Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Trinitarian Correspondences Between Mesopotamia and the Nile

Image of Enki in the primordial Abzu

In ancient Akkadian the title Enlil refers to the High God who appoints High Kings. En means Lord or Master, and Lil refers to the wind, air, or God's breath (Ruach in Hebrew). Many ancient texts make reference to Enlil's connection to rulers. Here is an example: "Enlil, the Great Mountain, has commissioned you to gladden the hearts of lords and rulers and wish them well." (See section 38-47.)

Enlil's divine appointment of rulers is evident from Sumerian early dynastic royal inscriptions. King Zagesi (Lugalzagesi) of Umma and Uruk was said to be appointed king over all of Mesopotamia by Enlil:
"Enlil, King of all the lands, gave kingship of 'the Land' to Lugalzagesi, pointed the eyes of 'the Land' toward him, set all the lands at his feet, from sunrise to sunset." (G. Magid 2006)

Lugalzagesi conquered the Sumerian city-states and united all of them under his authority. He is believed to be the first to do so and the last emperor of Mesopotamia. Lugalzagesi was the "ishib priest of An," a title which Sargon I also took when he captured Lugalzagesi. The ishib priest is said to perfect the holy vessels used in the temple. 

Enlil appears to be one of the three divine persons in something similar to the Trinity. Belief in the Three-Person God appears to be a core belief of the Hebrew priests who served the early kingdom builders like Nimrod. These are described as "mighty men" and "heroes" in Genesis 6. They built temples and employed priests and temple servants. The Hebrew royal priests were dispersed geographically, but it seems that they promoted their unique understanding of God Father, God Son, and God Spirit wherever they lived. 

Among the Nilotic Hebrew, God Father was called Re (Father). God Son was called Horus (Most High One), and God Spirit was called Akh (Spirit). Among the Mesopotamian Hebrew, God Father was called An or Anu. God Son was called Enki (Lord Over All), and God Spirit was called Enlil (Lord wind/breath). 

That Enki is the son of God is evident from ancient texts such as this one: "Enki, the king of the Abzu, justly praises himself in his majesty: 'My father, the king of heaven and earth, made me famous in heaven and earth." (See section 61-80.)  

In the early 2nd millennium BC version of the Atrahasis Epic, Anu is described as both father and king. “Anu their father was king.” (S. Dailey. Myths from Mesopotamia: Creation, the Flood. Gilgamesh and Others; Oxford University Press. 1989, p. 9.)

Likewise, Horus was said to recognize his father in the king. "Horus is a soul and he recognizes his Father in you..." (Pyramid Texts, Utterance 423)

Even ancient terms for the royal first person are derived from the name of the High God. Examples include anaku, the royal I in Akkadian, and anochi, the royal I in ancient Egyptian.

In Canaan shrines to the Three God were dedicated to Baal Shalisha, literally the Three God, or Masters Three. One such shrine was in the hill country of Ephraim and is mentioned in 2 Kings 4:42 and 1 Samuel 9:4.

Solar Symbolism

The High God's symbol or emblem was the sun. It was a common belief in the ancient world that high kings served by the authority of the High God who shone his light (rays of the sun) upon them. This divine overshadowing is depicted on many ancient stone reliefs and tomb paintings. 

Hathor, the mother of Horus, conceived by divine overshadowing.

If this understanding of divine appointment was spread by the Hebrew ruler-priests it is misleading to speak of the High God as the "Sun God." The Hebrew distinguished between the High God and the solar symbol of the High God. They employed solar imagery such as rays of sunlight and solar crowns to speak of blessings from on high. Malachi 4:2 uses solar language in exactly this way: "But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings (rays)." Likewise, the Psalm 92:2 description of the Lord as “a sun and a shield” is not to be taken literally. 

Psalm 19:1-4 clearly distinguishes between the High God and the sun by asserting that God makes a tent for the sun.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their measuring line goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.

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