|Exploring Ancient History - The First 2500 Years
PART 1: THE PRE-FLOOD WORLD
Recreation and Eden The second verse of the bible gives us a picture of an earth that had been totally destroyed. It was a ball of mud and water out in space. All life on its surface had died — drowned in great flooding and tidal waves, and then buried in mud, silt, and debris.
Water covered the earth (notice the words "deep" and "waters" in verse 2), water which was filled with sediment and debris. The atmosphere had been polluted also because darkness hung over the earth and no light could reach its surface.
The Cause of Chaos What caused this pollution of air and water? The answer is tremendous VOLCANIC ACTIVITY. The earth erupted with vast outflows of superheated lava. Volcanic deposits on the continents and ocean bottoms provide the proof of this catastrophe that tore the earth.
This unbelievable volcanic action caused terrible thick gaseous clouds and ash to be thrown into the atmosphere. This is why thick darkness literally covered the entire surface of the earth. The vast subterranean outflows of hot lava raised the temperature of the oceans. Terrible poisonous gases circulated through the waters as the result of the horrible fumes pouring out from within the earth. Life in the sea was poisoned and boiled by this volcanic eruption.
Deep corings into the ocean bottoms have not produced a single deposit below the upper Cretaceous. The tremendously hot lava melted and fused everything along the ocean floor. What deposits existed at that time have been rendered unrecognizable.
Now the scientists say this could not have happened all at once. Otherwise all ocean life would have died and there could have been no evolution. With all marine life extinguished, the evolutionary process could not have continued. But this is exactly what happened. The destruction at Satan's rebellion resulted in the sudden extinction of all life on earth. Again scientific findings prove evolution a dead theory and the bible true in every particular. (see "The Deep and the Past," by David Ericson and Goesta Wollin, New York, , 1964, pp. 266-268.)
Now notice the last part of the second verse: "and the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters." God was doing something to the waters. This was before God said, "let there be light." Nowhere later in this first chapter of the bible do we read of God cleaning up the oceans to prepare them for sea life — so that is what must have been happening at this point. God, through the power of his spirit, was PURIFYING THE MUDDY WATERS to prepare them to support life when the fifth day of creation week arrived. Now it is time for a summary of what God did to recreate the earth and prepare it for human habitation.
The First Day It is well to bear in mind that the story of creation here is told from the point of view of a person down on the surface of the earth. Moses wrote from this perspective. Thus, when God said, "let there be light" he was sayings "let the light shine through to the surface of the earth." The sun had been there from the original creation (verse 1) but its light could not reach the earth because of the dense haze in the atmosphere. Now God purified the air so the darkness disappeared. Verse 4 and 5 tell us of the origins of day and night. God divided the light from the darkness by causing the earth to begin spinning on its axis.
The Second Day On the second day God made the firmament (verse 6-8), the expanse or space which separates the clouds in their upper regions from the seas below them. This word firmament is an unfortunate translation. These verses are actually speaking of the ATMOSPHERE, the deep blanket of air which covers the earth. Scientifically this is called the troposphere, the portion of the atmosphere below stratosphere.
The very existence of our atmosphere is a miracle. If it did not have proper composition and density, no life could exist on our planet. Our atmosphere is made up largely of nitrogen (78%) and oxygen (21%). It also contains essential amounts of argon, carbon dioxide, and water vapors, as well as traces of neon, helium, methane, krypton xenon, hydrogen, ozone, and other rare gases. The rare gases present in our atmosphere exist in much smaller amounts than anywhere else in the universe while the proportions of oxygen, nitrogen, careen dioxide, and water vapor are much greater. If the ingredients of our atmosphere followed the proportions prevalent around other planets life on earth would be impossible. An error such as having too much or too little of even one gas would make the earth uninhabitable.
Beyond its perfect chemical composition which makes human, animals and plant life possible, the atmosphere performs other vital functions. It shields us from the constant barrage of gamma rays and acts as insulation against both heat and cold. The atmosphere holds and distributes heat, maintaining temperatures at mild levels.
One major example: a thin layer of ozone forty miles above the earth miraculously protects life on earth from eight killer rays. If this little belt of ozone were to suddenly drift into space, all life on earth would perish. Ozone itself is poisonous to human beings but, thousands of feet above us, it acts as a protective shield.
The point is clear. Such an atmosphere as ours, with its perfect balance of layers and gases, could not be the result of sheer chance. The existence of the atmosphere proves the existence of the creator. And because its composition and functions remain essentially unchanged, this is proof that he maintains and sustains it. With every breath of air we take, we prove God exists. Notice, then, that God created the atmosphere early in the orderly progression of creation week as a necessary prerequisite for the living things that were to be brought into existence naturally.
