Chapter 2: Fate Has Twelve Stations
“…Scholars have long recognized that in the lore of diverse nations the same theme, the same basic tale, appears and reappears though under different guises, names, and localities. It is thus perhaps no wonder that the carved basalt stone on which Gilgamesh is depicted fighting with the lions was discovered near a village bearing the name Eim Samsum – “Samsom’s Spring.” For, it will be recalled, Samsom, also fought and killed a lion with his bare hands. That was some two thousand years after Gilgamesh, and certainly not on the Golan Heights. Is the village’s name, then, just a coincidence, or the lingering memory of a visitor called Gilgamesh becoming Samsom?
“…Of greater significance is the association with King Keret… it is presumed by many (e.g. Cyrus H. Gordon Notes on the Legend of Keret) that the combined name for the king and his capital in fact identified the island of Crete. There, according to Cretan and Greek legends… the god Zeus saw Europa, the beautiful daughter of a king of Phoenicia… and taking the form of a bull, abducted her… he had three sons by her, among them Minos… He (Minos) appealed to Poseidon, god of the seas, to bestow upon him a sign of divine favor… Poseidon made a Divine Bull… Minos vowed to offer the beautiful bull as a sacrifice to the god… but instead he kept it to himself… the god made the king’s wife fall in love and mate with the bull… the legendary Minotaur was the offspring… Minos then commissioned the divine craftsman Daedalus to build in the Cretan capital Knossos an underground maze from which the bull-man would be unable to escape. The maze was called the Labyrinth.
“…It certainly resembles the layout of the Golan site and it calls for going back to the Epic of Gilgamesh for the hero’s encounter with the Bull of Heaven.
The reader may go back to the second book The Stairway to Heaven and read about the Epic of Gilgamesh. Mr. Sitchin continues:
“…What was the Bull of Heaven – GUD.ANNA in Sumerian? Many students of the Epic… have come to the conclusion that the Epic’s events, taking place on Earth, are but a mirror image of events taking place in Heaven. Utu/Shamash is the Sun, Inanna/Ishtar is what she was later called in Greek and Roman times – Venus. The menacing guardian of the Cedar Mountains with a face of a lion is the constellation of Leo (the Lion), and the Bull of Heaven the celestial group of stars that has been called – since Sumerian times! – the constellation of the Bull, Taurus.
“…The Sumerian zodiacal lists began with Taurus, which was indeed the constellation from which the Sun was observed rising at dawn on the day of spring equinox in the fourth millennium B.C. It was called in sumerian GUD.ANNA (“Bull of Heaven” or “Heavenly Bull”) – the very same term used in the Epic of Gilgamesh for the divine creature that Inanna/Ishtar had summoned from the heavens and that the two comrades slew.
“…Did the slaying represent or symbolize an actual celestial event, circa 2900 B.C.? While the possibility cannot be ruled out, the historical record indicates that major events and changes did occur on Earth at that time; and the “slaying” of the Bull of Heaven represented an omen, a heavenly omen, predicting or even triggering events on Earth.
“…For the better part of the fourth millennium B.C. the Sumerian civilization was not only the greatest on Earth, but also the only one. But circa 3100 B.C. the civilization of the Nile (Egypt and Nubia) joined the one of the Euphrates-Tigris Rivers… Egyptian celestial-zodiacal depictions indeed associated the beginning of their civilization with the cutting off of the forepart of the constellation of the Bull.
“…As we have detailed in The Wars of Gods and Men, Inanna/Ishtar had expected at that time to become mistress of the new civilization, but it was – literally and symbolically – torn away from her. She was partly appeased when a third civilization, that of the Indus Valley, was put under her aegis, circa 2900 B.C.
“…A thousand years after the probable stay of Gilgamesh at the Golan site, it was visited by another ancient VIP who also saw Fate written in the zodiacal constellations. He was Jacob, the grandson of Abraham; and the time, by our calculations, was about 1900 B.C.
“…A question that is often ignored regarding the megalithic structures around the globe is, Why have they been constructed where they are…? The great pyramids of Giza, we have suggested in our writings, served as anchors for a Landing Corridor leading to a spaceport in the Sinai peninsula… all on the thirtieth parallel north… Stonehenge… was erected where it is because it is precisely there that its astronomical functions could combine both solar and lunar observations… the Golan Circles connected two major international routes, the King’s Highway (below, top image) and the Way of the Sea (below, bottom image)
The King’s Highway
The Way of the Sea
“…The two routes connected Mesopotamia and Egypt, Asia and Africa. At the Golan site, the crossing could be made on either side of the Sea of Galilee (Lake Kinnereth); the preferred one – then and now – is the one on the north, where the bridge has retained its ancient name: The Bridge of the Daughters of Jacob.
