, it was announced that scanning of the Sahara desert in North Africa, in western Egypt with soil-penetrating radar from Earth-orbiting satellites and with other instruments aboard the space shuttle Columbia, revealed under layers of desert sand dry beds of rivers that once flowed in this region. The discovery in the Sahara desert made us wonder: Could the same have happened in the Arabian desert?

Could it be that when the version in chapter 2 of Genesis was written — obviously at a time when Assyria was already known — the Pishon River had entirely vanished under the sands as the climate changed in past millennia? Confirmation of the validity of this line of reasoning took place quite dramatically in March It was an announce- ment by Farouk El-Baz, director of the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University, concerning the discovery of a lost river under the sands of the Arabian peninsula — a river that flowed for more than miles from the mountains of western Arabia all the way eastward to the Persian Gulf.

There it formed a delta that covered much of today's Kuwait and reached as far as the present-day city of Basra, merg- ing — "confluing" — there with the Tigris and Euphrates riv- ers. It was a river that was about fifty feet deep throughout its entire length and more than three miles wide at some points. After the last Ice Age, between 11, and 6, years ago, the Boston University study concluded, the Arabian cli- mate was wet and rainy enough to support such a river.

But some 5, years ago the river dried up because of climatic changes that resulted in the aridity and desertlike conditions in the peninsula. In time, wind-driven sand dunes covered the river's channel, obliterating all evidence of the once- mighty river. High-resolution imaging by Landsat satellites, however, revealed that the dune patterns changed as the sand crossed a line that extended for hundreds of miles, a line that ended in mystifying deposits of gravel in Kuwait and near Basra — gravel of rocks that came from the Hijaz Mountains in western Arabia. Ground-level inspections then confirmed the existence of the ancient river Fig.

El-Baz has given the lost river the name Kuwait River.

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We suggest that it was called Pishon in antiquity, cutting across the Arabian peninsula that indeed was an ancient source of gold and precious stones. And what about the river Gihon, "the one that meanders in all of the land of Kush"? It was the homeland of the Kushshu people, the Akkadian name for the Kassites, who in the second millennium B. The ancient name was retained as Kushan for the district of Susa the "Shushan" of the biblical Book of Esther well into Persian and even Roman times.

There are several noteworthy rivers in that part of the Zagros Mountains, but they have not caught the attention of scholars because none of them share headwaters with the Tigris and Euphrates which begin hundreds of miles to the northeast. Here, however, another thought came into play: Could the ancients have spoken of rivers that join together not at their headwaters, but at their confluence into the Per- sian Gulf? If so, the Gihon — the fourth river of Eden — would have been a river that joins the Tigris, the Euphrates, and the newly discovered "Kuwait River" at the head of the Persian Gulf!

It is the Karun River, which is indeed the major river of the ancient land of Kushshu. Some five hundred miles in length, it forms an unusual loop, start- ing its tortuous flow in the Zardeh-Kuh range in what is now southwestern Iran. Instead of flowing down south to the Per- sian Gulf, it flows "upward" as one looks at a modern map in a northwesterly direction, through deep gorges.

Then it makes a loop and begins to flow southward in a zigzagging course as it leaves the high mountains of the Zagros range and starts a descent toward the gulf. Finally, in its last hun- dred miles or so, it mellows and meanders gently toward a confluence with none other than the Tigris and Euphrates in the marshy delta they form at the head of the Persian Gulf the so-called Shatt-el-Arab, nowadays contested between Iran and Iraq. The location, the circular course, the gushing, the conflu- ence with the other three rivers at the head of the Persian Gulf, all suggest to us that the Karun River could well be the biblical river Gihon that circled the land of Kush.

Such an identification, combined with the space-age discoveries of the major river in Arabia, by so delineating and identifying the location of the Garden of Eden in southern Mesopotamia, confirm the physical existence of such a place and form a sound foundation of fact, not myth, under the related tales of Divine Encounters. Confirmation of southern Mesopotamia, ancient Sumer, as the E. DIN, the original biblical Eden, does more than create a geographic congruency between the Sumerian texts and the biblical narrative. It also identifies the group with whom Hu- mankind had Divine Encounters.

The E. Their full title was DIN. GIR, meaning "The Righteous Ones of the Rocketships," and was written pictographically as a two- stage rocket whose command module could separate for land- ing Fig. As the script evolved from pictographic to the wedgelike cuneiform, the pictograph was replaced by a star symbol meaning "Heavenly Ones"; later on, in Assyria and Babylon, the symbol was simplified to crossed wedges Fig. It was to them that the feat of creating The Adam was attributed, and it was their diverse and often antagonistic leaders — Enki, Enlil, Ninmah — who were the "us" whom the first Homo sapiens first encountered.

