Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Study 1:
Historical Roots of Religion

In the book of Revelation, the Apostle John wrote about a corrupt religious system he called, “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH” (Rev. 17:5). John said that this great pagan religious system would be in control of the world during the tribulation period at the end times. He knew that this fraudulent religion existed since the beginning of time. In our quest to identify this “Mystery Religion,” we need to go back to its roots — back near the opening of the Old Testament – back to Genesis Chapters 10 and 11.

Since what is presented deals with God’s work, and Satan’s attempt to thwart that work, we will consider the Holy Scriptures as a beginning, realizing that not all ancient history is contained therein. Regarding biblical accounts, we find that our study starts just after Noah and his family survived the great deluge, just after God cleansed the earth from its previous satanic influences. It will lead us to three of the most important figures in this earth’s pagan history, that of Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz. It can safely be said that any attempt to discover the roots of paganism will eventually lead back to these three figures. They were the unholy pagan types of things to come.

The First Settlements
As the book of Genesis records, Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japhet
h. Noah and sons, and their wives, boarded the ark to survive the flood. The ark of Noah finally came to rest on the northern slopes of Mt. Ararat, in a land known today as Armenia. This small country is situated in a region between both the Black and the Caspian Seas, and borders Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. Mt. Ararat overlooks the point where Turkey, Iran, and Armenia come together.

After the flood waters sufficiently receded, Noah and his family left the Ark and began to settle in diverse areas. As the various families grew, people began to spread further and further apart from one another. Most likely, part of this dispersion was due to differences in personality and spiritual makeup of the dissimilar families.

Turning to Genesis 9:20-23, we find a story of Noah becoming drunk and uncovered within his tent. They tell of Ham, the father of Canaan, who upon seeing his father’s nakedness goes and tells his two other brothers who, in turn, took a garment and covered up their father’s nakedness. Th
ere is an old Hebrew explanation of what really occurred here; it is a metaphorical account of Ham rejecting the priesthood and righteousness of his father, Noah.

Noah, mindful of what Ham had done, gave Shem and Japheth what is known as a father’s prophetic patriarchal blessing wherein he pronounced, “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant” (Gen. 9:24-27). Here Canaan, one of the sons of Ham, was cursed to be a servant to both of Ham’s brothers; they are destined to become servants to the posterity of both Shem and Japheth. We notice that Shem received the greater portion of the blessing, in that Japheth is to dwell in the tents of Shem, while Ham received the lesser blessing, that of being a servant to the other two. So here we have three differences in personality and spiritual makeup of the offspring of Noah. So, as stated, the dispersion of people after the flood was, most likely, due to their differences in spiritual values and personality makeup.

Many of Noah’s posterity migrated all around the Middle East, but a large percentage settled in what is called the “fertile Crescent.” Referred to as Sumer, Sumeria, or the land of Shinir, this regio
n lies around the area of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers that flow down into, what is known today as, the Persian Gulf.

Righteous Shem
It is noted that Shem, the righteous son of Noah, lived for 500 years after the flood, for a total of 600 years. He produced five sons, Elam, Asshur, Arphaxad, Lud, and Aram. It is historically understood that, the portion of the earth occupied by Shem’s descendants begins at its northwestern extremity of Lydia with Lud, Syria with Aram, Chaldea with Arphaxad, Assyria with Asshur, Persia with Elam, and the Arabian peninsula with Joktan, the son of Eber, great-grandson of Shem, and father of the Joktanite Arabs. Modern scholars have given the name of Shemitic or Semitic to the languages spoken by Shem’s descendants.

By close study of Genesis we learn that Shem outlived all of his posterity which came through his son, Arphaxad, including Abraham of the 9th generation, except for his great-grandson, Eber, who died 29 years after Shem. All three of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Israel) all
lived during the lifetime of Shem. Shem lived during the entire 175 years of Abraham’s life, during the first 110 years of Isaacs 180 years, and during the first 50 years of Jacobs 147 years. Abraham was born before Noah’s death, and the first 58 years of Abraham’s life was during those same last years of Noah’s.

There has been much speculation as to, WHO IS the mysterious Melchizedek? Since logic tells us that not all historical knowledge is contained in the Bible, seeing that over 4,000 years of earth’s history are contained in just a few pages of the Old Testament, let’s put on our thinking caps, and use the reasoning ability God gave us.

From Genesis 14:18-20 we read: “And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he [Melchizedek] blessed him [Abram], and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine [Abram’s] enemies into thy hand. And he [Abram] gave him [Melchizedek] tithes of all.”