The Third Day When the third day of creation week arrived, the earth still lay prostrate under a covering of water. But now God began RESHAPING the surface of the home of man. He caused the dry land to appear by raising the continents from their covering of water. (Verses 9-10). Follow this great demonstration of power, God.
Brought into existence the fruits, vegetables, grasses. And grain's necessary to sustain human and animal life. These types of vegetation were not in existence in Lucifer's world because that world was not designed to support human life.
In this connection, it is significant to note that evolution is never discussed in terms of PLANT fossils. The remains of vegetation in the strata of the earth. Grains, grasses, fruit-bearing trees, et al, are never found before the Cenozoic era, the theme when man came to inhabit the earth. Grass, for example, was made for mammals and mammals were made for men. But giant tropical trees, as geologic evidence shows, did exist before grass. However, no evolutionist would admit trees evolving into grass. That would be evolution in reverse. Thus the remains of plants from past ages prove the bible true and evolution a disproven theory.
The Fourth Day This is the day that God, in a figurative sense, created HIS CALENDAR, a calendar that man can never change because it is based on the solar system and the entire universe. In the words of verse 14, God set the astral bodies "for signs and for seasons, and for days, and years." (Luke 21:25). The sacred calendar, which God commissioned the Jewish people to preserve along with the Old Testament, is simply a record on paper of what goes on in God's calendar stretching over the vastness of space. On this fourth day, then, God positioned the sun, moon and stars in correct and harmonious relationship. He made the sun and moon to visibly govern day, night, months and years. He also assigned the solar system its precise orbital patterns.
At this point, we should compare verse 3 with verses 14 and 16 — the description of days one and six of creation week. Confusion often arises over the translation of the verbs in these verses. In verse 3 when God said, "let there be lights" the word "LET" from Hebrew doesn't mean to create or make; it means to manifest what was previously in existence. God was simply saying, "let the light shine through to the surface of the earth."
Now look at verse 14. Here the Hebrew word for "LET" is an entirely different word from that used in verse 3. By this time the atmosphere had been completely purified and the heavenly bodies were now unveiled in all their glory whereas only light had been manifested before, now the sun, moon, and stars became visible for the first time as they were placed in correct relative position to the earth.
Verse 16 makes this even more precise. Here we read, "and God made two great lights." Once again a clearer translation of the verb makes this plain. The verb "made" is the Hebrew "Asah." The meaning of this Hebrew word is: constituted, appointed, or ordained. God appointed the sun and moon to rule the day and the night.
By way of review, notice how God's re-creation progressed: on the first day, from an already existing heaven (sun, moon, and stars) and earth, God manifested light through the darkness of the clouded atmosphere. The atmosphere was prepared on the second day. Dry land and vegetation appeared on the third day. Then, on the fourth day, the sun, moon, and stars became clearly visible for the first time. This is when they were appointed or ordained for special purposes: for signs, seasons, days, years, and to give light upon the earth. Notice how orderly and logically God's work was carried out.
The Fifth Day In the next 24-hour period God bought into existence all the types of sea life and feathered fowl (verse 20). All these creatures reproduced AFTER THEIR KIND. Evolution teaches that all living things came from an original living cell and then developed, over eons of time, into all the living things we see today.
For example, reptiles are supposed to have evolved into birds. But, if this were the case, how could such slow development take place with no creatures being found which were HALF-WAY IN BETWEEN — or a reptile with a few feathers on it. The evolutionists say we don't see this today because evolution is not happening now. We neither have any fossil remains of such creatures ever been found. Logically, there should be lots of remains of reptiles that tried to fly and failed in the attempt.
Dogs supposedly evolved into horses — but no half-dogs or half-horses (or any other percentages of the two in combination) have ever been discovered. As we read of the creation of the animals on day six of creation week (verses 24 and 25), all these reproduce AFTER THEIR OWN KIND. Dogs, no matter how many varieties (from dachshund to collie to Saint Bernard) they develop into, are still always dogs. They have never evolved into any other kind of creature. God created each KIND of animal — AND THE GAPS BETWEEN THOSE KINDS CAN NEVER BE BRIDGED.
The Sixth Day In the bible, six is the number of man. And it was on the sixth day that man, as well as all other land creatures, was formed, shaped, and brought into existence by God. Notice that a more detailed description of the creation of the first man and woman is given in Genesis 2. This second chapter of the bible, from verse 4 on ask in general, a flash back to the sixth day of creation. More will be said about Genesis Chapter 2 shortly.
