…In the spring of 1947, a shepherd boy searching for a lost sheep in the barren cliffs overlooking the Dead Sea, discovered a cave that contained Hebrew scrolls – had lain undisturbed for nearly two thousand years, carefully wrapped and hidden away during the turbulent years when Judea challenged the might of the Roman empire.
…One of the longest and most complete scrolls, and perhaps the most dramatic, deals with a future war, a kind of Final War. Titled by scholars The Wars of the Sons of Light Against the Sons of Darkness, it envisages spreading warfare – local battles that will first involve Judea’s immediate neighbors, which shall increase in ferocity and scope until the whole ancient world would be engulfed:
"The first engagement of the Sons of Light against the Sons of Darkness, that is against the army of Belial, shall be an attack upon the troops of Edom, Moab, the Ammonites and the Philistine area; then upon that of the Kittians of Assyria; and upon those violators of the Covenant who give them aid…"
…And after those battles, "they shall advance upon the Kittians of Egypt" and "in due time… against the kings of the north."
…In this War of Men, the scroll prophesied, the God of Israel shall take an active roll:
"On the day the Kittians fall, there shall be mighty combat and carnage, in the presence of the God of Israel; For that is the day which he appointed of old for the final battle against the Sons of Darkness.
Of this battle, (and going further than the Prophet Ezekiel) the Dead Sea Scroll says:
…On that day, the Company of the Divine and the Congregation of the Mortals shall engage side by side in combat and carnage. The Sons of Light shall battle against the Sons of Darkness with a show of godlike might, amid uproarious tumult, amid the war cries of gods and men." "
…One of the most romanticized wars, when "love had launched a thousand ships," was the War of Troy, between the Achaean Greeks and the Trojans. It was, know we not, launched by the Greeks to force the Trojans to return the beautiful Helen to her lawful spouse. Yet an epic Greek tale, the Kypria, represented the war as a premeditated scheme by the great god Zeus:
There was a time when thousands upon thousands of men encumbered the broad bosom of the Earth, and having pity on them, Zeus in his great wisdom resolved to lighten Earth’s burden. So he caused the strife of Ilion (Troy) to that end; that through death he might make a void in the race of men.
Mr. Sitchin explains more in his book, about the reasonings of the gods, and the interference of the demi-god Achilles, which caused the decision for Jove (Jupiter/Zeus) to take action.
Mr. Sitchin continues:
…The Battle of Troy, indeed Troy itself, was long thought of as just part of the fascinating but incredible Greek legends, which scholars have tolerantly called mythology. Troy and the events pertaining to it were still considered to be pure mythological when Charles McLaren suggested, back in 1822, that a certain mound in eastern Turkey, called Hissarlik, was the site of the Homeric Troy. It was only when a businessman named Heinrich Schliemann, risking his own money, came up with spectacular discoveries as he dug up the mound in 1870, that scholars began to acknowledge the existence of Troy. It is now accepted that the Battle of Troy had actually taken place in the thirteenth century B.C. It was then, according to the Greek sources, that gods and men had fought side by side; in such beliefs the Greeks were not alone.
…For centuries prior to the war of Troy, the Hittites expanded their kingdom to imperial proportions, claiming to have done so upon the orders of their supreme god TESHUB ("The Stormer"). His olden title was "Storm God Whose Strength Makes Dead," and Hittite kings sometimes claimed that the god had actually taken a hand in the battle… Also aiding the Hittites in the battle was the goddess ISHTAR, whose epithet was "Lady of the battlefield."
…Hittite influence, as many references in the Old Testament indicate, extended south into Canaan; but they were there as settlers, not as conquerors. While they treated Canaan as a neutral zone, laying to it no claim, this was not the attitude of the Egyptians. Repeatedly the Pharaohs sought to extend their rule northward to Canaan and the Cedar Land (Lebanon); they succeeded in doing so, circa 1470 B.C., when they defeated a coalition of Canaanite kings at Megiddo.
…the Hittite’s own inscriptions suggest that they went to war only when the gods gave the word, that the enemy was offered a chance to surrender peacefully before hostilities began, and that once a war was won, the Hittites were satisfied to receive tribute and take captives: the cities were not sacked; the populace was not massacred.
…The vicious nature of Egyptian warfare and the pitiless destructiveness they inflicted upon a vanquished foe were subjects of boastful inscriptions. The Pharaoh Pepi I, for example, commemorated his victory over the Asiatic "sand-dwellers" in a poem which hailed the army which "hacked up the land of the sand-dwellers… cut down its fig trees and vines… cast fire into all its dwellings, killed its people by many tens of thousands." The commemorative inscriptions were accompanied by vivid depictions of the battle scenes.
