OF SCIENTISTS, UNBELIEVERS AND INFIDELS PART 3
THE BOOK OF GENESIS (ARCHAEOLOGICAL RECORDS)
Turning to written materials recovered from SUMER, (an Ancient civilization situated in the alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the southern part of what is now Iraq), it is fascinating to learn that there is also the very real possibility that a reference to the confusion of languages recorded in Genesis Chapter 11 has been preserved. A recorded work entitled “Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta “ contains the following:
“Chant to him the holy song, the incantation sung in its chambers—the incantation of Nudimmud: On that day when there is no snake, when there is no scorpion, when there is no hyena, when there is no lion, when there is neither dog nor wolf, when there is neither fear nor trembling, man has no rival. At such a time may the whole universe, the well- guarded people---- may they all address Enlil together in a single language. For at that time…..Enki……shall change the speech in their mouths as many as he had placed there, and so the speech of mankind is truly one”.
This is one of 400 Sumerian texts which can be accessed at the following site: The electronic Text Corpus of Sumerian Literature(http://wwwetcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/) Oxford 1998. Certainly the reference to a god's having placed different languages in the mouths of men reminds us of the Biblical account of the confusion of tongues.
Equally fascinating is the story of the Flood preserved in another Sumerian document( http://www-etcsl.orient.ox.ac.uk/catlist.htm). The document reads:
“A decision that the seed of mankind is to be destroyed has been made. The verdict, the word of the divine assembly cannot be revoked. The order announced by An and Enlil cannot be overturned. Their Kingship, their term has been cut off, their heart should be rested about this… All the windstorms and gales arose together and the flood swept over the…..After the flood had swept over the land and waves and wind- storms had rocked the huge boat for seven days and seven nights, Utu the sun-god came out, illuminating heaven and earth. Zi-ud-sura could drill an opening in the huge boat and hero Utu entered the huge boat with his rays. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated before Utu. The king sacrificed oxen and offered innumerable sheep…….More and more animals disembarked onto the earth. Zi-ud-sura the king prostrated himself before An and Enlil. An and Enlil treated Zi-ud-sura kindly……They granted him life like a god ,they brought down to him eternal life. At that time because of preserving the animals and the seed of mankind. They settled Zi-ud-sura the king in an overseas country, in the land Dilmun, where the sun rises”
The document is fragmentary but the basic story is clear enough. Archaeological discoveries relating to the earliest known civilizations harmonise well with the Genesis account of man's activities in the land of Mesopotamia in the post Flood period.
UR AND HARAN:
The first mention of ABRAHAM, father of the chosen nation occurs in Genesis Chapter 11,where we learn that he is the son of TERAH, brother of NAHOR and HARAN and husband of SARAI. The chapter closes with the important information that” Terah took Abraham his son, and LOT the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abraham's wife, and they went out together from UR of the Chaldeans in order to enter the land of Canaan, and they went as far as to Haran and settled there”(GENESIS 11:31). The discovery of the city of UR provides another good example of how archaeology can illuminate a brief Biblical reference. WERNER KELLER a German writer and winner of “Premio Bancarella”(BANCARELLA AWARD) wrote that “ No one could have guessed that the quest for the UR which is mentioned in the Bible would lead to the discovery of a civilization which would take us farther into the twilight of prehistoric times than even the oldest traces of men which had been found in EGYPT”.(The Bible as History).
Between 1922 and 1934, Sir(Charles) Leonard Woolley, a British archaeologist carried out the work excavating the site of this ancient city, and the result were remarkable. Britannica describes UR as “An important city of ancient southern Mesopotamia, situated about 140 miles(225km) south east of the site of Babylon and about 10 miles(16km) west of the present bed of the Euphrates river.” We're told that the city “became the capital of the whole of southern Mesopotamia under the Sumerian Kings of the first dynasty of UR (25th century B.C.).
Excavations revealed a very advanced civilization whose “architect were acquainted with the column, the arch, the vault, and the dome ----i.e. with all the basic forms of architecture”. At the time of Abraham, the houses of private citizens “were comfortable and well built two- story houses with ample accommodation for the family, for servants, and for guests, of a type that ensured privacy and was suited to the climate.
Clearly when TERAH departed from UR with Abraham and his family, he left a great city, sophisticated surroundings, and a comfortable lifestyle. Interestingly we're told that although heading for CANNAAN, the family” went as far as HARAN and settled there” (GENESIS 11:31). Now we're not told why the family settled at HARAN, but, again, archaeology may shed some light upon this.
IN an article entitled “The Genesis narrative in the light of recent scholarship”, we find the ff. in Britannica: “The city of Haran has been definitely located in Upper Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in the Balikh valley and can be found on the site of the modern HARRAN in TURKEY. It has been shown that HARRAN was a pilgrimage city, for it was a centre of the SUN CULT and consequently closely related to the Moon god cult of UR. The Mari tablets have shed new light on the PATRIACAL PERIOD, specifically in terms of the City of HARAN”.
In light of the close ties between the city of UR and HARAN and the fact that the latter was a pilgrimage city , it is no surprise that TERAH found the latter an agreeable place to settle. Once again, archaeology has illuminated the texts for us.
My dear friend KWAKU BA and his team of atheists on the forum are seeking for signs, evidence, proves etc to show the authenticity of the Bible and the existence of GOD. To quote the very words of our LORD JESUS, “No sign/prove will be given them except the sign of the Prophet Jonah”.
To God be the Glory.
By : Obourba Asante Taado.