Now something very important should be emphasized: the ultimate purpose of God — to reproduce himself in human beings — is already revealed in the very first chapter of the bible. Notice in verses 24-25 how God's laws operate: each creature he designed and brought into existence reproduces after its kind. Then, in verse 26, God says, "let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion ..." THE GOD FAMILY REPRODUCES AFTER ITS KIND also!
Of course, this does not happen all at once. The physical creation took one literal week as described here in Genesis. But the SPIRITUAL creation — from human kind to God kind — requires the "millennial week" of 1000-year days (plus 100 years of the great white throne judgement) to reach completion (II Pet 3:8). Study Genesis 2:2 in this connection. As the sixth day's sun set, and the seventh day of the week arrived, "God ended his work which he had made." God did not end creating. He ended his work which he had created only those physical things made by work. But the spiritual creation was only about to begin.
Notice also that man is to have dominion over the sea, the air, and all the earth (verse. 26 and 28 — God repeats that twice). In other words, man is to learn to rule over the physical earth. He is to "subdue" or conquer it (verse 28). Man's destiny is to rule. God sets man over the physical things now and, as he builds character in this, he is to be given spiritual rule later (Matt. 25:21; Rev 3:21).
The limit of man's rule is the air above the earth. The atmosphere. Outer space is not man's domain. Man is an earthbound creature — outer space belongs to God. Thus when man tries to go beyond his limitations as assigned by God, he is headed for disaster. (see the booklet, "Who Will Rule Space?") Man's ultimate destiny is to rule outer space — the entire universe — but AS GOD, not as man. Man's mind can outreach his body as he tries to become God before his time. This is a lesson physical man must learn. He will not gain the power he wants until he comes into it GOD'S WAY.
Finally, realize that God gave man dominion over the animals and the rest of the physical earth, but God did not give him the prerogative to rule over other men. The only one who can rightly and correctly rule over man is God. Humans need THE GOVERNMENT OF GOD to be happy. In this world God has allowed men to exercise human government. But this is about to end in complete disaster. Man must learn by experience that his way is not right. Then he will yield to God's governments God is giving man ample time — 6,000 years — to learn that his methods of government must be completely abandoned and replaced by God's perfect rule.
The Seventh Day After creating the earth and making it suitable for human habitation, God set apart the seventh day as a reminder to man of the creation and the creator. He created the Sabbath by resting on that day, by placing his presence in it, thus setting it apart as holy time.
God made the Sabbath special, sacred, holy, and commanded man to keep it that way. God has never changed on this point. It is a part of his eternal, unchangeable law. The only change in the Sabbath has been man's carnal attitude toward it. But it still is the commemoration of creation. It reminds us of the true God, and the people of God have always held it sacred and holy.
So one can see that God is the author of the seven-day week — not the Babylonians as some have supposed. (for detailed proof that the creation week was a regular period of seven 24-hour days, see the article, "How Long Were the Days of Creation?" Reprint 470).
The Relationship of Genesis One and Two An important final note: Chapter 1 of Genesis should include the first three verses of chapter 2 so that all seven days of the creation week would be in one undivided unit. The account of the Sabbath should not be separated from the other six days. Men divided the bible into chapters and verses, not God. These divisions are not an inspired part of scripture. The main events that occurred on day six of creation week are presented in more detail in Genesis 2 beginning with verse 4. At this point notice carefully the order of events in verses 7 and 8: in verse 7, God creates the first man out of the dust of the ground — in the same form and shape as God, but not out of the same substance. God is spirit, but man is flesh. (and for proof that Adam was a white person, see page 6 of the October, 1963, "Plain Truth", the article, "The Real Cause of the Race Crisis." by Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong.)
Then, in verse 8, God plants a garden "eastward in Eden" why did God create the man before he planted the garden? Because in this way Adam saw God in the process of creating with his own eyes. God the eternal wanted the first man to SEE and KNOW that he was the creator. Because Adam saw this, he knew beyond the shadow of a doubt who his maker was. The last 8 verses of this chapter tell of the creation of the first woman and the origin of marriage.
The Question of Origins Here it should be observed how many FIRSTS there are in the first two chapters of the bible — two KEY chapters in revealing to man the ORIGINS OF ALL THAT EXISTS!