The Pharaoh Pi-Ankhy adhered to this wanton tradition.
…The god Amon, to whose battle orders the Egyptians attributed their viciousness, found his match in the God of Israel. In the words of the Prophet Jeremiah,
"Thus sayeth the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel: ‘I will punish Amon, god of Thebes, and those who trust in him, and shall bring retribution upon Egypt and its gods, its Pharaohs and its kings.’"
…This we learn from the Bible, was an ongoing confrontation; nearly a thousand years earlier, in the days of the Exodus, Yahweh, the God of Israel smote Egypt with a series of afflictions intended not only to soften the heart of its ruler but also as "judgments against all the gods of Egypt."
…The biblical language is almost identical to the words of a later Pharaoh, Ramses II, used by him to describe the miraculous appearance of Amon-Ra at his side during a decisive battle fought with the Hittites in 1286 B.C.
… The Hittite victory might have been more decisive, for they had almost captured the Pharaoh himself… Ramses, on his return to Egypt saw fit to describe in detail the miracle of his escape:
"…As Ramses went on pleading with his god Amon to save him, for the god’s powers were greater than those of "millions of foot soldiers, of hundreds of thousands of chariot-soldiers," a miracle happened: the god showed up on the battlefield!
"…Thus unopposed , slaying the enemy left and right, Ramses managed to escape.
…After the death of Muwatallis, (Hittite king) Egypt and the Hittite kingdom signed a peace treaty, and the reigning Pharaoh took a Hittite princess to be his principal wife. The peace was needed because not only the Hittites but also the Egyptians were increasingly coming under attack by "Peoples of the Sea" – invaders from Crete and other Greek islands. They gained a foothold on the Mediterranean coast of Canaan to become the biblical Philistines; but their attacks on Egypt proper were beaten back by the Pharaoh Ramses III, who commemorated the battle scenes on temple walls. He attributed his victories to his strict adherence to "the plans of the All-Lord, my august divine father, the Lord of the Gods." It was to his god Amon-Ra, Ramses wrote, that the credit for the victories was due, for it was:
Amon-Ra who was after them, destroying them.
Regalia from the Holy Roman Empire.
Caves of Essene Community, Qumran, by the Dead Sea where in 1947 the Scrolls were found.
A Biblical scene of the Men of Judah against Philistines.
Dead Sea from space.
A Biblical scene of the Men of Judah against Moabites, and Ammonites.
Trojans being warned of their fate.
Helen, the given reason for the Trojan War, the Greeks demanded the return of Helen to her devoted spouse… but, it was the god Zeus who plotted… in the Wars of Gods and Men.
Culmination of the Trojan War.
A scene from the Iliad, where the King of Troy begs Achilles to return the body of Hector.
Ruins of Troy I and Troy II, Turkey today.
Pepi I claimed barbarous victory over the Asians.
The peoples of Crete and Greek Islands (above and 3 images below) became the Philistines.
Temple of Ramses III. He was victorious over the Philistines.
…The bloody trail of man’s war against his fellow man on behalf of the gods now takes us back to Mesopotamia – the Land between the Rivers (Euphrates and Tigris) – the biblical Land of Shin’ar. There, as is related in Genesis 11, the first-ever cities arose, with buildings made with bricks and towers that scraped the skies. It was there that recorded history began; it was there that prehistory began with the settlements of the Olden Gods.
…It is a tale of long ago, which we will soon unfold. But right now let us return to a thousand years before the traumatic times of Ramses II in Egypt. Then, in faraway Mesopotamia, kingship was taken over by an ambitious young man. He was called Sharru-Kin – "Righteous Ruler"; our textbooks call him Sargon the First. He built a new capital city, calling it Agade, and established the kingdom of Akkad. The Akkadian language, written in wedge-like (cuneiform) script, was the mother tongue of all the Semitic languages, of which Hebrew and Arabic are still in use.
…Reigning for the better part of the twenty-fourth century B.C., Sargon attributed his long reign (fifty-four years) to the special status granted him by the Great Gods, who made him "Overseer of Ishtar, Anointed Priest of ANU, Great Righteous Shepherd of ENLIL." It was Enlil, Sargon wrote, "who did not let anybody oppose Sargon" and who gave Sargon "the region from the Upper Sea to the Lower Sea" (from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf). It was therefore to "the gate of the House of Enlil" that Sargon brought the captive kings, ropes tied to the dog collars around their necks.
