“Rod Serling’s popular television series “The Twilight Zone” held viewers spellbound for many years (and still does so in reruns) by putting the episodes’ heroes in obviously dangerous circumstances – a fatal accident, a terminal illness, a trapping in a time warp – from which they miraculously emerged unharmed because of some incredible twist of fate. In most instances, the miracle was the handiwork of a person, seemingly ordinary, who proved to have extraordinary powers – an “angel” if you wish.
“But the fascination for the viewer was the Twilight Zone; for when all was said and done, the episode’s hero – and with him or her the viewer – was uncertain of what had happened. Was the danger only imagined? Was it all just a dream – and thus the “miracle” that resolved the inevitable ending no miracle at all; the “angel” no angel at all; the time warp not another dimension, for none of them had really taken place…
“In some episodes, however, the hero’s and the viewer’s puzzlement was given a final twist that made the program worthy of its name. At the very end, as hero and viewer are almost certain that it was all imagined, a dream, a passing trick of the subconscious mind, a tale that has no foothold in the real world – a physical object comes into play. Sometime during the episode the hero picked up, or rather is given, a small object that he absentmindedly put in his/her pocket, or a ring put on the finger, or a talisman worn as a necklace. As all other aspects of the imagined and unreal episode, the object too had to be imagined and nonreal. But as the viewer and the hero are certain that all had faded into its nonreality, the hero finds the object in his pocket or on his finger – a reality left over from an unreality. And thus Rod Serling has shown us, between reality and nonreality, between the rational and the irrational, we were passing through a Twilight Zone.
“Four thousand years earlier, a Sumerian king found himself in a Twilight Zone, and recorded his experience on two clay cylinders (that are now on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris).
“The king’s name was Gudea and he reigned in the Sumerian city Lagash circa 2100 B.C. Lagash was the “Cult Center” of Ninurta, the Foremost Son of Enlil, and he dwelt with his spouse Bau in the city’s sacred precinct called the Girsu – hence his local epithet NIN.GIRSU, “Lord of the Girsu.” At about that time, owing to an intensification of the struggle for supremacy on Earth that pitted primarily Enki’s Firstborn Marduk against Enlil’s clan, Ninurta/Ningirsu obtained the permission of his father Enlil to build a new temple in the Girsu – a temple so magnificent that it would express the rights of Ninurta to the supremacy… one that would emulate the Great Pyramid of Giza on the one hand and that, upon its vast platform, would hold stone circles that could serve as sophisticated astronomical observatories. The need to find a reliable and faithful worshipper to carry out the grandiose plans and to follow intelligently the designs of the Divine Architects served as the background for the ensuing events recorded by Gudea.
“The series of events began with a dream that Gudea had one night; it was a vision of Divine Encounters. And it was so vivid that it transported the king into a Twilight Zone; for when Gudea awoke, an object that he had seen only in his dream was now physically on his lap. Somehow, the boundary between unreality and reality had been crossed.
“Utterly perplexed by the occurrence, Gudea asked for and received permission to seek the advice of the oracle goddess Nanshe in her “House of Fate-Solving” in another city. Reaching the place by boat… Gudea proceeded to tell her what had happened…
In the dream [I saw]
a man who was bright, shining like Heaven
– great in Heaven, great on Earth –
who by his headdress was a Dingir (god).
At his side was the divine Storm Bird;
Like a devouring storm under his feet
two lions crouched, on the right and on the left.
He commanded me to build his temple.
“A celestial omen then followed whose meaning, Gudea told the dream-solving goddess, he did not understand: the sun upon Kishar (the planet Jupiter) was suddenly seen on the horizon. A female then appeared and gave Gudea celestial instructions…
who was she? Who was she not?
the image of a temple-structure
she carried on her hand –
in her hand she held a holy stylus;
The tablet of her favorable star of heaven
“As the woman was consulting the star tablet, a third divine being appeared… he was a male:
A second man appeared, he had the
look of a hero, endowed with strength.
A tablet of lapis lazuli in his hand he held.
The plan of a temple he drew on it.
He placed before me a holy carrying basket;
Upon it he placed a pure brickmaking mold;
the destined brick was inside it.
