… and this is none other than Jehovah we’re talking about!
There are two diametrically opposed views on human sacrifice in the Hebrew Bible, familiarly known as the Old Testament. The first and the overwhelming view is pro- human sacrifice. The other view rails against human sacrifice. Now, contradictions in the Bible are more the norm than the exception. The reasons are manifold but we will cite only a few.
First, the Bible was not written by a steadfastly like-minded scribal team. It was written by different people who had one general premise but over which they had clashing positions or viewpoints. In some cases, especially in the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, several writers contributed to one book, e.g. Deuteronomy, and these writers did not bother overmuch about synchronising the overall drift and orientation of the narrative.
Scholars have identified at least four compound authors of the Pentateuch, who they have dubbed J (because he refers to his god as Jehovah), E (because he uses the plural term Elohim to refer to his god), D (the Deuteronomist) and P (the Priestly scribe). Of course the casual reader will scarcely notice this disaccord, but the scholar who has studied the Bible verse by verse will easily discern this.
Second, the stories we read in the Bible were documented over thousands of years (as fragments of or excerpts from other age-old texts), beginning with the Sumerian records. For instance, the first 25 chapters of Genesis were researched from Mesopotamian records written about 4000 years before Malachi, the last book of the Old Testament, was written. The first concerted efforts on the part of the Jews to compile the Hebrew Bible was done in the 7th century BC during the Babylonian captivity.
In the process, the source manuscripts were not left intact: some of the information they contained was edited out by the so-called redactors and perspectives which were deemed palatable with the times were interpolated into them. Third, the gods of the Old Testament as we have long demonstrated were the Anunnaki, Aliens from the Sirian and Orion star systems via the little-known planet of the Solar System known as Nibiru.
The dominant Anunnaki in the Bible are the Enlilites, the clan of Jehovah-Enlil, who until the astrological Age of Aries was Earth’s Chief Executive. The Enlilites were the hawk faction of the Anunnaki ruling pantheon. They were the diabolical faction vis-à-vis mankind. However, even they were not always in one accord. For example, Nannar-Sin, the second-born son of Enlil who later became the Allah of Islam, was the dove in the predominantly hawk faction. He was the only kind Enlilite.
Thus when you read of a god speaking against human sacrifice, rest assured that god is Nannar-Sin. If the Jewish scribes had referred to Anunnaki gods by their own individual names throughout, we would not have such ambiguity. But they used a blanket term, such as Yahweh or Adonai, as a result of which one can only glean an idea of which particular god is being talked about by cross-referencing with the more authoritative Sumerian records.
The gods themselves share the blame for this convoluted state of affairs. In Aries, the Enlilites, as we pointed out in earlier pieces, decided to pose as one unitary god before their chosen people, the Jews, whilst maintaining their individual identities behind the scenes. It explains why they no longer wished to be seen by Earthlings; only to be heard. In the post exilic era (from the time of the Exodus till the waning days of the astrological Age of Aries), the Enlilites were mostly represented by Ishkur-Adad, Enlil’s third-born son, before the Nation of Israel. Adad, as we shall demonstrate in due course, was the cruelest Enlilite after Enlil.
He was responsible for much of the evil perpetrated by “God” in the Old Testament. In the Sumerian records, it was Ninurta and Inanna-Ishtar, Enlil’s granddaughter, who were the prime evils. And the god who committed the world’s best-known and most outrageous act of genocide was Enlil, when he let mankind perish in their millions during the Deluge. This brings us to the matter of human sacrifice and why there are contending views about it in the Hebrew Bible.
There were scribes who thought since human sacrifice was a most egregious evil, it should not be presented as something decreed by God. As such, these scribes inserted passages in the original texts that gave the impression that actually God frowned on human sacrifice. But the more objective scribes were of the view that what the original manuscripts contained should stand irrespective of whether it portrayed God in a negative light. After all, God was God and he did not have to sanitise any extreme measure he took. That, in sum folks, is why you find some verses reporting that God was hooked on human sacrifice and others underscoring God’s condemnation of the act.