1) the first revelation of God as creator and originator of all things. Man IGNORES the question of origins. Actually, in the final analysis, the carnal man does not want to know how and when he originated BECAUSE HE DOES NOT WANT TO ADMIT THAT GOD IS ORIGINATOR AND CREATOR. Man does not want to admit that God has revealed the origin of all things in SIMPLE TERMS in the bible. Man wants to be free to speculate about his origin. This is illustrated by a typical high school level ancient history text. This book begins with the usual first section on "primitive" humans and refers to them, in a heading, as "people without names." In other words, the concept is presented that no one knows the first human beings were.
2) the origin of life in all its forms.
3) the origin of the 7-day week.
4) the origin of marriage.
But the bible makes plain who the first people were — Adam and Eve. We know what their names were, where they lived, what they looked like, and who their children were. God wants us to knows these things; he does not want us in ignorance of this knowledge. But man rejects this truth. He calls God's historical record MYTH.
Location of Eden Now consider the remarkable geographic picture contained in Genesis 2. Observe carefully that the garden where the first humans lived was actually just a small part of a larger area called Eden (verse 8). The land of Eden in the pre-flood world was probably what we now think of as the entire coastal region on the east side of the Mediterranean sea — the general area of Palestine. It may also have included the region of the red sea in the south. Both, the bible, in other passages, and Josephus' account confirm this picture.
The bible gives further details. Notice that a river flowed out of Eden and divided into four streams (verse 10). This great river originated at a point west of the garden (the Mediterranean coast was further west at this time), flowed through it, and then divided into its four branches. From Josephus (Antiquities I, I, 3) we learn that the river Pison is equivalent to the general area of the Ganges, Gihon the area of the Nile, and Hiddekel the Tigris. Listed last if the Euphrates which still retains its original name (verses 11-14).
The picture given in the bible suggests that the earth at this early time was a low-lying tropical paradise with a mild climate, and that these rivers were like wide, gentle-flowing streams or canals which rippled eastward toward the seas. However, geologic changes were subsequently to alter this drainage pattern to a great extent. As a consequence, these rivers now all have separate sources and flow in different directions.
The bible also indicates that this beautiful garden was the highest point of land. Scripture reveals that in the world tomorrow a great river will again emanate from Palestine and Jerusalem, the location of Christ's throne. This location will once again be the highest area of land. Nations will go up to Zion in the millennium (Isa. 2:3, Micah 4:2). God will restore things as they were in the Adamic world. The picture the bible paints for the future also reveals how conditions were in the past.
The garden of Eden was in the vicinity of Jerusalem. Can one find in geological history, this geographical description of the river system of Palestine and the environs of Jerusalem? Jewish geologists, unaware of what they have discovered, have actually presented a simple sketch of the astounding evidence (on page 35 of E. A. Speiser's "At the Dawn of Civilization") in a geologic map of Palestine. Immediately to the east of Jerusalem in the strata labeled "upper Cretaceous" may be seen in outline the area through which the waters from the garden of Eden flowed. Three of the four parts of the vast stream flowed toward the north and east, the other moved southward. The present Jordan valley and dead sea were not then formed. (Compendium, Volume II. pp. 316-317).
There is more in the bible on this topic. Later, when Adam was driven from the garden, he traveled east. Interestingly enough, when the children of Israel crossed the Jordan under Joshua into Palestine, it was near "the city of Adam." (Joshua 3:16) it is very probable that this was the first habitation where the original humans lived after they left the Garden of Eden.
Satan's Return Immediately after Adam was created, God began to instruct him in the way to live (Gen. 2:15-17). But the training did not last long because, when chapter 3 opens, Satan is on the scene and craftily at work misleading the first humans. The serpent of verse 1 was a physical creature which was influenced by the great fallen spirit, Satan. He approached the most susceptible member of the family, Eve, and began to cause her to doubt God's teaching. Eve did not know that only humans and spirits have the power of speech. He told her she had an immortal soul already and that she was a God herself (verses 4-5).
Satan was extremely subtle in his approach. He knew that it was the destiny of man to ultimately be God — to be composed of the eternal spirit of God which always existed. So, in a very crafty, soft, secretive manner, he said to the woman, "God did not tell you everything. He is kept things from you, things that you are entitled to know. Immortality is already a part of your nature. It is in you now, Eve. Didn't you know that? God didn't tell you that, did He? You listen to me ...." (Read pages 41-51 of "God Speaks Out on the New Morality".)
That was his approach — and it worked. The woman was influenced, and Adam sinned along with her in partaking of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree of life, the source of the Holy Spirit, was there too, but they had not gone near it. Satan knew human nature and used this knowledge wrongly in order to teach the first humans sin.