A large vessel stood before me;
on it was engraved the Tibu bird which shines
brilliantly day and night.
A freight-ass crouched to my right.
“The text suggests that all these objects somehow materialized during the dream, but regarding one of them there is absolutely no doubt that it was made to cross from the dream dimension to the dimension of physical reality; for when Gudea awoke, he found the lapis lazuli stone tablet on his lap, with the plan of the temple etched upon it. He commemorated the miracle in one of his statues…
“…Back in Lagash Gudea contemplated the words of the oracle goddess and studied the divine tablet that had materialized on his lap. The more he thought about the varied instructions the more he was baffled, especially so regarding the astronomical orientation and timing.
Mr. Sitchin explains how Gudea went day by day seeking guidance, until all was ready for:
“…time to start making the bricks. They had to be made from clay according to the mold and sample that appeared to Gudea in his first vision-dream. We read in column XIX, verse 19 (The Great Cylinder Inscriptions A and B of Gudea, by Ira M. Price), that Gudea “brought the brick, placed it in the temple.” It follows from this statement that Gudea had the brick (and by inference the required mold) in his physical possession; the brick and the mold were thus two more objects (in addition to the lapis lazuli tablet) that crossed the boundary in a Twilight Zone.
“…Even on the previous occasions the term translated “dream,” MAMUZU, is more akin to the Hebrew/Semitic Mahazeh which better translates as a “vision.” Here, on the third time (a further part of Gudea’s “dream”), the term employed is DUG MUNATAE – a “command-vision” by request, Gudea was shown how to start the building of his Lord’s temple. In front of his very eyes the process of the completion of the Enimu, “from its foundation below to its top that rises skyward,” was taking shape. The vision of a simulated demonstration of the whole process, from the bottom up “engaged his attention…”
The rest of the process, Mr. Sitchin has explained it in his Book When Time Began.
Following the tale of Gudea, Mr. Sitchin offers the tale of a “Babylonian “Job” named Shubshi. Afflicted on property, family and health, like the biblical Job, he also had dreams; the outcome being that a tablet which Shubshi saw in his dream, materialized as he awoke. This tablet had cuneiform writing on it, and Shubshi was cured. Apparently, in the dream, the god Marduk had sent the tablet to Shubshi. (There is more to the tale).
“…Physical objects and actions that transcend the boundary are also encountered in the dreams of Gilgamesh…
“…The dream-visions of Daniel… contain even more direct parallels to the physical aspects of the Twilight Zone encounters of Gilgamesh and Gudea. Describing one of his Divine Encounters at the Bank of the Tigris River (the Book of Daniel, chapter 10), he wrote:
I lifted up mine eyes, and behold,
I saw a sole man clothed in linen
whose loins were girded with Ophir gold.
His body gleamed like topaz,
his face shone like lightning,
his eyes flamed like torches,
his arms and feet were the color of bronze,
and his voice was a booming one.
“I alone could see the apparition,” Daniel wrote; but though the other people who were with him could not see it, they felt an awesome presence and ran away to hide. He, too, felt suddenly immobilized, able to only hear the divine voice; but
As soon as I heard the voice of his words
I fell asleep face down,
my face touching the ground.
“This position was akin to that described by Gudea; ensuing is the similarity to the awakenings that puzzled Gilgamesh, when in his dreams he experienced an actual, physical touch and voice of “a god.”
Suddenly a hand touched me
and pulled me up, to be
upon my knees and the palms of my hands.
“The divine person then revealed to Daniel that he was to be shown the future. Overwhelmed, with his face still down, Daniel was speechless. But then the person – “of the appearance of the sons of Man” – touched the lips of Daniel, and Daniel was able to speak. When he apologized for his weakness, the divine person touched him again, and Daniel “regained his strength.” All that had taken place while Daniel was seized by a trancelike sleep.
