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Darkness At Noon

Publishing Date : 03 September, 2019

Benson C Sail
THIS EARTH, MY BROTHER


                          … as Nibiru, the planet of the Old Testament gods, shows up!

Altogether, the Babylonian captivity – the deportation of the Nation of Israel to Babylon – spanned 70 years counting from the first deportation of   598/597 BC.


Meanwhile, Judah was renamed Yehud Province by the Babylonians and a puppet Jewish governor was appointed to administer it. (The post of King was abolished, making Zedekiah [reign: 597-586 BC] the last substantive linear King of the Jews.) His name was  Gedalia, whose father had been an advisor to King Josiah (reign: 640-609 BC).


Gedalia set up his capital not in Jerusalem but in Mizpah. That, plus the fact  that he didn’t have a  drop of Davidic blood in him, made him a marked man to Jewish nationalists and traditionalists from the word go.  Not long after his appointment, Gedalia was  assassinated by a family member of the deposed king Zedekiah. From that point on, no Jewish governor was installed until after the end of the Babylonian captivity.  


Exactly what were the circumstances of the captives? The image that immediately comes to mind is that of a concentration camp kind of setting reminiscent of the Jewish people’s fate at the hands of Nazi Germany. That is a gross misconception. In Babylon, the Jews enjoyed every privilege, including citizenship if they so desired. They were not enslaved or in bondage of any kind. Their own individual abilities were even tapped into to help advance Babylon in one way or the other.


Reading PSALM 137:1–2, the surface impression one gets is that the Jews in Babylon were beset by a most disagreeable set of circumstances. “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat, sat and wept, as we thought of Zion. There on the poplars we hung up our lyres.” Well, that was pure nostalgia, which is a natural impulse when a people have been displaced.  A notable historian presents to us the more accurate picture in the following words:


“The deportees, their labour and their abilities, were extremely valuable to the Babylonian state, and their relocation was carefully planned and organised. We must not imagine treks of destitute fugitives who were easy prey for famine and disease: the deportees were meant to travel as comfortably and safely as possible in order to reach their destination in good physical shape.


Whenever deportations are depicted in Babylonian imperial art, men, women and children are shown travelling in groups, often riding on vehicles or animals and never in bonds ... Deportees were carefully chosen for their abilities and sent to regions which could make the most of their talents. Not everyone in the conquered populace was chosen for deportation and families were never separated. Those segments of the population that had actively resisted the Babylonians were killed or sold into slavery, but the general populaces became absorbed into the growing empire and were thought of as Babylonians.”


Another historian has this to say: “It is assumed that the Jews had to render labour to the Babylonians, but generally they enjoyed a great deal of freedom. Some of the exiles, like Daniel and his three friends rose to positions of power within the Royal Court of Babylon and many others became wealthy. Later, during the Persian period Jews like Mordecai, Esther, and Nehemiah all found themselves in key positions in the government and were able to act on behalf of their people because they took Jeremiah's advice.” Indeed, Nehemiah rose to become the cup-bearer of the King, that is, the King’s most trusted official.


The King-in-exile himself, Jeconiah, enjoyed particularly special privilleges both when he was in prison and after his release. Captive kings and high officials received monthly rations of grain and oil. Archaeological evidence recovered from the Royal palace in Babylon provides support for Jeconiah’s presence there and lists the daily rations set aside for him and the members of his family.


The Bible itself does not shy away from underscoring Jeconiah’s privileged status in Babylon as highlighted in JEREMIAH 52:31-34 thus: “In the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jeconiah King of Judah, in the year Awel-Marduk became king of Babylon, on the twenty-fifth day of the twelfth month, he released Jeconiah King of Judah and freed him from prison. He spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat of honour higher than those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon. So Jeconiah put aside his prison clothes and for the rest of his life ate regularly at the King’s table. Day by day the King of Babylon gave Jeconiah a regular allowance as long as he lived, till the day of his death.”

JEREMIAH PAINTS SORRY PICTURE OF MARDUK’S FATE

The destruction of Solomon’s Temple by King Nebuchadnezzar was according to the Bible the ultimate blasphemy. Ishkur-Adad, the Jehovah under whose auspices the Temple was built, was not in the least bit amused. He straightaway had the prophet Jeremiah step forward and pronounce the comeuppance both on the King and his colossal empire.      