…The Akkadian dynasty begun by Sargon reached its peak under his grandson Naram-Sin ("Whom the god Sin loves"). His conquests, Naram-Sin wrote on his monuments, were possible because his god had armed him with a unique weapon, the "Weapon of the God," and because the other gods granted him their explicit consent – or even invited him – to enter their regions.
…Just as Naram-Sin could attribute his successful campaigns to his heeding the command of his gods, so was his downfall attributed to his going to war against the word of the gods. Scholars have put together from fragments of several versions a text that has been titled The Legend of Naram-Sin. Speaking in the first person, Naram-Sin explains in this tale of woe that his troubles began when the goddess Ishtar, "changed her plan" and the gods gave their blessing to "seven kings, brothers, glorious and noble; their troops numbered 360,000…" and they were threatening Akkad itself. Naram-Sin asked the gods what to do and was told to put aside his weapons and, instead of going to battle, to go sleep with his wife (but, for some deep reason, avoid making love).
…But Naram-Sin, announcing that he would rely on his own weapons, decided to attack the enemy in spite of the god’s advice.
…On the fourth anniversary of the unauthorized war, Naram-Sin appealed to the great god Ea to overrule Ishtar and put his case before the other gods. They advised him to desist from further fighting, promising that "in days to come, Enlil will summon perdition upon the "Sons of Evil," and Akkad would have respite.
…The promised era of peace lasted about three centuries, during which the olden part of Mesopotamia, Sumer, reemerged as the center of kingship, and the oldest urban centers of the ancient world – Ur, Nippur, Lagash, Isin, Larsa – flourished again. Sumer, under the kings of Ur, was the center of an empire that encompassed the whole of the ancient Near East. But toward the end of the third millennium B.C., the land became the arena for contending loyalties and opposing armies, and then that great civilization – succumbed to a major catastrophe of unprecedented proportions… It was those Mesopotamian texts stated, a catastrophe that befell Sumer as a result of a decision of the great gods sitting in council.
…It took Mesopotamia almost a century to be resettled and another century to fully recover from the divine annihilation. By then, the center of Mesopotamian power had shifted northward, to Babylon. There, a new empire was to rise, proclaiming an ambitious god, MARDUK, as its supreme deity.
…Circa 1800 B.C., Hammurabi, the king renowned for his law code, ascended the throne in Babylon and began to extend his boundaries. According to his inscriptions the gods not only told him if and when to launch his military campaigns but were literally leading his armies…
…But before long Babylon had to share its might with a new rival to its north – Assyria, where not Marduk but the bearded god ASHUR ("The All-Seeing") was proclaimed supreme. While Babylon tangled with the lands to its south and east, the Assyrians extended their rule northward and westward, as far as "the country of Lebanon, on the shores of the Great Sea." These were lands in the domains of the gods NINURTA and ADAD, and the Assyrian kings carefully noted that they launched their campaigns on the explicit commands of these great gods.
…In assuming the title "king of the world, king of the four regions of the Earth," the Assyrian kings directly challenged Babylon, for Babylon encompassed the ancient region of Sumer and Akkad. To legitimize their claim the Assyrian kings had to take control of those olden cities where the Great Gods had their homes in olden times; but the way to these sites was blocked by Babylon. The feat was achieved in the ninth century B.C. by Shalmaneser III…
…Describing his various military campaigns, Shalmaneser asserted that his victories were achieved with weapons provided by two gods:
"I fought with the Mighty Force which Ashur, my lord, had given me, and with the strong weapons which Nergal, my leader, had presented to me."
…The weapon of Ashur was described as having a "terrifying brilliance." In a war with Adini the enemy fled on seeing "the terrifying Brilliance of Ashur; it overwhelmed them."
…When Babylon, after several acts of defiance, was sacked by the Assyrian king Sennacherib (in 689 B.C.), its demise was made possible because its own god, Marduk, became angry with its king and people, and decreed that "seventy years shall be the measure of its desolation" – exactly as the God of Israel had later decreed for Jerusalem. With the subjugation of the whole of Mesopotamia, Sennacherib was able to assume the cherished title "King of Sumer and Akkad…" He conquered… with the aid of "the awe-inspiring Brilliance, the weapon of Ashur, my lord." Reliefs that illustrate his campaigns (as the one depicting the siege of Lachish), show the attackers using rocketlike missiles against their enemy. In the conquered cities Sennacherib "killed their officials and patricians … and hung their bodies on poles surrounding the city; the common citizens I considered prisoners of war."
…An artifact known as the Prism of Sennacherib preserved an historical inscription in which he made mention of the subjugation of Judea and his attack to Jerusalem. The quarrel Sennacherib had with its king, Hezekiah, was the fact that he held Padi, the king of the Philistine city of Ekron, "who was loyal to his solemn oath to his god Ashur."