Adam and Eve made clothes for themselves (verse 7) because Satan had taught them the philosophy of dualism — that the soul is good and pure but the body, with its drives and desires, is evil and nasty. He convinced them they'd better cover up the prison house of the immortal soul.
God now had to EXPEL the first humans from their paradise because they had obeyed Satan instead of the creator. They were cut off from the tree of life which was the symbol of the Holy Spirit (verse 22). The Holy Spirit was not again made available to mankind until Christ, the second Adam, returned to heaven and sent it to his disciples on the day of Pentecost in 31 A.D.
But God did not leave the first humans without hope. He promised them a savior. It is commonly recognized that Gen. 3:15 is the first prophecy in the bible about Christ. The seed of the woman is singular (the 'it' in the King James version should be rendered 'he') and refers to Christ. Satan would 'bruise' Christ's 'heel' in causing him to be crucified. But Christ would bruise Satan's head by rising from the dead and triumphing over him. Thoroughly disqualifying and finally deposing him as ruler of the world. In short, Christ does much more harm to Satan than Satan ever does to Christ (Rom. 16:20 and Heb. 2:14).
PART 5 — ADDED MATERIAL (See Table of Contents)
CHAPTER 2 - Added Material
Queen Ku-Baba and Family In 1748 an unusual ruler appeared on the scene in Babylonia. This ruler was a woman — the famous Queen Ku-Baba! She ruled for a 100 years — 1748-1648 — certainly a lengthy reign but not impossible for that day. Her century-long reign comprises the entirety of the Third Dynasty of Kish. A year before she died, as we shall see, the famous Lugal-Zaggisi was to bring tragedy into her life, and family.
The family background of Queen Ka-Baba is unknown. No document has been found to reveal who her husband or father was. It is known that at one time she had been a wine merchant. It has been suggested that her title might better have been "bar maid" than "queen" and that she could properly be characterized as "a Rahab of Shinar!" It is more than likely that she did her best to emulate the notorious Ishtar or Semiramis in gaining political prominence. Whatever the case, Ku-Baba was a famous woman.
Little is known of her reign until the year 1680. Prior to this year the aging Queen had gained unusual reputation for her "picus deeds" during the time of the reign of king Pusur-Sahan of Akshak, a dynasty which had also begun in 1748. As a result of these deeds, when Pusur-Sahan died in 1680, the son of Ku-Baba came to royal estate. His name was Pusur-Sin. His acquisition of a throne commenced the Fourth Dynasty of Kish which paralled the last years of his mother's reign. Puzur-Sin ruled for 25 years — 1680-1655.
The year 1657, two years before the end of the reign of Puzur-Sin, two important events took place in Shinar. First, the Dynasty of Awan commenced in the region of Elam. Second, and of greater significance for the present story — 1657 witnessed the beginning of the reign of Lugal-Zaggisi, in Erech!
In 1655 the son of Puzur-Sin and the grandson of Ku-Baba, Ur-Zababa, ascended the throne of Kish. His reign was to end in tragedy only six short years later. However, during his brief reign he had, as his cupbearer, a young Assyrian who was destined to become world-famous. His name was Sargon. He would become Sargon the Great of Akkad!
Now here is something important to understand for the events about to be discussed: The present Dynasty of Kish, though not an Assyrian dynasty proper, did have a very definite relationship to Assyria. It owed its prominence to the fact that it had Assyrian backing and support. Kish had an alliance with Assyria! Queen Ku-Baba probably had much to do with bringing this alliance into existence. And she named her son Puzur-Sin. "Puzur" is a common Assyrian name. An example is the later Assyrian king named Puzur-Assur. The name "Sargon" is also an Assyrian name. Except Sargon the Great, who is associated with Akked, all other rulers named Sargon are from Assyria.
And now for the fateful year of 1649! In the winter of 1650-1649 the armies of the Assyrian Empire attacked India in an attempt to expand the Assyrian realm toward the east. Due to an apparently miraculous intervention by God through the use of weather they met a crushing defeat! This had significant effects on political conditions back in Mesopotamia!