The explusion from the Garden of Eden brought to an end the first chapter in this relationship. For thou art earthdust and unto earthdust thou shall return.

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But that is not how Humankind saw its destiny. It strives to join them in their celestial abode, to gain their immortality. To do so, the ancient texts tell us, Man has continued to seek Divine Encounters without weapons-bearing Cherubim blocking the way. Until a few decades ago modern scholars held that human speech began with Cro-Magnon Man some 35, years ago and that languages developed locally among diverse clans no more than 8, to 12, years ago. This is not the biblical view according to which Adam and Eve conversed in an understandable language, and that prior to the Tower of Babel incident "the whole Earth was of one language and one kind of words.

Later fossil discoveries in Israel revealed that 60, years ago Neanderthals could already speak as we do. The conclusion that there indeed had been a single Mother Tongue some , years ago has been con- firmed in mid by updated studies at the University of California at Berkeley. The advances in genetic research, now applied to speech and language, suggest that these abilities, distinguishing hu- mans from apes, are of a genetic origin. Genetic studies indicate that there indeed had been an "Eve," a sole mother of us all-and that she appeared ,, years ago with "the gift of gab. Perhaps, but probably not: Hebrew stems from Akkadian the first "Se- mitic" language that was preceded by Sumerian.

Was it then Sumerian, the language of the people who had settled in Shine'ar? But that was only after the Deluge, whereas Meso- potamian texts refer to a pre-Diluvial language. Anthropologist Kathleen Gibson of the University of Texas at Houston believes that humans acquired language and mathematics at the same time. Was the First Language that of the Anunnaki themselves, taught to Mankind as all other knowledge? Were it to be final, the records of Divine Encounters would have ended right then and there.

Instead, the Expulsion was only the start of a new phase in that relationship that can be characterized as hide-and-seek, in which direct encounters become rare and visions or dreams become divine devices. The beginning of this post-Paradise relationship was far from auspicious; it was, in fact, a most tragic one. Uninten- tionally it brought about the emergence of new humans, Homo sapiens sapiens. And as it turned out, both the tragedy and its unexpected consequence planted the seeds of divine disillusionment with Humankind. It was not the Expulsion from Paradise, such a cherished topic for preachings on the "Fall of Man," that was at me root of the plan to let the Deluge wipe Humankind off the face of the Earth.

Rather, it was the incredible act of fratri- cide: When all of humanity consisted of four Adam, Eve, Cain, and Abel , one brother killed the other! And what was it all about? It was about Divine Encoun- ters The story as told in the Bible begins almost as an idyll: And the Adam knew Eve his wife and she conceived and gave birth to Cain; and she said: "Alongside Yahweh a man I brought to be.

And Abel became a shepherd of flocks and Cain a tiller of the land. Thus, in just two verses, does the Bible introduce the reader to the entirely new phase of human experience and sets the stage for the next Divine Encounter. In spite of the seeming break between God and Man, Yahweh is still watch- ing over Humankind. Somehow — the Bible does not elaborate how — grains and cattle have been domesticated, with Cain becoming a farmer and Abel a shepherd.

The brothers' first act is to offer the first fruits and yearlings to Yahweh in gratitude. The act implies a recognition that it was thanks to the deity that the two ways of obtaining food became feasible. The privilege of a Divine Encounter was expected; but — Yahweh paid heed unto Abel and his offering; unto Cain and his offering He paid no heed. So Cain was very resentful and his countenance was sullen.

Perhaps alarmed by this development, the deity speaks, directly, to Cain, trying to dissipate his anger and disappoint- ment. But to no avail; when the two brothers were alone in the field, "Cain came upon his brother Abel and killed him. Recog- nizing the magnitude of his crime, Cain is afraid of being killed by unnamed avengers.

The Bible does not say, and countless guesses are just that — guesses. Our own guess in The Lost Realms was that the mark might have been a genetic change, such as depriving the line of Cain of facial hair — a mark that would be immediately obvious to whoever shall find them. Since this is a mark of recognition of Amer- indians, we have suggested that since Cain "went away from When Paradise Was Lost 31 the presence of Yahweh and resided in the Land of Nod, east of Eden," his wanderings took him and his offspring farther into Asia and the Far East, in time crossing the Pacific to settle in Mesoamerica.