…The siege of Jerusalem offers several interesting aspects. It had no direct cause but only an indirect one: the forced holding there of the loyal king of Ekron. The "awe-inspiring Brilliance, the weapon of Ashur," which was employed to "overwhelm the strong cities" of Phoenicia and Philistia, was not used against Jerusalem. And the customary inscriptional ending "I fought with them and inflicted defeat upon them" is missing in the case of Jerusalem; Sennacherib merely reduced the size of Judea by giving its outlying areas to neighbouring kings.
…More over, the usual claim that a land or a city was attacked upon the "trustworthy orders" of the god Ashur was also absent in the case of Jerusalem; one wonders whether all this meant that the attack on the city was an unauthorized attack – a whim of Sennacherib himself but not the wish of his god?
…This intriguing possibility becomes a convincing probability as we read the other side of the story – for such another side does exist in the Old Testament."
The story is told in II Kings, Chapters 18 and 19. In fact, one of Sennacherib’s generals bluff in front of the people of Jerusalem, in the Hebrew language so that all could understand. He pretended Yahweh had commanded him to fight against Jerusalem. The bluff was found and king Hezekiah was informed through the Prophet Isaiah that:
…’Concerning the king of Assyria … the way that he came, he shall return; and unto this city he shall not come in … for I shall defend this city to save it.’
And it came to pass that night,
that the Angel of Yahweh went forth
and smote in the camp of the Assyrians
a hundred and eighty-five thousand;
and at sunrise, lo and behold,
they were all dead corpses.
So Sennacherib, the king of Assyria,
departed, and journeyed back and dwelt in Nineveh.
Sennacherib was assassinated by his sons Adrammelech and Sharezzer… "And Esarhaddon, his son, reigned in his stead." An inscription of Esarhaddon known as Prism B describes:
…On the command of the great gods, Sennacherib had publicly proclaimed his younger son as successor. "He called together the people of Assyria, young and old, and he made my brothers, the male offspring of my father, take a solemn oath… in order to secure my succession." The brothers then broke the oath, killing Sennacherib and seeking to kill Esarhaddon. But the gods snatched him away "and made me stay in a hiding place… preserving me for kingship."
…After a period of turmoil Esarhaddon received "a trustworthy command from the gods: ‘Go, do not delay! We will march with you!’
…The deity who was delegated to accompany Esarhaddon was Ishtar. As his brother’s forces came out of Nineveh to beat off his attack on the capital, "Ishtar, The Lady of Battle, who wished me to be her high priest, stood at my side. She broke their bows, scattered their orderly battle array." Once the Ninevite troops were disorganized, Ishtar addressed them in behalf of Esarhaddon. "Upon her lofty command, they went over in masses to me and rallied behind me," Esarhaddon wrote, "and recognized me as their king."
…Both Esarhaddon and his son and successor Ashurbanipal attempted to advance against Egypt and both employed Weapons of Brilliance in the battles.
…Other inscriptions of Ashurbanipal suggest that this weapon, which emitted an intense, blinding brightness, was worn by the gods as part of their headgear. In one instance an enemy "was blinded by the brightness from the god-head." In another, "Ishtar, who dwells in Arbela, clad in Divine Fire and sporting the Radiant Headwear, rained flames upon Arabia."
…The Old Testament, too, refers to such a Weapon of Brilliance that could blind. When the Angels (literally, emissaries) of the Lord came to Sodom prior to its destruction, the populace attempted to break down the door of the house in which they were resting. So the Angels "smote the people at the entrance of the house with blindness… and they were unable to find the doorway."
…The biblical prophecies predicting the downfall of Assyria indeed came true… The disintegration of the Assyrian empire was seized by vassal kings in Egypt and Babylonia as an opportunity to attempt the restoration of their own hegemonies. The lands between them were once again the cherished prize, and the Egyptians, under the Pharaoh Necho, were quicker in invading these territories.
…In Babylonia, Nebuchadnezzar II – as recorded in his inscriptions – was ordered by the god Marduk to march his army westward. The expedition was made possible because "another god," the one who held the original sovereignty over the area, "has not desired the cedar land" anymore; and now "a foreign enemy was ruling and robbing it."
…In Jerusalem the word of the Lord Yahweh through his prophet Jeremiah was to side with Babylon, for the Lord Yahweh – calling Nebuchadnezzar "my servant" had decided to make the Babylonian king the instrument of his wrath against the gods of Egypt:
Thus sayeth Yahweh, Lord of Hosts, The God of Israel:
"Indeed will I send for and fetch Nebuchadnezzar, my servant …
and he shall smite the land of Egypt,
and deliver such as are for death to death,
and such as are for captivity to captivity,
and such as are for the sword to the sword.