When you read the Bible, it is important that you take the bigger picture and not use an isolated incident as the basis of your inference. Focus on the sum total of what is being related to you and not on the contents merely of one verse, one chapter, or even one book. Above all, ensure you augment and buttress your understanding of the Bible with extra-biblical sources. For example, you would never grasp the creation story, that of Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, and the great Flood of Noah’s day without reading the Sumerian chronicles or books on the Sumerian chronicles. You will never know who the gods of the Old Testament exactly were without being acquainted with what the Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets and cylinder seals say about these gods.
ADAD AND NINURTA FRONT-RUNNERS IN THE APPETITE FOR HUMAN FLESH
In the Bible, two gods are particularly associated with human sacrifice. The first goes by the generic name YAHWEH, or Jehovah. We by now know that Yahweh was a cover name, primarily, for the Enlilite godhead, which comprised of five kinsmen, namely Enlil-Jehovah (the father), Ninurta (the firstborn), Nannar-Sin (the secondborn), Ishkur-Adad (the last born), and Utu-Shamash (the grandson). But we also know that in the post-exilic era, the main Yahweh was Ishkur-Adad. Adad was also the meanest and vilest of the Yahwehs and human sacrifice was actually his staple. Needless to say, Adad is one of the two Yahwehs mostly associated with human sacrifice.
Adad’s notoriety for human sacrifice was well-known even in Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq. Clay-tablet texts unearthed in Mesopotamia and which have been dated to between the 10th and 7th centuries BC talk of burnt offerings of male children to “the god Adad”. It was Adad who instructed Abraham to sacrifice his son (GENESIS 22:22), though the Hebrew redactors recast the story in such a way that a ram was substituted for Abraham’s son.
Before the Israelites were liberated from Egyptian bondage, Adad demanded that they sacrifice their eldest sons as atonement for his indispensable role in winning their freedom. Once again, the Pentateuch scribes spun the story around to make it appear like it were the Egyptians who lost their sons at the hands of Adad’s “Angel of Death”.
Then at the Mount of the Elohim (Sinai or Horeb in the Bible) in Arabia’s Wilderness of Sin, Adad insisted that he was only going to address the Israelites in person if they made another mass human sacrifice. Given that the firstborn sons had already been sacrificed in Egypt, this time around it were the virgins who must have stepped into the breach. Indeed, EXODUS 19:18 does hint at the Mount Sinai sacrifice. It goes without saying that in the original texts, details to that effect did abound but were removed by later editors.
In Assyria, his main bastion as a god in Babylonian times, Adad was known by several names. One of these was Anammelek (Anu-Malik in the Assyrian language, meaning “chief deity”, which Adad was in Assyria). In 2 KINGS 17:31, we’re told that “the people of Sepharvaim (an Assyrian tribe that was relocated to Samaria after the Israelites were taken into Assyrian captivity) burned their own children as sacrifices to their god Anammelek”. The Anunnaki gods were very clever operators. ONE GOD (E.G. ADAD) WOULD PRESIDE OVER RIVAL NATIONS (E.G. THE ISRAELITIES AND CANAANITES) USING DIFFERENT NAMES AND WOULD EVEN CONDEMN THE PRACTICES OF “THE OTHER GOD” WHEN IN TRUTH HE AND THE OTHER GOD WERE ONE AND THE SAME PERSON.
The other god who was notorious for human sacrifice according to the Old Testament was BAAL-MOLECH, Baal (sometimes spelt Ba-El) simply meaning “The Lord”. Scholars have endlessly groped in the dark in their efforts to identify this god. I yet have to come across a single book or article that crisply nails him: they all make wild guesses. Most of them, brainwashed by the Bible’s Enlilite propaganda, even associate Molech with poor Marduk, a highly benevolent Enkite god was a darling of his direct subjects, notably the Babylonians and Egyptians, and who in the Age of Aries had replaced Jehovah-Enlil as Earth’s Chief Executive.
The Hebrew word translated Molech is actually MLK. This is MELEK when we put in the vowels as ancient Hebrew had no vowels. Originally, the term Melek (MALAK in Hebrew) meant a deputy, king, or emissary. The anglicised version of Melek is MICHAEL. According to the Sumerian records, the Book of Enoch, the Epistle of Jude, and Revelation, Michael was the warring archangel.