When his wanderings ended, Cain had a son whom he named Enoch and built a city "called by the name of his son. Since they prefixed many names by the sound "T," the city could have really been named after Enoch. Whatever the destination of Cain or the nature of the mark were, it is clear that this final act in the Cain-Abel drama required a direct Divine Encounter, a close contact between the deity and Cain so that the "mark" could be emplaced.

This, as the unfolding record of the relationship between Man and God will show, was a rare occurrence after the Expulsion from Paradise. According to Genesis it was not until the seventh pre -Diluvial Patriarch in a line that began with Adam and ended with Noah that the Elohim engaged in a direct Divine Encounter; it had to do with Enoch, who at age a number of years paralleling the number of days in a year "walked with the Elohim" and then was gone "for the Elohim had taken him" to join them in their abode.

But if God so rarely revealed himself, yet Humankind — according to the Bible — continued to "hear" him, what were the channels of indirect encounters? To find answers regarding those early times, we have to fish for information in the extra-biblical books, of which the Book of Jubilees is one.

Called by scholars Pseudepjgrapha of the Old Testament, they include the Book of Adam and Eve that survived in several translated versions ranging from Arme- nian and Slavonic to Syriac, Arabic, and Ethiopic but not the original Hebrew. According to this source, the slaying of Abel by Cain was foretold to Eve in a dream in which she saw "the blood of Abel being poured into the mouth of Cain his brother.

Again Eve had such a dream this time the text calls it "a vision". And so it was that when Adam fell sick and was close to death, he revealed to Seth "what I heard and saw after your mother and 1 had been driven out of paradise:" There came to me Michael the archangel, an emissary of God.

And I saw a chariot like the wind, and its wheels were as on fire. And I was carried up unto the Paradise of the Righteous Ones and I saw the Lord sitting; But his face was a flaming fire that could not be endured. Though he could not face the awesome sight, he could hear God's voice telling him that because he had transgressed in the Garden of Eden, he was fated to die.

Then the archan- gel Michael took Adam away from the vision of Paradise and brought him back to whence he had come. Concluding the account, Adam admonished Seth to avoid sin and to be righteous and to follow God's commandments and statutes that will be delivered to Seth and his descendants when "the Lord shall appear in a flame of fire.

They took the dying Adam and carried him to the "region of Paradise," and there sat at the Gates of Paradise until Adam's soul departed from his body. They sat bewildered, mourning and crying. Then the Sun and Moon and the stars darkened, "the heavens opened," and Eve saw celestial visions. Raising her eyes she saw "coming from the heavens a chariot of light, borne by four bright eagles.

And she heard the Lord instruct When Paradise Was Lost 33 the angels Michael and Uriel to bring linen cloths and shroud Adam as well as Abel who has not yet been buried ; so were Adam and Abel consecrated for burial. Then the two of them were carried by the angels and buried, "according to the commandment of God, in the place where the Lord obtained the soildust" for the creation of Adam. There is a wealth of pertinent information in this tale. It establishes prophetic dreams as a channel for divine revela- tions, a Divine Encounter through telepathic or other subcon- scious means.

It introduces into the realm of Divine Encounters an intermediary: an "angel," a term known from the Hebrew Bible whose literal meaning was "emissary, mes- senger. Since the Book of Adam and Eve, as the other Pseudepi- graphic books, was written in the last centuries before the Christian era, one could of course argue that its information regarding dreams and visions could have been based on knowledge or beliefs from a much closer time to the writers than the pre-Diluvial events.

In the case of prophetic dreams of which more later such a throwback in time would only serve to reinforce the fact that such dreams have indeed been deemed an undisputed channel between the deities and hu- mans throughout recorded history. In regard to visions of divine chariots, one could also argue that what the author of the Book of Adam and Eve had attributed to prehistoric, pre-Diluvial times also reflected much later events, such as Ezekiel's vision of the Divine Chariot at the end of the seventh century B.

C , as well as familiarity with extensive references to such aerial vehicles in Mesopotamian and Egyptian texts. But in this matter, visions or sightings of what we nowadays call UFOs, there exists actual, physical evi- dence of such sightings from the days before the Deluge — pictorial evidence whose authenticity is undeniable.

We are talking about actual depictions — drawing, paintings — from an era preceding the Deluge that had occurred, by our calcu- lations, some 13, years ago , and preceding it not by a short time but by thousands and tens of thousands of years! The existence of pictorial depictions from that far back in prehistory is no secret. What is virtually a secret is the fact that besides animals, and some human figures, those drawings and paintings also depicted what we nowadays call UFOs.