It is logical to expect that Shem was the most notable one on the earth; he being the eldest son of Noah and, most likely, the most righteous. At the same time, Melchizedek was king of Salem
, and we know from biblical history that Salem, meaning “peace,” was the former name for Jerusalem, which also means, “the habitation of peace.” Melchizedek was not only king of Jerusalem, but apparently a unique and righteous individual, holding a special high order of the holy priesthood. This must be so because Jesus received an honorary calling designated after him: He, Jesus, “Called of God an high priest after the order of Melchisedec.” (Hebrews 5:10.) It is reasonable, then, that as righteous as Abraham was, he would pay tithes to and seek a blessing from one more honored of God and of a higher spiritual rank than himself. That person was Shem, the prince of peace, king of Salem, the one known as Melchizedek. Smith Bible Dictionary also addresses this idea when saying that, “Jewish tradition pronounces Melchizedek to be a survivor of the deluge, the Patriarch Shem” (p. 394).

It was at Salem/Jerusalem that Abraham was willing to offer Isaac up as an offering (Gen. 22), and it was also at Salem/Jerusalem that his grandson, Jacob, had his dream of the ladder that reached unto Heaven and received a covenant-promise from the Lord concerning his posterity (Gen. 28). Ther
efore, considering the age of Shem when he died in relation to his posterity as we studied above, it should be obvious that this great triad of Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob dwelled in the same close geographic vicinity as Melchizedek, or Shem. Thus we can see that it is very possible that all three, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could have been righteously and spiritually tutored of God by way of Shem, and Abraham could have, also, sat at the feet of that great Prophet, Noah.

The Cushites
With this little bit of information behind us, the majority of our focus, for a while, will be upon one of Noah’s other sons and his posterity, that of Ham. Other religious and historical accounts, other than the Holy Bible, tell us that because of his rebellion against his Father, Ham, along with his posterity, was denied the priesthood of Noah, which priesthood was bestowed upon Shem. Genesis 10:6
lets us know that Ham had four sons, Cush, Mizraim, Phut, and Canaan. Other historical accounts tell us that Ham also had a daughter named Egyptus. Her eldest son was named Pharaoh who established the first government of Egypt, which in the Chaldean means “that which is forbidden.” Having been denied the priesthood, he established a worship system with a “false” priesthood, for his posterity to follow. This worship system was first patterned after Noah’s worship, but eventually fell victim to the Satanic influences of his cousin Nimrod’s paganistic religion. So let’s turn our attention to that line of Ham, which will be our focus.

Ham’s son, Cush, settled in the area known as Ethiopia. However, Cush and his family were a progressive people, and it wasn’t long before they traveled up into the area of Shinir, the region of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. And it is believed by many historians that this is the place where the people of Cush originally settled.

The earliest Babylonian legends tell of a formidable people who came up through Arabia and established an empire. This master ring leader, Cush, led the people away from the true God unto another form of religion, eventually receiving the title as the “interpreter of the gods.” It was in this same a
rea, the ancient city of Babel to be specific, that false pagan religion had its origin. Eventually, from there, this same satanically influenced religion spread down through history, adopting various forms and names as it traveled far and wide.

Nimrod the Rebellious
Cush’s son, Nimrod, became know as a mighty hunter AGAINST the Lord; hence the proverb, “Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before the Lord.” (Gen. 10:9.) Nimrod was born 252 years after the flood and was the grandson of Ham, and great-grandson of Noah. Although the people of Cush may have been the original inhabitants of Sumeria, the land of Shinir, it was still his son, Nimrod, who brought Babylon to a kingdom of power.

Much imaginative speculation surrounds Nimrod. The better commentators have always known who Nimrod was, and they can be relied upon to provide a sound analysis of his role in political development in the Bible. Surprisingly, Nimrod was involved far more in politics than he was in “religion.”

The first thing the Bible tells us about Nimrod is his name, and thus his character. Biblical names are more than just “Dick and Jane”; they tell us about the real person. What does the name, Nimrod, mean? The name means “rebellion” or “the valiant.” Leupold, a conservative Christian commentator, is
combined with others who note that Nimrod’s name must be considered when we interpret the Biblical verses, Genesis 10:8-12.

“The course that our interpretation of these two verses takes will be determined very largely by the meaning of the word Nimrod. For the meaning of the verbform nimrodh, without a doubt, is let us revolt. ... The tendency of this Cushite must have been to rise up against, and to attempt to overthrow, all existing order. In fact, he must have used this motto so frequently in exhorting others to rebellion, that finally it was applied to him as a name descriptive of the basic trait of his character. ... So this inciter to revolt (Nimrod) came to be the first tyrant upon the earth, oppressing others and using them for the furtherance of his own interests.”

