“…Divine Encounters are the ultimate human experience perhaps because they were also the very first human experience; for when God created Man, Man met God at the very moment of being created.
“…No one after Adam and Eve could attain the experience of being the first humans on Earth, with the attendant first Divine Encounters. But what has ensued in the Garden of Eden has endured as part of human yearning unto our own days.
“…The chain of events leading to the Expulsion from Paradise raises a lasting question: How did Adam and Eve hear God – how does God communicate with humans at such, or any Divine Encounters? Can the humans see the divine speaker, or just hear the message? And how is the message conveyed – face-to-face? Telepathically? In a holographic vision? Through the medium of dreams?
“We shall examine the ancient evidence for the answers. But as far as the events in the Garden of Eden are concerned, the biblical text suggests a physical divine presence…
And they heard the sound of the Lord God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day;
And Adam and his wife hid themselves
from the presence of the Lord God
amongst the trees of the garden.
“God is physically present in the Garden of Eden… can they see the deity? The biblical narration is silent on the issue; it makes clear however, that God can see them – or, in this instance, was expecting to see them but could not because they were hiding. So God used his voice to reach them…
“…A trialogue ensues… it suggests that the Adam could talk from the very beginning… The Lord God then declares the punishment [for eating of the forbidden fruit]…
“…By this time the encounter is clearly face-to-face, for now the Lord God not only makes skin-coats for Adam and his wife, but also clothes them with the coats… the biblical passage cannot be treated as only symbolical. It clearly lets us know that in the beginning, when the Adam was in the Garden of Eden, humans encountered their Creator face-to-face.
“Now, unexpectedly, God gets worried. Speaking again to unnamed colleagues, Yahweh Elohim expresses his concern that “now that the Adam has become as one of us, to know good and evil, what if he shall put forth his hand and also take of the Tree of Life, and eat, and live forever?”
“…The decision to create The Adam stems from a suggestion to fashion him “in the image and after the likeness” of the divine creators. The resulting being, the handiwork of the Elohim, is brought forth “in the image of Elohim.” And now, having eaten the fruit of Knowing, Man has become godlike in one more crucial respect. Looking at it from the view point of the deity, “The Adam has become as one of us” except for Immortality. And so the other unnamed colleagues of Yahweh concur in the decision to expel Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden, placing Cherubim with a “revolving flaming sword” to block the humans’ way back if they ever tried.
“Thus did Man’s very creator decree Man’s mortality. But Man undaunted, has searched for immortality ever since through the medium of Divine Encounters.
“Is this yearning for Encounters based on a recollection of real happenings, or an illusionary search based on mere myths? How much of the biblical tale is fact, how much fiction?
“…The veracity of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) – be it its tales of Creation, of the Deluge and Noah’s Ark, of the Patriarchs, of the Exodus – has come into doubting criticism in the nineteenth century. Much of that skepticism and disbelief has been muted and countered by archaeological discoveries and increasingly validated the biblical record and data in an ever-receding order – from the near past to the earlier times, carrying the corroboration farther and farther back through historical times to prehistorical ones…
“…The archaeologists’ spades not only verified the existence of Shine’ar/Sumer. The finds also brought to light ancient texts from Mesopotamia that paralleled the biblical tales of Creation and the Deluge…
“…History, as the great scholar Samuel N. Kramer has so excellently expounded in his 1959 book of that title, History Begins at Sumer.