Such "decorated caves" as scholars call them have been found especially in the southwest of France and the north of Spain. More than seventy such decorated caves have been found one, whose entrance is now under the waters of the Mediterranean sea, as recently as ; there. Stone Age artists used the cave walls as giant canvases, sometimes tal- entedly using the natural contours and protrusions of the walls to attain tridimensional effects. Sometimes using sharp stones to engrave the images, sometimes clay to mold and shape, but mostly a limited assortment of pigments — black, red, yel- low, and a dull brown — they created astoundingly beautiful works of art.

Occasionally depicting humans as hunters, and sometimes their hunting weapons arrows, lances , the depic- tions by and large are those of Ice Age animals: bison, rein- deer, ibexes, horses, oxen, cows, felines, and here and there also fish and birds Fig. The drawings, engravings, and paintings are sometimes life-size, always naturalistic. There is no doubt that the anonymous artists painted what they had actually seen. Timewise they span millennia, from about 30, to 13, years ago. In many instances the more complex, more vividly colored, more lifelike depictions are in the deeper parts of the caves, which were, of course, also the darkest parts.

What means the artists used to light the inner recesses of the caves so that they could paint, no one knows, for no remains of charcoal or torches or the like have been found. Nor, to judge by the absence of remains, were these caves habitats. Many scholars, therefore, tend to view these decorated caves as shrines, When Paradise Was Lost 35 Figure 9 where the art expressed a primitive religion — an appeal to the gods, by painting the animals and hunting scenes, to make forthcoming hunting expeditions successful.

The inclination to view the Cave Art as religious art also stems from the plastic finds. These consist mainly of "Venus" figurines — statuettes of females known as the Wil- lendorf Venus Fig. The discovery of another "Venus" at Laussel in France, dating to the same period, reinforces the deity rather than the human identification, because the female is holding in her right hand the symbol of a crescent Fig. Although some suggest that she is merely holding a bison's horn, the symbol- ism of a celestial connection here with the Moon is inescap- able, no matter of what material the crescent was made.

Many researchers e. Johannes Maringer in The Gods of Prehistoric Man believe that "it appears highly probable that the female figurines were idols of a 'great mother' cult, prac- ticed by non-nomadic Upper Stone Age mammoth hunters. One of the nick- names of Ninmah, who had assisted Enki in the creation of Man, was Mammi; mere is no doubt that it was the origin of the word for "mother" in almost all the languages.

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  • Here, we believe, come into play another type of drawings found in the Stone Age caves. If they are mentioned at all which is rarely , they are referred to as "markings. These "mark- ings" depict well-defined shapes — shapes of objects that, nowadays, are referred to as UFOs. The best way to make the point is to reproduce these "markings. These are by no means all of the illustrations of this kind, but the ones that, in our view, are the most obvious Stone Age depictions of celestial chariots.

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    Since all the other depictions in the dec- orated caves are of animals, etc. If the depictions are of flying objects, then the artists must have actually seen them. Reading the biblical and extra-biblical records in the light of Sumerian sources will add greatly to our understanding of those prehistoric events. We have already examined such sources in respect to the tale of the creation of The Adam and of Eve and the Garden of Eden.

    Let us now examine the Cain-Abel tragedy. Why did the two feel obliged to offer the first fruits or yearlings to Yahweh, why did he pay heed only to the offering of Abel, the shepherd, and why did the Lord then rush to appease Cain by promising him that he, Cain, would rule over Abel? The answers lie in a realization that, as in the tale of creation, the biblical version compresses more than one Sum- erian deity into a single, monotheistic one. Sumerian texts include two that deal with disputes and conflicts between farming and shepherding.

    They both hold the key to an understanding of what had happened by going back to a time before the domestication of either grains or cattle, a "time when grains had not yet been brought forth, had not yet vegetated. LU — "civi- lized Mankind" — the knowledge of and tools for "the tilling of the land" and the "keeping of sheep"; not, however, for the sake of Mankind but "for the sake of the gods," to assure their satiation. The task of bringing forth the two forms of domestication fell to Enki and Enlil. They went to the DU.