“The name itself, Nimrod from (marad, see Strong’s #4775) ‘we will revolt,’ points to some violent resistance to God.” (Kiel and Delitzsch, 1888)

“The name of Nimrod is usually derived from (marad), to rebel, because he
was a rebel against God, as is generally said, and because, as Jarchi observes, he caused all the world to rebel against God, by the advice he gave to the ... builders of Babel.” (John Gill, 1763)

In understanding what the Bible says about Nimrod, we must understand the situation in which Nimrod found himself. As with Cain, Nimrod was a member of a family, and the human race had three progenitors living among them, Shem, Ham, and Japeth, from one family and from one ark. It is certain, therefore, that Nimrod would have known of his place in the household of Noah. Nimrod knew where God had established earthly authority. There was no “religion,” no “church,” nor was there a political “State.” God had constituted the family as the bearer of earthly authority. Nimrod was a part of this structure, and one of the first things we are told about Nimrod is that he was a man characterized by rebellion against God and God’s established order.

Nimrod: Creator of Political Governments
According to Genesis Eleven, and along with crude history, Nimrod set out to accomplish three things. (1) He wanted to make a name for himself, which he did; (2) He wanted to build a strong nation, which he did; and (3) He wanted to propagate his own religion, which he certainly did. In the pr
ocess, he not only became a tyrannical king, but also declared himself to be a god. Let’s now consider some of these points.

Nimrod was the first man on earth to become a political totalitarian despot. After the flood, and the animals left the ark, they rapidly multiplied, and many of the carnivores were a threat to human life. Nimrod was a big, strong, fearless, and “mighty hunter” who helped deliver the people from the fear of those beasts.

Historians tell us that Nimrod developed a following because of his ability to protect the people, becoming an instant leader. He and his mother-wife, Semiramis (we’ll get to her in a moment), were the first to contrive the idea of gathering the people into walled cities to protect them from the wild beasts, so he claimed. Actually, he found that if he could contain his subjects behind large stone walls, it was easier to control them. We see this same Satanic influence to control others down through the ages of history, even up to our so-called modern and “enlightened” age.

This mighty hunter
establishing himself as the world’s first king, and became the founder of the first political form of government. As a display of his power and authority, he wore what some believe was the first crown of royalty. It was the top part of a skull of a bull with its HORNS still attached. (Right: Artist conception of Nimrod.) Most likely, because of Nimrod’s crown with a horn, which people became familiar with, Holy Writ’s metaphor for a king is expressed in the term of “horn,” such as mentioned by the Prophet Daniel.

Nimrod is described as extending his kingdom from the land of Babylonia in the south to Assyria, some 250 miles to the north. This seems to fit what we know of him from history, he “being a native of Ethiopia and traveling widely among those of his day.” He is accredited with founding four cities, one of them being Nineveh. His empire at first was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the land of Shinar; from there he pushed out into Assyria.

According to Genesis 10:11, Assur is accredited with building the great city of Nineveh and its suburbs of Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen. According to Genesis 10:22, Asshur was the second son of Shem. The name, Asshur, is the Hebrew form of Assyria. Although Asshur might have been the original founder of the province known as Assyria, one kind of wonders if, perhaps, Nimrod was the real builder of the actual city of Nineveh, he being a great builder of walled cities, such as the city of Babylon.

This same Nimrod is believed to be one of many gods who had other names attached to him, one of them being that of “Ninus.” The Jewish Historian, Josephus, believed that Ninus was the same biblical figure as Nimrod. The city of Nineveh was most likely named after that name, Ninus, instead of Nimrod. I guess it makes little difference from which individual Nineveh received its name, since both names refer to the same historical figure. As stated, Nimrod had other names applied to him, one of them was that great historical figure and codifier of laws, Hammurabi.

Freemasonry claim that this Nimrod was the founder of what is known today as the lodge of Freemasonry. Albert Mackey, in his History of Freemasonry, states on page 601 that, “The Legend of the CRAFT in the Old Constitutions refers to NIMROD as one of the founders of Masonry...” Consequently, Assyria was known to the Jews as “the land of Nimrod” (Micah 5:6), and was believed to have been first settled by people from Babylon.