Now, biblical prophecies should not be taken at face value. Their fulfillment were documented after the events they purported to foretell had already taken place, not before they happened. Much of the Old Testament   corpus was compiled in the 6th century BC, during and after the Babylonian captivity (the Book of Malachi, the last prophet, was written circa 400 BC, and the Book of Daniel was compiled just after 164 BC). So we have to bear that in mind when we read of fulfilled prophecies so that we decide whether to contemplate  the story warily or give it the benefit of the doubt.


Jeremiah announced that the destruction of the Temple was going to be avenged by Yahweh (JEREMIAH 50:28). In addition, Adad instructed him to make the following proclamation: “Declare among the nations and proclaim,     set up a banner and proclaim,     do not conceal it, say: Babylon is taken:  Withered is Bel;  confounded is Merodach …  For out of the north a nation has come up against her; it shall make her land a desolation, and no one shall live in it; both human beings and animals shall flee away.” – JEREMIAH  50: 1-3.


Jeremiah made this statement circa 561-60 BC. It can be easily dated because it was in this timespan that  Merodach, Nebuchadnezzar’s successor, was on the throne. Jeremiah served notice to the world that Babylon was to be supplanted by a new power from the north, who turned out to be Persia. Jeremiah also spelt out the imminent fate of the  Babylonian god Marduk, who was also known as Bel, meaning “The Lord”: he was to “wither”, or cease to be a factor in the affairs of mankind.


In the case of Merodach, all Jeremiah said of him was that he was to be “confounded”, that is, so overwhelmed by problems as  to lose a sense of focus. One wonders why Jeremiah, if he was the great prophet he was touted to be, didn’t foresee the assassination of Merodach and directly allude to it in his prophecy.


The prophet Daniel says in his waning days, Nebuchadnezzar had his mind taken away and ate grass like an ox.  This is a fanciful story which is found only in the Bible and nowhere in the Babylonian annals. “There is no independent support for the tradition in Daniel of Nebuchadnezzar’s seven years’ madness, and the story probably arose from a fanciful later interpretation of texts concerned with events under Nabunaid,  who showed apparent eccentricity in deserting Babylon for a decade to live in Arabia,” says Encyclopaedia Britannica.
      Meanwhile, did Marduk indeed get to wither?

NEBUCHADNEZZAR MISSES OUT ON NIBIRU “VISITATION”

For all his euphoria and grandiose preparations for King Anu’s prospective visit to Earth, Nebuchadnezzar didn’t live to savour this potentially highly momentous occasion. In fact, none of his next three bloodline successors were destined to witness up-close the return of the Planet of the Gods, as Nibiru was referred to in Sumerian and Egyptian chronicles.


Nebuchadnezzar died in 562 BC, having ruled for 43 years, missing Nibiru by a whisker. During the next 6 years, he had three successors in such an unconscionably short period of time. His immediate one was Merodach, his eldest son. According to Berossus, the ancient priest-historian, Merodach governed “unjustly and lewdly”. The Bible is ambivalent about him. It extols him for freeing the Jewish King Jeconiah after 37 years of incarceration and for treating him regally but at the same time refers to him as “Evil-Merodach”.        


Merodach ruled for roughly a year when he was deposed and killed by his own brother-in-law Nergal-Sharezzer.   From his name, it is plain that Nergal-Sharezzer got rid of Merodach at the instigation of the god Nergal, who though was Marduk’s immediate young brother had always been at odds with him. Though an Enkite, Nergal served the Enlilite agenda. Nergal-Sharezzer had been one of the high-ranking officers  in Nebuchadnezzar’s government.


Nergal-Sharezzer was in power for  five years when he was ousted under very mysterious circumstances and replaced by  his son Labash-Marduk, then still a young lad. Labash-Marduk was allowed only 9 months on the throne before he was murdered in a scheme led by Nabunaid and his son Belshazzar, who features prominently in the Book of Daniel. This was in 555 BC. Nabunaid, who ruled from 555-539 BC, has gone into the annals of his history as the last King of the Neo-Babylonian Empire, which began with Nabopolassar in 626 BC.  


IS IT A COINCIDENCE THAT NABUNAID, A PROTÉGÉ OF NABU, MARDUK’S HEIR, AND THEREFORE A PRO-MARDUK MAN,   SEIZED POWER IN THE VERY YEAR NIBIRU WAS SEEN? Was the gesture calculated to put himself at the centre of earthly affairs just as King Anu was seemingly making his way to the planet?  Well, the whole affair was no  simple coincidence: NABUNAID MURDERED HIS WAY TO THE THRONE WHEN THE “CELESTIAL LORD”  SO “SIGNALED”.  

NIBIRU REAPPEARS!
 