“It all began, we learn from the various texts, a very long time ago, with the splashing down in the waters of the Persian Gulf or the Arabian Sea of a group of fifty ANUNNAKI – a term literally meaning “Those Who from Heaven to Earth Came…” Other settlements followed in pursuit of the visitors’ mission: Obtaining gold by distilling the water of the Persian Gulf – gold needed urgently back on the home planet of the Anunnaki so that their dwindling atmosphere could be protected by a shield of suspended gold particles…
“…The evidence presented and analyzed by us in books I – V of The Earth Chronicles series and the companion book Genesis Revisited, indicated a vast elliptical orbit for Nibiru that lasts 3,600 Earth-years, a period called SAR in Sumerian…
“…Therein , in the Sars, lies the secret to the apparent immortality of the ancient “gods…” The orbit of Nibiru lasts 3,600 Earth-years; but for those who live on Nibiru, that amounts to only one of their years… in the eyes of the Earthlings (for that, literally, is what Adam – “He of Earth” – meant in Hebrew), the life cycles of the Anunnaki were such that, in human terms, they were immortal for all practical purposes.
“…Man, The Adam, was not yet on Earth when the Anunnaki arrived. For forty Sars the Anunnaki who were sent to the Abzu toiled mining the gold; but then they mutinied.
“…Enki, the scientist, had a solution. Let us create a Primitive Worker, he said, that will take over the backbreaking toil. The other leaders of the Anunnaki present wondered: How can it be done, how can an Adamu be created? To which Enki gave this answer:
The creature whose name you uttered
“He found the “creature” – a hominid, the product of evolution on Earth – in southeast Africa, “above the Abzu.” All that we need to do to make it an intelligent worker, Enki added, was to:
Bind upon it the image of the gods.
“The assembled gods – the Anunnaki leaders – agreed enthusiastically…
“…In Chapter 1 of Genesis the discussions that led to this decision is summed up in one verse: “And Elohim said, Let us make the Adam in our image, after our likeness.”
Mr. Sitchin goes through the process that was used to create the worker, which readers may find in his previous books.
“…In ancient Egypt, where the gods were called Neteru (“Guardians”) and identified by the hieroglyphic symbol of a mining axe, the act of creating the first Man out of clay was attributed to the ram-headed god Khnemu (“He who joins”), of who the texts said that he was “the maker of men … the father who was in the beginning.” Egyptian artists too, as the Sumerians before them, depicted pictorially the moment of the First Encounter; it showed Khnemu holding up the newly created being, assisted by his son Thoth (the god of science and medicine).
“…But, like any hybrid… (The Adam, male and female) the “Mixed Ones” could not procreate. The biblical tale of how the new being acquired “Knowing,” the ability to procreate in the biblical terminology covers with an allegorical veneer the second act of genetic engineering. The principal actor in the dramatic development is neither Yahweh-Elohim nor the created Adam and Eve but the Serpent, the instigator of the crucial biological change…
“…Indeed, the frequent Sumerian symbol for Enki was that of a serpent… As we shall show later on, Enki’s use of genetic engineering in the Garden of Eden also led to the double helix motif in Tree of Life depictions…
“…As we trace these double and triple meanings of Enki’s epithets (Serpent-copper-healing-genetics), it behooves to recall the biblical tale of the plague that befell the Israelites during their wanderings in the Sinai wilderness: it stopped after Moses had made a “copper serpent” and held it up to summon divine help.
“It is nothing short of mind-boggling to realize that this second Divine Encounter, when Humankind was given the ability to procreate, was also captured for us by ancient “photographers” – artists who carved the scene in reverse on the small stone cylinders, images that were seen in positive after the seal was rolled in wet clay.
Mr. Sitchin also mentions depictions of Enki with his symbolic epithets.
“…All these texts and depictions, augmenting the biblical narrative, have thus combined to paint a detailed picture, a course of events with identifiable principal participants, in the saga of Divine Encounters. Nevertheless, scholars by and large persist in lumping all such evidence as “mythology.” To them the tale of events in the Garden of Eden is just a myth, an imaginary allegory taking place in a nonexistent place.