IN SUMERIAN RECORDS, THE ARCHANGEL (CHIEF REPRESENTATIVE OF A DEITY) MICHAEL WAS NINURTA, ENLIL-JEHOVAH’S FIRSTBORN SON AND THEREFORE THE HEIR APPARENT. I’m sure by now you know that Ninurta was the Anunnaki’s God of War. It was he who fought and vanquished “the Evil Zu” in an aerial battle and it was he who commanded the Enlilites when they warred against the Enkites in all the Pyramid Wars.
The god Molech, therefore, was Ninurta. He was based on Mount Moriah in Jerusalem, and at a place called Topeth in the Valley of Ge-Hinnom (Gehenna) just outside Jerusalem, he superintended over a huge fiery pit in which children were presented to him as a burnt offering. That’s why in the English version of the Bible, Gehenna is translated as “Hell” or “Lake of Fire”. This has nothing to do with an afterlife inferno: it all harps back to the literal hell the place was to the children of Israel.
The sacrificed children were said to have been “passed over” or “passed through” the fire in sacrifice to Molech. THIS IS THE REAL ORIGIN OF THE “PASSOVER” FEAST FOLKS, not the drivel you have been fed by the Pentateuch authors about God’s Angel of Death bypassing the homes of Israelites and zeroing in on those of Egyptians. Since Ninurta was so fixated on human sacrifice, the term Melek over time also assumed the meaning “sacrifice”.
“THE FIRSTBORN OF YOUR SONS YOU SHALL GIVE TO ME”
Human sacrifices were made to the Old Testament gods for any number of reasons. First, they stemmed from a standing order by a god that a human sacrifice be done as and when required. The case of Abraham in relation to his son Isaac in GENESIS 22:2 is one such example. In EXODUS 22:29, Adad makes it clear to the Israelites that, “The firstborn of your sons shall you give to me”.
In LEVITICUS 27:28, Adad emphasises that anything mankind set aside for him, whether this be an animal, agricultural produce, or “man” was not eligible for redemption (that is, could not be substituted for anything else). In EXODUS 22:29-30, Adad says, "The first offspring of every womb among the Israelites belongs to me, whether man or animal”. When it came to which tribe of the Nation of Israel the human sacrifice were to routinely come from, this was the tribe of Levi.
Adad had chosen them as the priestly tribe but there was a price to pay for this privillege: THEY WOULD BE THE MAIN TRIBE FROM WHICH HE WOULD HARVEST HUMAN SACRIFICES. This is what he says to that effect in NUMBERS 3:12-13: “I hereby accept the Levites from among the Israelites as substitutes for all the firstborn that open the womb among the Israelites. The Levites shall be mine, for all the firstborn are mine; when I killed all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, I consecrated for my own all the firstborn in Israel, both human and animal; they shall be mine. I am the LORD.”
In some situations, the god decreed a mass sacrifice as a punishment for being offended or somewhat displeasured by his people. For example, in EZEKIEL 20:26 (note: in properly translated versions and not in highly doctored ones such as the NIV and NLT), Adad boasts that he had the Israelites sacrifice their firstborns as burnt offerings to him to demonstrate to them that he was Yahweh who should never be defied! What crime did the Israelites commit?
They sacrificed children they had pledged to him to rival gods instead (EZEKIEL 16:20), who he dismissively denounced as “images”. These rival gods were not Enkites: they were fellow Enlilites but who were distant cousins being the sons of his older brother Nannar-Sin’s children with several concubines. (Sin had more than 80 children, the reason he was known as Aten, in this context meaning “Multiplying God”, in line with the injunction in Genesis that “Be fruitful and multiply”.)
There were cases, however, in which Kings or generals simply sacrificed their own children to kind of incentivise their god to dispense a blessing or simply show gratitude for a triumph in a battle or war. A classic example in this regard is that of Jephtah, an Israel judge (as leaders were called before the advent of King Saul, Israel’s first King) for six years, in JUDGES 11:29-40. This is the vow Jephtah made to Adad as he headed for a battlefield clash with the Ammonites, the descendants of Lot: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the LORD's, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering."
