Chapter 8: Riders of the Clouds

…The journey of Gilgamesh in search of Immortality has undoubtedly been the fountainhead of the many tales, in subsequent millennia, of demi-gods or heroes claiming such a status, who have likewise gone to search for Paradise on Earth or to reach the Celestial Abode of the Gods. Without question, the detailed epic of Gilgamesh also served as a guide book in which the subsequent searchers sought to find the ancient landmarks by which the Land of the Living could be reached and the way to it ascertained.

…The similarity between the geographical landmarks, the man-made (or rather the god-made) tunnels, corridors, air locks and radiation chambers, and the bird-like beings, or "Eagles," as well as many other major and minor details – are far too numerous and identical to be mere accidents. At the same time, the epic tale of the journey can explain the confusion that reigned millennia later concerning the exact location of the cherished target, because as our detailed analysis has shown, Gilgamesh made not one but two journeys – a fact generally ignored by modern scholars and possible also by past ones.

…The Gilgamesh journey reached its culmination in the Land of Tilmun, an Abode of the Gods and a place of the Shems.

…But that was not the first destination of Gilgamesh, and we ought to follow in his footsteps in the same sequence by which he himself had embarked on his journey: his first destination on the road to Immortality was not Tilmun, but the "Landing Place" on the Cedar Mountains within the great Cedar Forest.

…From Tilmun the farthest heavens could be reached.

…From the Landing Place the gods could "scale the skies" of Earth.

…The gods indeed had two types of craft: the GIRs, the Rocketships that were operated from Tilmun; and what the Sumerians called a MU, a "Sky Chamber." It is a credit to the technology of the Nefilim that the uppermost section of the GIR, the Command Module – what the Egyptians called Ben-Ben could be detached and fly in Earth’s skies as a MU."

Mr. Sitchin at this point in his book explains the several graphics of different symbols of gods and goddesses who flew these craft. Also the several "visions" or "wheels," "whirlwind," "fiery chariots" the ancients of biblical import had, could well have been these kind of craft.

…Gilgamesh almost made it to the Landing Place, for he had the permission and help of Shamash. But the wrath of Ishtar (when he turned down her advances) completely reversed the course of events.

There is another personality, from the Old Testament who, unlike Gilgamesh, was instead permitted to come to the Landing Place:

…It was the king of Tyre – a city state on the coast of Lebanon, a short distance away from the cedar mountains, and the Deity (as told in chapter 28 of the book of Ezekiel) did enable him to visit the Sacred Mountain:

Thou have been in Eden, the Garden of God, every precious stone was thy thicket…
Thou are an anointed Cherub, protected; and I have placed thee in the Sacred Mountain.
As a god werest thou, moving within the Fiery Stones.

…The king of Tyre was not only permitted to come to the place, but evidently was also given a ride in "the fiery stones," flying as a Cherub. As a result, "a god I am," he said, "in the Abode of the Deity I sat, in the midst of the waters." For his haughtiness of heart, the prophet was to inform him, he was to die the death of a heathen by the hands of strangers.

…Both the Hebrews of biblical times, and their neighbors to the north, were thus acquainted with the location and nature of the Landing Place in the Cedar Mountain which Gilgamesh attempted to penetrate in a previous millennium. It was, as we shall show, not a "mythological place", but a real one: not only texts, but also pictorial depictions exist from those ancient days, attesting to the existence and functions of the place. On the coast of Lebanon there was Tyre and Sidon; Ugarit, was discovered, around 1928, in ruins and under a mount, perhaps the northernmost outpost of the Canaanites at the border of the Hittite Empire.

…The tablets, whose contents were first presented by Charles Villoraud over many years in the scientific periodical Syria, retrieved from relative obscurity the Canaanites, their life and customs, and their gods.

…At the head of the Canaanite pantheon was a supreme deity called El – a term which in biblical Hebrew was the generic term for "deity" stemming as it did from the Akkadian word Ilu, which literally meant "Lofty One."