“More memorable than the dream-visions of Daniel is the Twilight Zone incident of the Handwriting-on-the-Wall… As related in chapter 5 of the Book of Daniel, Belshazzar (Nebuchadnezzar’s successor as regent of Babylon circa 540 B.C.), made a great banquet… Drunk with too much wine, he gave orders to fetch the gold and silver vessels that Nebuchadnezzar had seized from the Temple in Jerusalem, so that “he and his nobles, his concubines and his courtesans might drink from them. So the vessels… from the sanctuary in the House of God in Jerusalem were brought in… As the pagan merriment and defilement of the sacred objects from Yahweh’s Temple continued,
There appeared the fingers of a
and it wrote upon the plaster of
the palace wall,
opposite the candelabra;
And the king could see the wrist of
the hand as it wrote.
“…The king’s mind was filled with terror, his countenance turned pale, every limb of him became limp, his knees knocked together.” He must have realized that the desecration of the vessels from the Temple of Yahweh had triggered an ominous Divine Encounter…
“…Upon this scene of fear and desperation in walked the queen… she pointed out that the wise man Daniel had been known for his ability to understand and interpret dreams and divine messages… Daniel was called in… By then the writing hand must have vanished, but the writing on the wall remained. Confirming that the bad omen was the result of the desecration of the of the Temple’s vessels… Daniel explained the writing and its meaning:
…Mene, mene, tekel u Pharsin.
Mene: God hath numbered the days of thy kingdom,
and it is finished.
Tekel: Thou are weighed in the balance,
and found wanting.
U Pharsin: Thy kingdom shall be divided,
to the Medes and Persians it shall be given.
“…The message from the Twilight Zone (from Daniel’s own dreams, knowing the future) was promptly fulfilled.
“Gudea’s Twilight Zone dream-visions… preceded by more than a millennium similar divine communications regarding Yahweh’s temple in Jerusalem…
From Moses, to King David, Yahweh kept communicating with his Prophets, but it would be King Solomon (David’s son) who would build the Temple…
“…So King David went “and sat before Yahweh,” in front of the Ark of the Covenant… in that “sitting before Yahweh” may lie a key to understanding a puzzle – the mystery of the origin of the Temple’s plans. For we read in I Chronicles chapter 28 that as David neared the end of his days he called together the leaders and elders of Israel and told them of Yahweh’s decision regarding the building of the Temple. Announcing that his successor would be Solomon, “David gave Solomon his son the Tavnit” of the Temple with all its parts and chambers, “The Tavnit of all that he had by the Spirit.”
“The Hebrew word Tavnit is commonly translated “pattern,” and this term suggests that it could be a design, an architectural plan. But the biblical term implies more accurately a “constructed model” rather than a Tokhnit (“plan” in Hebrew). It was a physical model that apparently was small enough to be handed over by David to Solomon – something that nowadays would be spoken of as a “scale model.”
“As archaeological finds in Mesopotamia and Egypt attest, scale models were not unknown in the ancient Near East; we can illustrate the fact by showing some of the objects discovered in Mesopotamia, as well as some of the numerous Egyptian ones… (several graphics appear on the book).
“…The account in I Chronicles chapter 28, reporting the materials and instructions handed over by King David to Solomon… uses the word Tavnit four times, leaving no doubt regarding the existence of such a model. After the fourth and last mention, David told Solomon that the Tavnit with all its details were literally given him by Yahweh, accompanied by written instructions…
“…All that, according to the Bible, was given to David “by the Spirit” as he “sat before Yahweh” in front of the Ark of the Covenant (in its temporary location). How the “Spirit” imparted to David the instructions, including the writings by the hand of Yahweh and the extraordinarily detailed Tavnit, remains a mystery – a Divine Encounter that befits the Twilight Zone.
After the Temple that Solomon built was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 587 B.C., the prophet Ezequiel among the exiles was the next to have experiences of the Twilight Zone kind:
And it came to pass in the thirtieth year,
in the fourth month, on the fifth day thereof,
as I was among the captives by the river Chebar,
that the heavens were opened
and I saw Divine Visions.
Mr. Sitchin continues:
“…the opening vision, that of a Divine Chariot, is one of the most remarkable records of a UFO witnessed in antiquity.
“…(In recent years the technical interpretation by Joseph Blumrich, an ex-NASA engineer, in The Spaceships of Ezequiel, has received favorable attention. An early depiction of a Flying Chariot, attests to the widespread awareness of the phenomenon in antiquity in all parts of the world).