The mighty Nimrod won all the wars he created. He and his companion, Chedorlaomer (Gen. 14), along with other kings, laid waste to all of Syria and subdued the offspring of the giants. After winning the war between the sons of Ham and the sons of Japheth, at the age of about 40 he was made king over all the people. His empire flourished as he turned his kingdom into a tyrannical order, which was about the same time Abraham was born.

Within the next few years, as God divided the earth and confounded the language of the people (Gen. 10 & 11), they separated by language into different parts of the world as the world was divided into various continents during the days of Peleg. Chedorlaomer left Babylon and formed the Elamite Empire in Iran, later to become known as the Persia. At that time Nimrod finished building the city of Babel and constructed the cities of Erech, Accad, and Calnah.

Chedorlaomer, along with a combination of other kings, attacked the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which are captured along with Lot. Abraham then attacked and slaughtered Chedorlaomer and the coalition of kings at the “valley of Shaveh,” freeing Lot and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 14). It was after this event that Abraham received his great blessing from Melchizedek, king of Salem, and paid “tithes of all.” (Gen. 14:18-20.)

Over time, the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah became exceedingly wicked. The people of Sodom and Gomorrah observed the four seasonal pagan holidays, with dances, timbrels, and orgies. They kept getting more wicked until, 391 years after the flood, the LORD destroyed those cities of the plains (Gen. 19).

Usurping the Patriarchal Order
What was God’s established order? It was the “Patriarchal Order.” The first form of governing was the Patriarchal Order; where the head of the family, the father, teaches and governs his children in the ways of God, and in like manner, those children taught their children, and so on. There was no po
litical or religious structure as we know them today, but simply an order from father to son on down the line of posterity without interference from any political or religious structure.

We have only a few words in Scripture about Adam and his family, and just a smattering about Cain and his. But we have much more information about Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the early Patriarchs. We also have information concerning Nimrod. We do not need to speculate concerning him; the Bible, and crude history, tells us that he was the first political figure in history and the first to organize a structured religion. And it was from this God-ordained family structure, the Patriarchal Order, that Nimrod rebelled. He moved out of the Patriarchal structure, which was God’s ordained, into a non-familial system of government, taking power unto himself to govern and control his people as an oppressive tyrant.

Nimrod sought, as did Cain, to overthrow God’s family-centered order; the social system in which obedient families were the source of all order and prosperity. Nimrod sought to establish cities of oppression in the place of godly families like Noah’s or Abraham’s.

Under Nimrod, society passed from the Patriarchal family structure, in which each separate family honored and followed its natural family head. This Patriarchal structure was supplanted by tribes or clans, wherein the leader gained dominion by conquest instead of natural birthright.

Franz Delitzsch (1888) has his view of Nimrod as the first political leader: “What the narrative has in view is not the greatness of Nimrod as a hunter, but his importance as the founder of a State. The hunter without equal was also the first monarch.” And John P. Lange (1864) suggests that the change from family government to the domination of the political State must have been by conflict: “This establishment of an empire transforming the Patriarchal clan-governments into one monarchy is not to be thought of as happening without force. The hunter becomes a subjugator of men, in other words, a conqueror.”

Was there a political State at the time Nimrod left the family’s Household of Faith? Does the State have any other origin than in Nimrod’s Babylon? Clearly, the departure from Patriarchal society came about through Nimrod’s apostasy. John Gill (1763) comments on Genesis 10:8, and wrote:

“He began to be a mighty one on the earth; that is, he was the first that formed a plan of government, and brought men into subjection to it; for this refers not to his gigantic stature, as if he was a giant, as the Septuagint renders; ... but to his civil character, as a ruler and governor: he was the first that reduced bodies of people and various cities into one form of government, and became the head of them; either by force and usurpation, or it may be with the consent of the people, through his persuasion of them. ...”

There was no government, as we know the government today, before Nimrod. He did not bring us government, he brought us “the government,” and he brought us “the State.” However, before
Nimrod, there WAS a well governed social order, and the source of this society was the family governed by the “Patriarchal Order.”

Semiramis: Mother-Wife of Nimrod
According to ancient
Egyptian and Babylonian traditions, Nimrod’s mother was Semiramis. This same Semiramis is reputed to also be his wife. The facts concerning this woman are a real enigma. From all the folklore surrounding her, it is unlikely that anyone can discover her real story. History points out one thing that seems certain, and that is that Nimrod had a wife by the name of Semiramis, but that’s where the certainty ends. The first thing we will note about this legendary queen, Semiramis, is that she had other name deviations such as Semiramide, Shamiram, etc. (Above: Artist conception of Semiramis.)