    KU, the "purifi- cation place," the "creation chamber of the gods," and brought forth Lahar "woolly cattle" and Anshan "grains". After an initial idyllic period, Lahar and Anshan began to quarrel. A text named by scholars The Myth of Cattle and Grain reveals that in spite of the effort to separate the two by "establishing a house," a settled way of life, for Anshan the farmer and putting up sheepfolds in the grazing lands for Lahar the shepherd , and in spite of the abundant crops and bountiful sheepfolds, the two began to quarrel. The quar- rel began as the two offered those abundances to the "store- house of the gods.

    But the argu- ment became so volatile, that both Enlil and Enki had to intervene. According to the Sumerian text, they declared An- shan — the farmer — the more surpassing. More explicit in its choice between the two food producers and two ways of life is a text known as The Dispute Between Emesh an Enten, in which the two come to Enlil for a deci- sion as to who of them is the more important.

    Emesh is the one who "made wide stalls and sheepfolds"; Enten, who dug canals to water the lands, asserts that he is the "farmer of the gods. But Enlil rejects the pleas of Emesh, even reprimands him: "How could you compare yourself to your brother Enten! Emesh accepts the decision, The exalted word of Enlil, whose meaning is profound; A verdict that is unalterable, no one dares transgress it! And so, "in the dispute between Emesh and Enten, Enten, the faithful farmer of the gods, having proved himself the winner, Emesh his knee bent before Enten, offered him a prayer," and gave him many presents.

    It is noteworthy that in the above -quoted lines Enlil calls Emesh a brother of Enten — the same relationship as that be- tween Cain and Abel. This and other similarities between the Sumerian and biblical tales indicate that the former were the inspiration for the latter.

    The preference of the farmer over the shepherd by Enlil can be traced to the fact that he was the one to introduce farming while Enki accounted for the domestication of livestock. Scholars tend to translate the Sumerian names as "winter" for Enten and "summer" for Emesh. Strictly speaking EN. TEN meant "Lord of Resting," the time after the harvests and thus the winter season, without a clear affinity to a specific deity. All in all, there can be little doubt that the Cain-Abel rivalry reflected a rivalry between the two divine brothers. It flared up from time to time, as when Enlil arrived on Earth to take over command from Enki who was relegated to the When Paradise Was Lost 41 Abzu , and on subsequent occasions.

    Its roots, however, went back to Nibiru, their home planet. Both were the sons of Anu, Nibiru's ruler. Enki was the firstborn, and thus the natu- ral heir to the throne. But Enlil, though born later, was born by the official spouse of Anu and presumably a half sister of his — a fact that made Enlil the legal heir to the throne. Birthright clashed with succession rules; and though Enki accepted the outcome, the rivalry and anger often burst into the open. A question rarely asked is, where did Cain obtain the very notion of killing? In the Garden of Eden Adam and Eve were vegetarians, eating only fruits of the trees.

    No animal was slaughtered by them. Away from the Garden there were only four humans, none of whom has yet died and certainly not as a result of foul play. In such circumstances, what made Cain "come upon his brother Abel and kill him"? The answer, it seems, lies not among men but among the gods. All things around us must be made to be helps to growth in grace and the knowledge of Christ.

    Satan, the great rebel, is ever seeking to entice us to sin against God. He will introduce false imaginings, and sway the understanding against the revealed will of God, the lower passions against purity and self-denial, the independent judgement against God's decisions, the wisdom from beneath against the wisdom from above.

    But the Holy Spirit has come into the world to subdue all things unto himself, and shall God's will be put in the background, and man's will be held as supreme? Can man's will be the controlling power in God's great contest for the recovery of his own? The truth must no longer be kept in the outer court, but be brought into the inner sanctuary of the soul. The religion of Christ requires not only the putting away of pride, malice, covetousness, injustice, but the cultivation of the precious graces of humility, unselfishness, kindness, love, generosity, and nobility of soul.

    The Christian should be constantly aspiring, pressing on from grace to grace, from faith to a greater faith, from glory to a greater glory. The children learn lessons that are not easily unlearned. Whenever they are subjected to unaccustomed restraint or required to apply themselves to hard study, they appeal to their injudicious parents for sympathy and indulgence.

    Thus a spirit of unrest and discontent is encouraged, the school as a whole suffers from the demoralising influence, and the teacher's burden is rendered much heavier. But the greatest loss is sustained by the victims of parental mismanagement. Defects of character which a right training would have corrected are left to strengthen with years, to mar and perhaps destroy the usefulness of their possessor.

    RH MAR 21, As the members of the body of Christ approach the period of their last conflict, "the time of Jacob's trouble," they will grow up into Christ, and will partake largely of his Spirit. As the third message swells to a loud cry, and as great power and glory attends the closing work, the faithful people of God will partake of that glory.