“…Based on biblical and Mesopotamian data, we believe that this was what Jacob had used the site for.
“…The story began two centuries earlier, in Sumer, and it began not with Jacob’s grandfather Abraham but with Jacob’s great -grandfather, Terah… The family’s care to be known as Ibri (Hebrew) people suggests to us that they considered themselves to be Nippurians – people from the city Nippur that in Sumerian was rendered NI.IBRU – “The Beautiful/Pleasant Abode of Crossing.”
“…Circa 2100 B.C. Terah was transferred to Ur… and then to a distant city called Harran. Situated on the Upper Euphrates and its tributaries, the city served as major crossroads and trading post (which its name, meaning the Caravancy, indicated)… And it was there that Terah died when he was 205 years old.
“…It was after that that God said unto Abram: “Get thee out of thy country, and out of thy birthplace, and from thy father’s dwelling place, unto the land that I will show thee. And Abram took Sarai his wife… Lot… his nephew… and all the people in their household, and all of their belongings, and went to the land of Canaan…
“…Acting on divine instructions, Abram moved quickly in Canaan to establish a base in the Negev… On a visit to Egypt he was received in the Pharaoh’s court… when back in Canaan he played a role in an international conflict… It was after that that God promised Abram a son… but Sarai remained barren…
“…At her suggestion, her handmaiden, Hagar, bore Abram a son, Ishmael… After the upheaval of Sodom and Gomorrah when the couple’s names were changed to Abraham and Sarah, Abraham then aged one hundred, had a son by his wife… Isaac. Though not the first born, was the Legitimate Heir under the Sumerian succession rules that the Patriarch followed, for he was a son of his father’s half sister, “the daughter of my father but not of my mother,” Abraham said of Sarah (Genesis 20:12).
“…It was after the death of Sarah… that Abraham… (137 years by our calculations) became concerned about his unmarried son Isaac. Fearing that Isaac would end up marrying a Canaanite, he sent the overseer of his household to Harran, to find there a bride for Isaac from among the relatives that had remained there. Arriving at the dwelling village of Nahor, he met at the watering well Rebecca, who turned out to be Nahor’s granddaughter and ended up going to Canaan to become Isaac’s wife.
“…Twenty years after they got married Rebecca gave birth to twins, Esau and Jacob.
“…Esau was first to get married, taking two wives right off, both of them Hittite lasses: “They were a source of grief to Isaac and Rebecca…” So Isaac called Jacob and instructed him to go to Harran, to his mother’s family, to find there a bride.
“…The Bible reports only one episode (of Jacob’s journey) – though a very significant one. It was the nighttime vision by Jacob… of a stairway to heaven on which Angels of the Lord were ascending and descending. Awakened, Jacob realized that he had come upon “a place of the Elohim and a gateway to heaven.” He marked the place by setting up a commemorative stone, and named the site Beth-El – “The House of El,” the Lord. And then, by a route that is not stated, he continued to Harran.
“…On the city’s outskirts he saw shepherds gathering with their flocks at a well in the fields… Jacob met Rachel, Laban’s daughter who invited him to stay and meet his other daughter, the older Leah… but Jacob fell in love with Rachel and offered to work for seven years in lieu of a dowry… But on the night of the wedding, after the banquet, Laban substituted Leah for Rachel in the bridal bed.
“…When Jacob discovered the bride’s identity… Laban said, here, we do not marry off the younger daughter before her elder sister, why don’t you work another seven years for me and then marry Rachel too?
Rebecca at the Well
Jacob did, he married Rachel and he was very successful in the fields but this attracted the envy of Laban’s sons.
“…And so it was, when Laban and his sons were away to sheer their flocks of sheep, that Jacob gathered his wives and children and flocks and fled Harran. “And he crossed the river” – “the Euphrates” – and set his course toward the mount of Gile’ad.”
“…On the third day it was told to Laban that Jacob had escaped… after seven days he caught up with him at the mount of Gilead.”
“…Gilad – “The Everlasting Stone Heap” in Hebrew – the site of the circular observatory in the Golan!
“…The encounter started with bitter exchanges and reciprocal accusations. It ended with a peace treaty… Jacob selected a stone and erected it to be a Witnessing Pillar, to mark the boundary beyond which Laban would not cross into Jacob’s domains nor would Jacob cross to Laban’s domains. Such boundaries stones, called Kudurru in Akkadian because of their rounded tops, have been discovered at various Near Eastern sites.