Lugal-Zaggisi, remember, had ascended the throne of Erech (Uruk) in 1657. Now, in 1649, when word was received that Assyria's armies had been crushed in India, he saw his opportunity. Assyria was seriously weakened and could no longer support its confederate, the Fourth Dynasty of Kish and its king, Ur-Zababa, grandson of Queen Ku-baba. Lugal-Zaggisi attacked Kish, conquered the city, and Ur-Zababa was slain! The inhabitants were sent into exile! And, in addition to all this, there is archaeological evidence of a flood layer at the city of Kish which indicates that Lugal-Zaggisi and his forces actually opened the Euphrates River and caused it to flow over the city so it would be flooded and rendered uninhabitable!
The situation in Shinar: Assyria had met crushing defeat. Ur-Zababa of Kish IV was dead. The inhabitants of Kish had become a band of "Displaced Persons." Kish had been submerged by a man-made flood! Lugal-Zaggisi was in practically uncontested control of the region. And, one year later, in 1640, Queen Ku-Bababa died thus ending her reign of 100 long years! Such was the series of events in the action-packed year of 1649!
King Lugal-Zaggisi deserves some close attention at this crucial juncture. He reigned for 25 years — from 1657-1632. His reign comprises the entire Third Dynasty of Erech (as shown on the chart). In the standard high school ancient history text Lugal-Zaggisi is always the first ruler mentioned as being important in the history of Babylonia. One junior high text of recent printing presents this discussion of him:
appears in the historical record as Lugal-Zaggisi valley. His conquests were spectacular in his own day, but seem rather small to us now. At its height, his great empire was only about the size of New Hampshire. Later, Lugal-Zaggisi was defeated and captured by another ambitious king, Sargon of Akkad. (See pages 40-41 of "Long Ago in the Old World" by Cassidy and Southworth, Co- lumbus, Ohio, 1964.) Lugal-Zaggisi ascended the throne in 1657. Eight years later he had become the dominant ruler of Sumeria or Shinar. But in 17 more years his reign was to end. How this occurred is the next part of the account.
Sargon of Akkad During his short reign of six years Ur-Zababa had as his cupbearer a young Assyrian named Sargon. Sargon was destined to become one of the most famous rulers of his era! It should be pointed out that a "cupbearer" does more than serve a king wine. One who became cupbearer came directly into the king's presence often and thus knew most of the major affairs and problems of the realm. Actually he was a confidant and advisor of the ruler whom he served. In the Bible it is recorded that Nehemiah was the cupbearer of King Artaxerxes (Nehemiah 1:11). Thus the position of cupbearer was one of significant importance and only a very able individual could be entrusted with it.
Recall the events of 1649. Ur-Zababa, grandson of Queen Ku-Baba and her only heir, was slain in the attack under Lugal-Zaggisi. Consequently Ku-Baba outlived her grandson and was without someone to succeed her. She found it necessary to adopt someone in place of her heir now dead. Her choice was the young, popular, and able cupbearer, Sargon! Thus when Sargon later declared that he had a legal right to political power due to this adoption he was not just making a false, trumped-up political claim. His claim was, in fact, a real one. The chronological facts for this period, when properly restored, prove this. This is why the records also state that Sargon was "King of Kish" as well as Akkad!
Note this also: Years later, after gaining power in 1632, it is recorded that Sargon restored the displaced inhabitants of Kish to their estates: "Sargon, king of Agade, ... king of Kish their city" (Pritchard's "Ancient Near Eastern Texts", p. 267). This information fills in, then, the early background of Sargon and explains why he was on friendly terms with the people of Kish. The royal family of Kish, Queen Ku-Baba and king Ur-Zababa, had helped him lay the political foundations for later greatness.
During the period of 1648 (in which year Ku-Baba made him her adopted heir) to 1632 — a space of 16 short years — Sargon was at work preparing to establish himself as king and ruler. Then, in 1633, he had marshaled enough power to be able to overthrow Erech and defeat Lugal-Zaggisi, the destroyer of Kish! The date 1633 is the acceptable year of Sargon.
Thus 1633-1632 was a pivotal year in the history of Babylonia. It marked the end of the reign of Lugal-Zaggisi and the commencement of the 55-year reign of Sargon. The rise of Sargon, who was an Assyrian, also actually signifies the return of Assyrian domination in this area. The year 1649 had witnessed the loss of domination by Assyria due to the defeat in India and the sudden assault of Lugal-Zaggisi who temporarily dominated Shinar. But now the royal Assyrian line of Sumer, represented by Sargon (an Assyrian name which never appears anywhere later except in Assyrian king lists), returns to power in Southern Mesopotamia in 1632 after a 16-year interruption.