    It is the latter rain which revives and strengthens them to pass through the time of trouble. Their faces will shine with the glory of that light which attends the third angel. RH MAY 27, If we would develop a character which God can accept, we must form correct habits in our religious life. Daily prayer is as essential to growth in grace, and even to spiritual life itself, as is temporal food to physical well-being. We should accustom ourselves to lift the thoughts often to God in prayer. If the mind wanders, we must bring it back; by persevering effort, habit will finally make it easy.

    We cannot for one moment separate ourselves from Christ with safety. We may have His presence to attend us at every step, but only by observing the conditions which He Himself has laid down. RH MAY 3, The obstacles, provocations, and hardships that we meet, may prove to us, not a curse, but the greatest blessing of our lives; for the grandest characters are built amid hardships and trials. But they must be received as practical lessons in the school of Christ.

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    • Every temptation resisted, every trial bravely borne, gives us a new experience, and advances us in the work of character-building. We have a better knowledge of the working of Satan, and of our own power to defeat him through divine grace It is our privilege to walk in the sunshine of his presence, and weave into the characters we are forming the golden threads of cheerfulness, gratitude, forbearance, and love. We may thus show the power of divine grace, and reflect light from Heaven amid all the frets and irritations that come to day by day God calls upon us to come into harmony with the divine pattern.

      He calls upon us, while it is called Today [Heb. As His Spirit works with your spirit, there will be manifest a saving grace by which we shall be deeply convicted of the wonderful transformation that is taking place in your character. Others will notice it, and be influenced thereby. SAT Thoroughness is necessary to success in the work of character building. There must be an earnest purpose to carry out the plan of the Master Builder. The timbers must be solid. No careless, unreliable work can be accepted, for this would ruin the building.

      The powers of the whole being are to be put into the work. It demands the strength and energy of manhood; there is no reserve to be wasted in unimportant matters. There must be earnest, careful, persevering effort to break away from the customs, maxims, and associations of the world. Deep thought, earnest purpose, steadfast integrity, are essential. SPTED It is very delicate work to deal with human minds.

      The discipline necessary for one would crush another; therefore let parents study the characters of their children. Never be abrupt and act from impulse. I have seen a mother snatch something from the hand of her child which was giving it special pleasure, and the child would not understand what to make of the deprivation.

      The little one burst forth into a cry, for it felt abused and injured. Then the parent, to stop its crying, gave it a sharp chastisement, and as far as outward appearances were concerned, the battle was over. But that battle left its impression on the tender mind of the child, and it could not be easily effaced. I said to the mother, "You have deeply wronged your child. You have hurt its soul and lost its confidence in you. How this will be restored I know not. This mother was very unwise; she followed her feelings and did not move cautiously, reasoning from cause to effect.

      Her harsh, injudicious management stirred up the worst passions in the heart of her child. To act from impulse in governing a family is the very worst of policy. When parents contend with their children in such a way, it is a most unequal struggle that ensues.

      Character Development

      How unjust it is to put years and maturity of strength against a helpless, ignorant little child! Every exhibition of anger on the part of the parents confirms rebellion in the heart of the child. It is not through one act that the character is formed, but by a repetition of acts that habits are established and character confirmed. To have a Christlike character it is necessary to act in a Christlike way. Christians will exhibit a holy temper, and their actions and impulses will be prompted by the Holy Spirit. ST AUG 6, The conflicts of earth, in the providence of God, furnish the very training necessary to develop characters fit for the courts of Heaven.

      We are to become members of the royal family, the sons of God, and "all things work together for good to those who love God," and submit themselves to his will. Our God is an ever-present help in every time of need. He is perfectly acquainted with the most secret thoughts of our heart, with all the intents and purposes of our souls. When we are in perplexity, even before we open to him our distress, he is making arrangements for our deliverance. Our sorrow is not unnoticed.

      He always knows much better than we do, just what is necessary for the good of his children, and he leads us as we would choose to be led if we could discern our own hearts and see our necessities and perils, as God sees them. But finite beings seldom know themselves. They do not understand their own weaknesses, and when reproof comes, and cautions are given, when they are rebuked, or even advised, they think that they are misjudged and unjustly treated.