It was said of her that she was a perfect figure of a female with strikingly beautiful features, and she displayed a commanding presence with a powerful charisma. She was wicked enough to capitalize on these traits to accomplish her own personal and selfish ends, being extremely politically ambitious, immoral in her personal lifestyle, and sinister beyond all measure in her demonically evil aspirations. In deed, in all the world history that this author has studied, which is quite extensive, he has never found a woman in all those chronicles that had such a far reaching and long lasting influence upon ALL of mankind – from the great deluge up until present day – than that of Semiramis; and this with consideration and all due respect to the humble Mary, the mother of the Babe of Bethlehem. As the reader works through the remaining parts of this work, the reasons behind this statement should become obvious.

It is claimed that she, like the fishes, somehow survived the great flood. The author, Bryce Self, states that, “The name Semiramis is a later, Hellenized form of the Sumerian name ‘Sammur-amat’, or ‘gift of the sea.’ The initial element ‘sammur’ when translated into Hebrew becomes ‘Shinar’ (the biblical name for lower Mesopotamia), and is the word from which we derive ‘Sumeria’. This one woman had such a lasting impact upon world history that not only do we call the land from which civilization sprung, by her name, but God, himself, through scripture, lets us know that this land’s distinguishing characteristic was that it was ‘the Land of Shinar,’ the land of Semiramis.”

There are legends that keep surfacing that makes it difficult to arrive at the truth concerning both Nimrod, Semiramis, and her son Tammuz, neither of them too savory.The prevailing one being that Nimrod’s wife was actually his mother, the former wife of Cush. When Nimrod was a young boy, his mother, Semiramis, desired him and married him when he grew to be a mighty hunter. Semiramis, according to widespread accounts, was as evil and demonic, if not more so, than Nimrod himself; and both contrived a system whereby the two of them would be objects of worship as god and goddess.

Semiramis is the original mother of all the fertility goddesses. She is Isis, Diana, Artemis and all of the other goddesses throughout history they all are this woman, Semiramis.

Nimrod and Semiramis, the Founder of Religion
Not only was there no political State before Nimrod, there was also no religion or religious order. As stated, the only persuasion of godly faith was the family, the Patriarchal Order. There was no religious or church structure as we know it today, but their relationship with God was where the Patriarchal father taught his children to have a one-on-one relationship with their Creator without intervention from any religious hierarchy or authority. God was at the top of the structure, and man owed allegiance to no earthly figure; only that he honored his earthly father’s position as Patriarch of the family. Like Cain, it was at this component of the Patriarchal family structure, the element of a personal faith in the one true God, without the meddling of anyone else, that Nimrod struck in rebellion.

According to Jewish legend, Nimrod and Semiramis feared the prophecy that a child was to be born (to become known as Jesus Christ) who would turn the people back to God. In an effort to preserve their kingdom, it is estimated that they slew some 70,000 babies in hopes of killing the would-be savior, much like King Herod attempted to do just after the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem.

The story goes that Abram of Ur was the prophetic child through whom the promised messiah would come. Although Nimrod’s motive was to keep the promised child from ruling, he used the fear of the wild beasts as a pretense for uniting the people. Presenting himself as savior from such threats, Nimrod convinced the inhabitants to look to him as the lord of the earth instead of toward the one true God.

Nimrod and his mother-wife soon began to lead people away from Noah’s God. They built an astrological system for studying the stars, occultism, and devil worship. Among other things, they developed astrology, and laid the foundations for black and white witchcraft. They also set up 12 gods of wood after the 12 months of the year (or after the Zodiac), commanding everyone to worship one of them each month.

Their temples were staffed by priests, priestesses, musicians, singers, castrates, and hierodules (temple prostitutes). Various public rituals, food sacrifices, drunkenness, and revelry took place there on a daily basis. There were monthly feasts and annual New Year celebrations. During the New Year revelries the king, acting as the resurrected fertility god, Dumuzi, (a name we will consider later in more detail) would be married to Inanna.

History clearly shows that it wasn’t long before these counterfeit religions permeated the whole world, and is the basis for every system of idolatry and point of mythology, although the na
mes of the gods may differ because of language change and geographic vicinity.

The Tower of Babel
Although it was actually
Cush who originated the idea of building a great tower to heaven, it was Nimrod who was master of its construction. It’s in the Eleventh Chapter of Genesis that we read the most popular account of Babylon and its infamous Tower. The Tower of Babel was built for the purpose of studying stars and astrology in defiance of God to escape and survive another flood if the Creator should send one. (Above: The Tower of Babel, by Pieter Bruegel, 1563.)