Almost every prophet who foretold the advent of planet Nibiru underlined one feature about its approach – that it was going to be marked by “darkness at noon”  as highlighted in recent articles. IT CAME TO PASS: FOR ON MAY 19, 555 BC, THERE INDEED WAS A TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE SUN WHICH COVERED WIDE SWATHES OF THE PLANET. This is not only historically documented: it has been  astronomically established by NASA’s Goddard Spaceflight Centre.  


Solar eclipses are not a particularly rare phenomenon. We have witnessed them many a time in our own time. The 555 BC solar eclipse was preceded by one in 584 BC, which was in turn preceded by the one in 762 BC.  The latter’s path of totality included the whole of Assyria, whereas the former’s engulfed the whole of Greece though the eclipse in general was witnessed across the Mediterranean lands.


WHAT WAS UNIQUE ABOUT THE 555 BC  SOLAR ECLIPSE WAS THAT IT  OCCURRED AT  A MOST UNSEEMLY TIME. There’s a series of Babylonian-time tablets which have been dubbed When Planet Anu is Planet of the Lord. One such tablet reads thus:  “In the beginning the solar disc (the Sun), not in an expected time, became darkened, and stood in the radiance of the Great Planet. On day 30 [of the month] was the eclipse of the Sun.”


This is the eclipse of Nibiru as “the Great Planet” no doubt refers to Nibiru. Explains Zechariah Sitchin in his book The End of Days: “Though the tablet itself does not provide a date for that eclipse, it is our suggestion that the particular wording, highlighted above, strongly indicates that the unexpected and extraordinary solar eclipse was somehow caused by the return of Nibiru, the ‘great radiating planet’; but whether the direct cause was the planet itself, or the effects of its ‘radiance’ (gravitational or magnetic pull?) on the Moon, the texts do not explain.”


 Having seen the planet Nibiru heave in view, Nabunaid was convinced it was the very planet  that beckoned for his forceful ascendancy to the  Babylonian throne. He boasted that he had seen “the Great Star” (Nibiru) in a night-time vision and that “the planet of Marduk, high in the sky, had called me by my name”.


One other peculiar aspect about the 555 BC eclipse was that the band of total darkness it entailed passed exactly over the district of Harran. It is small wonder, therefore, that Nabunaid chose to be enthroned in Harran and not in Babylon  because it was in Harran, so he believed,  that the “Celestial Lord” underscored the nod to his mandate.  

“KAKKABU IS NIBIRU”

As stated above, intimations that Nibiru did indeed re-appear in the mid-6th century BC have been made in a number of inscriptions of the day. “It is a fact that astronomical tablets from that very time record actual observations of Nibiru, alias Planet of Marduk,” observes Zechariah Sitchin.


Sitchin cites one such tablet, catalogued K8688, which appraised the King on the projected harvest scenario on the basis of the planet Venus’ position vis-à-vis Nibiru. “If Venus shall be seen in front of (i.e., rising ahead of) Nibiru,” the tablet says, “the crops will fail, but if Venus shall rise behind (i.e., after) Nibiru, the crop of the land will succeed.”


Sitchin makes reference to two more tablets in respect of the re-appearance of Nibiru in that day.  “Of greater interest to us are a group of ‘Late Babylonian’ tablets found in Uruk. They rendered the data in twelve monthly zodiacal columns and combined the texts with pictorial depictions. In one of these tablets (VA 785l), the Planet of Marduk, shown between the Aries ram symbol on one side and the seven symbol for Earth on the other side, depicts Marduk within the planet.


Another example is tablet VAT 7847. It names an actual observation, in the constellation of Aries, as the ‘Day when the Gate of the great Lord Marduk was opened’— when Nibiru had appeared into view; and then has an entry ‘ Day of the Lord Marduk’ as the planet moved on.”
Then there are two astrolabes (a two-dimensional model of the celestial sphere) of Babylonian days that make references to Nibiru. Astrolabe A identifies Nibiru as mul Marduk – the  “Planet of Marduk” – and Astrolabe B identifies it as mul Neberu deity Marduk – Planet  Nibiru of the god Marduk.


The text accompanying the circular depiction and known as KAV 218  is unequivocal as to what is being highlighted on the astrolabes. It says, “[Month] Adar: Planet Marduk in the Way of Anu: the radiant Kakkabu which rises in the south after the gods of the night finished their tasks, and divides the heavens. This Kakkabu is Nibiru = god Marduk.”

NEXT WEEK:   THE GODS ARE OFF

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