The End Will Be Where The Beginning Is http://doubleserpent.wordpress.com/2009/05/22/e-din/ )
“In a recent study of this conflict between the story and the mythical relics it preserves B. S. Childs has remarked that ‘behind the figure of the serpent shimmers another form still reflecting its former life.’ A tension exists because this independent life of the original figure still struggles against the framework of a simple snake into which it has been recast.” (p. 20. John Martin Evans. Paradise Lost and the Genesis Tradition. Oxford, England. Clarendon Press. 1968, citing from B. S. Childs. “Myth and Reality In the Old Testament.” Studies in Biblical Theology. Vol. 27. 1960. pp. 45-48)
The story of Eden in the biblical book of Genesis is a retelling of an earlier Sumerian story. The similarities are striking, but you will see the changes that were made by the authors of Genesis in order to switch the narrative from polytheism into monotheism, creating the inconsistencies and problematic points in the text.
In the Sumerian story, we find a race of Gods called the An.unna.ki (a name that translates as “from heaven came to earth”.) The supreme ruler of these Gods, Anu, had two sons named Enlil and Enki. Enlil is given superiority and the two descend to earth with a fleet of siblings and followers. They make their home in the E.DIN (later known as Mesopotamia.)
The An.unna.ki exist on earth for thousands of years, but eventually, the younger gods get tired of doing all the manual labour. They revolt and put their case before Enlil in his capacity as head of the pantheon on earth. A council of the elder gods is called, and at this meeting Enki suggests that he make a primitive worker, someone to do the grunt work and relieve the younger gods of their toil. Enki is the god of science, wisdom, and civilization. His symbol was the double-helix serpent, which everyone today will be familiar with, mostly without realizing the origin:
Enki’s idea is approved, and the council gives its support to the plan.
Back at the E.Din, Enki, his half-sister Ninhursag and Enki’s son Ningishzidda set about making the primitive worker. They make fourteen pieces of ‘clay’ mixed with the blood and flesh of a slain god of “intelligence” and “personality”, and the spit of all the gods, and impregnate fourteen ‘birth goddesses,’ much like the cloning and in vitro fertilisation we do today. The resulting children that were born comprised of seven males and seven females.
(Here: Ningishzidda, Enki and Ninhursag, with a worker on her lap)
Interestingly enough, a professor of human genetics at Oxford University has now claimed that Europeans are descended from exactly seven women ancestors, as reported by the BBC here:
In The Old Testament, Adam and Eve are innocent until tempted by the serpent to eat the forbidden fruit from the Tree. The widespread theological theory goes that there were in fact two “trees” in the garden of E.Din. One tree was the knowledge of good and evil and the other was the gift of eternal life. These were both attributes of the Sumerian gods that had been supposedly bred out of the primitive workers at the behest of the council. The original plan had been for these workers to be sterile and short lived.
But Ningishzidda (”The Winged Serpent”; “Lord of the good tree”; messenger of the gods; the Sumerian equivalent of Anubis, Quetzalcoatl, Odin, Hermes, Mercury, and the Archangel Gabriel) had already given the fruit of the first tree, by breeding the workers as able to sexually reproduce. This is what is being alluded to in Genesis, I believe, by the mention of Adam and Eve realizing that they were naked.
(a Sumerian depiction of “Adam,” “Eve,” the “tree” and the serpent)
Upon finding out what had been done, Enlil (the Sumerian equivalent of the Bible’s angry and jealous God) became enraged, and kicked the workers out of E.Din, thus preventing Enki (the Sumerian equivalent of Samael, the serpent in the garden, Satan) from giving them the fruit of the second tree, that of eternal life.
All the problems that arise from the narrative of Genesis are fixed when one views it as a polytheistic text reworked into a monotheistic format. Enlil is given the full role in Genesis, while his brother is relegated to a mere “serpent.” Thus Enlil looks to be indecisive, throwing them out at one moment, and clothing them in pity the next. The story actually involves two gods locked in a moral argument.
This argument continues into the Sumerian flood myth (also predating the biblical account of Noah) in which the sound of humans copulating is repulsive to Enlil and he convinces the council to let him send the flood to kill everyone. Enki has other ideas, and tells one man and his family to build a boat and keep on board two of all the animals, much like we are doing today with our Doomsday Vault.) The fact that the flood myth of the Sumerians concerns two deities again fixes the problem in the biblical narrative, where God appears to be wiping out mankind and saving them all at once. When what we have, in fact, are two Gods: One who sends floods because he doesn’t like humans who aren’t servile and ignorant , and another who tries to give humans enlightenment and save them from these floods.
Let me leave you with this thought:
‘The Bible informs us that the serpent in the Garden of Eden was overcome before it was able to complete its mission and give Adam and Eve the “fruit” from the second “tree.” Enki (who was also symbolized as a snake) was banished to Earth and was extensively villainized by his opponents to ensure that he could never again secure a widespread following among human beings. Enki’s title was changed from “Prince of Earth” to “Prince of Darkness.” He was labeled other horrible epithets: Satan, the Devil, Evil Incarnate, Monarch of Hell, Lord of Vermin, Prince of Liars, and more. He was portrayed as the mortal enemy of a Supreme Being and as the keeper of Hell. People were taught that his only intentions were to spiritually enslave everyone and that everything bad on Earth was caused by him. Humans were encouraged to detect him in all his future lives (”incarnations”) and to destroy him and his creations whenever he was discovered. All beliefs and practices named after his various appellations (”Satanism,” “Devil Worship,” etc.) were to be made so horrific and degrading that no right-thinking person would (or should) have anything to do with them. He and his followers were to be viewed with nothing but the utmost loathing.’ (p. 55. William Bramley. The Gods of Eden)