Chapter 10: Royal Dreams, Fateful Oracles

“…In the ancient Near East dreams were not considered a matter of chance; they were all, to varying degrees, Divine Encounters; in the least, omens that portend things to come; throughout, channels for conveying divine will or instructions; and in the utmost, carefully staged and premeditated epiphanies.

“According to the ancient scriptures, dreams have accompanied Earthlings from the very beginning of Humankind, starting from the First Mother, Eve, who had an omen-dream about the slaying of Abel. After the Deluge, when Kingship was instituted to create both a barrier and a link between the Anunnaki and the mass of people, it was the kings whose dreams accompanied the course of human affairs. And then, when human leaders strayed, the Divine Word was conveyed through the dreams and visions of Prophets. Within that long record of dreams and visions, some, as we have seen, stand out by crossing into the Twilight Zone, where the unreal becomes real, a metaphysical object assumes a physical existence, an unspoken word becomes a voice actually heard.

“The Bible is replete with records of dreams as a major form of Divine Encounter… in Numbers 12:6, Yahweh is quoted as explicitly stating (to the brother and sister of Moses) that “if there be a prophet among you” – a person chosen to convey God’s word – “I the Lord will make myself known to him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream.” The significance of the statement is enhanced by the precision of the wording: In a vision Yahweh makes himself known, recognizable, visible; in a dream he makes himself heard, granting oracles.

Mr. Sitchin presents in his book the episode of Samuel, which can be found in I Samuel chapter 28. He then continues:

“…It will be recalled that the Divine Spirit that provided King David with the Tavnit and written instructions for the Jerusalem Temple came upon him as he sat himself before the Ark of the Covenant. The call upon Samuel also occurred as “he was lying in the sanctuary of Yahweh, where the Ark of Elohim was.” The Ark, made of acacia wood and inlaid with gold inside and out, was intended to safekeep the Two Tablets of the Law. But its main purpose, as stated in the Book of Exodus, was to serve as a Dvir – literally, a “Speaker…”

Mr. Sitchin mentions all other components (listed also in the Book of Exodus) of the Holy of Holies, which played part in the “presence of the Lord.” He then continues:

“…consecrated priests would enter the Holy of Holies, they had to burn incense (whose composition was also strictly prescribed by the Lord) so that a cloud would engulf the Ark; for Yahweh told Moses, “it is in the cloud that I shall appear, above the Ark’s cover.” But when two of Aaron’s sons “brought near before the Lord a strange fire,” one that (presumably) failed to create the proper cloud, “a fire went out from before Yahweh and consumed them.”

“Such “supernatural” forces, bringing to pass the dream oracle of Samuel and the dream-vision of David, continued to permeate the Tabernacle even after the Ark itself was moved out [to Jerusalem], as evidenced by the dream-oracle of Solomon… but the Tent of Appointment remained in Gibeon, and Solomon went there…

And it was in Gibeon
that Yahweh appeared unto Solomon
in a nighttime dream.
And Elohim said:
“Ask what I shall give thee.”

 

“The epiphany developed into a two-way conversation in which Solomon asked to be granted “an understanding heart to judge my people, that I may discern between good and bad…” Therefore, said Yahweh, he would grant him extraordinary Wisdom and Understanding, as well as riches and long life.

And Solomon awoke,
and lo – it was a dream!

 

“…Solomon was astounded that it was only a dream; and he did realize that what had taken place represented a reality, with lasting effects; thereafter he was indeed endowed with extraordinary Wisdom and Understanding…

“…Solomon… did not share the Mesopotamian view of temples as actually divine dwelling places, but rather as a sacred place for divine communication… a permanent substitute for the desert Tent of Appointment for the Divine Presence.

When the cloud of Yahweh’ s Glory filled the House, after the priests brought the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies:

“…Solomon said: “Would Elohim then come to dwell on Earth? If the heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain thee, would this House that I have built?”

“…It was then “that Yahweh appeared unto Solomon for a second time… And Yahweh said to him: “I have heard thy prayer and thy supplications that thou has made before me, and have sanctified this House that thou hast built, to place my Shem in it forever, so that my eyes and my heart shall be there in perpetuity.”

“The term Shem is traditionally translated “name” that by which somebody is known or remembered. But as we have shown in The 12th Planet, quoting Biblical, Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources, the term paralleled the Sumerian MU that, though in time it came to mean “that by which one is remembered,” originally it referred to the Skychambers or flying machines of the Mesopotamian gods…

“…The language employed in the Bible to describe the unexpected realization by Solomon, suddenly awakened, that the experienced sight and sound were just a dream, duplicated an earlier instance of such a sudden realization – that of a Pharaoh:

And Pharaoh awoke,
and lo – it was a dream!