      God knows them better than they know themselves, and he understands how to lead them. But when he undertakes to guide them in ways which seem mysterious to them, because of their blindness and lack of faith, they rebel, and bring upon themselves unnecessary grief and trouble. They have prayed to the Lord for light and guidance, and the Lord answered them as he did Jacob, and, like Jacob, they do not discern that it is the hand of the Lord leading them in a way contrary to their own choosing.

      If we will trust him, and commit our ways to him, he will direct our steps in the very path that will result in our obtaining the victory over every evil passion, and every trait of character that is unlike the character of our divine Pattern. ST MAY 25, The case of Daniel may be studied with profit by all who desire perfection of character. He and his companions were sincere, faithful Christians.

      To them the will of God was the supreme law of life. They knew that in order to glorify God all their faculties must be developed, and they sought to gain knowledge, that they might perfect a Christian character, and stand in that heathen nation as fitting representatives of the true religion.

      In order to preserve health, they resolved to avoid the luxuries of the king's table, they refused to partake of any stimulating drink, but practised strict temperance in all things, that they might not enfeeble brain or muscle. They exerted all their powers to work out their own salvation, and God worked in them to will and to do of his good pleasure. Under his training, their faculties were able to do the highest service for him When Nebuchadnezzar's golden image was set up Daniel's three companions were commanded to fall down and worship it; but their principles forbade them to pay homage to the idol, for it was a rival to the God of heaven.

      They knew that they owed every faculty they possessed to God, and while their hearts were full of generous sympathy toward all men, they had a lofty aspiration to prove themselves entirely loyal to their God The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and all who live in communion with their Creator, will have an understanding of his design in their creation, and a sense of their own obligation to employ their faculties to the very best purpose.

      They will seek neither to glorify nor to depreciate themselves, but they will glorify God; for the man who consents to be moulded and fashioned after the divine similitude, is the noblest specimen of the work of God He has given his Holy Spirit as a power sufficient to overcome all man's hereditary and cultivated tendencies to wrong. By yielding his capabilities to the control of this Spirit, man will be impressed with God's perfect character, and will become an instrument through which he can reveal his mercy, his goodness, and his love.

      In the attainment of a perfect Christian character, the culture of the intellect is necessary, in order that we may understand the revelation of the will of God to us. This cannot be neglected by those who are obedient to God's commandments. In our intellectual faculties, we possess God's endowment. These faculties were not given us for the service of self, but for the service of God; and they are to be treated as a higher power, to rule the things of the body. They are derived from God, not self-created, and should be consecrated to his work.

      ST NOV. By the thoughts and feelings cherished in early years, every youth is determining his own life history. Correct, virtuous, manly habits formed in youth will become a part of the character and will usually mark the course of the individual through life. The youth may become vicious or virtuous, as they choose. They may as well be distinguished for true and noble deeds as for great crime and wickedness. ST OCT 11, Many are longing to grow in grace; they pray over the matter, and are surprised that their prayers are not answered.

      The Master has given them a work to do whereby they shall grow. Of what value is it to pray when there is need of work? The question is, Are they seeking to save souls for whom Christ died? Spiritual growth depends upon giving to others the light that God has given to you. You are to put forth your best thoughts in active labour to do good, and only good, in your family, in your church, and in your neighbourhood. In place of growing anxious with the thought that you are not growing in grace, just do every duty that presents itself, carry the burden of souls on your heart, and by every conceivable means seek to save the lost.

      Be kind, be courteous, be pitiful; speak in humility of the blessed hope; talk of the love of Jesus; tell of his goodness, his mercy, and his righteousness; and cease to worry as to whether or not you are growing. Plants do not grow through any conscious effort. Jesus said, "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin. The children of God are to cease worrying, cease looking at themselves; they are to take an earnest interest in others, and seek to lead the feet of the straying in the narrow path cast up for the ransomed of the Lord to walk in.

      In this kind of work they will gain breadth of thought, tact, and skill. They will realise that they are to become agencies through which God will convey the truth to other minds, and that they are never to be left alone in their efforts; for heavenly angels will work with them, and impress the hearts of those who hear.

      Returning From Heaven: the Near Death Experience Part 2

      YI FEB. Thoroughness is necessary to success in character building. There must be an earnest desire to carry out the plans of the Master Builder. The timbers used must be solid; no careless, unreliable work can be accepted; it would ruin the building. The whole being is to be put into this work. It demands strength and energy; there is no reserve to be wasted in unimportant matters. There must be determined human force put into the work, in co-operation with the divine Worker.