“…The word “dream” does not appear in the Book of Ezequiel even once; instead the prophet uses the term “vision…” The term used in the Hebrew is actually “Elohim vision,” visions relating to the DIN.GIR of Sumerian texts. The term retains some ambiguity as to the nature of the “vision” – the actual seeing of a scene, or an induced mental image that is created, somehow, in the mind’s eye only. What is certain is that from time to time reality intrudes into these visions – an actual voice, an actual object, a visible hand. In that, the visions of Ezequiel belong in the Twilight Zone.
“…”It was in the sixth year, in the sixth month, in the fifth day thereof,” Ezequiel relates in chapter 8. “As I was sitting in my home, and the Elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Lord Yahweh happened upon me,”
An I looked up, and beheld an apparition,
the likeness of a man.
From his waist down the appearance was of fire,
and from the waist up the appearance was of a
brightness, like the sheen of electrum.
“The wording here reveals the Prophet’s own uncertainty regarding the nature of the vision – a reality or a nonreality. He calls what he sees an “apparition,” the being that he sees is only a likeness of a man. Is whoever had appeared clad in fire and brilliance, or is he made of fire and brilliance, a make-believe image? Whatever it was, it was able to perform physically:
And he put forth the shape of a hand,
and seized me by a lock on my head.
And the spirit carried me
between the earth and the heaven,
and brought me to Jerusalem –
in Elohim visions –
to the door of the inner gate that face’s north.
“The narrative then described what Ezequiel had seen in Jerusalem (including the women mourning Dumuzi). And when the prophetic instructions were completed, and the Divine Chariot “lifted off from the city and rested upon the mount that is to the east of the city,”
The spirit carried me and brought me
to Chaleda, to the place of exile.
[It was] in a Vision of the spirit of Elohim.
And then the vision that I had seen
was lifted off me.
“The biblical text stresses more than once that the airborne journey was in a Divine Vision, a “Vision of the Spirit of Elohim.” Yet there clearly is a description of a physical visit to Jerusalem, discussions with its residents, and even the “putting of a mark on the foreheads” of the righteous ones who were to be spared the predicted carnage and final destruction of the city…
“…Fourteen years later… the hand took [Ezequiel] to Jerusalem. “In Elohim Visions he brought me to the Land or Israel, and placed me on a very high mountain, by which was the model of a city, to the south,”
And as he brought me there, behold –
there was a man whose appearance was that
He held a cord of flax in his hand,
and a measuring rod;
and he stood at the gate.
“The Divine Measurer instructed Ezequiel to pay attention to everything he would hear and see, and especially so to note all the measurements, so that he could report it all accurately back to the exiles… Suddenly the scene of a distant man changed to that of a wall surrounding a large house – as though, in terms from our time, a camera was refocused to a telescopic lens. From a close-up, Ezequiel could see “the man with the measure” starting to take the measurements of the house… as though a television camera was following the man – kept changing; and instead of the outside scenes Ezequiel could see images of the inner parts of the house – courtyards, chambers, chapels… It became evident to Ezequiel that he was being shown the future, rebuilt Temple, with the Holy of Holies and sacred utensils, and the locations for the priests, and the place of the Cherubim.
“…As one envisioned scene followed the other, in a simulation that beats the most advanced “Virtual Reality” techniques that are still being developed at the end of the twentieth century A.D., Ezequiel was then – more than 2,500 years ago – taken into the vision. As though physically, he was led to the east-facing gate to the Temple compound; and there he saw,
And the spirit lifted me up
and brought me into the inner court;
and I beheld that the Glory of Yahweh
filled the Temple.
“And now he heard a voice addressing him from inside the Temple. It was not the “man” whom he had seen before with the measuring cord and rod, for that man was now standing beside him… Ezequiel was instructed to inform the House of Israel of all that he had heard and seen…
“…The Book of Ezequiel then ends with long instructions for the sacred services in the future Temple. It mentions that Ezequiel “was brought back” to see the Glory of Yahweh through the north gate. Presumably, it was there from that Ezequiel was returned from his Divine Vision, but the Book of Ezequiel leaves this unstated.