…In "olden times," "El was a principal deity of Heaven and Earth." Later… his abode was "in the mountains," at "the two headwaters."

At this stage it is explained in Mr. Sitchin’s book that El had three main children, (among many others) whose names, in later times gave way to the Greek Mythology.

…The links to Egyptian prehistorical recollections and beliefs were no less obvious than to those of Greece.

…Scholars have pointed out that all these tales were echoes, if not actual versions of the much earlier and original Sumerian tales: not only of Man’s Search for Immortality, but also of love, death and resurrection among the gods… The tales are replete with episodes, details, epithets, and teachings which also fill the Old Testament – attesting to a common locale (greater Canaan), common traditions and common original versions.

Kalesh, was encompassed in the territory of the biblical Patriarch Abraham; and the Canaanite tale of Danel is indeed replete with similarities to the biblical birth of Isaac, to the aging Abraham and Sarah.

Danel and his wife were childless, but he was granted a son by the god Baal (son of El). The child was named Aqhat. In his youth, and in an argument with his sister Anat over a unique bow she persuades him to accompany her to the city of "The Father of the gods, the Lord of the Moon". There she asks Taphan "to slay Aqhat for his bow" but then "make him live again."

…The transfer of action from the mountains of Lebanon to the "City of Lord Moon," is also an element found in the Gilgamesh epic. Throughout the ancient Middle East, the deity associated with the Moon was Sin (Nannar in the original Sumerian). His Ugaritic epithet was "Father of Gods."

…But whereas Gilgamesh arrived in the region of Sin after a long and hazardous trek, Anat – like Ishtar – could get around from place to place in no time – for she neither walked nor traveled on assback; instead, she flew from place to place.

…This ability "as a bird to fly," also attributed to the Canaanite deities, features in all the epic tales discovered at Ugarit.

…One such tale, in which a goddess flies to the rescue, is a text titled by scholars "The Legend of King Keret"Keret being capable of interpretation as the king’s personal name, or the name of his city ("The Capital"). The tale’s main theme is the same as that of the Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh: Man’s striving for Immortality. But it begins like the biblical tale of Job, and has other strong biblical similarities."

The Land of Tyre, on the Coast of Lebanon where Gilgamesh roamed…

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Ruined Fortification and Pier at Sidon, Mediterranean Sea Port, Lebanon.


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The ruined Hippodrome.


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The ruined Hippodrome.


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General view of Sidon looking towards Lebanon.


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The Citadel of Sidon.

…Of greater importance to the understanding of greater events are the several epic tales dealing with the god themselves. In these, the ability of the gods to fly about is accepted as a matter of course, and their haven in the "Crest of Zaphon" is featured as the astronauts’ resting place. The central figures in these tales are Ba’al and Anat, the brother-sister who are also lovers. Ba’al’s frequent epithet is "The Rider of the Clouds" – an epithet which the Old Testament has claimed for the Hebrew deity.

…Of Anat it is said:

She raises wing, the Maiden Anat,
she raises wing and tours about flying,
to the midst of the meadow of Samakh
which with buffaloes abounds.

…Seeing her, Ba’al signaled her to come down; but Anat began to play hide-and-seek. Annoyed, Ba’al asked whether she expects him to "anoint her ‘horns’"- a lovemaking expression – "while in flight." Unable to find her, Ba’al took off "and went up … in the skies" unto his throne-seat on the "Crest of Zaphon." The playful Anat :soon appeared there, upon Zaphon in pleasure (to be)."

…In earlier years, Ba’al engaged in life-and-death struggles with other contenders for the godly throne, the prize for all these fights was a place known as Zarerath Zaphon – commonly translated "The Heights of Zaphon," but especially meaning "The Rocky Crest in the North."

…(The fact that Ba’al, who had at least three wives, could not marry his beloved Anat confirms that she was a full, rather than a half sister of his).