The Tower had a Sumerian name, “Etemenanki” or “Etermenank, meaning, “House of the foundation of Heaven and Earth.” It was a massive type of building called a “ziggurat” which had, by various accounts, seven or eight levels. These levels were a series of terraced platforms, each smaller than the one below it, and all together reaching a great height, some 92 meters high.
The historian, Herodotu
s, wrote of this Tower of Babel in 440 BC: “It has a solid central tower, one furlong square, with a second erected on top of it and then a third, and so on up to eight. All eight towers can be climbed by a spiral way running around the outside, and about halfway up there are seats for those who make the journey to rest on.”

The construction of the tower was, in some way, connected to a religious system of false Gods. At the top was a shrine to Bel, whom the people worshiped as “the Most High god,” the god of the sun and of fire. Other “sky gods” were also included. Both Nimrod and his mother/wife, Semiramis, established themselves as the gods Marduk and Astarte. (Left: The Tower of Babel could be considered an astronomical observatory.)

Genesis 11:4, in speaking of “a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven,” has a more literal translation which reads, “a tower and his top with the h
eavens.” This does not refer to the height of the tower, but instead to the inscriptions on the walls of the shrine at the top of the tower. The constellations were painted or engraved on those walls with the outlines of the “sky gods” on them. These inscriptions and art works were to encourage people to associate the “pictures in the sky” with the images Nimrod wanted them to worship. Such was some of the occult deception which reigned in Babylon.

On the high
est terrace was a temple dedicated to the supreme Babylonian god, Marduk. The historic Louvre tablet (tablet now in the Louvre Museum of Paris) informs us that there were several cult rooms. Marduk and his wife, Sarpanitum, shared a room. Another room was for the scribe-god, Nabu, and his wife, Tashmetu. There were also other rooms: one for the water-god, Ea; one for Nusku, the god of light; the god of heaven, Anu, had one; and, Enlil, the predecessor of Marduk had one. Still, there was a room called the “house of the bed” which contained a bed and a throne. (Left: Marduk and his snake dragon from J. Black & A. Green, Gods, demons and symbols of ancient Mesopotamia, 1992.)

In his work, Witness of the Stars, E. W. Bullinger reveals the true meaning of what we call “the signs of the zodiac.” They were meant to be pictures in the sky representing God’s promise of a coming Deliverer who, being the Seed of the Woman, would bruise the serpent’s head (Gen. 3:15). For this purpose, God gave the s
tars as “lights ... for signs and for seasons” (Gen. 1:14). Signs, from the Hebrew word, “owth,” means “evidence,” “token,” “in the sense of appearing”; seasons from the Hebrew, “yowm,” means “a space of time...,” or as some interpret it, “appointed time.” The signs of the zodiac, or “sky pictures,” are meant to serve as “evidence” that at God’s “appointed time” the event promised of the coming Deliverer would occur.

God decided that the perversion of the celestial witness was an attempt to extinguish all hope in man for redemption – this He would not allow. “This they begin to do, and now nothing will be restrained from them which they have imagined to do” (Gen. 11:6) indicates that unrestrained evil was about to be unleashed. So God defeated all of their des
igns by confusing their one language into many and scattering the people across the divided earth.

From Genesis
we read: “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime they had for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth; and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” (Genesis 11:1-9.)

The Esagila
South of the Tower of Babel, another huge complex was built in Babylon to honor Marduk; it was called the Esagila, or Esagil, which in Sumerian means, “The house that rises its head.” The Esagila complex was in the center of Babylon. The shrine itself, consisted of two sacred rooms: an anteroom and the “holy of holies” where the priests served the cult statue of Marduk. Alexander the Great ordered restorations of the Esagila, and in the first century BC, the Esagila was still functioning.

Originally, Marduk was the god of the city of Babylon, but in about the eighteenth century BC, Marduk became the supreme god of all Mesopotamia. In the first millennium BC, his name was considered so holy, that it was almost never pronounced; instead, people said and wrote Bêêl — meaning, “Lord.”

The legends say that the other gods were subject to him, and he defended them from the evil monster, Tiamat. After killing Tiamat, Marduk brought order to the cosmos, created mankind, and built the Esagila. It is also stated that all other gods are only manifestations of Marduk. During their New Year celebrations, called the “Akitu festival,” the Babylonians remembered how Marduk had created order in the universe. The heart of this cosmos was considered to be Babylon, with the Esagila shrine being the center of the universe.