 

Mr. Sitchin refers here to the dreams that the young Hebrew Joseph interpreted, and the story may be found in Genesis chapter 41… And Joseph said to the Pharaoh: The two dreams are but one single dream; “that which the Elohim will be doing to the Pharaoh has been told.” It was in other words an omen-dream, a divine revelation of what will happen in the future by God’s design. It is a foretelling of seven years of plenty that will be overwhelmed by the subsequent seven years of shortages and hunger… And the dream was repeated twice, he added, because “the thing is firmly resolved by the Elohim, who will hasten it to come to pass.”

“Now then, realizing that Joseph was possessed of the “Spirit of Elohim,” the Pharaoh appointed him Overseer over all the land of Egypt to help avert the hunger…

“…In fact, there exists an earlier Egyptian record of such a cycle of seven years of plenty followed by seven lean years. It is a hieroglyphic text (transcribed by E.A.W. Budge in Legends of the Gods); it relates that the Pharaoh Zoser (Circa 2650 B.C.) received a royal dispatch from the governor of Upper Egypt, in the south, of a grave famine, because “the Nile had not come in for the space of seven years.”

“So the king “extended his heart back to the beginnings,” and asked the Chamberlain of the gods, the Ibis-headed god Thoth, “What is the birthplace of the Nile? Is there a god there, and who is that god?” And Thoth answered that there indeed was a god there who regulates the waters of the Nile from two caverns and that he was his father Khnum (alias Ptah, alias Enki), the god who had fashioned Mankind.

“…The text does tell us that once Zoser had been told that the god in whose hands the fate of the Nile and Egypt’s sustenance was Khnum, residing far away in the island of Elephantine in Upper Egypt, the king knew what to do: he went to sleep… Expecting and epiphany, he had one…

And as I slept,
with life and satisfaction,
I discovered the god
standing over against me!

Revealed himself to me.
Concerning me, with friendly face,
these words he declared:
“I am Khnum, thy fashioner.”

 

“The god announced that he would heed the king’s prayers [Zoser’s] if the king would undertake to “rebuild temples, to restore what is ruined, and to hew out new shrines” for the deity. For that, the god said, he will be giving the king new stones as well as “hard stones which have existed from the beginning of time.”

“Then the god promised that in exchange he would open the sluices in two caverns that are beneath his rock chamber and as a result the waters of the Nile will begin to flow again… And when the god finished speaking, and his image vanished, Zoser “awoke refreshed, my heart relieved of weariness,” and decreed permanent rites of offerings to Khnum in eternal gratitude.

“The god Ptah and a vision of him is the central theme of two other Egyptian dream epiphanies; one of them brings to mind the biblical tales of the woman who cannot bear a male heir.

“…Among other instances of royal oracle dreams found in Egyptian records, the most famous is that by the prince who later ascended the throne to be crowned as Thothmes IV. His dream is well known because he describes it on a stela that he had erected between the paws of the great Sphinx in Giza – where it still stands for all to see (image below).

Thothmes IV stele

Thothmes IV stele

“As recorded on the stela the prince “used to occupy himself with sport on the desert highland of Memphis.” One day he lay to rest near the necropolis of Giza…

“…As he was sleeping, he heard the Sphinx speak “with his own mouth, saying:”

Look at me, my son, Thothmose…
Behold, my state is that of one in need,
my whole body is going to pieces.
The sands of the desert above which I had stood
have encroached upon me…

 

“…In exchange [for the sands to be removed, so that the Sphinx could be seen in all its full majesty], the Sphinx – representing the god Harmakhis – promised him that he would be the successor on Egypt’s throne…

Though it was a dream, its contents and meaning were crystal clear to the prince. “He understood the speech of his god.” At first opportunity he carried out the divine request… and indeed, in 1421 B.C., the prince ascended Egypt’s throne to become Thothmes IV.

“…it has been recorded in connection with a predecessor, Thothmes III. The tale of miraculous happenings and a vision of the “Glory of the Lord” has been inscribed by this king on the temple walls at Karnak. In this case the god did not speak out; rather, he indicated his choice of a future monarch through the “working of miracles.”

“…as an indication that this prince was the divinely chosen one for the succession, the god, [Amon-Ra], “worked a marvel” over the prince. What ensued, Thothmes III wrote, as incredible as it sounds, as mysterious these things are, really happened:

He opened for me the doors of Heaven;
He spread open for me the portals of its horizon.
I flew up to the sky as a Divine Falcon,
able to see his mysterious form
which is in Heaven,
that I might adore his majesty.
[And] I saw the being-form of the
Horizon God in his mysterious
Ways of Heaven.

 

“On his heavenly flight, Thothmes III wrote in his annals, he “was made full with the Understanding of the gods.” The experience and its claims, surely bring to mind the heavenly ascents of Enmeduranki and Enoch, and the “Glory of Yahweh” seen by the Prophet Ezekiel.