In 1632, then, the political power passed from Lugal-Zaggisi and the city of Erech to Akkad and Sargon. The greatest name in Babylonian history in this period is unquestionably that of Sargon. He is usually spoken of as Sargon "the Great." This was not an exaggeration. He reigned for 55 long and eventful years from 1632 to 1577. (This correct dating proves Sargon to be a contemporary of Moses' father, Amram. See Exodus 6:20. Moses was born in 1567.)
Quite a bit has been learned about Sargon and his conquests. After defeating Lugal-Zaggisi he conquered all of Sumer to the Persian gulf, in which he "washed his weapons." He then extended his domain in all directions, subjugating Elam to the east and conquering the western regions along the upper Euphrates to the Mediterranean. According to his own inscriptions Sargon reached the Amanus and Taurus mountains and there are indications that his domain reached into Anatolia. As a result the new capital, Akkad, became the center of a vast empire, where ships brought riches from distant countries across the Persian gulf and up the river.
But, in addition to this, there are definite indications that Sargon had an extensive realm which extended to areas far removed from the Middle East! Two famous journeys are recorded for Sargon: At one time he made a trip west to the "Western Sea" and did not return from over the waters until three years later. Another time he made a trip to the "Eastern Sea" and did not return until seven years had elapsed! Now if Sargon only went over the Mediterranean and the Persian gulf he certainly spent an unusual length of time on board ship for such comparatively short voyages! What the evidence actually points out is that Sargon sailed over the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans to the New World!
Here are some interesting factors in relation to this: The Peruvian Indians, as proved by Dr. Hoeh in Volume II of the Compendium, actually preserved their history back to the Tower of Babel! Now, in the period shortly after 1600, their ancient king list records the coming to power of a new line of kings with the title of "Anauta," a word signifying a priest or Magian. In other words this period, exactly in the time of Sargon, witnessed the origin of what could be called the Magian religion — or the religion of the Middle East — in the New World among the Indians of Peru! Right in the time of the greatness of Sargon a definite impact from the Middle East alters the type of rulership among the Peruvians!
It is also significant that, from this period on and later, there is evidence to show that corn — or maize — copied in the form of iron and other metals, was offered to the gods in Mesopotamia in pagan religious ceremonies. It is important to realize that maize was known only in certain areas of the world — and primarily in the New World or the Western Hemisphere! So here is another indication of contact between Mesopotamia and the culture of the New World.
There is no doubt that the Indians had come to the New World long before 1600. Thus, if they get here first, why should not Sargon have come across the oceans in his day? It is simply a matter of fact. It seems evident, then, that Magellan had nothing on Sargon the Great. The ancients were not so "primitive" as many modern historians would have us believe! The "Age of Discovery" of the 1500's A.D. was not the first!
These factors give us the feeling of how great the ancient world must have been in that early period. Look, for example, at Egypt. In the 1700's B.C. the great Dynasty 12 of Thebes was in existence. Its rulers took over extensive segments of the Near East. It had control of the sea power in the Mediterranean. When Joseph and Job came to power in Dynasties 3 and 4 (both parallel with 12) — and later the 12 sons of Jacob — they became rulers in the world's leading government! This is what God intended. This allowed the Children of Israel to multiply and prosper in Egypt — the richest and most powerful nation in the world. Joseph died in 1654 and by 1600 or shortly thereafter the Israelites began to come under the oppression of Pepi I and II. But notice that at this period of 1600 and after there is sufficient to show what a great period of ancient history these two or three centuries were.
All historians recognize that the Dynasty of Akkad, founded by Sargon, was very influential — but most of them fail to realize its full significance as recounted briefly here. Nevertheless, much has been written about this important dynasty and a good deal is known about it. The Britannica has an interesting section on it under the article "Babylonia and Assyria."
The Decline of the Akkadian Empire In the year 1577 Sargon was succeeded by his son, Rimash, who reigned 15 years, 1577-1562. Rimash was followed by his twin brother, Manish-tusu, who reigned only 7 years, 1562-1555. Another king list for this period points to the conclusion that these twin sons of Sargon ruled jointly for several years. The names of these twins adds weight to the conclusion that the great Dynasty of Akkad was actually predominantly Assyrian. Rimash is certainly an ancient Assyrian name while Manish or Manis is actually an old Germanic name. Manish-tu, in fact, was the name of one of the ancient ancestors of Germans in Europe. Not much is known of these sons compared to what is recorded about their famous father.
Much more is known about Maram-sin, a grandson of Sargon the Great, who ruled for the lengthy period of 56 years, 1555-1499. He was another great conqueror, under whom the Akkadian Empire in the Middle East was again expanded to the same dimensions it had enjoyed under Sargon. The most famous monument pertaining to Naran-sin which had been found is a stele commemorating his victory over the Lullubi, a tribe of people in the Zagros mountains on the border of Elam.
