The End of Days
Armageddon and Prophecies of the Return
The Messianic Clock
Wherever one turns, humankind appears seized with Apocalyptic trepidation, Messianic fervor, and End of Time anxiety.
Religious fanaticism manifests itself in wars, rebellions, and the slaughter of "infidels." Armies amassed by Kings of the West are warring with armies of the Kings of the East. A Clash of Civilizations shakes the foundations of traditional ways of life. Carnage engulfs cities and towns; the high and the mighty seek safety behind protective walls. Natural calamities and ever-intensifying catastrophies leave people wondering: Has Mankind sinned, is it witnessing Divine Wrath, is it due for another annihilating Deluge? Is this the Apocalypse? Can there be—will there be—Salvation? Are Messianic times afoot?
The time—the twenty-first century A.D.—or was it the twenty-first century B.C.E.?
The correct answer is Yes and Yes, both in our own time as well as in those ancient times. It is the condition of the present time, as well as at a time more than four millennia ago; and the amazing similarity is due to events in the middle time in between—the period associated with the messianic fervor at the time of Jesus.
Those three cataclysmic periods for Mankind and its planet—two in the recorded past (circa 2100 B.C.E. and when B.C.E. changed to A.D.), one in the nearing future—are interconnected; one has led to the other, one can be understood only by understanding the other. The Present stems from thePast, the Past is the Future. Essential to all three is Messianic Expectation; and linking all three is Prophecy.
How the present time of troubles and tribulations will end—what the Future portends—requires entering the realm of Prophecy. Ours will not be a mélange of newfound predictions whose main magnet is fear of doom and End, but a reliance upon unique ancient records that documented the Past, predicted the Future, and recorded previous Messianic expectations—prophesying the future in antiquity and, one believes, the Future that is to come.
In all three apocalyptic instances—the two that had occurred, the one that is about to happen—the physical and spiritual relationship between Heaven and Earth was and remains pivotal for the events. The physical aspects were expressed by the existence on Earth of actual sites that linked Earth with the heavens—sites that were deemed crucial, that were focuses of the events; the spiritual aspects have been expressed in what we call Religion. In all three instances, a changed relationship between Man and God was central, except that when, circa 2100 B.C.E., Mankind faced the first of these three epochal upheavals, the relationship was between men and gods, in the plural. Whether that relationship has really changed, the reader will soon discover.
The story of the gods, the Anunnaki ("Those who from heaven to Earth came"), as the Sumerians called them, begins with their coming to Earth from Nibiru in need of gold. The story of their planet was told in antiquity in the Epic of Creation, a long text on seven tablets; it is usually considered to be an allegorical myth, the product of primitive minds that spoke of planets as living gods combating each other. But as I have shown in my book The Twelfth Planet, the ancient text is in fact a sophisticated cosmogony that tells how a stray planet, passing by our solar system, collided with a planet called Tiamat; the collision resulted in the creation of Earth and its Moon, of the Asteroid Belt and comets, and in the capture of the invader itself in a great elliptical orbit that takes about 3,600 Earth-years to complete (Fig. 1).
It was, Sumerian texts tell, 120 such orbits—432,000 Earth-years—prior to the Deluge (the "Great flood") that the Anunnaki came to Earth. How and why they came, their first cities in the E.DIN (the biblical Eden), their fashioning of the Adam and the reasons for it, and the events of the catastrophic Deluge—have all been told in The Earth Chronicles series of my books, and will not be repeated here. But before we time-travel to the momentous twenty-first century B.C.E., some pre-Diluvial and post-Diluvial landmark events need to be recalled.
The biblical tale of the Deluge, starting in chapter 6 of Genesis, ascribes its conflicting aspects to a sole deity, Yahweh, who at first is determined to wipe Mankind off the face of the Earth, and then goes out of his way to save it through Noah and the Ark. The earlier Sumerian sources of the tale ascribe the disaffection with Mankind to the god Enlil, and the countereffort to save Mankind to the god Enki. What the Bible glossed over for the sake of Monotheism was not just the disagreement between Enlil and Enki, but a rivalry and a conflict between two clans of Anunnaki that dominated the course of subsequent events on Earth.
That conflict between the two and their offspring, and the Earth regions allocated to them after the Deluge, need to be kept in mind to understand all that happened thereafter.
The two were half-brothers, sons of Nibiru's ruler Anu; their conflict on Earth had its roots on their home planet, Nibiru. Enki—then called E.A ("He whose home is water")—was Anu's firstborn son, but not by the official spouse, Antu. When Enlil was born to Anu by Antu—a half-sister of Anu—Enlil became the Legal Heir to Nibiru's throne though he was not the firstborn son. The unavoidable resentment on the part of Enki and his maternal family was exacerbated by the fact that Anu's accession to the throne was problematic to begin with: having lost out in a succession struggle to a rival named Alalu, he later usurped the throne in a coup d'état, forcing Alalu to flee Nibiru for his life. That not only backtracked Ea's resentments to the days of his forebears, but also brought about other challenges to the leadership of Enlil, as told in the epic Tale of Anzu. (For the tangled relationships of Nibiru's royal families and the ancestries of Anu and Antu, Enlil and Ea, see The Lost Book of Enki.) The End of Days
Armageddon and Prophecies of the Return
. Copyright © by Zecharia Sitchin. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. <%END%>