And I will kindle a fire in the house of Egypt’s gods, and he will burn them …
And he will break the obelisks of Heliopolis,
the one which is in the land of Egypt;
The houses of the gods of Egypt shall he burn with fire."
…In the course of this campaign the Lord Yahweh announced that Jerusalem, too, shall be punished on account of its people’s sins, having taken up the worship of the "Queen of Heaven" and of the gods of Egypt:
"Mine anger and my fury shall be poured upon this place … and it shall burn and shall not be quenched … In the city on which my name has been called, the doom will I begin."
…And so it was that in the year 586 B.C. "Nebuzaraddan, captain of the guard of the king of Babylon, came into Jerusalem, and he burned the House of Yahweh, and the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem … and all the walls around Jerusalem were torn down by the armies of the Chaldeans." This desolation, Yahweh promised, however, would last only seventy years.
…The king who was to fulfill this promise and enable the rebuilding of the Temple of Jerusalem was Cyrus. His ancestors, speaking an Indo-European language, are believed to have migrated south from the Caspian Sea area to the province of Anshan along the eastern coast of the Persian Gulf. There Hakham-Anish ("Wise Man"), the leader of the migrants, began a dynasty we call Achaemenid; his descendants – Cyrus, Darius, Xerxes – made history as rulers of what was to be the Persian empire.
…Cyrus left his successors an empire that encompassed all the earlier empires and kingdoms but one. Sumer, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria in Mesopotamia; Elam and Media to the east; the lands of the north; the Hittite and Greek lands in Asia Minor; Phoenicia and Canaan and Philistia – all had come now under one sovereign king and one supreme god, Ahura-Mazda, god of Truth and Light. He was depicted in ancient Persia as a bearded deity roaming the skies within a Winged Disk – very much in the manner in which the Assyrians had depicted their supreme god, Ashur.
…When Cyrus died in 529 B.C., the only remaining independent land with its independent gods was Egypt. Four years later his son and successor, Cambyses, led his troops along the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai peninsula and defeated the Egyptians at Pelusium; a few months later he entered Memphis, the Egyptian royal capital, and proclaimed himself a Pharaoh.
Cambyses recognized Egypt did not come under his god Ahura-Mazda, therefore:
…In deference to the independent gods of Egypt, Cambyses prostrated himself before their statues, accepting their dominion. In return the Egyptian priests legitimized his rule over Egypt by granting him the title "Offspring of Ra."
…The ancient world was now united under one king, chosen by the "great god of truth and light" and accepted by the gods of Egypt. Neither men nor gods had cause left to war with each other. Peace on Earth!
…But peace failed to last. Across the Mediterranean Sea, the Greeks were increasing in wealth, power, and ambitions. Asia Minor, the Aegean Sea, and the eastern Mediterranean saw increasing clashes, both local and international. In 490 B.C., Darius I attempted to invade Greece and was defeated at Marathon; nine years later Xerxes I was defeated at Salamis. A century and a half later Alexander of Macedonia crossed over from Europe to launch a campaign of conquest that saw the blood of men flow in all the ancient lands as far as India.
…Was he carrying a "trustworthy command" of the gods? On the contrary. Believing a legend that he was fathered by an Egyptian god, Alexander at first fought his way to Egypt to hear the god’s oracle confirm his semidivine origins. But the oracle also predicted his early death, and Alexander’s travels and conquests were thereafter motivated by a search for the Waters of Life, so that he might drink of them and evade his fate.
…He died, in spite of all the carnage, young and in his prime. And ever since, the Wars of Men have been the wars of men alone."
One of the cities fallen in The Wars of Gods and Men was Jerusalem, captive of Nebuchadnezzar. Restored by King Cyrus of Persia, he rebuilt the Temple of Yahweh.
Caspian Sea area view from space.
Cyrus parents came from the Caspian Sea area and moved to the area of the Persian Gulf.
Cyrus parents established the Achaemenid Dynasty. Tombs of the Kings, Persia.
Cyrus parents established the Achaemenid Dynasty. Offerings.
King Darius, Persia, a descendant of the Achaemenid Dynasty.
King Xerxes, Persia, a descendant of the Achaemenid Dynasty.
When Greece rose to power, and after Darius tried in vain to conquer them, Xerxes also fails at Salamis. Some Ruins of Salamis, Cyprus.
One hundred years later…. the battles of Alexander ensued… a bloody campaign which reached India too.