The first major blow to the Akkadian domination of Mesopotamia and the Near East took place in 1535, the twentieth year of the reign of Naram-sin. In that year a people from the east called the Guti, led by Erridupizir, invaded the land of Shinar. They did not completely take control of the realm of Naram-sin but neither could he drive them out of the country. This is substantiated by the fact that Erridupizir usurped the title of Naram-sin. He claimed to be as great a conqueror as Naram-sin was! The Guti are never presented as ruling from any particular city. Their initial attack, then, in 1535 was successful and enabled them to make successful inroads into Mesopotamia. But, in a few short decades their increased efforts were to meet with even greater success!
The ultimate disaster of Naram-sin struck his kingdom in 1500 — the second and most successful attack of the Guti hordes! Naram-sin was toppled from power. The Guti destroyed the area of Akkad. A year later, in 1499, Naram-sin was dead. He had lived long enough to see his empire collapse. His successor, Sharkalisharri means "king of all kings" but this was an idle boast! The greatness of Akkad had passed forever!
The Guti Dynasty lasted till 1410. Apparently this dynasty was the dominant one in Shinar during this period of almost a century's duration. But it was by no means the only one. The successors of Naram-sin in Akkad had a limited rule in the north. The Second Dynasty of Ur (1535-1427) was also in existence, as well as the dynasty of Awan in Elam in the east.
Then also, in 1472 the Fourth Dynasty of Erech came into being. Here is the background: Sharkalisharri ruled till 1475 in Akkad. but the three years after 1475 are characterized in a note in the Akkadian king list with the phrase "3 years of confusion." Three kings are listed for the three years of 1475-1472 — Igigi, Nanum, and Imi — followed by a fourth, Dudu (1472-51)! Clearly there is a marked change in the kind of rulers who came to leadership in this once-great dynasty! During this period it became proverbial to ask: "Who was king? Who was not?
During this period of weakness, upheaval, and uncertainty a rival dynasty arose at Erech — The Fourth Dynasty of Erech. The initial year of this new dynasty is 1472 — exactly the same year as the last of the three years of confusion in the weakening Dynasty of Akkad! the rise of Erech IV, then, began in 1472. It reached its fullest power in 1436 when the Dynasty of Akkad finally died out completely.
The Collapse of the Guti and Revival of Assyria Recall, now, that since 1535 the Guti had been terrorizing and oppressing much of Shinar. But their day of political reckoning was finally to come! In 1410 a ruler named Utuhegal came to power in Erech. His brief reign of seven years — 1410-1403 — constitutes the entire brief Dynasty V of Erech. Utuhegal was able to muster enough power to achieve something that would assure him lasting fame. He was able to overthrow the Guti, these foreigners who had dominated the land for 125 years since 1535! The year 1410 marks the end of the Guti Dynasty — thanks to Utuhegal!
There are some important facts and factors to have in mind about Assyria at this point. This whole period of confusion in Shinar from 1472 onward during the time of Erech IV and V is parallel with the period of the Judge in Israel. (The Israelites had come into Canaan in 1447 under Joshua.) Here is the point: This confusion in Shinar made it possible for the Assyrians to rise to a degree of prominence again. It is a general principle of history that a period of confusion always precedes a return to power of some people or nation. In this period it was Assyrian reviving once again. This revival is clearly reflected in the history of Israel in the Book of Judges: The oppression of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8) took place in 1400 and lasted for eight years! (The last part of his name — rishathaim — means "double-wickedness!" In other words, he was called "Chushan of double-wickedness.") This evil "king of Mesopotamia" could be none other than an Assyrian ruler since no one in Babylonia was powerful enough to make attacks into Canaan at this time.
But also remember this: The defeat of the Assyrians by Abraham in 1938 had been so successful that, apart from this brief period after 1400, the Assyrians were never able to overcome Israel in all the centuries from 1938 to 718! During all this time the Assyrians were making attempts to rise to ultimate power but God never allowed them to achieve it. Finally god allowed them to rise to such power that He could use them as His military instrument to punish the northern ten tribes of Israel and take them into captivity. This was the pinnacle of Assyrian power — the period of the century and one-half up to 612. And just at the time of its greatest success it also met its most disastrous collapse at the hands of the Babylonians and Medes in 612! The story of Assyrian history is the story of successive rises and falls.