      Peter says, "Add to your faith virtue; and to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, temperance; and to temperance, patience; and to patience, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, charity" 2 Peter All these successive steps are not to be kept before the mind's eye and counted as you start; but fixing the eye upon Jesus, with an eye single to the glory of God, you will make advancement. You cannot reach the full measure of the stature of Christ in a day, and you would sink in despair could you behold all the difficulties that must be met and overcome.

      You have Satan to contend with, and he will seek by every possible device to attract your mind from Christ. YI JAN 5, We must meet all obstacles placed in our way and overcome them one at a time. If we overcome the first difficulty, we shall be stronger to meet the next, and at every effort will become better able to make advancement. By looking to Jesus we may be overcomers.

      It is by fastening our eyes on the difficulties and shrinking from earnest battle for the right that we become weak and faithless. By taking one step after another, the highest ascent may be climbed and the summit of the mount may be reached at last. Do not become overwhelmed with the great amount of work you must do in your lifetime, for you are not required to do it all at once. Let every power of your being go to each day's work, improve each precious opportunity, appreciate the helps that God gives you, and make advancement up the ladder of progress step by step. Remember that you are to live but one day at a time, that God has given you one day, and heavenly records will show how you have valued its privileges and opportunities.

      May you so improve every day given you of God that at last you may hear the Master say, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant" Matthew Character Development by Ellen White The traits of character you cherish in life will not be changed by death or by the resurrection. AA Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime.

      AA F Did mothers but realise the importance of their mission, they would be much in secret prayer, presenting their children to Jesus, imploring His blessing upon them, and pleading for wisdom to discharge aright their sacred duties. AH The intellect is continually receiving its mould from opportunities and advantages, ill or well improved.

      CG Christ has given us no assurance that to attain perfection of character is an easy matter. COL Let no one say, I cannot remedy my defects of character. COL Christ is seeking to reproduce Himself in the hearts of men; and He does this through those who believe in Him. COL 67 "When the fruit is brought forth, immediately he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come. COL 69 There are all kinds of characters to deal with in the children and youth, and their minds are impressionable. CT Heaven may invite them, and present its choicest blessings, and they may have every facility to develop a perfect character; but all will be in vain unless they are willing to help themselves.

      CTBH Only one lease of life is granted us; and the inquiry with every one should be, "How can I invest my powers so that they may yield the greatest profit? CTBH 41 It is not the highest work of education to communicate knowledge merely, but to impart that vitalising energy which is received through the contact of mind with mind, and soul with soul. DA God takes men as they are, and educates them for His service, if they will yield themselves to Him. DA As men should lift up their eyes to the hills of God, and behold the wonderful works of His hands, they could learn precious lessons of divine truth.

      DA True character is not shaped from without, and put on; it radiates from within. DA The same danger still exists. DA The righteousness which Christ taught is conformity of heart and life to the revealed will of God. DA God's ideal for His children is higher than the highest human thought can reach. I look for every spot in my vicinity where white and pink blossoms are blooming in exquisite profusion like foam on an ocean.

      Every year I take photographs, even though I already have so many. I walk at every hour of the day because, as the light changes, the colors change. I have albums and albums of pictures of my beloveds, the trees. For me, the apple and cherry trees are a manifestation of Goddess. Of course, everything is a manifestation of Goddess, but these, for me, have an extra measure of that life-giving beauty and abundance I associate with the indwelling Presence in the cosmos.

      My enjoyment of the blossoms is both a sensual appreciation of the gorgeousness of Being and a poignant awareness that they will not last forever. Sometimes these glories manifest for me as feminine, sometimes as masculine, and sometimes just as Life itself. My ancestors have felt the same way for a long time. Not only the current lovers but their parents also made love in the orchards. The orchards are an almost otherworldly place, a place where love and generativity can unfold, generation after generation.

      The kabbalists, who innovated a whole new creative language for God in relationship to the world, saw the apple orchard as a manifestation of the divine feminine. Zohar I, b. So my experience of Goddess in the orchards is entirely consistent with the Jewish mystical tradition. In many legends, the orchard is a place of immortality and divinity. The Norse goddess Idunna tends the orchard that grows apples of immortality, the fruit which makes the gods live forever.

      Interestingly, the sacred fruits live in the west in more cultures than one. This peach tree put forth leaves once every thousand years, and the fruit took three thousand years to ripen. The goddess would then throw a feast for the immortals to renew them. In Japan, the goddess of cherry blossoms is Konohanasakuya-hime, daughter of a mountain god and granddaughter of Amaterasu the sun goddess.