“…How certain can we be that the place was that of the Golan circle’s site? Here, we believe, is the convincing final clue: In his oath of treaty, Jacob also described the site as Ha-Mitzpeh – The Observatory!
“…The Book of Jubilees, an extrabiblical book that recounted the biblical tales from varied early sources, added a postscript to the recorded event: “And Jacob made here a heap for a witness, wherefore the name for the place is called ‘The Heap of Witness’; but before they used to call the land of Gilead the Land of the Repha’im.”
“…And thus we are back to the enigmatic Golan site and its nickname Gilgal Repha’im.
“…The Kudurru boundary stones that have been found in the Near East bore, as a rule, not just the terms of the agreement and the names of the gods invoked as its guarantors, but also the god’s celestial symbols – sometimes of the zodiacal constellations – all twelve of them…
“…While not all the symbols depicting the twelve zodiacal constellations have survived from Sumerian times, or even Babylonian times, they have been found on Egyptian monuments, in identical depictions and names.
“…Should any one doubt that Abraham, a son of the astronomer-priest Terah, was aware of the twelve zodiacal-houses when God told him to observe the skies and see therein the future…? When his first son was born by the handmaiden Hagar, God blessed the boy Ishmael (“By God Heard”), by this prophecy:
As for Ishmael:
Indeed I have heard him.
By this do I bless him:
I will make him fruitful
and I will multiply him exceedingly;
Of him twelve chieftains will be born,
his shall be a great nation.
“…With that prophetic blessing, linked to the starry heavens as observed by Abraham, does the Bible for the first time record the number twelve and its significance. It then relates (Genesis 25) that Ishmael’s sons – each a chief of a tribal state – indeed numbered twelve.
“…The next time the Bible employs the number twelve is in listing Jacob’s twelve sons at the time when he was back at his father’s estate in Hebron… Listing them by the names that later became familiar as names of the Twelve Tribes of Israel…
Mr. Sitchin gives more examples from biblical source of the importance of the number twelve and the relationship with the zodiacal symbols, as with Joseph’ s dreams, and the blessing of the twelve sons of Jacob.
“…Archaeologists excavating the remains of Jewish synagogues in the Holy Land are sometimes puzzled to find the floors of such synagogues decorated with the zodiacal circle of twelve constellations depicted by their traditional symbols. They tend to view the finds as aberrations from Greek and Roman influences in the centuries before Christianity. Such an attitude, stemming from the belief that the practice was prohibited by the Old Testament, ignores the historical record – the Hebrews’ familiarity with the zodiacal constellations and their association with predictions of the future – with Fate.
“…For generations and to this day, one can hear cries of Mazal-tov! Mazal-tov! at Jewish weddings or when a boy is circumcised. Ask anyone what it means, and the answer will be “Good Luck,” let the couple or boy have good luck with them.
“…Few realize, however, that though that is what is intended, that is not what the phrase means. Mazal-tov literally means “a good /favorable zodiacal constellation.”
“…The observation of the heavens for fateful indications, a task performed by a corps of astronomers-priests, assumed a key role in Babylonian times…
“…Today’s horoscopic astrology’s roots go back well beyond the Babylonians, the “Chaldeans” of Greek reports. Coupled with the twelve-month calendar, the notion that Fate and the Zodiac are two aspects of the same course of events undoubtedly began at least when the calendar began – in Nippur, in 3760 B.C. (which is when the count of the Jewish calendar began). That such an association can be gleaned, in our opinion, from one of the Sumerian constellation names, that of ZI.BA.AN.NA. The term, understood to mean “Heavenly Fate” literally means “Life-Decision in the heavens” as well as “The Heavenly Scales of Life…” In The Papyrus of Ani, the god Anubis is shown weighing the heart (Day of Judgment) in a balance and the god Thoth, the Divine Scribe recording the result on a pallet. (A second version of the Papyrus of Ani is here: E. A. Wallis Budge: The Papyrus of Ani, from the The Egyptian Book of the Dead, 1895.
“…An unsolved puzzle in Jewish traditions is why the biblical Lord had chosen the seventh month, Tishrei, as the month in which the Hebrew New Year was to begin… We believe that the crucial clue is the calendrical link with the zodiac. At the time of the Exodus (mid-second millennium B.C.) the first constellation, that of the spring equinox, was Aries, not Taurus anymore. And starting with Aries, the constellation of the Heavenly Scales of Life was indeed the seventh. The month in which the Jewish New Year was to begin, the month in which it would be decided in heaven who is to live and who is to die, who is to be healthy or to be sick, to be richer or poorer, happy or unhappy – was the month that paralleled the zodiacal month of the Celestial Scales.
“And in the heavens, Fate had twelve stations.”