…Ba’al’s plans were to have supremacy over the Crest of Zaphon, and through Asherah, who convinces El, it is agreed that Ba’al will be allowed to be the master of the Crest of Zaphon: "let him build his house there."

…But Ba’al also desired a Behmtam, commonly translated "house" but which literally means "a raised platform."

…The underground silo and raised platform were ready! Losing no time, Ba’al decided to test the facility:

Ba’al opened the Funnel in the Raised Platform.
the window within the Great House.
In the clouds, Ba’al opened rifts.
His godly sound Ba’al discharges.
His godly sound convulses the earth,
The mountains quake …
A-tremble are the …
In east and west, earth’s mounts reel.

…As Ba’al soared skyward, the divine messengers Gapan and Ugar joined him in flight: "The winged ones, the twain, flock the clouds" behind Ba’al, "bird-like-the twain" soared above the snow-covered peaks of Zaphon. But with the new facilities the Crest of Zaphon was turned into the "Fastness of Zaphon," and Mount Lebanon ("The White One," after its snowy peaks) acquired the epithet Sirion – "The Armoured" Mountain.

…Now that he had attained these powers and prerogatives, Ba’al’s ambitions grew in scope.

…Pursuing his quest for mastery, Ba’al with the help of Anat – battled and annihilated such male adversaries as Lothan, "the Serpent"; Shalyat, "the seven-headed-dragon," Atak "the Bullock," as well as the goddess Hashat, "The Bitch." We know from the Old Testament that Yahweh, the biblical Lord, was also a bitter adversary of Ba’al, and as Ba’al’s influence grew among the Israelites when their king married a Canaanite princes, the prophet Elijah arranged a contest between Ba’al and Yahweh upon Mount Carmel.

…When Yahweh prevailed… it was for Yahweh that the Old Testament claimed mastery over the Crest of Zaphon.

…As Ba’al in the Canaanite texts, so was the Hebrew Deity "Rider of the Clouds."

…The Hebrews were forbidden to worship, and therefore to make statues or engraved images. But the Canaanites who must have known of Yahweh, as the Hebrews had known of Ba’al, left us a depiction of Yahweh as conceived by them. A fourth century B.C. coin which bears the inscription Yahu ("Yahweh") depicts a bearded deity seated upon a throne shaped as a winged wheel.

…It was thus universally assumed in the ancient Near East that lordship over Zaphon established the supremacy among the gods who could fly about.

…Seven years after the Fastness of Zaphon was completed, Ba’al faced a challenge by Mot, Lord of the southern lands and the Lower World. As it turned out, the dispute was no longer about the mastery of Zaphon, rather, it had to do with "who over all the Earth dominions shall have."

…After plans and engaging in suspicious activities, Ba’al wanted to put one lip to Earth and one lip to Heaven. Ba’al engaged Anat to help him, but in the end of the struggle Ba’al was fallen by Mot and Anat, enraged, "with a sword she cleaved Mot."

…The Craftman of the Gods was summoned, and Ba’al was miraculously resurrected. "But whether he was resurrected physically on Earth, or in a Celestial Afterlife (as Osiris) one cannot be certain."

…This then is the evidence bequeathed to us from antiquity. Millennium after Millennium, the peoples of the ancient Near East were aware that within the Cedar Mountain there was a large platform for "moving stones," adjoined by a "great house," within which "a stone that whispers" was secreted.

…And, if we have been right in our interpretations of ancient texts and drawings – could it be that this grand and known place had vanished?

BA’AL

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Mount Carmel rises on the Mediterranean beyond the Town of Haifa.


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Elijah in the name of Yahweh competes with the god "Ba’al," on Mount Carmel.


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BAALBEK


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A stele from Balua in Moab, depicting an ancient ruler of Moab standing between Ba’al, distinguished by his horned helmet, and the fertility and war-goddess Anat, wearing her headdress with ostrich plumes of Osiris.


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BAALBEK


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BAALBEK


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BAALBEK

Continue to Chapter 9: The Landing Place

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