“The conviction that dreams were divine oracles, foretelling things to come, was a firmly held belief throughout the ancient Near East. Ethiopian kings also believed in the power of dreams as guidelines for actions to be taken (or avoided) and of events about to happen.

“…The Phillistines called their principal deity Dagon, a name or epithet that can be translated as “He of the Fishes” – the god of Pisces, an attribute of Ea/Enki. This identification, however, is not so clear-cut and certain, because when this deity appears elsewhere in the ancient Near East, his name is spelled Dagan, which could mean “He of the Grains” – a god of farming. Whatever his true identity, this god featured in several omen-dreams reported in the state archives of the kingdom of Mari, a city state that flourished at the beginning of the second millennium B.C. until its destruction by the Babylonian king Hammurabi in 1759 B.C.

“…Dreams as a venerated form of communication were also recorded in the lands on the Upper Euphrates and all the way into Asia Minor. With the coastal lands that are nowadays Israel, Lebanon, and Syria serving both as a land bridge as well as a battlefield between contending Egyptian Pharaohs and Mesopotamian kings – each claiming to act on orders of their gods – no wonder that in that meeting and melting zone the omen-dreams also reflected the clash of cultures and mixing of omens.

“Egyptian records of royal omen-dreams include a text known to scholars as the Legend of the Possessed Princess – one of the oldest records, inter alia, of exorcism. Written on a stela that is now in the Louvre Museum in Paris, it tells how the Prince of Bekhten (the land Bactria on the Upper Uphrates), who had married an Egyptian princess sought the help of the Pharaoh Ramses II to cure the princess “of the spirits that possessed her.”

“…The Prince of Bekhten asked that an Egyptian god “be brought to contend with the spirit.”

“Receiving the petition in his capital Thebes during a religious festival, the Pharaoh went to the temple of the god Khensu described as a son of Ra and usually depicted with a falcon’s head on which the Moon rests in its crescent…

The god listened… and using magical powers, the “evil spirit” was exorcised…

“…Further north of Bactria, in the Land of the Hittites in Asia Minor, the conviction that royal dreams were divine revelations was also firmly held. One of the longest extant texts that reflect that conviction is called by scholars The Plague Prayers of Mursilis…

As confirmed by historical records, a plague had afflicted the land and decimated the population…

“Mursilis learned that his father Shuppiliumas, in whose time the plague began, did transgress in two ways: he discontinued certain offerings to the gods, and he broke his oath in a treaty with the Egyptians to keep the peace, and took Egyptian captives back to Hatti-land; and it was with them that the plague came to nest among the Hittites…

By this communication with the god, Mursilis managed to restore the land and population after promising the deity restitution of offerings and peace.

“…Hittite dream reports, at least to the extent that they have been found, reflect the importance that was attached there to the proper observance of the rites and requirements of worship. In one discovered text ” a dream of his majesty the king” is reported thus: In the dream the Lady Hebat Who Judges (the spouse of Teshub) said again and again to his majesty, ‘When the God Storm comes from heaven, he should not found you to be stingy.’ While dreaming, the king responded that he had made a golden ritual object for the god. But the goddess said, “It is not enough!” Then another king, the king of Hakmish, entered the dream-conversation, saying to his majesty: ” Why have you not given the Hahupal-instruments and the lapis-lazuli stones which you have promised to Teshub?”

The Hittite king had to comply.

“…The Assyrian king’s interest in, and recording of, the dream of a foreign king was but a reflection of the extent of Assyrian beliefs in the power of dreams as a form of Divine Encounter. The epiphanies and oracles conveyed by royal dreams were a phenomenon eagerly sought after, and reported, by the kings of Assyria; the same held true for the kings of their neighbour and rival Babylonia.

Ashurbanipal himself, who kept extensive annals on baked clay prisms, recorded several dream experiences, often they were by others rather than himself…

“…The annals of Ashurbanipal, who claimed that among his great knowledge was the ability to interpret dreams, are replete with references to oracles – probably through dreams, though this is not specified – given him by this or that of the “great gods, my lords” in connection with his military campaigns. His interest in dreams and their interpretation led him also to have state archives examined for records of past oracle dreams…

Mr. Sitchin continues with more examples involving Esarhaddon, father of Ashurbanipal; Daniel and the dreams of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel chapter 2)…

VIGNETTE

DO GODS TOO DREAM? (Excerpt)

“Do all animals who sleep also dream? Or just mammals, or only primates – or is dreaming unique to Humankind?

“If, as seems to be the case, dreaming is indeed one of the unique talents and abilities that Man has not acquired by Evolution alone, then it has to be part of the genetic legacy bequeathed to us by the Anunnaki. But to do so, they themselves had to be able to dream. Did they?

“The answer is Yes; the Anunnaki “gods” also had oracle dreams.

Some examples are given in the book.


Continue to Chapter 11: Angels and other Emissaries

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