As many researchers have discovered, and historical documents verifies, the world’s major non-Judeo-Christian religions can be traced back, ultimately, to ancient Babylon, showing that polytheism (belief in multiple gods) emerged from monotheism (belief in a single god). Satan is known as the father of lies which “deceiveth the whole world” (John 8:44, Revelation 12:9), and Nimrod was the human “father” of all false religion, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism, the Egyptian mystery religions, and the like.

Death of Nimrod
Nimrod’s accomplishments were so monumental that the kingdom of Babylon was represented by the head of gold amongst all world governments, as described in the Book of Daniel; and the scripture identifies Babylon with Satan in Isaiah Chapter 14 and in Revelation Chapters 17-18.

Although the flood helped cleanse the earth of wickedness, it did not eradicate man’s sinful nature. Nimrod was an oppressive ruler who was vile, bloodthirsty, warlike, and extremely self-aggrandizing. He opposed God, usurped Patriarchal rule, and established himself as the first dictator-king in all of history. But in the height of his power, Nimrod died a violent death — a death which is somewhat shrouded in mystery.

Nimrod was put to death by Shem, the son of Noah, who was also known as Melchizedek, king of Salem. But what brought about the death of Nimrod by the hand of Shem? The actual reason being lost to history, their can only be conjecture. But knowing Nimrod’s desire to spread, not only his political influence by conquest, but his Satanic pagan religion as well, could it be that he might have gone too far in this regard with Salem, and Shem, being appalled by his nephew’s evil deeds, found cause and opportunity to put an end to Nimrod’s nefarious proliferation of Babylonianism?

Not only did Shem kill Nimrod, but his body was cut in pieces and sent to various parts of his kingdom. Queen Semiramis had all of Nimrod’s body parts gathered, except for one part that could not be found; that part was his penis. Semiramis claimed that Nimrod could not come back to life without it. She told the people of Babylon that Nimrod had ascended to the sun and was now to be called “Baal,” the sun-god. Semiramis developed the Satanic religion of Baal worship and proclaimed that, from now on during worship, Baal would be present on earth in the form of a flame, whether candle or lamp.

This story of Semiramis trying to find the pieces of Nimrod’s body-parts spread to other cultures. For example, the story of Osiris and Isis of Egypt is basically identical to the Babylonian story of Nimrod and Semiramis. In the Egyptian story, Isis reconstructed Osiris’ body which had also been cut up into pieces. Isis found all the body parts except for, you guessed it, Osiris’ penis. Isis then claimed to have had a son by him whom she named Horus.

Tammuz: The Promised Messiah?
Somewhere along
the line, after the death of Nimrod, Semiramis had all of her people believe that Nimrod had become Baal, the sun-god. Also, sometime after his death, she bore another son of an adulterous relationship. To keep her position, she devised a scheme to cover the details of Nimrods death. She proclaimed that:

1. Nimrod’s death was voluntary and self-sacrificing for the benefit of all people.
2. Nimrod, now Baal the sun god, would rise from the dead in some miraculous way.
3. She was a virgin and her pregnancy was an immaculate conception by the rays of the sun.
4. The sire of this coming child was the sun-god, Baal (Nimrod).
5. Nimrod’s rising in the form of her son was the fulfillment of prophecy (Gen. 3:15).

The name of this other illegitimate son was Damu, which later became Dammuzi, or Dumuzi; the name is Tammuz in Hebrew
, and Adonis in Greek. The word Tammuz is believed to be a derivative of two words: (1) TAM; meaning to make perfect or to perfect, and (2) MUZ; which relates to fire and light, such as the sunlight.

Tammuz, or Dumuzi, is also referred to as Bacchus by many ancient writers. The name was symbolic of the grain being turned into wine or beer. The wine was put into jars and stored underground, which was referred to as the “netherworld.” When the tanks ran dry, the gods of wine and beer failed and you had to arouse or resurrect them with wine and music to restore the harvest. This religion, which began in Babylonia, was adopted throughout the world, especially by the Greeks and Romans where Bacchus was known as the God of Wine and revelry; earlier called Dionysus by the Greeks.

At other times Tammuz, or Dumuzi, was known as Ichthys, referring to a fish or fisherman. The son of Semiramis was not a fisherman, but in the story of Jesus we have the “fishers of men” and the identification with the fish as the symbol of the original Christians. (At Right: Tammuz from Petra of the ancient Arabs. At Left: The Winged god Tammuz, Divine god of life of the ancient Nabatean Arabs.)