“An interesting light is shed on the “Geography of Creation” (to coin a term) and, consequently on the initial Divine Encounters, by the Book of Jubilees. Composed in Jerusalem during the time of the Second Temple, it was known in those centuries as The Testament of Moses, because it began by answering the question, How could Humanity know about those early events that even preceded the creation of Humankind? The answer was that it was all revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai, when an Angel of the divine Presence dictated it to Moses by the Lord’s command. The name Book of Jubilees, applied to the work by its Greek translators, stems from the chronological structure of the book, which is based on a count of the years by “jubilees” whose years are called “days” and “weeks.”
“…The Book of Jubilees, using the enigmatic count of “days,” states that Adam was brought by the angels into the Garden of Eden only “after Adam had completed forty days in the land where he had been created”; and “his wife they brought in on the eightieth day.” Adam and Eve, in other words, were brought into being elsewhere.
“The Book of Jubilees, dealing with the expulsion from Eden later on, provides another morsel of valuable information. It informs us that “Adam and his wife went forth from the Garden of Eden, and they dwelt in the Land of Nativity, the land of their creation.” In other words from the Edin they went back to the Abzu, in southeastern Africa. Only there, in the second Jubilee, did Adam “know” his wife Eve and “in the third week in the second jubilee she gave birth to Cain, and in the fourth she gave birth to Abel, and in the fifth she gave birth to a daughter, Awan.” (The Bible states that Adam and Eve had thereafter other sons and daughters; noncanonical books say they numbered sixty-three in all).
“Such a sequence of events, that places the start of Humankind’s proliferation from a single primordial mother in the Mesopotamian Eden but back in the Abzu, in southeastern Africa, is now fully corroborated by scientific discoveries that have led to the “Out of Africa” theories regarding the origin and spread on Humankind. Not only finds of fossil remains of the earliest hominids, but also genetic evidence of the final line of Homo sapiens, confirms southeast Africa as the place where Humankind originated.
Mr. Sitchin gives at this point a thorough explanation of the plausible location of Eden, which the reader may view on previous books as well; then he continues:
“Confirmation of southern Mesopotamia, ancient Sumer as the E.DIN, the original biblical Eden does more than create a geographic congruency between the Sumerian texts and the biblical narrative. It also identifies the group with whom Humankind had Divine Encounters. The E.DIN was the abode (“E”) of the DIN (“The Righteous/Divine Ones”). Their full title was DIN.GIR, meaning “The Righteous Ones of the Rocketships,” and was written pictrographically as a two stage rocket whose command module could separate for landing. As the script evolved from pictographic to the wedgelike cuneiform the pictograph was changed by a star symbol meaning “Heavenly Ones”; later on, in Assyria and Babylon, the symbol was simplified to crossed wedges and its reading in the Akkadian language, changed to Ilu – “The Lofty Ones.”
“The Mesopotamian Creation texts provide not just the answer to the puzzle of who were the several deities involved in the creation of The Adam, causing the Bible to employ the plural Elohim (“The Divine Ones”) in a monotheistic version of the events and to retain the “us” in “Let us make Man in our image and after our likeness”; they also provide the background for this achievement.
“The evidence leaves little room for doubting that the Elohim of Genesis were the Sumerian DIN.GIR. It was to them that the feat of creating The Adam was attributed, and it was their diverse (and often antagonistic) leaders – Enki, Enlil, Ninmah – who were the “us” whom the first Homo sapiens first encountered.
“The expulsion from the Garden of Eden brought to an end the first chapter in this relationship. Losing Paradise but gaining knowledge and the ability to procreate, Humankind was henceforth destined to be bonded with Earth –
In the sweat of thy brow
shalt thou eat bread,
until your return to the earth,
for from it was thou taken.
For thou art earthdust
and unto earthdust thou shalt return.
“But that is not how Humankind saw its destiny. Being created in the image, after the likeness, and with the genes of Dingir/Elohim, it saw itself part of the heavens – the other planets, the stars, the universe. It strives to join them in their celestial abode, to gain their immortality. To do so, the ancient texts tell us, Man has continued to seek Divine Encounters without weapon-bearing Cherubim blocking the way.