Jephtah did trounce the enemy all right, but guess who should be the first to meet him at the palace gates upon returning from the war? His virgin daughter and the only child. The story is tear-jerking as the ill-fated daughter pleaded with her father to give her a two-month “stay-of-execution” so her friends would have ample time to celebrate her existence and do their farewells.
Jephtah for one was deeply troubled by what had transpired but sadly a promise to a god, and by a leader in particular, was cast in stone: it could not be reversed. Exactly two months later, the poor daughter was delivered to Adad. Whether it was via a furnace or simply on a silver platter the Bible does not say. This Earth My Brother …
SIN’S HUMANE VOICE
Whereas Adad and Ninurta were the veritable vampires what with such a ready appetite for human flesh and human blood, Nannar-Sin was the polar opposite. Every time you hear Yahweh or Jehovah say something that is sober and rational, feel at liberty to assume it is the voice of Sin you were listening to. Remember, although Adad was the main Jehovah of the Exodus, he wasn’t the sole one. Once in a while, Sin took his position too. The Pentateuch authors however attributed every pronouncement by an Enlilite deity to simply one Yahweh, with the result that Yahweh comes across as a god with a split personality not once but multiple times.
Sin frowned upon human sacrifice. So in the following passages, it is either Sin who is talking behind the general façade of Yahweh, or the Jewish redactors themselves put words in Yahweh’s mouth:
DEUTERONOMY 12:31: “You shall not act thus toward Yahweh your Elohim, for every abhorrence which Yahweh hates they perform for their Elohim, for even their sons and their daughters they burn with fire for their Elohim. You shall not act thus toward Yahweh your Elohim, for every abhorrence which Yahweh hates they perform for their Elohim, for EVEN THEIR SONS AND THEIR DAUGHTERS THEY BURN WITH FIRE FOR THEIR ELOHIM.” Here, Sin was warning the Israelites about copying the ways of the Canaanites, who they would co-exist with when they entered Canaan.
DEUTERONOMY 18: 9-10: “When you come to the land that Yahweh your Elohim is giving to you (Canaan), you shall not learn to act according to the abhorrences of those nations (the Canaanites). There shall not be found among you one causing his son or his daughter TO PASS THROUGH FIRE.” In JEREMIAH 19:4-9, Adad promises to severely punish the Israelites for having “built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as offerings to Baal”.
This statement should be taken with a pinch of salt. There simply was no way Adad would have punished the Israelites for doing something he himself had instituted. Also, the god he was condemning here was his own brother Ninurta ( Baal-Molech) when the two were birds of the same figure. Clearly, the statement was an interpolation by Jewish scribes.
PSALM 106:48 (my favourite psalm) condemns human sacrifice. The psalms were written by several individual authors who did not have a uniform agenda. PSALM 82, for instance, which was written by a certain Asaph, is in fact a diatribe against the Anunnaki gods for pretending to be God (First Source) when in actual fact they too were mortal and would therefore die someday and be accountable to God. Thus the psalmist who condemned human sacrifice was making a indirect dig at Adad and company.
In 2 KINGS 16:3, King Ahaz of Judah is condemned for sacrificing his own children by way of a fiery furnace. No Jewish King reigned without the sanction of a god. Thus if Ahaz was into human sacrifice, it meant that that pleased his god, to whom the sacrifice was made. Once again, this passage is suspect. The case of King Josiah of Judah is a revelatory one. Josiah, who the Bible describes as a righteous king, did away with human sacrifices and got rid of all the priests who were at the centre of this barbarity (2 KINGS 23:5).
Jehovah (either Adad or Ninurta) bristled at this gesture, which he regarded as “opposing god”(2 CHRONICLES 35:21), and engineered his death in a battle at the tender age of only 38. Human sacrifice was Jehovah’s lifeline: you didn’t tamper with it and get away scotfree.
Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.
The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.
Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.
At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.
Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.
Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).
This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.
In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.
Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?
Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.
POSITIVITY Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.
“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)
We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”
Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.
Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be. You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”
Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.
When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.
Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.
However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.” “Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)
COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT
Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.
It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.
Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.
Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.
The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.
It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.