So Semiramis developed the Satanic religion of Baal worship, and maintained that this son was the reincarnation (return or rebirth) of Nimrod and was to be their savior. So both Nimrod and Tammuz became deified as gods; and the people bought it. As in all ages of history, Satan presents a counte
rfeit of the real thing. In this case it is a “false” savior to lead the people away from the true Savior, Jesus the Christ, who was to come in the Meridian of time. Also, the introduction of a false concept, that of “reincarnation,” was perpetrated. The importance of this figure, Tammuz, together with Nimrod and Semiramis again, will be covered in another study.

Having developed the city of Babylon into one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, Semiramis was the real mastermind behind the Babylon “Mystery Religion.” She developed a system of a celibate Priesthood which was answerable to only her.

As the mother of a baby king, who naturally was too young to rule, Semiramis usurped the throne and reigned in his stead. As wicked as Nimrod was, Semiramis appeared to be far more cunning. The true concept of the One to come to suffer and die for sins of mankind (Jesus Christ), His eventual resurrection, and his ascending into Heaven as Lord of all was known, along with many other truths, were usurped by this tarnished queen. Through the influence of Lucifer, Semiramis corrupted many of these truths in order to establish her own influence over the people. And since only a god can begat another god, she became deifi
ed as the mother of god, and called “The Queen of Heaven.” And because she is supposed to have survived the great flood as did the fishes (“Sammur-amat,” meaning “gift of the sea”) she became deified as a goddess of the sea, being, as supposed, the daughter of the fish-goddess “Atargatis.”

By many accounts, Simeramis was identified with the moon, and moon worship as can be seen by the names of Allilah or Allah.
Her influence was, and still is, so great that, even today, she is still honored in various ways. For instance, The Semiramis Hotel (pictured at right) has fairly recently been opened in Cairo, Egypt. Another name she has been known by is, Cybele, a goddess with the 12 stars around her head as is represented by the European Union today. She was also worshiped as “Rhea,” the great mother of the gods. And the grandest of all, she has been know, and still is known, as the “Queen of Heaven,” which is the name of the goddess who is slated to be the main worship figure of the new proposed One World Religion that is currently being formed in these last days for all mankind to accept.

Such events in the life of Semiramis laid the groundwork for all of the ancient pagan religious systems, as well as those of today. Semiramis was, either directly or indirectly, t
he original model for every goddess and female cult figure in the ancient and modern times. To help discern and understand the importance of that which follows, it is essential to have a little knowledge of the foregoing events.

In Summary
By a close study of Genesis, we can see that Nimrod most likely lived during the time of Peleg, the great-great grandson of Shem. And with a little reading of the tenth chapter, we find that it was during the days of Peleg that God divided the earth. (Gen. 10:25; 1 Chron. 1:19.) Considering the tremendous length of time most of them lived, just after the flood, the two of them must have been contemporaries with one another.

When God confounded the languages, He also divided the land so the people with differing languages would migrate and scatter from one another. As a result, they left off building the city and the great tower. The confounding of the language and scattering of the people happened when Abraham was about 45 years of age, some 337 years after the flood.

When the language and land was changed and divided, the various people took their false religion with them, with all its gods, beliefs, customs, relics, and false traditions. Although the names of the various gods and traditions may have changed, they still echo back to old Babylon and the first post-deluge world emperor, Nimrod. Among other names, he was also known as Tukulti-Ninurta I, the founder of Nineveh and ruler of the world within what has become known as the “Golden Crescent.”

Proving all the details of these three legendary characters, Nimrod, Semiramis, and Tammuz, is difficult, if not impossible. Yet their footprint can be found in ancient historical text and records, including the Holy Bible.

And what of that great structure Nimrod built to reach the heavens? God did not totally destroy it, but left part of it molding in the dust as a monument to the futility of man’s vain pride and self-aggrandizement, and as a towering reminder that man is nothing without his Creator, the one true God.

Although we have touched very briefly upon Nimrod’s creation of the political State, it is upon his and Semiramis’ founding of the “first” organized structured religion that will be the central focus of study from this point forward. And as it will clearly show, the influence of both Nimrod and Semiramis extends from the ancientest of times after the great flood until modern times, with idols appearing featuring mother Semiramis and baby Tammuz, prefiguring the Virgin Mary and baby Jesus. Indeed, modern-day Roman Catholicism, with its 2000 year influence upon the world, can be listed among those pagan religions whose roots extend clear back to the rebellious Nimrod and his mother-wife, Semiramis, of ancient Babylon.